Consultant to Undertake Final Evaluation of the UN Women East and Southern Africa Regional Office Strategic Note (2018 – 2021)

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Homebased
Application Deadline :22-Apr-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Expected Duration of Assignment :30 working days

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.


UN Women’s East and Southern Africa Regional Office’s Strategic Note 2018-2021 (SN) articulates the entity’s strategic direction, objectives and approaches to support efforts to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, including women’s full enjoyment of their human rights. It outlines how UN-Women will leverage its normative support functions, UN system coordination and operational activities, as mandated by its founding resolution, in an integrated and mutually reinforcing manner in support of transformative results. The SN also contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as well as Regional level commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment such as the AU 2063 Agenda, and it captures UN Women’s key contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its Integrated Results and Resources Framework (IRRF). The SN was approved by the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women in 2017.

Since the first year of the SN (2018) UN Women has been engaged in ongoing reforms, especially the repositioning of the UN development system (UNDS) and other reforms which provided an opportunity for UN Women to engage with a view to further strengthening system-wide accountability and action for gender equality. It requires UN Women to adjust to fully deliver on its mandate in this repositioned UNDS. These ongoing changes also considered lessons learned for UN Women after 10 years of operation, and drawing on recommendations from recent evaluations, audits and external assessments, including the 2018 Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) assessment. In particular, the MOPAN assessment identified key strengths as well as some areas for improvement and/or risks, such as limited staffing and resources capacity at country level, unclear criteria for country presence, variability with implementation of the UN coordination role at country level, and a lack of clear criteria for resource allocation to strategic priorities. Programmatic focus as well as better delivery through partnerships, including with UN system, are also areas that require attention.

Under UN Women’s policies and procedures in relation to programme management, a final evaluation is mandatory in the final year of the Strategic Note. The final evaluation provides an opportunity to take stock from a perspective of accountability and learning. Most importantly it will provide recommendations for the development and strategy of the next Regional Office’s Strategic Note 2022-2025.

Purpose and Use of the Evaluation:

The evaluation will assess the UN Women ESARO’s strategic positioning and the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of the portfolio with reference to the Strategic Note cycle of 2018-2021.

In particular, the evaluation will:

  • Interrogate the SN’s Theory of Change;
  • Assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of UN Women thematic areas, regional interventions and programmes, and the integrated mandate;
  • Assess the level of synergy and multiplying effect between the various thematic areas and the integrated mandate, including leveraging opportunities with regional partners;
  • Assess the effectiveness of RO functions and services including oversight mechanisms;
  • analyze the level of organizational effectiveness and efficiency results including risk mitigation measures, resources stewardship, organizational structure, and results-based management;
  • Assess and understand unexpected results, both positive and negative during the SN implementation;
  • Identify and validate lessons learned, good practices and examples of innovation that support gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Provide actionable recommendations to feed into the forthcoming Strategic Note.

The evaluation will follow a transparent and participatory process. To achieve this the evaluation methodology will involve all relevant UNW staff in the RO and COs as well as partners at regional and national levels. The evaluation will follow gender and human rights principles as defined in the UNW Evaluation Policy and the UNW Evaluation Handbook. It will adhere to UN Evaluation Group (UNEG) Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN System. The evaluation will be quality rated based on the UN Women GERAAS evaluation report quality checklist and the UNEG Technical Note on the SWAP Evaluation Performance Indicator.

In line with UNEG Norms and Standards a management response will be prepared for this evaluation to enhance the use of evaluation findings and follow-up to the evaluation recommendations. The management response will identify who is responsible, what are the action points and deadlines. The evaluation including the management response will be published on the UN Women GATE website.

The primary users of this evaluation are:

  • UN Women Regional Office, COs in ESA region, UN Women HQ;
  • Donors and development partners.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of the Evaluation:

This evaluation will use the current Strategic Note covering the period 2018 – 2021 as basis for the assessment. The Strategic Note includes a Development Results Framework (DRF) and an Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Framework (OEEF). The OEEF includes performance indicators on coordination and strategic partnership, organizational effectiveness, communications, and financial management which the evaluation is expected to use for assessing organizational performance. The evaluation team is expected to establish the boundaries and specific focus for the evaluation during the inception stage through a participatory consultation process.

