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National Consultant to conduct evaluation of UN - Government Partnership Framework 2016-2020
|Location :||Ashgabat, TURKMENISTAN|
|Application Deadline :||08-May-19 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||National Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English Russian|
|Starting Date :|
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||30 working days|
Turkmenistan is an upper middle-income country (WB, 2012) with a population of 5.8 million (WB, 2017), and GDP per capita amounting to $6,587 (2017) and HDI rank 0.706 (2017), which puts the country in the high human development category.
In 2018, officially reported GDP growth rate was 6.2% that was mainly supported by gas exports, import substitution, and expansionary credit lines. The IMF Article 4 mission in April 2018 concluded that Turkmenistan continues adjusting its economy to challenging - although improving—external environment. The follow up IMF mission (October 2018) also indicated that the national macro-economic policies need to mitigate any adverse short-term impact on growth and protect the vulnerable through well-targeted social support. Public investment should focus on growth-enhancing projects in infrastructure, education and health. Although the announced removal of universal free access to water, gas, electricity, and salt in 2019 would help save public resources, the social impact of these reforms needs to be evaluated, and vulnerable groups protected.
The country is still at the stage of transition to the full market economy. The priorities of the socio-economic policies of Turkmenistan remain the same: ensuring high-living standards of the population, improving social conditions of life in rural areas, diversification of the national economy, creating a solid industrial base and development of the non-state sector, attracting foreign investments, promoting national exports and creating import substituting industries.
The Government realizes that private sector should play a critical role in successful economic transformations. In 2018, as per the official statistics, its share in the national economy reached 62% (2018). To ensure incentives for the private sector, increase competitiveness of the national economy the Turkmen Government developed the State Program of support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) for 2018-2024. The Government introduced major agricultural reforms approved by the September 2018 People’s Council meeting. They include the provision of farm land for 99 years’ lease, soft loans to producers to purchase agricultural machinery, increasing government procurement prices for cotton and wheat, and creating incentives for farmers to sell the surplus product in external markets.
The country is a State Party to 7 out of 9 core human rights treaties as well as some of the Optional Protocols to them. Turkmenistan has not yet acceded to the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CRMW), the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED). Turkmenistan actively engages with UN HRMs. As of 1 December 2018, the country has no overdue reports. The most recent recommendations were received from the following UN Treaty Bodies: CAT (2016), CERD (2016), HRC (2017), UPR (2018), CEDAW (2018) and CESCR (2018). The state should submit its next periodic reports to CERD by October 2019 and to CAT, CCPR and CRC in 2020.
In February 2017, Turkmenistan adopted the Foreign Policy Concept for 2017-2023 that aims to further strengthen the country’s cooperation with other states and international organizations. The collaboration with the United Nations is of special importance for the Government, especially in terms of using the instruments of preventive diplomacy to address emerging conflicts. The 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is clearly stated in Turkmenistan’s foreign policy. In search of sustainable solutions to problems of energy and energy security, creation of sustainable transport system, environment protection and ecology and food security, the Government broadened its cooperation with international organizations and other countries. Deepening cooperation with neighboring countries and countries of the Caspian region, developing bilateral ties with the countries of Asia, Europe, Northern and South America and Africa remain in the focus of the country.
The Government’s commitment to implement the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development with the Sustainable Development Goals at its core has translated in concrete actions taken by the country. The country has become a leader in nationalization of SDGs. On 20 September 2016, the Government approved 17 Goals, 148 targets and 175 indicators as the national system of SDGs. It has established an institutional mechanism for SDGs monitoring and is working towards setting up a statistical measurement system. On 1 September 2017, a Training and Methodology Center on SDGs was opened in the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The current UNDAF is called Partnership Framework for Development (PFD), signed in 2015- represents a strategic programme framework for development that guides the work of the Government and UN until the end of 2020. It signifies a move away from donor – recipient relations toward a partnership with an Upper Middle-Income Country that aspires to continue with high economic growth rates obtained through the use of sustainable development approaches and that can contribute to healthier and more prosperous lives for the people of Turkmenistan. Participating agencies include: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations International Children´s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
PFD was developed in alignment with the National Programme of Turkmenistan on Socio-Economic Development for the period 2011-2030 and the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The partnership between Turkmenistan and the United Nations is implemented within 5 strategic areas:
» Quality data and progress monitoring
» Quality, inclusive social services
» Environmental sustainability and energy efficiency
» Employment, economic diversification, and trade
» Governance and rule of law
The eight key results expected from Partnership Framework, called outcomes were identified jointly by the Government of Turkmenistan, the UN, and civil society partners:
Outcome 1: Quality data, aligned with international standards, are available to policy makers, legislators, and the interested public to monitor the major goals of National Programmes, the post-2015 SDGs, and PFD and to formulate new national strategies and programmes
Outcome 2: Pre-school, primary and secondary education services are of higher quality, in line with international standards, and with priority given to inclusive education
Outcome 3: The social protection system is ready to provide inclusive quality community-based support services
Outcome 4: The people of Turkmenistan, especially vulnerable groups, enjoy better coverage of quality health care services focusing on women and child health, nutrition, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), TB and Multiple Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR TB), early detection and early prevention of diseases.
