Consultant for UNDP-GEF Midterm Review (IWRM/Transboundary)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Consultancy
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)

EXPIRED

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Background

Project Title Kura II: 

Advancing IWRM Across the Kura River Basin through implementation of the transboundary agreed actions and national plans

Project Description:

This is the Terms of Reference for the UNDP-GEF Midterm Review (MTR) of the full -sized project titled Kura II: Advancing IWRM Across the Kura River Basin through implementation of the transboundary agreed actions and national plans (5325#) implemented through the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, which is to be undertaken in 2019. The project started on the 23 August 2016 and is in its third year of implementation. In line with the UNDP-GEF Guidance on MTRs, this MTR process was initiated before the submission of the second Project Implementation Report (PIR). The MTR process must follow the guidance outlined in the document Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects. 

The project was designed to: 

The UNDP-GEF Kura Project “Advancing Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) across the Kura river basin through implementation of the transboundary agreed actions and national plans” 2016-2020 is implementing the Strategic Action Program for the Kura River Basin in partnership with the Governments of Georgia and Azerbaijan. The SAP is framed around four agreed Ecosystem Quality Objectives (EQO) which are:

  • To achieve sustainable utilization of water resources to ensure access to water and preserve ecosystem services;
  • To achieve water quality such that it would ensure access to clean water for present and future generations and sustain ecosystem functions in the Kura river basin;
  • To achieve and maintain ecosystem status whereby they provide essential environmental and socio-economic services in a sustainable manner in the Kura River Basin; and,
  • To achieve mitigation of adverse impacts of flooding and climate change on infrastructures, riparian ecosystems and communities.

The GEF 6 supports priority activities towards these objectives. The GEF funded SAP implementation Project has the objective “to integrate water resources management in the Kura river basin to address water-energy-food-ecosystem security nexus through the implementation of agreed actions in the SAP”.

There are five components to support the countries to achieve this objective. These are:

  • Project Component 1: Establishment of effective cross sectoral IWRM governance protocols at the local, national and transboundary levels in the Kura Basin;
  • Project Component 2: Strengthening national capacities to implement multi-sectoral IWRM in the Kura basin;
  • Project Component 3: Stress reduction in critical areas and pre-feasibility studies to identify investment opportunities for improving river system health;
  • Project Component 4: Targeted education and involvement projects to empower stakeholders in implementing local / national / regional actions in support of SAP implementation;
  • Project Component 5: Enhancing science for governance by strengthening monitoring, information management and data analysis systems for IWRM. 

The UNDP-GEF Kura II Project Coordination Unit is located in Baku Azerbaijan, and has an additional office and training center in Tbilisi Georgia. There are 6 full time project staff in the Baku PCU and 3 in the Tbilisi Office. There are over 60 national and international consultants working on the project. The primary beneficiaries are the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. Additional involved stakeholders include(inter alia): the Amelioration Joint Stock Company of Azerbaijan, Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan, Parliament of Azerbaijan, AzerSu Joint Stock Company of Azerbaijan, The National Environment Agency of Georgia, Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, United Water Supply Company of Georgia, Georgia Ministry of Sustainable Development, The GEF Grant for the Project budget is $5,329,452, with over $190,000,000 in co-financing from national partners in Azerbaijan and Georgia.

The UNDP GEF Kura II Project is under Direct Implementation Modality (DIM) via UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub. This is a pilot both for DIM for GEF IW Project, and for IRH to have a project team remotely located. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Consultant will first conduct a document review of project documents (i.e. PIF, UNDP Initiation Plan, Project Document, ESSP, Project Inception Report, PIRs, Finalized GEF focal area Tracking Tools, Project Steering Committee meeting minutes, Financial and Administration guidelines used by Project Team, project operational guidelines, manuals and systems, etc.) provided by the Project Team and Commissioning Unit. Then they will participate in an MTR inception workshop to clarify their understanding of the objectives and methods of the MTR, producing the MTR inception report thereafter. The MTR mission will then consist of interviews and site visits to Azerbaijan and Georgia), including the following project sites (Baku, Hajigabol, Tbilisi, Gori, Khashuri). Additionally, the findings of the review will be presented at the second Annual Steering Committee Meeting 20-21 June 2019 in Gange, Azerbaijan.

Consultant will assess the following four categories of project progress and produce a draft and final MTR report. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects (http://web.undp.org/evaluation/documents/guidance/GEF/mid-term/Guidance_...) for requirements on ratings. No overall rating is required.

