Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant on Mid-Term Review of Government of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2021-2025,
Department/Office: Resident Coordinator System
Duty Station: ASHKABAD
Posting Period: 25 May 2023 - 13 June 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-Resident Coordinator System-209861-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service


The United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021-2025 (UNSDCF) was signed by the Government of Turkmenistan and UNCT on March 14, 2020. It is aligned with the national priorities framed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is contributing towards their implementation. It draws on the full range of expertise and resources of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), government, civil society, and in close coordination with development partners aims to assist the country in delivering development results. UNSDCF envisions that the country, by 2025, will make a significant progress in achieving its national development goals aligned with the SDGs with the UN support within the following three strategic priorities:
» People-centered governance and rule of law
» Inclusive, green, and sustainable economic growth
» Quality, inclusive and affordable health, education, and social protection

The implementation of the UNSDCF is coordinated and monitored through joint Work Plans within established joint Results Groups. Leveraging its comparative advantage as a convenor of dialogues and platforms with participation of diverse stakeholders, a development policy advisor, a promoter of international best practice and an advocate for leaving no one behind – the UN system works to address the major bottlenecks and risks and partner with the Government of Turkmenistan to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. There are five expected outcomes from cooperation:

» Outcome 1: People have access to more effective, innovative, and transparent public administration based upon the rule of law, human rights, gender equality, labour rights, and quality data;
» Outcome 2: Conditions for sustainable and inclusive economic diversification are strengthened with competitive private and financial sectors, enhanced trade and investment promotion, and the adoption of new and digital technologies;
» Outcome 3: There is effective design and implementation of disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation and mitigation measures, enabling a more rational use of resources, increased resilience, and a ‘green’ economy transition;

» Outcome 4: The population of Turkmenistan enjoys higher quality and inclusive health and social protection services;

» Outcome 5: The education and skilling system offers all people the skills and knowledge for employment success in a diversifying economy and enhanced social integration and resilience.

The strategic priorities and outcomes are interlinked to reflect the integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Together with human rights and gender equality, they embody a nexus of change with progress under each outcome requiring and contributing to progress of other priority areas. While all five outcomes are equally important and pursued in tandem, frontloading investments to enhance inclusive and people-centered governance ensure a solid and forward-looking institutional and regulatory framework. This is fundamental for long term sustainable development and particularly important in resource abundant countries. Improving statistical capacities to measure progress, revealing and closing data and knowledge gaps underpins each Outcome and serves as an enabler for UN-Government deeper engagement to ensure access to data for developing evidence-based policies to achieve the SDGs.

As far as possible the indicators for the Cooperation Framework Outcomes are aligned with and complement the national monitoring system. Many Cooperation Framework outcome indicators reflect the national SDG monitoring framework and are based on the national SDG data collection systems. Data collection methods (including in areas with limited access) are included in the Cooperation Framework Results Matrix and could be expanded/revised upon discussion with the Outcome RGs. There are certain gaps in Outcome indicators including lack of baselines in 7 out of 29 indicators which is nearly 25% of existing indicators. Besides, updated information on 11 indicators is not available that hinders monitoring of progress on over third of indicators.

Work Location

The expert will have home-based work with one mission to Turkmenistan.

Expected duration

Duration of the Work
The duration of the assignment is 20 working days within 2.5 months. The assignment shall start on 15 August 2023 with the final, approved product to be submitted by 30 October 2023. The expert will have home-based work with one mission to Turkmenistan.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision and guidance of the UN RC and UNCT the international consultant will assess the progress on implementation of the UNSDCF, relevance to the targeted vulnerable populations, current national context and global commitments of the country, effectiveness of UNSDCF management arrangements and status of UNSDCF budget. International Consultant will review the results achieved during the two years of UNSDCF implementation, lessons learnt, identify areas for UN Joint Programme, progress on and likelihood of mobilizing resources envisaged in the UNSDCF, analyze challenges and opportunities and based on that recommend the way forward, including on strengthening the UNSDCF Results Groups, its M&E framework, and results reporting with least transaction cost.

