International Consultant for Project Midterm Review


Location : Ashgabat, TURKMENISTAN
Application Deadline :21-Jan-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English   Russian  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
10-Feb-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :3 months

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

.    Project Title: "Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza"

B.    Project Description 

This is the Terms of Reference for the UNDP-GEF Midterm Review (MTR) of the full-sized project titled "Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza" (PIMS 5452) implemented through the UNDP Turkmenistan/Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection, which is to be undertaken in 2021. The project started on the 2018 and is in its third year of implementation.  This ToR sets out the expectations for this MTR. The MTR process must follow the guidance outlined in the document Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects (http://web.undp.org/evaluation/documents/guidance/GEF/mid-term/Guidance_Midterm%20Review%20_EN_2014.pdf).

The project was designed to:

The objective of the project is to promote and implement integrated low-carbon urban systems in Ashgabat and Avaza, thereby reducing GHG emissions and creating other environmental, social, and economic development benefits. Part of the first Project Component covers the activities that are related to the implementation of energy-efficient public lighting in Ashgabat, with technical justification prepared for replication. Moreover, the same component covers the development and application of sustainable urban transport solutions in Ashgabat and reduction of waste volumes and expansion of recycling in Ashgabat. Finally, Project Component 1 touches upon such activities as development and approval of city-wide sustainability plans. The second component concentrates on practices to reduce energy consumption, water use, and waste implemented by hotels in Avaza. Furthermore, it focuses on demonstration and replication of solar-powered public lighting, and implementation of optimally efficient surface transportation in Avaza. Besides, Component 2 underlines the importance of organizing enhanced trainings for managerial and technical capacity of planners, officials, and facility managers in Avaza. The third and final Component highlights the development and adoption of national policies in support of integrated and scaled-up green urban practices, supported by capacity enhancement for responsible agencies and individuals. In addition, it underscores the adoption of national incentives and standards for fuel efficiency of imported cars. The timeframe for the project is 2018-2024. Total budget of the project is 6,060,046 USD (GEF) and 100,000 USD (UNDP). Main national partner is Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan. General national partners are Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Construction and Architecture, “Turkmen Motor Transport” Agency, , Municipality of Ashgabat, Municipality of Turkmenbashi.  


Duties and Responsibilities

MTR Purpose

            The MTR will assess progress towards the achievement of the project objectives and outcomes as specified in the Project Document, and assess early signs of project success or failure with the goal of identifying the necessary changes to be made in order to set the project on-track to achieve its intended results. The MTR will also review the project’s strategy and its risks to sustainability.

The project will also look for options to adjust the project strategy as an adaptive management approach as suggested by the UNDP NCE management, given to the conditions caused by the COVID19 pandemic. For this, the project will appoint a Strategy Revision Consultant who is expected to work in close collaboration with the MTR team to identify the current bottlenecks, opportunities and design new approaches within the overall objective of the project; presented as an updated Results Framework for the project.  MTR team is expected to work with Strategy Revision Consultant in the identification of project progress and limitations as well as opportunities and reflect the findings of strategy revision suggestions in the MTR report.  UNDP seeks for a full coherency of all consultants with separated and clear terms of references and deliveries.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

D.    MTR Approach & Methodology

 

The MTR report must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful.

The MTR team will review all relevant sources of information including documents prepared during the preparation phase (i.e. PIF, UNDP Initiation Plan, UNDP Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP)), the Project Document, project reports including Annual Project Review/PIRs, project budget revisions, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based review. The MTR team will review the baseline GEF focal area Core Indicators/Tracking Tools submitted to the GEF at CEO endorsement, and the midterm GEF focal area Core Indicators/Tracking Tools that must be completed before the MTR field mission begins.  

The MTR team is expected to follow a collaborative and participatory approach[1] ensuring close engagement with the Project Team, government counterparts (the GEF Operational Focal Point), the UNDP Country Office(s), the Nature, Climate and Energy (NCE) Regional Technical Advisor, direct beneficiaries, and other key stakeholders.

Engagement of stakeholders is vital to a successful MTR.[2] Stakeholder involvement should include interviews with stakeholders who have project responsibilities, including but not limited to Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection, Ministry of Construction and Architecture, Ministry of Energy, “Turkmen Motor Transport” Agency, Municipality of Ashgabat, Municipality of Turkmenbashi, Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, Private Sector and NGO; executing agencies, senior officials and task team/ component leaders, key experts and consultants in the subject area, Project Board, project stakeholders, academia, local government and CSOs, etc. Additionally, the MTR team is expected to conduct field missions Ashgabat depending on the situation of the global COVID19 pandemic and the travel restrictions in Turkmenistan and the country of the consultant. In case a field trip is not possible, virtual evaluation methods will be adopted as described in relevant UNDP and GEF guidance.  

