Background Information - Job-specific
The Small Grants Programme (SGP) is a corporate programme of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 1992. SGP grant-making in over 125 countries promotes community-based innovation, capacity development, and empowerment through sustainable development projects of local civil society organizations with special consideration for indigenous peoples, women, and youth. SGP has supported over 24,000 community-based projects in biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, prevention of land degradation, protection of international waters, and reduction of the impact of chemicals, while generating sustainable livelihoods.
The Global Support Initiative for Indigenous Peoples and Community-Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA-GSI) is a global project funded by the Government of Germany, through its Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU), and implemented by the SGP. In line of with the SGP’s Sixth Operational Phase (OP6), the project aims to expand the range and quality of diverse governance types of protected areas, and enhance sustainable livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities through improved recognition, capacity building and empowerment, and on-the ground support to Indigenous Peoples and Community-Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs). Further, these actions will contribute to achieving national and global level Aichi 2020 Targets of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD); particularly Target 11 – increasing protected areas coverage, Target 14 – safeguarding essential ecosystem services, and Target-18 protection of traditional knowledge.
- The Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor (MEA) will assess progress towards the achievement of the project objectives and outcomes as specified in the Project Document, and assess signs of project success or failure with the goal of identifying the necessary changes to be made in order to set the project on-track to achieve its intended results. The MEA will also review the project’s strategy and its risks to sustainability.
- The successful candidate will be assigned to conduct MEA country visits in one or more of the following SGP Country Programmes (TBD): Colombia, Morocco, Vietnam or Senegal.
- The MEA must provide evidence based information that is credible, reliable and useful. The MEA consultant will review all relevant sources of information including documents prepared during the preparation phase (i.e. Project Document, project reports including Annual Project Review, UNOPS project budget revisions, lesson learned reports, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based review).
- The MEA consultant is expected to follow a collaborative and participatory approach ensuring close engagement with the project management unit (PMU) which is part of the SGP Central Programme Management Team (CPMT); ICCA GSI global core partners (i.e. UNEP WCMC, IUCN GPAP, ICCA Consortium); SGP National Coordinators; SGP National Steering Committee (NSC) members; UNDP Country Office(s); government counterparts; grantee partners including indigenous peoples’ representatives, civil society organizations and other key stakeholders.
- Engagement of stakeholders will be vital to a successful MEA. Stakeholder involvement should include interviews with stakeholders who have project responsibilities, including but not limited to executing agencies, responsible parties, and task team/component leaders, key experts and consultants in the subject area, the GSI Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and the GSI Project Board. Additionally, the MEA consultant is expected to conduct field missions to SGP project sites in one or more target countries.
Monitoring and Progress Controls
The MEA consultant will assess the following four categories of project progress. See the Guidance for Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported projects for extended descriptions. Further guidance on specific questions to be addressed will be provided at the beginning of the assignment.
- 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. Were lessons from other relevant projects properly incorporated into the project design?
- Review how the project addresses country priorities. Review country ownership. Was the project concept in line with the national sector development priorities and plans of the country (or of participating countries in the case of multi-country projects)?
- Review decision-making processes: were perspectives of those who would be affected by project decisions, those who could affect the outcomes, and those who could contribute information or other resources to the process, taken into account during project design processes?
- Review the extent to which relevant gender issues were raised in the project design.
- If there are major areas of concern, recommend areas for improvement.
- Undertake a critical analysis of the project’s logframe indicators and targets, assess how “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) the midterm and end-of-project targets are, and suggest specific amendments/revisions to the targets and indicators as necessary.
- Are the project’s objectives and outcomes or components clear, practical, and feasible within its time frame?
- Examine if progress has so far led to, or could in the future, catalyze beneficial development effects (i.e. income generation, gender equality and women’s empowerment, improved governance) that should be included in the project results framework and monitored on an annual basis.
- Ensure broader development and gender aspects of the project are being monitored effectively. Develop and recommend SMART ‘development’ indicators, including sex-disaggregated indicators and indicators that capture development benefits.
Progress Towards Results
Progress Towards Outcomes Analysis:
- Review the logframe indicators against progress made towards the end-of-project targets using the progress towards the results matrix following the UNDP guidance; colour code progress in a “traffic light system” based on the level of progress achieved; assign a rating on progress for each outcome; make recommendations from the areas marked as “Not on target to be achieved” (red).
- In addition to the progress towards outcomes analysis:
- Compare and analyze the ICCA Security Index included in the Project Document with the BMU as a tracking tool for projects at the Baseline.
- Identify remaining barriers to achieving the project objective in the remainder of the project.
- 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
- Review overall effectiveness of project management as outlined in the Project Document. Have changes been made and are they effective? Are responsibilities and reporting lines clear? Is decision-making transparent and undertaken in a timely manner? Recommend areas for improvement.
- Review the quality of execution of the Executing Agency/Implementing Partner(s) and recommend areas for improvement.
