Outcome Evaluation Consultant-Enhanced Policies and Strategies for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and the Environment


Location : Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA
Application Deadline :09-Jul-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Sep-2015
Duration of Initial Contract :15 Working days

Background

Introduction

In accordance with the Evaluation plan of the UNDP County Office in Saudi Arabia, an outcome evaluation is scheduled to be conducted at the end of Q3 2015 to evaluate progress made towards the following Country Programme outcome – Outcome II: “Enhanced Policies and Strategies for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and the Environment”. In this context, UNDP Saudi Arabia is seeking to evaluate the contribution of its projects to the achievement of the above mentioned outcome.

Brief description of the Outcome

The 9th National Development Plan (NDP 2010-14) for Saudi Arabia has the overall theme of sustaining development with a record allocated budget of $385 billion, a 67% increase from the 8th NDP, targeted at six goals: improving standards of living, regional development, economic diversification, knowledge-based economy and competitiveness, and human resources including youth and women. Although the 10th NDP has yet to be released, sustainability in its three pillars (social, environmental and economic) remains the leading concern.  Saudi Arabia (KSA) has made great progress in recent years with rise in HDI to 0.836 in 2013 placing it in the Very High Human Development category.  As noted in 2009 National MDG Report, ten of eleven targets have been or would be reached by 2015. About 1.63% of Saudi families live under $2/day (2005) largely in remote rural communities. As a G20 member and largest economy in the region, KSA is a global partner in development.

As noted by UNDP’s MDG Strategy for the Arab Region, where breakthroughs to MDG achievement have already been made as in KSA, a key focus is on the need for sustainability of development results. Developed with UNDP support, the 9th NDP aims to reinforce KSAs progress and support its sustainability. As noted therein, KSA relies on the oil sector for 90% of public revenues, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings, while also facing high unemployment of 14.4% (2005). KSA seeks to diversify the economy beyond oil exports and create future employment opportunities, including development of a knowledge-based economy and geographic diversification of growth and increased share of private sector-generated GDP alongside greater effectiveness of local administration. KSA also invests in a new generation of universities to support future employment needs. Industrialization and urbanization are leading to rising ecological footprints with policy solutions to resource scarcity. This has been identified as a clear priority in the NDP for energy conservation, renewable energy, and water conservation as groundwater scarcity sets in and pollution impacts and climate risks to human development emerge.

An Outcome Evaluation on Development Policy found UNDP’s positive role in shifting focus towards sustainability of results and recommended future focus on social, environment and economic pillars of sustainable development. Increased emphasis was advised for results-based management and connecting partners to global partnerships.

The second Outcome Evaluation for the KSA Country Programme relating to Enhanced Policies and Strategies for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and the Environment is to be held during September 2015. The ability to address energy efficiency and conservation of natural resources is one of the pillars that will define the sustainability of development in KSA. The baseline for the outcome stood at 96% energy intensity and 12.1 per capita solid waste generation. Outcome targets for 2015 specify a significant decrease in per capita solid waste generation and energy intensity per unit GDP.

UNDP’s cooperation focuses on capacities to design and implement energy efficiency policies, South-South Cooperation’s on the matter, capacity development of Nationals to carry on with sustainable development in terms of Water Conservation, Waste Management and clean energy. This includes use of global partnerships to share best practices.

Main outputs and initiatives expected to have contributed to the outcome

The main outputs and initiatives that have contributed to the outcome are contained within the following projects outlined in the below:

Outcome:

  • Award 80559, National Energy and Efficiency Programme (NEEP) Phase II.

The second phase of a capacity development programme for the new Saudi Energy Efficiency Centre to develop Energy Efficiency Policy and Regulations.

Status:

  • Ongoing;
  • Award 59437, Ministry of Water and Electricity (MOWE) Capacity Building.

Capacity development for sustainable development and management of water resources in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Status:

  • Ongoing;
  • Award 86404, Capacity building in Sustainable Waste Management (AMANA).

Developing a sustainable waste management strategy for AMANA and improving road and public transport services by applying intelligent transport systems.

Status:

  • Dormant;
  • Award 90136, Sustainability in Madinat Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah (MAYS).

To assist the Royal Commission at Yanbu (RCY) in the evaluation of its continued efforts towards a sustainable environment in Madinat Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah and to ensure that Yanbu is recognised as a leader and trend setter in sustainability.

Status:

  • Closed.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of the Outcome Evaluation

The outcome evaluation will include four standard categories of analysis (i.e. an assessment of progress towards the outcome, an assessment of the factors affecting the outcome, an assessment of key UNDP contributions to outcome, and an assessment of the partnership strategy used). The scope of the evaluation will be determined by the following questions:

Outcome status: What was the origin of the outcome and its constituent interventions? How were the past experience, findings and recommendations of previous evaluations, and dialogue with stakeholders used in design of outputs? What was the adequacy level of background work carried out? Has the outcome been achieved and, if not, is there any progress made towards its achievement? What is the balance effort needed and the suitability of pursuing the achievement of the outcome?  What innovative approaches were tried and capacities developed through UNDP assistance?         

