National Independent Assessor


Location : Home-based and with travel to Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Pahang, and Johor, MALAYSIA
Application Deadline :24-Aug-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
22-Aug-2022
Duration of Initial Contract :22 August 2022 until 7 November 2022
Expected Duration of Assignment :Up to 30 working days over 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

The Project “Improving Connectivity in the Central Forest Spine Landscape” (PIMS#4594) is a US$ 10.86 million GEF-funded project initiated in 2014 that is designed to address the fragmentation of Peninsular Malaysia’s Central Forest Spine (CFS) – valued for its megadiversity of species, including the only remaining population of Malayan tigers, and supplies of water for 90% of the state’s population. Recognising that Malaysia’s rapidly growing economy and illegal trade in forest and wildlife resources are eroding the country’s natural capital and in response to forest fragmentation being identified in the 2005 National Physical Plan as a major threat to the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity, the Government of Malaysia formulated the CFS Master Plan (MP) in 2008 to restore ecological connectivity between forest fragments.

This project contributes to implementing the Master Plan by focusing specifically on conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services in three key forest landscapes, identified to be both critical for tiger conservation in the National Tiger Conservation Action Plan as well as priority linkages in the CFS Master Plan: Belum-Temenggor Forest Complex, Taman Negara Forest Complex and Endau-Rompin Forest Complex. In addition to restoring connectivity between these forest complexes, the project will strengthen the national and local institutional frameworks for CFS management and law enforcement, support sustainable forest landscape management and secure sustainability of funding for conservation through the diversification of funding sources and mainstreaming of ecosystem service values into land use planning.

The project objective is to increase federal and state level capacity to execute the CFS Master Plan through the implementation of sustainable forest landscape management plans in three pilot sites, financed sustainably through the diversification and increased allocation of funds for conservation. It is designed to remove the barriers to the establishment of a landscape approach to biodiversity management. The project comprises of three components:

Component 1. Planning, compliance monitoring and enforcement framework for integrated forest landscape management;

Component 2. Sustainable forest landscape management of three priority forest landscapes within the CFS; and

Component 3. Diversification of financing sources for conservation.

See the signed project document at

https://www.my.undp.org/content/dam/malaysia/docs/Central%20Forest%20Spine%20Final%20Pro%20Doc.pdf

 

Table 1 shows the project basic information for the “Improving Connectivity in the Central Forest Spine Landscape” Project.

 

Project Title

Improving Connectivity in the Central Forest Spine Landscape (PIMS#4594)

ATLAS/Project ID

00077143

Country, Region

Malaysia, Asia Pacific

Date Project Document Signed

18 March 2014

Project date

Start

Planned end date

 

18 March 2014

31 December 2022 (pending conditional approval up to 31 December 2023 to be informed by the independent assessment)

Project budget

$10.86 million

Funding source

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Implementing partner

Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia

 

The project started on 18 March 2014 and is currently in its seventh year of implementation. Due to a mix of implementation challenges including capacity issues, federal-state relations on forest protection, as well as various phases of COVID-19 movement restrictions imposed since early 2020. Under the conditional approval received from UNDP-GEF on 13 May 2020, the project may be extended until 31 December 2022 if the project achieves six milestones by end of 2021, and a final twelve-month extension until 31 December 2023, subjected to the project meeting the key milestones by July 2022.

 

The project completed its Midterm Review (MTR) in December 2021. The MTR concluded that the project only achieved one and a half out of the six milestones required under the conditional approval for project extension. In summary, the project failed to achieve the six milestones to qualify for another 12-month extension in 2022. In spite of not meeting all the necessary project milestones for an extension, the MTR team believes there is strategic value to continuing the project and recommends allowing it to accelerate efforts on activities which will spill over to 2022 and consolidate results on the core work into 2022. However, there should be no expectation on any subsequent extension and the project must deliver hard results. If tangible results towards the objectives are not realized by July 2022, the project should take steps to be operationally closed. The MTR report can be referred at https://erc.undp.org/evaluation/evaluations/detail/12735, where new milestones targets in July and December 2022 respectively were recommended. This new set of project milestones were reviewed, agreed and endorsed by the Project Steering Committee on 22 December 2021.

