Local Consultant for Project Design Support
Application deadline 1 year ago: Monday 6 Sep 2021 at 23:59 UTCOpen application form
This is a National Consultant contract. More about National Consultant contracts.
Project “Strengthening Stability and Resilience of the Bordering Communities in Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik and Syunik Regions” - 3rd Phase is implemented within the UK Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) Eastern Neighbourhood (EN) Programme aims to promote stability, security and peace across the EN region. It aims to do this by capacitating state and non-state actors with the understanding and skills to pursue human development approaches that remove barriers facing those most vulnerable across the region from achieving greater social, political and economic participation. By focusing at national and local levels (top-down and bottom-up) the fund aims to empower local actors to bring forward sustainable solutions that enhance resilience at all levels to the range of internal and external threats to stability across the region.
In Armenia, the CSSF programme has begun the design and testing of a new project together with the United Nations Development Programme to support three conflict-affected border communities to enhance their resilience by providing: i) direct support at community level to enhance local-level resilience and provide opportunities for participation; ii) capacity building support for non-state and state actors to support that change sustainably; iii) evidence-based solutions and data that can support advocacy of local actors with national and local government decision-makers to deliver policy/institutional change to enhance human security in these vulnerable areas.
The project began delivery in 2020 and will run to March 2022 . Yet the project is not well-suited to a short time-frame given the need for sustained effort at an appropriate scale is required to deliver effectively at outcome-level (or test the ability to do so). A multi-year approach is required that focuses activity to where it can have the most transformative effect, ensuring an approach to Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) that can articulate results and inform iterative, adaptive decision-making. The project also needs to embed gender and conflict sensitivity more strongly to ensure the sustainability of results and manage risk. It needs to be based on an evidence base and an approach to MEL that evolves evidence over time to support adaptive programming.
External expertise is sought to support the CSSF EN programme to work with the UN to adapt the design of the project, considering its extension over a multi-year period and practical ways to ensure outcomes can be delivered to the fullest extent; to revise project documentation and the programmatic approach to more fully meet CSSF requirements; embed good MEL practice and gender/ conflict sensitivity into the design and approach; and ensure strategic coherence with the CSSF fund-level outcomes and wider UN Country Plan.
This support is expected to last 3 months on a part-time basis from July to September 2021.
Scope of work
The current project proposal, whilst comprehensive, needs to be more explicit in terms of how the project will deliver against the intended outcomes, how activities contribute to the Theory of Change, and how monitoring and evaluation of activities will be conducted. Results are currently being measured quantitatively and need to measure behaviour/institutional change, where the evidence base should be informed by the analysis on the project specific thematic areas (including gender and conflict sensitivity analysis) undertaken to date. The VFM assessment needs to be improved. The approach to the project needs to be adapted to ensure it can support the CSSF and UN to monitor project-level outcomes and better inform decision-making and learning, adaptively, as the project delivers. The scope and time-frame of the project needs to be re-assessed and recommendations for the development of the project are required.
An expert is required to provide support to strengthen the project design, the project documentation (including to develop the MEL approach and Results Framework, integrate a stronger approach to risk, gender and conflict sensitivity and ensure a more detailed Theory of Change is articulated) in order to comply with CSSF approaches, ensure delivery of the outcomes intended can be achieved to the fullest extent (making recommendations where there are gaps) and to strengthen the articulation of the evidence base to support the justification for activities and inform adaptive / future programming (making recommendations where there are gaps).
The expert must have previous experience working with UN Agencies and with CSSF programming (or more broadly with FCDO or previous DfID experience). Ideally the expert will have a background in stability and peace/conflict programming. It is desirable that the expert is familiar with Armenia and/or the region and can be located in Armenia during the implementation of the activity.
The mechanism for support will be to provide a coordination function between the UN project lead (based in Yerevan) and the CSSF Programme Hub (based in Tbilisi) and British Embassy project team (based in Yerevan), a desk-top review of documents produced to date, advisory support on project design and approach, delivery support to produce refreshed project documentation (as set out above) and activity to support the practical implementation of M&E during the time-frame of the contract.
Duties and Responsibilities
The intended output is expected to be a refreshed project proposal (and associated documentation, with recommendations for improvement or further work that may be necessary outside of what can be delivered within the timeframe) that meets CSSF compliance standards, is in line with UN strategic documentation and approaches and is agreed between the UN and CSSF by the end of the delivery period.
