Consultants – PBF End of Project Evaluation at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – TDPel Jobs
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves. It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. It promotes technical and investment cooperation among nations.
Headquartered in New York City, the status of UNDP is that of an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The organization operates in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity.
We are recruiting to fill the position of:
Job Title: Individual Consultant(s) for PBF End of Project Evaluation
Contract Type: Individual Contract
Additional Category: Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Post Level: National Consultant
Starting Date: 26 – Jul – 2021
Duration of Initial Contract: 45 Days
Expected Duration of Assignment: 45 Days
The Farmer-Herder Conflict remains one of the most challenging threats to peace, security and development in Nigeria, especially in the North Central Region (“Middle Belt”) of the country, and adjacent, States, particularly Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Taraba and Adamawa. The violence has exacted a heavy toll on thousands of people, frayed many of the connectors, especially inter-ethnic and inter-religious ones, at the local level. The socio-economic and developmental implications of the conflict is far reaching – affecting the food basket of the country.
The Strategic Conflict Assessment of Nigeria, carried out by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) in 2016, identified the conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria as the single most widely spread peace and security threat in the country. The highest number of reported conflicts of this nature between herdsmen and local farmers occur in the “Middle Belt” and adjacent states, particularly the states of Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Taraba and Adamawa. Thousands of lives have been lost, property destroyed, and communities left in disarray, with many more internally displaced all over many parts of the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria.
Estimates indicate that the communal violence between farmers and herders claimed more lives in 2016 alone than the Boko Haram insurgency and International Crisis Group suggests that the recent escalation of the crisis from early 2018 has claimed six times the number of lives to that of the Boko Haram insurgency in the same period.
In 2020, high levels of polarization between herder-farmer communities and competition over natural resources in the midst of growing population and climate risks continue to exacerbate tensions leading to communal violence in the Middle Belt – especially in Benue and Nasarawa States.
The anti-grazing law prohibiting the free movement of pastoral communities has been identified a polarizing factor as sentiment for increased exclusion of herding communities persists. Of greater concern is the resurgence of communal violence especially in Benue regarded as the epicenter of the herder-farmer crisis. Between April and July 2020, a total of 69 incidents of communal violence led to over 130 fatalities in Benue and Nasarawa states. This was twice the number of fatalities at the beginning of the year. The region is also witnessing a humanitarian situation with the number of internally displaced persons due to violence rising to 483,692 in July 2020.
Besides the impact on human lives, the huge security implications are draining Nigeria’s economy of resources meant for development and undermining food security in the country and the sub-region. According to reports published in July 2015 by Mercy Corps, Benue, Plateau, Kaduna and Nasarawa states could gain up to $13.7 billion annually in total macroeconomic benefits if the conflict between herdsmen and farmers was fully addressed. The economic and peace dividends beyond the concerned states are enormous. Mercy Corps estimated that Nigerian households affected by the ongoing clashes could witness an increase in their income ranging between 64 and 210 percent if these conflicts were resolved.
The narratives arising out of clashes over farmland and/or pasture, have increasingly taken religious undertones (Muslims versus Christians), with religious leaders publicly exchanging accusations, as well as ethnic connotations (indigenes versus settlers) and stereotypes that have heightened tensions, a development which has further polarized communities and complicated efforts at mitigating the violence.
The conflicts have already been highly politicized, with some groups proclaiming the southward movement of pastoralists as a deliberate political attempt to ‘Islamize’ southern Nigeria. Media coverage of incidents often sensationalizes the violence and contributes to spreading divisive narratives. Communities in states affected by farmer-herder conflicts have revealed a widespread distrust of security forces who are often perceived by both farmers and herders to be biased and ineffective when responding to incidents. This results in poor coordination and information sharing between local communities, civil society groups and security agencies on the one hand, hindering early warning and rapid response and a rise in local militias or vigilante groups to plug the gap.
