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International Consultant (Lead) for Mid-term Evaluation of Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme
|Location :||Dhaka (with field visits outside Dhaka), BANGLADESH|
|Application Deadline :||31-May-22 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Additional Category :||Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||International Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English|
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.
The Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme builds on the Government of Bangladesh’s efforts to introduce a citizen-centric culture of innovation in the civil service to improve public service delivery and make services more inclusive, accessible, affordable and reliable. This project is aligned with the government and a2i’s recent commendable efforts in creating digitally assisted prototype solutions to improve public services for supporting the development momentum of the country and addressing emerging development needs and challenges. This project aims to support the government in instilling those innovations and building up necessary institutional mechanisms so that efforts already made would be incentivized and scaled up to bring sustainable impact. In addition, this project intends to engage the private sector in this journey including making progress in emerging fintech platforms to foster broader partnership to attune the country with changes taking place in the contemporary world.
Culture of citizen-centric innovation institutionalized, and accountability improved to accelerate SDG achievement in Bangladesh
With a particular focus on SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and associated targets, this project has three components:
Emergence of Covid and the Realignment of Project Interventions
When the project started in January 2020, the whole world within months engulfed into the unprecedented event of Covid pandemic. Like many countries, the Government of Bangladesh imposed nationwide lock down three times. Because of the pandemic, public health was severely impacted, economies activities highly disrupted, employment opportunities depressed, some people lost their job, schools or education institutions went into prolong closure, etc. All of these have impacted lives and livelihoods and future aspirations of ordinary citizens and especially those of the poor and marginalized. Eventually, the Covid has redefined development needs and priorities of Bangladesh. In this context, a2i with the assistance of the government and other stakeholders repurposed and aliened its activities considerably and brought novelties in its digital platforms to help the country to prevent the spread of the pandemic, mitigate its adverse effects and help citizens to cope with new realities. Altogether the project has developed and implemented 33 digital assisted initiatives to prevent Covid infections and mitigate its adverse effects. It has created a number of dashboards and platforms for evidence-based decision making by the government and other stakeholders; facilitated delivery of health services to the infected people and citizens through digital means and platforms; ensured delivery of goods and services to citizens through e-commerce platform; redesigned the national hotline to receive food and daily needs requests from extremely needy people across the country during the lock down; created digital classes on Sangsad TV for primary, secondary and madrasha students; offered online courses on e-learning platform; etc.
The four-year project is going to enter into third year in January 2022. The project plans to end in December 2023 with potential extension. Therefore, the ‘‘Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme” is planning to recruit an International Consultant (Team Lead) for conducting its Mid-term evaluation and he or she will lead a team to conduct this Mid-term evaluation with National Consultant (Programmes & Operations) and National Consultant (Member/ Gender & LNOB)
Evaluation Purpose, Objectives, and Scope
As the programme is at the mid-way of its implementation, a mid-term evaluation will assess its operations since inception and their realignment in the context of Covid 19 to determine whether the programme has been running effectively, efficiently, relevantly and sustainably. The evaluation would also help the programme to get an evidence-based and consultative analytical reflection on all three components. The primary purpose of the Mid-Term Evaluation is to review the progress of the a2i programme in line with the implementation strategies mentioned in the project document and achievements to date, document lessons learned, and propose ways forward to a2i, UNDP, the Government of Bangladesh, and relevant stakeholders to help the project to streamline its strategies and implementation modalities for the rest of the project period so that the project would be able to realize its pronounced aims and objectives. The evaluation should suggest/recommend any changes, additions or omissions that will help to redesign project’s implementation strategies, targets and sustainability of the initiatives including business model development.
The specific objectives of this evaluation are to:
The evaluation will focus on six key evaluation criteria: relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, sustainability and coherence following the OECD evaluation criteria.
Scope of Evaluation/ Timing:
This mid-term evaluation covers the implementation period of the project from January 2020 (the beginning of the a2i 3rd phase) to March 2022. This mid-term evaluation shall be conducted from 10 June to 10 September 2022(Tentative).
