National Assistant Evaluation Consultant


Location : BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Application Deadline :06-May-16 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :25 days (May-June 2016).

Background

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) faces a growing number of challenges that could exacerbate conflict: governance crisis and political and institutional deadlock, declining economy and social safety net, weak institutions, corruption, lack of rule of law, a stalled EU accession process, the legacy of war crimes and transitional justice, and remnants of war that threaten human security. The uniquely complex and intricate network of institutions that the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) created in BiH has not managed to resolve the underlying causes of the conflict between the three principal ethnic groups (Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats) - i.e. divergent visions of how BiH should be structured; the manner by which BiH’s ethnic balance should be maintained and the interests of the principal national groups secured; as well as divergent views and narratives with regard to transitional justice and addressing war crimes, amongst others. Therefore, conflict between BiH’s three principal ethnic groups, as well as within these groups continues to manifest itself in political, social, economic and cultural terms. Consequently, almost twenty years after the DPA came into force BiH remains a fragmented and divided country, with each national group living in its own political and cultural space, growing further apart. There is a need, therefore, to create space in BiH for dialogue, reconciliation and building of trust.
20 years after the conflict, the country’s peacebuilding processes are set within the political framework of the EU accession agenda. Not branded as such per se, they are piecemeal manifested through a set of State-level strategies, more specifically the State War Crimes Strategy and Justice Sector Reform Strategy. Additional State-level strategies failed to reach consensus and were never adopted, such as the Transitional Justice Strategy, clearly showcasing a general lack of consensus on issues related to dealing with the past. The effect of inadequate State-level consensus on a number of peacebuilding issues, coupled with ethnic/nationalist politics, has resulted in cemented sub-national policies and diametrically opposing programmes in areas such as truth-seeking, reparations, memorialization, etc. In turn, such programmes have left extensive secondary effects on important societal aspects that contribute to peacebuilding, such as education, culture, mobility, etc.

As a second-tier of interventions to peacebuilding efforts, socio-economic interventions are being made to stabilize the country. As per the 2015 EC Progress Report for BiH  “the adopted Reform Agenda, which set out major socio-economic reforms to be carried out, was followed by initial progress in its implementation”,  yet “closer cooperation and coordination between all levels of government need to be established, not least to be able to tackle the major socioeconomic challenges.”  Whilst noting the decentralized nature of the State, the lack of adequate communication and coordination as well as vertical integration of decision-making apparatus needs to be emphasized as stumbling blocks in the country’s peacebuilding efforts.
During the course of developing the 2015-2019 UNDAF in late 2013, the UNCT conducted a comprehensive Common Country Assessment (CCA), which included a Conflict-related Development Analysis (CDA), and identified a number of areas where BiH faces significant challenges with regard to its peace and development agenda. Also, a CDA has been repeated in the first quarter of 2015.
Based on the assessment and in conjunction with activities already being conducted by the 13 UN agencies present in the country, the UN Joint Project called „Dialogue for the Future: The promotion of coexistence and diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina" (also referred to as DFF project) was developed on the basis of a joint initiative of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN).  The project is developed under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator of the UN, in cooperation with the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is jointly implemented by the UN agencies UNESCO, UNICEF and UNDP. It builds upon successful initiatives and projects conducted thus far with the UNCT. The activities are designed to be catalytic by consolidating existing UNCT programmes around peace and development, as well as mobilizing additional local and international resources and commitment toward the peacebuilding agenda guidance of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), which helps to sustain peace in conflict-affected countries by garnering international support for nationally owned and led peacebuilding efforts.

The overall strategic focus of this project is to address the deterioration of relations amongst communities and substantially decrease the threat of renewed conflict and violence by promoting peaceful coexistence, which is characterized by increased trust, respect for diversity, and strengthened civic and inter-cultural dialogue amongst citizens, in particular youth. The project objectives are: (1) creating spaces for dialogue to enable the process of building understanding across the country; (2) promoting coexistence and respect for diversity; (3) increasing participation, awareness and influence of youth in political dialogue related to issues that affect program development and reform in BiH; (4) ensuring that education supports greater social cohesion; and (5) supporting citizens and communities achieve common goals in terms of building coexistence through culture.

