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Mid-Term Evaluation Consultant

Organization: UNOPS

Vacancy code: VA/2012/B5103/538

Position title: Mid-Term Evaluation Consultant

Department/office: EMO, International Waters

Duty station: Home based

Contract type: International ICA

Contract level: IICA-4

Duration: 25 days

Application period: 23-May-2012 to 10-Jul-2012

Background Information – UNOPS

“UNOPS plays a critical role in providing management services for our life-saving, peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. I have seen many examples of how these activities help suffering people in troubled parts of the world.”

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, UNOPS vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness.

By assisting UN organizations, international financial institutions, governments and other development partners, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground.

UNOPS employs around 3,500 personnel annually and on behalf of its partners creates thousands more work opportunities in local communities. With its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, a network of five regional offices and a further 20 operations and project centres, UNOPS oversees activities in more than 80 countries.

UNOPS is committed to achieving a truly diverse workforce.

Background Information – IWC

International Waters Cluster

The UNOPS International Waters Cluster specializes in executing projects to prevent and reverse the degradation of transboundary water systems, including multi-country rivers and large marine ecosystems such as oceans, lake basins and shared groundwater resources. The cluster is executing over 30 projects for its partners, helping countries to work together and share knowledge to reduce ecological stress, such as that caused by overfishing and industrial pollution.

Background Information – Job-specific

Project context

The Orange-Senqu River Basin is one of the larger river basins in southern Africa. The river system is regulated by some 30 large dams and includes several larger inter- and intra-basin transfers. Extensive water utilisation for urban, industrial and agricultural purposes has significantly reduced natural flow to the extent that the current flow reaching the river mouth is in the order of half of the natural flow.  Future river basin management in the Orange-Senqu River Basin has to balance these competing water uses and deal with increasing rates of human-induced change and the mounting concerns about the causes and consequences of this change. Differences in legal frameworks, historical backgrounds and technical capabilities of the four riparian States Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa add to the complexity.

Therefore, effective management of water and related resources will have to be sensitive to the maintenance of vital ecosystems and become a negotiated integration process which synthesizes the differing positions and conflicting interests of the riparian States, various sectors and populations.

The four riparian States are strongly committed to a joint, basin-wide approach to addressing threats to the shared water resources. This led to the Agreement on the Establishment of the Orange-Senqu River Commission in 2000 (ORASECOM Agreement).

As a fairly young organisation, ORASECOM’s mandate and governance arrangements are evolving. Consensus was reached among the riparian States that one of the primary mechanisms for ORASECOM’s technical advice will be the development of a basin-wide Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Plan. While the scope of the IWRM Plan and the process of its development remain to be further clarified, the perspective emerges that the IWRM Plan shall provide the cooperation framework for the management and development of water and related resources, focusing primarily on trans-boundary issues. However, the riparian States also recognise that some actions may arise from shorter term or more narrowly focused studies.

The Orange-Senqu River Basin Environment Programme (also the ORASECOM Programme), agreed on at the ORASECOM Council Meeting in April 2007, brought the various International Cooperating Partners (ICPs) supporting ORASECOM under one umbrella. The Programme includes six thematic areas:

  • Institutional and organisational strengthening;
  • Capacity building on shared watercourse management;
  • Information System;
  • Communication and awareness building;
  • Trans-boundary projects and studies; and
  • Conservation and environmental strategies and policies.

Within these thematic areas, the Executive Secretary assigned the following areas of focus to ICP projects based on outcomes of ICP coordination meetings of 2007 and 2008 (Memo of Secretariat, dated 4 Jul 2008):

  • French GEF support (completed in 2009): Delivery of a set of initiatives and projects that seek to support institutional development and generate further knowledge on the key drivers to Integrated Water Resources Management and development.
  • German, UK and Australian support through GIZ (phase 2 completed in 2011, phase 3 in start-up): Delivery of nine priority projects towards development and consolidation of the basin-wide IWRM plan in phase 2 as requested by ORASECOM in 2008 in response to the recommendations made in phase 1 and support and delivery of the plan in phase 3 commencing in 2011. Apart from focus on water resources development and overall management, work on the overall compilation and consolidation of the basin-wide IWRM Plan will also incorporate input from contributions made by the other ICPs accordingly. Of particular relevance in this context is the contributing UNDP-GEF SAP, which will focus on environmental sustainability work, and the EU support to institutional strengthening and development. In addition GIZ supports the development of the ORASECOM website and of an Orange-Senqu River Awareness Kit (RAK).
  • EU support through SADC (completed in 2011, no follow on envisaged): Delivery of support towards institutional strengthening and requirements for further institutional development in ORASECOM as well as capacity building, strategic environmental assessment and establishing a ‘fit for use’ display system.
  • UNDP-GEF (2010 to 2013): Delivery of the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and Strategic Action Programme (SAP) focusing on transboundary environmental sustainability of the basin. Demonstration projects that seek to address priority water resources management related sustainability elements in the river basin, including community-based rangeland management, in-stream flow requirements, and water demand management in the irrigation sector.
Project brief 

During preparation of the UNDP-GEF funded project, a preliminary Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) of the basin was developed. ORASECOM adopted this document in April 2008. The preliminary TDA charted the main environmental threats to the basin and ascertained their root causes.

The Project is currently finalising the TDA by addressing a number of knowledge gaps. The final TDA will serve as the scientific basis to proceed to National Action Plans (NAPs) in the four riparian States and a related basin-wide Strategic Action Programme (SAP). A participatory process has been designed for the development of the NAPs and the SAP.

In addition, the Project implements four research and demonstration projects:

  • A research project on environmental flows, covering methodological issues and setting environmental flow requirements for the non-perennial Fish River catchment (in Namibia) as well as the mouth of the Orange-Senqu River (shared by Namibia and South Africa);
  • A demonstration project on water demand and quality management in the irrigation sector, cooperating with the Noordoever-Vioolsdrift Joint Irrigation Authority (Namibia and South Africa) as well as commercial farmers in the perimeter; and
  • Two demonstration projects on community based rangeland management, in Botswana and Lesotho.

The four year Project started in December 2009.

The hierarchy of Project goal, objectives, major deliverables and expected outcomes as well as the related indicators are  laid down in the Project Document, the subsequent Inception Report and Annual Work Plans.

Project execution and management

Project execution for the UNDP-GEF ORASECOM Project is the responsibility of the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS), through its International Waters Cluster, in accordance with UNDP and UNOPS operational and financial guidelines and procedures. UNOPS is accountable to UNDP, the implementing agency, for the delivery of agreed outputs as per agreed project work plans, for financial management, and for ensuring cost-effectiveness.

At policy and strategic level the project is guided by the ORASECOM Programme Strategy Committee, which reports to the Council. Its members include representatives of the member States, the ORASECOM Secretariat, and the participating ICPs; it also acts as Project Steering Committee (PSC).  The PSC meets annually to monitor progress in Project implementation, provide strategic guidance, and review and approve work plans and budgets. PSC meetings are chaired by the national representative in the country hosting the meeting. The PSC retains the authority to amend its membership as it deems necessary.

A Project Coordination Unit (PCU), which is responsible for day-to-day management of the project implementation, is located at the offices of the ORASECOM Secretariat in Centurion, South Africa.

An ICP Coordination Committee includes representatives of the member States, the ORASECOM Secretariat, and the participating ICPs and their project managers. It updates ICP commitments, and coordinates and integrates the deliverables of the ICP supported projects.

Further to this, the ORASECOM Secretariat periodically called for Programme Management Meetings (capitalized?). These meetings included the ORASECOM Executive Secretary and the Project Managers of the ICP supported projects. These meetings covered technical and operational issues.

Project funding

Funding of the UNDP-GEF ORASECOM Project, as described in the Project Document, includes:

GEF grant                                                         USD  6,300,000
Co-finance of riparian governments, some     USD 16,600,000
Other ICP funded projects, some                    USD 15,400,000

Functional Responsibilities

Objectives of the mid-term evaluation

Under this Terms of Reference (TOR) the mid-term evaluation (MTE) of the “UNDP-GEF Development and Adaption of a Strategic Action Programme for Balancing Water Uses and Sustainable Natural Resources Management in the Orange-Senqu River Basin –ORASECOM Project” will be conducted.

The objectives of the evaluation will be to identify steps that can be taken to improve the overall quality of the project design as well as of project implementation. The MTE shall also identify lessons learnt from the Project that could be applied to future and on-going projects.

Specifically, the MTE shall address the following:

  • Assess whether the Project design is clear, logical and commensurate with the time and resources available;
  • An assessment of the scope, quality and significance of Project outputs and outcomes produced to date;
  • An evaluation of Project performance in relation to the indicators, assumptions and risks specified in the Project Document and subsequent documentation;
  • A summary evaluation of progress towards achieving the Project’s overall objectives;
  • Identification and, to the extent possible, quantification of any additional outputs and outcomes beyond those specified in the Project Document;
  • A review of government and other ICP contributions to ORASECOM (to the extent possible, in quantifiable terms), the complementarities of these contributions to the UNDP-GEF Project, and integration of project contributions into the IWRM Plan for the Basin.
  • An evaluation of Project coordination, management and administration provided by the PCU.
  • An assessment of the role and effectiveness of the Project Steering Committee (PSC).
  • Progress towards sustainability and replication of Project activities.
  • Lessons learnt during Project implementation which would benefit the GEF IW portfolio.

MTE approach and methodology

One international senior professional will undertake the evaluation.

The MTE will be conducted in a participatory manner and include the following activities:

  • Desk review of project document, outputs and monitoring reports (such as, among others, Project Inception Report, Minutes of Steering Committee meetings, other relevant meetings, Project Implementation Reports (PIRs/APRs), quarterly progress reports, and other internal documents including consultant and financial reports);
  • Review of specific products including content reports, web applications and their data sets, etc.;
  • Interviews with the ORASECOM Executive Secretary and other Secretariat staff, the Senior Project Manager and other PCU staff, and consultants involved in Project implementation;
  • Consultations with relevant stakeholders involved, including government representatives in ORASECOM, other related projects and programmes within the region, relevant ICP representatives, relevant UNDP and UNOPS personnel, and NGOs;
  • Field visits to at least two research and demonstration projects, including group discussions with beneficiaries;
  • If possible, participation in an ORASECOM governance meetings (Task Team and/or Council Meetings) and/or the PSC Meeting.

The PCU will provide the Consultant with support to obtain all the necessary and requested documentations and logistical assistance to conduct the evaluation mission.

Methodologically, the MTE will follow approaches adopted by GEF for the assessment of IW projects and UNDP M&E guidelines.

MTE deliverables:

  • A draft inception report outlining the evaluation process.
  • Presentation of initial findings in a de-briefing meeting (i.e with the ORASECOM Technical Task Team or Council, or on the occasion of a Project Steering Committee meeting.
  • A draft MTE report for review and comments.
  • A concise MTE report (some 30 pages) including: (i) executive summary with findings, ratings where required, and recommendations; (ii) full narrative report (as per outline below); and (iii) annexes as required.

MTE time allocation and schedule

An allocation of 25 person days shall be provided to the consultants to cover all tasks. This includes inter alia desk review at home office, travelling, and in-country work.

The following timetable is envisaged:

Desk review and inception report June 2012
Consultations, field visits, de-briefing July 2012
Draft MTE report August 2012
Finalisation of report September 2012

Education/Experience/Language requirements

The MTE evaluator is expected to have the following expertise and experience:

  • Demonstrated international consulting experience and professional background in the water resources management sector.  A minimum of 15 years relevant experience is required. Previous experience in the region advantageous.
  • A Master degree in water resources management, environment, economics or relevant field.
  • Substantive experience in reviewing and evaluating similar technical assistance projects, preferably those involving UNDP-GEF or other major ICPs.
  • Excellent English writing and communication skills; demonstrated ability to assess complex situations in order to succinctly and clearly distil critical issues and draw well supported conclusions;
  • An ability to assess policy and governance framework and institutional capacity;
  • Understanding of governance, political, economic and institutional issues associated with transboundary water issues. Relevant experience in the southern Africa region advantageous.
  • Familiarity with contextual ICP programmes and projects in the southern Africa region advantageous.
  • Familiarity with GEF International Waters strategic programmes, operations and evaluation guidelines, and portfolio advantageous.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: ICA

Contract level: International ICA – 4

Contract duration: 25 days

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:


Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)
  • 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 reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below 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.

Appendix: Sample Outline for Mid-Term Evaluation Report

Table of contents


1.  Executive summary (including an overall rating of the project using the 6 point GEF/UNDP rating scale)

  • Brief description of project;
  • Context and purpose of the evaluation;
  • Main conclusions, rating of progress towards objectives as well as rating of progress on implementation, recommendations and lessons learned.

2.  Introduction

  • Purpose of the evaluation;
  • Key issues addressed;
  • Methodology of the evaluation
  • Structure of the evaluation.
  • Statement on ethics by the evaluator.

3.  The Project and its development context

  • Project start and its duration;
  • Problems that the project seeks to address;
  • Immediate and development objectives of the project;
  • Main stakeholders;
  • Results expected.

4.  Findings and conclusions

In addition to a descriptive assessment, all criteria marked with (R) should be rated in conformity with the GEF/UNDP guidelines for final evaluations using the following divisions: Highly Satisfactory, Satisfactory, Moderately Satisfactory, Moderately Unsatisfactory, Unsatisfactory, Highly Unsatisfactory. The guidelines for the use of the scales will be provided to the successful candidate.

4.1 Project Formulation

  • Conceptualization/Design (R). This section should assess whether the approach applied to the design and selection of project interventions was/is appropriate to address the root causes (of?) and principal threats (to?) in the project area. It should also include an assessment of the logical framework (of the project design?/plan?/..) and whether the different project components and activities proposed to achieve the objective were appropriate, viable and responsive to the contextual (applicable?) institutional, legal and regulatory settings of the project. The section  should also assess the indicators defined for guiding implementation and measurement of achievement and whether lessons from other relevant projects (e.g. same focal area) were incorporated into project design.
  • Country-ownership/Driveness (never heard this word…).This section should assess the extent to which the project idea/conceptualization originated in national, sectoral and development plans and focuses on national environment and development interests.
  • Stakeholder participation (R) Assess information dissemination, consultation, and “stakeholder” participation in design stages.
  • Replication approach. Determine the ways in which lessons and experiences of the project were/are to be replicated or scaled up in the design and implementation of other projects (this also relates to actual practices undertaken during implementation).
  • Linkages. Assess linkages between the project and other interventions within the sector and the definition of clear and appropriate management arrangements at the design stage ??. This element should also consider  the extent to which the project addresses UNDP priorities, e.g. gender, south-south cooperation, poverty-environment linkages (sustainable livelihoods) and disaster prevention and recovery.

4.2. Project Implementation

  • Implementation Approach (R). This should include assessments of the following aspects:

(i) The use of the logical framework as a management tool during implementation and any changes made to it as a response to changing conditions and/or feedback from M & E activities. (i) The use of the logical framework as a management tool during implementation and any changes made to it as a response to changing conditions and/or feedback from M & E activities. Implementation Approach (R). This should include assessments of the following aspects: (i) The use of the logical framework as a management tool during implementation and any changes made to it as a response to changing conditions and/or feedback from M & E activities.
(i) The use of the logical framework as a management tool during implementation and any changes made to it as a response to changing conditions and/or feedback from M & E activities.
(ii) Other elements that indicate adaptive management such as comprehensive and realistic work plans routinely (?) developed that reflect adaptive management and/or changes in management arrangements to enhance implementation.
(iii) The project’s use/establishment of electronic information technologies to support implementation, participation and monitoring as well as other project activities.
(iv) The general operational relationships between the institutions involved and other stakeholders (?) and how these relationships have contributed to effective implementation and achievement of project objectives.
(v) Technical capacities associated with the project and their role in project development, management and achievements.

  • Monitoring and evaluation (R). (Including an) assessment as to whether there has been adequate periodic oversight of activities during implementation to establish the extent to which inputs, work schedules, other required actions and outputs are proceeding according to plan; whether formal evaluations have been held and whether action has been taken on the results of this monitoring oversight and evaluation reports.
  • Stakeholder participation (R). This should include assessments of the mechanisms for information dissemination in project implementation and the extent of stakeholder participation in management, emphasizing the following:

(i) The production and dissemination of information and lessons generated by the project.
(ii) Local resource users and NGOs participation in project implementation and decision making and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach adopted by the project in this arena.
(iii) The establishment of partnerships and collaborative relationships developed by the project with local, national and international entities and the effects these have had on project implementation.
(iv) Involvement of governmental institutions in project implementation and the extent of governmental support of the project.

 Financial Planning: Including an assessment of:
(i) The actual project cost by objectives, outputs, activities
(ii) The cost-effectiveness of achievements
(iii) Financial management (including disbursement issues)
(iv) Co-financing

  • Procurement Management:  Including an assessment of:

(i)  Technical and human resource capacity for procurement management;
(ii) Linkages between work programming, procurement planning, budgeting, and disbursement planning;
(iii) Effectiveness of procurement management as indicated by results of audits (internal and/or external) and reports of review and supervision missions by IAs (first time use of abbreviation).

  • Sustainability. Extent to which the benefits of the project will continue, within or outside the project domain, after it has come to an end. Relevant factors include for example: Development of a sustainability strategy, establishment of financial and economic instruments and mechanisms, mainstreaming project objectives into the economy or community production activities.

4.3. Results

  • Attainment of Outcomes/ Achievement of objectives (R): Including a description and rating of the extent to which the project’s objectives (environmental and developmental) were achieved using Highly Satisfactory (HS), Satisfactory (S), Moderately Satisfactory (MS), Moderately Unsatisfactory (MU), Unsatisfactory (U) and Highly Unsatisfactory (HU) ratings. If the project did not establish a baseline (initial conditions), the evaluators should seek to determine one  through the use of special methodologies (which?)  so that achievements, results and impacts can be properly established. A summary table of ratings for attainment of objectives and progress towards each of the project outcomes using the 6-point rating scale should be presented.

This section should also include reviews of the following:

  • Sustainability: Including an appreciation of the extent to which benefits continue, within or outside the project domain after GEF assistance/external assistance in this phase has come to an end.  (not the same as the last point of 4.2.?)
  • Contribution to upgrading skills of the national staff
  • Summary Table of ratings.

5. Recommendations

  • Corrective actions for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project. Recommendations should be specific and clearly justified in relation to the achievement of the project objectives.
  • Actions to follow up or reinforce initial benefits from the project.
  • Proposals for future directions underlining main objectives.
  • Changes to project strategy, including the log frame indicators and targets.

6.  Lessons learned

This should highlight the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ practices in addressing issues relating to relevance, performance and success.

7.  Annexes to the Evaluation Report

  • Evaluation TORs
  • Itinerary
  • List of persons interviewed
  • Summary of field visits,  issues raised and recommendations by different stakeholders
  • List of documents reviewed
  • Questionnaire used and summary of results
  • Comments by stakeholders (only in case of discrepancies with evaluation findings and conclusions)

8. Ethics statement by Evaluator


The following rating system is to be applied, according to the UNDP Evaluation Rating Guidelines:

1 = Highly Satisfactory, HS
2 = Satisfactory, S
3 = Marginally Satisfactory, MS
4 = Marginally Unsatisfactory, MU
5 = Unsatisfactory, U
6 = Highly Unsatisfactory, HU.

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Un comentario en “Mid-Term Evaluation Consultant

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