Evaluation/Youth Specialist (International Consultant), Syria, 3 months (Remote/Work from home)

UNICEF Global


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.

For every child, a voice.

BACKGROUND: Young people in Syria represent a tremendous resource to contribute positively to a cohesive, peaceful and resilient Syrian society which has been damaged by over 11 years crisis, COVID-19 and economic hardship. The chronic unemployment and limited skills building and participation opportunities have negatively impacted their productive engagement in communities.

ADAP programme in Syria reflects the UNICEF Strategic Plan 2018-2021, the Adolescents and Youth Engagement Strategy and the 2030 SDG agenda. In 2021, UNICEF Syria provided nearly 300,000 young people with skills development and social engagement opportunities (155,041 girls) in addition to multi-sectoral services, through ministries, NGOs, and INGOs in 13 governorates.

Challenges includes accessibility, associated risks for youth, lack of flexible funding to scale-up as well as the scalability and sustainability of programme activities in the current context, particularly impact of economic crisis on employment opportunities, plus the negative effects of Covid-19 mitigation measures on group activities. The delays to the new CPD mean there is no up-to-date comprehensive results framework or ToC for ADAP programme since 2016.

How can you make a difference?

OBJECTIVES OF THE CONTRACT:  The purpose of the contract is to conduct an evaluability assessment of UNICEF SCO ADAP programming since 2018 to assess and strengthen the coherence and measurability. Its purpose is to determine whether the causal pathways towards results for adolescents and youth used by the programme are clear and logical, to review the adequacy of the mechanisms to track performance and generate evidence to inform future ADAP programming in Syria and improve the evaluability of the programme for future planned evaluations.

The objectives of the evaluability assessment are to

i) Review the design of previous and current UNICEF Syria Adolescent Development And Participation programming by assessing the relevance, logic and coherence of the current programme approach including relevance and alignment to country context, including how UNICEF teams work together to achieve shared results, with a view to identifying areas for improvement;

ii) Support future UNICEF Syria ADAP programming by reviewing the status of evidence of the sustainability and scalability of current programme approaches;

iii) Inform the design of the planned evaluation of UNICEF Syria Adolescent Development And Participation programme (planned for 2022), in particular:

– assess the adequacy and validity of the tools and systems for monitoring, measuring and verifying results in Syria, with a view to strengthening the quality of evidence available to inform future evaluations,

– conduct a diagnostic/stocktake to measure the availability of data pertaining to key programme results and processes,

– assess the demand for and feasibility of an evaluation, including timeframe, resources and approach, with a particular focus on factors that enable engagement with, and use of, an evaluation by key stakeholders. This will include assessing evaluative methods appropriate to engagement with youth in Syria.  

The time period that this evaluability assessment will cover is programme activities from 2018 – 2022 at national level across the 13 governorates where UNICEF operates through 6 field offices. This period is associated with a less acute emergency phase when programming was possible at a larger scale.

The following draft evaluability questions will be discussed and refined with the consultant recruited to conduct the evaluability assessment but are intended to indicate the main areas of interest:

 

I. REVIEW THE DESIGN OF UNICEF SYRIA ADAP PROGRAMMING

– What is the strategic relevance of the programme design in view of the current and immediate-future context of Syria, and is it clear how the programme is intended to contribute coherently and appropriately to the national, regional and global results on adolescent development, participation and empowerment?

– Has the programme clearly identified the needs of youth and adolescents in Syria and key stakeholders to achieve results through context analysis?

– Is there a coherent results chain and activities for UNICEF work on adolescent development, participation and empowerment, as well as clear assumptions? Are the pathways from selected activities to results clear (in programme documentation) and well understood (by UNICEF programme staff and implementing partners)?

– Is there a complete set of documents and/or sufficient information on the design of UNICEF’s ADAP programme in terms of objectives and how these can be operationalised (e.g., Theory of Change, annual work plans, logic framework, programme strategy etc.)?

– Are intended results outcomes or effects of interventions clearly specified for all groups of adolescents, taking diverse equity factors into consideration (e.g. vulnerability, gender, inequality, etc.)?

– Are there clear implementation plans and adequate resources and capacities to implement the programme of work for adolescents?

– Are work arrangements for cross-sectoral collaboration on adolescent work and results clearly defined?

 

II. INFORM FUTURE ADAP PROGRAMING in SYRIA

– Does programme documentation include sufficient information about the context and adequate justification for UNICEF programming choices to achieve results for adolescents? Is there a clear and persuasive rationale for change strategies that have been selected and how have these been adjusted over time?