Underlying factors: What are the underlying factors beyond UNDP’s control that influenced the outcome? What were the key assumptions made, internal and external factors? What are the substantive design issues from the key implementation and/or management capacities to issues including the timeliness of outputs, the degree of stakeholder and partner involvement in the completion of the outputs, and how processes were managed/carried out?

UNDP contribution: What is the relevance of the outcome and the constituent components specifically for UNDP assistance? Can UNDP funded constituent outputs and other interventions—including the outputs, programmes, projects and soft and hard assistance—be credibly linked to achievement of the outcome?

Partnership strategy: Was UNDP’s partnership strategy appropriate and effective? What were the partnerships formed? How did partnerships arise? What was the role of UNDP? How did the partnership contribute to the achievement of the outcome? How did they function and sustain? What was the level of the participation of stakeholders? Who were the key beneficiaries and their major perceptions?

Expected Outcome Evaluation Outputs:

  • Evaluation Inception Report, reflecting in it all substantive and logistical issues that would have to be addressed in order to complete the evaluation successfully.  The inception report should include an Evaluation Matrix (summarizing and visually presenting the evaluation design and methodology including detailed evaluation questions that the evaluation will answer, data sources, data collection, analysis tools or methods appropriate for each data source, and the standard or measure by which each question will be evaluated. (See Annex I).

Evaluation Report which includes, at least:

  • Assessment of progress made towards the intended outcome;
  • Assessment of progress towards outputs;
  • Lessons learned concerning best/or less ideal practices in producing outputs and achieving the outcome;
  • Forward looking strategies and recommendations for continued UNDP assistance towards the achievement of the outcome.

Methodology of Outcome Evaluation

Outcome evaluations have shifted away from the older approach of assessing project results against project objectives towards an assessment of how these results contribute, together with the assistance of partners, to a change in development conditions.  Outcomes are influenced by a full range of UNDP activities (projects, programmes, non-project activities and “soft” assistance within and outside of projects) as well as the activities of other development actors. Therefore, a number of variables beyond the projects need to be considered during the evaluation. The evaluation must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful. It must be easily understood by UNDP partners.

Information on the methodologies is given in Guidelines for Evaluators, issued by Evaluation Office, UNDP.  The evaluator is expected to use all relevant methods to obtain data and information for their analysis and drawing up of findings, conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations. An outline of an evaluation approach is provided below; however it should be made clear that the evaluation consultant/team is responsible for revising the approach as necessary. Any changes should be in-line with international criteria and professional norms and standards (as adopted by the UN Evaluation Group).  They must be also cleared by UNDP before being applied by the evaluation consultant/team.

These include:

  • Documentation review: Begin with the CPD for a description of the intended outcome, the baseline for the outcome and the indicators and benchmarks used;
  • Examine contextual information and baselines contained in project documents and all relevant documents as well as relevant evaluation reports;
  • Use of interviews, field visits, questionnaires and meeting including participatory forums to validate information about the status of the outcome that is culled from contextual sources such as monitoring reports; also use to the extent possible the data collected and analysis undertaken by the country office prior to the outcome evaluation; and examine local sources of knowledge about factors influencing the outcome;
  • Identification of the major contributing factors that “drive” change;
  • Investigate the pre-selected outcome indicators, go beyond these to explore other possible outcome indicators, and determine whether the indicators have actually been continuously tracked;
  • Undertake a constructive critique of the outcome formulation itself; determine whether or not individual outputs are effective in contributing to outcomes, drawing the link between UNDP outputs and outcomes;
  • Determine whether individual outputs are effective in contributing to outcomes;
  • Determine whether or not the UNDP strategy and management of overall country operations appears to be coherently focused on change at the outcome level. Examine whether UNDP’s in-house planning and management of different interventions has been aligned to exploit synergies in contributing to outcomes;
  • Determine whether or not there is consensus among UNDP actors, stakeholders and partners, and that the partnership strategy designed was the best one to achieve the outcome; examine how the partnerships were formed and how they performed; examine how the partnership strategy affected the achievement of or progress towards the outcome.


Competencies

Professionalism:

  • Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks;
  • Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of the project activities;
  • Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment;
  • Shows pride in work and in achievements;
  • Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter;
  • Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Motivated by professional rather than personal concerns;
  • Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges;
  • Remains calm in stressful situations.

Planning& Organizing:

  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed TORs;
  • Identifies priorities;
  • Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Teamwork:

  • Works collaboratively with UNDP staff;
  • Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise;
  • Willing to learn from others in terms of cultural contest.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Advanced degree in the Natural Sciences or related fields.

Experience:

  • A senior level development expert with substantive knowledge of development theories and issues;
  • The incumbent shall have at least 10 years of progressive professional experience relevant to the work area;
  • Has a strong background in development research methodologies and evaluation with specific focus on the areas of Energy and Environment;
  • Familiarity with UNDP or UN operations at NCC context will be a plus;
  • Has a good knowledge of the country's development issues and significant experience in working on poverty, human development, and gender and in evaluating complex multilateral aid programmes.

Language:

  • Fluency in speaking and writing in English;
  • Working knowledge of Arabic considered an asset.


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


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