The specific outcomes/components of the DFF projects are as following:

  • Outcome 1: Established dialogue spaces for decision makers, civil society and citizens that enable country-wide peacebuilding process to promote coexistence, trust building and appreciation of diversity.
  • Outcome 2: Increased participation awareness and influence of youth civil society organizations in policy dialogue with decision makers on issues impacting BiH’s development and reform agenda.
  • Outcome 3: Education and peacebuilding initiatives support greater cohesion at national level and in targeted communities.
  • Outcome 4: Citizens and communities promote culture, intercultural dialogue, trust building and appreciation of diversity to advance common peacebuilding goals.

The DFF project was implemented across and without focus on specific local administrative units. The target group for this project is primarily, but not limited to, young persons of BiH.

The Project implemented Small Grants Facility Programme in more than 70 municipalities. Within the Programme, through the three Project components, youth, education, and culture, 40 grants projects were implemented in the period between 6 and 12 months. At least 15% of the project beneficiaries through the Small Grants Facility are aimed at vulnerable groups (children/youth with disabilities, minority groups e.g. Roma, and women).


Duties and Responsibilities

The DFF project is heading towards the end of the implementation period. Initially set for 18 months, with a projected end date of January 21, 2016, the project was granted a six month no-cost extension until July 21, 2016. This final evaluation is mandatory to take place two months before the project closure. The evaluation will cover the entire period of the project implementation, from June 2014 until May 2016.

The main purpose of the evaluation is to provide an independent in-depth assessment of the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of project results and outcomes against the results framework of the DFF project. The evaluation will also assess the project’s contribution to peacebuilding in BiH. Apart from assessing the achievements of the project, the evaluation will also address future steps to be taken and opportunities that arise from implemented activities; therefore, the purpose of the evaluation is both to assess the accountability and to provide a learning opportunity in order to better streamline future interventions.

Following detailed evaluation results, DFF Project will prepare a management response to critical findings of the report. Furthermore, the evaluation results will directly inform the formulation process of the next phase of the project that will be coordinated by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator (RCO) and developed jointly by the Participating UN Organizations and the BiH Presidency. Additionally, lessons learned will be communicated to the implementing partners and other relevant peacebuilding actors in the country to strengthen their activities and approaches towards peacebuilding processes in BiH.

The final evaluation will be conducted using methodologies and techniques as determined by the specific uses of the evaluation, the availability of resources and the priorities of stakeholders. In all cases, the Assistant Evaluation Consultant is expected to use all available information sources that will provide evidence on which to base evaluation conclusions and recommendations. Anticipated mixed-method approaches to be used for data collection and analysis by the Assistant Evaluation Consultant include: providing support to rigorous desk review, interviews with key stakeholders, field visits, questionnaires and participatory techniques.


Objectives and scope of evaluation

The objectives of the final evaluation are:

  • Assessment of project design and relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of project results and outcomes against the results framework of the DFF project (all four project components/outcomes);
  • Assessment of efficiency, results and impact of local project interventions implemented through Small Grant Facility , including the assessment of implementation capacities on a local level (at least 20 individual interventions to be covered on 10 locations);
  • Assessment of the project’s quality and internal and external coherence with existing UN portfolios under sectors as per the UNDAF, national development strategies and priorities, and the Sustainable Development Goals at the local and country level;
  • Assessment on how effectively the joint project (JP) operated and the degree of efficiency in planning, coordinating, managing and executing resources allocated for its implementation, through an analysis of its procedures and operational and institutional mechanisms. This analysis will seek to uncover the factors for success and limitations in inter-agency tasks, collaboration and synergies and will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the JP modality and make recommendations to guide future joint programming among UN agencies in BiH;
  • Assessment of the extent to which gender considerations were mainstreamed in project design and implementation;
  • Assessment of the extent to which the project assessed and managed risk factors;
  • Assessment of project’s different M&E systems and tools developed including data collection, statistics, research and analytical outputs, databases, guidelines, etc. and the use of the systems and tools; and
  • Assessment of project’s communication strategy and outreach activities and impact thereof.

The evaluation should result in the identification of key recommendations, best practices and lessons learnt which should speak to:

  • the main programming and implementation factors of success;
  • the main programming and implementation challenges;
  • the main administration factors of success;
  • the main administration challenges; and
  • the ways to address the main challenges.

