PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: RESEARCH ON THE BEHAVIORAL BARRIERS AND ENABLERS OF HOUSEHOLD SPENDING ON ENERGY-EFFICIENT AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS IN NORTH MACEDONIA


Location : Home based, Republic of North Macedonia
Application Deadline :25-May-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :Estimated 40 working days for the period from June - August 2021

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

Nature of the consultancy

Conduct a scoping study on the motivational factors among target groups that shape their spending behavior and decisions regarding the adoption of energy-efficient and renewable energy solutions.

Context

UNECE (2019) reports that annual mean concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 (Particulate Matter with a diameter of 2.5 to 10 micrometers) in the cities of North Macedonia have consistently and significantly exceeded the annual limit values in all urban monitoring sites since monitoring began. Air quality has been detrimentally impacted by household practices, energy generation and modes of transport. Electricity generation in North Macedonia is around 80% coal-fired. The household sector accounts for nearly 28% of the energy consumption. But only 18% of the households have some insulation and 25% of the population in North Macedonia are unable to keep their homes adequately warm. Only a small percentage of the population has adopted renewable energy solutions. The result is that 75% of the citizens are exposed daily to air pollution at levels shown to cause adverse health outcomes. The impacts of air pollution and access to clean energy solutions are likely to be exacerbated by underlying causes of vulnerability, especially for those already facing societal inequalities because of their gender, age, class, indigeneity and/or disability.

Transitioning to a more sustainable energy mix through an increased share of renewables in energy production (particularly solar energy) and energy-efficient retrofitting of commercial buildings and residences is a major strategic objective of the Government of North Macedonia. Accelerating the country’s transition requires a banking sector that provides affordable finance for these investments to households. However, there is limited understanding of the motivational factors that shape the household spending behavior regarding the adoption of energy-efficient and renewable energy solutions among the project target groups (i.e. female-headed households, single-parents, persons with disabilities, vulnerable communities/Roma, and employees affected by COVID-19). To tap into remittances, the project also targets remittance recipients and returning migrants with special attention to the female-headed households, single parents, persons with disabilities, and employees affected by COVID–19. A clearer understanding of the behavioral enablers and barriers that shape the spending on energy-efficient and renewable energy solutions among all the target groups (and sub-groups) will help the commercial banks, which are participating in the Green Financing Facility project, to target the underserved segments of the target group through customized information campaigns. Also, it would contribute to an improved understanding of relevant issues that will inform project design as well as climate change policy and programming in the country.

Theoretical models have been developed to explain the factors that motivate individuals and households to engage in climate and environmental action. For example, the Model of Private Proactive Adaptation to Climate Change (MPPACC) by Grothmann and Patt (2005), the expansion of the MPPACC by Dang, Li and Bruwer (2012) as well as additional variables proposed by Van Valkengoed and Steg (2019). The factors predicting people’s adaptation behavior include risk perception, self-efficacy, outcome-efficacy, perceived costs of adaptation, climate-related hazard experience, trust in government-led adaptation measures, perceived incentives to adapt, social norms, negative affect, climate change perceptions, habits, place attachment, trust in governments, knowledge of climate change and adaptation and responsibility.

In this context, a scoping study will be conducted specifically for North Macedonia. The following question will guide this scoping study: How do motivational factors shape the decision among the target groups (i.e.  female-headed households, single-parents, persons with disabilities, vulnerable communities/Roma, employees affected by COVID-19, remittance recipients and returning migrants) to spend on energy-efficient and renewable energy solutions in North Macedonia? Some motivational factors may be more important than others in shaping the spending behavior among certain segments of the target groups (based on age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc.).

This project will contribute to supporting the Government of North Macedonia’s National Plan for Clean Air as well as the Government of North Macedonia’s mitigation-related commitments to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It will contribute directly towards the SDGs 7 (7.a), 10 (10.2 and 10.7) and SDG 13 (13.2) and UNSDCF Outcome 3 (3.1).


Duties and Responsibilities

Purpose of the Consultancy

  • to better understand motivational factors that shape the household investment or spending behavior in adopting energy-efficient and renewable energy solutions among target groups in North Macedonia;
  • to suggest actions that would help overcome behavioral barriers and accentuate enablers of each target group to further improve the design of the financial product and outreach among the target groups.

