Vacancy Announcement – Evaluator, Independent Evaluation, Planning, Performance Monitoring, and Evaluation Unit (PPME)

Project title: Independent Baseline Evaluation of the CommonSensing Project

Title (i.e. consultant, individual contractor): Consultant

Organizational Unit: Planning, Performance Monitoring, and Evaluation Unit (PPME)

Indicative starting date: 16 July 2018

Duty Station: home-based

Deadline for Application: 25 June 2018

Area of Specialization/Thematic Areas:  Evaluation, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, GIS


Overview

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a principal training arm of the United Nations, with the aim to increase the effectiveness of the United Nations in achieving its major objectives through training and research. Learning outcomes are associated with about two-thirds of the Institute’s 475-some events organized annually, with a cumulative outreach to over 55,000 individuals (including 35,000 learners). Approximately three-quarters of beneficiaries from learning-related programming are from developing countries. UNITAR training covers various thematic areas, including activities to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; multilateral diplomacy; public finance and trade; environment, including climate change, environmental law and governance, and chemicals and waste management; peacekeeping, peacebuilding and conflict prevention; decentralized cooperation; and resilience and disaster risk reduction.

The UNITAR Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) is a technology-intensive programme that delivers imagery analysis and satellite solutions to relief and development organizations within and outside the United Nations, with the aim to contribute to decision-making in areas such as humanitarian relief, human security and strategic territorial and development planning.

Funded under the International Partnership Programme (IPP) of the UK Space Agency, CommonSensing project aims to improve resilience towards climate change, including disaster risk reduction, and contribute to sustainable development in three Commonwealth Pacific island countries: Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. These and other SIDS are exposed to the damaging effects of climate change. Such changes in the climate system have direct effects on the economy as well as overall development and the very existence of many SIDS. Urgent action towards development for climate resilience is therefore required.

The CommonSensing project supports the IPP’s priorities to deliver a sustainable social and economic benefit to emerging and developing economies, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. CommonSensing aims to contribute to helping the beneficiary countries achieve Goal 9 (Innovation and Infrastructure) and Goal 13 (Climate Action) of the 2030 Agenda. The project focusses on developing national capacities for longer-term sustainability and business continuity by providing beneficiary countries the knowledge and skills sets for strengthened evidence-based decision making and dossiers to access climate funding. 

General objectives of the contract

The purpose of the baseline evaluation is to assess the entry level project conditions in order to provide a baseline against which the project’s progress can be measured and evaluated. The specific objectives of the evaluation are to obtain baseline evidence on the project’s log frame indicators, including measures such as:

  • human loss from natural disasters and economic damages including food security from multi-hazards (2017);
  • the number and nature of proposals submitted to Climate Funds, the amount of funds accessed/disbursed from successful funding applications, and the work performed/projects undertaken from the funding (2017); and
  • the number of trained technical officers with knowledge and skills sets to contribute to evidence based decisions.

The purpose of the baseline evaluation is to also validate the project’s theory of change; the adequacy of the log frame, including the adequacy of the indicators, performance measures, means of verification and underlying assumptions; and the project’s implementation strategy.

More information can be found in the terms of references (Annex 1).

Responsibilities/description of professional services

The consultant shall undertake a desk review based on the project related documents including analytical reports; collect data using appropriate tools, including surveys, interviews, focus groups; analyze data using quantitative and qualitative methods as appropriate to the evaluation questions; and submit deliverables in accordance with the below schedule.

Measurable outputs/deliverables/indicative schedule of deliverables

  • Initial data collection, including desk review, stakeholder analysis
  • Evaluation design/ question matrix
  • Data collection and analysis, including survey(s), interviews, focus groups and field visits
  • Zero draft evaluation report
  • Draft evaluation report
  • Final evaluation report

Deliverable

From

To

Deadline

Evaluation design/question matrix

Evaluator

Evaluation manager 

 30 July 2018

Comments on evaluation design/question matrix

Evaluation manager/ CommonSensing project manager

Evaluator

 3 August 2018

Zero draft report

Evaluator

Evaluation manager

 3 September 2018

Comments on zero draft

Evaluation manager

Evaluator

 7 September 2018

Draft report

Evaluator

Evaluation manager/ CommonSensing project manager

 14 September 2018

Comments on draft report

CommonSensing project manager

Evaluation manager

 21 August 2018

Final report

Evaluation manager

CommonSensing project manager

 28 September 2018

Performance Indicators for Evaluation of Results

The performance indicators for evaluation of results for this assignment are the following:

  • Timely submission of deliverables;
  • Satisfactory quality of the evaluation report.

Reporting structure

The evaluation will be undertaken by an international consultant under the overall responsibility of the Manager, Planning, Performance Monitoring, and Evaluation Unit (PPME), UNITAR.

Duration of contract

The proposed timeframe for the evaluation spans from July to September 2018. While the assignment is administered on a lump-sum arrangement, the approximate number of work days per component/deliverable is calculated as follows:

 

Task/deliverable

Estimated number of work days

Comments

Desk study and submission of evaluation design/question matrix

5

 

Data collection

10

 

Data analysis and preparation of zero draft

10

 

Preparation of draft report

3

 

Final report

2

 

Total estimated

30

 

Qualifications

  • MA degree or equivalent in international relations, political science, environmental science, development or a related discipline. Training and/or experience in the area of GIS, climate change and/or disaster risk reduction would be a clear advantage.  
  • At least 7 years of professional experience conducting evaluation in the field of capacity building, sustainable learning, GIS and climate change and disaster risk reduction.
  • Technical knowledge of the focal area.
  • Field work experience in developing countries, preferably in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
  • Excellent research and analytical skills, including experience in a variety of evaluation methods and approaches.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Strong communication and presentation skills.
  • Cross-cultural awareness and flexibility.
  • Availability to travel.

Languages

Fluency in spoken and written English.

Remarks

  • General conditions of contracts for the service of consultants apply. Before initiating the assignment, the consultant shall sign the Evaluation Consultant Code of Conduct and Agreement Form (part of Annex 1).
  • Interested applicants who have worked for the UNOSAT Programme or the CommonSensing project or who may have a conflict of interest are not eligible for the assignment.

Annexes

Annex 1: Complete Terms of Reference

How to apply

Send a letter of motivation and P11 form or Curriculum Vitae to evaluation@unitar.org with the following subject line: “Independent Baseline Evaluation of the CommonSensing Project”

Due to the high number of expected applications, UNITAR will only contact shortlisted applicants.