International Consultant for Mid-Term Review of Strategic Note UN Women Regional Office for Asia And The Pacific



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :09-Sep-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
17-Sep-2020
Expected Duration of Assignment :40 days from 17 September – 17 December 2020 (dates depend on contract start date)

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.


Background

UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action, peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates the United Nations system efforts, to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

 

Strategic Notes (SNs) are the chief programme instrument in UN Women through which offices outline their strategies for a multi-year period. Although reflective of the corporate Strategic Plan, SNs are adapted to the regional context aligning with regional priorities. Each SN undergoes an extensive process of consultation and quality assurance culminating in a Peer Review Exercise at UN Women Headquarters. Subsequent to approval of SNs offices implement their multi-year strategy through Annual Work Plans (AWPs). Both SNs and AWPs can be modified based on guidance in the Policy and Programme Guidance (PPG) and in line with the Delegation of Authority Framework of the organization. All modifications must be respectful of programme commitments made to funding partners.

 

UN Women requires its offices to undertake a mid-term review (MTR) of their programmes at the approximate mid-way point in implementation of the programme (there is some discretion for offices to opt for a point between 1.5 and 2.5 years into the programme). MTRs are mandatory for all programmes of three years’ duration or more.

 

The purposes of the MTR exercise per corporate guidance are:

  1. To review the Theories of change (ToC) of the SN[1], as it relates to the broader context of the region
  2. To provide the office (both programme and operations) with a point of reflection and strategic analysis, distinct from the normal everyday process of programme and project management.
  3. To provide for engagement with partners and beneficiaries in that reflection.
  4. To take stock of changes in the programming context (including normative developments) and operational responses.
  5. To check in on key management issues, such as availability of data and evidence to allow informed and credible analysis of performance, and the ‘evaluability’ of the regional programmes.
  6. To serve as an early launching point for the subsequent process of developing a new SN for the forthcoming cycle.

The MTR is not an evaluation exercise i.e. it is not supposed to conform to evaluation standards in terms of independence, methodology or process. Rather, it corresponds more closely to a planning and monitoring exercise. It is a less formal, and it is an internally driven/managed exercise (engagement of all personnel is important). Also, the MTR should not also be confused with a mandatory SN revision exercise. It is not incumbent on offices to revise their SNs during or as a result of the MTR exercise, but they can do so, as they deem relevant.

 

  • The UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP)

The ROAP is in its second year of is three-year SN which came into effect in 2019. This SN which reflects the mandate of regional offices (ROs) was defined by: (i) regional demands and priorities, as highlighted in the situation analysis; (ii) the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs and the Regional Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing +20); (iii) the corporate Strategic Plan (2018-21) and its Common Chapter; (iv) the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) (2016) and the UN regional reform process, as well corporate adjustments to the global and regional architecture; and (v) UN Women presence and comparative advantages in the region.

 

The ROAP covers 42 countries in Asia and the Pacific. It exercises its triple mandate and functions at a regional level and in support of UN Women’s offices and UNCTs in 24 countries across the region. The RO also functions as a multi-country office (MCO) for programme presences (in the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand), carries out advocacy and advisory initiatives, and also provides integrated normative support for implementation, monitoring and reporting on global agreements norms and standards upon request, to UNCTs where we are not physically present. 

 

Since the coming into effect of the SN, there have been a number of external and UN system developments and corporate processes, that would have implications on the MTR process:

  1. Conclusion of the Beijing+25 regional review
  2. Conclusion of the UN Development System regional reform process
  3. Outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the issuance of the UN Multilateral response frameworks (the Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP), Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) and the UN Framework for the immediate socioeconomic response to COVID-19 (and other country socio-economic plans/frameworks).

On the UN Women corporate processes, these include:

  1. Conclusion of UN Women’s corporate change management process
  2. Finalization of the corporate evaluation on Governance and National Planning; and the corporate evaluation on Humanitarian Action and the Regional Programme Presence Portfolio Evaluation (all in 2019)
  3. Conclusion of the Independent Evaluation and Audit Services audit of ROAP (2019)
  4. Conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Portfolio Review Exercise (pilot) (2019-2020)

These different developments and processes have varied implications on this MTR of the ROAP SN – and the office’s – in the context of efforts to respond to contextual needs and country -level oversight and support demands.

