UNDP-GEF Midterm Review Consultant



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Mbabane, SWAZILAND
Application Deadline :05-Mar-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
12-Mar-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :30 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :30 working days within a period of 3 months

Background

Project Description:  

This is the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the UNDP-GEF Midterm Review (MTR) of the full -sized project titled Strengthening the National Protected Areas System of Swaziland (SNPAS) PIMS 4932 implemented through The Swaziland National Trust Commission (SNTC) a parastatal organization in close collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs which is to be undertaken in 2018. The project started in 2015 and is in its third year of implementation. In line with the UNDP-GEF Guidance on MTRs, this MTR process was initiated before the submission of the second Project Implementation Report (PIR). This ToR sets out the expectations for this MTR.  The MTR process must follow the guidance outlined in the document Guidance for Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects (see Annex).

The Project design:

Swaziland’s formal Protected Areas (PAs) cover approximately 4% of the country’s total land area, and are relatively rich in biodiversity with their share of endemism as represented in various ecosystems. Furthermore, the country has set targets for the conservation of its ecosystems and species in line with the National Development Strategy (Vision 2022) and other international targets such as the Aichi Targets under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity. While some of the critical ecosystems and species are found in existing PAs, some are found in areas where there is prone to unstainable utilization and overexploitation of resources, thereby threatening livelihoods and impeding sustainable development.

The Strengthening National Protected Areas Systems (SNPAS) in Swaziland is a six years (2014-2020) Project funded by GEF aims at developing, expanding and effectively managing the capacities of Swaziland’s PAs network in order to adequately protect the biodiversity. This will be undertaken through the “landscapes” approach towards sustainable development and will involve integrated land and natural resource management that transforms the current PA patchwork into network and enhance vulnerable communities’ livelihoods, in particular those adjacent to the PAs. 

The Swaziland National Trust Commission (SNTC) a parastatal organisation is the implementing agency in close collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental affairs.

The SNPAS Project has been organized around three components: (i) knowledge-based platform operationalised at the national, regional and community levels to address current and emerging threats to PAs and biodiversity conservation; (ii Expansion of PA network, and (iii) strengthening PA functioning through improved conservation management and operational support for existing and new PAs, including both formal and informal. PAs will be established and managed in critical biodiversity areas as clusters, integrating different sites that are managed by the Government of Swaziland (GoS), the private sector and local communities and enable a matrix of complemental land-use activities across board.

 

 


Duties and Responsibilities

The MTR team will consist of two independent consultants that will conduct the MTR - one team leader (with experience and exposure to projects and evaluations in other regions globally) and one local team expert with experience in Swaziland. 

The MTR team will first conduct a document review of project documents (i.e. PIF, UNDP Initiation Plan, Project Document, ESSP, Project Inception Report, PIRs, Finalized GEF focal area Tracking Tools, Project Appraisal Committee meeting minutes, Financial and Administration guidelines used by Project Team, project operational guidelines, manuals and systems, etc.) provided by the Project Team and Commissioning Unit. Then they will participate in a MTR inception workshop to clarify their understanding of the objectives and methods of the MTR, producing the MTR inception report thereafter. The MTR mission will then consist of interviews and site visits to selected areas in the Project areas including Mkhaya Cluster, Lubombo Cluster, Malolotja cluster and Ngwempisi Cluster.

The MTR team will assess the following four categories of project progress and produce a draft and final MTR report. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects (http://web.undp.org/evaluation/documents/guidance/GEF/mid-term/Guidance_Midterm%20Review%20_EN_2014.pdf) for requirements on ratings. No overall rating is required.

Project Strategy

Project Design:

  • Review the problem addressed by the project and the underlying assumptions.  Review the effect of any incorrect assumptions or changes to the context to achieving the project results as outlined in the Project Document.
  • Review the relevance of the project strategy and assess whether it provides the most effective route towards expected/intended results. 
  • Review how the project addresses country priorities
  • Review decision-making processes

Results Framework/Logframe:

  • Undertake a critical analysis of the project’s logframe indicators and targets, assess how “SMART” the midterm and end-of-project targets are (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound), and suggest specific amendments/revisions to the targets and indicators as necessary.
  • Examine if progress so far has led to, or could in the future catalyse beneficial development effects (i.e. income generation, gender equality and women’s empowerment, improved governance etc...) that should be included in the project results framework and monitored on an annual basis.

