Portfolio Mid-term Review of Joint SDG Fund- Consultant

Location : Home Based
Application Deadline :15-Dec-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :Up to 60 days
Expected Duration of Assignment :Up to 60 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.


The Joint SDG Fund supports countries as they accelerate their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It operates through joint programmes (JPs) that provide the mechanism for transformative solutions implemented by governments and national stakeholders and supported by the UN Country Team led by Resident Coordinators (RCs). Strategic direction for the Fund is provided by the Strategic Advisory Group chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General as the chair of UN Sustainable Development Group. The Fund is managed by the Operational Steering Committee, comprised of representatives of 5 UN entities, and with the support from the Secretariat of the Fund. The UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) hosts the Fund and provides for the alignment with the broader UN Development System reforms. The Administrative Agent of the Fund, in charge of financial management, is the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF-O). Official documents (e.g. Terms of Reference and Operational Guidance) of the Fund and information on funding can be found on the Gateway portal.

The Fund launched its first global Call for Concept Notes in March 2019 to support integrated policy for SDG acceleration focusing on Social Protection and Leave No One Behind (LNOB), particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized – children, adolescents, people living with disabilities, minorities, and the elderly. A 114 countries applied and the top 35 proposals were selected, leading to development of 35 joint programmes (hereinafter JPs) in 39 countries with the total funding of $US 102 million over 2 years. JPs were finalized and approved in 2019 and launched in 2020. The implementation involves 600+ partners from governments, civil society, the private sector, and international organizations. All joint programmes are expected to deliver results at scale by 31 January 2022, while improving the coherence of UN Country Teams and facilitating acceleration of SDG progress. More information on JPs can be found on the Joint SDG Fund website and on the Gateway portal.

Portfolio Context

The focus of the portfolio is on integrated policies, institutions, programmes and services for social protection of the most vulnerable. The approach is based on the understanding that social protection refers to any vulnerability across the whole individual’s lifecycle. This led to a diverse portfolio, which includes focus on a large number of vulnerable populations, including children, youth, elderly and persons with disabilities. Across all these groups, the focus on women is put into the foreground and JPs also substantially mainstream human rights because they address systemic inequality.

JPs in this portfolio were launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund provided an opportunity to re-purpose 20% of the budget, which was used by 1/3 of the JPs. In addition, all JPs adapted to the new context and responded to COVID-19, in particular given that social protection of most vulnerable proved to be essential to address the immediate and system impact of the pandemic.

The implementation of all JPs is carried out by UN Country Teams, led by the Resident Coordinator. Global portfolio management focuses primarily on: developing portfolio-level policies and best practices, operational monitoring (quarterly check and 6-month progress update); risk management; and support to partnerships, strategic communication, learning and sharing of innovation practices.

There are two levels of results. At the global level, the results relevant for this portfolio are those included in the Joint SDG Fund Results Framework (as presented in its Terms of Reference). The global results are divided into programmatic (outputs and outcomes that focus on integrated policy) and performance indicators. The second level of results are programme-specific and presented in detailed results frameworks in each JP documents. The high diversity of focus of the JPs implies that the programme-specific results frameworks are too diverse to be effectively aggregated at the global, portfolio level. JPs are required to report on both: a) they provide input to the global results of the Fund, which are then aggregated, and b) they provide detailed analysis of the progress towards the results from programme-specific results frameworks. The portfolio reports on aggregate global results; provides clustered summaries of progress and showcases innovation and emergent practices. 

In 2020, JPs provided quarterly updates for Q1 and Q3, as well as a 6-month progress update. These emphasized overview of the progress on implementation, risks, and next steps. It is expected that the delivery of expected results for 2020 will be hindered by lock-down measures and the broader impact of COVID-19. However, there is a great emphasis for JPs to innovate and leverage partnerships and related initiatives. JPs are also in the process of adapting their workplans, which in most cases leads to postponing certain activities to 2021, but in several cases it facilitated accelerating the implementation in 2020 (e.g. by moving some activities from 2021 into 2020 when requested from the government).  The JP progress reporting included both implementation of expected results and the additional contributions provided through innovation, partnerships and engagement with individuals and families across vulnerable groups. In addition, more than 100 blog posts – human interest stories and expert insights – have been produced by the 35 JPs in 2020.