 

Objectives of the assignment

The objective of this assignment is to facilitate the MTR process which will allow the ROAP team to review progress on the SN’s overarching goal which is to ensure that "Transformative change galvanises the achievement of gender equality and women's rights in Asia and the Pacific" – both through its Development Results Framework (DRF) and its Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness Framework (OEEF), and in line with the following functions of a regional office:

  1. Strategic Programme Development and Policy/Technical Advice
  2. Oversight, Programme and Operational Support and Quality Assurance
  3. UN Interagency Coordination
  4. Intergovernmental Support
  5. Representation and Advocacy
  6. Strategic Partnerships and Resource Mobilization
  7. Knowledge Management.

The MTR will:

  1. Review progress on the regional programmes and projects and any lessons learnt, challenges in relation to support provided by ROAP to field presences and regionally. This will include looking at ROAP core functions and services to field presences, regional intergovernmental organizations, and the broader UN system e.g. technical assistance, policy advisory and programmatic support and oversight functions, knowledge management (including to support policy and programming evidence)
  2. Review support to UN Coordination work
  3. Review support to strategic planning, monitoring and reporting, evaluations, operations and partnership development/resource mobilization.

In line with this, the International Consultant will work in close collaboration with the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist who will be leading the process in close consultation with the Deputy Regional Director a.i. and the Regional Monitoring and Reporting Specialist. The International Consultant will also consult with the respective leads of thematic and functional units of the Regional Office, as well as with field presences (i.e. UN Women Multi/Country offices/programme presences), and relevant units in UN Women Headquarters.

 

[1] I.e. overarching ToC and programmatic ToCs.


Duties and Responsibilities

 

  1. Scope of Work/ Responsibilities

 

Under the guidance of the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist, the International Consultant will plan, coordinate and facilitate the following steps of the process, noting that the process and timing of the MTR will be informed by operating realities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Step 1: Preparation/compilation of background materials and development of Discussion Papers

With the support of the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist, the International Consultant will lead and coordinate the development of one- pager Discussion papers (DP) (except for DP 2 below) to inform the MTR process. The DPs will include (at a minimum), the following proposed DPs, referring to respective SN indicators and AWP 2020 milestones, to inform the MTR discussions and the MTR workshop. The International Consultant will develop templates for the DPs, as appropriate (guided by the questions below), in consultation with the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist. These DPs will be drafted by thematic and functional leads within the ROAP team (as appropriate) with support from the International Consultant, following an inception meeting with the ROAP Coordination Group. The International Consultant will review the DPs and provide feedback to the relevant leads- in line with the templates provided, and ensure submission of the final drafts of the same- within agreed timelines, and support their finalization, after the MTR workshop, based on comments received at the workshop:

  1. DP 1: Positioning Paper: Is the office succeeding in striking the right balance between its programmatic, normative, advocacy, and coordination roles? Are the Theories of change that underpin the SN and regional programme still valid i.e. is the office responding to the right issues at the right level?? What are some emerging issues and/or (challenges to the ROAP’s positioning? Are we relevant in the region and making a difference or does something need to change types and level of the ROAP’s interventions?
  2. DP-2: Programmatic Performance Paper[1]: Does the ROAP have a clear sense of whether its regional programme(s) are delivering the envisaged results, or not? How?

How is knowledge being managed (internally and externally) in each programme? Is the ROAP acting as a knowledge hub in gender equality and women’s empowerment within the region?

How have the regional programs responded to key milestones in 2019/2020 i.e. fortieth anniversary of CEDAW, twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing PfA, twentieth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, five-year milestone of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs- and launch of the Decade of Action etc. (as applicable)?

How are we engaging with different categories of stakeholders i.e. civil society, private sector and youth- on delivering results?

What has the office learned about what works and what does not? Are the programmes being monitored properly and are they evaluable?

