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24 Nov 2020

Individual Consultant: Mid-Term Evaluation (National)

Job Description

Location: Juba, SOUTH SUDAN

Application Deadline: 30-Nov-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left: 7d 3h 56m

Type of Contract: Individual Contract

Post Level: National Consultant

Languages Required: English

Starting Date:(date when the selected candidate is expected to start) 01-Dec-2020

Duration of Initial Contract: 20 working days

Expected Duration of Assignment: 20 working days

Background

The Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest country in July 2011 after its hard-fought independence. In the last nine years since then, the country has been through different phases of conflict (exacerbated in December 2013 and July 2016) characterized by high levels of violence, a large humanitarian emergency, and near-collapse of its economy and social structure, creating widespread development challenges. Currently, almost 17,996 civilian and uniformed peacekeepers serve with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to protect civilians and help build durable peace in the country.

South Sudan faces humanitarian crises of unprecedented proportions. An estimated 7.5 million people (61 per cent of the total population) need humanitarian assistance, while 6.0 million (49 per cent of the population) are estimated to be food-insecure. The country has 1.7 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) within its borders and more than 2.2 million South Sudan refugees have fled to neighbouring countries. Limited availability and lack of access to health services have largely contributed to one of the highest under-five mortality rates (90.7 deaths per 1,000 live births) and maternal mortality rates (789 deaths per 100,000 live births) worldwide.

A context of policy uncertainty and stagnation has constrained simultaneously addressing humanitarian, recovery, and development needs of the county. A traditional society, with high levels of poverty, high gaps in terms of gender equality with widespread Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and vulnerability to climate shocks are key issues. South Sudan’s human development index (HDI) value for 2018 is 0.413 – positioning it as a low human development country at 186th out of 189 countries and territories, followed by Chad, the Central African Republic and Niger. South Sudan’s HDI decreased 2.8 percent from 2010 to 2018, and the country was unable to progress like other countries starting at the same level. The UN notes that “Irregular and small-scale development support which is highly reactive to conflict dynamics remains a challenge for comprehensive recovery and simultaneous development efforts.”

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Heads of State, and Government convened a High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) with the parties of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) to restore a permanent ceasefire and agree on a revised and realistic timeline for the full implementation of the ARCSS. The HLRF resulted in the signing the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (RARCSS). The agreement provides opportunities for institutional reform and the inclusion of a 35% quota for women’s participation in decision making. A new Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in South Sudan was established in February 2020. The new TGoNU faces a context in which basic democratic attributes such as fundamental rights, checks on government, impartial administration, and civil society participation has been in a declining trend for several years.

The current pandemic of COVID-19 has affected movement within the country and access to basic services. It has impacted humanitarian operations with a temporary suspension of activities and some delays in the disbursement of supplies. In-country and cross-border restrictions have placed markets under stress, adversely affecting the urban population which relied heavily on them. Severe food insecurity is forecasted during the upcoming lean season. In addition, un unprecedent desert locust threat to food security and livelihoods persists all over the region.

South Sudan is mostly rural (83 percent) and widely depopulated, due to conflict and environmental challenges. Poverty levels are expected to remain extremely high, with about 82 percent of the population in South Sudan below the $1.90 poverty line (2011 purchasing power parity). Vulnerable employment, understood as people engaged as unpaid family workers and own-account workers, accounts for more than 87 percent of the total employment in the country. Up to 95 per cent of the population depend on climate-sensitive sectors – agriculture, forestry, wildlife resources, and fisheries – for their livelihood.

South Sudan’s economy is mostly oil dependent. Oil accounts for almost the totality of exports and more than 40% of its gross domestic product (GDP). Outside the oil sector, livelihoods are concentrated in agriculture with low levels of income and productivity and pastoralist work. The country’s GDP per capita fell from $1,111 in 2014 to less than $200 in 2017. Persistent macroeconomic deterioration and natural/climatic shocks have further eroded livelihoods, already disrupted by worsening food insecurity due to insufficient crop production as a result of the protracted conflict, humanitarian access challenges, and displacement.