The specific design and methodology for the MTR should emerge from consultations between the MTR team and the above-mentioned parties regarding what is appropriate and feasible for meeting the MTR purpose and objectives and answering the evaluation questions, given limitations of budget, time and data. The MTR team must, however, use gender-responsive methodologies and tools and ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as other cross-cutting issues and SDGs are incorporated into the MTR report. MTR will work in close collaboration with Strategy Revision Consultant and incorporate results from that work into Results Framework.

 

The final methodological approach including interview schedule, field visits and data to be used in the MTR should be clearly outlined in the Inception Report and be fully discussed and agreed between UNDP, stakeholders and the MTR team. 

(Note: The TOR should retain enough flexibility for the MTR team to determine the best methods and tools for collecting and analysing data. For example, the TOR might suggest using questionnaires, field visits and interviews, but the evaluation team should be able to revise the approach in consultation with the evaluation manager and key stakeholders. These changes in approach should be agreed and reflected clearly in MTR Inception Report)

 

The final MTR report must describe the full MTR approach taken and the rationale for the approach making explicit the underlying assumptions, challenges, strengths and weaknesses about the methods and approach of the review.

 

 

E.    Detailed Scope of the MTR

 

The MTR team will assess the following four categories of project progress. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for extended descriptions.

 

 

  1. Project Strategy

 

Project Design:

  • Review the problem addressed by the project and the underlying assumptions.  Review the effect of any incorrect assumptions or changes to the context to achieving the project results as outlined in the Project Document.
  • Review the relevance of the project strategy and assess whether it provides the most effective route towards expected/intended results.  Were lessons from other relevant projects properly incorporated into the project design? 
  • Review how the project addresses country priorities. Review country ownership. Was the project concept in line with the national sector development priorities and plans of the country (or of participating countries in the case of multi-country projects)?
  • Review decision-making processes: were perspectives of those who would be affected by project decisions, those who could affect the outcomes, and those who could contribute information or other resources to the process, taken into account during project design processes?
  • Review the extent to which relevant gender issues were raised in the project design. See Annex 9 of Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for further guidelines.
    • Were relevant gender issues (e.g. the impact of the project on gender equality in the programme country, involvement of women’s groups, engaging women in project activities) raised in the Project Document?
  • If there are major areas of concern, recommend areas for

 

Results Framework/Logframe:

  • Undertake a critical analysis of the project’s logframe indicators and targets, assess how “SMART” the midterm and end-of-project targets are (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound), and suggest specific amendments/revisions to the targets and indicators as necessary.
  • Are the project’s objectives and outcomes or components clear, practical, and feasible within its time frame?
  • Examine if progress so far has led to, or could in the future catalyse beneficial development effects (i.e. income generation, gender equality and women’s empowerment, improved governance etc...) that should be included in the project results framework and monitored on an annual basis.
  • Ensure broader development and gender aspects of the project are being monitored effectively.  Develop and recommend SMART ‘development’ indicators, including sex-disaggregated indicators and indicators that capture development benefits. Work in close collaboration with Strategy Revision Consultant and incorporate results from that work into Results Framework.

 

  1. Progress Towards Results
  • Review the logframe indicators against progress made towards the end-of-project targets; populate the Progress Towards Results Matrix, as described in the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects; colour code progress in a “traffic light system” based on the level of progress achieved; assign a rating on progress for the project objective and each outcome; make recommendations from the areas marked as “not on target to be achieved” (red).
  • Compare and analyse the GEF Tracking Tool/Core Indicators at the Baseline with the one completed right before the Midterm Review.
  • Identify remaining barriers to achieving the project objective in the remainder of the project.
  • By reviewing the aspects of the project that have already been successful, identify ways in which the project can further expand these benefits.

 

 

  1. Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

 

Management Arrangements

  • Review overall effectiveness of project management as outlined in the Project Document.  Have changes been made and are they effective?  Are responsibilities and reporting lines clear?  Is decision-making transparent and undertaken in a timely manner?  Recommend areas for improvement.
  • Review the quality of execution of the Executing Agency/Implementing Partner(s) and recommend areas for improvement.
  • Review the quality of support provided by the GEF Partner Agency (UNDP) and recommend areas for improvement.
  • Do the Executing Agency/Implementing Partner and/or UNDP and other partners have the capacity to deliver benefits to or involve women? If yes, how?
  • What is the gender balance of project staff? What steps have been taken to ensure gender balance in project staff?
  • What is the gender balance of the Project Board? What steps have been taken to ensure gender balance in the Project Board?

 

Work Planning

  • Review any delays in project start-up and implementation, identify the causes and examine if they have been resolved.
  • Are work-planning processes results-based?  If not, suggest ways to re-orientate work planning to focus on results?
  • Examine the use of the project’s results framework/ logframe as a management tool and review any changes made to it since project start. 