  1. DP-3: Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Paper[2]: Does the office have a clear overall approach to partnerships (strategic and programmatic)? Are we working with the right partners? How are we engaging with different categories of stakeholders i.e. civil society, private sector, youth and media?

Have the resources envisaged by the SN been mobilized? Does the ROAP have a clear approach to resource mobilization for the ROAP?

  1. DP-4: Normative Paper: How have we responded to key milestones in 2019/2020 i.e. fortieth anniversary of CEDAW, twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing PfA, twentieth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, five-year milestone of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs- and launch of the Decade of Action etc.? How well has the ROAP been able to incorporate normative issues and commitments into the rest of its work (programmatic, coordination, advocacy)? How has the ROAP engaged civil society, youth and other stakeholders such as private sector in delivering results?  What can be done to strengthen the above?
  2. DP-5: Coordination Paper: What role is the ROAP playing in coordinating and improving the regional UN Development system’s performance on gender equality and women’s empowerment- i.e. generally and into the rest of its work (programmatic, advocacy)? Is our approach working and what are the challenges? How well is UN Women and the broader UN engaged in regional and country-level gender equality and women’s empowerment coordination structures?
  3. DP-6: Operations: How well is the ROAP delivering on its technical support and oversight functions[3]? What are the issues and bottlenecks? Are human resources and capacities being managed in a way that maximizes programme effectiveness and efficiency?
  4. DP-7: Communications and Outreach – How well is the ROAP communicating internally and externally? Is there clarity on the UN Women mandate and the results that the organization is working towards in the region and at country level?

All DPs, together with the final report on the MTR will be considered important inputs into the development of the office’s next SN.

 

Step 2: Consultations with stakeholders 

In  consultation with the ROAP thematic and functional leads, the International Consultant will facilitate consultations with ROAP’s stakeholders, as part of this process i.e. regional programme and coordination partners (UN and non-UN), civil society organizations, development partners, private sector actors, intergovernmental organizations etc.) as well as field presences in the Asia-Pacific region (multi-/country offices, program presences).

 

In line with the MTR Guidance and in close consultation with the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist and the Regional Monitoring and Reporting Specialist, the International Consultant will develop survey questions  targeting: (i) diverse regional programmatic and coordination partners, and (ii) field presences, to inform the MTR process. These surveys will be conducted on-line (Survey Monkey) – and will be informed by the DPs, to allow for the collection and collation of relevant information to support the findings and recommendations in the DPs. The survey questions will be developed in consultation with thematic and functional leads.[4]

 

 

 

Step 3: MTR Workshop Agenda and Timelines

In line with the MTR Guidance and in consultation with the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist and the Regional Monitoring and Reporting Specialist, the International Consultant will develop a draft agenda and proposals for facilitating the MTR workshop discussions. The agenda, the proposed dates and modality for the workshop will be subject to COVID-19 operating realities. The proposal will be shared with thematic and functional leads for review/inputs, and the Deputy Regional Director a.i. will determine the most feasible approach to convening this MTR workshop with all members of personnel, to discuss and review the learnings from key developments and processes as well as the DPs – and agree on key recommendations and proposed follow-up actions (for consideration by the ROAP management) to be taken in the context of the MTR and for the next SN.

 

Step 4: Plan and coordinate the MTR workshop

The International Consultant will lead the planning and coordination of the MTR workshop. The structure and format of the MTR workshop shall be informed by operational constraints, but it will to the extent possible, seek to respond to the following:

  1. The workshop will be structured to allow for a mix of group and plenary discussions- to allow for participants to come to discuss and agree on concrete actions
  2. All personnel shall be actively encouraged to participate and speak and should be given an opportunity to participate in the development of the discussion papers.
  3. The agenda shall allow time for a discussion of each DP, in addition to any other subjects outlined in the TOR and agenda.
  4. Any presentations should be brief (under 15 minutes).
  5. Note takers should be appointed to keep a record of the discussions.

The MTR workshop discussions will be moderated by the Deputy Regional Director a.i.,and the International Consultant will compile a brief report on the MTR workshop, summarizing the key outcomes of each session i.e. key discussion points, key take-aways and agreed actions.  