Project Strategy

Project Design: 

  • Review the problem addressed by the project and the underlying assumptions.  Review the effect of any incorrect assumptions or changes to the context to achieving the project results as outlined in the Project Document.
  • Review the relevance of the project strategy and assess whether it provides the most effective route towards expected/intended results.  
  • Review how the project addresses country priorities
  • Review decision-making processes

Results Framework/Logframe:

  • Undertake a critical analysis of the project’s logframe indicators and targets, assess how “SMART” the midterm and end-of-project targets are (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound), and suggest specific amendments/revisions to the targets and indicators as necessary.
  • Examine if progress so far has led to, or could in the future catalyse beneficial development effects (i.e. income generation, gender equality and women’s empowerment, improved governance etc...) that should be included in the project results framework and monitored on an annual basis. 

Progress Towards Results

  • Review the logframe indicators against progress made towards the end-of-project targets; populate the Progress Towards Results Matrix, as described in the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects; colour code progress in a “traffic light system” based on the level of progress achieved; assign a rating on progress for the project objective and each outcome; make recommendations from the areas marked as “not on target to be achieved” (red). 
  • Compare and analyse the GEF Tracking Tool at the Baseline with the one completed right before the Midterm Review.
  • Identify remaining barriers to achieving the project objective.
  • By reviewing the aspects of the project that have already been successful, identify ways in which the project can further expand these benefits.

Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

  • Using the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects; assess the following categories of project progress: 
  • Management Arrangements
  • Work Planning
  • Finance and co-finance
  • Project-level monitoring and evaluation systems
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Reporting
  • Communications

Sustainability

  • Assess overall risks to sustainability factors of the project in terms of the following four categories:
  • Financial risks to sustainability
  • Socio-economic risks to sustainability
  • Institutional framework and governance risks to sustainability
  • Environmental risks to sustainability

The MTR consultant will include a section in the MTR report setting out the MTR’s evidence-based conclusions, in light of the findings.

Additionally, the MTR consultant is expected to make recommendations to the Project Team. Recommendations should be succinct suggestions for critical intervention that are specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant. A recommendation table should be put in the report’s executive summary. The MTR consultant should make no more than 15 recommendations total.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables 

The MTR consultant shall prepare and submit:

  • MTR Inception Report: MTR team clarifies objectives and methods of the Midterm Review no later than 4 weeks before the MTR mission. To be sent to the Commissioning Unit and project management. Approximate due date: (3 April)
  • Presentation: Initial Findings presented to project management and the Commissioning Unit at the end of the MTR mission. Approximate due date: (10 May)
  • Draft Final Report: Full report with annexes within 5 weeks of the MTR mission to the Project Steering Committee Meeting. Approximate due date: (27 May)
  • Final Report*: Revised report with annexed audit trail detailing how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final MTR report. To be sent to the Commissioning Unit within 1 week of receiving UNDP comments on draft. Approximate due date: (19 July)

*The final MTR report must be in English. If applicable, the Commissioning Unit may choose to arrange for a translation of the report into a language more widely shared by national stakeholders.

Institutional Arrangement

The principal responsibility for managing this MTR resides with the Commissioning Unit. The Commissioning Unit for this project’s MTR is the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub.

The Project Team will be responsible for liaising with Consultant to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits. 

Duration of the Work

The total duration of the MTR will be approximately 25 of days over a period of 17 of weeks starting 29 March, and shall not exceed five months from when the consultant is hired. The tentative MTR timeframe is as follows: 

  • (22 March 2019): Application closes
  • (26 March 2019): Selection of MTR Team
  • (29 March 2019): Preparation of Consultant (handover of project documents)
  • (29 March - 3 April 2019) app. 3 days: Document review and preparing MTR Inception Report
  • (4 April 2019) app. 1 day: Finalization and Validation of MTR Inception Report-6 May, latest start of MTR mission
  • (30 April – 10 May 2019) app. 11 days: MTR mission: stakeholder meetings, interviews, field visits 
  • (10 May): Mission wrap-up meeting & presentation of initial findings- earliest end of MTR mission
  • (13-27 May 2019) app. 7 days: Preparing draft report
  • (27 May – 5 July 2019) app. 1 days: Incorporating audit trail on draft report/Finalization of MTR report 
  • (20-21 June 2019) app. 2 Days: Presentation of draft report to the Project Steering Committee
  • (12 July 2019): Preparation & Issue of Management Response
  • (19 July 2019): Expected date of full MTR completion

The date start of contract is (22 March 2019).

