Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant for the Mid-term Evaluation of UN-Habitat's Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) Strategy 2020-2024
Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: BONN
Posting Period: 25 October 2022 - 10 November 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-192989-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Key Deliverables:

The three primary deliverables for this mid-term evaluation are as follows:

(i) Inception Report with evaluation work plan

(ii) Draft Mid-term Evaluation Report: The consultant will prepare an evaluation report draft to be reviewed and endorsed by the Evaluation Unit and the Evaluation Reference Group. The draft should follow UN-Habitat’s standard format for evaluation reports.

(iii) Final Mid-term Evaluation Report not exceeding 40 pages (excluding Executive Summary and appendices).

Work Location

Home based, with one visit to Bonn, Germany.

Expected duration

4 months over a period of 6 months

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Background and Context

UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

Pursuant to its various mandates, UN-Habitat works on two levels to achieve its goals, effectiveness and impact. At the operational level, it undertakes technical cooperation projects. At the normative level, it seeks to influence governments and non-governmental actors in formulating, adopting, implementing, and enforcing policies, norms, and standards conducive to sustainable human settlements and sustainable urbanization. Its work is guided by successive strategic plans and work programmes.

The current UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2023 provides four domains of change (subprograms) as summarized below:
(i) Reduced spatial inequality and poverty in communities across urban-rural continuum;
(ii) Enhanced shared prosperity of cities and regions;
(iii) Strengthening climate action and improved urban environment; and
(iv) Effective urban crisis prevention and response

GWOPA is an initiative of UN-Habitat and contributes to the agency’s work principally through domain of Change One. In 2006, the Former UN Secretary-General (SG), Kofi Annan, requested UN-Habitat to lead the development and host the secretariat of GWOPA. The SG’s decision was a follow-up to the drafting of the Hashimoto Action Plan by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB). The main UNSGAB Hashimoto Action Plan I objective was to strengthen local water services through WOPs while ensuring that WOPs are recognized as an important means of achieving internationally agreed targets on water and sanitation. This objective was adopted by UN-Habitat as its own and the agency agreed to build the Global WOPs Alliance, GWOPA. GWOPA itself is a network of partners committed to helping water operators help one another to improve their collective capacity to provide access to water and sanitation services for all.

The first GWOPA strategy, for the 2013-2017 period, framed GWOPA’s work during the period of hosting in the City of Barcelona. The mid-term and final evaluations of the 2013-2017 strategy informed the development of the 2020-2024 strategy and confirmed that WOPs are effective and GWOPA is instrumental in advocating for them. It also provided lessons for the development of the current strategy.

The GWOPA 2020-2024 strategy was developed with inputs from GWOPA network organisations and lessons learned from its previous strategy evaluation. It is aligned with the new UN-Habitat strategic plan 2020-2023, which was drafted at the same time. It understands WOPs as a mechanism for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a local level, i.e. from the bottom up, and positions UN-Habitat’s GWOPA Secretariat as the global convener, catalyzer, advocate, and knowledge broker for WOPs within a growing global alliance.

The strategy’s vision is that public water and sanitation service providers, connected in a solidarity-based network, share know-how and help one another improve services for all, to achieve local and global development objectives. Its mission is to work as an effective global alliance to inspire, mobilise support for, catalyze, guide, monitor, and enable WOPs that improve lives.

1.1 Strategic Objectives and Outcomes

The overall goal of the GWOPA programme is to promote and support effective WOPs to strengthen water and sanitation utilities. GWOPA’s strategy has two strategic objectives: 1) that WOPs are scaled up and 2) that WOPs are contributing to water and sanitation service providers’ improved capacity and performance as well as the local achievement of the SDGs, to the benefit of all, particularly the poor.

The Strategy has the following four specified Outcomes:

i. WOPs are well-known, supported, adopted, and adequately funded
ii. WOP actors make use of the knowledge products and services produced or co-produced by GWOPA
iii. GWOPA is a strong and fruitful water solidarity network
iv. GWOPA is efficiently and effectively managed and governed

The achievement of the two strategic objectives and four outcomes are measured and monitored by indicators of achievement provided in the Results framework of the strategy starting on page 51.