 

Step 5: Development of the MTR report

The International Consultant will draft the MTR report (in line with the guidance below) and based on the DPs, the survey findings and the MTR workshop report. The report shall be 5-6 pages maximum in length and it shall outline the following:

  1. Background, process and the main topics discussed in the MTR (up to one page)
  2. Strategic choices: Identification of the strategic choices that were identified through the MTR in relation to each area of discussion (one page)
  3. Brief summary of the discussions and conclusions by issue (would normally follow the structure of the papers) (two pages)
  4. Summary of follow up actions – linked to strategic choices, based on recommendations arising from the MTR workshop – i.e. on whether the ROAP is maintaining their current strategy(ies), adopting new approaches or strategy(ies), or committing to further research and analysis. (one page)

Background materials including the MTR process TOR, the DPs, and survey results, MTR workshop agenda and report, and the participants’ list shall be annexed to the report. The report will be circulated among all personnel and then cleared by the Regional Director who will then submit the same to the Director of Programme, Deputy Director of Programme, and relevant headquarters units/divisions as well as field presences.                                                                                                                                                  

Expected Deliverables

Under supervision of Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist, the consultant is expected to work with the deliver the following results- with timelines (due dates):

#

Workplan

Deliverable

Timelines

1

Submit an Inception Report with proposed timelines for discussion by the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist in consultation with the Deputy Regional Director a.i. and the Regional Monitoring and Reporting Specialist.

Inception Report with proposed timelines, for discussion

22-Sep-20

(Feedback to be provided by ROAP by 25 September 2020 and a follow up inception meeting will be convened with the ROAP Coordination Group on the process by 28 September 2020)

2

Submit draft survey questions for discussion by the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist in consultation with the Deputy Regional Director a.i. and the Regional Monitoring and Reporting Specialist.

Draft survey questions submitted, for review and discussion

05-Oct-20

(Draft survey questions to be submitted by 28 September and feedback to be provided by ROAP by 2 October 2020)

3

Develop proposed templates for DPs (as appropriate with guidance, for review by the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist, and clearance by the Deputy Regional Director a.i.

Proposed templates for DPs submitted- with guidance, for review and discussion

09-Oct-20

(To be submitted by 28 September 2020. Feedback by ROAP to be provided by 2 October 2020)

 

 

Finalize DP templates and coordinate the drafting of the DPs and follow-up with relevant thematic and functional leads

Final version of Guidance templates submitted

19-Oct-20

(DPs to be submitted by ROAP leads by 19 October 2020)

 

 

4

Roll-out the on-line surveys-and conduct follow up of respondents

On-line surveys undertaken and concluded

16-Oct-20

(Survey timelines- 6 -16 October 2020)

 

 

Compile survey responses and develop a presentation of the findings, for the ROAP Coordination Group 

Presentation of the survey results submitted for discussion by ROAP Coordination Group

20-Oct-20

(To be submitted by consultant by 20 October 2020)

 

 

5

Develop the MTR workshop agenda – and proposed modality for discussion with the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist and the Regional Monitoring and Reporting Specialist, and review by the Deputy Regional Director a.i.

MTR workshop agenda and proposed modality submitted for review and feedback

16-Oct-20

(To be submitted by consultant by 16 October 2020)

 

 

Plan and coordinate the MTR workshop arrangements including coordination of the notetaking of the workshop– with technical support from the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist and with logistical support from the Strategic Planning unit.

MTR workshop agenda finalised, MTR workshop facilitated - and report of the MTR workshop deliberations and agreed actions, submitted for review and feedback to facilitate final clearance

October-20

6

Submit the first draft of the MTR report- for comments/feedback by the Regional Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist and the Regional Monitoring and Reporting Specialist

First draft of the MTR report submitted

06-Nov-20

(To be submitted by 6 November 2020. Feedback to be provided by 12 November 2020)

 

 

Submit the second draft of the MTR report- for comments/feedback by the ROAP thematic and functional leads- and review by the Deputy Regional Director a.i.