Progress Towards Results

  • Review the logframe indicators against progress made towards the end-of-project targets; populate the Progress Towards Results Matrix, as described in the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects; colour code progress in a “traffic light system” based on the level of progress achieved; assign a rating on progress for the project objective and each outcome; make recommendations from the areas marked as “not on target to be achieved” (red).
  • Compare and analyse the GEF Tracking Tool at the Baseline with the one completed right before the Midterm Review.
  • Identify remaining barriers to achieving the project objective.
  • By reviewing the aspects of the project that have already been successful, identify ways in which the project can further expand these benefits.

Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

Using the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects; assess the following categories of project progress:

  • Management Arrangements
  • Work Planning
  • Finance and co-finance
  • Project-level monitoring and evaluation systems
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Reporting
  • Communications

Sustainability

Assess overall risks to sustainability factors of the project in terms of the following four categories:

  • Financial risks to sustainability
  • Socio-economic risks to sustainability
  • Institutional framework and governance risks to sustainability
  • Environmental risks to sustainability

The MTR consultant/team will include a section in the MTR report setting out the MTR’s evidence-based conclusions, in light of the findings.

Additionally, the MTR consultant/team is expected to make recommendations to the Project Team. Recommendations should be succinct suggestions for critical intervention that are specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant. A recommendation table should be put in the report’s executive summary. The MTR consultant/team should make no more than 15 recommendations total.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables:

The MTR consultant/team shall prepare and submit:

  • MTR Inception Report: MTR team clarifies objectives and methods of the Midterm Review no later than 2 weeks before the MTR mission. To be sent to the Commissioning Unit and project management. Approximate due date: (26 March 2018)
  • Presentation: Initial Findings presented to project management and the Commissioning Unit at the end of the MTR mission. Approximate due date: (30 April 2018)
  • Draft Final Report: Full report with annexes within 3 weeks of the MTR mission. Approximate due date: (18 May  2018).
  • Final Report*: Revised report with annexed audit trail detailing how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final MTR report. To be sent to the Commissioning Unit within 1 week of receiving UNDP comments on draft. Approximate due date: 25 May 2018)

*The final MTR report must be in English. If applicable, the Commissioning Unit may choose to arrange for a translation of the report into a language more widely shared by national stakeholders.

Institutional Arrangement

  • The principal responsibility for managing this MTR resides with the Commissioning Unit.  The Commissioning Unit for this project’s MTR is the UNDP Swaziland Country Office (CO) with the support of the SNPAS PMU. The CO will contract the team of two (2) consultants, one international and one national. The lead will be the International consultant and the Local counterpart will make inputs to the deliverables as guided by the International Consultant.
  • The Commissioning Unit will contract the consultants and ensure the timely provision of per diems and travel arrangements within the country for the MTR team. The Project Team/PMU will be responsible for liaising with the MTR team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits/Travel arrangement.

Consultant Independence:

The consultants cannot have participated in the project preparation, formulation, and/or implementation (including the writing of the Project Document) and should not have a conflict of interest with project’s related activities.

 


Competencies

  • Excellent communication skills ;
  • Demonstrable analytical skills.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • A Master’s degree in Sustainable development, Environmental Science, Natural Resources Management or other closely related field;
  • Specialist technical knowledge in the field of biodiversity conversation and ecosystems Management in particular protected area system strengthening in relation to 2030 agenda.

Experience:

  • Recent experience with result-based management evaluation methodologies;
  • Experience applying SMART indicators, targets and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios;
  • Experience working with the GEF or GEF-evaluations;
  • Experience working in the SADC region and working experience in Swaziland is desirable;
  • Work experience for at least 10 years in fields related to Environment, Biodiversity, Ecosystems or related fields
  • Demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender and Biodiversity; experience in gender sensitive evaluation and analysis;
  • Project evaluation/review experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset.

Language:

  • Fluency in English and Sswati.

 


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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