. Project Title: “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza”
B. Project Description
This is the Terms of Reference for the UNDP-GEF Midterm Review (MTR) of the full-sized project titled “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza” (PIMS 5452) implemented through the UNDP Turkmenistan/Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection, which is to be undertaken in 2021. The project started on the 2018 and is in its third year of implementation. This ToR sets out the expectations for this MTR. The MTR process must follow the guidance outlined in the document Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects (http://web.undp.org/evaluation/documents/guidance/GEF/mid-term/Guidance_Midterm%20Review%20_EN_2014.pdf).
The project was designed to:
The objective of the project is to promote and implement integrated low-carbon urban systems in Ashgabat and Avaza, thereby reducing GHG emissions and creating other environmental, social, and economic development benefits. Part of the first Project Component covers the activities that are related to the implementation of energy-efficient public lighting in Ashgabat, with technical justification prepared for replication. Moreover, the same component covers the development and application of sustainable urban transport solutions in Ashgabat and reduction of waste volumes and expansion of recycling in Ashgabat. Finally, Project Component 1 touches upon such activities as development and approval of city-wide sustainability plans. The second component concentrates on practices to reduce energy consumption, water use, and waste implemented by hotels in Avaza. Furthermore, it focuses on demonstration and replication of solar-powered public lighting, and implementation of optimally efficient surface transportation in Avaza. Besides, Component 2 underlines the importance of organizing enhanced trainings for managerial and technical capacity of planners, officials, and facility managers in Avaza. The third and final Component highlights the development and adoption of national policies in support of integrated and scaled-up green urban practices, supported by capacity enhancement for responsible agencies and individuals. In addition, it underscores the adoption of national incentives and standards for fuel efficiency of imported cars. The timeframe for the project is 2018-2024. Total budget of the project is 6,060,046 USD (GEF) and 100,000 USD (UNDP). Main national partner is Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan. General national partners are Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Construction and Architecture, “Turkmen Motor Transport” Agency, , Municipality of Ashgabat, Municipality of Turkmenbashi.
Duties and Responsibilities
The MTR will assess progress towards the achievement of the project objectives and outcomes as specified in the Project Document, and assess early signs of project success or failure with the goal of identifying the necessary changes to be made in order to set the project on-track to achieve its intended results. The MTR will also review the project’s strategy and its risks to sustainability.
The project will also look for options to adjust the project strategy as an adaptive management approach as suggested by the UNDP NCE management, given to the conditions caused by the COVID19 pandemic. For this, the project will appoint a Strategy Revision Consultant who is expected to work in close collaboration with the MTR team to identify the current bottlenecks, opportunities and design new approaches within the overall objective of the project; presented as an updated Results Framework for the project. MTR team is expected to work with Strategy Revision Consultant in the identification of project progress and limitations as well as opportunities and reflect the findings of strategy revision suggestions in the MTR report. UNDP seeks for a full coherency of all consultants with separated and clear terms of references and deliveries.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
D. MTR Approach & Methodology
The MTR report must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful.
The MTR team will review all relevant sources of information including documents prepared during the preparation phase (i.e. PIF, UNDP Initiation Plan, UNDP Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP)), the Project Document, project reports including Annual Project Review/PIRs, project budget revisions, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based review. The MTR team will review the baseline GEF focal area Core Indicators/Tracking Tools submitted to the GEF at CEO endorsement, and the midterm GEF focal area Core Indicators/Tracking Tools that must be completed before the MTR field mission begins.
The MTR team is expected to follow a collaborative and participatory approach ensuring close engagement with the Project Team, government counterparts (the GEF Operational Focal Point), the UNDP Country Office(s), the Nature, Climate and Energy (NCE) Regional Technical Advisor, direct beneficiaries, and other key stakeholders.
Engagement of stakeholders is vital to a successful MTR. Stakeholder involvement should include interviews with stakeholders who have project responsibilities, including but not limited to Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection, Ministry of Construction and Architecture, Ministry of Energy, “Turkmen Motor Transport” Agency, Municipality of Ashgabat, Municipality of Turkmenbashi, Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, Private Sector and NGO; executing agencies, senior officials and task team/ component leaders, key experts and consultants in the subject area, Project Board, project stakeholders, academia, local government and CSOs, etc. Additionally, the MTR team is expected to conduct field missions Ashgabat depending on the situation of the global COVID19 pandemic and the travel restrictions in Turkmenistan and the country of the consultant. In case a field trip is not possible, virtual evaluation methods will be adopted as described in relevant UNDP and GEF guidance.