 

Finance and co-finance

  • Consider the financial management of the project, with specific reference to the cost-effectiveness of interventions. 
  • Review the changes to fund allocations as a result of budget revisions and assess the appropriateness and relevance of such revisions.
  • Does the project have the appropriate financial controls, including reporting and planning, that allow management to make informed decisions regarding the budget and allow for timely flow of funds?
  • Informed by the co-financing monitoring table to be filled out by the Commissioning Unit and project team, provide commentary on co-financing: is co-financing being used strategically to help the objectives of the project? Is the Project Team meeting with all co-financing partners regularly in order to align financing priorities and annual work plans?

 

Sources of Co-financing

Name of Co-financer

Type of Co-financing

Co-financing amount confirmed at CEO Endorsement (US$)

Actual Amount Contributed at stage of Midterm Review (US$)

Actual % of Expected Amount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

  • Include the separate GEF Co-Financing template (filled out by the Commissioning Unit and project team) which categorizes co-financing amounts by source as ‘investment mobilized’ or ‘recurrent expenditures’.  (This template will be annexed as a separate file.

 

Project-level monitoring and evaluation systems

  • Review the monitoring tools currently being used:  Do they provide the necessary information? Do they involve key partners? Are they aligned or mainstreamed with national systems?  Do they use existing information? Are they efficient? Are they cost-effective? Are additional tools required? How could they be made more participatory and inclusive?
  • Examine the financial management of the project monitoring and evaluation budget.  Are sufficient resources being allocated to monitoring and evaluation? Are these resources being allocated effectively?
  • Review the extent to which relevant gender issues were incorporated in monitoring systems. See Annex 9 of Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for further guidelines.

 

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Project management: Has the project developed and leveraged the necessary and appropriate partnerships with direct and tangential stakeholders?
  • Participation and country-driven processes: Do local and national government stakeholders support the objectives of the project?  Do they continue to have an active role in project decision-making that supports efficient and effective project implementation?
  • Participation and public awareness: To what extent has stakeholder involvement and public awareness contributed to the progress towards achievement of project objectives?
  • How does the project engage women and girls?  Is the project likely to have the same positive and/or negative effects on women and men, girls and boys?  Identify, if possible, legal, cultural, or religious constraints on women’s participation in the project.  What can the project do to enhance its gender benefits?

 

Social and Environmental Standards (Safeguards)

  • Validate the risks identified in the project’s most current SESP, and those risks’ ratings; are any revisions needed?
  • Summarize and assess the revisions made since CEO Endorsement/Approval (if any) to:
    • The project’s overall safeguards risk categorization.
    • The identified types of risks[3] (in the SESP).
    • The individual risk ratings (in the SESP) .
  • Describe and assess progress made in the implementation of the project’s social and environmental management measures as outlined in the SESP submitted at CEO Endorsement/Approval (and prepared during implementation, if any), including any revisions to those measures. Such management measures might include Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs) or other management plans, though can also include aspects of a project’s design; refer to Question 6 in the SESP template for a summary of the identified management measures.

A given project should be assessed against the version of UNDP’s safeguards policy that was in effect at the time of the project’s approval.

 

Reporting

  • Assess how adaptive management changes have been reported by the project management and shared with the Project Board.
  • Assess how well the Project Team and partners undertake and fulfil GEF reporting requirements (i.e. how have they addressed poorly-rated PIRs, if applicable?)
  • Assess how lessons derived from the adaptive management process have been documented, shared with key partners and internalized by partners.

 

Communications & Knowledge Management

  • Review internal project communication with stakeholders: Is communication regular and effective? Are there key stakeholders left out of communication? Are there feedback mechanisms when communication is received? Does this communication with stakeholders contribute to their awareness of project outcomes and activities and investment in the sustainability of project results?
  • Review external project communication: Are proper means of communication established or being established to express the project progress and intended impact to the public (is there a web presence, for example? Or did the project implement appropriate outreach and public awareness campaigns?)
  • For reporting purposes, write one half-page paragraph that summarizes the project’s progress towards results in terms of contribution to sustainable development benefits, as well as global environmental benefits.
  • List knowledge activities/products developed (based on knowledge management approach approved at CEO Endorsement/Approval).

 

 

  1. Sustainability

 

  • Validate whether the risks identified in the Project Document, Annual Project Review/PIRs and the ATLAS Risk Register are the most important and whether the risk ratings applied are appropriate and up to date. If not, explain why.
  • In addition, assess the following risks to sustainability:

 

Financial risks to sustainability:

  • What is the likelihood of financial and economic resources not being available once the GEF assistance ends (consider potential resources can be from multiple sources, such as the public and private sectors, income generating activities, and other funding that will be adequate financial resources for sustaining project’s outcomes)?

 

Socio-economic risks to sustainability:

  • Are there any social or political risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project outcomes? What is the risk that the level of stakeholder ownership (including ownership by governments and other key stakeholders) will be insufficient to allow for the project outcomes/benefits to be sustained? Do the various key stakeholders see that it is in their interest that the project benefits continue to flow? Is there sufficient public / stakeholder awareness in support of the long-term objectives of the project? Are lessons learned being documented by the Project Team on a continual basis and shared/ transferred to appropriate parties who could learn from the project and potentially replicate and/or scale it in the future?

