International Chief Technical Advisor (ICTA)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Consultancy
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)

EXPIRED

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Turkmenistan is a water stressed country and has one of the harshest climates in the Central Asian region.   Climate change modeling indicates significant increases in temperature and reduction in rainfall. Temperatures are expected to increase by 20C by 2040, with precipitation declining across all agro-ecological zones by 8-17 percent between 2040 and 2100, which coupled with increase in temperature, will lead to a decrease in total volume of water availability that is likely to have a profound impact on agricultural production systems and local farmers.  The long-term solution envisaged by the Government of Turkmenistan is to mainstream climate change adaptation at the community, district, provincial and national levels in order to secure climate resilient livelihoods in agricultural communities. 

Project strategy:

The project, ‘Supporting climate resilient livelihoods in agricultural communities in drought-prone areas of Turkmenistan’ started in June 2016 and is scheduled to finish in June 2021. The project is financed by the Special Climate change Fund (SCCF), managed by the Global Environment Facility, and implemented through the United Nations Development Programme.

Through knowledge management, investment, and policy reform, this project seeks to promote an integrated approach to efficient water management and climate resilient practices, reduces root causes of land degradation, and enhances local livelihoods. Grant financing from the SCCF amounts of US$ 3.046 million.  Co-financing of US$20.0 million has been committed from various sources. Through various interventions, the project aims to directly strengthen the adaptive capacity and reduce the vulnerability of around 40,000 to 50,000 persons (of which around 51.2% would be women) in the Lebap and Dashoguz velayats (provinces). Improved water efficiency and crop production systems will bring approximately 20,000 ha of agricultural and 500,000 ha of pastoral lands under climate resilient technologies resulting in a real net household income increase of at least 15­­­% for participating households.

The project’s activities are organized into three components:

  • Component 1 will improve climate related socio-economic outcomes in targeted agricultural communities in Lebap and Dashoguz velayats through the implementation of community-based adaptation solutions;
  • Component 2 will mainstream climate adaptation measures in agricultural and water sector development strategy and policy;
  • Component 3 will strengthen national capacity for iterative climate change adaptation planning, implementation and monitoring in the country.

The first component of the project is aimed at preparing the communities and the responsible government organizations to be able to identify and respond to climate change threats. The intent is to complement existing baseline activities, by facilitating the mainstreaming of climate risks considerations into the design and management of water, land and pasture development efforts, in particular at the ground level, so as to enhance community resilience and adaptive capacity.

Lebap and Dashoguz velayats of the country were selected for piloting climate adaptation activities under the project because they have been experiencing water shortages and severe weather conditions and are considered important agricultural production areas of the country. A set of adaptation measures implemented in three (3) farmers associations - Yagtylyk, Watan and Parahat and one Garagum livestock farm.

Two (2) Agricultural Information Centers (AICs) – one in each selected velayat - were established. AICs are seen as conduits of knowledge sharing on new technologies, innovations and practices, as well as “platforms” for partnership development in the field of agricultural extension services, facilitating outreach to targeted farmers.

In 2018 four (4) gender mainstreamed Local Adaptation Plans (LAPs) were developed and adopted by the pilot daikhan associations, serving as a basis for the adaptation measures. LAPs adopted in the pilot areas unleashing the socio-economic dividends from promoting adaptation actions. This endeavour is backboned by the parallel work on providing quality advice on farming processes and building a local think tank to ensure more systemic response to the existent knowledge gaps. Special attention is given to boosting the women’s role in newly emerging farming opportunities, in particular with regard to supporting female entrepreneurs and female-headed households. Based on LAPs local communities prepared and submitted 25 grant proposals, 21 out of which have ben supported by the project in late 2019.

While the first component defines the technical opportunity and priorities for replication, the second component support more directly the integration of climate resilient policies and measures into the water and agriculture sectors as well as local level planning systems.

During period 2017-2019 large number of training events were conducted covered such topics as: (a) monitoring and assessment of the soil degradation; (b) development of inter-farm water use plans; (c) planning for water use with consideration of climatic-soil conditions through application of AQUACROP modelling tool by UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); (d) alternative livelihoods; etc. Field days to pilot sites were organized regularly, devoted to innovative water-saving technologies, and measurement of the water inflow in the irrigated canals.