The methodological approach guided by UNEG and UNDCO guidelines will be to review the UNSDCF progress from the perspective of the following criteria: relevance, coherence, efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and orientation towards impact with the following questions in focus:

- UNSDCF outcome indicators, targets and baselines – relevance, frequency of collection, reliability and quality; To what extent the current indicators have been monitored? Are they still relevant in light of SDGs and the alignment with the national development documents? If not, what revisions are required? Are they fit to measure results so as not to leave anyone behind?
- Dynamics between outcomes and the extent to which outputs and activities allocated under different outcomes are fully aligned with their objectives. Related to this review of budget allocations to assess current and planned resource mobilization, challenges and opportunities in that regard and how those may affect the expected delivery of results under UNSDCF; Are UNSDCF interventions relevant to the targeted vulnerable populations and other beneficiaries? Are there any unexpected results? Is the original (reconstructed) chain of results (contributions from outputs to outcomes) still relevant at the outcome level? To what extent the progress made is aligned with the theory of change in each Outcome and of the UNSDCF overall?
- To what extent the stated priorities of the UNSDCF are aligned with the targets of the new national development programmes for 2022-2028 and 2022-2052? What aditional priorities need to be considered to align this UNSDCF and in the future cycle with the national development objectives and revealed developmental challenges?
- To what extent the UN interventions are compatible with other interventions across sectors and donors, how much synergies and interlinkages are considered? What needs to be done to improve consistency of the UN interventions with other actors’ interventions?
- Implementation of the recommendations/action plan of the UNCT SWAP, Gender Scorecard, Disability Inclusion Scorecard and Youth Scorecard assessments, their integration in the UNSDCF strategies and results frameworks including disaggregated data and ability to track allocation of budget under UNSDCF for mainstreaming these issues; How do we better integrate gender equality principles in the UNSDCF?
- Integration of programming principles in the UNSDCF, additional opportunities and SDG interlinkages that are or are not reflected in the current UNSDCF, such as migration, methane emissions reduction and energy transition, jobs creation, digitalization, water-energy-food security nexus, and others that influence social and economic development and well-being of the population, especially the most marginalized. To what extent the UN and partners have managed to use the JWP opportunity to better align their results, indicators for more effective and efficient results delivery? Were the funding mechanisms conducive to joint programming? Are there any new areas of programming that have emerged since the UNSDCF was designed that should be included in the UNSDCF? Would re-positioning and re-focusing of the next UNSDCF be needed?
- UNSDCF coordination, results management and M&E: to what extent the existing mechanisms, including the mechanisms of coordination, knowledge generation and management, results groups and oversight with the Government, are adequate to ensure joint alignment of results, coherence, effectiveness and efficiency in delivering results, their monitoring, planning and reporting?

The review questions will be refined together with a consultant and finalized in an inception report. The review design should explicitly address cross-cutting issues such as gender equality and women’s empowerment, human rights and non-discrimination, disability inclusion and environmental sustainability, among others.
The UNSDCF MTR will entail both an internal and external participatory process. International Consultant will be working closely with the RGs Chairs and focal points from UNSDCF Result Groups, UNSDCF M&E Group, SDG inter-agency WG and representatives from the government (including co-Chairs of RGs) under the overall leadership of the UNCT and with support of the RCO.

Payment Conditions
This is a lump sum contract that should include costs of consultancy to produce the above deliverables. The final schedule will be agreed upon submission of a detailed budget breakdown and at the beginning of the consultancy.

Payment will be done in three installments based on the quality and timeliness of presented outputs after acceptance of them by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office.

1. 30% of total fee under Deliverable 1 upon submission of the Draft Inception report and completion of the Mission to Turkmenistan.
2. 30% of total fee under Deliverable 2 upon submission of the draft UNSDCF Mid-term review report.
3. 40% of total fee under Deliverable 3 upon submission of the final UNSDCF Mid-term review report.