 

Institutional Framework and Governance risks to sustainability:

  • Do the legal frameworks, policies, governance structures and processes pose risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project benefits? While assessing this parameter, also consider if the required systems/ mechanisms for accountability, transparency, and technical knowledge transfer are in place.

 

Environmental risks to sustainability:

  • Are there any environmental risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project outcomes?

 

 

Conclusions & Recommendations

 

The MTR consultant/team will include a section in the MTR report for evidence-based conclusions, in light of the findings.

 

Additionally, the MTR consultant/team is expected to make recommendations to the Project Team. Recommendations should be succinct suggestions for critical intervention that are specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant. A recommendation table should be put in the report’s executive summary. The MTR consultant/team should make no more than 15 recommendations total.

 

Ratings

 

The MTR team will include its ratings of the project’s results and brief descriptions of the associated achievements in a MTR Ratings & Achievement Summary Table in the Executive Summary of the MTR report. See the TOR Annexes for the Rating Table and ratings scales.

 

 

F.    Expected Outputs and Deliverables

 

The MTR team shall prepare and submit:

 

  • MTR Inception Report: MTR team clarifies objectives and methods of the Midterm Review no later than 2 weeks before the MTR mission. To be sent to the Commissioning Unit and project management. Completion date: 8 February  2021
  • Presentation: MTR team presents initial findings to project management and the Commissioning Unit at the end of the MTR mission. Completion date: 28 February 2021
  • Draft MTR Report: MTR team submits the draft full report with annexes within 3 weeks of the MTR mission. Completion date: 20 March  2021
  • Final Report*: MTR team submits the revised report with annexed and completed Audit Trail detailing how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final MTR report. To be sent to the Commissioning Unit within 1 week of receiving UNDP comments on draft. Completion date: 31 March 2021

 

*The final MTR report must be in English. If applicable, the Commissioning Unit may choose to arrange for a translation of the report into a language more widely shared by national stakeholders.

 

G.    Institutional Arrangements

 

The principal responsibility for managing this MTR resides with the Commissioning Unit. The Commissioning Unit for this project’s MTR is UNDP Turkmenistan Country Office.

 

The Commissioning Unit will contract the consultants and ensure the timely provision of per diems and travel arrangements within the Turkmenistan for the MTR team. The Project Team will be responsible for liaising with the MTR team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits.

H.     Duration of the Work

 

The total duration of the MTR will be approximately 35 of days over a period of 9 of weeks starting on 12 January  2021, and shall not exceed five months from when the consultant(s) are hired. The tentative MTR timeframe is as follows:

  • 12 January 2021: Application closes
  • 30 January 2021: Selection of MTR Team
  • 3 February 2021: Prep the MTR Team (handover of project documents)
  • 10 February  2021: Starting date of MTR
  • 14 February 2021, 4 days (recommended 2-4): Document review and preparing MTR Inception Report
  • 15 March 2021, 15 days (r: 7-15): MTR mission: stakeholder meetings, interviews, field visits
  • 5 April  2021, 7 days (r: 5-10): Preparing draft report
  • 7 April  2021, 2 days (r: 1-2): Incorporating audit trail on draft report/Finalization of MTR report (note: accommodate time delay in dates for circulation and review of the draft report)
  • 10 April  2021: Preparation & Issue of Management Response
  • (date): (optional) Concluding Stakeholder Workshop (not mandatory for MTR team)
  • 15 April 2021: Expected date of full MTR completion

The date start of contract is 10 February  2021.

 

 

I.    Duty Station

 

The MTR International Consultant’s duty station/location for the contract duration shall be home-based as it’s not expected that COVID-19-related ban on international visa issuance will be lifted any time during the planned timeline of the MTR.

 

Travel:

  • International travel might be required to Turkmenistan during the MTR mission only in case COVID-19-related ban in country on international visa issuance is lifted;
  • The BSAFE training course must be successfully completed prior to commencement of travel; Herewith is the link to access this training: https://training.dss.un.org/courses/login/index.php . These training modules at this secure internet site is accessible to Consultants, which allows for registration with private email. 
  • Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director.
  • Consultants are required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under https://dss.un.org/dssweb/
  • All related travel expenses will be covered and will be reimbursed as per UNDP rules and regulations upon submission of an F-10 claim form and supporting documents.

 

[1] For ideas on innovative and participatory Monitoring and Evaluation strategies and techniques, see UNDP Discussion Paper: Innovations in Monitoring & Evaluating Results, 05 Nov 2013.

[2] For more stakeholder engagement in the M&E process, see the UNDP Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results, Chapter 3, pg. 93.