The project supported legislative and regulatory improvements. The existing Land Code (2004) was reviewed in the light of the impact of climate change. The Law of Turkmenistan on the Land Cadaster was drafted with the support of the project and got adopted in November 2017. In addition, project assisted to draft the Regulation on the Procedures of the State Land Cadaster, a package of amendments to the Laws on Farmers (daikhan) associations and Farmers (daikhan) economic unions; the “Methodological guidance on soil evaluation and economic assessment of arable lands”. Additionally, the “Model contract for the supply of irrigation water to water users” and a Model agreement for land leasing were revised in respect to the climate change and water use with modern water saving technologies.

The third component initially designed for operationalization of NEPAAM, including the identified priority adaptation programs, was replaced with more targetable one, i.e. support to the Government of Turkmenistan to update the current National Climate Change Strategy adopted in 2012 taking into account the recent national reforms, acceptance of Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement as well as recent climate change observations.

The National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS) was revised with the support of the project and adopted in September 2019.

In 2020 the project will continue work on preparation LAPs for newly selected three farmers associations and one livestock farm building on gender analysis to ensure more active engagement of women in sustainable water and land management practices. As before, the project will support LAP through allocation of small-grants to local communities promoting economically viable and climate-friendly agricultural practices and farming businesses in the two regions of the country.

In 2020the project will support national partners on drafting by-laws coming from Water Code and Land Code, in addition to work on national legislation carried out since project start.

According to Mid-term recommendation conducted in 2019, the project will support Turkmenistan Government in updating the Nationally determined contributions to Paris Agreement as part of Component 3.

 

 

The objective of the assignment is to support and guide UNDP and the project management in implementation of the project and its different sub-components and activities ensuring that they comply with the agreed benchmarks and success indicators of the project as well as international best practices and lessons learnt. The expected level of involvement will be up to 80 days (including four 7-day missions) within this assignment.

Under the direct supervision of Project Manager and overall supervision of UNDP Programme Specialist on Environment, the consultant's specific responsibilities, among others, will be to provide overall support to the local project management team in implementation of the project's different sub-components, including support to the project manager in the preparation of the project reports and the annual output specific work plans, drafting of Terms of Reference for the local and, as needed, additional international experts and subcontractors, required tender documents etc. More concretely, the consultant is tasked to:

IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING SUPPORT:

  1. Read all documents produced by the project including MTR report, consult regularly with project team to identify key technical problems (if any) and means for solving them, participate, when feasible, in Project Board Meetings and other relevant project meetings. Task Deliverable: Detailed work plan of the assignment and regular Progress reports clearly outlining issues and proposed solutions;
  2. Propose possible adjustments and necessary amendments, support the preparation of the overall Project Work Plan for the remaining project lifetime, activities envisioned for every project quarter, evaluation plan, sustainability plan to ensure that project results are replicated through improved national policies and practices, communication strategy/action plan. Task Deliverables: periodic (quarterly) project plans, procurement plans, evaluation plan, yearly communication plan drafted;
  3. Guide the project management in development of detailed monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan and budget for the project based on and in line with UNDP and GEF M&E policies and guidelines, including relevant GEF Focal Area Tracking Tools. Task Deliverables: M&E Plan and budget;
  4. Assist the Project Managers and other monitoring team (project specialists) in monitoring of project indicators and targets against Results and Resources Framework (RRF) and adjusting it. Task Deliverables:  Project progress reports including PIR and Annual progress report;
  5. Support Project Manager in carrying out field work through field visits and meetings with all relevant stakeholders. Also provide support to Project Manager in using better planning tools for the regular collection and assessment of co-financing provided by GoT and UNDP parallel financing in accordance with AWP, activities #1.2.2.5, #1.2.3.11, #1.4.7. Task Deliverables: field visit reports, with detailed observations and recommendations;
  6. Provide inputs for establishment of effective proactive risk management strategy. Task Deliverables: Risk management strategy prepared;
  7. Support in preparation of materials for trainings, workshops, meetings, etc., in the area of his/her expertise in accordance with AWP, activities # 1.2.3.2., #1.5.1.2, #2.1.2, #2.3.2.1, #3.1.1, #3.2.2. Task Deliverables: material for training workshops and meetings drafted;
  8. Support the Project Manager in checking deliverables (reports, analyses, etc.) of other consultants engaged by the Project in order to ensure quality, coordination and consistency of project outputs, and advising Project Manager accordingly and providing guidance to the international/local consultants when necessary. Task Deliverables: Quality assurance reports of consultancies inputs with clear recommendations;
  9. Provide guidance to ensure the capacity development of the project manager and project experts by identifying capacity development needs and preparing individual capacity development plans for the project staff, with a specific focus on innovations and efficient solutions to implement the project goals and components. Task Deliverables: Project staff capacity development plans are prepared and under implementation;
  10. Contribute to terminal evaluation of the project. Task DeliverablesAssessment report of achievements under each project Components;