Tasks to be performed under this contract:

  • Conduct a scoping study on motivational factors that shape the household investments or spending behavior in adopting energy-efficient and renewable energy solutions among target groups in North Macedonia. Also, the study will document the decision-making process behind taking a green loan for energy-efficient and renewable energy among early adopters to inform the finalization of the design of the GFF including targeting the underserved population as specified in the project. The study will cover different segments of the target groups based on characteristics such as, inter alia, age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc. This study will be based on a mixed-methods approach, which will use appropriate quantitative and qualitative research tools. The findings from the quantitative component should be statistically significant. Specific deliverables include:
  • Developing the research design (including methodology and sampling framework); research tools (e.g. the survey questionnaire and guidelines for key informant interviews and focus group discussions); report structure and work plan in coordination with the UN project team.
  • Compiling and analyzing the data collected by the national research partner.
  • Outlining the key behavioral barriers and enablers that influence household decisions on investments in energy-efficient and renewable energy solutions of the groups targeted by the project.
  • Providing actionable recommendations to the UN team regarding finalization of the design of the GFF Outcome 2 to further improve the design of the financial product and outreach among the target groups.
  • Providing, based on the insights from the research, actionable recommendation on possible/needed adjustments of the target groups as well as criteria and subsidy level to ensure: a) full loan uptake, b) that those targeted are reached and c) adequate, different level subsidies (if needed) are provided to different target groups.
  • Developing a customized communication strategy for the target groups based on the findings of the scoping study that could be used by the project partners including commercial banks to target the underserved segments of the market.
  • Develop and submit the draft and final report to the UN project team.
  • Supervise the activities of the national research partner supporting this assignment.
  • Consult with the UN project team on appropriate and agreed approaches to the specified tasks before the assumption of the tasks.
  • During the assessment and upon completion of the tasks, provide to the UN project team a final report on the consultancy assignment and its outcomes.
  • Follow UN Data Protection Principles (Annex I).
  • Follow UN Standards of Conduct (Annex II).

Tangible and measurable output of the work assignment

  • Research design (including methodology and sampling framework); research tools (e.g. the survey questionnaire and guidelines for key informant interviews and focus group discussions); report structure and work plan developed in coordination with the UN project team.
  • E-meetings are undertaken with the national research partner supporting this assignment.
  • Survey dataset and key informant interview and focus group discussion transcripts are validated and submitted to the UN project team.
  • The first and final drafts of the report are submitted and presented to the UN project team.
  • The first and final drafts of the customized communication strategy for the target groups are submitted and presented to the UN project team.

Technical and behavioral requirements

  • Correctly frames the motivational factors among the target groups in the context of climate action within the national, regional, and global contexts.
  • Plans work, anticipates risks, and sets goals within the area of responsibility.
  • Interacts with interviewees respectfully and appropriately.

EXPECTED OUTPUTS AND DELIVERABLES:

Realistic delivery dates and details as to how the work must be delivered, and performance indicators:  3 months (no later than August 2021)

  • Preparation stage: develop research design (including methodology and sampling framework); develop research tools) and meeting with the UN project team: no later than Early June 2021.
  • Fieldwork stage: Supervising the data collection by a national research partner (e.g. survey, key informant interviews and focus group discussions): no later than 25 June 2021.
  • Present the preliminary results of the study: no later than 15 July 2021
  • Delivery of validated data and the first draft of the report: 30 July 2021.
  • Delivery of the first draft of the communication strategy: 6 August 2021.
  • Delivery of the final report and communication strategy: latest by 25 August 2021.

Payment schedule

The payment will be done on lump-sum basis, upon successful completion of deliverables in instalments.

Institutional arrangment

The consultant will work under direct supervision of Sanja Bojanic, Deputy Resident Representative in UNDP North Macedonia also representing the UN Team engaged in the preparation of the SDG Fund Joint Project Document.  The consultant will be in regular communication with the above-mentioned supervisor through e-mail and will provide regular progress reports on bi-weekly basis. All communication and reports will need to be prepared in English language.