[3] Risks are to be labeled with both the UNDP SES Principles and Standards, and the GEF’s “types of risks and potential impacts”: Climate Change and Disaster; Disadvantaged or Vulnerable Individuals or Groups; Disability Inclusion; Adverse Gender-Related impact, including Gender-based Violence and Sexual Exploitation; Biodiversity Conservation and the Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources; Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement; Indigenous Peoples; Cultural Heritage; Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention; Labor and Working Conditions; Community Health, Safety and Security.


Competencies

A team of two independent consultants will conduct the MTR - one team leader (International Consultant, with experience and exposure to projects and evaluations in other regions globally) and one team expert (National Consultant, usually from the country of the project). 

This procurement announcement is made for the purpose of collecting offers from those bidders that are intending to become Team leader (International Consultant) on the MTR assignment.  

The bidders cannot have participated in the project preparation, formulation, and/or implementation (including the writing of the Project Document) and should not have a conflict of interest with project’s related activities. 

The selection of the Team leader/International Consultant will be aimed at maximizing the overall “team” qualities in the following areas:

Education

  • A Master’s degree in Energy, Environment, Sustainable Development, Energy-efficiency, or other closely related field

Experience

  • Recent experience with result-based management evaluation methodologies;
  • Experience applying SMART targets and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios;
  • Competence in adaptive management, as applied to Climate change;
  • Experience in evaluating projects;
  • Experience working in CIS countries;
  • Experience in relevant technical areas for at least 10 years;
  • Demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender and Climate change; experience in gender sensitive evaluation and analysis;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Demonstrable analytical skills;
  • Project evaluation/review experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset.

Language

  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Knowledge of Russian is an asset.

 

Education

  • A Master’s degree in Energy, Environment, Sustainable Development, Energy-efficiency, or other closely related field

 

K.    Ethics

The MTR team will be held to the highest ethical standards and is required to sign a code of conduct upon acceptance of the assignment. This MTR will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. The MTR team must safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, interviewees and stakeholders through measures to ensure compliance with legal and other relevant codes governing collection of data and reporting on data. The MTR team must also ensure security of collected information before and after the MTR and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of sources of information where that is expected. The information, knowledge and data gathered in the MTR process must also be solely used for the MTR and not for other uses without the express authorization of UNDP and partners.


Required Skills and Experience

Schedule of Payments

  • 20% payment upon satisfactory delivery of the final MTR Inception Report and approval by the Commissioning Unit
  • 40% payment upon satisfactory delivery of the draft MTR report to the Commissioning Unit
  • 40% payment upon satisfactory delivery of the final MTR report and approval by the Commissioning Unit and RTA (via signatures on the TE Report Clearance Form) and delivery of completed TE Audit Trail

Criteria for issuing the final payment of 40%

  • The final MTR report includes all requirements outlined in the MTR TOR and is in accordance with the MTR guidance.
  • The final MTR report is clearly written, logically organized, and is specific for this project (i.e. text has not been cut & pasted from other MTR reports).
  • The Audit Trail includes responses to and justification for each comment listed.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

(Adjust this section if a vetted roster will be used)

 

M.    Recommended Presentation of Offer

 

  1. Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template[1] provided by UNDP;
  2. CV and a Personal History Form (P11 form[2]);
  3. Brief description of approach to work/technical proposal of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a proposed methodology on how they will approach and complete the assignment; (max 1 page)
  4. Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price and all other travel related costs (such as flight ticket, per diem, etc), supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template attached to the Letter of Confirmation of Interest template.  If an applicant 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 applicant must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. 

 

All application materials should be submitted electronically at the email registry.tm@undp  indicating the following reference “Consultant for “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza” project Midterm Review”. Incomplete applications will be excluded from further consideration.

 

N.    Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

 

Only those applications which are responsive and compliant will be evaluated.  Offers will be evaluated according to the Combined Scoring method – where the educational background and experience on similar assignments will be weighted at 70% and the price proposal will weigh as 30% of the total scoring.  The applicant receiving the Highest Combined Score that has also accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.

 

O.    Annexes to the MTR ToR

 

Share ToR Annexes directly with short-listed candidates. Include Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects and other existing literature or documents that will help candidates gain a better understanding of the project situation and the work required.