The outcome will be a longer-term, evidence-based and effective project that can lead to more sustained outcome-level results on the basis of adopting the new project proposal and the approaches recommended.
Under overall supervision of the UNDP SEG Portfolio Manager and in direct collaboration with the Project Coordinator and CSSF Programme Team the incumbent will be responsible for the following 3 activities:
Activity 1: Evidence Base Gap Analysis
As the results framework is developed, the supporting evidence base, where available, will be assessed. This will enable the identification of baseline data for activities that are planned and ‘quasi-baseline’ data where activities are currently underway. Where there are gaps in the evidence base, these will be identified and summarised with recommendations or options for strengthening where possible. It is important the new project proposal recognises the need to continuously invest in the analysis to inform project activities and ensure an adaptive approach to programming.
Activity 2: Project Documentation and M&E Systems Strengthening
An expert will provide support in these areas by:
- Facilitating understanding and agreement of the vision for the project (including impact and outcome statements) between the UN and CSSF, through a meeting that defines and agrees the shared objectives for the project.
- Conducting a desk-top review that assesses evidence and progress to date, identifies strengths and areas for development and seeks wider inputs, as needed, to refresh and develop the Theory of Change. This should include consideration of the effectiveness of the current outcome-level statements.
- Assessing the proposed activities against the evidence to ensure there is an evidence-base on which to measure change (behavioural and institutional) towards outcomes and suggest any additional activity or adaptations that may be needed to ensure a robust evidence base underpins activity. All activities must demonstrate their link clearly against the Theory of Change and where there are gaps identified new or amended activity needs to be proposed to ensure that link (and the sustainability of outputs). The Theory of Change will need to address the role of civil society actors and grassroots actors and the value of people “upskilling” as well as how the project will influence national and local governments, where currently there are gaps. Consider the evidence related to activity related to Civil Society organisations where no needs assessment has been conducted; and the e-platform on education (to assess how effectively it is being used).
- Consider and make recommendations on the proposed approach to Development Scenarios that have been commissioned and prepared under the first year of the project. These scenarios set out a vision for the development of a local community. How best can CSSF and the UN support the scenarios, when full implementation will be beyond the time-frame and scope of the project?
- Considering the scope and duration of the project against the outcomes – what can realistically be achieved and over what timescale.
- Refreshing the Project Proposal, strengthening the gender analysis, VFM assessment and conflict sensitivity analysis in line with CSSF guidance, focused on the specific communities where the project will deliver, and in the wider context of Armenian society.
- Develop the Risk Register to more accurately reflect the extent of risks.
- Assess the project’s compliance with the OECD-DAC Gender Equality Marker 1 standard and make recommendations on how to develop the alignment.
- Develop a MEL plan and a quantitative and qualitative Results Framework that incorporates gender and conflict sensitivity and VFM indicators and is focused on measuring behavioural and institutional change. This requires the setting of targets, milestones towards those targets and a baseline starting point (based on evidence collected to date). Sources for evidence should be included.
- Developing a stakeholder map that can provide a tool to track behaviour change.
- Facilitate a shared understanding between the UN and CSSF on how to monitor and evaluate progress, provide direct and practical support for the monitoring and evaluation of project activities in Q1 and Q2, with feedback to the UN and CSSF and recommendations for improvement of project delivery and development.
Activity 3: Gender Equality, Social Inclusion and Women Peace and Security (WPS)
The CSSF programme has a strong focus on gender equality. It is important that the UN project proposal and approach incorporates the strongest possible consideration of gender equality, social inclusion and WPS and delivers sensitive to gender issues at each stage of the process outlined above. This requires an attention to disaggregating data, identifying gender sensitivity issues, and designing inputs and measuring outputs that can articulate how the project interacts with and empowers gender.
The overall objective is to ensure that the proposal and UN approach complies with the OECD-DAC Gender Equality Marker 1 requirements. https://www.oecd.org/dac/gender-development/dac-gender-equality-marker.htm
The existing country and regional level results frameworks already include some efforts to capture results against CSSF commitments to WPS and gender equality, as well as some consideration of inclusion for specific groups. There is a need for this to be further developed. The expert will work with the UN and CSSF to:
- Strengthen the mainstreaming of gender throughout the results frameworks to capture impact on gender equality more holistically and ensure this is reflected in the activity plan (and design of activities).
- Where relevant, strengthen consideration of social inclusion of specified groups (youth, women, minorities) in results frameworks and the activity plan (and design of activities).