Evaluation questions:

The evaluation will apply four OECD/DAC evaluation criteria [relevance, effectiveness (including normative, and coordination mandates of UN Women), efficiency, and sustainability] and Human Rights and Gender Equality as additional criterion. The evaluation will seek to answer the following set of preliminary key questions. They will be fine-tuned during the evaluation inception stage:

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Questions


Is the RO portfolio aligned with national policies and international human rights norms?

What is UN Women’s comparative advantage in this area of work compared with other UN entities and key partners?


To what extent does the management structure support efficiency for implementation?

Does the organization have access to the necessary skills, knowledge and capacities needed to deliver to portfolio?

Has a Results Based Management system been established and implemented?

Are the interventions achieving synergies within the UN Women portfolio and the work of UN Country Teams?

Is the balance and coherence between programming- operational, coordination and policy-normative work optimal?

Has the portfolio been implemented according to human rights and development effectiveness    principles:

  1. Participation/empowerment.
  2. Inclusion/non-discrimination.
  3. National accountability/ transparency.


To what extent have planned outputs/outcomes been achieved on time?

Are interventions contributing to the expected outcomes?

What unexpected outcomes (positive and negative) have been achieved?

What are the main enabling and hindering factors behind observed outcomes?

What contribution is UN Women making to UN coordination on GEWE?

To what extent has GEWE been mainstreamed in UN joint programming such as UNSDCF?

What contribution is UN Women making to implementing global norms and standards for gender equality and women empowerment?


To what extent was capacity developed to ensure sustainability of efforts and benefits?

Is there national/regional ownership and are there champions for different parts of the portfolio?

Human Rights and Gender Equality

Is the choice of partners most relevant to the situation of women and marginalized groups?

Do interventions contribute to target the underlying causes of gender inequality?

Is the portfolio addressing the root causes of gender inequality?

To what extent is the portfolio changing the dynamics of power in relationships between different groups?      


Are the key interventions compatible with other interventions in the region?

Is there any potential duplication of efforts in this area?

The evaluation is expected to take a human rights and gender-responsive approach and the preliminary findings obtained from this process will be validated through a stakeholder workshop towards the end of the primary data collection stage.

Evaluation methodology:

The evaluator is expected to undertake a rapid evaluability assessment in the inception stage. This should include the following:

  • An assessment of the relevance, appropriateness, and coherence of the implicit or explicit theory of change
  • An assessment of the quality of performance indicators in the DRF and OEEF, and the accessibility and adequacy of relevant documents and secondary data
  • A review of the conduciveness of the context for the evaluation
  • Ensuring familiarity with accountability and management structures for the evaluation

The evaluation will use a theory-based design and assess performance and results based on the theory of change stated in the Strategic Note. The evaluation will undertake a desk-based portfolio analysis that includes a synthesis of secondary results data for the Development Results Framework and the Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Framework of the Regional Office.

The portfolio analysis will include:

  • Desk review of documentary evidence using a wide range of data sources (including documents, institutional information systems, progress and financial records etc.
  • Consultation with main stakeholders
  • An independent assessment of effectiveness using Contribution Analysis

The evaluation will identify expected and unexpected changes in target groups. It is anticipated that the evaluation will apply process tracing to identify the mechanisms of change and the probable contributions of UN Women.

The evaluation will use mixed methods and is particularly encouraged to use participatory methods to ensure that all stakeholders are consulted as part of the evaluation process. At a minimum, this should include participatory tools for consultation with different groups and a plan for inclusion of vulnerable and/or marginalized women and individuals. The evaluation team should take measures to ensure data quality, reliability and validity of data collection tools and methods and their responsiveness to gender equality and human rights.

The evaluation will sample programmes/projects and interventions that the RO has implemented during the Strategic Note. In doing so the evaluator should clearly identify the limitations of the sample (representativeness) and triangulate the data to help ensure robust results.

Stakeholder participation:  

The evaluator will detail how the evaluation ensures the participation of stakeholders during all evaluation stages, distinguishing between rights holders and duty bearers. Stakeholders may include:

  • Programme partners
  • National government institutions
  • UN Women staff and other UN agency staff
  • Civil society representatives
  • Private sector and trade unions representatives
  • Political leaders and representatives
  • Donors and development partners
  • Academia
  • Others

The evaluator is expected to validate findings through engagement with stakeholders in workshops, debriefings or through other forms of engagement.