The recommendations should be relevant for the phase II of the DFF project.


Evaluation methodolgy/approach

The Assistant Evaluation Consultant will bear primary responsibility for providing support in conducting the final evaluation. This entails among other responsibilities providing support to Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader in: designing the evaluation process according to this terms of reference; rigorous desk review; gathering data from different sources of information; analyzing, organizing and triangulating the collected information; identifying patterns and causal linkages that explain project performance and impact; drafting evaluation reports at different stages (inception, draft, final); responding to comments and factual corrections from stakeholders and incorporating them, as appropriate, in subsequent versions; and making briefs and presentations ensuring the evaluation findings, conclusions and recommendations are communicated in a coherent, clear and understandable manner.
The Assistant Evaluation Consultant will demonstrate a client-oriented approach and follow the standards outlined in the Monitoring and Evaluation of PBF Programmes Guidelines. The evaluation will also be based on a stakeholder approach, where all groups and individuals, who affect and/or are affected by the achievement of the project results and outcomes, are included in the methodology. Moreover, the evaluation will take into consideration the institutional, political and economic context, which affected the project during its implementation. The Assistant Evaluation Consultant will work in close collaboration with the Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader, who will be collaborating with DFF Project Coordinator, participating agencies, project staff and key project stakeholders, partners and beneficiaries.

The unit of analysis or object of study for this final evaluation is the DFF project, understood to be the set of components, outcomes, outputs, activities and inputs that were detailed in the Joint Project documents. The approach of the evaluation shall be participatory, that is, flexible in design and implementation, ensuring stakeholder participation and ownership, and facilitating learning and feedback.

The final evaluation will be conducted using methodologies and techniques as determined by the specific uses of the evaluation, the availability of resources and the priorities of stakeholders. In all cases, the Assistant Evaluation Consultant is expected to provide support in the effective usage of all available information sources that will provide evidence on which to base evaluation conclusions and recommendations. Anticipated mixed-method approaches to be supported in collection of data and analysis by the Assistant Evaluation Consultant include: rigorous desk review, interviews with key stakeholders, field visits, questionnaires and participatory techniques.


For the rigorous desk review, the following non-exhaustive list of documents should include:

  • PBF relevant “key documents” (PMP, Annual Report SG 2015, PBF Progress reports submitted by the UN Recipient Organizations (RUNOs) via MPTFO Gateway).
  • The DFF project produced and submitted two Half Yearly Reports (2014, 2015) and one Annual Report (2015).
  • Documents related to measuring catalytic effects of DFF Project– Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) Survey, Voices of Youth Study.
  • Relevant other background documentation (e.g., conflict analyses; performance reviews, national strategic documents, etc.).

During this process the Assistant Evaluation Consultant will be assisting Evaluation Consultant/ Team Leader.

The evaluation process will have three phases: inception, data collection and field visit; and analysis and reporting.

  • Inception Phase (5 days) - the Assistant Evaluation Consultant will provide support in reviewing documentation, agree on the meetings and field visit locations with the Joint UN Project Coordinator, and produce the Evaluation Inception Report (which includes a clear evaluation design, evaluation questions, methodology to answer each of the evaluation questions, and work plan). The Evaluation Inception Report, including the purpose and objectives of the Final Evaluation, will be presented to and reviewed by the DFF Project Team, the RCO and PBSO before it is submitted to the RCO for final clearance and approval;
  • Data Collection and Field Visit (10 days) – the Assistant Evaluation Consultant will provide support in gathering data through the specified methodology (including group and individual interviews, and field visits to 20 individual interventions at 10 locations (Sarajevo being duty station); at the end of the data collection and field visits, a debriefing note will be submitted to the RCO and presented to the DFF Project Team, RC, RCO, national counterparts and Senior Management of participating UN agencies;
  • Analysis and Reporting (10 days) – In this final phase of the evaluation, the Assistant Evaluation Consultant will provide support in preparation of a draft evaluation report based on the analysis of data and will submit the report to the DFF Project Team, the RCO and PBSO for factual review and comments before it is submitted to the RUNOs, and the Presidency for further feedback.  Upon receiving the requested, the consultant will proceed with production of the final evaluation report to be approved by the RCO and shared with the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the main national partner.