– How have risks and assumptions been considered by programme teams and used to adjust the programme over time (including evidence of how the programme has been updated and adjusted in response to contextual shifts in Syria)?

– Is programme planning and implementation flexible enough to maximise new learning and positive unintended consequences, and/or mitigate unintended negative consequences (including status of evidence)?

– What mechanisms exist for the programme to identify opportunities for scalability and sustainability of current programming approaches in Syria?

 

III. FUTURE EVALUATION PLANNING & APPROACH

– Is UNICEF’s programme of work on adolescents in Syria based on robust and appropriate indicators, accompanied by an adequate and coherent monitoring system (tools, processes and resources) and capacities for data gathering, analysis and management of information, and is the monitoring system in use reliable enough to generate information at reasonable time intervals to help monitor change and to determine the validity of results indicators?

– What relevant data and information is available that could be used for ADAP evaluations in Syria, both within UNICEF systems and more widely? Is the data required to measure and monitor results (including the availability and sufficiency of baselines and targets) available, disaggregated, and is it of sufficiently high quality?

– Are there baselines available and what is the coverage of the data?

– Have future evidence needs for the improvement of adolescent programming in Syria been identified? What are the key questions that would be most useful for an evaluation to explore?

– Who would be the primary users and stakeholders of any evaluation, what is the level of their ownership of the current ADAP programme, what would be the nature of their participation in a future evaluation, and how can their engagement be built?

– What are the most appropriate methods for an evaluation to engage with youth in Syria, giving consideration to both ethical issues and restrictions in the current context? Are these designs feasible given the context, timing, data availability, resource availability?

Methodology

This evaluability assessment will be conducted in accordance to the 2016 UNEG Norms and Standards for Evaluation and the UNICEF Evaluation Policy (2018).

The methodology of the evaluability assessment, and related deliverables, should consist of:

a) Document review of programme and project documentation, including a detailed mapping of available key documentation for any planned evaluation and key gaps in documentation and sources;

b) Stocktake and assessment of monitoring and reporting systems, including mapping and assessment of data available for any planned evaluation and relevant indicators including cross-sectoral;

c) Stakeholder mapping and virtual interviews with key internal and external stakeholders. Interviews should address all three areas of the evaluability questions above as it is anticipated that these will be the same stakeholders for any planned evaluation;

d) Identification and review of available data from adolescents and youth benefitting from UNICEF-supported services, NGO-implemented services and line ministries.

e) Primary data collection with beneficiary youth is possible via third party data collectors or youth researchers in UNICEF-supported service centers run by implementing partners, using tools designed by the evaluability assessment consultant.

Risks and limitations

A key risk is that programme planning, monitoring and reporting may be incomplete or not have generated enough information to undertake a meaningful assessment to strengthen current or future programming or be used for future evaluations. Where this is the case, the consultant should document the gaps, identify any possible proxies, and recommend how to improve in future.

Another risk is related to engaging with youth in Syria; programme colleagues will be able to advise on appropriate methods or highlight limitations that the consultant should factor into their approach and recommendations regarding data collection for any planned evaluations, such as accessing youth outside of UNICEF-supported facilities. Any engagement with adolescents for data collection or access to personal and identifiable information about adolescents during the evaluability assessment will be subject to UNICEF and UNEG ethical standards and would require ethical approval.

GEOGRAPHIC AREA/DUTY STATION: Remote working

On-site working days: 0

Off-site working days: 45 days

Field Missions/Travel: none

DURATION:

Estimated Start Date: 15 May 2022

Estimated End Date:  15 Aug 2022

The selected consultant will work for the period of 45 days during the three month period. It is anticipated that the work will be done remotely, including any data collection. The exact schedule of the activities will be agreed with the consultant based on the contract implementation progress. The deadline for submission of final deliverables to UNICEF is by the end of the contract.

SECTION IN CHARGE: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

SUPERVISOR: The consultant will be supervised and report to UNICEF Syria Chief of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, in close collaboration with the UNICEF Syria ADAP Programme team. On a day-to-day basis, consultant is expected to work closely and liaise with the Country Office Evaluation Focal Point (Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist) and Evaluation Specialist who are responsible for managing evaluation functions on the ground. A small Reference Group will be formed to provide technical guidance and support to the management of the evaluability assessment.

DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENT (TASKS, SMART DELIVERABLES, DEADLINES):

Tasks

End Products/ Deliverables

Duration/ Deadline

1. Orientation meeting with UNICEF Syria Country Office

(Tentatively on 15th, May 2022)

Workplan to be developed after the orientation meeting

Duration 1 day

Deadline 18th, May 2022

2. Weekly updates with supervisor and Evaluation Focal Point on progress.

Weekly online debrief on progress against work plan, including agenda of key items to discuss or action.

