Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) AERM Terminal Reviewer (Advancing Environmental Risk Management)
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 04 December 2020 - 17 December 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-145929-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The consultant will carry out a terminal review of the AERM project in line with the UNEP Evaluation Policy and the UNEP Programme Manual.

The Terminal Review (TR) is undertaken at completion of the project to assess project performance (in terms of relevance, effectiveness and efficiency), and determine outcomes and impacts (actual and potential) stemming from the project, including their sustainability. The Review has two primary purposes:

(i) to provide evidence of results to meet accountability requirements, and

(ii) to promote operational improvement, learning and knowledge sharing through results and lessons learned among UNEP and [main project partners].

Therefore, the Review will identify lessons of operational relevance for future project formulation and implementation, especially for future phases of the project, where applicable.

The Terminal Review will be an in-depth review using a participatory approach whereby key stakeholders are kept informed and consulted throughout the review process. Both quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods will be used as appropriate to determine project achievements against the expected outputs, outcomes and impacts. It is highly recommended that the consultant(s) maintains close communication with the project team and promotes information exchange throughout the review implementation phase in order to increase their (and other stakeholder) ownership of the review findings. Where applicable, the consultant(s) should provide a geo-referenced map that demarcates the area covered by the project and, where possible, provide geo-reference photographs of key intervention sites (e.g. sites of habitat rehabilitation and protection, pollution treatment infrastructure, etc.)

The findings of the Review will be based on the following:

(a) A desk review of:
• Draft (post hoc) Theory of Change for ENCORE;
• Recent developments in the sector related to natural capital risk and opportunities;
• Relevant background documentation specific to the project, inter alia: project reports, public communications of the NCFA and partners, media coverage related to NCFA and ENCORE;
• Project design documents (including minutes of the project design review meeting at approval); Annual Work Plans and Budgets or equivalent, revisions to the project (Project Document Supplement), the logical framework and its budget;
• Project reports such as progress and financial reports, progress reports from collaborating partners, meeting minutes, relevant correspondence and any other monitoring materials etc.;
• Project deliverables (e.g. publications, training materials, assessments, etc.) and especially the the ENCORE tool and bank risk framework;
• Evaluations/Reviews of similar projects.

(b) Interviews (individual or in group) with a list of circa 15-25 key stakeholders.

Review Deliverables and Review Procedures

The Review Consultant will prepare:

• Inception Report: containing an assessment of project design quality, a draft reconstructed Theory of Change of the project, project stakeholder analysis, review framework and a tentative review schedule.
• Preliminary Findings Note: typically in the form of a powerpoint presentation, the sharing of preliminary findings is intended to support the participation of the project team, act as a means to ensure all information sources have been accessed and provide an opportunity to verify emerging findings.
• Draft and Final Review Report: (see links in Annex 1) containing an executive summary that can act as a stand-alone document; detailed analysis of the review findings organised by evaluation criteria and supported with evidence; lessons learned and recommendations and an annotated ratings table.

An Evaluation Brief (a 2-page overview of the evaluand and evaluation findings) for wider dissemination through the UNEP website may be required. This will be discussed with the Project Manager no later than during the finalization of the Inception Report.

Review of the draft review report.

The Consultant will submit a draft report to the Project Manager and revise the draft in response to their comments and suggestions. The Project Manager will then forward the revised draft report to other project stakeholders, for their review and comments. Stakeholders may provide feedback on any errors of fact and may highlight the significance of such errors in any conclusions as well as providing feedback on the proposed recommendations and lessons. Any comments or responses to draft reports will be sent to the Project Manager for consolidation. The Project Manager will provide all comments to the Review Consultant for consideration in preparing the final report, along with guidance on areas of contradiction or issues requiring an institutional response.

The final version of the Terminal Review report will be assessed for its quality by the UNEP Evaluation Office using a standard template and this assessment will be annexed to the final Terminal Review report.

At the end of the review process, the Project Manager will prepare a Recommendations Implementation Plan in the format of a table, to be completed and updated at regular intervals, and circulate the Lessons Learned.