Duration of the ASSINGMENT

The duration of the Consultant’ is estimated 45 working days in the period 02 June 2021 to 25 August 2021. 

Duty station and travel

The assignment will be completed on-line including zoom conference calls for consultations, presentation of deliverables, etc. but no travel is envisaged.


Competencies

  • Strong interpersonal skills, communication and diplomatic skills, teamwork ability;
  • Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations;
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities;
  • Good time management, meeting deadlines.


Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications/Education:

  • Advanced postgraduate degree in Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Development Studies and related discipline. Having a PhD will be an advantage.

Experience:

  • Demonstrated experience for at least 7 years in researching adaptation behavior; motivations for climate action; adoption of climate technologies (e.g. clean energy, water, etc.) by individuals or households; public attitudes and acceptance towards environmental and energy issues or sustainable decisions and behaviors.    
  • Demonstrated experience of publication in peer-reviewed journals or being commissioned by the governments and/or international organizations to prepare reports on relevant topics. At least, 5 publications relevant to the assignment.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience of qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills, at least 7 years of relevant experience.
  • Experience in research in the Western Balkans, especially in North Macedonia, will be an asset.

Language skills:

  • Excellent language proficiency in both written and oral English.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF BEST OFFEr

The award of the contract shall be made to the offeror whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

a) Being responsive/compliant/acceptable, and

b) Having received the highest score based on the following weight of technical and financial criteria for solicitation as per the schedule below:

* Technical criteria weight: 70%

* Financial criteria weight: 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) in the technical evaluation shall be considered for the financial evaluation.

For the considered offers in the financial evaluation only, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points. The other offers will receive points in relation to the lowest offer, based on the following formula: (Pn / Pl) * 30 where Pn is the financial offer being evaluated and Pl is the lowest financial offer received.

Technical Criteria:

Criteria

Maximum points

70

Advanced postgraduate degree in Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Development Studies and related discipline. Having a PhD will be an advantage.

MA = 5

PhD = 10

10

  • Demonstrated experience for at least 7 years in researching adaptation behavior; motivations for climate action; adoption of climate technologies (e.g. clean energy, water, etc.) by individuals or households; public attitudes and acceptance towards environmental and energy issues or sustainable decisions and behaviors.    

7 years = 20 points

8-9 years = 23 points

more than 9 years = 25 points

25

Demonstrated experience of publication in peer-reviewed journals or being commissioned by the governments and/or international organizations to prepare reports on relevant topics. At least, 5 publications relevant to the assignment.

 

5 publications = 10 points

6-7 publications = 13 points

More than 7 publications = 15 points

15

Demonstrated experience of qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills, at least 7 years of relevant experience.

7 years of relevant experience = 12

More than 7 years of relevant experience = 15

15

Experience in research in the Western Balkans, especially in North Macedonia, will be an asset.

 

5

DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED

        Interested offerors are invited submit the following documents/information to be considered:

  1. Offeror’s letter with your name as per the following form LINK
  2. Most updated CV with focus on required qualification as well as the contact details of at least three (3) professional references;
  3. Two relevant peer-reviewed publications;
  4. Financial Proposal The financial proposal must be expressed in the form of a lumpsum all-inclusive cost, supported by breakdown of costs (including per deliverable) as per template provided in USD for this consultancy.

The financial proposal must take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; cost of travel out of duty station (if required); communications, any other expenses related to this assignment.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Step 1

1. Click on the "Apply now" button

2. Input your information in the appropriate sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume, and motivation (cover letter). You can type in or paste your short Resume into the last box.

3. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. On the next page, you will be asked to upload other required documents listed in the step 2.

Step 2

Interested individual consultants must submit the documents/information listed in the “Documents to submit section” above.

The system will allow only one attachment. Therefore, please upload all required documents as one file.

Failing to submit any of these documents may result in disqualification of the application.

Please note that shortlisted candidates might be interviewed.

If the deliverables are not produced and delivered by the consultant to the satisfaction of UNDP as approved by the responsible Portfolio Manager, no payment will be made even if the consultant has invested man/days to produce and deliver such deliverables.



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