The primary users of the evaluation results will be a2i, UNDP, Cabinet Division, ICT Division, partners and the relevant stakeholders, but the evaluation results will also be relevant to the other GoB ministries, development partners and donors.
After the evaluation, a2i and UNDP will consider the relevant findings, conclusions and recommendations, and will prepare a systematic management response against each of the recommendation and implement follow-up actions as per UNDP Evaluation Resource Center guidance/policies.
Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of Work and Timeline
The evaluation team consists of one international consultant (evaluator) and two national consultants (evaluators). An international consultant serves as a team leader. The scope of work for the international consultant will include but not limited to:
Evaluation Criteria and Key Guiding Questions
The evaluation questions define the information that must be generated as a result of the evaluation process. The answers will provide key basis to the intended users of the evaluation in making informed decisions, taking actions or disseminating knowledge. While developing and reviewing the questions, the evaluation team should consider the preset results mentioned in the ProDoc and the issues of COVID interventions. Evaluation questions include but not limited to:
Relevance: The extent to which the interventions’ objective, purpose, and outcomes are consistent with the needs and interests of the people and the country.
Effectiveness: Extent to which the outcomes of the development intervention have been achieved
Efficiency: Extent to which resources/inputs (funds, time, human resources, etc.) have been turned into results.
Sustainability: Probability of the benefits of the intervention continuing in the long term
Coherence: How well does the intervention fit?
Human rights and gender aspects will be considered well in evaluation questions as well as the evaluation process. Gender analysis, including gender-disaggregated data, need to be incorporated in the evaluation.
Gender & LNOB:
Lessons learned and way forward:
The evaluation team is expected to propose and determine a sound evaluation design and methodology (including detailed methodology to answer each evaluation Question) and submit it to UNDP in the inception report following a review of all key relevant documents and meetings with representatives of UNDP, a2i, Cabinet Division, and ICT Division. It is suggested that the evaluation should use a mixed-method approach – collecting and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data using multiple sources in order to draw valid and evidence-based findings and conclusions and practical recommendations.
The evaluation team also needs to develop an evaluation matrix (template is attached in Annex 3 of this ToR) to clarify what types of data will be required to respond to which evaluation question and how those data will be collected.
Final decisions about the specific design and methods for the evaluation will be made through consultation among UNDP, a2i, consultants, and key stakeholders about what is appropriate and feasible to meet the evaluation purpose and objectives as well as answer the evaluation questions, given limitations of budget, time and data.
The field-level data should be collected through 2 to 3 field trips covering a total of approximately 10 days. The potential locations for the field travel will include the districts across Bangladesh where different interventions under a2i projects have been implemented.
Details of field-level data collection, including locations, timelines, and the number of field visits shall be proposed by the consultants in the inception report and will be determined during the inception phase of evaluation in consultation with UNDP and relevant stakeholders. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, field-level data collection will be conducted if there is no harm to an evaluator and all stakeholders in the field.
Data collection tools, including KII and FGD checklists/semi-structured questionnaires, need to be developed and used in the field-level data collection.
Methods to be used by the evaluation team to collect and analyze the required data shall include but not limited to:
Documents review: The evaluation team will review the project document along with the RRF of the project document, TAPP, UNDP AWP, Results framework of individual initiative, Annual & Quarterly progress reports, quarterly and annual expenditure reports, ROAR report, COVID-19 ROAR Report, minutes of Project Board Meetings, a2i Website, reviewing different portals and systems, publications, public documents, various publications published in different news media, blogs and any other national and international documents that represent a2i’s achievements. Relevant documents include but not limited to:
Stakeholder Consultations (Key Informant Interviews - KIIs): The evaluation team will consult with key stakeholders, including GoB, UNDP, Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and other development partners or funding authorities currently funding or previously funded, current and previous PSC & PIC members, UNDP Management, CSO representatives, media representatives etc. Moreover, for a constructive report, the evaluation team members may discuss anybody associated with the project. Furthermore, the team may analyze other sources of data and information relevant to the project to develop a report locally structured, containing evidence-based findings, lessons learned, challenges, risks with mitigation, and recommendations.
