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ICF evaluation consultancy
|Location :||Juba and Home-based, SOUTH SUDAN|
|Application Deadline :||16-Feb-18 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||International Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English|
|Starting Date :|
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||6 weeks,|
|Expected Duration of Assignment :||40 consultant days|
The 2016-2018 South Sudan Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) is the United Nations Country Team’s (UNCT) strategic programme framework. The ICF was launched in January 2016, as it had become increasingly clear that a new strategic framework was needed to replace the 2012-16 United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), due to the conflict that had erupted in late 2013.
The 2012-16 UNDAF had been developed at the time of independence in 2011, and went through a series of adaptations to a shifting context in South Sudan in the years between 2011 and 2015. This period saw deteriorating conditions for implementation of the UNDAF due to economic crisis and the outbreak of conflict in 2013.
Even with the latest round of adjustments in 2014 in response to the conflict, the UNDAF lost most of its relevance with more challenging partnerships and instability in many parts of the country. Furthermore, as the South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP) expired in 2016, there was effectively no national development plan to align to. On the other hand, an Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) was established in August 2015, and provided a new momentum for short-term transitional support for recovery, resilience and peacebuilding.
In the absence of a national development framework and given the fluid and volatile situation in South Sudan, the UNCT developed the ICF to continue its development assistance during the transitional period of the ARCSS, initially only for 2016 and 17, and then extended to 2018 as ARCSS implementation slowed down. The ICF prioritizes five outcome areas as (1) more resilient communities, (2) strengthened social services for the vulnerable (3) peace and governance strengthened (4) reinvigoration of the local economy and (5) cross-cutting: the status of women and youth improved. These outcomes reflect the need to concentrate on immediate, short-term efforts to recover from the conflict, protect those that have been hardest hit, and strengthen the ability of the population to deal with the continued instability and the crisis.
The ICF was prepared through a consultative and participatory process of the UNCT through which strategic priorities have been developed together with an outcome level results and resource framework in accordance with UNDG guidelines. Five Outcome Working Groups were established along the lines of the outcome areas each with two co-conveners and participants from interested and relevant UN agencies that prepared respective outcome area reports. In July 2017, the first joint results and financial report on UN activities in South Sudan covering 2016 was issued. This marked an important milestone in stepping up collective strategic planning and accountability, as no similar reports had ever been produced for the former UNDAF.
In the second quarter of 2017, the government initiated work on a new National Development Strategy, and new political initiatives have given cautious hope that a renewed momentum in the peace process might be possible, including through the High-Level Revitalization Forum and the National Dialogue. On this background, the UNCT is now moving towards its next Cooperation Framework 2019-20. A strategic prioritization exercise was conducted in November 2017 and came up the key priorities and the outcome structure of the new framework. The next step will be a series of consultations with Government, donors and civil society before drafting of the UNCF is undertaken in February and March 2018.
As part of the UNCF roadmap, and in accordance with UNDG guidelines and policies, an independent evaluation of the ICF will also be conducted in the first quarter of 2018 to inform the design of the UNCF, to ensure that it is based on lessons learned and best practices from ICF implementation.
The UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRCO) will therefore engage an international consultant to conduct the ICF 2016-2018 evaluation in cooperation with a national consultant.
Duties and Responsibilities
The purpose of the ICF evaluation is to assess the relevance of the ICF as a strategy for the UN during the transitional phase of the ARCSS with a strong emphasis on recovery, resilience and peacebuilding. It should explore how effectively and efficiently the UNCT responded to the shifting contexts during the ICF period, including how it adjusted to the crisis in July 2016, and how it supported the achievement of national goals during this transitional period.
The exercise will assess challenges encountered and provide lessons learned, as well as concrete recommendations to guide the formulation of the UNCF, and ensure that the new framework responds well to current and emerging issues in South Sudan.
The evaluation will cover only the period from 2016 and 2017, which represents the first two years out of the expected total of three years of ICF implementation. It will consider 2017 annual reporting to be produced in early 2018. It will cover national implementation of all the five outcome areas of the ICF and its associated goals and objectives.
The evaluation will be independent and guided by the UNDG guidelines for UNDAF Evaluations and in accordance with UNEG Evaluation Norms and Standards of Evaluation and Ethical Standards as well as OECD/DAC evaluation principles and guidelines, and be fully compliant with the UNEG Quality Checklist for Evaluation Reports.
The evaluation should utilize a mixed method approach. Data collection methods and process shall consider all programming and other cross-cutting issues as appropriate. The analysis must be evidence based and build on available data sources, statistics and other primary sources. Innovative solutions to data collection and solutions that are adapted to the difficult circumstances and access restrictions should be considered.
A part of the evaluation work can take place as desk-work outside South Sudan, some interviews can be conducted through phone, skype or video conferences, while some work will require travel to Juba, and locations in South Sudan outside Juba.
Methods of data collection can include but not necessarily be limited to:
Questionnaire based stakeholder survey.
A 1-2 page outline of the proposed evaluation methodology will be required as part of the selection and contracting process for the evaluation and can be further negotiated with the successful consultant, after which it will serve as the basis for organization of data collection and the evaluation work. On the basis of the desk review, the consultant team will submit an inception report with a detailed plan for data collection that reflects the conditions in South Sudan.
The data collection methodology will depend on availability of existing evidence, including statistics and administrative data, and secondary sources such as evaluations and reviews by UNCT members, logistical constraints (travel costs, timing, etc.), and other considerations such as access to and availability of relevant stakeholder and beneficiary groups given that many parts of South Sudan are experiencing active conflict.
The evaluation process must build on gender sensitivity and gender specific data, as well as other UN programming principles, including capacity development, environmental sustainability, Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) and Result-Based Management (RBM).
The evaluation methodology must include a strong approach to Quality Assurance and a dedicated QA mechanism.
Management and organization
The evaluation will be conducted by a consultant team overseen by the UNCT with support of the PMT and a dedicated Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) that will be constituted for this purpose by the PMT. The RCO will conduct the contracting of the consultant team that will report to the head of the RCO. National partners will be consulted on the process and the outcomes of the evaluation.
It is envisaged that the evaluation team will consist of one international consultant (team leader) supported by a national consultant. The national consultant will be recruited with the participation of the international consultant, once identified.
The RCO will provide background material and contact information of institutions and individuals that the consultants are expected to engage with in the course of the evaluation, organize any workshops required as part of the evaluation process, and provide office space and local transport in Juba, and arrange air travel to destinations outside Juba. Organization of other work, including interviews, will be the responsibility of the consultant team. Transportation to and from international destinations will also be the responsibility of the consultant team.
As part of the required Quality Assurance, external experts, including the UNDG-R Peer Support Group may be called upon to advise and review outputs.
The evaluation will be conducted over a period of 6 weeks, and should be ready in time for the conclusion of the drafting of the UNCF work in March 2018. It is envisaged that the international consultant will spend a total of 40 working days on the task.
Required Skills and Experience
UN SSAFE certification will be an advantage. If consultants are not SSAFE certified, an additional three consultant days will be required for this training in Juba before travel outside Juba can be undertaken.
Documents to be included when submitting the proposals
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.