Purpose of consultancy:
The Government of Turkmenistan with the support of the four UN agencies – UNFPA (Administrative Agent), UNICEF, UNODC, and IOM, under the overall coordination of the UNRC Office have been implementing a Joint Programme (JP) on “Empowering and Engaging the Youth to Mitigate the Multi-Dimensional Threats of the Health Pandemic” while applying the concept of Human Security in the effective implementation of the Socio-Economic Response Plan since September 2021. The JP is funded by the Human Security Trust Fund (HSTF) for the duration of 18 months.
As such, the overall goal of the JP is to empower and engage youth in facilitating the implementation of the Immediate Socio-Economic Response Plan to acute infectious disease pandemic (SERP) to mitigate the negative impact of the global pandemic on the socio-economic situation in Turkmenistan, with particular focus on the most vulnerable groups in line with the principle of “leaving no one behind”.
The Joint Programme seeks to build the capacity of government officials and CSOs at the local level to implement SERP in their localities inspired by the human security approach in ways that are people-centred and comprehensive. In addition, the programme targets young people in selected regions to build their resilience and support them as agents of change in their communities.
There are two objectives of the JP:
1. Enhancing the capacity of relevant state bodies and public organizations, including at national and regional levels, to apply the concept of Human Security in the effective implementation of the SERP in order to protect the population against the multi-dimensional risks of the pandemic while engaging young people in inclusive decision-making platforms and processes.
2. Empowering the youth through enhancing awareness, capacities and skills to build social partnership with local authorities in the implementation of the SERP and enabling their engagement in social initiatives in line with the Human Security approach.
The JP addresses the seven insecurities in the selected communities including economical and employment related, environment and climate change related, personal insecurity, including gender equality, gender-based violence and empowerment of women and girls, health security including healthcare, reproductive health and reproductive rights; food security, as well as community security to avoid discrimination and marginalization of population as well as political insecurity providing opportunities for inclusive participation of all community members in decision making process. This focus is compliant with the SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 15 and 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and LNOB principle.
Four community initiatives are being implemented by the Youth Reference Groups that was formed in two selected localities: Dashoguz and Lebap regions during the period of the JP. To successfully implement the community initiatives the Youth Reference Group was trained on human security approaches, results-based management, working with community, community mapping and other tools. This experience will serve as a potential to further build a mechanism of youth participation in the implementation of the Youth programme.
After the completion of a Joint Programme, a final, independent assessment is planned to be organized by UNFPA as a lead agency in consultation with the Technical Working Group of the HSTF Joint Programme and UN Programme Management Board.
The main purpose of the assessment is to generate evidence-based knowledge by identifying good practices and lessons learned from the implementation of the JP. The assessment findings and recommendations will also inform the update of the UN Common Country Analysis, and potentially SDG-related progress reports or other situation analyses.
The JP assessment process will be participative and will involve all relevant programme’s stakeholders and partners. The JP assessment results will be disseminated amongst relevant parties.
The assessment will be carried out by an external independent assessor remotely (home-based online deskwork) with the support of all of the participating UN Organizations. The UN Agencies gained strong experience in conducting assessments by online means in the context of limitations because of the pandemic.
The assessment will be conducted by the end of the UN JP will assess and analyse the achievements and results of the programme, overall project management and key lessons learned, including examples of best practices for future and strategic level recommendations for potential scale up and sustainability of the results. The results of the assessment will be presented to the Programme’s Steering Committee and subsequently incorporated into the Final Consolidated narrative report.
The overall purpose of this consultancy is to conduct Final Independent Assessment of the joint programme (JP) on “Empowering and Engaging the Youth to Mitigate the Multi-Dimensional Threats of the Health Pandemic”.
The main objectives of the assessment are:
Assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, coherence and, to the extent possible the potential impact of the Joint Programme
Assess the role of the Joint Programme in increasing the awareness about the human security approach among key stakeholders - decisions makers, local authorities and beneficiaries - youth in the selected communities and building the capacity of the young people through their empowerment in contributing to the resilience of their communities.
Provide recommendations to guide policy level decision-making by PUNOs and the key relevant stakeholders on engaging youth.
Identify and document successes, challenges and lessons learnt of the joint programme.
Assess programme contribution towards sustainability and scale up of engaging youth in the development of their communities by applying human security approach, including through the development of youth participation mechanisms such as Youth Reference Groups.
Key implementors and stakeholders:
UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the National Coordination body and co-signer of the JP;
UNFPA Turkmenistan as the Lead UN organization and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Policy as the Lead National Partner on implementation of the JP;
IOM, UNICEF, UNODC, UNFPA as the Participating UN organizations;
Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, Youth Organization, Women’s Union, National Red Crescent Society, Institute of State, Law, and Democracy, Office of Ombudsperson, State Migration Service, local government authorities (municipalities), local organizations working with PwDs/CwDs as non- UN implementing partners
The primary users of the evaluation are the Government, represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the national coordinating body, Ministry of Sport and Youth Policy as the Lead National partner, key sectoral ministries, public organizations and PUNOs.
Period to be covered: From August 2021 to date.
Geographical locations: The geographical scope of the assessment will be Ashgabat, Lebap and Dashoguz regions (velayats).
Programmatic coverage and Theory of Change: The evaluation will cover all Outputs of the UN JP (see programme document for more details) which aims at building the capacity of both government officials at the local level to implement SERP in their localities inspired by the human security approach in ways that are people centered and comprehensive. In addition, the programme targets the youth in selected regions to build their resilience and make them agents of change in their communities.