The Review Consultant will work under the overall responsibility of the Project Manager Jessica Smith over a period of 3 months January 2021 to March 2021. The consultant will be responsible, in close consultation with the Project Manager, for overall quality of the review and timely delivery of its outputs. The consultant will ensure that all evaluation criteria and questions are adequately covered.

All evaluation criteria will be rated on a six-point scale. Sections A-I below, outline the scope of the criteria. The set of evaluation criteria are grouped in nine categories:
(A) Strategic Relevance;
(B) Quality of Project Design;
(C) Nature of External Context;
(D) Effectiveness, which comprises assessments of the availability of outputs, achievement of outcomes and likelihood of impact;
(E) Financial Management;
(F) Efficiency;
(G) Monitoring and Reporting;
(H) Sustainability; and
(I) Factors Affecting Project Performance.

A more detailed Terms of Reference provides a table with links to various tools, templates and guidelines that can help Review Consultants to follow the approach taken by UNEP Evaluation Office in its evaluation work.

Work Location

Working Remotely.

Expected duration

The duration of the contract is 3 Months.

Duties and Responsibilities

Located within the UN Environment Division of Economy, the Resources & Markets Branch (UNEP-RMB) seeks to conserve the environment, reduce poverty, and promote sustainable development by enhancing the capacity of governments, businesses, and civil society to integrate environmental considerations into economic, trade, and financial policies and practices in accordance with the partnership and integrated policy-making approaches of sustainable development.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a strategic partnership between UN Environment and the global financial sector. UNEP FI works with approximately 320 financial institutions as well as a range of partners and organizations, to develop and promote linkages between the environment, sustainability and financial performance. Through its work-streams and regional activities, comprehensive work programme, training and research, UNEP FI carries out its mission to identify, promote, and realize the adoption of best environmental and sustainability practice at all levels of financial institution strategies and operations.

UNEP FI has implemented the “Advancing Environmental Risk Management” (AERM) project, funded by SECO. The project had two over-arching phases: 2016-2019, then a smaller extension in 2019-2020.

The UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the UNEP unit responsible for project implementation and project execution partnerships. The core delivery partners in the project are Global Canopy Programme (GCP) and WCMC. Management and supervision of the project has taken place via the Natural Capital Finance Alliance, which grew out of the Natural Capital Declaration.

The strategic aims of the project were to i) raise awareness of natural capital issues among financial institutions globally and especially in the target countries, and ii) develop a methodology to increase capacity for integrating natural capital issues into finance sector decision making. The review will look into to what extent this was successful, via the strategic questions listed below. These are questions of interest to UNEP and to which the project is believed to be able to make a substantive contribution:

(a) At a conceptual level, was the theory of change of the project sound and/or were any key elements missing?

(b) At a global level, did the project respond strategically to a rapidly changing external landscape on natural capital and finance?

(c) At a country level, were the project activities well targeted to the individual circumstances and make best use of available local capacity?

(d) What changes were made to adapt to the effects of COVID-19 and how might any changes affect the project’s performance?

The questions address two different purposes for an evaluation:

• Accountability - to account for the results achieved with the resources allocated to the development intervention.

• Learning – to learn from experience by understanding whether the intervention has worked or not and the reasons for its failure or success.

Deliverables are the following according to UNEP requirements:

- Inception report

- Final Review Report

See https://www.unenvironment.org/about-un-environment/evaluation for all tools, templates and guidance notes.

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of Head UNEP FI, Eric Usher, and report directly to the Ecosystems lead at UNEP FI, Jessica Smith, in consultation with the Fund Management Officer, the recent acting Ecosystems Lead and the Head of Unit for UNEP FI.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: Understanding of natural capital risk for the financial sector must be demonstrated. Working knowledge of the UN system and specifically the work of UNEP is an added advantage.

Academic Qualifications: A masters’ degree in finance, business, environmental sciences, or other relevant area, or combination of first degree and equivalent experience.

Experience: A minimum of 10 years of technical and / or evaluation experience is required, preferably including evaluating large, regional or global programmes and using a Theory of Change approach; and a good/broad understanding of natural capital risk and opportunities for sustainable finance is essential.

Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this consultancy, fluency in oral and written English is a requirement.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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