The major upcoming milestone for each of the JPs is the Annual Progress Report, to be submitted in January 2021. Given that the duration of the JPs is 2 years, the 2020 Annual Progress Report is a critical opportunity to collect information, data and insights into the state of play given the ambitious results expected by 2022.              

Purpose and Scope of the Portfolio Mid Term Review

The Portfolio Mid-Term Review (MTR) will not be a conventional evaluation and it will not seek to address the criteria such as programme efficiency, effectiveness, etc. The MTR is expected to provide: a) a strategic snapshot of the implementation to date across the 35 JPs,  articulated at the global, portfolio level; b) an analysis of main issues relevant for portfolio management, such as progress towards the JP results expected in 2021; c) evidence for how the Fund’s contributions to the JPs have facilitated systemic and catalytic change at the country level; and d) recommendations for portfolio management into 2021 and beyond. 
The MTR will also include the analysis of Annual Progress Reports from JPs, which will be then accompanied by supplemental data analysis (e.g. survey questionnaire) and a limited number of interviews of UNCTs. The final report will then provide content for the annual progress report of the overall Joint SDG Fund. 
This MTR is meant to streamline the engagement towards the most strategic findings. Its scope is not to undertake in-depth analysis of each JP), but rather a portfolio-level assessment. This analysis and reporting should focus on the aspects that hold relevance across tare of most relevance for the portfolio, and their contributions towards the global results of the Joint SDG Fund overall. Furthermore, the MTR will take into consideration that this portfolio is the first of the Joint SDG Fund and aims is expected to to provide lessons learned for other current and future portfolios. 
Overall, the Portfolio MTR will include: 

Contextual analysis

  • Brief review of the scope and focus of the portfolio, its role in the broader Joint SDG Fund, key information on the 35 JPs, and the specific needs and requirement of portfolio monitoring and reporting.

Strategic analysis of Annual Progress Reports of JPs

  • 35 JPs will submit Annual Progress Reports by end January 2021 in a standardized template with information on progress of implementation and results for each JPs. 
  • The Consultant will conduct a brief but strategic analysis of 35 reports focusing on the information considered most essential for the portfolio MTR. This will lead to an overview of the portfolio-wide progress, accompanied by limited number of examples of particularly successful results and innovations. The Consultant will be required to undertake brief review of results (as per JP-specific results frameworks) in order to validate the narrative sections of the reports, and to acquire relevant evidence and data. Aggregation of selected clusters of programme-specific results may be conducted only for a limited number of focus areas (upon the agreement with the Fund’s Secretariat). 
  • The reports will also provide data on the contribution of each JP to the global Fund’s results relevant for this portfolio. This data will be aggregated and analyzed by the Consultant. 

In-depth analysis of MTR survey questionnaire 

  • In addition to the Annual Progress Reports, JPs will provide data through a survey questionnaire. It requires the JPs to provide basic quantitative data on results or to respond to multiple-choice questions. Data will be validated, consolidated and analyzed by the Fund Secretariat before it is provided to the Consultant for analysis.  
  • The data from the questionnaire will build upon the analysis of Annual Progress Reports and represent the core aspect of the portfolio MTR. 

Interviews with key stakeholders

  • The Consultant will conduct interviews with stakeholders of JPs (country-level) and of the Joint SDG Fund (global). The interviews with the JP stakeholders will need to be limited in both number and scope. The Consultant will propose the most optimal approach (e.g. 2-3 interviews for each cluster of JPs).  

Quarterly check for Q1 2021

  • The information provided in the Annual Progress Report and the MTR survey will refer to implementation during 2020. However, during the course of MTR, JPs will provide an additional monitoring update –the quarterly check for Q1. This monitoring update will be brief (1-2 pages per JP) and will provide additional information for the final MTR report.  

Input to global report of the Joint SDG Fund and updated summaries of JPs

  • The findings of the MTR report be summarized and included into the global annual report of the Fund overall. They will also inform the updating the existing summaries of JPs. 

Given the scope of and the limited period for the portfolio MTR, it will be essential for the Consultant to be selective and strategic in the analysis and reporting. The Consultant will need to balance providing the “big picture” of the portfolio with the need to present evidence of results and progress of individual JPs. This will require an advanced aptitude for analyzing complex information from different sources, identifying most essential insights, and articulating multi-faceted and cross-sectoral findings in a clear and concise manner. It will also require the ability to quickly acquire optimal understanding of diverse country contexts and undertake high-quality research using both quantitative and qualitative methods. 


Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Head of Programme in the Secretariat of the Joint SDG Fund, the Consultant will support the portfolio on Integrated Policy for Social Protection and “Leave No One Behind” with the following: 
Contextual analysis to acquire proper understanding of the overall approach and identify key information on the 35 JPs, including

  • Fund’s Results Framework, the overall Fund’s ToR and other Fund’s strategic documents;
  • Original portfolio scope and focus from the description of the Call for Concept Notes in 2019;
  • 35 JP documents and portfolio statistics (e.g. on vulnerable populations);
  • Most recent update of summaries of the 35 JPs coming out of 2020 portfolio monitoring; and
  • JP blog posts (JP human interest stories and expert insights) and JP strategic documents/

Analysis of the Annual Progress Reports from the 35 JPs, containing

  • Aggregation of results vis-à-vis the Fund’s global Results Framework;
  • Overview of the progress on implementation of 35 JPs in 2020 (in a format to be proposed by the Consultant and agreed with the Head of Programme);
  • Identification and summary of best examples of JP innovation, partnerships, response to COVID-19, support to UN reforms, and key annual results;
  • Overview of anticipated next steps in JP implementation in 2021, in the context of expected final results in 2022; and
  • Identification of essential aspects of portfolio risk management based on risk analysis to be provided in JPs’ Annual Progress Report.

Portfolio Mid-Term Review Report based on:

  • Selected information from the analysis of the Annual Progress Reports (as presented above);
  • Analysis of consolidated data from the MTR survey/questionnaire;
  • Conducting selected number of interviews with the country-level stakeholders; and
  • Conducting interview with the Joint SDG Fund Secretariat and global stakeholders.

Based on the Portfolio Mid-Term Review Report and the quarterly check for Q1 in 2021 (brief monitoring update from JPs), preparation of the following

  • Content for the global annual reporting of the Joint SDG Fund, within the scope of the portfolio on Social Protection and LNOB; and
  • Updated overviews of results of the 35 JPs.

Access to necessary documents, information and data will be provided to the Consultant by the Head of Programme. Besides the final report, the Consultant will hand over other relevant data and information produced over the course of MTR. 

Expected Outputs, deliverables and Timeframe 
On the basis of the specific scope and focus of the portfolio and within the previously defined duties and responsibilities, the Consultant will produce the following outputs and deliverables: 

Inception report

  • The Consultant will produce the Inception report on the basis of desk review within maximum of 10 days. It will be a brief report of not more than 5-7 pages. It will focus on contextual analysis, initial analysis of JP Annual Progress Reports, and internal consultations. The primary objectives of the Inception Report are to: a) Demonstrate Consultant’s understanding of the broader context and specific the scope and focus of the portfolio MTR, including through identification of main issues to be address in MTR);  b) Present a detailed workplan with specific milestones; and c) Propose a structure for the final MTR Report. 

Final draft of MTR Report

  • The Consultant will produce a final draft MTR report after completing the analysis of all elements of the MTR, including the stakeholder interviews. The final draft Report will be based on the structure proposed in the Inception Report and shall be agreed upon with the Head of Programme. The Consultant will focus on the main unit of analysis (the global portfolio), while zooming in (providing evidence for successful JP results and innovations) and zooming out (identifying the overall contribution of the portfolio to the Fund overall). Finalizing this deliverable will require the Consultant to submit the final draft of the MTR report that will not require further analysis and can be finalized within a maximum of 5 days upon receiving feedback. 

Final MTR Report

  • Final MTR Report will be prepared by the Consultant after receiving feedback from the Secretariat of the Joint SDG Fund. 

Summarized information for the global Fund’s Report

  • The Consultant will prepare summarized information from the MTR report as input to the global annual report of the Joint SDG Fund.