Starting from two weeks after the contract signing, until the end of the assignment.

3. Review of available documents and first round of interviews (max.10 days), to result in submission of draft inception report (max. 10 pages).

Draft inception report to include:

– Outline of the evaluability assessment process, understanding of the context and ADAP programme including challenges and mitigation methods

– Scope and methods for the evaluability assessment including workplan/timeline

– Finalised evaluability assessment questions

– Draft outline for evaluability assessment final report

Duration 10 days

Deadline 2nd , June 2022

4. a) Presentation and discussion of inception report with Reference Group and

b) submission of revised inception report for approval

Powerpoint presentation and revised inception report (Word and pdf)

Duration 3 days

Deadline for revised inception report 16th, June 2022

5. Document review and further stakeholder interviews

Updates on progress during weekly online debriefs

Duration 15 days

Deadline 17th, July 2022 (assuming that the inception report will be approved within a week after submission)

6. Analysis and drafting of report

Submission of draft report to include clear findings and recommendations on how to improve the UNICEF Syria ADAP programme design, monitoring, adaptation and accountability systems and practice.

Annexes should include:

– stakeholder mapping,

– evidence stocktake

– M&E assessment

– recommended tools and methods for planned evaluations.

Duration 10 days

Deadline 24th, July 2022 (assuming that the inception report will be approved within a week after submission)

7. Revision of report based on comments from the Reference Group

 

 

Submission of revised report including comments matrix on how feedback has been incorporated  

Duration 5 days

Deadline 7th, Aug 2022 (assuming that SCO will submit the comments from Reference Group by 31st , July 2022)

8. Presentation of key findings and recommendations to Reference Group

Powerpoint and final report (Word and pdf)

Duration 1 day

Deadline 15th , Aug 2022

PROPOSED PAYMENT SCHEDULE

By Deliverables, as per the following schedule:

1. Approval of inception report by Reference Group linked to 20% payment of fees;

2. Approval of draft report by Reference Group linked to 40% payment of fees;

3. Approval of final report by Reference Group linked to 30% payment of fees;

4. Presentation of key finding and recommendations to Reference Group linked to 10% payment of fees.

The outlined instalments will be paid based on the approval of the deliverables by UNICEF SCO PM, inclusive of all fees, upon submission of the invoice.

UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

 

To qualify as a champion or advocate for every child you will have…

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:

1. Education: Advanced (Masters or above) university degree in evaluation, economics, social sciences, or related field. 

2. Work experience:

– At least eight years of relevant professional work experience in evaluation activities including work experience in the field, particularly experience in complex emergencies and protracted crises for United Nations agencies is required; experience conducting evaluations for UNICEF is desirable.

– Direct experience of conducting evaluations in Syria and/or the MENA region is required;

– Experience in evaluability or similar exercises is desirable;

3. Technical knowledge/competencies: Knowledge and experience of youth and adolescent research, programming and/or academic endeavours is required; Ability to work well with people from diverse knowledge and background and at different levels of the organization. Excellent communication and analytical skills.

4. High proficiency in language and communication and report writing skills, in English is required; proficiency in Arabic is highly desirable, both reading and speaking.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

Core values: Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

 Core competencies:

– Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)

– Works Collaboratively with others (1) 

– Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)

– Innovates and Embraces Change (1)

– Thinks and Acts Strategically (1) 

– Drive to achieve impactful results (1) 

– Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

 EVALUATION PROCESS :

Qualified candidates are requested to submit:

1. Cover letter (250-400 words) that highlights previous experience in evaluation including with UN, in Syria and technical experience with evaluation/research of adolescents and youth and should include reference to at least two past work examples/experiences in relation to evaluability/M&E reviews/results-focused assessments of programmes of interest.

2. Technical proposal (250-400 words) that details methodology, focus areas and challenges and mitigation measures.

3. Financial quote as daily rate for this consultancy;

4. CV.

5. At least 3 Referees.

The application should be submitted by UNICEF’s Talent Management System (TMS).

Shortlisted applicants may be invited for further technical assessment. Final recommendation will be made based on “best value for money”, i.e. the hiring section/office shall normally select the individual who quoted the lowest fee from among the candidates who are assessed as suitable for achieving all tasks on time, as per the criteria stipulated in this ToR, and based on the outcome of the evaluation/assessment conducted.

Remarks:

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein, such as leave entitlements (unless it is a full time Individual Contract, where the contractor is eligible for Paid Time Off and paid UN official Holidays) or medical insurance coverage. Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http://www.whed.net/

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