The specific design and methodology for the MTR should emerge from consultations between the MTR team and the above-mentioned parties regarding what is appropriate and feasible for meeting the MTR purpose and objectives and answering the evaluation questions, given limitations of budget, time and data. The MTR team must, however, use gender-responsive methodologies and tools and ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as other cross-cutting issues and SDGs are incorporated into the MTR report. MTR will work in close collaboration with Strategy Revision Consultant and incorporate results from that work into Results Framework.
The final methodological approach including interview schedule, field visits and data to be used in the MTR should be clearly outlined in the Inception Report and be fully discussed and agreed between UNDP, stakeholders and the MTR team.
(Note: The TOR should retain enough flexibility for the MTR team to determine the best methods and tools for collecting and analysing data. For example, the TOR might suggest using questionnaires, field visits and interviews, but the evaluation team should be able to revise the approach in consultation with the evaluation manager and key stakeholders. These changes in approach should be agreed and reflected clearly in MTR Inception Report)
The final MTR report must describe the full MTR approach taken and the rationale for the approach making explicit the underlying assumptions, challenges, strengths and weaknesses about the methods and approach of the review.
E. Detailed Scope of the MTR
The MTR team will assess the following four categories of project progress. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for extended descriptions.
Finance and co-finance
Project-level monitoring and evaluation systems
Social and Environmental Standards (Safeguards)
A given project should be assessed against the version of UNDP’s safeguards policy that was in effect at the time of the project’s approval.
Communications & Knowledge Management
Financial risks to sustainability:
Socio-economic risks to sustainability:
Institutional Framework and Governance risks to sustainability:
Environmental risks to sustainability:
Conclusions & Recommendations
The MTR consultant/team will include a section in the MTR report for evidence-based conclusions, in light of the findings.
Additionally, the MTR consultant/team is expected to make recommendations to the Project Team. Recommendations should be succinct suggestions for critical intervention that are specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant. A recommendation table should be put in the report’s executive summary. The MTR consultant/team should make no more than 15 recommendations total.
The MTR team will include its ratings of the project’s results and brief descriptions of the associated achievements in a MTR Ratings & Achievement Summary Table in the Executive Summary of the MTR report. See the TOR Annexes for the Rating Table and ratings scales.
F. Expected Outputs and Deliverables
The MTR team shall prepare and submit:
*The final MTR report must be in English. If applicable, the Commissioning Unit may choose to arrange for a translation of the report into a language more widely shared by national stakeholders.
G. Institutional Arrangements
The principal responsibility for managing this MTR resides with the Commissioning Unit. The Commissioning Unit for this project’s MTR is UNDP Turkmenistan Country Office.
The Commissioning Unit will contract the consultants and ensure the timely provision of per diems and travel arrangements within the Turkmenistan for the MTR team. The Project Team will be responsible for liaising with the MTR team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits.
H. Duration of the Work
The total duration of the MTR will be approximately 35 of days over a period of 9 of weeks starting on 12 January 2021, and shall not exceed five months from when the consultant(s) are hired. The tentative MTR timeframe is as follows:
The date start of contract is 10 February 2021.
I. Duty Station
The MTR International Consultant’s duty station/location for the contract duration shall be home-based as it’s not expected that COVID-19-related ban on international visa issuance will be lifted any time during the planned timeline of the MTR.
 For ideas on innovative and participatory Monitoring and Evaluation strategies and techniques, see UNDP Discussion Paper: Innovations in Monitoring & Evaluating Results, 05 Nov 2013.
 For more stakeholder engagement in the M&E process, see the UNDP Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results, Chapter 3, pg. 93.
 Risks are to be labeled with both the UNDP SES Principles and Standards, and the GEF’s “types of risks and potential impacts”: Climate Change and Disaster; Disadvantaged or Vulnerable Individuals or Groups; Disability Inclusion; Adverse Gender-Related impact, including Gender-based Violence and Sexual Exploitation; Biodiversity Conservation and the Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources; Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement; Indigenous Peoples; Cultural Heritage; Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention; Labor and Working Conditions; Community Health, Safety and Security.