Schedule of Payments:

  • 10% of payment upon approval of the MTR Inception Report
  • 30% upon submission of the draft MTR Report
  • 60% upon finalization of the MTR Report

Duty Station

Home based with travel to Baku Azerbaijan, as well as field trips to Hajigabol Azerbaijan, Tbilisi Georgia with field trips to Gori and Khashuri/Suramin in Georgia. Attendance at Project Steering Committee in Genge Azerbaijan

Travel:

  • International travel will be required to (Azerbaijan and Georgia) during the MTR mission; 
  • BSAFE security course must be successfully completed prior to commencement of travel;
  • Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. 
  • Consultants are required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under https://dss.un.org/dssweb/

Consultant Independence:

The consultants cannot have participated in the project preparation, formulation, and/or implementation (including the writing of the Project Document) and should not have a conflict of interest with project’s related activities. 

Competencies

Corporate competencies:

  • 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 favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Functional competencies:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrable analytical skills

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • A Master’s degree in water resources management, applied water resources evaluation or other closely related field. 

Experience:

  • Recent experience (within 5 years) with result-based management evaluation methodologies required
  • Experience applying SMART targets and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios required
  • Experience in adaptive management, as applied to GEF International Waters transboundary fresh water systems required
  • Experience working with the GEF evaluations required
  • Experience working in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Caucasus in fresh water management required, in evaluation of project implementation preferred
  • Work experience in transboundary fresh water management for at least 5 years required
  • Experience in gender sensitive evaluation and analysis and demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender and GEF International Waters is an asset
  • Project evaluation/review experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset

Language skills:

  • English is the working language of the UNDP-GEF Kura II Project and it required, the ability to communicate in Russian is an asset. 

Evaluation of Applicants

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal.

The award of the contract should 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 a pre-determined set of weighted technical (P11/CV desk reviews, methodology evaluation and interviews) and financial criteria specific to the solicitation. 

Only candidates who will get min. 70% of points in desk review and methodology evaluation (criteria A-G) will be invited for an interview. Only candidates who receive 70% or more of points in technical evaluation (Criteria A-J) will be considered for financial evaluation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max. 100 points:

  • Criteria A – (desk review) Education in water resources management, applied water resources evaluation or other closely related field. max. 10 pts
  • Criteria B - (desk review) Experience applying SMART targets and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios; max. 5 pts
  • Criteria C – (desk review) Experience with adaptive management, as applied to GEF International Waters  transboundary fresh water systems; max. 15 pts
  • Criteria D - (desk review) Work experience in transboundary fresh water management; max. 10 pts
  • Criteria E - (desk review) Experience in gender sensitive evaluation and analysis and demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender and GEF International Waters: max. 5 pts
  • Criteria F - (desk review) Project evaluation/review experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset; max. 5 pts
  • Criteria G -  (methodology) Demonstrable analytical skills, communication skills, language skills; max. 25 pts
  • Criteria H - (interviews) Recent experience (within 5 years) with result-based management evaluation methodologies; max. 5 pts
  • Criteria I - (interviews) Experience working with the GEF evaluations; max. 10 pts
  • Criteria J - (interviews) Experience working in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Caucasus in fresh water management required, in evaluation of project implementation; max. 10 pts

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max. 43 points.

Application Process

The application submission is a two-step process. Failing to comply with the submission process may result in disqualifying the applications.

Step 1: Interested candidates must include the following documents when submitting the applications (Please group all your documents into one (1) single PDF attachment as the system only allows upload of one document):

  • Cover letter and brief description of approach to work/technical proposal of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a proposed methodology on how they will approach and complete the assignment; (max 1 page)
  • Personal CV or a P11 Personal History form 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  (http://www.eurasia.undp.org/content/dam/rbec/docs/P11_modified_for_SCs_a...);

Step 2: Submission of Financial Proposal - Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and requested to provide a financial offer. Price offer must not be included in the online application. 

Incomplete applications will be excluded from further consideration. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. 

Payments will be made only upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner. 

Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under dss.un.org.

General Terms and conditions as well as other related documents can be found under: http://on.undp.org/t7fJs.

Annexes to the MTR ToR

Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects including annexes is available here: http://web.undp.org/evaluation/documents/guidance/GEF/mid-term/Guidance_...