South Sudan is one of the most diverse countries in Africa: a home to over 60 different major ethnic groups, and most of its people follow traditional religions. It is the youngest nation in the world after splitting from Sudan in 2011. Since the conflict started in December 2013, more than 4 million people have fled their homes, with 2.47 million taking refuge in neighbouring countries. Close to 200,000 people are living in six UN “protection of civilians” sites across the country. The signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in September 2018 is a significant development signalling the dawn of peace. The July 2016 conflict resulted in a deterioration of peace, security and stability in South Sudan as conflict intensified across the country. In December 2016, President Kiir announced a national dialogue initiative in South Sudan, which started about a year later with consultations in and outside of the country.
South Sudan is enveloped by multiple interconnected conflicts and among which is the communal conflicts that claim many lives. The main causes for these communal level conflicts are poverty and poor system to manage shared resources, weak community relationships, availability of small arms in the hands of civilians, youth despondency and luck of development option, sexual and gender-based violence, politicization of ethnicity and erosion of social cohesion.
The Peace and Community Cohesion project (PaCC) seeks to contribute to the reduction and mitigation of community level conflict and insecurity by investing in initiatives that address key drivers of conflict and insecurity Using the UNDP’s community security and social cohesion approach, the project aimed to empower communities to identify, in an inclusive and participatory manner, the drivers of conflicts in the communities and using an integrated and gender sensitive approach to effectively prevent, manage and resolve conflict in a non-violent manner. The project also sought to strengthen community relationships by identifying and strengthening cultural, social and economic connectors that make communities reliant on each other in times of peace and conflict, across sex and age divide. In collaboration with other UN agencies and development partners, the project supported initiatives that reinforce economic interdependencies, provided women and youth with alternative livelihood opportunities and instigated positive behavioural change of members of targeted communities, through dialogue and reconciliation.
The project adopted a conflict clusters approach which acknowledged that communal conflicts are triggered, driven and sustained by interlocking interests and actors that sometimes cut across administrative boundaries. Thus, the project peacebuilding initiatives were designed around conflict dynamics, not political boundaries. The target groups and stakeholders were selected based on conflict clusters which look at the interconnectedness of the conflict actors and varying conflict drivers across clusters. Geographically, the project was implemented in five conflict clusters; Magwe-Kajo-Keji Ggreen Belt: Magwi, Nimule, Kajo-Keji, Morobo ( Koboko , Moyo) Notherthern Uganda; Eastern Belt: Boma, Pibor, Bor and Lopa/Lafon and Kapoeta; South Sudan Northern Sudan Border Belt: Aweil, Abyei, Pariang, Abiemnom; Bhar el Jebel Plain/Zone: Duk, Ayod, Panyijar and Koch; and Western Belt: Awerial, Mvolo, Terekeka, Mundri, Yirol and Twic East.
The project contributed for the implementation of the peace agreement, focusing on chapter five and will be guided by the provisions of National Action Plan (NAP) 1325. Within the UN country team's (UNCT) Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF), the project contributed to the outcome "Peace and Governance Strengthened." At the global level, the initiatives contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16; "Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies" with a special focus on target 16.1 - "Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates"
Some of the key project achievements are:
- Mitigated conflicts related to migration of cattle during the dry season following consensus building dialogue conferences facilitated by the project and implementation of resolutions emanating from the same;
- Strengthened local structure and mechanisms for peace and conflict resolution following the establishment and operationalization of 71 peace committees;
- Enhanced communities’ capacities to deal with psychosocial trauma associated with exposure to conflicts and gender-based violence;
- Increased women’s voice and participation in the South Sudan peace process;
- Increased social cohesion among previously conflicting communities in Rumbek, Torit, Bor Aweil and Bentiu conflict clusters following successful implementation of interdependency initiatives;
- Enhanced youth participation in peace building which provided over 720 youth alternatives to violence, rebuilt diminished trust between local communities, and empowered them to be responsible community decision-making for resilience
Purpose of the evaluation:
- The current phase of the Peace and Community Cohesion project ends in March 2020. This evaluation is being conducted to assess the project’s contributions towards peacebuilding and community cohesion in South Sudan.
- UNDP commissions this final evaluation to serve as an important accountability function, providing UNDP, donors, national stakeholders and partners with an impartial assessment of the results generated to date, including on gender equality and women empowerment. The evaluation will assess the project’s relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability; identify and document lessons learned; and provide recommendations to inform the design and implementation of other related ongoing and future projects. The findings and recommendations of the evaluation will inform the key stakeholders; relevant ministries and institutions of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, project donors, UNDP, UN agencies, UN Mission in South Sudan, civil society organisations, local and national level infrastructures for peace, academia and other actors.
Duties and Responsibilities
Specific project Evaluation objectives are to:
- Determine the relevance and strategic positioning of UNDP’s Peace and Community Cohesion project and Assess the relevance and strategic positioning of the project to the peacebuilding needs in South Sudan in general and in the five-conflict cluster;
- Assess a) the progress made towards project results and whether there were any unintended results and b) what can be captured in terms of lessons learned for ongoing and future UNDP peacebuilding initiatives in South Sudan;
- Assess whether the project management arrangements, approaches and strategies well-conceived and efficient in delivering the project;
- Analyse the extent to which the project enhanced application of a rights-based approach, gender equality and women’s empowerment, social and environmental standards and participation of other socially vulnerable groups such as children and the disabled.