Focus Group Discussions (FGDs): The evaluation team shall conduct FGDs with relevant stakeholders/rights holders/duty bearers from government agencies, grassroots and national level civil society organizations, indigenous peoples ‘organizations, indigenous/ethnic minorities, excluded groups and PWDs, women, children, youths and other marginalized and disadvantaged groups, beneficiaries, both at national and local levels.
Detailed methodologies note for mid-term evaluation: In the inception report, the team will develop/finalize- 1) overall mid-term evaluation study strategies, 2) detailed work plan, 3) sampling methods for FGDs/KIIs, 4) data collection methodologies & protocols, 5) data collections tools and checklists 6) data quality control methods, 7) data analysis methodologies, and 8) gender and LNOB analysis plan. All of these are subject to approval/clearance from UNDP and a2i.
Sampling Framework for FGDs/KIIs: Based on sound social research methodologies, the team will develop sampling methods. Target samples have already been selected by UNDP/a2i. However, the evaluation team needs to choose the target groups whose data will be collected using valid sampling methods. Sampling may be done separately for different groups. The sampling methods are subject to approval/clearance from UNDP and a2i.
The evaluation team shall follow a participatory and consultative approach that ensures close engagement with the evaluation stakeholders, implementing partners and male and female direct beneficiaries. The data collection process should be participatory by engaging senior government officials, implementing and donor partners, project concerns, key stakeholders, and a wide cross-section of staff along with maintaining a gender equity approach.
Evaluation team needs to triangulate data and evidence with multiple sources to address evaluation questions. The final methodological approach, including the interview schedule and data used in the evaluation, should be clearly outlined in the inception report and thoroughly discussed and agreed upon between UNDP and a2i management and the consultants.
The current situation of the COVID-19 crisis in the country needs to be considered when proposing data collection tools. In case if the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow field-level data collection, the evaluation team should develop a methodology that takes into account the conduction of the evaluation virtually and remotely, including the use of remote interview methods and extended desk reviews, data analysis, surveys and evaluation questionnaires. In such a case, the international evaluator shall not come to Bangladesh. The evaluation team is expected to present alternative means of data collection as found viable. This should be detailed in the inception report and agreed with UNDP and relevant stakeholders during the inception phase. No stakeholders, consultants or UNDP staff should be put in harm’s way and safety is the key priority. For any meeting with different stakeholders or beneficiaries where physical presence would be necessary, the team will follow the advice of COVID-19 safety protocol accredited by the WHO safety guideline which delineates necessary precautions such as physical distancing, wearing mask, cleaning hands etc.
The final methodological approach including interview schedule, field visits and data to be used in the evaluation should be clearly outlined in the inception report and fully discussed and agreed upon between UNDP, stakeholders and the consultants.
Gender and Human Rights-based Approach
As part of the requirement, the evaluation must include an assessment of the extent to which the design, implementation, and results of the project have incorporated a gender equality perspective and a rights-based approach. The evaluators are requested to review UNEG’s Guidance in Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluation during the inception phase.
In addition, the methodology used in the mid-term evaluation, including data collection and analysis methods should be human rights and gender-sensitive to the greatest extent possible, with evaluation data and findings disaggregated by sex, ethnicity, age, etc. Detailed analysis on disaggregated data will be undertaken as part of the mid-term evaluation from which findings are consolidated to make recommendations and identify lessons learned for the enhanced gender-responsive and rights-based approach of the project.
This evaluation approach and methodology should consider different types of groups in the project intervention – women, youth, minorities, and vulnerable groups. Persons with disabilities (PwD) also need to be considered in the evaluation, following the new UNDP evaluation report checklist.
Evaluation questions shall extensively cover gender and human rights aspects (in Section E. Evaluation Questions of the ToR).
The International Consultant (Lead), together with the National Consultants will be responsible for ensuring the following outputs/deliverables to UNDP Bangladesh as per the agreed work plan:
The evaluators will commence the evaluation process with a desk review and preliminary analysis of the available information provided by UNDP. Based on the ToR, after initial meetings with the UNDP, and the desk review, the evaluators should develop an inception report which will elaborate evaluation methodologies, including how each evaluation question will be answered along with proposed methods, proposed sources of data, and data collection and analysis procedures. The inception report will include the evaluation matrix using the template provided in Annex 3 and will also include a proposed timeline of activities and submission of deliverables. UNDP and a2i will review the inception report and provide comments for improvement. This report will serve as an initial point of agreement and understanding between the evaluation team and UNDP/a2i.
