Re-advertisement Local Evaluation Specialist to Conduct Mid-term Project Evaluation of the INTERDEV 2 project


Location : Dragash/ Dragaš; Shtërpcë/ Štrpce; Viti/ Vitina; Prishtinë/ Priština, Kosovo, UNSCR 1244 (1999)
Application Deadline :01-Jul-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
09-Jul-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :09 July 2018 -31 August 2018 (19 working days within this period)
Expected Duration of Assignment :09 July 2018 -31 August 2018 (19 working days within this period)

Background

The Integrated Territorial Development 2 project builds on the successes of the Austrian Development Cooperation-funded UNDP “Local-level Response for Employment Generation and Integrated Territorial Development (INTERDEV)” project that has been implemented in southern Kosovo’s municipalities of Dragash/Dragaš and Shtërpcë/Štrpce since 2014. This project has proven to address some of the paramount challenges citizens of not only the partner areas, but of Kosovo in general, face: high rate and long spells of unemployment, lack of decent income generation, poor public services, as well as socioeconomic exclusion of women, youth, and other vulnerable groups.

The INTERDEV phase 1 provided over 900 local citizens with jobs and additional income flow, established 3 social enterprises that not only employ vulnerable individuals of the local societies, but also add value to agricultural and textile production in the area, upgraded 325 rural micro and small enterprises which have increased their income and created jobs for local communities, developed capacities of municipal representatives, private sector and the civil society in topics of economic development and agriculture, and empowered local officials with improved understanding of effective socioeconomic development and inclusion, importance of human-rights based, participatory processes, and appropriately responding to citizens’ needs. A key element of the intervention, the INTERDEV stimulates the potentials of local contexts and harnesses local ownership and leadership over the project’s services.

The excellent example of the close cooperation with partner municipalities is worth highlighting, where they have claimed full ownership and leadership of project implementation, monitoring, and results dissemination. By doing so, the municipalities have demonstrated to be very inclusive in approach by bringing to the process all relevant stakeholders in their municipalities. Local Action Groups have played a crucial role in the positive outcome of the current phase of INTERDEV and the municipal partners have strengthened their capacities and understanding of the local economic development and the role they should play in public service delivery.

The INTERDEV 2 continues to utilize tested methodologies and, as a successful approach, has scaled up its services to a new municipality of Viti/Vitina in the south-east of Kosovo. With the overall objective that inclusive and sustainable income generation and job creation for women and men is improved in the municipalities of Dragash/Dragaš, Shtërpcë/Štrpce, and Viti/Vitina, the project’s purpose is to enhance municipal public service provision in rural development and, in a gender equitable, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner, expand economic activity of local micro and small businesses. It is expected that as a result of project’s three core pillars of activities: 1) municipal officials have enhanced capacities in provision of services in rural development; 2) local micro and small enterprises and farmers have been supported to upgrade their businesses; and 3) bottom-up approaches and local-level concertation for employment generation in the form of Territorial Employment Pacts operate at the municipal level.

Working closely with a variety of public, private sector, and non-governmental sector partners on the local level (such as the Local Action Groups, local Employment Offices, Vocational Training Centres, the Local Development Fund, and the private sector companies in the area), the INTERDEV 2 continues to serve citizens who are at risk of socioeconomic exclusion: local smallholder farmers, micro business initiatives, long-term unemployed and low-skilled or unskilled residents, women, youth, non-majority communities, as well as people with disabilities. As such, the project in its three years will serve over 700 additional residents (50% women, and 40% non-majority communities) and will reach over 3,800 indirect beneficiaries.

The February 2017 – January 2020 INTERDEV phase 2 is entering its midpoint of implementation and an external mid-term evaluation of the project activities will be conducted, as per the project document, to assess the progress of the project towards the expected results and recommend possible adjustments for the remaining period of project implementation. To this end, the project will hire an Evaluation Team composed of an international evaluation specialist and a local evaluation specialist, who will work jointly to achieve the expected results.