 

Annexes include: (reference ToR Annexes in Annex 3 of Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects)

  • List of documents to be reviewed by the MTR Team
  • Guidelines on Contents for the Midterm Review Report
  • Midterm Review Evaluative Matrix Template
  • UNEG Code of Conduct for Evaluators/Midterm Review Consultants
  • MTR Required Ratings Table and Ratings Scales
  • MTR Report Clearance Form
  • Audit Trail Template
  • Progress Towards Results Matrix)
  • GEF Co-Financing Template (in Word)

 

 

 

Annexes to Midterm Review Terms of Reference

For Standard Template 2

 

  • ToR ANNEX A: List of Documents to be reviewed by the MTR Team
  • ToR ANNEX B: Guidelines on Contents for the Midterm Review Report[3]
  • ToR ANNEX C: Midterm Review Evaluative Matrix Template
  • ToR ANNEX D: UNEG Code of Conduct for Evaluators/Midterm Review Consultants[4]
  • ToR ANNEX E: MTR Ratings and Achievements Summary Table and Rating Scales
  • ToR ANNEX F: MTR Report Clearance Form
  • ToR ANNEX G: Audit Trail Template
  • ToR ANNEX H: Progress Towards Results Matrix
  • ToR ANNEX I: GEF Co-Financing Template (provided as a separate file)

ToR ANNEX A: List of Documents to be reviewed by the MTR Team

(The Commissioning Unit is responsible for compiling these documents prior to the recruitment of the MTR team so that they are available to the team immediately after contract signature.)

  1. PIF
  2. UNDP Initiation Plan
  3. UNDP Project Document
  4. UNDP Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP)
  5. Project Inception Report
  6. All Project Implementation Reports (PIR’s)
  7. Quarterly progress reports and work plans of the various implementation task teams
  8. Audit reports
  9. Finalized GEF focal area Tracking Tools/Core Indicators at CEO endorsement and midterm (fill in specific TTs for this project’s focal area)
  10. Oversight mission reports 
  11. All monitoring reports prepared by the project
  12. Financial and Administration guidelines used by Project Team

 

The following documents will also be available:

  1. Project operational guidelines, manuals and systems
  2. UNDP country/countries programme document(s)
  3. Minutes of the "Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza" Board Meetings and other meetings (i.e. Project Appraisal Committee meetings)
  4. Project site location maps
  5. Any additional documents, as relevant.

 

 

ToR ANNEX B: Guidelines on Contents for the Midterm Review Report[5]

i.

Basic Report Information (for opening page or title page)

  • Title of  UNDP supported GEF financed project
  • UNDP PIMS# and GEF project ID# 
  • MTR time frame and date of MTR report
  • Region and countries included in the project
  • GEF Operational Focal Area/Strategic Program
  • Executing Agency/Implementing Partner and other project partners
  • MTR team members
  • Acknowledgements

 

ii.

Table of Contents

 

iii.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

 

1.

Executive Summary (3-5 pages)

  • Project Information Table
  • Project Description (brief)
  • Project Progress Summary (between 200-500 words)
  • MTR Ratings & Achievement Summary Table
  • Concise summary of conclusions
  • Recommendation Summary Table

 

2.

Introduction (2-3 pages)

  • Purpose of the MTR and objectives
  • Scope & Methodology: principles of design and execution of the MTR, MTR approach and data collection methods, limitations to the MTR
  • Structure of the MTR report

 

3.

Project Description and Background Context (3-5 pages)

  • Development context: environmental, socio-economic, institutional, and policy factors relevant to the project objective and scope
  • Problems that the project sought to address: threats and barriers targeted
  • Project Description and Strategy: objective, outcomes and expected results, description of field sites (if any)
  • Project Implementation Arrangements: short description of the Project Board, key implementing partner arrangements, etc.
  • Project timing and milestones
  • Main stakeholders: summary list

 

4.

Findings (12-14 pages)

 

 

4.1

 

 

Project Strategy

  • Project Design
  • Results Framework/Logframe

 

4.2

Progress Towards Results

  • Progress towards outcomes analysis
  • Remaining barriers to achieving the project objective

 

4.3

Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

  • Management Arrangements
  • Work planning
  • Finance and co-finance
  • Project-level monitoring and evaluation systems
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Social and Environmental Standards (Safeguards)
  • Reporting
  • Communications & Knowledge Management

 

4.4

Sustainability

  • Financial risks to sustainability
  • Socio-economic to sustainability
  • Institutional framework and governance risks to sustainability
  • Environmental risks to sustainability

5.

Conclusions and Recommendations (4-6 pages)

 

 

  5.1 

 

 

Conclusions

  • Comprehensive and balanced statements (that are evidence-based and connected to the MTR’s findings) which highlight the strengths, weaknesses and results of the project

 

  5.2

Recommendations

  • Corrective actions for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project
  • Actions to follow up or reinforce initial benefits from the project
  • Proposals for future directions underlining main objectives

 

6.

Annexes

  • MTR ToR (excluding ToR annexes)
  • MTR evaluative matrix (evaluation criteria with key questions, indicators, sources of data, and methodology)
  • Example Questionnaire or Interview Guide used for data collection
  • Ratings Scales
  • MTR mission itinerary
  • List of persons interviewed
  • List of documents reviewed
  • Co-financing table (if not previously included in the body of the report)
  • Signed UNEG Code of Conduct form
  • Signed MTR final report clearance form
  • Annexed in a separate file: Audit trail from received comments on draft MTR report
  • Annexed in a separate file: Relevant midterm tracking tools (METT, FSC, Capacity scorecard, etc.) or Core Indicators
  • Annexed in a separate file: GEF Co-financing template (categorizing co-financing amounts by source as ‘investment mobilized’ or ‘recurrent expenditure’)

 

     

ToR ANNEX C: Midterm Review Evaluative Matrix Template

(Draft questions to be filled out by the Commissioning Unit with support from the Project Team)

 

This Midterm Review Evaluative Matrix must be fully completed/amended by the consultant and included in the MTR inception report and as an Annex to the MTR report.