A team of two independent consultants will conduct the MTR – one team leader (International Consultant, with experience and exposure to projects and evaluations in other regions globally) and one team expert (National Consultant, usually from the country of the project).
This procurement announcement is made for the purpose of collecting offers from those bidders that are intending to become Team leader (International Consultant) on the MTR assignment.
The bidders cannot have participated in the project preparation, formulation, and/or implementation (including the writing of the Project Document) and should not have a conflict of interest with project’s related activities.
The selection of the Team leader/International Consultant will be aimed at maximizing the overall “team” qualities in the following areas:
The MTR team will be held to the highest ethical standards and is required to sign a code of conduct upon acceptance of the assignment. This MTR will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. The MTR team must safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, interviewees and stakeholders through measures to ensure compliance with legal and other relevant codes governing collection of data and reporting on data. The MTR team must also ensure security of collected information before and after the MTR and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of sources of information where that is expected. The information, knowledge and data gathered in the MTR process must also be solely used for the MTR and not for other uses without the express authorization of UNDP and partners.
Required Skills and Experience
Schedule of Payments
Criteria for issuing the final payment of 40%
(Adjust this section if a vetted roster will be used)
M. Recommended Presentation of Offer
All application materials should be submitted electronically at the email registry.tm@undp indicating the following reference “Consultant for “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza” project Midterm Review”. Incomplete applications will be excluded from further consideration.
N. Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer
Only those applications which are responsive and compliant will be evaluated. Offers will be evaluated according to the Combined Scoring method – where the educational background and experience on similar assignments will be weighted at 70% and the price proposal will weigh as 30% of the total scoring. The applicant receiving the Highest Combined Score that has also accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.
O. Annexes to the MTR ToR
Share ToR Annexes directly with short-listed candidates. Include Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects and other existing literature or documents that will help candidates gain a better understanding of the project situation and the work required.
Annexes include: (reference ToR Annexes in Annex 3 of Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects)
Annexes to Midterm Review Terms of Reference
For Standard Template 2
ToR ANNEX A: List of Documents to be reviewed by the MTR Team
(The Commissioning Unit is responsible for compiling these documents prior to the recruitment of the MTR team so that they are available to the team immediately after contract signature.)
The following documents will also be available:
ToR ANNEX B: Guidelines on Contents for the Midterm Review Report
ToR ANNEX C: Midterm Review Evaluative Matrix Template
(Draft questions to be filled out by the Commissioning Unit with support from the Project Team)
This Midterm Review Evaluative Matrix must be fully completed/amended by the consultant and included in the MTR inception report and as an Annex to the MTR report.
ToR ANNEX D: UNEG Code of Conduct for Evaluators/Midterm Review Consultants
ToR ANNEX E: MTR Ratings & Achievement Summary Table + Rating Scales
MTR Ratings & Achievement Summary Table for (Project Title)
ToR ANNEX F: MTR Report Clearance Form
(to be completed and signed by the Commissioning Unit and RTA and included in the final document)
ToR ANNEX G: Audit Trail Template
Note: The following is a template for the MTR Team to show how the received comments on the draft MTR report have (or have not) been incorporated into the final MTR report. This audit trail should be included as an annex in the final MTR report.
To the comments received on (date) from the Midterm Review of “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza” (UNDP Project ID-PIMS #)
The following comments were provided in track changes to the draft Midterm Review report; they are referenced by institution (“Author” column) and not by the person’s name, and track change comment number (“#” column):
ToR ANNEX H: Progress Towards Results Matrix
Table. Progress Towards Results Matrix (Achievement of outcomes against End-of-project Targets)
Indicator Assessment Key
ToR ANNEX I: GEF Co-Financing Template (provided as a separate file)
 The Report length should not exceed 40 pages in total (not including annexes).
 The Report length should not exceed 40 pages in total (not including annexes).
 Populate with data from the Logframe and scorecards
 Populate with data from the Project Document
 If available
 Colour code this column only
 Use the 6 point Progress Towards Results Rating Scale: HS, S, MS, MU, U, HU
|Closing date:||January 21, 2021|