[1] This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Objectives of Assignment
The overall objective of this assignment is to conduct a mid-term evaluation of the INTERDEV phase 2 project activities since February 2017 in terms of their relevance, impact, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability, and provide recommendations for improving the project’s efforts in the remaining period of implementation toward achieving the expected results. While the scope of the evaluation is dedicated to the INTERDEV phase 2 and should look primarily into the output-level results, the evaluation team should consider the INTERDEV phase 1 as well, in particular when it comes to changes from phase 1 to phase 2. The Local Specialist will work together with and under the leadership of the International Specialist and under direct supervision of the Project Manager, in close consultation with the Programme Team. The project team will provide administrative and logistical support as needed.


Duties and Responsibilities

In order to achieve the above objective, the main tasks of the Local Specialist (as the member of the Evaluation Team led by the International Specialist) is to:

  • Jointly with and under the direction of the International Specialist, conduct a comprehensive desk review of relevant project-related documents and UNDP evaluation policies and, based on this information, contribute to drafting and submitting an inception report with appropriate methodology to be applied during the evaluation, the evaluation matrix, as well as the work plan and any technical instruments to be used during the assignment, while being guided by the set of evaluation questions as presented below (4 w/ds);
  • Together with the International Specialist, conduct on-site field visits, meetings, discussions, and interviews with relevant stakeholders and project beneficiaries in Kosovo. The Evaluation Team is expected to share the list of interviews to be conducted beforehand, and receive feedback and clearance from UNDP and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). An initial briefing meeting with the UNDP team will be held in order to finalize the evaluation design. The local specialist will work close with the INTERDEV project team in arranging the logistics of the field mission. (6.5 w/ds);
  • Jointly with the International Specialist, hold a debriefing workshop at the end of the mission with main stakeholders to summarize initial findings and recommendations (0.5 w/d);
  • Based on the feedback received during the debriefing workshop, support the International Specialist in drafting the mid-term evaluation report containing the methodology applied, a presentation of findings, presentation of the lessons learned and clear strategic and operational recommendations to the UNDP and its partners exploring possible adjustments for the remaining period of project’s implementation, as well as recommendations for interventions of similar nature in the target areas and beyond. These recommendations should contain specifically to whom of each of the partners of the project they are addressed. The International Specialist is the lead writer of the evaluation report. (5 w/ds);

The final evaluation report must include, but not necessarily be limited to, the elements outlined below:

  • Results Assessment Form of ADA (to be provided)
  • Title and opening pages
  • Table of contents
  • List of acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary, including a summary of the lessons learned and recommendations
  • Introduction
  • Description of the intervention
  • Evaluation scope and objectives
  • Evaluation methodology
  • Data analysis
  • Findings and conclusions
  • Lessons learned
  • Recommendations 
  • Report annexes
  • Support the International Specialist in finalizing the Midterm evaluation report, accounting for the Austrian Development Agency, UNDP and stakeholders’ feedback on the first draft (3 w/ds).

The following evaluation criteria are to be used as per the UNDP methodology, and related evaluation questions are proposed for the evaluation process; however, these can be expanded and modified by the evaluator. Each evaluation criteria must be ranked as per UNDP ranking methodology that will be shared with the Evaluation Team during the inception phase of the assignment.

Evaluation questions:

Relevant evaluation criteria

Key questions suggested

Relevance

  • Are the project’s activities still relevant for the main beneficiaries?
  • Has the initiative tackled key challenges and problems?
  • Have cross-cutting issues (such as environment, gender equality and social standards), principles and quality criteria (i.e. for private sector development[1]) of the Austrian Development Cooperation been duly considered/mainstreamed in the project implementation and how well is this reflected in the project reports? How could they be better integrated?
  • Have there been any changes in policies and strategy development that have affected the project? If yes, have necessary revisions and adaptations been designed?
  • What are the areas of relevance for future interventions in the target area?
  • How does the project link and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals?