Outcome 5: The national policy, legislative and institutional frameworks are aligned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to promote sustainable practices on energy efficiency, the use of renewables, urban development and waste management
Outcome 6. The national policy, legislative and institutional frameworks are responsive to climate change issues by promoting climate resilience, adaptation, climate risk management and disaster risk reduction measures at sector and community level
Outcome 7. Strategies and simplified regulations are in place to promote high quality inclusive employment through sustainable economic diversification
Outcome 8. State institutions implement and monitor laws, national programmes, and strategies in a participatory manner and in line with the country’s human rights commitments
PFD comprises of results matrix and a monitoring and evaluation framework and UNCT has prepared annual monitoring reports and annually conducted a joint review meeting with the Steering Committee at the level of the deputy-ministers.
The Framework’s outputs are made operational through the development of joint annual work plans (JWPs). The JWPs identify the exact deliverables, responsible parties as well as the exact costs and the available resources. The design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of joint annual work plans are coordinated by the Results Groups, which are co-chaired by the Government and the United Nations.
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are a shared responsibility within the UN and the Government of Turkmenistan. Therefore, a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the PFD 2015-2020 makes full use of the combined capacities of the Government and the respective comparative advantages of each UN agency.
The M&E Framework adopts the institutional structure used for the formulation of the PFD, i.e. it includes a joint high-level steering and coordination committee for strategic guidance and decision making, and technical results groups to facilitate implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The results framework has been continuously reviewed by the Result Groups, consisting of Government and UN representatives and results tracked in a participatory manner on regular basis and, including adjustment of indicators. Up-dated Results Matrix Available in the Country Results Report 2018 through the following link: (Link)
The institutional arrangements for the monitoring and evaluation of the PFD are home-grown. This allows to strengthen existing capacities for M&E and promote M&E culture within the UN and the Government of Turkmenistan, thus promoting its sustainability.
This sustainability supported through the implementation of Outcome 1 of the PFD that is designed to build capacities for wider monitoring of its national and sectoral development plans, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and any other development partnership frameworks, including future development frameworks with the UN.
To ensure sufficient financing for the PFD a Resource Mobilization Strategy 2018-2020 has been developed and serves as a guiding tool in support of UNCT resource mobilization efforts. Key strategic considerations and specific actions to be taken are identified to target the most viable donors to UN resource mobilization potential in a challenging and evolving development landscape.
The UNCT Turkmenistan in close partnership with the Government and other national counterparts will conduct the PFD 2016-2020 Evaluation, which is mandatory in the penultimate year of the Programme cycle and should serve as a major input for the planning process of next Programme cycle. As the UN System in Turkmenistan will start preparing for a new cycle it is critical to assess what has worked to inform the PFD approach moving forward and ensure it is evidence-based.
The PFD Evaluation will be based on United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) norms and standards. Its major focus is on policy and strategy coherence, donor co-ordination, development effectiveness and organizational efficiency. In addition, the PFD evaluation will address how the intervention sought to mainstream the five programming principles: Human Rights & Human Rights Based Approach, Gender, Environmental Sustainability, Result Based Management and Capacity Development.
The main users of the PFD Evaluation will be the Government, UNCT, development partners, incl. the IFIs, private sector and civil society participating in UN programmes . The primary users of this evaluation are the decision-makers within the UNCT including resident and non-resident UN entities, UN partners and the Result Groups, which will use the results to strengthen accountability and learning, both for implementation of the ongoing PFD and for the preparation of a new one. Secondary users are other development partners and civil society organisations participating in UN programmes as well as the UNDCO.
National counterparts will be major partners in the evaluation contributing both through data from national systems and validation of PFD evaluation results through the Steering Committee, who will accept the final evaluation results.
The PFD evaluation process will also seek to capitalise on other evaluations and reviews that took place earlier or at the same time, including the Annual Reviews and Progress Reports. The aspects of human rights and gender equality will be assessed and taken into consideration throughout all aspects of the PFD evaluation.
The PFD evaluation will seek to be independent, credible and useful, and will adhere to the highest possible professional standards in evaluation. It will be responsive to the needs and priorities of Turkmenistan and provide accountability and learning opportunities to the UN system. The evaluation will be conducted in a consultative manner and will engage the participation of a broad range of stakeholders.
