Consultant for Mid-term Evaluation of Rural Development Strategy of Georgia for 2017-2020 and Action Plan for 2017-2018


Location : Home based consultancy with one mission to Georgia, GEORGIA
Application Deadline :11-Mar-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Expected Duration of Assignment :Up to 45 working days during March – May 2019, out of which 30 days in Georgia

Background

The signing of the Association Agreement (AA) with EU in June 2014 (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-430_en.htm) earmarked a new stage of cooperation between EU and Georgia. The AA aims to deepen political and economic relations between the EU and Georgia and to gradually integrate Georgia into the EU’s internal market. This entails, as one element, creating a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the EU and Georgia.

Article 333 of the Association Agreement (Cooperation between the Parties in the field of agriculture and rural development) provides with the clauses on ‘facilitating the mutual understanding of agricultural and rural development policies’. This is the basis for the formulation of a National Rural Development Strategy for Georgia which will in turn yield specification of measures which will benefit from funding under the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).

A National Rural Development Strategy elaboration process has been supported by FAO and UNDP under ENPARD programme and with UNDP’s support to Ajara Government within the framework of EU supported ENPARD Programme. The Ajara Rural Development Strategy approved by Government of Ajara Autonomous Republic (March 2016) was followed by the establishment of the Rural Development Council of Ajara (hereinafter referred to as RDC). Government of Georgia approved the first-ever National Strategy and Action Plan for 2017 (30 December 2016, Government Decree 631), which provided the country’s vision in the coming four years (2017-2020) related to the key areas of rural development – growth and diversification of local economies, improvement of social and public services, increase of employment and sustainable use of national resources. The strategy represents a new approach to rural development in Georgia grounded on the best EU practices in this field. The adoption of the national strategy was also followed by the establishment of an Inter-Agency Coordination Council (hereinafter referred to as IACC) for Rural Development led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (hereinafter referred to as MEPA) with technical assistance from the European Union (EU) and UNDP.

The goal of the Rural Development Strategy for Georgia 2017-2020 is to support Georgia’s sustainable economic development through enhanced social-economic activities in rural areas and improved living condition of the rural population. It provides the country’s vision for 2017-2020 in key areas of rural development – growth and diversification of local economies, improvement of social and public services, sustainable use of national resources and local engagement in the development process. Local community involvement will be supported and widespread participation from many groups in the rural development will be pursued and facilitated.

The IACC coordinates the implementation of rural development policies. The membership of IACC involves representatives from various state agencies, grouped under the 3 axes of the Rural Development Strategy: economic, environment and social.

The strategy strives to achieve 3 strategy areas through 9 objectives:

Priority Area 1: Economy and Competitiveness

Objective 1: Economic recovery of farming, restructuring, and modernization through the diversification and development of effective supply chains.

Objective 2: Diversification of the rural economy by strengthening the agriculturally related value chain and promoting various sustainable non-agricultural activities.

Objective 3: The development of tourism in rural areas, based on rural specificity and unique cultural identity.

Priority Area 2. Social conditions and living standards

Objective 1: Raising awareness in innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, the promotion of cooperation by contributing to skills development and employment issues (especially for young people and women).

Objective 2: Infrastructure and Services. Improvement of basic rural infrastructure (including the roads leading to cultural heritage sites and other relevant infrastructure), and the availability of high-quality public services, including information and communication technologies.

Objective 3: Local population engagement. Increase the involvement of rural population (especially youth and women) in the identification of Local needs and the determination of solutions to these needs.

Priority Area 3: Environmental Protection and the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Objective 1: Water, forest and other resources. The improvement of the management of water, forest and other resources in targeted rural areas

Objective 2: Waste Management. The promotion of sustainable systems of waste management in rural areas.

Objective 3: Climate Change. Activities used to mitigate the negative impact of climate change.