Timeframe/ Duration of Work  

  • The consultant is expected to complete the assignment with in 60 workdays from January to May 2021. Tentative deadlines for the main deliverables are as follows
  • Inception Report: 10 working days after the start of the assignment
  • Final draft of MTR Report: 45 working days after the start of the assignment
  • Final MTR Report: 50 working days after the start of the assignment
  • Summarized information for the global Fund’s Report: 60 working days after the start of the assignment



  • Communicates clearly and effectively
  • Facilitates and encourages open communication

Ethics and Values

  • Demonstrates an appreciation of differences in values and learning from cultural diversity

Working in Teams

  • Works effectively with colleagues in achieving shared objectives
  • Creates team spirit and unity of purpose across the organization
  1. Works collaboratively with team members in sharing information openly and displaying cultural awareness and sensitivity.


  • Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships.

Results-based Management

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results.

Required Skills and Experience

Institutional Arrangements 

  • The Consultant will be home based. The Consultant will report to the Head of Programmes at the Joint SDG Fund and collaborate with the staff of the Secretariat under the overall leadership of the Head of the Secretariat. The Secretariat of the Joint SDG Fund is hosted in the Multi-Partnership Trust Fund Office, New York, USA.

Duty Station 

  • Home based 


  • Fluent in written and spoken English is required. Knowledge of French or Spanish is an additional advantage.

Required Skills and Experience 

  • An advanced university degree in international development, social sciences or related field. 
  • At least 10 years of professional experience in international development and cooperation out of which at least 7 years of professional experience in monitoring, reporting and evaluation of development projects and programmes is a must. 
  • Successful track-record on implementing a minimum of 4 reviews, assessments or evaluations of development programmes, funds, or complex projects overall, with a minimum of 1 conducted at the global or regional level
  • Knowledge of social protection, social innovation and/or social policy design is required – advanced knowledge in these fields will be considered an asset  
  • Advanced expertise in Result-Based Management (or Result-Oriented Management)
  • In-depth understanding of multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral project/programmes
  • Good knowledge of the UN development system 
  • Proven ability to analyze complex information from different sources, identify most essential insights, and articulate multi-faceted and cross-sectoral findings in concise and clear-cut manner 
  • Proven ability to quickly acquire optimal understanding of diverse country contexts and undertake high-quality research using both quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Knowledge of human rights-based and/or Leaving No One Behind approach will be an asset
  • Experience working with UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes at the field level will be an asset
  • Excellent research, drafting and reporting skills

Application Procedure 
The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file)

  • Online application with brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment and with an overview of main lessons learned from the implemented reviews, assessments or evaluations of global programmes, funds or complex projects  in the cover letter. 
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references.

Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.
Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.

  • The financial proposal should specify payments based on the delivery and outputs as described in the payment schedule below.  
  • The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract. No travel will be required. 
  • If the Offeror 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 a 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 MPTFO/UNDP.
  • The Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.

Evaluation Procedure 

  • Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below.  Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring.  When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
  • Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.

Technical Criteria Total 70% (700 points)

  • Relevant background in terms of professional experience per the TORs; (20%)
  • The required track-record in implementing programme/project/fund reviews, assessments and/or evaluations; (20%)
  • Proven ability to quickly acquire optimal understanding of diverse country contexts and undertake high-quality research using both quantitative and qualitative methods; (25%)
  • Proven ability to analyze complex information from different sources, identify most essential insights, and articulate multi-faceted and cross-sectoral findings in concise and clear-cut manner; (25%)
  • Knowledge of social protection, social innovation and/or social policy design; (10%)
  • Having reviewed applications received, MPTFO/UNDP will invite the top three/four shortlisted candidates for interview. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
  • Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (490 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.
  • Technical Criteria weight overall: 70%;
  • Financial Criteria weight overall: 30%.

Financial Evaluation: Total 30% (300 points)

  • The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:
  • p = y (µ/z), where
  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated

Contract Award 

  • Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.

Payment Schedule 

  • Payments will be made following certification by the Fund’s Secretariat of the satisfactory delivery of the outputs as per the following terms: 
  • 20% upon satisfactory delivery of an Inception Report; 
  • 50% upon delivery of a satisfactory final analysis and final draft of MTR Report
  • 30% upon delivery of satisfactory Final MTR Report and other requested documents.

Annexes (click on the hyperlink to access the documents):

Annex 1 - UNDP P-11 Form for ICs

Annex 2 - IC Contract Template

Annex 3 – IC General Terms and Conditions

Annex 4 – RLA Template



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