The multi-dimensional effects of the crises have overwhelmed state and federal authorities, whom many perceive not to be doing enough to address the crisis. The lack of an effective early response by security agencies as well as perceived injustices, partiality, and ineffectiveness, is eroding public trust in the state’s ability to protect its citizens. With states lacking effective tools to address the crisis at the state level, many state governments have turned to the federal government in search for support, most notably through requesting a strengthened security response. The lack of such a response has given way to tension between the federal and state level. The inability of security forces and local authorities to constructively respond to incidents, as well as the lack of trust in the Government to address tensions, often results in reprisal attacks and escalates the conflicts further.
The United Nations with the technical lead of UNDP has scaled up its efforts to compliment the Government’s efforts in peacebuilding, conflict prevention, resolution and management. This support is being provided through two catalytic projects that target the states of Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba, both designed to address the farmer-herder conflict by establishing mechanisms for coordinated peacebuilding, promotion of dialogue and proactive engagement; building mutually beneficial economic relationships between farmers and herders; improving the effectiveness of the security response through strengthened human rights monitoring and accountability; and providing an impartial and evidence-based narrative to defuse the politicized debate and help mobilize a broader response. This support is drawing on comparative mandates of 5 UN Agencies – namely – UNDP, FAO, UN Women, UNHCR and OHCHR.
The project “Integrated Approach to Building Peace in Nigeria’s Herder-Farmer Crisis” was designed to support Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states in addressing the farmer-herder crisis through enhancing their preventive capacities by promoting dialogue and proactive engagement; building mutually beneficial economic relationships between farmers and herders; improving the effectiveness of the security response through strengthened human rights monitoring and accountability; and providing an impartial and evidence-based narrative to defuse the politicized debate and help mobilize a broader response.
The project specifically aimed to strengthen the states’ peace infrastructures through the establishment and operationalization of peacebuilding agencies, a gender-sensitive Early Warning and Early Response System (EWERS) and community-based platforms for dialogue and consensus building. It further sought to strengthen interdependence between farmers and herders, for instance through trainings on integrated agro-production value chains (see project document and annual report for output results).
The project commenced in January 2019 for 18 months and was extended to December 2020 through a non-cost extension. The total budget is $3 million.
The project is implemented by UNDP ($1,683,283), UN Women ($321,058.85), FAO ($692,890.54) and OHCHR ($302,767.20), in continuous collaboration with state counterparts. Each project state has designated state focal point, mostly special advisors to the Governor, to constantly engage with the Project Team.
Other partnerships with state institutions include the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Legal Aid Council, Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, and the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) Secretariat. The Project Team also established a Peace Collaborative, an NGO consortium constituted of West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Mercy Corps, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) and the private sector firm ThriveAgric
This project evaluation presents an opportunity to assess the achievements of project “Integrated Approach to Building Peace in Nigeria’s Herder-Farmer Crisis” in an inclusive way and to determine its overall added value to peacebuilding in the middle -Belt region, in the areas peace and conflict resolution, livelihood and early recovery.
In assessing the degree to which the project met its intended peacebuilding objectives and results, the evaluation will provide key lessons about successful peacebuilding approaches and operational practices, as well as highlight areas where the project performed less effectively than anticipated. In that sense, this project evaluation is equally about accountability as well as learning.
Objectives of the Evaluation:
Assess the relevance and appropriateness of the project in terms of:
Addressing key drivers of the farmer-herders conflict and the most relevant peacebuilding issues;
Alignment with National Peacebuilding Policy and national priorities of Nigeria;
Whether the project capitalized on the UN’s added value in Nigeria; and
The degree to which the project addressed cross-cutting issues such as conflict and gender-sensitivity in Nigeria;
Assess to what extent the PBF project has made a concrete contribution to reducing the farmer-herders conflict in Nigeria. With respect to PBF’s contribution, the evaluation may evaluate whether the project helped advance achievement of the SDGs, and in particular SDG 16;
Evaluate the project’s efficiency, including its implementation strategy, institutional arrangements as well as its management and operational systems and value for money.
Assess whether the support provided by the PBF has promoted the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS), allowed a specific focus on women’s participation in peacebuilding processes, and whether it was accountable to gender equality.
Assess whether the project has been implemented through a conflict-sensitive approach.
Document good practices, innovations and lessons emerging from the project.