The evaluation report will contain the same sections as the final report and shall follow the structure outlined in Annex 3/ Evaluation Report Template and Quality Standards (Page 56-60) of Section 4/ Evaluation Implementation and Use of UNDP Evaluation Guidelines (2021). The draft report will be reviewed by the a2i Programme and concern unit of UNDP Bangladesh. The draft report will ensure that each evaluation question is answered with in-depth analysis of information and back up the arguments with credible quantitative and/or qualitative evidences.
The quality of the evaluation report will be assessed by UNDP Bangladesh Country Office and UNDP Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). Details of the IEO’s quality assessment of decentralized evaluations can be found in Section 6 (Page 9-13) of the UNDP Evaluation Guidelines. The evaluators consider it carefully while drafting the evaluation report.
The International Consultant will lead all the meetings with key stakeholders, including UNDP and a2i, to present findings, conclusions and recommendations.
The final report will incorporate comments and feedback from the stakeholders including the feedback provided during the Presentation/Debriefing meeting. All comments and an evaluator’s response to each comment need to record in Audit Trail. Other relevant documents (i.e. data collection tools, checklists questionnaires, datasets (if any)) need to be submitted as well.
Evaluation Team Composition and Required Competencies
The evaluation team consists of one international consultant (evaluator) and two national consultants (evaluators). While an international evaluator shall serve as a team leader, a national evaluator (Programmes & Operations) will take the lead role in the field-level data collection and national evaluator (Member/ Gender & LNOB) will support the overall process of the evaluation and focus on gender and LNOB aspect of the mid-term evaluation.
An international evaluator shall be responsible for managing the overall evaluation process as a team lead, including evaluation design and implementation. An international evaluator is expected to come to Bangladesh if the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled. A national evaluator (Programmes & Operations) and a national evaluator (Member/ Gender & LNOB) shall be in charge of data collection in the field, and the international evaluator shall also provide technical guidance/support to the national consultants on the field-level data collection. The national evaluators shall prepare/ finalize an evaluation report with the international evaluator and ensure the quality of the report, incorporating feedback/ inputs from all relevant stakeholders.
A detailed workplan, including the division of labors needs to be included in the inception report and will be discussed with UNDP and key stakeholders during the inception phase.
 UNEG’s Guidance in Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluation, available at http://www.uneval.org/papersandpubs/documentdetail.jsp?doc_id=980
 Evaluation Report Template and Quality Standards of UNDP Evaluation Guidelines (2021), Section 4: Evaluation Implementation and Use, available at http://web.undp.org/evaluation/guideline/index.shtml
 Quality Assessment Questions of UNDP Evaluation Guidelines (2021), Section 6: Quality Assessment, available at http://web.undp.org/evaluation/guideline/index.shtml
Development and Operational Effectiveness:
Leadership and Self-Management
Required Skills and Experience
The qualifications below are for the International Consultant:
The Consultant must have no previous involvement in the design and implementation of a2i programme. Any individual who has had prior involvement in the design and implementation of a2i programme or those who have been directly or indirectly related to the a2i programme are not eligible for this consultancy due to conflict of interests.
This evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. The consultant must safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, interviewees, and stakeholders through measures to ensure compliance with legal and other relevant codes governing the collection of data and reporting on data. The consultant must also ensure the security of collected information before and after the evaluation and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of sources of information where that is expected. The information knowledge and data gathered in the evaluation process must also be solely used for the evaluation and not for other uses with the express authorization of UNDP and partners. Signed ‘Pledge of Ethical Conduct in Evaluation of the United Nations System’ needs to be attached in the Annex of the final evaluation report. A template can be downloaded from the link below on the footnote. The evaluation team may refer to UNDP’s Dispute and wrongdoing resolution process and contact details (Annex 3 of Section 4: Evaluation Implementation and Use of UNDP Evaluation Guidelines (2021), p. 55).