Second draft of the MTR report submitted

16-Nov-20

(To be submitted by consultant by 16 November 2020. Feedback to be provided by 20 November 2020)

 

 

Submit the final draft MTR report 

Final draft of the MTR report submitted

30-Nov-20

(To be submitted by consultant by 30 November 2020)

 

 

 

 

 

#

Deliverables

Timelines

1

Inception Report with proposed timelines for discussion

22-Sep-20

2

Draft survey questions submitted for review and feedback

05-Oct-20

3

First version of Guidance templates for DPs submitted for review and feedback

09-Oct-20

 

Final version of Guidance templates submitted

19-Oct-20

4

On-line surveys undertaken and concluded

16-Oct-20

 

Presentation of the survey results submitted for discussion by ROAP Coordination Group

20-Oct-20

5

MTR workshop agenda and proposed modality submitted for review and feedback

16-Oct-20

 

MTR workshop agenda finalised and MTR workshop facilitated - and report of the MTR workshop deliberations and agreed actions submitted for review and feedback to facilitate final clearance

2 Nov-20

6

First draft of the MTR report submitted

06-Nov-20

 

Second draft of the MTR report submitted

16-Nov-20

 

Final draft of the MTR report submitted

30-Nov-20

 

[1] To be developed by respective regional program leads

[2] In light of the scope of issues to be covered under this DP, this will address partnerships and resource mobilization separately.

[3] Reference will be made to the indicators/targets of the SN Operational Effectiveness and Efficiency Framework (OEEF), and the 2020 AWP milestones.

[4] The survey tool will also capture indicators in the ROAP’s OEEF.


Competencies

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
  • Accountability
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Effective Communication
  • Inclusive Collaboration
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Leading by Example

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies: 

http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-employment-values-and-competencies-definitions-en.pdf

Functional Competencies

  • Strong knowledge of gender equity and women’s empowerment issues
  • Strong knowledge of results-based programme planning and management
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to facilitate multi-stakeholder review process by using participatory approaches. 
  • Ability to facilitate meetings with different levels of stakeholders
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude of teamwork.


Required Skills and Experience

The consultant should fulfil the following requirements:

Education:

  • Master's degree (or equivalent) in international development, gender equality and women’s empowerment, public policy, or other relevant social science field is required.
  • A project/programme management certification would be an added advantage.

Work Experience:

  • At least 10 years of professional work experience in programme development and implementation, particularly monitoring and evaluation activities
  • Demonstrable experience in working on gender equality and women’s empowerment issues
  • Good working knowledge of UN policies and procedures for programming, monitoring and evaluation - an advantage
  • Experience in guiding and documenting UN program reviews and evaluations including through facilitating multi-stakeholder consultations
  • Good working knowledge of developing virtual survey tools and capability to organize and host virtual meetings, as well as strong familiarity of usage of MS Word and Excel
  • Strong coordination, writing and facilitation skills.
  • Experience in the Asia-Pacific region (an asset).

Language Requirement:

  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of the other UN official working language is an asset.

Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

 

Performance evaluation:

  • Contractor’s performance will be evaluated based on timeliness, responsibility, initiative, communication, accuracy, and quality of the products delivered.

Terms of Payment

  • Payment will be made against agreed deliverables (upon satisfactory completion and submission of the deliverables).

 

Submission of application

Interested candidates are requested to submit electronic application to the UNDP website not later than 9 September 2020 COB (Bangkok time).

Submission package

All applications must include (as an attachment) the CV, the financial proposal and at least two samples of reports written by the applicant work (most relevant to this consultancy). Applications without financial proposal and at least two written samples, will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

 

 Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated based on the Cumulative analysis.

  • Technical Qualification (100 points) weight; [70%]
  • Financial Proposal (100 points) weight; [30%]

A two-stage procedure is utilised in evaluating the proposals, with evaluation of the technical proposal being completed prior to any price proposal being compared. Only the price proposal of the candidates who passed the minimum technical score of 70% of the obtainable score of 100 points in the technical qualification evaluation will be evaluated.



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