- Review the quality of support provided by UNDP and recommend areas for improvement.
- Review any delays in project start-up and implementation, identify the causes and examine if they have been resolved.
- Are work-planning processes results-based? If not, suggest ways to re-orientate work planning to focus on results?
- Examine the use of the project’s results framework/ logframe as a management tool and review any changes made to it since project start.
Finance and co-finance:
- Consider the financial management of the project, with specific reference to the cost-effectiveness of interventions.
- Review the changes to fund allocations as a result of budget revisions and assess the appropriateness and relevance of such revisions.
- Does the project have the appropriate financial controls, including reporting and planning, that allow management to make informed decisions regarding the budget and allow for timely flow of funds?
- Informed by the co-financing monitoring table to be filled out, provide commentary on co-financing: is co-financing being used strategically to help the objectives of the project? Is the Project Team meeting with all co-financing partners regularly in order to align financing priorities and annual work plans?
Project-level Monitoring and Evaluation Systems:
- Review the monitoring tools currently being used: Do they provide the necessary information? Do they involve key partners? Are they aligned or mainstreamed with national systems? Do they use existing information? Are they efficient? Are they cost-effective? Are additional tools required? How could they be made more participatory and inclusive?
- Examine the financial management of the project monitoring and evaluation budget. Are sufficient resources being allocated to monitoring and evaluation? Are these resources being allocated effectively?
- Project management: Has the project developed and leveraged the necessary and appropriate partnerships with direct and tangential stakeholders?
- Participation and country-driven processes: Do local and national government stakeholders support the objectives of the project? Do they continue to have an active role in project decision-making that supports efficient and effective project implementation?
- Participation and public awareness: To what extent has stakeholder involvement and public awareness contributed to the progress towards achievement of project objectives?
- Assess how adaptive management changes have been reported by the project management and shared with the Project Board.
- Assess how well the Project Team and partners undertake and fulfil UNDP and BMU donor reporting requirements;
- Assess how lessons derived from the adaptive management process have been documented, shared with key partners and internalized by partners.
- Review internal project communication with stakeholders: Is communication regular and effective? Are there key stakeholders left out of communication? Are there feedback mechanisms when communication is received? Does this communication with stakeholders contribute to their awareness of project outcomes and activities and investment in the sustainability of project results?
- Review external project communication: Are proper means of communication established or being established to express the project progress and intended impact to the public (is there a web presence, for example? Or did the project implement appropriate outreach and public awareness campaigns?)
- For reporting purposes, write one half-page paragraph that summarizes the project’s progress towards results in terms of contribution to sustainable development benefits, as well as global environmental benefits.
Validate whether the risks identified in the Project Document and Annual Project Review are applied, appropriate and up to date. If not, explain why.
In addition, assess the following risks to sustainability:
Financial risks to sustainability:
What is the likelihood of financial and economic resources not being available once the BMU assistance ends (consider potential resources can be from multiple sources, such as the public and private sectors, income generating activities, and other funding that will be adequate financial resources for sustaining project’s outcomes)?
Socio-economic risks to sustainability:
- Are there any social or political risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project outcomes? What is the risk that the level of stakeholder ownership (including ownership by governments and other key stakeholders) will be insufficient to allow for the project outcomes/benefits to be sustained? Do the various key stakeholders see that it is in their interest that the project benefits continue to flow? Is there sufficient public / stakeholder awareness in support of the long term objectives of the project? Are lessons learned being documented by the SGP project teams (at the global and country levels) on a continual basis and shared/ transferred to appropriate parties who could learn from the project and potentially replicate and/or scale it in the future?
Institutional Framework and Governance risks to sustainability:
- Do the legal frameworks, policies, governance structures and processes pose risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project benefits? While assessing this parameter, also consider if the required systems/ mechanisms for accountability, transparency, and technical knowledge transfer are in place.
- Environmental risks to sustainability:
- Are there any environmental risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project outcomes?
- Conclusions & Recommendations
- The MEA consultant will include a section of the report setting out the MEA’s evidence-based conclusions, in light of the findings.
- 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 MEA consultant should make no more than 15 recommendations total.
Education: Master’s degree in environment, sustainable development, project management, or a related field.
- Minimum 7 years’ experience in results-based project monitoring and evaluation, environmental sciences, anthropology, sociology or social sciences;
- Experience working with UN, UNDP, UNOPS and/or GEF evaluations is an asset;
- Experience with the GEF Small Grants Programme will be considered an advantage;
- Demonstrated understanding of issues related to biodiversity conservation, traditional knowledge, and indigenous peoples;
- Experience in gender sensitive evaluation and analysis is desired;
- Project evaluation/review experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset;
Language: Fluency in English, spoken and written essential; French and/or Spanish highly desired
- Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
- Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
- Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
- Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
- UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
- Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
- UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
- For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
- The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.