- Strengthen the outputs and outcomes to articulate the contribution to WPS where relevant.
- Consider how to improve the overall approach to gender, including the potential to employ a gender advisor as a project resource / activity.
- Review the gender integration of the planned approach to Activity 2.1.1 (related to the conducting of assessments in local communities) and ensure this is strengthened and linked to (and provides) disaggregated gendered data (by age/sex) and gendered evidence that supports the anticipated output and outcome of the assessments. Further, to work to integrate gender approaches more specifically and fully in Activity 2.1.2, 2.1.3 and 2.1.4 before they can proceed.
- Review the gender integration of the approach on Activity 1.1.5 (TVET) and ensure the Rapid Assessment included gender-disaggregated data. TVET training must be targeted to ensure women / youth are engaged and benefit and that this is supported by evidenced data on disproportionate needs. The current assessment is in the Armenian language. Further, to review the gender integration and evidence to support Activity 2.3.1 identifying how the activity is to be targeted, how output delivery will reflect gender needs / sensitivities and ensure disaggregated data, and how gender will be assessed at outcome level.
- Review the gender integration of the approach to Disaster Risk Management (DRM).
Within the first 2 weeks an initial meeting should be held with the CSSF Programme team (based in Tbilisi) and the project team (based in Yerevan). An initial meeting should then be held between the CSSF Programme team and UN Programme team to establish the first steps in providing the support. This meeting will also form the basis of the first Steering Committee meeting of the wider project between the CSSF and the UN.
The expert will then design a work plan and work with the UN to deliver the requirements of this Terms of Reference, consulting with the CSSF programme team (based in Tbilisi) on issues of compliance and the local project team as needed. During this time, the consultant will identify appropriate opportunities to support the delivery of the activities in the Terms of Reference to their fullest extent. There should be at least one formal review of progress at the six week mark (i.e. mid-October or as agreed between the Parties).
Within the last 2 weeks. A final meeting will be scheduled on or around the last week of November , 2021 to finalise agreement of the revised documentation, that will consist of an initial meeting with the CSSF Programme team (and project team) and then a second meeting together with the UN. Any comments or feedback will be provided to the consultant.
10th December - deadline for final documentation and recommendations to be submitted.
- Activity 1 is accomplished
30 September 2021
- Activity 2 is accomplished
30 October 2021
- Activity 3 is accomplished, and refreshed project proposal that meets CSSF compliance standards, is in line with UN strategic documentation and approaches and is agreed between the UN and CSSF by the end of the delivery period.
10 December, 2021
Payment will be made in the following installments upon completion of the tasks under each output and approval of deliverables by the UNDP country office:
- Output 1 - 30%
- Output 2 - 30%
- Output 3 – 40%
- Strong analytical skills and an understanding of the regional political economy and governance challenges and experience working to address them
- Strong partnership and team-working skills and focus on results
- Ability to work effectively under pressure and manage competing priorities.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced degree in social sciences, economics, political economy or related field
Knowledge and experience:
- At least 7 years of experience in Programme management or advisory experience
- Strong background in conducting or assessing gender equality and economic and social inclusion analysis
- Experience working with the UN and the British Government (HMG) programmes (such as CSSF)
- Strong analytical skills and an understanding of the regional political economy and governance challenges and experience working to address them
- Experience in implementig policy engagements in the region
- Experience of working successfully on projects in multi-cultural environments
- Excellent written and oral English language skills
- Preferably knowledge of Armenia/Russian language
CANDIDATES WILL BE EVALUATED BASED ON THE FOLLOWING METHODOLOGY:
Candidates will be evaluated using a cumulative analysis method taking into consideration the combination of the applicants' technical qualifications, experience and financial proposal.The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer has been evaluated and determined as technically responsive/compliant/acceptable to the requirements of the ToR and received the highest cumulative (technical and financial) score out of below defined technical and financial criteria.
Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points in the technical evaluation would be considered for financial evaluation.
Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation - max. 70 points
Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation - max. 30 points.
DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION.
- Financial Proposal and Availability form: OFFEROR’S LETTER TO UNDP (A total lump sum option is applicable for this assignment)
- CV shall include Education/Qualification, Processional Certification, Employment Records /Experience
General Conditions of Contract is available here: GENERAL CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT
Note: Please note you can upload only one document to this application (scan all documents that should be included in the application in one single PDF file and upload it).