PARTNERSHIP, COMMUNICATION AND VISIBILITY SUPPORT:

11. Provide analysis and recommendations in relation to linking with other relevant programs, so that experiences can be shared, project's visibility in a larger setting ensured, and best practices utilized so as to maximize the impact of the project in accordance with AWP, activities # 2.1.1. Task Deliverables: Project plans include and implement measures based on information and experience sharing with relevant programmes, contribute project’s visibility and ensure application of best practices;

12. Facilitates liaison and networking between and among the key stakeholders and other individuals involved in the project implementation. Task Deliverables: Section in a mission report details the extent and scale of stakeholder engagement in project implementation, challenges in stakeholder engagement and ways for the project to address them;

13. Provide technical input for further resource mobilization and policy advice on relevant donors. Task Deliverables: Section in a mission report defining clear steps and recommendations for project manager and UNDP to focus on in resource mobilization and partnership development endeavors;

14. Provide technical inputs and support to Project Manager and Communication Associate in ensuring production of quality and timely communication products and outputs, as well as tools for promoting project visibility in accordance with AWP, activities #1.5.2. Task Deliverables: project reports, communication plan and products as per approved Communication plan;

Component 1: Climate related socio-economic outcomes improýed in target agricultural communities in Lebap and Dashoguz velayats through the implementation of community-based adaptation solutions:

  1. Support the project team in monitoring and evaluating the performance and the outcome of the piloted activities through analysis of data on number of targeted farmers, direct beneficiaries, additional income earned by participating households from alternative climate-resilient livelihoods, water savings, and land melioration to determine the relevance and level of achievement of project objectives, development effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. Establish a monitoring system of progress in consultation with local administration, communities and project team in accordance with AWP, activities # 1.4.1; Task Deliverables: A proposed approach/methodology for monitoring system drafted and final one documented. A final monitoring plan. Monitoring formats to be used by all project teams for key activities at all levels. Progress reports on analysis of monitoring data collected so far by project and government staff;
  2. Support project team in upscaling the project findings and lessons learned from project interventions at national policy level in accordance with AWP, activities # 1.5.1. Task Deliverables: Reports on each project pilot region with clear recommendations for national policy adjustments;
  3. Assist project team in capturing the key lessons and assist in developing replication materials for wider dissemination and application of project results and lessons learned, in cooperation with Project Team and UNDP CO, develop suitable next steps for each project component and project exit strategy. Task Deliverables: Lessons learnt reports and other relevant reports on each project component together with mitigation measures;
  4. Support in development of a concept paper on the “Agricultural extension services” and materials for trainings, workshops, meetings, etc., in the relevant area in accordance with AWP, activities # 1.2.1.6 and #2.3.1.1.Task Deliverables: material for training workshops and meetings drafted;

Component 2: Climate adaptation measures mainstreamed in agricultural and water sector development strategy and policy:

  1. Guide the project team in preparation of recommendations for development of policy framework for mainstreaming adaptation area in accordance with AWP, activities #2.3.2. Task Deliverables: Recommendations are prepared and submitted to the government;
  2. Support the project experts in elaboration of proposals for inclusion of integrated water resource management and sustainable land management principles in sub-legislative acts under the Water Code and Land Code area in accordance with AWP, activities 2.3.1. and #2.4.1. Task Deliverables: Proposals are prepared and submitted to the government;
  3. Provide guidance and technical inputs in development of guidelines to water and agriculture sector ministries on using gender disaggregated data in planning, conducting specific assessments on the needs of women and using these in sector adaptation planning and budgeting area in accordance with AWP, activities #2.2. Task Deliverables: Recomendations are prepared for district-level and regional-level guidelines, and their relevance and applicability discussed with national experts and government authorities;
  4. Provide guidance and technical inputs in development of methodology for creation of water distribution plans on inter-farm, district and regional level to support the State Committee on Water Management to develop regional Integrated Water Distribution Plans. Task Deliverables: Proposals are prepared for inter-farm, district and regional level water distribution plans, and their relevance and applicability discussed with national experts and government authorities;

Component 3: National Capacity for iterative national adaptation planning established:

  1. Guide the project team in preparation of proposals for iterative monitoring, reporting and verification mechanism of implementation of the mainstreamed adaptation actions as well as for updating Nationally determined contributions to Paris Agreement on climate change adaptation area in accordance with AWP, activities #3.1. Task Deliverables: Proposals are prepared and submitted to the government;
  2. Assess the achieved progress on developing more detailed modeling of five agro-ecological zones (multicluster maps) carried out by Israel company used for provision of the remote agricultural services to project pilot regions area in accordance with AWP, activities #3.2. and 3.3.. Task Deliverables: Assessment report including recommendations for improvement, application are prepared and discussed with interested parties;
  3. Provide technical inputs in drafting various working documents related to the project activities and outreach work, such as capacity building programs, agendas for the seminar, events, etc. area in accordance with ProDoc Output 3.4.. Task Deliverables: Overall Capacity development plan for national stakeholders and detailed Knowledge sharing Plan for stakeholders for the project lifetime;

Deliverables and timeframe:

The international consultant should deliver a quarterly report at the end of each quarter to the project manager based on the agreed work/action plan of the assignment, indicating which of the key deliverables have been carried out or partially carried out. The average number of days to be worked each quarter should be 20 working days. The duration of the contract should be 12 months. The total number of days to be worked is 80 working days of which at least 28 working days should be spent in Ashgabat and Turkmenistan. The minimum 28 working days to be spent in country (4 missions in the country) does not include travel days.

Payment conditions:

This is an installment-based contract that should cover the costs of consultancy required to produce the above deliverables. The final schedule of payments will be agreed upon in the beginning of consultancy but in general payment is expected on a quarterly basis following submission of the quarterly report together with associated deliverables. The calendar of deliverables and schedule and number of associated payments is subject to changes and revisions based on the consultant’s proposed methodology to implement the assignment and the assignment action plan to be agreed and cleared by UNDP provided that the overall number of days to be worked should not exceed 80 working days and the number of deliverables should not be reduced from what is in this TOR.

Time duration:

Duration of the contract is 12 months. The consultant will be engaged under the Individual Contract, immediately after the completion of the selection process. The contract will be issued for a period of 12 months from the start date of the assignment. The expected level of involvement will be up to 80 days within this assignment, of which a minimum of 28 working days must be based in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The final schedule of missions and number of days per mission as well as the timeline for deliverables shall be agreed with the project manager and UNDP CO upon contract signing. The contract may be subject to renewal based on the performance and project needs.

Travel:

The consultant will be expected to provide long-distance advice (Maximum: 52 days) and in-country consultations (Minimum 28 days with minimum of 4 missions in the country) for a total of 80 days over a 12 months period. Therefore, the consultant is expected to be able to travel to Ashgabat and project sites, pursuant to the work plan of project's activities and as agreed with the project manager and UNDP CO.  During the assignment, the international consultant is expected to undertake missions to Ashgabat and project sites (Lebap and Dashoguz regions).