Duties and Responsibilities
Methodology and Approach:
The evaluation will be summative and will employ a participatory approach whereby discussions with and surveys of key stakeholders provide/ verify the substance of the findings while ensuring that COVID19 protocols are duly maintained. Proposals submitted by prospective consultants should outline a strong mixed method approach to data collection and analysis, clearly noting how various forms of evidence will be employed vis-à-vis each other to triangulate gathered information.
Proposals should be clear on the specific role each of the various methodological approaches plays in helping to address each of the evaluation questions.
The methodologies for data collection may include but not necessarily be limited to:
Desk review of key documents.
Key informant interviews and focus group discussions, as appropriate, with major stakeholders including country PBF team, officials from key ministries and the government, representatives of civil society organizations, community and religious leaders. Evaluators should ensure equal participation among men and women and across age groups.
Systematic review of monitoring data and internal assessments and evaluations.
Systematic review of PBF Eligibility Requests and Annual Reports.
On-site field visits.
Scope of Work
This evaluation will examine the project’s implementation process and peacebuilding results, drawing upon the project’s results framework as well as other monitoring data collected on the project outputs and outcomes as well as context. Evaluation questions are based on the OECD DAC evaluation criteria as well as PBF specific evaluation criteria, which have been adapted to the context.
Evaluators should take care to ensure that evaluation of the peacebuilding result is the main line of inquiry. Peacebuilding projects frequently employ approaches that work through thematic areas that overlap with development or humanitarian goals. An evaluation of peacebuilding projects, however, must include not only reflection on progress within the thematic area but the degree to which such progress may or may not have contributed to addressing a relevant conflict factor.
Evaluation Questions within Specific OECD-DAC Criteria
Was the initial design of the project adequate to properly address the issues envisaged in formulation of the project and provide the best possible support to the state governments.
Was the project relevant in addressing conflict drivers and factors for peace identified in the conflict analysis?
Was the project appropriate and strategic to the main peacebuilding goals and challenges in the country at the time of the PBF project’s design? Did relevance continue throughout implementation?
Was the project relevant to the UN’s peacebuilding mandate and the SDGs, in particular SDG 16?
Was the project relevant to the needs and priorities of the target groups/beneficiaries? Were they consulted during design and implementation of the project?
How relevant & responsive has the PBF project been to supporting peacebuilding priorities in Nigeria?
Did the project’s theory of change clearly articulate assumptions about why the project approach is expected to produce the desired change? Was the theory of change grounded in evidence?
To what extent did the PBF project respond to peacebuilding gaps?
How efficient was the overall staffing, planning and coordination within the project (including between the two implementing agencies and with stakeholders)? Have project funds and activities been delivered in a timely manner?
How efficient and successful was the project’s implementation approach, including procurement, number of implementing partners and other activities?
Were the results delivered in a reasonable proportion to the operational and other costs?
How efficiently did the project use the project board?
How well did the project collect and use data to monitor results? How effectively was updated data used to manage the project?
How well did the project team communicate with implementing partners, stakeholders and project beneficiaries on its progress?
Overall, did the PBF project provide value for money? Have resources been used efficiently?
Did the monitoring and evaluation systems that UNDP had in place help ensure that the project was managed efficiently and effectively?
To what extent did the PBF project ensure synergies within different programs of UN agencies and other implementing organizations and donor with the same portfolio?
To what extent did the PBF project achieve its intended objectives and contribute to the project’s strategic vision?
To what extent did the PBF project substantively mainstream a gender and support gender-responsive peacebuilding?
How appropriate and clear was the PBF project’s targeting strategy in terms of geographic and beneficiary targeting?
Was the project monitoring system adequately capturing data on peacebuilding results at an appropriate outcome level?
Sustainabilty & Ownership:
To what extent did the PBF project contribute to the broader strategic outcomes identified in nationally owned strategic plans, legislative agendas and policies?
Did the intervention design include an appropriate sustainability and exit strategy (including promoting national/local ownership, use of national capacity etc.) to support positive changes in peacebuilding after the end of the project?
How strong is the commitment of the Government and other stakeholders to sustaining the results of PBF support and continuing initiatives, especially women’s participation in decision making processes, supported under PBF Project?
Has the intervention developed the necessary State capacities (both human and institutional) for sustainability?