Effectiveness

  • To what level has the project reached the project purpose and the expected results as stated in the project document (logical framework matrix)?
  • Is the project on track to achieve its expected results?
  • What challenges have been faced? What has been done to address the potential challenges/problems? What has been done to mitigate risks?
  • In what ways could the project improve its efforts in the second half of project’s implementation toward achieving the expected results and maximizing impact?

Sustainability

  • How is the project stimulating sustainability of its results and impacts (i.e. strengthened capacities, continuity of use of knowledge, improved practices, etc.)?
  • How have the results of INTERDEV phase 1 been sustainable? How does the two phases of INTERDEV link and what are the changes between the two phases?
  • Are there any jeopardizing aspects that have not been considered or abated by the project actions? In case of sustainability risks, were sufficient mitigation measures proposed?
  • Is ownership of the actions and impact being transferred to the corresponding stakeholders?

Impact

  • Is there evidence of long lasting desired changes, in which aspects? How have the results from INTERDEV phase 1 contributed to longer-term changes?
  • How much does the project lead to a change of behaviours and motivations (of local governments) in terms of paying attention to marginalised and vulnerable population groups? Is there clear evidence for it?
  • Is the project appropriately reaching its target groups? Is the project serving the needs of vulnerable groups, i.e. women, youth, non-majority communities?
  • What effects are being realized in terms of social inclusion? Do vulnerable groups have the same possibilities to participate and benefit, or is there a clear distinguishment?
  • How does the project contribute to (more) sustainable management of natural resources?
  • Is there evidence that institutional systems/mechanisms are in place which:
  1. Supports further capacity development at local level; and
  2. Promotes sustainable and inclusive development

Efficiency

  • Are the resources being used efficiently? How well have the various activities transformed the available resources into the intended results in terms of quantity, quality and timeliness? (in comparison to the plan)
  • Is the overall aid coordination properly ensured in the field of local economic and rural development in the target area?
  • Are the management and administrative arrangements sufficient to ensure efficient implementation of the project?

Stakeholders and Partnership Strategy

  • How has the project implemented the commitments to promote local ownership, alignment, harmonization, management for development results and mutual accountability?

Evaluation

  • Are intended results (outputs, outcomes) adequately defined, appropriate and stated in measurable terms, and are the results verifiable?

Theory of Change or Results/Outcome Map

  • Is the Theory of Change or project logic feasible and is it realistic? Have assumptions, factors and risks been sufficiently taken into consideration?

Gender

  • What effects are being realized in terms of gender equality and women’s empowerment?
  • Have women and men been distinguished in terms of participation and benefits within project?

 

[1] Found at: http://www.entwicklung.at/uploads/media/IV_Quality_Criteria_on_Private_Sector_Development_01.pdf

Methodology and Evaluation Ethics
The Evaluation Team may employ any relevant and appropriate quantitative or qualitative methods it deems appropriate to conduct the project mid-term evaluation. Methods should include: desk review of documents; interviews with stakeholders, partners, and beneficiaries; field visits; use of questionnaires or surveys, etc. However, a combination of primary and secondary, as well as qualitative and quantitative data should be used. The Evaluation Team is expected to revise the methodological approach in consultation with key stakeholders as necessary, particularly the intended users and those affected by final evaluation results. The Team should present its findings in both quantitative data and qualitative recommendations.

The Evaluation Team is expected to hold interviews and meetings with the relevant staff of UNDP, ADA, municipal officials, partners, and beneficiaries. The Team will be expected to share the list of interviews to be conducted with UNDP and ADA beforehand.

The suggested methodology should be compatible with the UNDP approach to evaluations as described in the Handbook for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
 
Prior to the Evaluation Team’s arrival, it will receive a list of documents to be consulted for its review. The Team will have latitude to design a detailed evaluation scope and methodology and will present a proposed work plan as part of the inception report to UNDP before arrival to Kosovo in order to optimize the time spent during the field mission.