1.2 Organization and Governance

UN-Habitat founded GWOPA, an alliance of water and sanitation operators, UN Agencies, water associations, development partners, labour and civil society bodies, International Financial Institutions and the private sector, in 2009 and established a global governance structure to guide its operations.

The GWOPA Secretariat coordinates the work of the Alliance and develops and implements the strategy. The Secretariat is located in Bonn, Germany, where it is hosted by the Government of Germany within the UN Bonn Campus. The Secretariat is anchored within the Urban Basic Services Section (UBSS) of UN-Habitat, the largest section of the Urban Practices Branch under the Global Solutions Division.

GWOPA’s Governance structure and management are defined by the GWOPA Charter, first established at its first Steering Committee meeting in 2009 to set the regulatory framework for GWOPA governance and operations. From 2020-2021, to adjust for effectiveness while retaining its foundational principles, the Charter underwent a Governance review resulting in a new draft Charter which will be presented for adoption at the next GWOPA General Assembly in May 2023.

Currently, the International Steering Committee provides strategic direction to the Alliance and its Secretariat and approves the annual work plans presented by the Secretariat at the Steering Committee's annual meetings. The Steering Committee membership is drawn from Alliance constituencies within GWOPA’s broader Alliance Membership. Elections for the Steering Committee, the GWOPA chair, and GWOPA task forces and committees occur during GWOPA’s General Assemblies.

1.3 Alignment of the strategy with the SDGs and New Urban Agenda

Water and sanitation utilities have a critical role in achieving many SDGs at a local level. In small towns and big cities, water and sanitation operators provide services that are fundamental to inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11). The strategy thus also contributes to SDG 6, which is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The SDG 6 targets 6.1-6.4, 6.a and 6.b are most directly relevant to water and wastewater operators. Other SDGs are relevant as water and sanitation services relate to poverty, food production and security, health, gender equality, energy and economic growth, etc.

The New Urban Agenda (NUA) calls for the need “to equip public water and sanitation utilities with the capacity to implement sustainable water management systems” (paragraph 120) and recognises the central importance of sustainable and inclusive water and sanitation services in its vision of cities and communities where “no one is left behind.” The NUA also emphasizes peer-to-peer capacity development and partnerships.

1.4 Funding and Budget

The GWOPA strategy 2020-2024 is core-funded by the Federal Government of Germany and is augmented by project funding from the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC), the European Union, the Netherlands (DGIS, via IHE-Delft), Spain (AECID), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and UNICEF.

The Government of Germany (BMZ, together with the Federal Foreign Office, FFO) took over hosting the Secretariat for the 2020-2024 strategy implementation period from the previous host country, Spain, after a competitive bidding process. The BMZ agreement provides GWOPA with a total funding of 5.75 million Euros for a five-year period, of which 1.15 million Euros are provided annually. The funding is for GWOPA staff and project office operations; the organization and implementation of biennial Global WOPs Congresses; specific programmatic activities and common services. The agreement with FFO covers most office expenses and the cost of installation in Germany. Prior to and since acquiring the German core support, the Secretariat has mobilized significant additional project funds from a diversity of sources to allow an intensified strategy implementation.

1.5 The WOPs portfolio

GWOPA maintains a global WOPs database which documents over 430 WOPs that have taken place since its foundation, managed or funded by a range of partner institutions. Currently, GWOPA is managing the largest global WOPs programme to date, the EU WOP Programme, implemented with funding from the European Union in support of 22 WOPs and involving over 50 partners. GWOPA works in collaboration with all WOPs programmes and platforms globally, including major initiatives such as the WaterWorX consortium, funded by the Government of the Netherlands, and the German Utility Platform, funded by BMZ, as well as regional programmes, such as in Latin America and the Caribbean or Asia, supported by their respective regional development banks.

1.6 Previous Evaluations of the strategy and GWOPA

GWOPA was evaluated twice with reference to its 2013-2017 strategy; first, a Mid-Term Review in 2016, followed by a final GWOPA 2013-2017 Evaluation in 2018. Overall, the evaluation found that GWOPA succeeded in developing a normative framework that enables water and sanitation operators to improve service delivery with relatively limited funding by applying a bottom-up process. Additionally, given the ever-increasing demand for water and sanitation services in most urban centres in low- and middle-income countries, combined with the need for rehabilitation and expansion of existing systems, there was a need for substantial capital investment. The evaluation provided eleven recommendations of this evaluation should assess the status of implementation of those recommendations.