Climate change and environmental degradation will have severe effects on livelihoods; temperatures have increased faster than other countries in eastern Africa; rainfall has declined by 10 to 20 per cent with increased variability in the amount and timing since the mid-1970s. Areas receiving adequate rain for livestock and farming have declined, affecting agricultural and natural resource-based livelihoods. Over 56 per cent of the population is already vulnerable to drought and flood shocks.

In terms of gender equality, the patriarchal nature of society in South Sudan, keeps women in a subordinate position , with high gap in gender parities where women lack the power to claim their human rights. There are also conflict-related social conditions which resulted in high insecurity for women and girls and overall risks faced by women, specifically regarding women healthcare, access to economic resources, customary practices, sexual violence, the wide-spread acceptance of gender inequality and GBV. All those elements have contributed to limited capacity and participation of women in decision making and productive activities.

Women and girls have been affected disproportionately by conflict and suffered hideous consequences of the violence, abuse, deprivation, and loss of livelihoods. Women, girls, and children make up the majority of those displaced and in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. GBV is one of the most critical threats to the protection and wellbeing of women and children in South Sudan. Studies indicate that up to 1 out of 2 women have suffered from intimate partner violence, and 1 out of 4 reported cases of conflict-related sexual violence affect children.

UNDP response

To respond to this evolving context and challenges, UNDP South Sudan developed a three year Country Programme Document (CPD) (2019-2021) with the principal objective to contribute to eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions and keeping people out of poverty, as well as to building resilience to crises and shocks, to safeguard development gains.

The programme priorities build on progress during the previous programme cycle and align with South Sudan Vision 2040, ARCSS, NDS, Africa Vision 2063, Agenda 2030, UNMISS mandate, UNCF 2019-2021 UNCF and the UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 In response to the outlined broad development challenges; a) persistent conflict and fragility; b) recurrent shocks and stresses and c) weak institutions and economic instability, and in line with UNDP’s comparative advantage, the programme focuses on three interlinked and mutually reinforcing pillars; a) strengthened peace infrastructures and accountable governance; b) inclusive and risk informed economic development; and c) strengthened institutional and community resilience.

The programme has been implemented for over one and half years, since January 2019. In line with the CO Evaluation, UNDP is looking for consultants to conduct a mid-term evaluation of the programme to provide valuable lessons, best practices and make recommendations to inform the implementation of the programme for the remaining period.

Purpose of the Midterm CPD Evaluation:

UNDP commissions the Midterm CPD Evaluation to capture and demonstrate evaluative evidence of its contributions to development results at the country level. This evaluation will be carried out within the overall provisions contained in the UNDP Evaluation Policy. In line with UNDP South Sudan Evaluation Plan, the CPD evaluation is being conducted to assess the impact of UNDP’s development assistance across the major thematic and cross cutting areas of strengthening peace infrastructures; capacity to foster peaceful coexistence, community cohesion, protect citizen’s rights, increase access to justice, accountable governance, recover local economies, implement climate change adaptation solutions and the development of governments capacities. The evaluations serve an important accountability function, providing national stakeholders and partners in South Sudan with an impartial assessment of the results of UNDP support.

The purpose of the mid-term evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of the contributions of the country programme outputs towards achieving the established outcomes, with the following objectives:

  • Reviewing the extent to which relevant outputs contributed to each outcome and identify and review factors contributing to the effectiveness of UNDP’s contribution, by identifying concrete evidence of the UNDP contribution to the outcomes
  • Assessing the mechanisms/methods by which outputs led to the achievement of the specified outcomes;
  • Assessing the continual relevance of the UNDP’s contributions, including applied strategies and partnerships towards each outcome, considering the emerging development challenges and opportunities (if and which programme processes e.g. strategic partnerships and linkages are critical in producing the intended outcome);
  • Provide key recommendations/directions for the on-going implementation of the Country Programme as well as the next country programme cycle (advising on what to strengthen and/or introduce in the new programme.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope and objectives:

This midterm evaluation covers the period 2019-2020 of the CPD implementation. It will be conducted with a view to enhancing the programme while providing strategic direction and inputs to the preparation of request for extension of the current CPD implementation period as well as the next Country Programme Document.