The final evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation.’ The Evaluation Team must address any critical issues in the design and implementation of the evaluation, including evaluation ethics and procedures to safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, for example: measures to ensure compliance with legal codes governing areas such as provisions to collect and report data, particularly permissions needed to interview or obtain information about children and young people; provisions to store and maintain security of collected information; and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality.

Expected Deliverables/ Outputs

  • Inception report containing appropriate methodology to be applied during the mid-term evaluation, as well as the work plan and technical instruments to be used during the assignment is drafted, submitted, and endorsed by UNDP after consultation with ADA.
  • Field visits, meetings and interviews in Kosovo are conducted, gathering data to be used in the mid-term evaluation report.
  • A debriefing workshop with key stakeholders is held and initial findings and recommendations presented.
  • Draft mid-term Evaluation report with the methodology applied, a presentation of findings, a presentation of the lessons learned and clear strategic and operational recommendations to the UNDP, ADA, and its partners suggesting possible adjustments for the remaining period of project’s implementation is formulated, based on the findings acquired during the field mission to Kosovo and through the relevant project documentation, and submitted.
  • A finalized mid-term Evaluation report accounting for the UNDP, ADA, and stakeholders’ feedback on the first draft is produced and validated by UNDP.

Deliverables / Final Products Expected

  • Inception report containing appropriate methodology to be applied during the mid-term evaluation, as well as the work plan and technical instruments to be used during the course of the assignment is drafted, submitted, and endorsed by UNDP after consultations with the Austrian Development Agency.
  • Draft Mid-term Evaluation report is submitted.
  • A Final version of the Mid-term Evaluation report accounting for the UNDP, ADA, and stakeholders’ feedback on the first draft is produced and validated by UNDP.

Scope of price proposal and schedule of payments

Required Presentation of Offer

The following three documents must be submitted in order to be evaluated and considered for the assignment:
P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
Technical proposal, a max. 2-page document briefly outlining the methodology envisaged for the assignment for delivering the expected results within the indicated timeframe (an interview may be conducted for the shortlisted candidates);
Financial proposal, The consultant is expected to provide an all-inclusive lump sum amount/financial proposal. The Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.

 
Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer:

Offers will be evaluated utilizing a combined Scoring method – where the qualifications, technical proposal, and the interview will be weighted a max. of 70%, and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a max of 30%.


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Committed to highest regards of professionalism, impartiality, accountability, transparency, ethics, and integrity;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, ethnicity, and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Demonstrates substantial experience in gender equality and social inclusion.
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.

Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to work effectively within a team and develop good relationships with counterparts and stakeholders;
  • Ability to synthesise research and draw conclusion on the related subjects;
  • Ability to pay attention to details;
  • Demonstrates transparency and provides feedback to all those who will contribute to the evaluation;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing;
  • Ability to establish effective working relations in a multicultural team environment;
  • Commitment to accomplish work;
  • Responds positively to critical feedback;
  • Results and task oriented.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree in social sciences, economic development or other related qualification.

Experience:

  • At least 3 years of demonstrated relevant work experience with evaluation of development interventions at national and/or international level is required.
  • Experience in and excellent knowledge of local economic and rural development in Kosovo is required.
  • Knowledge of results-based management evaluation, as well as of participatory M&E methodological and practical considerations in conducting evaluations of development interventions is required.

Language requirements:

  • Fluent in English and Albanian is required, knowledge of Serbian is a strong asset.


Application Instructions:

  • Click on the "Apply now" button;
  • Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation; You can type in, or paste your short Resume into the last box;
  • Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. On the next page, you will be asked to upload your Resume;
  • System will only allow one attachment. All docs (CV; P11; financial offer; list of similar profiles should be included as one attachment).
  • Please make sure to submit all the requested documents/information; otherwise, your application will be considered incomplete.


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.


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