The Small Grants Facility program was implemented in more than 70 municipalities, through 40 grants projects, Therefore the Assistant Evaluation Consultant is expected to travel across the country to at least 10 locations, defined in agreement with the UNPBSO and Joint Project Coordinator, including four major cities (Sarajevo being the duty station): Banja Luka, Tuzla, Zenica, and Mostar, in order to adequately assess the impact of interventions.

The composition of the evaluation report must be compliant with the following format containing at least the following information:

  • Executive Summary of the evaluation findings (max 3 pages; with reference to: Purpose of the evaluation, findings on overall programme relevance, efficiency and effectiveness, recommendations and lessons learnt);
  • Background;
  • Assessment of conflict drivers / causes to be addressed;
  • Key achievements of the PBF-supported projects including project design and relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of project results and outcomes against the results framework of the DFF project;
  • Assessment of theory of changes and expected results (for the entire project and per outcome);
  • Assessment of the project’s operation and the efficiency of its model in planning, coordinating, managing and executing resources allocated for its implementation. Particular attention will also be paid to PBF’s responsiveness to urgent funding gaps, risk taking, catalytic effects and, overall cost-effectiveness/value for money, internal coherence, and alignment with the national and UN strategies;
  • Challenges, Best Practices and Lessons Learnt;
  • Recommendations;
  • Annexes: Individual project fact sheets to assess project-based contributions to peacebuilding process (see PBF standard; reference to project relevant PMP indicators and OECD-DAC evaluation criteria with particular attention to cost-effectiveness);
  • One or two concrete stories or examples of success and failure;
  • All reports are to be delivered in English language.


Evaluation principles and standards

The evaluation findings will be evidence-based and follow the evaluation criteria of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-DAC) and the UN Evaluation Group (UNEG) norms and standards. The Joint UN Project Coordinator and the RCO will be responsible for providing relevant standards and principles to the Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader and Assistant Evaluation Consultant before the development of the Inception Report. The Assistant Evaluation Consultant will assist in outlining in the Inception Report the standards applied for the evaluation process.

Management arrangements and quality assurance process

The DFF Project Team will manage and oversee the evaluation process, in consultation with the RCO, RUNOs, and PBSO, with the RCO approving the deliverables. The Final Evaluation will be carried out by the Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader under the direct supervision of the Joint UN Project Coordinator, assisted by the national Assistant Evaluation Consultant, and supported by the RCO’s Development, Research and M&E Specialist with the overall guidance. The evaluation process will also be closely coordinated by the RCO with the BiH Presidency as the main in-country stakeholders, the RUNOs and PBSO to consult on the expected deliverables and timetable.  The Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader will closely cooperate with the DFF project staff in all aspects of its work to ensure high quality, accuracy and consistency in the conduct of the evaluation, while the Assistant Evaluation Consultant will provide support in the process.

The Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader with support of the Assistant Evaluation Consultant will provide all necessary information, updates and reports to the Joint UN Project Coordinator who will coordinate dissemination of information between UN agencies and the RCO as well as PBSO.

The Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader is responsible for providing information to The Joint UN Project Coordinator and the RCO on all additional issues that can affect the evaluation process in any way and consult them about all circumstances that can eventually have a major impact to original and agreed Final Evaluation plan.

The Joint UN Project Coordinator will provide the Assistant Evaluation Consultant with the project relevant background documentation required for a comprehensive desk review, while the Assistant Evaluation Consultant will ensure support in designing and delivering research methodologies in high quality standards.
DFF Project Team will be responsible for arranging meetings with key project partners and counterparts, as well as for organizing group consultative meetings, briefing and debriefing sessions.
The Assistant Evaluation Consultant will be provided with the office/working space during the assignment, and is expected to use personal IT equipment. Transportation to designated locations across the country will be organized by the DFF Project Team.


The Evaluation Team will be comprised of a national Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader and national Assistant Evaluation Consultant.