 

UNDP Country Office in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam is looking for a National Independent Assessor to assess the progress of the project milestones in an independent and impartial capacity, and report the status of its achievement including gaps, lessons learned and best practices to UNDP. This status report will inform the decision-making process to determine the project future, in terms of extension in 2023 or closure in 2022. The National Independent Assessor will work closely with the International Independent Lead Assessor.

 


Duties and Responsibilities

The scope of work is as follows:

 

  • Develop, in collaboration with the International Independent Lead Assessor, a detailed work plan including work distribution between both assessors.
  • Conduct an assessment inception meeting for the independent assessment with the implementing partner, Project Management Unit, IC-CFS project team and UNDP (i.e., Country Office, the Nature Climate and Energy Regional Technical Advisor (RTA) and Bangkok Regional Hub Desk Officer).
  • Assess the progress of the project milestones to be achieved by end of July 2022 (see Table 2) through (a) review and validation of data and evidence such as project documentation, official government documents, etc. (b) interviews with key stakeholders, and (c) field mission to project sites.
  • Conduct a field mission to review and validate project achievements and progress in Gerik (Perak), Merapoh (Pahang) and Kota Tinggi (Johor), in coordination with the International Independent Lead Assessor, the IC-CFS project team and UNDP.
  • Report the status of the milestones’ achievement including gaps, lessons learned and best practices in the IC-CFS Project Milestone Assessment Report as assigned by the International Independent Lead Assessor.
  • Plan with the International Independent Lead Assessor to prepare and present the final IC-CFS Project Milestone Assessment Report in an assessment closing meeting with the implementing partner, Project Management Unit, IC-CFS project team and UNDP (i.e., Country Office, the Nature Climate and Energy Regional Technical Advisor (RTA) and Bangkok Regional Hub Desk Officer).

 

Table 2. New project milestones to be achieved by end of July 2022

Month / Year

Project Milestones

July 2022

  • 75% of the MTR recommendations taken on as part of the management response in flight with 25% completed.
  • 2022 PIR rated as MS or higher.
  • Project expenditure achieving at least 50% of approved AWP 2022 (USD 1,990,387).
  • Incorporation of monitoring tools (Biodiversity Monitoring, Carbon Stock and Ecosystem Services) into the standard training programme of FDPM and/or others.
  • 5 forestry/ state park/ national park officers from each of the targeted states empowered under the Wildlife Act and trained.
  • Integrated SMART patrolling initiative institutionalized within the FDPM and piloted in three States.
  • Issuance of official letter for data sharing between agencies under KeTSA (FDPM, DWNP, FRIM).
  • Management plan for Johor (Panti - Ulu Sedili) ecological corridor piloted and a governance mandate agreed for its monitoring.
  • CFS sustainable finance plan for one state drafted and commitment from State on piloting one financial mechanism therein.

 

The key deliverables are:

  • Detailed work plan by 25 August 2022
  • Preliminary findings report in PPT form, based on the field mission to Kuala Lumpur and selected project sites in the States of Perak, Pahang and Johor in Peninsular Malaysia on 29 August – 9 September 2022 (tentative dates, TBC)
  • IC-CFS Project Milestone Assessment Report – Status as of July 2022 by 1 October 2022

 

Institutional Arrangement

National Independent Assessor will report to the Head, Sustainable and Resilient Development in UNDP in Malaysia, and the Regional Technical Adviser for Ecosystems and Biodiversity in UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub.

 

  • The Assessor will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The Assessor will be responsible for providing her/his own working station (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, photo camera, etc.) and must have access to a reliable internet connection;
  • The Assessor is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability during the period.

 

DURATION of the work

 

The assignment will require up to 30 working days starting from 22 August 2022 until 7 November 2022.

 

DUTY STATION

Home-based

 

Travel:

  • Estimated duration of 15 days (including travel time to the project sites);
  • Any necessary mission travel must be approved in advance and in writing by the Supervisor of the corresponding CO;
  • The BSAFE course must be completed before the commencement of travel;
  • Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations including RTK/PCR tests when traveling to Malaysia, as designated by the UN Medical Director;
  • Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under https://dss.un.org/dssweb/
  • The Assessor will be responsible for making his/her mission travel arrangements in line with UNDP travel policies;
  • All envisaged travel costs for estimated duration of 15 days must be included in the financial proposal. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the Specialist 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 the Assessor, prior to travel and will be reimbursed based on provision of supporting documentation.