- The project evaluation covers the period from April 2017 covering all the project locations – Juba and five conflict clusters (Magwe-Kajo-Keji Green Belt, Eastern belt, South Sudan Northern Sudan Border Belt, Bhar el Jebel Plain/Zone and Western Belt). The evaluation will cover programme conceptualisation, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of results and will engage all project stakeholders – benefitting communities, relevant ministries and institutions of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, project donors, UNDP, UN agencies, UN Mission in South Sudan, civil society organisations, local and national level infrastructures for peace, academia and other actors. The evaluation will assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency of the project; explore the key factors that have contributed to the achieving or not achieving of the intended results; and determine the extent to which the project is contributing to improving community peace and cohesion; addressing crosscutting issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment and human rights; and forging partnership at different levels, including with government, donors, UN agencies, and communities.
The evaluation seeks to answer the following questions, focused around the evaluation criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.
- To what extent was the project in line with the national development priorities, the country programme’s outputs and outcomes, the UNDP Strategic Plan and the SDGs;
- To what extent does the project contribute to the theory of change for the relevant country programme outcome;
- To what extent were lessons learned from other relevant projects considered in the project’s design;
- To what extent does the project contribute to gender equality, the empowerment of women and the human rights-based approach;
- To what extent did the project contribute to the country programme outcomes and outputs, the SDGs, the UNDP Strategic Plan and national development priorities;
- To what extent were the project outputs achieved? Were there any unintended or unexpected results achieved by the project that can be documented as lessons;
- What factors have contributed to achieving or not achieving intended country programme outputs and outcomes;
- To what extent the project project also relates or interacts with other projects in the same area;
- To what extent was the project management structure as outlined in the project document efficient in generating the expected results;
- To what extent has there been an economical use of financial and human resources; Have resources (funds, human resources, time, expertise, etc.) been allocated strategically to achieve outcomes;
- To what extent the project initiatives will continue in the future and; to what extent the local authorities and beneficiaries involved and own the project interventions;
- To what extent will financial and economic resources be available to sustain the benefits achieved by the project;
- Are there any social or political risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project outputs and the project’s contributions to country programme outputs and outcomes;
- To what extent are lessons learned being documented by the project team on a continual basis and shared with appropriate parties who could learn from the project;
- To what extent do UNDP interventions have well-designed and well-planned exit strategies;
To what extent human right issues are incorporated in project design, implementation and monitoring;
To what extent have poor, indigenous and physically challenged, women and other disadvantaged and marginalized groups benefited from the work of UNDP in the country;
To what extent have gender equality has been addressed in the design, implementation and monitoring of the project;
Is the gender marker data assigned to this project representative of reality;
To what extent has the project promoted positive changes in gender equality and the empowerment of women; Were there any unintended effects;
Guiding evaluation questions will be further refined by the evaluation team and agreed with UNDP evaluation stakeholders.
- The evaluation will be carried out in accordance with UNDP evaluation guidelines and policies, United Nations Group Evaluation Norms and Ethical Standards; OECD/DAC evaluation principles and guidelines and DAC Evaluation Quality Standards. The evaluation will employ a combination of qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods including, but not limited to:
- Document review of all relevant documentation. This would include a review of inter alia; project document (contribution agreement); theory of change and results framework; programme and project quality assurance reports; annual workplans; consolidated quarterly and annual reports; results-oriented monitoring report; highlights of project board meetings; and technical/financial monitoring reports;
- Semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders including key government counterparts, donor community members, representatives of key civil society organizations, UNCT members and implementing partners;
- Surveys and questionnaires including participants in development programmes, UNCT members and/or surveys and questionnaires involving other stakeholders at strategic and programmatic levels;
- Field visits and on-site validation of key tangible outputs and interventions. The evaluator is expected to follow a participatory and consultative approach that ensures close engagement with the evaluation managers, implementing partners and direct beneficiaries;
- The final methodological approach including interview schedule, field visits and data to be used in the evaluation should be clearly outlined in the inception report and be fully discussed and agreed between UNDP, stakeholders and the evaluators.
The evaluator will be expected to deliver the following:
- Evaluation inception report (10-15 pages). The inception report should be carried out following and based on preliminary discussions with UNDP after the desk review and should be produced before the evaluation starts (before any formal evaluation interviews, survey distribution or field visits) and prior to the country visit in the case of international evaluators;
- Evaluation debriefings. Immediately following an evaluation, UNDP may ask for a preliminary debriefing and findings;
- Draft evaluation report (max 40 pages). UNDP and stakeholders will review the draft evaluation report and provide an amalgamated set of comments to the evaluator within 10 days, addressing the content required (as agreed in the inception report) and quality criteria as outlined in the UNDP evaluation guidelines;
- Evaluation report audit trail. Comments and changes by the evaluator in response to the draft report should be retained by the evaluator to show how they have addressed comments;
- Final evaluation report;
- Presentations to stakeholders and the evaluation reference group;
- Evaluation brief and other knowledge products agreed in the inception report.
Required Skills and Experience
- The project evaluation will be conducted by an independent consultant (an international evaluation expert). The international consultant must have extensive experience in strategic programming of development assistance in post-conflict countries within the broader areas of peacebuilding and democratic governance on post conflict settings. Preferably, the consultant also has substantial knowledge of and experience with the monitoring and evaluation of similar initiatives in volatile environments. The required qualifications and technical competencies are listed below:
Education: Minimum Master’s degree in Law, Public Policy and Management, Public Administration, Development studies, International Development, or any other relevant educational background.
- Minimum 10 years’ experience in the fields of community security, conflict prevention, peace building and reconciliation, governance, inclusive participation, gender mainstreaming and human rights promotion.
- At least 7 years (and recent – latest should have been conducted within the past 2 years) professional experience in conducting evaluations of similar peacebuilding initiatives.
- Excellent writing skills with a strong background in report drafting.
- Demonstrated ability and willingness to work with people of different cultural, ethnic and religious background, different gender, and diverse political views;
- Fluency in English with excellent oral, written, communication and reporting skills is required.