BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
The GSF is a multi-donor funding facility for the long-term financing of national and regional activities to conserve ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and to sustain human livelihoods within the Guiana Shield ecoregion in northern South America. The Commission of the European Union and the Government of the Netherlands fund the GSF project (2010-2015) in equal amounts of EUR1.5 million.
As such, the GSF is a major institutional expression of the commitments of the globally binding multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) to conserve, protect and sustainably use the biodiversity of the planet1, to keep the average rise of atmospheric temperature below 2oC compared with pre-industrial levels and to protect the rights of indigenous peoples to their territories and of access to their natural resources and to thus protect their livelihoods and cultures in ways they deem fit.
With 2.7 million km2 of mostly intact pristine rainforest, the Guiana Shield ecoregion stores 50 billion tons of carbon, which is 10% of terrestrial carbon, it contains 10-15 % of all fresh water reserves in a world in which access to fresh water of good quality is becoming a more serious challenge by the day, its fauna and flora are characterized by high endemism and it is home to many indigenous communities, the most qualified guardians of the region.
All Guiana Shield rivers either directly or indirectly (the Amazon) empty into the Caribbean Sea with their effluents therefore affecting the quality of coral reefs and fisheries in that sea. The management of the Shield has a regional ecological impact to the North with all socio-economic consequences resulting from that; impact (tourism, food security, drinking water supply).
Its regional significance to the South may lie in the fact that it is the most intact and wettest part of the Amazon system and therefore of great importance for the precipitation patterns which now seem to play such a major role in the drought plaguing South-East Brazil.
Given the global and regional ecological significance of the Guiana Shield ecoregion and the fact that the MEAs, of which the GSF is one of the institutional expressions, all contain provisions of the transfer of finance and technology which are legally also of a binding nature. The GSF and its "predecessor" the Guiana Shield Initiative (GSI) have from the beginning - and continue to do so - supported the position that there is a strong rationale for transfers between the international community and those responsible for maintaining the ecological and cultural integrity of the Guiana Shield.
The GSF, however, has also always maintained the position that these transfers should not just be "hand-outs from rich to poor", but elements of a contractual arrangement between equal partners in which the global community through the MEAs and the institutions implementing the agreements compensate those who are indeed responsible for maintaining the ecological and cultural integrity of the Shield.
While not free from threats to this integrity – see below -, the Guiana Shield ecoregion, covering approximately 2.7 million km2 but home to only 8 million people, comprises one quarter of the remaining tropical rain forest in the world and has the lowest human density of any tropical rainforest. Contractual arrangements to preserve the ecology of the Shield thus stand a fair chance of being successful.
The operating premise of the GSF is that providing incentives for the conservation of the unique ecosystems of the Guiana Shield towards ensuring the long-term delivery of its globally important environmental services will contribute to poverty reduction and will help an eco-region beset by threats such as: (il)legal deforestation, (il)legal mining, water pollution, social and health problems connected to mining, poaching of wildlife, and lack of a coordinated framework for planning, priority setting and management of natural resources.
The GSF is drawing national, regional and global attention to the benefits of maintaining intact ecosystems, and demonstration that a compensation system for ecological services is feasible. Six countries share and administer the territorial space of the Guiana Shield, namely Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana (overseas territory of France), Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.
In March 2015, the GSF successfully organized a regional workshop of representatives of national and sub-national authorities that administer the Guiana Shield, international NGOs, and other stakeholders to prepare the post-2014 programme document. It is envisaged to use this document and the evaluation report on the GSF project implementation (2010-2015) to delineate the scope and details of the next GSF phase 2016-2020. A GSF donor conference is to be convened in Brussels in October 2015.
The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the effectiveness and contribution of the GSF project to protecting ecosystems through implementation of valuation methodologies, payment for ecosystem services, and adoption of new technologies, as well as creating and sustaining effective partnerships to promote advocacy, knowledge building and transboundary collaboration within the Guiana Shield. This evaluation is expected to pronounce on the extent to which the participating national and sub-national authorities and other stakeholders involved in the project, are able to use the GSF as a facilitating and delivery mechanism in support of national and overarching regional environmental priorities as a result of the GSF support.
Further, it will explore the extent to which this project has contributed to the achievement of the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (RBLAC) Regional Programme Document (RPD) 2008 – 2014 Outcome, that is, “biodiversity protected through the implementation of valuation methodologies, payment of environmental services and adoption of new technologies”, as well as individual Country Programme (CP) outcomes.
This evaluation is intended to substantively contribute both retrospective and prospective analysis that can inform the programmatic choices the UNDP makes in further shaping the future of the GSF as an ecoregional tool for collaboration in the areas of conservation and sustainable development. In this context, it is expected that practical options will be presented based on this assessment of current capacities at multiple scales, and what future investments that are needed to consolidate, sustain and expand on the gains made during the project.
EVALUATION SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES
The Evaluation will consider the project, inputs, activities, outputs and the project’s contribution to the RPD outcome and relevant CP outcomes.
The primary issues would be the relevance/appropriateness, efficiency, effectiveness, coherence and sustainability of the outputs. The evaluation should provide insights on the successes and weaknesses of the project, identify important lessons that UNDP and the partners can use to inform future interventions in the area of conservation and sustainable development. More specifically, consideration should be given to the effectiveness of the project and the outputs it has produced, as well as the timeliness of implementation.
Furthermore, a review of the project implementation arrangements including the process of stakeholder engagement should also be carried out to identify practical, implementable recommendations to improve future project design, implementation and management measures.
The evaluation must be carried out using a sound methodology which allows for rigor and provides reliable results for the decision making.
Some questions to be asked in this evaluation are:
- Were the stated outputs achieved?
- What factors have contributed to achieving or not achieving intended outputs?
- To what extent have project outputs and assistance contributed to achieving UNDP Regional Programme and Country Programme Outcomes?
- Were the project’s partnership strategies appropriate, relevant and contributed to project’s effectiveness?
- To what extent is the investment made by UNDP likely to bring sustained attention to national and transboundary priorities in the areas of conservation and sustainable development?
- What should be the GSF’s niche within the ecoregion?
- What are the opportunities/options for developing an appropriate mix of partners to address the funding and other resource needs related to the conservation and sustainable development of the Guiana Shield ecoregion?
- What are the possible pathways to getting international development partners and other contributors, to contribute financial and other resources to the GSF, through cost-sharing or other arrangements?
- What are possible workable mechanisms for the distribution of GSF financial resources among participating countries and activities?
Final decisions about the specific design and methods for the evaluation will emerge from consultations among the UNDP, the evaluator, and key stakeholders about what is appropriate and feasible to meet the evaluation purpose and objectives and answer the evaluation questions, given limitations of budget, time and extant data. UNDP expects a detailed and refined evaluation methodology to be presented by the evaluator at the time of the evaluation’s inception report.
The proposed methodology should include an appropriate mix of the following:
- Desk review of progress reports and project documents;
- Interviews of individuals, groups and key informants using predetermined questions to obtain in-depth information on impressions and experiences; explore opinions about the initiative and their understanding and identify opportunities for new strategic partnerships (financial and other) for the post-2014 project;
- Collection of information on tangible and non-tangible changes wherever possible;
- Field visits
- Participatory techniques and other approaches for the gathering and analysis of data;
- Participation of stakeholders and/or partners.
This must be supported by an evaluation matrix which should address the following considerations:
- Relevant evaluation criteria
- Key questions the evaluation will answer for each criteria (and sub-questions, if necessary)
- Data Sources for each question/criteria
- Data collection method for each question/criteria
- Indicators/success standards for each question/criteria
- Methods for Data Analysis
EVALUATION PRODUCTS (DELIVERABLES)
- EvaluationInceptionReport- An inception report should be prepared by the evaluator before going into the full-fledged evaluation exercise. It should detail the evaluator’s understanding of what is being evaluated and why, showing how each evaluation question will be answered by way of: proposed methods; proposed sources of data; and data collection procedures. The inception report should include a proposed schedule of tasks, activities and deliverables, identifying who is responsible for each task or product. The inception report will provide the UNDP, and the evaluator with an opportunity to verify that they share the same understanding about the evaluation and clarify any misunderstanding at the outset.
- DraftEvaluationreport– UNDP will provide guidance on the quality criteria that will be used to assess quality of report.
Final Evaluation report
- Evaluation brief: including power point presentation of key findings, lessons learned, and recommendations
EVALUATOR/EVALUATION TEAM COMPOSITION AND REQUIRED COMPETENCIES
The evaluator should have a minimum qualification of M.Sc. in applied biological sciences or related field in combination with at least ten years of progressive experience in Sustainable Development programmes or projects.
TECHNICAL EXPERTISE: At least 5 years of experience in evaluating sustainable development programmes/projects. Understanding of, and experience in, the required evaluation methodologies.
SECTORAL EXPERTISE: Expertise in the sectoral areas of the project being evaluated– Conservation, Sustainable Development or closely related area.
IMPARTIAL: No conflict of interest with any of the parties involved in the project evaluation.
GOOD COMMUNICATOR and INTERPERSONAL SKILLS: Able to communicate the evaluation results in a manner that is easily understood by all parties. Able to interact with all parties in a sensitive and effective way.
LANGUAGE SKILLS: Able to speak English and at least one other Guiana Shield language. Additionally, the evaluator selected should meet the following requirements:
- Know UNDP, its programmes, operations and evaluation procedures.
- Be available for full participation and intensive work within required timeframes.
- Bring fresh perspectives, insights, experiences and recent state-of-the-art knowledge.
- Be aware of constraints on feasibility of recommendations.
- Familiarity with regional and local political, cultural, and economic environment would be an asset.
- The evaluator should be independent from any organizations that have been involved in designing, executing or advising any aspect of the project.
This evaluation should be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the United Nations Evaluation Group ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. The following should be addressed in the design and implementation of the evaluation:
- Evaluation ethics and procedures to safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, for example: measures to ensure compliance with legal codes governing areas such as provisions to collect and report data,
- Provisions to store and maintain security of collected information; and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality.
- Role of UNDP personnel:
- Recruit, select and approve evaluator.
- Review evaluators’ inception and final reports and provide feedback on areas for strengthening, review and provide substantive feedback on the findings of the evaluation.
- Approve Final Evaluation report and ensure the overall quality of evaluation.
- Procedures to amend TOR:
For amendments to this TOR, specific requests can be made to the UNDP Guyana. Consultations will take place between UNDP and the evaluator to arrive at a decision on proposed changes. Final responsibility for effecting a change to TOR resides with UNDP Guyana.
- Reporting relationships:
Consultant will submit evaluation deliverables to UNDP Guyana.
Time Frame for the Evaluation Process
Levelof Effort (30 days)
Preparation of Inception Report – finalizing the evaluation design
In-country evaluation missions (visits to field, interviews, questionnaires)
Preparing the draft Report
Debriefing with UNDP
Stakeholder meeting and review of draft report (quality assurance)
Incorporating comments and finalizing the evaluation report
Evaluation Inception Report
5 days after contract signature (20%)
Draft Evaluation report and Draft Evaluation Brief
45 days after contract signature (30%)
Final Evaluation report and Final Evaluation Brief
60 days after contract signature (50%)
The following will be made available to the Consultant:
- Evaluation Matrix
- UNDP Regional Programme Document (2008-2014)
- UNDP Country Programme Documents for relevant programme countries
- Project Document – Guiana Shield Facility
- GSF Annual Project Reports
- GSF Regional Advisory Board meetings reports
- GSF post-2014 Programme workshop report
- EU Result Oriented Monitoring reports
- M&E and other field mission reports
United Nations Development Programme 42 Brickdam & UN Place
Subject: Vacancy Announcement. Consultant- GSF Final Evaluation Only short-listed qualified candidates will be contacted.