Strategic Positioning, Concept and Design

The mid-term evaluation Team will assess the concept and design of the CPD and UNDP’s overall intervention in, including an assessment of the appropriateness of the objectives, planned outputs, activities and inputs as compared to cost-effective alternatives.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Risk Management

A further focus of the evaluation will be on the extent to which adequate monitoring was undertaken throughout the period, and the extent to which evaluation systems were adequate to capture significant developments and inform responsive management. The evaluation will assess how Lessons Learned have been captured and operationalized throughout the period under investigation.

The CPD midterm evaluation will assess the current programme cycle for 2019-2021 as the country seeks to have the CPD period extended to 2021. Due to the nature of the UNDP role within the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF), the scope of the evaluation will only cover the SSHF from the operational side. The evaluation will include the rest of the interventions funded by all types and sources of funding , including government funds, donor funds, allocations from UNDP’s core resources, and regional and global programmes of UNDP. Besides, the evaluation will include ‘non-project’ activities, such as advocacy, integrator or convening role, which may be crucial in informing public policies or convening various development actors to enhance development contribution. Specific attention will be paid to the collaboration of UNDP in common areas with UNMISS. Efforts will be made to capture the contribution of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV).

Evaluation Criteria and key questions:

The evaluation exercise shall use the standard OECD/DAC Evaluation Criteria for Evaluation of Development Assistance namely: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability .
Relevance: The evaluator will seek to establish the extent to which the programme and its intended output and outcomes are consistent with national and local policies and priorities and the needs of intended beneficiaries.

The following key questions will be asked.

  • To what extent is the programme in line with UNDP’s mandate, national priorities, and the requirement of targeted women and men;
  • How did the programme promote UNDP principles of gender equality, human rights and human development;
  • To what extend is UNDP’s engagement a reflection of strategic considerations, including UNDP’s role development context and its comparative advantage;
  • To what extend was UNDP’s selected method of delivery appropriate to the development context;
  • To what extend was the theory of change presented in the outcome model a relevant and appropriate vision on which to base of the programme;

Effectiveness: The extent to which the programme ‘s intended results (output or outcome) have been achieved or the extent to which progress toward output or outcome has been achieved;
The following types of questions may be asked:

  • To what extent have outcomes been achieved or has progress been made toward their achievement;
  • How have corresponding outputs delivered by UNDP affected the outcomes, and in what ways have they not been effective;
  • What has been the contribution of partners and other organization to the outcome, and how effective have UNDP partnership been in contributing to achieving the outcome;
  • What are the positive or negative, intended or unintended, changes brought about by UNDP’s work;
  • To what extend did the outcomes achieved benefit women and men equally;

Efficiency: A measure of how economically resources/inputs (funds, expertise, equipment, time, etc.) are converted to results.
The following types of questions may be asked:

  • To what extent has the programme outputs resulted from economic use of resources;
  • To what extend were quality outputs delivered on time;
  • To what extend were partnership modalities conducive to the delivery of outputs;
  • To what extend did monitoring systems provide management with a stream of data that allowed it to learn and adjust implementation accordingly;

Sustainability: The extent to which the programme continues after external development assistance has come to an end.
The following types of questions may be asked:

  • What indications are there that the outcomes will be sustained, e.g., through requisite capacities (systems, structure, staff, etc.)
  • To what extent has a sustainability strategy, including capacity development of key national stakeholders, been developed or implemented;
  • To what extent are policy and regulatory frameworks in place that will support the continuation of benefits;
  • To what extent have partners committed to providing continuing support;
  • How will concerns for gender equality, human rights and human development be taken forward by primarily stakeholders;

Methodology:

The evaluation will be carried out by an external team of evaluators and will engage a wide array of stakeholders and beneficiaries, including national and local government officials, donors, civil society organizations, academics and subject experts, private sector representatives and community members.

The evaluation is expected to assess the following frameworks for assessing UNDP’s contribution:
South Sudan current country programme which outlines two outcomes and eight outputs, which included strengthen peace infrastructures, capacity to foster peaceful coexistence, community cohesion, protect citizen’s rights, increase access to justice, accountable governance, recover local economies, implement climate change adaptation solutions and the development of governments capacities.