All costs related to the assignment will be covered by RCO in Turkmenistan.

Qualifications/special skills

- Master’s Degree (or equivalent) in Social, Political Sciences, International Development, Development Economics, Sociology of Development, Development Communications, or a closely related discipline.
- At least 10 years of relevant experience in doing evaluations/review of complex programmes, projects, and strategic plans involving multiple stakeholders;
- Profound knowledge of the UN, the UNSDCF, the Global Agenda 2030
- Knowledge of the UN systems and processes.
- Understanding of the implementation of UN Programmes and importance of the strategic partnerships for their implementation;
- Experience of data collection/interviewing and writing analytical reports;
- Familiarity with the political, economic and social situation in Turkmenistan is an advantage.
- Ability in compiling data and strong understanding of its quantitative and qualitative analysis within a logical framework;
- Knowledge of Human rights based approach to Programming, Gender, Participatory process and RBM;
- Ability in compiling data and strong understanding of its quantitative and qualitative analysis within a logical framework;
- A demonstrated ability to clearly communicate development ideas and experiences;
- Experience in facilitating multi-stakeholder workshops and meetings;


Excellent proficiency in English (written and oral) while knowledge of Russian is an advantage.

Additional Information

Expected Outputs and Deliverables
Based on the information received from UN RCO in Turkmenistan and following the guidelines, the International Consultant shall be tasked to accomplish the following expected deliverables:

Deliverable 1 (5 days from 15-30 August 2023)

- Review all relevant documents including, but not limited to, the current UNSDCF, UNSDCF Joint Work Plans, Annual Reports, data from UN INFO, minutes of Result Groups meetings, UNSDCF M&E Framework, Joint Steering Committee minutes and UN Agencies Annual reports and all relevant documents such as the CCA, strategies, analyses, research, studies, assessments and other documentation provided by UN agencies (2 days);
Kick off meeting with RCO. The International Consultant will be expected to provide her/his vision of the outline of the review report.
- Draft Inception report with proposed MTR methodology, timeframe of the MTR process, draft outline of the report, requirements for the in-country mission, preliminary findings from the desk-review submitted for consideration and approval of the UNCT (3 days);

Deliverable 2 (7 days from 1-20 September 2023)

- Hold series of meetings during the in-country mission with UNCT, Co-Chairs of UNSDCF Results Groups, UNSDCF M&E Group, UNSDCF Governmental Focal Points and key ministries and partners reconstructing results chains at the outcome level and refining the ToC. Present preliminary findings to UN agencies and stakeholders during in-country mission. Debriefing with UNCT, UNSDCF specific groups, Government Focal points and key stakeholders (5 days).
- Draft Mid-term review report with findings, refined ToCs, recommendations, lessons learned, examples from other countries, recommendations for review by specific UNSDCF Results groups, Government Focal Points and UNCT (2 days).

Deliverable 3 (8 days from 1-20 October 2023)
- Review and address comments and feedback of the UNCT and Government stakeholders (3 days);
- Facilitate a one-day UNSDCF wrap-up meeting to summarize/present findings and recommendation generated by the mid-term review process (3 days);
- Submit final UNSDCF Mid-term review report with follow-up steps and recommendations (2 days).

- Strong analytical, research and writing skills with demonstrated ability to think strategically
- Ability to focus on impact and results for the client, promoting and demonstrating an ethic of client service
- Sound judgement, strategic thinking and the ability to manage competing priorities
- Ability to synthesize information in an easily understandable written way
- Ability to write clearly and convincingly, adapting style and content to a diverse audience
- Demonstrated ability to produce high quality outputs under time constraints
- Excellent organizational skills and ability to work independently
- Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
- Shares knowledge and experience and provides helpful feedback and advice;
- Ability to identify beneficiaries’ needs, and to match them with appropriate solutions;
- Excellent communication and interviewing skills;
- Responds positively to critical feedback and differing points of view;
- Focuses on result for the client.

No Fee


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