Implementation Arrangement, Supervision and Performance Evaluation:
The evaluation team will independently conduct the evaluation but shall take necessary assistance from a2i and UNDP. The Deputy Resident Representative and Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, will be responsible for managing the evaluation throughout the entire process. The a2i team led by Policy Advisor and Programme Manager will provide necessary support in the evaluation's day-to-day operation. The evaluation team will also seek technical guidance from Programme Analyst at UNDP Democratic Governance cluster and M&E Analyst at UNDP Bangladesh Country Office. The final evaluation report needs to be cleared by the M&E Analyst at UNDP Bangladesh Country Office and approved by the Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, and RBM/ M&E focal point, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub.
Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments
A consultant must send a financial proposal based on a Lump Sum Amount. The total amount quoted shall be all-inclusive and include all costs components required to perform the deliverables identified in the TOR, including professional fee, travel costs, living allowance (if any work is to be done outside the IC´s duty station) and any other applicable cost to be incurred by the IC in completing the assignment. The contract price will be fixed output-based price regardless of the extension of the herein specified duration. Payments will be done upon completion of the deliverables/outputs and as per the below percentages:
The expected outputs, deliverables and payment schedule is as follows:
All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. This includes costs for field visits. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources. In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and the cost incurred will be reimbursed.
A detailed workplan needs to be included in the inception report and it will be discussed with UNDP and key stakeholders during the inception phase.
In case if the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow field-level data collection, the international evaluator shall not come to Bangladesh. Alternative data collection will be employed. It will be finalized during the inception phase.
UNDP shall provide office space (no computer) and arrange various meetings, consultations, interviews and ensure access to key officials as mentioned in the proposed methodology. UNDP will bear the cost of such meetings (i.e., refreshments).
Evaluation of the proposal proposals
Evaluation Method and Criteria
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:
The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as a) responsive/compliant/acceptable; and b) having received the highest score out of set of weighted technical criteria (70%). and financial criteria (30%). The financial score shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal received by UNDP for the assignment.
Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70 points would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.
Financial Evaluation (Total 30 marks)
All technical qualified proposals will be scored out of 30 based on the formula provided below. The maximum points (30) will be assigned to the lowest financial proposal. All other proposals received points according to the following formula:
p = y (µ/z)
 UNDP Evaluation dispute resolution process, UNDP Evaluation Guidelines (2021), Section 4: Evaluation Implementation and Use. Available at http://web.undp.org/evaluation/guideline/index.shtml
Recommended Presentation of Offer:
Interested individuals must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications.
Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP;
Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment and a methodology on how she/she will approach and complete the assignment.
Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided
Suppose an organization/company/institution employs an Offeror 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). In this case, the Offeror must indicate this at this point and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated into the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.
Note: The individual consultant who does not submit the above documents/requirements(which applicable) shall not be considered for further evaluation
Annex 1: Result Framework
Annex 2: Theory of Change: Theory of change will be shared during the kick-off meeting
The theory of change suggests that the project will contribute towards other national priorities including simplification and digitization of public services in rural areas and strengthening good governance in line with the aspirations and plans of establishing a Digital Bangladesh by 2021, SDGs by 2030 and Vision 2041 with an ‘Innovative Bangladesh’ global brand.
Annex 3: Evaluation Matrix template (sample)
 UNDP publishes its project information (indicators, baselines, targets and results) to meet the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standards. Make sure that indicators are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound), provide accurate baselines and targets underpinned by reliable evidence and data, and avoid acronyms so that external audience clearly understand the results of the project.
 It is recommended that projects use output indicators from the Strategic Plan IRRF, as relevant, in addition to project-specific results indicators. Indicators should be disaggregated by sex or for other targeted groups where relevant. Regarding training, minimum 30% female participants will be considered.
 UNDP Evaluation Guidelines (2021), Section 4: Evaluation Implementation and Use, Page 51, available at http://web.undp.org/evaluation/guideline/index.shtml