Across programme areas, UNDP intended to promote human-based approaches and gender equality. UNDP aimed to provide development services to strengthen the participation in and capacity of NGO partners for country-based pooled funds, as part of its commitment towards the new way of working and catalyze the humanitarian-development nexus. The Theory of Change developed for this evaluation builds on the country programme commitments, including more specific ones in the project documents. It seeks to provide a framework for assessing UNDP programme support given the conflict and humanitarian context in South Sudan (what did UNDP do), the approach of programmes (were UNDP programmes appropriate for achieving national results), the process of contribution (how did the contribution occur), the significance of the contribution (what is the contribution – did UNDP accomplish its intended objectives).

The linkages outlined in the Theory of Change are intended to identify the level of contribution that is commensurate with the scope of UNDP’s Programme, and the significance of such a contribution to the development outcomes identified in the country programme and various projects.

The evaluation recognizes that the level of visibility of UNDP programmes in terms of contribution to processes and outcomes depends mostly on their relative importance and positioning Vis a Vis other activities in that area by national and other humanitarian or development actors. Some of the programme activities of UNDP may not be easily noticeable in the array of activities of different actors at the country level, which also makes it equally challenging to make causal linkages about contribution.

The intended outputs, in the Theory of Change, is a range of specific activities/actions, within specific thematic areas, that UNDP has identified that are necessary for achieving development outcomes. UNDP activities combined with other ongoing activities pursued by the government and other development actors are likely to manifest in those development outcomes. This entails establishing some of the necessary conditions that, when pursued, can lead to the overall national priorities.

The evaluation recognizes that the role and contribution of UNDP in South Sudan are among other factors determined by the financial contribution of multilateral and bilateral donors and the Government of South Sudan. Given the range of actors at the country level and the predominant role of the humanitarian response, UNDP’s contribution to the outcomes will take into consideration the level of efforts and the space available for development contribution.

Evidence obtained and used to assess the results of UNDP support should be triangulated from a variety of sources, including verifiable data on indicator achievement, existing reports, evaluations and technical papers, stakeholder interviews, focus groups, surveys and site visits.

Data collection: The following steps in data collection are anticipated:

Desk Review: A desk review should be carried out of the key strategies and documents underpinning the work of UNDP South Sudan including strengthening peace infrastructures, capacity to foster peaceful coexistence, community cohesion, protect citizen’s rights, increase access to justice, accountable governance, recover local economies, implement climate change adaptation solutions and the development of governments capacities. This includes reviewing the pertinent country programme documents AWPS, monitoring and evaluation documents etc, to be provided by the UNDP country office.

The evaluators are expected to review pertinent strategies, national plans and reports developed by the Government of South Sudan that are relevant to UNDP.

Field Data Collection

Following the desk review, the evaluators will build on the documented evidence through an agreed set of field and interview methodologies, including:

  • Interviews with key partners and stakeholders
  • Field visits to project sites and partner institutions
  • Survey questionnaires where appropriate
  • Participatory observation, focus groups, and rapid appraisal techniques

Evaluation products (Key deliverables):
The following reports and deliverables are required for the evaluation:
S/No. Key deliverables Duration Due Date

  • Inception report 5 days 15 December, 2020
  • Draft CDP Mid Term Evaluation Report 25 days 30 January, 2021
  • Presentation at the validation workshop with key stakeholders, (partners and beneficiaries) 5 day 6 February 2021
  • Final CPD Mid Evaluation report and a separate Lesson learned report extracted from the full report.
  • 28 February 2021

Following the contract signing, the evaluation consultant will support the team leader to produce an inception report and indepth analysis of the context containing the proposed theory of change for the CDP outcomes. The inception report should include an evaluation matrix presenting the evaluation questions, data sources, data collection, analysis tools and methods to be used. The inception report should detail the specific timing for evaluation activities and deliverables and propose specific site visits and stakeholders to be interviewed.
The inception report will be discussed and agreed with the UNDP Country Office before the evaluators proceed with site visits.

The draft midterm evaluation report will be shared with stakeholders, and presented in a validation workshop, that the UNDP Country Office will organise. Feedback received from these sessions should be considered when preparing the final report. The evaluators will produce an ‘audit trail’ indicating whether and how each comment received was addressed in revisions to the final report.