Methodology and Ethical Considerations:
The assessment methodology will be employed and guided by the Evaluation Norms and Standards of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG), as well as in line with UNFPA’s Evaluation Policy, UNFPA Procedure for Ethical Standards in Research, Evaluations and Data Collection and Analysis and UNFPA’s reporting standards as it was agreed among PUNOs based on the UNFPA’s lead in the JP evaluation. It will integrate human rights, gender and equity guided by the relevant UNEG guidelines and will be conducted in accordance with the UNEG Code of Conduct and Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation, where applicable. The assessment will focus on the criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coordination and sustainability.
The impact of the JP is expected to include the knowledge and application of the Human Security approach applied to the implementation of community initiatives at the local levels in response to the global pandemic focusing on the impact that is people-centred, comprehensive, context specific and preventive.
The technical proposals are welcome to make suggestions including using any online and cost-effective ways of sampling the stakeholders. Methodological rigor will be given a significant consideration in the assessment of proposals. Bidders are welcome to indicate preferred methodologies, and succinctly relate these to the objectives of the assessment and its questions. Data collection: Relevant data should be collected from programme beneficiaries and key implementation stakeholders and partners. For data collection purpose, an international consultant will develop an assessment methodology frame, to undertake interviews and analysis. Confidentiality, ethical considerations and consent will also be considered.
Scope of work:
(Description of services, activities, or outputs)
Planning phase: Review the relevant internal documents of the UN and its partners’, including but not limited to project documents, minutes of JP Steering Committee, Technical group and Local Board’s meetings, monthly field reports from national consultants, other reports and documents related to UN JP – 3 days:
Inception phase: Prepare Inception Report which should outline detailed scope, assessment framework; methodology; sampling of respondents – 2 days:
assess reliability of data with focus on disaggregated data for evidence generation to be in line with “leave no one behind” approach;
present preliminary observations from the Desk Review and initial methodology and potential questions for further elaboration during the data collocation stage;
submit a work plan of assignment and to confirm the assessment methodology and tools with the UN RCO Data Management and Result Monitoring/Reporting Monitor and UNFPA National Programme Analyst for Gender and Youth.
Fact-finding phase (data collection) - 6 days:
Collect data with minimum involvement of partners or UN staff, but with the help of a representative of a Team on the ground, and taking note of special conditions and limitations, ethical considerations, confidentiality requirements. UNFPA will facilitate the data collection and field work required for this exercise;
Focus the assessment approach, data collection and analysis methods on equity, gender and human rights aspects, be responsive and appropriate for analysing the gender equality, human rights issues including child rights issues identified in the scope.
Conduct data interpretation and conceptual work.
Reporting phase – 6 days:
Draft Assessment Report and pay close attention to formulating practical and strategic recommendations, clearly prioritizing 3-5 recommendations for concrete actions;
Consult with the Technical Advisor of the JP for generation of the strategic level programme recommendations;
Present the draft report and main finding to a UN team consisting of UNRC office and 4 PUNO agencies;
Finalize the report.
Develop final consultancy report - 1 day.
Please note: The assessment report to be produced must be compliant with the UNFPA standards. The Assessment Report will be made available on the UN website. The visualization materials will be developed and used as an advocacy tool. Additionally, the Report will be shared among bilateral and development partners.
Total number of days: 18 working days
Expected Outcomes and Deliverables:
Deliverable 1 - Inception Report by February 21, 2023;
Deliverable 2 – Draft Assessment Report and Presentation of the report by March 15, 2023;
Deliverable 3 – Finalized Assessment Report by March 31, 2023;
Deliverable 4 – Final consultancy report by April 7, 2023.
Duration and working schedule
Duration of this consultancy is from February 13, 2023 to April 10, 2023 including operational closure of the contract.
Place where services are to be delivered:
The consultancy services will need to be delivered on a home-based mode.
Monitoring and progress control, including reporting requirements, periodicity format and deadline:
The UNFPA Programme Analyst on Gender and Youth will monitor the International Consultant’s work through regular meeting to update on the progress, reviewing submitted materials and participation in the meetings. The consultant will provide an update on a biweekly basis on progress, challenges encountered, and support required.
The international consultant will directly report and work under the supervision of the UNFPA Programme Analyst on Gender and Youth.
No travel is expected under this consultancy.
Required expertise, qualifications, and competencies, including language requirements:
Advanced University degree (Master’s) in a relevant area;
At least seven years’ experience in assessment and evaluation, including experience of designing and implementing theory-based evaluations; assessments using experimental and non-experimental approaches;
Good understanding of youth-sensitive, gender-sensitive, elderly sensitive issues;
Familiarity with UNFPA and the UN system mandates and programmatic areas;
Strong analytical skills and statistical data analysis experience;
Ability to produce content for high standard deliverables in Russian, preferably;
Experience conducting remote data collection is an asset;
Sensitivity towards ethics with regards to human and gender issues, different cultures, local customs, religious beliefs and practices, personal interaction and gender roles, disability, age and ethnicity.
Prior experience in Turkmenistan or in Central Asia and knowledge of gender equality context and practices in the region.
Fluency in written and spoken English. Knowledge of Russian language will be an advantage.
Inputs / services to be provided by UNFPA or implementing partner (e.g support services, office space, equipment), if applicable:
UNFPA will provide the consultant with the available materials, data, information and reports. However, additional information will be identified by the consultant through desk reviews, consultations, other.
Other relevant information or special conditions, if any:
The consultancy fee will be calculated based on the P4 level of the UN Salary Scale for Professional and higher categories effective 1 January 2022. The fee will be paid in a lump sum upon quality provision of all deliverables.