Call for Applications: Roster of Local Experts in Project Evaluation and Monitoring


Location : Tbilisi and Batumi, with possible travel to the regions, GEORGIA
Application Deadline :23-Oct-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :6d 0h 14m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :short-term consultancy assignments during three-year period


Background

The signing of the Association Agreement (AA) with the 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. Article 332 of the Association Agreement states that the “Parties shall cooperate to promote agricultural and rural development, in particular through progressive convergence of policies and legislation”. A National Rural Development Strategy elaboration process has been supported by FAO and UNDP and with UNDP’s support to the Ajara Autonomous Republic of Georgia within the framework of EU supported ENPARD. The government of Georgia approved the first-ever National Rural Development Strategy (Programme) in December 20016, which provided the country’s vision for the coming years (2017-2020) in 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 European Union practice and the EU MS knowledge and experience in this field.

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.

With the objective to support multi-stakeholder dialogue and cooperation among government and non-government actors, there is a formal consultation process that seeks to take broad stakeholder voices in the delivery of Rural Development Strategy. It is expected that participatory planning will continue to be used as a mechanism for civic activation and inclusive decision-making.

The adoption of the national strategy was followed by the establishment of an Inter-Agency Coordination Council (hereinafter referred to as IACC) for Rural Development which is led by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. The Ajara Rural Development Strategy approved by the Government of Autonomous Republic (A.R.) was followed by the establishment of the Rural Development Council of Ajara (hereinafter referred to as RDC) which is chaired by the head of A.R. Government.

Both Councils coordinate the implementation of rural development policies and promote cooperation and coordination between and among its members. The membership of IACC and RDC involves representatives from various state agencies/line ministries, grouped under the 3 pillars of the Rural Development Strategy: economic, environment and social. Thematic Working Groups were established to contribute to advances in knowledge about rural development and enable the Strategy and respective Action Plans to become more effective in terms of delivering sustainable rural development outcomes.

Due to structural and functional reorganization of the Government of Georgia, announced in November 2017 and implemented in December 2017, followed by the second wave of Government reshuffle announced by the newly-appointed Prime-Minister in June 2018 and finalized in September 2018 (changes in the Law of Georgia on the Structure, Authority and Rules of Operation of the Government of Georgia), the composition of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council (IACC) changed. Also, the counterpart Ministry was affected. The environment component of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Recourses Protection has been merged with the Ministry of Agriculture to form the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA). This change resulted in challenges in terms of reconstituting institutional arrangements and functional distribution, but the change also facilitates the cooperation with MEPA in relation to the implementation of the environmental component of the project Improving Rural Development in Georgia (IRDG) under the EU ENPARD III programme.

UNDP project “Improving Rural Development in Georgia” (IRDG) under EU-funded ENPARD III has at its core a cross-cutting capacity development component for public sector agencies and officials involved in laying down the general policy framework of the rural development of Georgia as well as for all structural units involved in formulating and implementing rural development actions (measures);  the successful implementation of the rural development policy in Georgia requires technical support to national agencies and relevant frontline departments in increasing effectiveness, efficiency and performance of the RD policy/strengthening the strategic approach; ensuring better coordination and complementarity with other policy areas; enhancing RD policy potential to better address specific development needs of rural areas; making RD intervention logic more user friendly and supportive for beneficiaries; and facilitating the movement of labour out of agriculture to sectors with higher productivity.

UNDP/IRDG is soliciting the submission of CVs (individuals only, not companies) for the roster of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Experts”. The roster will consist of highly-qualified and experienced experts. Only the applicants who pass all the stages of the evaluation process will be included in the roster.

Interested candidates are advised to carefully study the evaluation process.


Duties and Responsibilities

Experts will provide advisory support to UNDP IRDG project, including Tbilisi and Ajara teams, partners and target groups. Specific reporting and working relationships will be specified at the time of contracting for a specific assignment.

When demand arises, pre-selected consultants are called upon to provide demand-driven monitoring and evaluation, access to knowledge and technical expertise to UNDP project “Improving Rural Development in Georgia”. The range of tasks for the consultant may include applied research, diagnostic missions, provision of strategic and operational advice or forward-looking assessments, capacity assessments and capacity development activities, monitoring and evaluation, engagement with public/private partners and stakeholders, community engagement and outreach including through social media, training, report drafting, peer review, and others. Consultants will perform their duties from home through e-mail, telephone and/or fax combined with in-country missions and/or project site visits (per request of the UNDP/IRDG). Consultants are expected to attend / conduct relevant meetings, presentations, workshops, and participate in panel discussions regarding policy dialogue at the country level, including stakeholder consultations, inception and validation meetings.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Expert’s primary tasks may include:

  • Assess and validate the results of development interventions (national, regional or local) in terms of achievements/gaps in delivering outputs, contributing to project outcomes, reaching target beneficiaries, the factors that affected the results, and the potential for sustainability;
  • Analyze the effectiveness and sustainability of the overall strategy and approaches of the project intervention, in particular the strategy, the multi-sectoral approach, the regional-national linkages, capacity building, partnerships, and knowledge generation and dissemination;
  • Analyze lessons learned on both substantive and programme management issues
  • Assist the project in developing results matrices, M&E frameworks and evaluation plans.
  • Support UNDP/IRDG in designing, implementing and evaluating innovative monitoring and evaluation approaches (both quantitative and qualitative);
  • Support projects in designing and implementing appropriate and timely approaches to project internal early warning and Management Information Systems;
  • Support project partners in identifying, developing and implementing cost saving approaches to M&E;
  • Support capacity development of national M&E systems and assess possible ways of facilitating a transition towards the integration of national systems and linking the M&E systems to SDGs goals and targets;
  • Assist the project as appropriate, to conceptualize and consolidate progress reports, and to support compilation and dissemination of the Annual Reports;
  • Assist in commissioning independent evaluations of projects
  • Provide training as required to project and partner agencies on Results-based management (RBM) and monitoring & evaluation techniques.

Contracting Arrangements:

Successful offerors will be included into UNDP IRDG M&E Vetted Experts Roster for Area of Programme/Project Evaluation and Monitoring for the period of 3 years. Inclusion into the roster does not necessarily mean that contract with UNDP is guaranteed. This will depend on forthcoming needs. During this period UNDP can regularly follow up with consultants. Roster will be accessible to UNDP Georgia and its projects. Where a request for services arises, the UNDP / IRDG Tbilisi and Ajara offices will share a specific Terms of Reference (TOR) outlining specific services, outputs and timeline for that assignment with consultant(s) matching the requested profile and consultants will be requested to provide a price offer. A consultant offering a best value for money will be contracted.

Payment modality:

Payments will be made as specified in the actual contract upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner.

 


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;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment

Functional competencies:

  • Strategic vision, strong technical and analytical capabilities and demonstrated ability to gain the assistance and cooperation of others in a team endeavour through technical leadership in a broad range of operational areas; 
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of UNDP corporate monitoring and evaluation policies and procedures;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and communication skills, resourcefulness, initiative, maturity of judgment, tact, and negotiating skills, and the ability to cope with situations which may pose conflict; 
  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards
  • Proven ability to work in a team, develop synergies and establish effective working relations within the RCO, with persons of different UN Agencies, government counterparts, donors and NGOs;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
  • Ability to handle effectively multiple tasks without compromising quality, team spirit and positive working relationships;
  • Strong analytical aptitude and effective interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to solve complex problems with minimal supervision
  • Ability to lead formulation and evaluation of development programs and projects
  • Ability to work with small multi-disciplinary, multi-national teams to deliver quality products in high stress, short deadline situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to assess complex situations in order to screen succinctly and clearly critical issues and draw forward-looking conclusions
  • Ability and demonstrated capacity to work in rural and remote localities.
  • Facilitation and training skills


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

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

Experience:

  • At least 7 years of proven experience in conducting monitoring and evaluations and/or results-based management, including conducting independent project evaluations, trainings, developing M&E frameworks, result based frameworks, log frames etc. (minimum requirement: 7 years - 10 points, more than 7 years - additional 5 points);
  • Proven experience in Georgia, international experience will be an asset (minimum requirement: Proven experience in Georgia: 5 points; international experience - additional 5 points);
  • Experience in the evaluation of technical assistance projects, if possible, with UNDP or other UN development agencies, major donors as well as government (minimum requirement: 15 points);
  • Good knowledge of UN system, procedures and operational activities for development, previous experience in UNDAF development is considered as plus

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent English and Georgian writing and communication skills. 

Evaluation:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on technical evaluation. Maximum obtainable score is 100. Technical criteria composed of desk review (50 points), written sample (30 points), interview (20 points). Offerors who pass 70% of maximum obtainable scores of the desk review (i.e. obtain minimum 35 points) will be requested to provide written sample. Those offerors who pass 70% of maximum obtainable scores for written sample (i.e. obtain minimum 21 points) will be invited for the interview. Those offerors who pass 70% of maximum obtainable scores for interview (i.e. obtain minimum 14 points) will be considered as qualified offerors and will be requested to provide financial proposal and included in the roster of qualified consultants.  Only those candidates who pass 70% threshold during each stage of the technical evaluation, will be invited for to submit their financial proposals. Experts not meeting any of minimum technical qualification requirements will be automatically excluded from the list of candidates for further technical evaluation.

Financial Proposal:

Technically qualified offerors will be requested to provide their financial proposals – daily consultancy fee, (all-inclusive) which is bound to the period of 3 years (unless the consultant applies to the roster during its re-opening).


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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