For further information on the Strategy and Action Plan, please visit the following the link: http://www.moa.gov.ge/Ge/Public/Strategy/14

UNDP Georgia implements the project “Support to Rural Development in Georgia” under ENPARD Georgia II. The project is part of the EU supported nation-wide programme “European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development” (ENPARD) phase II and contributes to the main purpose of ENPARD II, which is to promote inclusive and sustainable growth and development, creating employment and livelihoods for the poor and excluded, and to the achievement of results related to improvement of institutional capacities for the implementation of the Rural Development Strategy and respective Action Plan for 2018-2020; improvement of rural economic diversification, employment and services; and Improvement of environment, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action. Improvement of economic and social life, especially in rural areas is among the main priorities of Georgia (additional information on the project can be accessed at http://www.ge.undp.org/content/georgia/en/home/projects/enpard-2--promoting-rural-development-in-georgia.html).


Duties and Responsibilities

UNDP Georgia is looking for an International Consultant to perform the Mid-term Evaluation of the Rural Development Strategy of Georgia for 2017-2020 and implementation of Action Plan for 2017- 2018.

The overall purpose of the consultancy is to inform decision-making on the future implementation of the strategy and action plan through a methodologically sound, credible, impartial and independent assessment of the achievements and shortcomings of the strategy and action plan to date.

The specific objectives of this mid-term evaluation are:

  • To review progress towards the strategy’s objectives and expected outcomes,
  • To identify strengths and weaknesses in design and implementation,
  • To identify risks and countermeasures,
  • To assess the likelihood of the strategy and action plan delivering its intended outputs,
  • To identify lessons learned and good practices.
  • To elaborate the draft version of impact indicators for the strategy and action plan.
  • To provide recommendations on modifications to increase the likelihood of success (if necessary).

The consultant will report to the National Project Manager of the “Improving Rural Development in Georgia” and will work in close consultations with the IACC. The scope of work for consultancy will include, but may not be limited to:

  • Review all relevant sources of information, such as the strategy/action plan document, strategy/action reports, files, national strategic and legal documents, any other materials that the evaluator considers useful for this evidence-based assessment, including the Rural Development Strategy of Georgia for 2017-2020 and Action Plan for 2018 case studies per objective indicators final report.
  • Elaborate an evaluation matrix with evaluation criteria, the related evaluation questions (and, where needed, sub-questions), the data sources required to answer the questions, the data collection and data analysis methods.
  • Familiarize himself/herself with current standings of rural development Georgia as well as with the latest developments and achievements within Rural Development Strategy of Georgia for 2017-2020 and Action Plan for 2017-2020.
  • Frame the evaluation effort using the possible criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, and Implementation. The evaluation must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful. The evaluator is expected to follow a participatory and consultative approach ensuring close engagement with government, the Rural Development Inter-Agency Coordination Council, Working Group, UNDP/IRDG project team, and other key stakeholders.
  • Collate evidence of what has worked and what has not worked (and why) from the Rural Development Strategy of Georgia for 2017-2020 and Action Plan for 2017-2020 initiatives, as well as programming approaches and strategies yielding the most effective results.
  • Assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, and implementation of the Rural Development Strategy of Georgia for 2017-2020 and Action Plan for 2017-2020 as part of the broader ENPARD Georgia engagement in supporting a rural development in Georgia.
  • The mid-term evaluation report must include a chapter providing a set of conclusions, recommendations, and lessons.
  • Prepare a Draft Evaluation Report providing descriptive overviews, laying out the facts, outlining risks and lessons learned, and providing conclusions and recommendations.

Evaluation questions

The incumbent will be tasked to conduct the evaluation as per Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation Systems of the Governmental Activities, Administration of the Government of Georgia , focusing on six possible areas of evaluation (evaluation criteria): relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, and Implementation. Specific areas of evaluation and evaluation questions are to be set at a later stage.