 

SCHEDULE of payment

 

Payment to be made based on completed deliverables against the TOR, which will be assessed and verified by UNDP Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

 

No.

Milestone

Duration

Tentative Dates

Fee Disbursement (%)

Review and Approvals Required

1

Upon satisfactory acceptance of detailed work plan

2

25 August 2022

20%

UNDP Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam

2

Upon satisfactory acceptance of First draft of the IC-CFS Project Milestone Assessment Report – Status as of July 2022

18

9 September 2022

50%

UNDP Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam

3

Upon satisfactory acceptance of Final IC-CFS Project Milestone Assessment Report – Status as of July 2022

10

1 October 2022

30%

UNDP Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam

 

Total

30 days

 

100%

 

 


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism;
  • Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment; and
  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards.

 

Functional competencies:

  • Extensive knowledge and demonstrable experience in biodiversity, sustainable forest landscape management, wildlife management and/or natural resource management;
  • Working knowledge of indigenous communities in Malaysia, including land and natural resource use rights;
  • Demonstrable experience of UNDP, GEF or other donor-funded project evaluations;
  • Proven ability to be flexible in a team-oriented approach with diverse groups of people;
  • Capable of working in a high-pressure environment to fixed deadlines;
  • Exercises the highest level of responsibility and be able to handle confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner;
  • Able to respond positively to constructive feedback on draft deliverables;
  • Excellent communication and writing skills; and
  • Excellent planning, organizational, multi-task and time management skills.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

Master’s degree or higher in project management, conservation biology, ecology, environmental science, conservation finance, environmental/natural resource economics, environmental planning/management, wildlife management and other related fields (5 points).

Experience:

  • Relevant experience with result-based management evaluation methodologies for at least 5 years (30 points);
  • Experience applying SMART targets, and monitoring and evaluation of programme or project (20 points);
  • Experience with adaptive management (15 points);
  • Experience working in Malaysia, South-East Asian or Asia-Pacific region (10 points);
  • Work experience in sustainable landscape management, wildlife conservation and/or conservation finance for at least 5 years (20 points)

 

Language Requirement:

Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and fluency in Malay.

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS

Interested individual applicants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

  1. Document 1: Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability 
  2. Document 2: Technical Proposal: on how your qualifications, experience and list of track records can lead to successful deliverables of this assignment within the required timeframe, and provide a methodology and approach on how you will approach and conduct the assignments;
  3. Document 3: Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per the payment breakdown above.  If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution and expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under the Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. The consultant should also indicate any travel and related costs, e.g., meetings, etc.
  4. Document 4: 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 
  5. Please submit this information in one file as Documents 1, 2, 3, and 4. The system will only accept ONE (1) attachment, please merge all documents and submit them as one file.
  6. Applicants must reply to the mandatory questions asked by the system when submitting the application.
  7. Candidates who fail to submit all the information requested above will be disqualified.


How to Apply:

  • Kindly download the Letter of Confirmation of interest and availability, Financial Proposal Template, and General Terms & Conditions mentioned above at https://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_notice.cfm?notice_id=94157 
  • Read and agree to the General Terms & Conditions.
  • Click the ‘apply’ icon and complete what is required;
  • Scan all documents into 1 (One) pdf folder and then upload;
  • For clarification questions, please email procurement.my@undp.org. The clarification question deadline is three (3) days before the closing. When emailing for clarification questions, please put "MyIC/2022/026" as the subject matter.

EVALUATION METHOD AND AWARD OF CONTRACT

  • Only those applications which are responsive and compliant will be shortlisted for technical evaluation;
  • Offers will be evaluated according to the Combined Scoring method – where the technical criteria will be weighted at 70% and the financial offer will be weighted at 30%;
  • The technical criteria including education, experience and written test will be based on a maximum 100 points. Only the top 3 candidates scoring 50 points or higher from the review of the education and experience will be considered for financial evaluation;
  • Financial score (max 30 points) shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal of those technically qualified;
  • The financial proposal shall specify an all-inclusive fee and including breakdown per deliverable and all costs components required to perform the deliverables identified in the TOR, including professional fee, in-country travel costs, living allowance and any other applicable cost to be incurred by the Specialist in completing the assignment.  In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal must additionally include a breakdown of this daily fee (including number of anticipated working days and all foreseeable expenses to carry out the assignment);
  • Applicant receiving the Highest Combined Score and has accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.



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