Competencies

  • Assist in sharing knowledge and experience and provides helpful feedback and advice;
  • Assist in conceptualizes and analyzes problems to identify key issues and underlying problems, and how they relate;
  • Ability to identify beneficiaries’ needs, and to match them with appropriate solutions;
  • Excellent communication and interview skills;
  • Excellent report writing skills;
  • Excellent research and analysis skills;
  • Responds positively to critical feedback and differing points of view;
  • Ability to plan, prioritize and handle a large volume of work under time constraints and changing contexts;
  • Strong IT skills;
  • Client-orientation;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Ability to manage and work effectively under pressure.
     


Required Skills and Experience

  • University degree in social sciences or other related field. Advance degree will be considered an advantage. Academic background in specific areas of peacebuilding will be considered as an asset;
  • A minimum of 3 years of professional experience specifically in the area of evaluation of peacebuilding initiatives;
  • Proven experience of supporting the work of experts. Supporting experts in conducting evaluations of Projects would be considered an advantage;
  • Knowledge of and working experience in the UN System;
  • Knowledge of and working experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Fluency in spoken and written English and any of the local languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The Final Evaluation process will be administratively managed by UNESCO on behalf of the DFF project. The procurement procedure and the contractual arrangement are to be established in accordance with the administrative rules and regulations of UNESCO, who will be contracting the Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader and Assistant Evaluation Consultant. The Final Evaluation will take place in the course of the timeline May - June 2016, and will not exceed 25 workings days, over earmarked periods of time.

Schedule:

  • Beginning of the assignment May 16, 2016
  • Inception phase Expected deadline May 20, 2016
  • Data Collection and Field Visits Expected deadline June 14, 2016
  • Debriefing Expected deadline June 17, 2016
  • Delivery of draft report Expected deadline July 6, 2016
  • Delivery of Final Report Expected deadline July 11, 2016

Disbursement of funds according to following deliverables:

  • Inception Phase (5 days)  Payment of first tranche, upon submission of Inception Report to the RCO (20% of total contract value)
  • Data Collection and Field Visit (10 days)  Payment of the second tranche, upon completion of the field missions and submission and presentation of the debriefing note to the DFF Project Team, RC, RUNOs, national counterparts and the RCO (50% of total contract value)
  • Analysis and Reporting (10 days)  Payment of final tranche upon final approval of the evaluation report by the RCO (30% of total contract value)

 

The Assistant Evaluation Consultant will deliver the following:

  • Inception Report: based on a desk review of the relevant documentation, including the Project Fact Sheets, a concise Inception Report will be developed by the evaluation team (max 5 pages).  It will outline the evaluation design including evaluation questions and proposed evaluation steps and provide a detailed description of the envisaged methodology, its parameters, assumptions and an explanation as to why this is the most appropriate way forward. The report will also include a work plan with associated timetable, sites to be visited and will be presented to the DFF Project Team, the RCO, and PBSO for comments before the final approval by the RCO.  Joint UN Project Coordinator will provide the basic inputs into the Project Fact Sheets, with assistance from the national Development, Research and M&E specialist at country level. These will be reviewed by the Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader and supported by the Assistant Evaluation Consultant prior to the commencement of field visits and discussions with the RUNOs;
  • Inception meeting: prior to conducting the field visits, the team will meet with the focal persons of the participating RUNOs to discuss the process, methodology and questions/issues to be address in the evaluation;
  • Debriefing Note: After the Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader’s conclusion of the second phase (data collection and field visits), a debriefing will be given to the DFF Project Team, RC, the Senior Management of the RUNOs, and national counterparts to review a first draft of findings and recommendations. A short two to three page debriefing note and power point presentation will support the verbal presentation. Assistant Evaluation Consultant will support the Evaluation Consultant/Team Leader throughout this process;
  • Draft Report: the draft report will be submitted to the DFF Project Team, the RCO, and PBSO before it is submitted to the RUNOs and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina for further feedback;
  • Final Report: the final report will be reviewed by the DFF Project Team, the RCO, and PBSO before it is approved by the RCO and shared with the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Assistant Evaluation Consultant will be responsible for providing support in incorporating to the largest extent possible the comments from the RUNOs and PBSO, the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while preserving his/her independent views as an evaluator. The report should not exceed 30 pages, not including appendices or the Executive Summary. It should provide lessons learnt and clear evidence for its findings; all recommendations should be actionable. The evaluation team will have editorial control of the final report. 


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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