Will the outputs delivered through the project be sustained by State capacities after the end of the project duration? If not, why?
How has the project enhanced and contributed to the development of national capacity in order to ensure suitability of efforts and benefits?
How can the effectiveness of the project be strengthened for future interventions?
To what extent did the PBF project complement work among different entities, especially with other UN actors?
If the project was part of a broader package of PBF, to what degree were the project’s design, implementation, monitoring and reporting aligned with that of other projects’?
To what extent and nature were stakeholders involved in the project’s design and implementation?
Did the PBF project have an explicit approach to conflict-sensitivity?
Were RUNOs and NUNOs’ internal capacities adequate for ensuring an ongoing conflict-sensitive approach?
Was the project responsible for any unintended negative impacts?
Was an ongoing process of context monitoring and a monitoring system that allows for monitoring of unintended impacts established?
In addition to the above standard OECD / DAC criteria, the following additional PBF specific evaluation criteria should also be assessed by the evaluation:
Was the project financially and/or programmatically catalytic?
Has PBF funding been used to scale-up other peacebuilding work and/or has it helped to create broader platforms for peacebuilding?
Was the project well-timed to address a conflict factor or capitalize on a specific window of opportunity?
Was PBF funding used to leverage political windows of opportunity for engagement?
Risk – tolerance and Innovation:
If the project was characterized as “high risk”, were risks adequately monitoring and mitigated?
How novel or innovative was the project approach? Can lessons be drawn to inform similar approaches elsewhere?
Inception Report: The expert(s) will prepare an Inception Report to further refine the evaluation questions and detail the methodological approach, including data collection instruments, in consultation with the PBF technical team. The Inception report must be approved by both the evaluation manager and the PBF prior to commencement of data collection in the field
The inception report should include the following key elements:
Overall approach and methodology
Key lines of inquiry & interview protocol
Data collection tools and mechanisms
Proposed list of interviewees
A work plan and timelines to be agreed with relevant PBF focal points
Presentation/validation of preliminary findings to relevant in-country stakeholders and PBF, following data collection
Final evaluation report: The expert(s) will prepare the final evaluation report based on PBF’s evaluation report template. The first draft of the final report will be shared with an Evaluation Reference Group, composed of representatives of all direct fund recipients and the PBF (at a minimum), for their comments. The final accepted version of the report will reflect ERG’s comments. The Final Report must be approved by both the evaluation manager and the PBF.
Respect for Diversity
Demonstrated analytical, communication and technical report writing skills;
Strong working knowledge of the UN and its mandate in Nigeria, and more specifically the work of UNDP in support of government and civil society in Nigeria.
Required Skills and Experience
Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Political Science, Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding, Economics, Development Planning, Business Administration, Law or other relevant fields.
Extensive experience in conducting evaluations, with a strong working knowledge on institutional capacity building/development and state building.
Extensive knowledge of results – based management (RBM) evaluation, and participatory monitoring and evaluation methodologies and approaches.
Minimum of 7 years professional expertise in national development co-operation, livelihoods promotion and conflict prevention support programming issues, programme / project evaluation, impact assessment/development of programming / strategies; gender equality and social services.
At least 5 years of experience in conducting evaluations of government and international aid organizations, preferably with direct experience with civil service capacity building.
Good professional knowledge of the Nigerian governance context.
Fluency in both written and spoken English
Master’s degree in public administration, political science, conflict prevention & peacebuilding, economics, development planning, business administration, law, or other relevant fields. 15 points
Extensive experience in conducting evaluations, with a strong working knowledge on institutional capacity building/development and state building. 20 points
Extensive knowledge of results – based management (RBM) evaluation, and participatory monitoring and evaluation methodologies and approaches. 20 points
Minimum of 7 years professional expertise in national development co-operation, livelihoods promotion and conflict prevention support programming issues, programme / project evaluation, impact assessment / development of programming / strategies; gender equality and social services. 15 points
At least 5 years of experience in conducting evaluations of government and international aid organizations, preferably with direct experience with civil service capacity building. 15 points
Good professional knowledge of the Nigerian governance context. 15 points
Application Closing Date
20th July, 2021.