In addition, in 2021, two reviews were carried out: The Early Results-Oriented Monitoring (ROM) Review of the GWOPA-managed EU WOP programme assessed the first year of implementation of the four-year project, and a GIZ-commissioned meta-review of WOPs results and lessons learned involved an element on GWOPA operations (report pending completion).

2. Purpose and Objectives of the Evaluation

The Mid-term evaluation is mandated by the Contribution Agreement with the Government of Germany and the UN-Habitat Programme Management and Evaluation Policy.

The evaluation is intended to: (i) provide evidence on whether the project is on track towards achieving the strategy’s outcomes and objectives; (ii) enhance learning and identify constraints and challenges which may need corrective measures and improvement. The findings, lessons learned and recommendations from this evaluation will inform strategy implementation for its remaining duration.

Specific objectives of the evaluation are as follows:

a) Assess whether the implementation of the strategy is on track towards achieving its planned results at the output and outcome levels;

b) Assess the strategy’s performance in terms of the relevance of results, efficiency, effectiveness, impact outlook as well as sustainability of the approach;

c) Assess the adequacy of resources, partnerships, and WOPs supported by GWOPA and how these arrangements have benefited water operators and contributed to development results such as increased access to water supply and sanitation;

d) Assess what has changed since the start of the strategy and identify action areas needing improvement in the second half of the strategy implementation; and bring forward challenges and opportunities for GWOPA;

e) Assess the effects of COVID-19 on various activities of GWOPA as well as the implementation status of the recommendations provided in the evaluation report of the previous GWOPA strategy 2013-2017.

f) Identify lessons learned and provide recommendations to improve performance of the strategy for the remaining period of the strategy.

The key audiences for this evaluation are the Government of Germany, other GWOPA donors, UN-Habitat Management, the GWOPA Secretariat, the GWOPA General Assembly and International Steering Committee and GWOPA Alliance Implementing partners.

3. Scope of the Evaluation

The evaluation will focus on the first 2.5 years of the GWOPA 2020-2024 Strategy implementation period, from January 1st 2020 to the evaluation implementation. It will cover both the strategy and the operational level with a view to drawing lessons to inform further implementation. In terms of strategy, the evaluation will review the coherence and clarity of the strategic framework and its usefulness in guiding GWOPA’s efforts as well as resource allocation and implementation decisions. The modalities and performance of implementing partners, where applicable, will be assessed, results analyzed and documented.

4. Evaluation Questions and Criteria

The overall evaluation questions to be answered by this evaluation will be structured under the basic five evaluation criteria as follows:


1. How relevant is the Strategy in light of the prevailing global urban water and sanitation challenges and related international frameworks for addressing them, including the 2030 Agenda, the NUA, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Our Common Agenda, among others?
2. How could its relevance be improved?


1. To what extent are the objectives and outcomes of the Strategy being achieved?
2. How effectively is GWOPA delivering on the strategy priorities and contributing to promoting the implementation of and better coordination between WOPs?
3. Has the implementation of the Strategy prioritized gender-sensitive and human rights approaches as well as considered climate and youth which are cross-cutting issues of UN-Habitat?
4. How do expected and planned results compare against results delivered?
5. How could its effectiveness be increased?


1. Was the formulation of the strategy based on a sound understanding of the Alliance’s needs and priorities, were risks identified, assessed and strategies for monitoring and reporting developed?
2. Were resources mobilized and services designed to effectively respond to the objectives and priorities of the strategy?
3. Have the management and governance arrangements delivered as expected?
4. To what extent have delays and other changes during implementation affected cost-effectiveness?

Impact Outlook

To what extent has the GWOPA strategy attained development results for improved water supply and sanitation in the short, medium and long term of the targeted beneficiaries and GWOPA partners?