EVALUATION PURPOSE, OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE
The purpose of the present PFD evaluation is, on the one hand, to gather key findings and lessons learned to inform the next Partnership for Development Framework planning cycle and to improve UN coordination in Turkmenistan and, on the other hand to support greater accountability of the UN system towards agreed national objectives and priorities in the country.
The objectives of the evaluation, as per the UNEG guidance http://www.unevaluation.org/document/detail/1211 are:
The PFD Evaluation scope will be global, in the sense that it will cover all strategic areas of the PFD. The PFD evaluation will examine the progress for 2016 – 2020, hence the period from April 2015 to April 2018. As such it is a country-level evaluation carried out jointly with the UNCT and the overall approach is participatory and orientated towards learning on how to jointly enhance development results at the national level. The evaluation will also assess how the UN coordinates itself under the PFD 2016-2020 including with regard to joint funding and resource mobilization, e.g., through joint programmes and joint initiatives. Evidence and findings of the PFD evaluation will be based on the views of all key stakeholders, including civil society organisations, youth and private sector representatives. Benefit gained by vulnerable population from PFD implementation and focus on velayats lagging behind should be given attention to during evaluation. Travel to velayats (regions) is required, selected velayats will be based on the documents review preparation of the inception report. National Evaluator will work in a team with the international evaluator and should provide join deliverables.
Limitations to the evaluation are data disaggregation, time and budget. Information on vulnerable groups will be provided through the focus group discussions or review of the available documents, as well as the meeting with the local non-government organisations.
PROPOSED EVALUATION METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH FOR THE PFD EVALUATION
The evaluation is expected to be conducted over a period of 30 working days including home-based desk review and report finalisation and must be completed by May 2019. PFD evaluation is taking place concurrently with the evaluation of the country programme (CP) of UNDP and UNFPA. UNICEF also conducted the mid-term light review of their country programme in 2017 (strategic moments of reflection), what needs to be taken into consideration by Evaluator.
UNDP CP evaluation (field phase) is scheduled during 3-10 May, UNFPA are planning their field phase also in the period from 1 till 18th of May. UNDP preliminary results are expected in June and UNFPA between June and August. Therefore, the PFD evaluator is expected to work in close coordination with the UNDP and UNFPA evaluation team to avoid duplication of efforts, promote synergies and efficiencies throughout the process. The PFD evaluator (Team leader) and National expert (evaluators) should propose the methodology of incorporating the findings of the UNDP and UNFPA evaluation reports in its report to ensure that the PFD evaluation takes a comprehensive account of the progress.
Given that (a) outcomes are, by definition, the work of a number of partners, and (b) PFD outcomes are set at a very high level, attribution of development change to the UNCT (in the sense of establishing a causal linkage between a development intervention and an observed result) may be difficult. The evaluation will therefore consider contribution of the UNCT to the change in the stated PFD outcomes and the evaluators will need to explain how the UNCT contributed to the observed results. In conducting the assessment, first, the evaluators will examine the stated PFD outcomes for 2015-2020; identify the change over the period being evaluated on the basis of available baseline information; and observe the national strategy and actions relevant to the focus of the PFD and the role of the UN in support of that change. Second, the evaluators will examine the implementation of PFD strategy and actions in support of national efforts.
The following key areas of inquiry, drawn from the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) norms and standards and UN SWAP Evaluation Performance Indicator and the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development/Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) evaluation criteria, must be addressed by the evaluation:
In addition to these core questions, the evaluators need to develop context-specific sub-questions and present them in the Inception report. To this purpose, it will require to analyse the stakeholders that required to be met for the interview. The inception report will also confirm the objectives around which to assess results and consider the preparation for the new PFD. The evaluation is intended to be forward looking and therefore needs to take into consideration what is important for the future, including with regards to the 2030 Agenda.
Once the Evaluators have been selected, a thorough preparatory work should be conducted to adjust the methodology and questions, select data collection methods and required evaluation tools. An Inception report will be developed accordingly.
Data collection: The PFD evaluation will use a multiple method approach, which will include the following: desk reviews of reference material, interviews with relevant stakeholder groups (e.g. UN staff, government officials, donors, civil society organizations, the private sector and beneficiaries), site visits and surveys. The evaluation should use a mixed – method analysis, employing the most appropriate qualitative and quantitative approaches, data types and methods of data analysis.
Validation: All findings should be supported with evidence. Triangulation will be used to ensure that the information and data collected are valid. A report will be prepared including identified constrains, lessons and challenges in relations to the priority interventions as well as specific recommendations made both to the UNCT and to individual agencies. In addition, a participatory approach to involve key stakeholders and boost ownership of the evaluation shall be adopted, ensuring the involvement of civil society organizations, youth and private sector representatives.