 

 

Corporate Competencies:

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

Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Excellent training, facilitation and communication skills;
  • Demonstrates ability to manage complexities and work under pressure, as well as conflict resolution skills;
  • Results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet required deadlines;
  • Good understanding and practice of capacity development.

 

Education:

  • University degree in Agriculture, Water or/and Land management issues; Advanced degree in agriculture, water or/and land resources management related issues is considered as an advantage.

Experience:

  • At least 10 years of experience in coordinating, designing, implementing and/or advising in technical assistance projects in the area of climate change adaptation, rural livelihood, water efficiency or related field, preferably with focus on international management of sustainable land and water management, rural development, agriculture extension services, environment management;
  • At least 5 years of experience with project management, including the effective provision of substantive leadership and guidance, oversight, monitoring and reporting;
  • Proven experience and success in supporting similar projects (or its sub-components);
  • Experience and good knowledge of transition economies, in particular in CIS countries is an asset;
  • Track record of effectively communicating and working with multi-stakeholders, including high-level government officials, development partners, academics, private sector and communities;
  • Good knowledge of international best practices in the project related fields, state of the art approaches in the specific areas the project and its subcomponents are dealing with;
  • Prior experience and knowledge of UNDP and GEF project’s procedures and reporting is an asset;

Language:

  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of Russian will be an asset.

Submission of applications:

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

All experts applying for this position are required to provide:

  • Cover letter explaining why they are the most suitable candidate for the assignment;
  • A brief description of approach to work/technical proposal on how they will approach and complete the assignment (maximum 1 page);
  • Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability that represents a Financial Proposal with the references to (1) the daily rate for the assignment and within the timing scale indicated in the present TOR, and (2) any other expenses (including transportation costs, accommodation costs, the possibility of vaccination and etc.). Template of the form named Offeror’s Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability can be found at: https://www.tm.undp.org/content/turkmenistan/en/home/procurement.html . The UNDP will enter into an Individual Contract based on a lump sum amounts. The financial proposal shall represent a detailed, justified and “all inclusive” amount. In order to assist UNDP in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount, including: a daily fee for the tasks and an estimated duration as specified in this announcement, travel (to and from the missions), per diems, any other possible costs (including vaccinations, dwelling, communication etc.). If an applicant 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 Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the applicant must indicate at this point, that they wish to be contracted in accordance with the Reimbursable Loan Agreement modality;
  • Personal CV Form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees

Note (Conflict of Interest): Any individual who participated in the project preparation, formulation, and/or implementation (including the writing of the Project Document) is ineligible to participate in this bidding.

Evaluation of proposals:

Individual Consultants will be evaluated based on the combined scoring methodology. When using this method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant and
  • Having received the highest score – out of 100 points

Out of the maximum score, the score for technical criteria equals 70% - maximum 70 points, and for financial criteria 30%

The technical evaluation will take into account the following as per the scoring provided:

  • Education in the area of Agriculture, Water and Land Resources management issues or other relevant field – 10 pts;
  • At least 10 years of experience in coordinating, designing, implementing and advising in technical assistance projects in the area of climate change adaption, sustainable land and water management, rural development, agriculture extension services – 25 pts;
  • At least 5 years of experience with project management, including the effective provision of substantive leadership and guidance, oversight, monitoring and reporting – 15 pts;
  • Methodology – 5 pts;
  • Prior experience and knowledge of GEF project’s procedures and reporting – 10 pts;
  • Experience and good knowledge of transition economies, in particular in in CIS countries is an asset – 5 pts. Experience/familiarity with Turkmenistan will be a great advantage;
  • Fluency in English – 10 pts;
  • Fluency in Russian – 10 pts;
  • Short-listed candidates (with highest scores) will be interviewed for assessing the competencies and qualifications required to perform this task - 10 pts.

Financial proposal – 30% of total evaluation.

Additional requirements for recommended contractor:

Recommended contractors aged 65 and older, and if the travel is required, shall undergo a full medical examination including x-ray, and obtain medical clearance from the UN-approved doctor prior to taking up their assignment. The medical examination is to be cleared by the UN physicians, and shall be paid by the consultant.