Sustainability of Approach

1. To what extent has/will the GWOPA strategy through implementation of activities engaged the participation of beneficiaries in design, implementation, monitoring, and reporting?
2. To what extent has/will the GWOPA strategy be replicated or scaled up at the national or local levels?
3. To what extent has/will the GWOPA strategy and implementation of activities foster new innovative partnerships?

Is the strategy coherent and implemented in synergy with other programmes of similar objectives?

It is acknowledged that causal links at the Strategy’s impact level may be difficult to establish. The evaluation should take these factors into account but should nevertheless document outcomes/ effects and the wider impact of the Strategy.

5. Stakeholders’ Involvement

As the evaluation will be forward-looking and feed into the formulation of the new strategy after 2024, stakeholder involvement is an essential part of the evaluation. However, the involvement will not compromise the independence of the evaluation. This evaluation will be expected to be participatory, involving internal and external key stakeholders. This includes but is not limited to GWOPA Secretariat and UN-Habitat key sections and relevant partners, members of GWOPA Knowledge centers, the Government of Germany and other development partners, and beneficiaries of GWOPA activities, such as utilities within GWOPA’s network.

6. Evaluation Approach and Methodology

The evaluation will be conducted in four consecutive phases: an inception phase; a data collection phase including field visits; a data analysis and drafting phase; and evaluation findings presentation and dissemination phase.

A variety of methods will be applied:
• Desk review of relevant strategy documents, including but not limited to the GWOPA Strategies, annual reports, and evaluations;
• Interviews with various stakeholders, including relevant UN-Habitat staff, GWOPA Steering Committee Members, GWOPA Members, donors, and other relevant key UN-Habitat partners;
• Surveys with beneficiaries;
• Group meetings for consultations and validation of findings;
• Analysis and synthesis of information should be presented logically to give an overall assessment of progress and impacts in the implementation of the GWOPA Strategy 2020-2024.

7. Accountability and Responsibilities

The independent Evaluation Unit of UN-Habitat will supervise and manage the evaluation process, including planning, providing technical support, follow-up, and dissemination of evaluation products. The GWOPA Secretariat, supported by the Urban Basic Services Section (UBSS), the Urban Practices branch, and Global Division will provide the information and documentation required and coordinate with the relevant evaluation stakeholders.

An Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) will be established to oversee the evaluation process. Members of the ERG are proposed to include representatives from key offices within UN-Habitat (to be determined by the evaluation unit), the GWOPA Secretariat, GWOPA Steering Committee, and the principal donor, BMZ. The Reference Group will be responsible for reviewing and endorsing the TOR and the main evaluation deliverables, including the inception report, drafts, and final evaluation report with the intention of ensuring quality, credibility, and utility of the evaluation.

8. Provisional Time Schedule

The evaluation will be conducted between November 2022 to March 2023. The indicative timelines and expected deliverables for the evaluation process are as follows:

1. Recruitment of evaluation of consultant: November-December 2023.
2. Inception phase, including formal document review, development of inception report: December 2022-January 2023
3. Data collection phase: Collection of data through interviews, projects analysis, surveys, etc.: January-February 2023
4. Report writing, review and submission: February-April 2023

9. Duties and Responsibilities of the consultant (Level C):

The evaluation consultant will be responsible for conducting the evaluation based on above mentioned TOR and applying UNEG norms and standards. S/he will prepare main evaluation deliverables (inception report, draft reports and final evaluation report). The consultant will report to the Officer in Charge of GWOPA.

Other key stakeholders may be consulted at strategic points during the evaluation either through mail correspondence or through participation in meeting(s).

Qualifications/special skills

The consultant must have proven and extensive experience in evaluating policy and strategies at the international level. S/he should have proven capacity and strong methodological and analytical skills and solid knowledge of the water and sanitation sector, water operators’ partnerships, and global networks.

In addition, the consultant should have:
a) The ability to present credible findings derived from evidence and put forth conclusions and recommendations supported by findings.
b) Specific knowledge and understanding of UN-Habitat and its mandate.
c) Minimum 7 years of programme management experience in monitoring and evaluation of development projects/ programmes.
d) Advanced academic degree in political science, social economy, governance, urban planning, or similar relevant fields.
e) Experience in the water and sanitation sector in developing countries is desirable.


Fluency in English is required.

No Fee


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