In the Inception Report Evaluators should propose a detailed methodology designed to provide evidence around the result areas of the PFD 2016-2020. An evaluation matrix should be part of the report and represent the sources of data, methods and criteria for each evaluation question, including assuring triangulation of data. The inception report should include:
The UNDAF evaluation will use a variety of validation methods to ensure that the data and information used, and conclusions made carry the necessary depth including, but not limited to:
In general, the evaluation approach should follow the UNEG guidance on integrating human rights and gender equality, UNEG norms and standards and international principles for development evaluation. In particular, in line with the UN System-Wide Action Plan (UN-SWAP) on gender equality, data collection methods and process should consider gender sensitivity. The final report should be compliant with UNEG quality checklist of evaluation reports and acknowledge how inclusive stakeholder participation was ensured during the evaluation process and any challenges to obtaining the gender equality information or to addressing these issues appropriately.
Adherence to a code of ethics and a human rights based and gender sensitive approach in the gathering, treatment and use of data collected should be made explicit in the inception report. Perspective from both rights holders and duty bearers shall be collected.
The PFD Evaluators will have overall responsibility for producing the PFD Evaluation Report and for quality and timely submission of the same Report to the UN RC Office and UNCT. PFD Steering Committee is the decision-making organ for the PFD evaluation. Final evaluation findings need to be validated by the Steering Committee.
Direct supervision is provided by the UN M&E Specialist, responsible for the day to day implementation of the evaluation and the management of the evaluation budget. The UN M&E Specialist reports to the UNCT. The key role of the UN M&E Specialist is to ensure that 1) the evaluation process meets UNDG Guidance and UNEG standards and that 2) the evaluation findings are relevant and recommendations are implementable and that 3) the evaluation findings are disseminated and available for use and learning from the evaluation.
The PFD Evaluation will be commissioned and overseen by the UNCT. The UNCT, chaired by UN RC will have the major task to facilitate the process of evaluation and ensuring the adequate data flows with the represented institutions/agencies. The work of UNCT will be supported by the Result Group on data collection.
Result Group 1 on Quality Data and Progress Monitoring, consisting of the UN and Government representatives will function as the guardian of the independence of the evaluation. Result Group 1 will provide inputs and comments to the inception report and final report and provide quality assurance. The group will meet at least two times: 1) to discuss inception report and 2) to discuss the final report. All other Result Group members will provide inputs, where necessary. All deliverables will be reviewed by the Result group 1 before sharing with the UNCT.
The costs of the PFD evaluation will be covered by UNRC.
IMF Staff Concludes Article IV Consultation Visit to Turkmenistan https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2018/03/09/pr1881-imf-staff-concludes-article-iv-consultation-visit-to-turkmenistan
Duties and Responsibilities
EXPECTED DELIVERABLES AND TIMEFRAMES
The expected deliverables are outlined below:
Deliverable 1 prepared through:
Number of days: 10 days (May 2019)
First draft report for circulation and identification of factual corrections from stakeholders. Number of pages should not exceed 50 pages or 35,000 words, excluding executive summary (2,500 words) and annexes. Please refer to the UNEG Quality Checklist for Evaluation Report for guidance:
Location: mission to Turkmenistan of International expert and joint work, visits to velayats.
Number of days: 10 days (June 2019).
Second draft report for circulation to the external advisory panels (Regional DCO) for quality assurance
Final report and Assist UNCT in developing a Follow-up plan.
Number of days: 10 days (July 2019).
This is an installment-based contract that should cover the costs of consultancy required to produce the above deliverables. The final schedule of payments will be agreed upon in the beginning of consultancy.
STRUCTURE OF THE PFD EVALUATION REPORT
The report should include the following sections:
Executive Summary (max 2 pages)
Documents for desk review
+ Other documents as required
 The UNDAF Evaluation Report should be developed in accordance with the UNEG “Standards for Evaluation in the UN system”, “Norms for Evaluation in UN System and “Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation.” Analysis should include an appropriate discussion of the relative contributions of stakeholders to results. It will consider the evaluation objectives as per relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of results, as well as the key issues of design, focus and comparative advantage.
Required Skills and Experience
One national consultant, in his assisting role to the PFD Evaluation Team Leader, is needed with the following skills and experience:
The quality of the evaluation report will be assessed according to the UNEG norms and standards for evaluation and the UNICEF quality assurance system for evaluations.
Submission of applications:
Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:
All experts applying for this position are required to provide:
Evaluation of proposals:
Individual Consultants will be evaluated based on the combined scoring methodology. When using this method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
The technical evaluation will take into account the following as per the scoring provided:
Additional requirements for recommended contractor:
Recommended contractors aged 65 and older, and if the travel is required, shall undergo a full medical examination including x-ray, and obtain medical clearance from the UN-approved doctor prior to taking up their assignment. The medical examination is to be cleared by the UN physicians, and shall be paid by the consultant.
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.