In UN Women the evaluation phases are:

  • Stage 1: Planning
  • Stage 2: Preparation: This includes the stakeholder analysis and establishment of the reference group, evaluation management group, development of the ToR, and recruitment of the evaluator;
  • Stage 3: Conduct: Inception workshop, data collection and analysis;
  • Stage 4: Reporting: Presentation of preliminary findings, draft and final reports;
  • Stage 5: Use and follow up: Management response, dissemination of the report, and follow up of management response implementation.

This ToR covers stages 3 and 4 only for which the evaluator will be responsible while UN Women is responsible for phases 1, 2 and 5.

The following products are expected from the evaluation:


Time frame


Draft & final inception report

One week after signing the contract

Evaluator (EMG and ERG feedback)

Preliminary findings presentation

Within one week after the inception report has been cleared/approved.

Evaluator (EMG and ERG feedback)

Draft & final evaluation report

Draft- Three weeks after approval of the inception report.

Final- One week after receiving feedback on the draft.

Evaluator EMG and ERG feedback

Management Response

6 weeks after final report

RO Senior Management

The evaluation Report will follow the outline below:

  1. Evaluation object and context;
  2. Evaluation purpose, objectives and scope;
  3. Evaluation methodology;
  4. Findings;
  5. Conclusions and lessons learned;
  6. Recommendations;
  7. Annexes.

The draft and final evaluation report will be shared with the Evaluation Reference Group (ERG), and the Evaluation Management Group (EMG) for quality review. The final evaluation report will be independently assessed using quality standards outlined in the UNW Global Evaluation Reports Assessment and Analysis System (GERAAS). The final evaluation report and evaluation management responses will be publicly disclosed in the UNW GATE system. The final report will be approved by the EMG.

Management of the evaluation:

The evaluation will be a consultative, inclusive and participatory process and will ensure the participation of stakeholders and partners.

The process will be managed by an Evaluation Manager / UN Women Regional Evaluation Specialist. The Evaluation Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the evaluation and ensures that the evaluation is conducted in accordance with UN Women Evaluation Quality Standards, UNEG Ethical Guidelines and other key relevant guidance documents.

An Evaluation Management Group (EMG) comprising of UN Women senior managers will be established to oversee and support the evaluation process, make key decisions and quality assure the different deliverables. The EMG will quality assure and approve all deliverables. EMG will be responsible for coordination in the field including logistical support during field missions, if applicable.

The establishment of an Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) will facilitate the participation of key stakeholders in the evaluation process and ensure that the evaluation approach is robust and relevant to staff and stakeholders. Furthermore, it will allow identifying factual errors or errors of omission or interpretation in evaluation products. The ERG will provide input and relevant information at key stages of the evaluation: Terms of Reference, inception report, draft and final reports and dissemination of the results.


Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity;
  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism.

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:

Functional Competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to human development principles and values;
  • Knowledgeable about issues of human rights, gender, statistics and policy research in general;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Good quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills;
  • Knowledge of international normative standards on women’s rights and gender mainstreaming processes;
  • Technical competence in the thematic areas to be evaluated;
  • Knowledge of the role of UN Women and its programming, coordination and normative roles;
  • Excellent ability to communicate with stakeholders including process management and facilitation skills;

Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Social Sciences, International Development studies, Law, Human rights, Politics, Gender, Women studies or related field.


  • At least ten years of planning, programming, evaluations and/or evaluation experience, seven years of which in planning/evaluations in development programs related to human rights, gender and results-based management;
  • Knowledge and experience with the national development, policy and legislative frameworks;
  • Extensive experience with UN programming and Delivering as One;
  • Knowledge of issues concerning women’s human rights and gender equality;
  • Familiarity with East and Southern Africa region.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in written and oral English.

Ethical code of conduct:

UN Women has developed a UN Women Evaluation Consultants Agreement Form for evaluators that must be signed as part of the contracting process, which is based on the UNEG Ethical Guidelines and Code of Conduct. These documents will be annexed to the contract. The UNEG guidelines note the importance of ethical conduct for the following reasons:

  1. Responsible use of power: All those engaged in evaluation processes are responsible for upholding the proper conduct of the evaluation.
  2. Ensuring credibility: With a fair, impartial, and complete assessment, stake- holders are more likely to have faith in the results of an evaluation and to take note of the recommendations.
  3. Responsible use of resources: Ethical conduct in evaluation increases the chances of acceptance by the parties to the evaluation and therefore the likelihood that the investment in the evaluation will result in improved outcomes.

The evaluator is expected to provide a detailed plan on how ethical principles will be ensured throughout the evaluation process.

UNWOMEN 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.

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