  • Relevance: compliance of the goals and objectives of the state programs, including Produce in Georgia, Agricultural Projects’ Management Agency (APMA), Agricultural Cooperatives Development Agency (ACDA), with the public needs and Government priorities.
  • Effectiveness: compliance of the results achieved as a result of the Rural Development Strategy of Georgia for 2017-2020 implementation with the planned action plans for 2017-2018 ones and needs of direct and indirect beneficiaries.
  • Efficiency: achievement of results by as less spending as possible (the ratio of outcomes and the resources needed for their achievement should be defined)
  • Impact: unforeseen and projected influence.
  • Sustainability: long term influence and impact of the strategy.
  • Implementation: the quality of the implementation process and structures. What has worked and what has not worked (and why) from the RDS and Action Plan”

The Consultant is expected to deliver the following main deliverables:

Deliverable 1: Prepare and present to the UNDP the initial work plan (inception report) (April 1, 2019)

  • Inception report including the evaluation matrix, evaluation methodology, and evaluation plan

The inception report and the evaluation methodology shall include at minimum:

  • A short rationale demonstrating a clear and detailed understanding of the assignment and describing the methodology and framework that will be used
  • A draft of evaluation questions
  • A preliminary list of key documents to be reviewed
  • A plan for how to conduct interviews and, potentially, stakeholder focus group discussions
  • Proposals for other data to be collected

Deliverable 2: Research & Data Collection Phase (April 19, 2019)

  • Meeting with IACC and MEPA, including UNDP IRDG project team
  • Desk review of existing documents
  • Field visits, interviews with partners, and key stakeholders          

Deliverable 3: Report Writing Phase (May 15, 2019)

  • Drafting and debriefing with UNDP and EU on preliminary findings, main recommendations, challenges, opportunities, lessons learned
  • Finalizing the evaluation report (home based)   

Payment modality:

  • Inception Report accomplished and deliverable 1 (April 1, 2019) – 25%;
  • Research & Data Collection Phase and deliverable 2 (April 19, 2019) – 25%
  • Report Writing Phase ad deliverable 3 (May 15, 2019) – 50%.

The payments will be produced upon the confirmation by UNDP of high-quality performance. A total assignment will be up to 45 working days during the period of March 2019 – May 2019.


Competencies

Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Functional competencies:

Knowledge management and learning:

  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.

Development and operational effectiveness:

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects, mobilize resources;
  • Strong communication and analytical skills;
  • Demonstrated skills in drafting reports;
  • Ability to work under pressure with several tasks and various deadlines;
  • Actively generates creative, practical approaches and solutions to overcome challenging situations;
  • Excellent writing, presentation/public speaking skills;
  • A pro-active approach to problem-solving;
  • Strong IT skills, particularly with MS Office, databases and statistical applications;
  • Excellent written and oral presentation skills.

Management and leadership:

  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Leads teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients and external actors;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Economics, Agriculture/Rural, business, Sociology, Social Policy, Public Policy or Analysis, or related discipline (minimum requirement: 5 points).

Experience: 

  • At least 8 years of practical experience in a similar professional role (i.e. implementation, consultancy support and/or Evaluation for the projects (inter alia in local economic development, rural development, community led development and other related areas); (minimum requirement: 8 points; more than 8 years additional 6 points)
  • Experience of evaluation at least two strategies/programmes (a reference to specific evaluations should be provided in the CV); (minimum requirement: 8 points; more than 2 strategies/programmes additional 6 points).
  • Experience in conducting at least 10 case studies, mid-term and/or final evaluations (minimum requirement: 7 points).
  • Demonstrated Working experience in areas of agriculture and/or rural development would be an asset Knowledge of evaluation methodologies. High quality analytical and document drafting skills.
  • Experience with the UN organization is an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English.

Evaluation:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the Cumulative analysis against combination of technical and financial criteria. Technical evaluation stage encompasses desk review and interview of applications. Experts not meeting any of minimum technical qualification requirements will be automatically excluded from the list of candidates for further technical evaluation. Maximum obtainable score is 100, out of which the total score for technical criteria equals to 70 points (70%) and for financial criteria 30 (30%). Technical criteria composed of desk review (40 points) and interview (30 points). Offerors who pass 70% of maximum obtainable scores of the desk review (i.e. 40 x 70% = 28 points as a result of a desk review of applications will be invited for the interview. Those offerors who pass 70% of maximum obtainable scores for interviews (i.e. 30x 70% = 21 points) will be considered as short-listed offerors and included in the roster of qualified consultants.

Financial Proposal:

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum, with the breakdown of the costs. Payments are based upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR.  All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. This includes all travel to join duty station/repatriation travel.  In general, UNDP does not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources. In order, to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount. 


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.


If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme