Individual Consultants – Value for Money Assessment for the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund x 3

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Individual Consultants - Value for Money Assessment for the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund x 3

  • Post Date:August 29, 2021
  • Views 679
0 Applications
  • Career Level Consultant
    Qualification Master’s Degree
    Experience 5-10 Years
  • Industry Non Governmental
Job Description

Location : Harare, ZIMBABWE
Application Deadline : 30-Aug-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category : Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract : Individual Contract
Post Level : National Consultant
Languages Required : English
Starting Date : (date when the selected candidate is expected to start) 15-Sep-2021
Duration of Initial Contract : 90 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment : 90 working days

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Background

Background and Context

Over the last decades, Zimbabwe has experienced a number of unprecedented economic, environmental and social shocks and stresses, many of which had long-lasting impacts. Poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition, and environmental degradation are serious challenges in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas, and this is likely to continue due to the effects of climate change. However, Zimbabwe is slowly starting to rebuild structures to lay a new foundation for sustainable development. Humanitarian interventions and transitional initiatives with long term strategies, multi-sector and multi-level approaches, context-specific analysis are now designed with flexibility and strategic partnerships to ensure communities capacities are built to enable them to deal with future shocks and stresses to address sectorial issues in areas such as food and nutrition security, health, education and water and hygiene, and livelihoods.

Within the UN system, UNDP took a leading role in guiding agencies through a series of conversations, meetings and workshops to define a strategic framework that works for the UN and GoZ to build resilience in at-risk communities. Additionally, consultations were held with international as well as national NGOs and academia for a broad perspective to be able to support the thinking and prevent at-risk communities from continuously sliding back into a situation calling for humanitarian assistance. UNDP, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement (MLAFWRR) and support from EU, FCDO and SIDA – embarked on laying the groundwork for a resilience-building initiative. This culminated in the setting up of the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund. This initiative has a strong focus on evidence-based programming and the work focuses on 3 overall sets of components:

Component 1: Building evidence to improve the policy environment and stimulate service provision to enhance household and community resilience.

Funded activities included developing evidence around the impact and vulnerabilities to shocks and climate change and build coalitions of change to influence relevant Government of Zimbabwe policies (e.g., the Food and Nutrition Policy, the National Gender Policy, the Environmental Act, the Traditional Leaders Act, the Disaster Risk Management policy, the new Social Protection Framework) and other donors. Following implementation of components 2 and 3, this component will also analyse the cost effectiveness of various interventions to build resilience and respond to shocks. In nutshell, this component will contribute to the overall resilience building and have a better understanding of what works in resilience how and why.

Component 2: Interventions to support long-term household and community resilience in the face of climate shocks and trends. Examples of interventions include (but not limited to): Community resourced disaster plans and its implementation (i.e. building small-scale community infrastructures/assets), productive safety nets for targeted groups/communities /households, value chains, market linkages, savings groups, and access to financial services including micro insurance and weather-based crop insurance – particularly for women, gender-sensitive, climate-smart agriculture techniques including post-harvest technology, climate-smart irrigation systems, drought-tolerant variety development and marketing, along with livelihoods and crop diversification. Interventions also include (participatory) action research for climate change adaptation.

Component 3: A crisis modifier that can respond to humanitarian shocks. The programme has a flexible risk financing mechanism for early warning and early action to protect development gains. The mechanism ensures that communities are able to recover quickly and minimise the loss of development investments and gains. The response includes a wide range of activities such as cash-based, time-limited and built upon existing structures where possible to reach people in time and cost effectively. Other donors used this window with their humanitarian funds, even when not a core donor to the ZRBF for instants the Danish provided funds through this mechanism to respond to an emerging crisis. This offered value for money and greater humanitarian aid coordination – in line with the EU member state position on humanitarian and resilience building and the High-Level Cash Panel – both of which call for donors to coordinate around humanitarian interventions and policy.

Based on the evidence from component 1, the programme targeted chronically vulnerable areas with high levels of poverty and/or food insecurity, where the negative effects of climate change are already manifesting themselves, and where frequent and/or multiple shocks occur. These areas often received repeated rounds of humanitarian assistance and are where climate stresses are having the greatest negative impact and longer-term approaches are required. Therefore 18 rural districts districts were targeted namely: Mudzi, Mutoko, Binga, Kariba, Mbire, Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Nyanga, Beitbridge, Lupane, Matobo, Insiza, Nkayi, Zvishavane, Mberengwa, Bubi, Umuguza and Umuzingwane

The ZRBF programme is currently in its close out phase and the 7 projects and one strategic partner funded by ZRBF has been in existence from July 2016 until June 2020, with a recent extension granted up to the end of June 2022. UNDP would like to implement a full value for money assessment (cost-benefit analysis) at ZRBF fund level and for all its 7 projects and one strategic partner.

Duties and Responsibilities

Purpose, Objective and Scope

The primary objective of the assignment is to demonstrate the relevance of VFM in the ZRBF programme and all 7 projects and one strategic partner funded to show how the ZRBF maximized the value for money approach by applying the VFM framework of economic expenditures and efficiently and effectively delivery of activities in an equitable manner. The three consultants are expected to work together in taking stock of experience and lessons learnt in the life cycle of the programme and projects from each of the relevant VFM assessments in order to develop best practice that will contribute to informing ZRBF next phase and scaling up of respective interventions as the programme draws to an end of its first phase. In particular, the study will assess VfM in ZRBF to have a better understanding of the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the ZRBF projects in achieving its intended outputs and outcomes inline with the theory of change. Including documentation of how VFM considerations were made throughout the project life cycle, what changed and, where actions appropriate and how the Crisis Modifer processes preserve the development gains. The three consultants are expected to support UNDP ZRBF programme and projects in providing concrete evidence on value for money and strengthen the capacities on applying value for money systematically across all projects. The three consultants will focus primarily on providing value for money assessment for ZRBF programme and all funded projects. A full assessment on value for money will be completed for 7 projects (covering specific interventions as parts of the projects) based on a methodology to be determined in advance with the three consultants. The assessment should include both qualitative and quantitative measures where applicable and make comparisons with similar or comparable global, international and local best practices and standards. Assessing VFM is a continual process of comparison to cost benchmarks and current practice/costs and seeking/achieving improvements to these. The three consultants will split the workload as follows; consultant 1 will cover ECRAS, MELANA and ZVA, Consultant 2 will cover PROGRESS, SIZIMELE and ZRBF PMU and Consultant 3 will cover BRACT, ECRIMS and RKH and they will coordinate and work together to harmonize their approaches and consolidate the required final reports.

Specifically, both at programme and projects level the assessments should answer the following key evaluation questions and include a range of criteria ranging from cost control to pro-poor focus, outcome delivery, accountability and transparency. Furthermore, the consultants are expected to examine FCDO/DFID’s framework on value for money (and other possible frameworks) and assess value for money under the following (but not limited to) indicators:

Economy:

  • Assess whether ZRBF and its funded projects displayed the requisite financial rationality and responsibility in their transactions. Are ZRBF projects inputs of appropriate quality bought at a minimised price? Assessing the costs of projects inputs and resources of an intervention thereby ensuring purchase of the right inputs at the right price minimise costs while bearing in mind the need for maintaining good quality;
  • Inspect the transactions to assess the economic aspects, especially the following:
    • Savings;
    • Administrative costs (or support costs) as a percentage of total costs; This also entails Programme management costs to programme costs, (% of overhead costs in comparison to total programme costs);
    • Percentage of use of local technical assistance;
    • Gather evidence on process measures used, such as synergies and cost-sharing opportunities with other programmes, etc.;
    • Unit cost of climate smart food security activity;
    • Unit cost of delivering cash transfer per beneficiary;
    • Unit cost of training;
    • Unit cost of Technical Assistance;
    • Unit costs of items procured.

Efficiency:

Measures how much output ZRBF get for a given level of input – how many people have improved resilience given the cost of (investments made into the programme and projects). Furthermore:

  • Budget execution rate;
  • Spend against each output in the reporting period;
  • Cost of reach per beneficiary/activity;
  • Cost per result at output indicator level;
  • Unit costs of the physical productive infrastructure menu of activities (benchmarked and presented as trend information where possible);
  • Research, analytical work and evidence generation completed on time/budget;
  • Gather evidence on programme processes or specific examples during the reporting period which potentially impact on efficiency
  • Gather evidence on how efficient and effective procurement processes where in delivering good VFM. What could have been done centrally (UNDP ZRBF PMU vs decentralization (Consortia). What economies of scale were realised and what was the impact?
  • Management costs for each delivery mechanism/fund as a proportion of invested funds;
  • Cost of transfer ratio-FDCO to UNDP and UNDP to partners;
  • Percentage of fund from FCDO, other donors;
  • Percentage of humanitarian funds flowing through / coordinated with ZRBF.

Effectiveness:

What worked (and did not work) in building resilience for the funded projects given the cost of delivering resilience interventions per programme participant. That is how much impact the project has had relative to the cost of the inputs (cost effectiveness):

  • Assess whether selected UNDP ZRBF projects have achieved objectives using a certain amount of resources within a certain time frame;
  • Assess whether there is an optimum relationship between the resources applied and outputs (Cost Benefit Analysis of the full programme and all funded projects) that is Ex post economic analyses (cost benefit and financial analyses) of a sample of interventions financed;
  • Averting and/or leveraging costs of services;
  • Number of women and men whose resilience has been improved;
  • Number of farmers’ linked with viable commercial value chain;
  • Percentage change in food based average coping strategy index;
  • Number policies and practices changed – through use of ZRBF evidence.

Equity:

That can be defined in terms of whether the outcomes, and perhaps the outputs, benefit different types of recipients equally – are young people, elderly, women, and children benefiting from the ZRBF interventions? (Leave no one behind). This will also include the following:

  • Percentage of women benefiting from the programme;
  • Geographic split across target areas.

Evidence:

  • The three Consultants must have necessary and sufficient evidence to support observations. Evidence may take a variety of forms. It may be: – Statistics, comparisons, analyses, rationale etc. developed by the Consultant;
  • Obtained by direct inspection or observation. Wherever possible, it would be better to obtain photographs or videotapes to support such observations; Copies of actual documentation.

Assessment Methodology

The three consultants’ work must apply the following methodological approaches:

  • Review project documents and data for the respective allocated projects;
  • Field visits and observations to draw both quantitative and qualitative data;
  • Undertake analysis in line with key research questions to be finalized in consultation with UNDP ZRBF PMU, stakeholders and funding partners;
  • Prepare a report in line with key research questions and provide corresponding spreadsheet analysis and key recommendations going forward;
  • Deliver training, validation workshop and dissemination of the findings to various ZRBF stakeholders.

Expected deliverables

The three consultants are expected to coordinate and work together, and each produce the following deliverables including working together to consolidate the required reports:

  • Inception report outlining the approach/methodology to value for money and questions including a review/revision on the existing framework for UNDP ZRBF (utilizing FCDO/DFID approach and other key donors approach on value for money) (15 days). Each will provide separate reports for the respective allocated projects and finally work together to provide a consolidated inception report;
  • Value for money analysis and detailed report with deep dive into thematic areas for allocated ZRBF projects (60 days); including the consolidated final report;
  • Completed five-days training for all UNDP ZRBF PMU and projects staff (showcasing the value for money assessments of the UNDP ZRBF and all funded projects and training participants on how to conduct a value for money for their specific projects) and provision of dedicated technical guidance and support to ensure value for money is framed in the formulation and designing of the next phase of UNDP ZRBF Next Gen. (15 days). The three are expected to work together in planning and delivering this workshop and share sessions equally.

Supervision and Performance Evaluation

  • The three consultants will work under direct supervision of the ZRBF Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist in close consultation with the ZRBF Project Manager. The ZRBF Project Manager will certify the deliverables.

Timeframe and deadlines

  • The work is estimated to require 90 working days from September 2021 to November 2021.

Inputs

  • UNDP will provide all necessary data and contacts. UNDP office space as required by the consultant. UNDP will not provide a laptop.

Payment schedule

  • 40 % of the contract amount upon approval of inception report, field work and completion of trainings, validation and dissemination workshops;
  • 60% of payment upon approval of final reports.

Competencies

Core Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards (human rights, peace, understanding between peoples and nations, tolerance, integrity, respect, results orientation (UNDP core ethics) impartiality;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge and experience with resilience programming development, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates openness to change, flexibility, and ability to manage complexities;
  • Ability to work under pressure and with multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams and possess excellent inter-personal skills;
  • Demonstrates strong written and oral communication skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humour even under pressure;
  • Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills;
  • Ability to establish priorities for self and others, and to work independently.

Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Master’s degree or higher in economics, finance, public policy or related disciplines from a recognized university.

Experience

  • Minimum 5 years of working experience in undertaking cost-benefit/effective/utility analysis and/or value for money studies with international development projects;
  • Previous experience of delivering training on cost-benefit/effective/utility analysis and/or value for money studies with international development projects;
  • Previous experience in providing management advisory services on value for money at international organizations or development agencies.

Language

  • Excellent speaking and writing in English.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified individuals should submit the following to demonstrate their interest and qualifications:

  • Personal CV or P11 Form, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided in the link below;
  • Technical Proposal demonstrating full understanding of the TORs, approach and methodology to the task and workplan.

Please note that all the documents below must be submitted as one PDF file.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the Cumulative Analysis methodology [weighted scoring method], where the award of the contract will be made to the candidate whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

 

  • Technical Criteria weight; [70%];
  • Financial Criteria weight; [30%].

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% of the obtainable 100 points in technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Technical Evaluation Criteria:

  • Adequacy of Profile and Technical Proposal (Max 100 points)

General Conditions of Contract for the consultancy firms:

https://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/Procurement/english/UNDP%20GCs%20for%20ICs%20-%20March2019.pdf

UNDP Personal History form (P11) required of all applicants: http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/Careers/P11_Personal_history_form.doc

Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/789q1hvdrdgwqqc/PPG_Cons_Letter%20of%20Interest%20and%20Availability.docx?dl=0