The suggested table of contents of the evaluation report is as follows:

Evaluation team composition and required competencies:
The CPD evaluation will be undertaken a team of two, one international/external evaluator (Team Leader) and one national evaluator.
The National Consultant will support the team leader (International Consultant) to submit a quality and timely submission of the final evaluation report. The National Consultant will, inter alia, perform the following tasks:

  • Review documents;
  • Participate in the design of the evaluation methodology;
  • Support the team leader to conduct the evaluation in accordance with the proposed objectives and scope of the evaluation;
  • Draft related parts of the evaluation report as agreed with the Evaluation Manager; and
  • Assist the Team Leader in finalizing the draft and final evaluation report.

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;
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills.

Functional Competencies:

  • Must have at least a master’s degree in social sciences, preferably in legal studies.
  • Outstanding writing and editing skills, proven ability to craft content for national and international public audiences;
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Must be well-versed in South Sudanese politics, culture, and social context.
  • Must be available during and after the conference on full-time basis
  • Ability to synthesize inputs from a variety of stakeholders and maintain editorial/organizational
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office software applications (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access).

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Minimum Master’s degree in social sciences, Monitoring and Evaluation or other relevant field;

Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in project/programme evaluation process and techniques
  • Have strong communication skills;
  • Good experience working with UN agencies will be an added advantage;
  • Have a strong understanding of the development context in South Sudan.
  • Be a South Sudanese with extensive experience working in South Sudan

Language:
• Have excellent reading and writing skills in English;
The National Consultant will support the team leader (International Consultant) to submit a quality and timely submission of the final evaluation report. The National Consultant will, inter alia, perform the following tasks:

  • Review documents;
  • Participate in the design of the evaluation methodology;
  • Support the team leader to conduct the evaluation in accordance with the proposed objectives and scope of the evaluation;
  • Draft related parts of the evaluation report as agreed with the Evaluation Manager; and
  • Assist the Team Leader in finalizing the draft and final evaluation report.

Implementation Arrangements:
The UNDP South Sudan country office will select the evaluation team and will be responsible for the management of the evaluators. UNDP will designate a focal point for the evaluation and any additional staff to assist in facilitating the process (e.g., providing relevant documentation, arranging visits/interviews with key informants, etc.). The Country Office will take responsibility for the approval of the final evaluation report. The Deputy Resident Representative- Programme will arrange introductory meetings within UNDP and Unit Heads to establish initial contacts with government partners and project staff. The consultants will take responsibility for setting up meetings and conducting the evaluation, subject to advanced approval of the methodology submitted in the inception report. The UNDP country office will develop a management response to the evaluation within two weeks of report finalization.
The Deputy Resident Representative in Charge of Programmes will convene an Advisory Panel comprising of technical experts to enhance the quality of the evaluation. This Panel will review the inception report and the draft evaluation report to provide detail comments related to the quality of methodology, evidence collected, analysis and reporting. The Panel will also advise on the conformity of evaluation processes to the UNEG standards. The evaluation team is required to address all comments of the Panel completely and comprehensively. The Evaluation Team Leader will provide a detail rationale to the advisory panel for any comment that remain unaddressed.
Duty Station
The consultant will work full time, during the evaluation period, and will based in UNDP South Sudan. Office space and limited administrative and logistical support will be provided. The consultant will use her/his own laptop and cell phone.
Reporting and Supervision:
The consultant will report to the Deputy Resident Representative – Programmes. The Evaluation Reference Group will provide quality assurances to the midterm evaluation process;
Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments;
The national consultant shall be paid the consultancy fee upon completion of the following milestones: 30% after adoption of the inception report; 30% after acceptance of the draft report and 40% after the approval of the final report;
Consultant selection process;
Evaluation Criteria:
The proposals will be evaluated based on the merit of the proposed approach, including the following;
Technical Proposal (70%)

  • 10%. Qualification and experience
  • 15%. Technical approach as illustrated in the description of the proposed methodology.
  • 10%. Timeline reflecting proposed activities, which emphasis the ability to meet the proposed deadlines
  • 20%. Evidence of experience of the consultant in conducting evaluations as detailed in the CV
  • 15%. Reference from Past performance. To enable this reference check is carried out, applicants are required to provide a list of all related consultancies/ evaluations conducted during the past three years with associated contact details of references.

The minimum score required to be considered technically qualified is 70
Financial Proposal (30%)

  • 30% Financial quotation.

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