 

Evaluative Questions

Indicators

Sources

Methodology

Project Strategy: To what extent is the project strategy relevant to country priorities, country ownership, and the best route towards expected results?

(include evaluative question(s))

(i.e. relationships established, level of coherence between project design and implementation approach, specific activities conducted, quality of risk mitigation strategies, etc.)

(i.e. project documents, national policies or strategies, websites, project staff, project partners, data collected throughout the MTR mission, etc.)

(i.e. document analysis, data analysis, interviews with project staff, interviews with stakeholders, etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progress Towards Results: To what extent have the expected outcomes and objectives of the project been achieved thus far?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Implementation and Adaptive Management: Has the project been implemented efficiently, cost-effectively, and been able to adapt to any changing conditions thus far? To what extent are project-level monitoring and evaluation systems, reporting, and project communications supporting the project’s implementation? To what extent has progress been made in the implementation of social and environmental management measures?  Have there been changes to the overall project risk rating and/or the identified types of risks as outlined at the CEO Endorsement stage? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainability: To what extent are there financial, institutional, socio-economic, and/or environmental risks to sustaining long-term project results?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ToR ANNEX D: UNEG Code of Conduct for Evaluators/Midterm Review Consultants[6]

 

 

Evaluators/Consultants:

  1. Must present information that is complete and fair in its assessment of strengths and weaknesses so that decisions or actions taken are well founded.
  2. Must disclose the full set of evaluation findings along with information on their limitations and have this accessible to all affected by the evaluation with expressed legal rights to receive results.
  3. Should protect the anonymity and confidentiality of individual informants. They should provide maximum notice, minimize demands on time, and respect people’s right not to engage. Evaluators must respect people’s right to provide information in confidence, and must ensure that sensitive information cannot be traced to its source. Evaluators are not expected to evaluate individuals, and must balance an evaluation of management functions with this general principle.
  4. Sometimes uncover evidence of wrongdoing while conducting evaluations. Such cases must be reported discreetly to the appropriate investigative body. Evaluators should consult with other relevant oversight entities when there is any doubt about if and how issues should be reported.
  5. Should be sensitive to beliefs, manners and customs and act with integrity and honesty in their relations with all stakeholders. In line with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, evaluators must be sensitive to and address issues of discrimination and gender equality. They should avoid offending the dignity and self-respect of those persons with whom they come in contact in the course of the evaluation. Knowing that evaluation might negatively affect the interests of some stakeholders, evaluators should conduct the evaluation and communicate its purpose and results in a way that clearly respects the stakeholders’ dignity and self-worth.
  6. Are responsible for their performance and their product(s). They are responsible for the clear, accurate and fair written and/or oral presentation of study limitations, findings and recommendations.
  7. Should reflect sound accounting procedures and be prudent in using the resources of the evaluation.
  8. Must ensure that independence of judgement is maintained and that evaluation findings and recommendations are independently presented.
  9. Must confirm that they have not been involved in designing, executing or advising on the project being evaluated.

 

MTR Consultant Agreement Form

 

Agreement to abide by the Code of Conduct for Evaluation in the UN System:

 

Name of Consultant: __________________________________________________________________

 

Name of Consultancy Organization (where relevant): __________________________________________

 

I confirm that I have received and understood and will abide by the United Nations Code of Conduct for Evaluation.

 

Signed at _____________________________________  (Place)     on ____________________________    (Date)

 

Signature: ___________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ToR ANNEX E: MTR Ratings & Achievement Summary Table + Rating Scales

 

MTR Ratings & Achievement Summary Table for (Project Title)

Measure

MTR Rating

Achievement Description

Project Strategy

N/A

 

Progress Towards Results

Objective Achievement Rating: (rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Outcome 1 Achievement Rating: (rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Outcome 2 Achievement Rating: (rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Outcome 3 Achievement Rating: (rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Etc.

 

Project Implementation & Adaptive Management

(rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Sustainability

(rate 4 pt. scale)

 

 

 

Ratings for Progress Towards Results: (one rating for each outcome and for the objective)

6

Highly Satisfactory (HS)

The objective/outcome is expected to achieve or exceed all its end-of-project targets, without major shortcomings. The progress towards the objective/outcome can be presented as “good practice”.

5

Satisfactory (S)

The objective/outcome is expected to achieve most of its end-of-project targets, with only minor shortcomings.

