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)
26-Feb-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :6 weeks,
Expected Duration of Assignment :40 consultant days

Background

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

Purpose

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.

Objectives

  • Assess the relevance of the ICF, and how its outcomes and outputs were adjusted to changing contexts, including the crisis in July 2016, both in planning and in implementation. It should consider to what extend the ICF responded to national priorities as articulated i.a. in the ARCSS
  • Assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the ICF in terms of progress towards agreed outcomes and outputs and identify the factors that influenced achievement of results, including how the ICF interacted with humanitarian, peacebuilding and peacekeeping objectives during this period.
  • Assess the potential for sustainable impact towards long term development goals during the evaluation period, given the challenging and fluid conflict context.
  • Assess how effectively and efficiently the ICF worked as a framework for coordination, monitoring progress, accountability and mobilisation of resources, including through regular reporting, and the appropriateness of the organisation and coordination structures established to implement the ICF, including the outcome groups.
  • Determine to what extent cross-cutting issues (human rights- based approach, gender equality, environmental sustainability, results-based management, capacity development) were systematically incorporated in the ICF design and reporting.
  • Identify best practices and lessons learned from ICF implementation and provide concrete and actionable recommendations for the formulation of the UNCF.?
  • Review and assess the implementation of the recommendations for the ICF proposed in the UNDAF evaluation of November 2015.

Scope

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.

Methodology

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:

  • Document review, focusing on ICF annual work plans and reports, UN agencies annual reports, reviews and evaluation reports, strategy papers, national plans and policies, as well as available data and statistics by UNCT members and from other sources, including the UN perception survey from 2016; ?< >nterviews with key stakeholders including key government counterparts, donor representatives, UNCT members, and implementing partners;< >iscussions with ICF beneficiaries.

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.

Deliverables

  • Inception report: The Evaluation Team will collect data using the proposed methodologies, such as surveys, questionnaires, desk review, observation, interviews and focus group discussions. The Evaluation Team will develop a full methodology and survey instruments and a draft Evaluation Plan as part of the Inception Report, which will include a stakeholder mapping, the final list of evaluation questions, the evaluation matrix, the overall evaluation design and methodology, a detailed description of the data collection plan for the field phase, and a description of the roles and responsibilities of the individual team members. The inception report will be reviewed and discussed by the ERG.

  • A PowerPoint presentation highlighting the main components of the inception report, reflecting the comments provided by the ERG and key stakeholders, to be presented to the PMT and the UNCT.

  • Draft ICF Evaluation Report: The Evaluation Team will write a draft ICF evaluation report and proposed action points for implementation of evaluation recommendations. The ERG and other reviewers for QA purposes will provide a first round of comments, including potentially though a workshop type event. The revised draft report shall thereafter be submitted to the UNCT by the RC for discussion and a final set of comments.

  • A PowerPoint presentation to share and explain findings and recommendations.

  • Final ICF Evaluation Report: The final report will follow the two rounds of commenting on the draft evaluation report. It will include a set of clear, forward-looking and actionable recommendations logically linked to the findings and conclusions, and identify lessons learnt to improve the strategies, implementation mechanism, and management of the next UNCF.


Competencies

  • Excellent knowledge of the UN system and UN joint country programming processes
  • Strong knowledge and experience with national development frameworks in conflict and post-conflict situations, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and UN Peacebuilding;
  • Specialised technical knowledge, evaluation principles, methodologies and approaches;
  • Excellent communication, management and interpersonal skills, teamwork and adept at working with people of diverse cultural and social backgrounds;
  • An understanding of and ability to abide by the core values of the United Nations.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Economics, Development Studies, Peace Studies, Social Studies, International Relations or other related field.

Experience:

  • At least 10 years of experience and proven track record;
  • Proven expertise with CCA/UNDAF processes, evaluations and reviews, including in post conflict settings, and also including an understanding of UN’s relevant Programming Guidelines on Gender Equality, HRBA, Capacity Development, Environmental Sustainability and RBM;
  • Excellent report writing skills, analytical skills as well as good computer skills;
  • Experience in working with teams and team processes.

Language

  • Proven excellent command in written and spoken English.

Other:

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

  • Brief explanation (300 words) why the consultant is best suited for the work;
  • 1-2 page description of proposed methodology, including for use of 40 work days at home, in Juba and outside Juba, data collection and quality assurance;
  • Proposed timing of work and availability of consultant;
  • Financial proposal;
  • Personal CV and P11 form. P11 form can be downloaded from this website: http://www.sas.undp.org/Documents/P11_Personal_history_form.doc ?

Financial Proposal.


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