4

Moderately Satisfactory (MS)

The objective/outcome is expected to achieve most of its end-of-project targets but with significant shortcomings.

3

Moderately Unsatisfactory (HU)

The objective/outcome is expected to achieve its end-of-project targets with major shortcomings.

2

Unsatisfactory (U)

The objective/outcome is expected not to achieve most of its end-of-project targets.

1

Highly Unsatisfactory (HU)

The objective/outcome has failed to achieve its midterm targets, and is not expected to achieve any of its end-of-project targets.

 

Ratings for Project Implementation & Adaptive Management: (one overall rating)

6

Highly Satisfactory (HS)

Implementation of all seven components – management arrangements, work planning, finance and co-finance, project-level monitoring and evaluation systems, stakeholder engagement, reporting, and communications – is leading to efficient and effective project implementation and adaptive management. The project can be presented as “good practice”.

5

Satisfactory (S)

Implementation of most of the seven components is leading to efficient and effective project implementation and adaptive management except for only few that are subject to remedial action.

4

Moderately Satisfactory (MS)

Implementation of some of the seven components is leading to efficient and effective project implementation and adaptive management, with some components requiring remedial action.

3

Moderately Unsatisfactory (MU)

Implementation of some of the seven components is not leading to efficient and effective project implementation and adaptive, with most components requiring remedial action.

2

Unsatisfactory (U)

Implementation of most of the seven components is not leading to efficient and effective project implementation and adaptive management.

1

Highly Unsatisfactory (HU)

Implementation of none of the seven components is leading to efficient and effective project implementation and adaptive management.

 

Ratings for Sustainability: (one overall rating)

4

Likely (L)

Negligible risks to sustainability, with key outcomes on track to be achieved by the project’s closure and expected to continue into the foreseeable future

3

Moderately Likely (ML)

Moderate risks, but expectations that at least some outcomes will be sustained due to the progress towards results on outcomes at the Midterm Review

2

Moderately Unlikely (MU)

Significant risk that key outcomes will not carry on after project closure, although some outputs and activities should carry on

1

Unlikely (U)

Severe risks that project outcomes as well as key outputs will not be sustained

 

 

 

ToR ANNEX F: MTR Report Clearance Form

 

Midterm Review Report Reviewed and Cleared By:

 

Commissioning Unit (M&E Focal Point)

 

Name: _____________________________________________

 

Signature: __________________________________________     Date: _______________________________

 

Regional Technical Advisor (Nature, Climate and Energy)

 

Name: _____________________________________________

 

Signature: __________________________________________     Date: _______________________________

(to be completed and signed by the Commissioning Unit and RTA and included in the final document)

 

 

 

ToR ANNEX G: Audit Trail Template

 

Note:  The following is a template for the MTR Team to show how the received comments on the draft MTR report have (or have not) been incorporated into the final MTR report. This audit trail should be included as an annex in the final MTR report.

 

 

To the comments received on (date) from the Midterm Review of "Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza" (UNDP Project ID-PIMS #)

 

The following comments were provided in track changes to the draft Midterm Review report; they are referenced by institution (“Author” column) and not by the person’s name, and track change comment number (“#” column):

 

Author

#

Para No./ comment location

Comment/Feedback on the draft MTR report

MTR team

response and actions taken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ToR ANNEX H: Progress Towards Results Matrix

Table. Progress Towards Results Matrix (Achievement of outcomes against End-of-project Targets)

Project Strategy

Indicator[7]

Baseline Level[8]

Level in 1st PIR (self- reported)

Midterm Target[9]

End-of-project Target

Midterm Level & Assessment[10]

Achievement Rating[11]

Justification for Rating

Objective:

 

Indicator (if applicable):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outcome 1:

Indicator 1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indicator 2:

 

 

 

 

 

Outcome 2:

Indicator 3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indicator 4:

 

 

 

 

 

Etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indicator Assessment Key

Green= Achieved

Yellow= On target to be achieved

Red= Not on target to be achieved

 

 

 

ToR ANNEX I: GEF Co-Financing Template (provided as a separate file)

 

 

 

[1] https://intranet.undp.org/unit/bom/pso/Support%20documents%20on%20IC%20Guidelines/Template%20for%20Confirmation%20of%20Interest%20and%20Submission%20of%20Financial%20Proposal.docx

[2] http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/Careers/P11_Personal_history_form.doc

[3] The Report length should not exceed 40 pages in total (not including annexes).

[4] http://www.unevaluation.org/document/detail/100

[5] The Report length should not exceed 40 pages in total (not including annexes).

[6] http://www.unevaluation.org/document/detail/100

[7] Populate with data from the Logframe and scorecards

[8] Populate with data from the Project Document

[9] If available

[10] Colour code this column only

[11] Use the 6 point Progress Towards Results Rating Scale: HS, S, MS, MU, U, HU



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