USAID/Timor-Leste Tourism for All:
In 2018, USAID awarded $9 million for a three-year (January 2018-January 2021) contract to Chemonics International for USAID’s Tourism for All Project with two potential options years (January 2021-January 2023). USAID’s investment in the tourism sector through the Tourism for All Project promotes Timor-Leste’s competitiveness as an international tourism destination while preserving its unique environmental and cultural heritage. The purpose of this activity is to expand and improve Timor-Leste’s tourism offering using an inclusive and sustainable approach; to facilitate private investment and co-creation by working with government to establish incentives and obligations that are more private sector-friendly; to promote steady and sustainable tourism growth; and to safeguard and conserve the environment and social characteristics of Timor-Leste’s local communities.
The USAID – Chemonics International contract was signed in January 18, 2018 for $15 million with the following breakdowns for based and options years: Base Year of $9 million and Two Options Years of $6 million. The project start-up operations were delayed briefly due to the changes in the Chief of Party after the award. Since then, the project has made considerable progress in the implementation of planned activities toward meeting project objectives. The project staff was re-structured to align with the Government of Timor-Leste’s National Tourism Policy by having Leads in the five government priority areas in Tourism which include priority, prosperity, protection, partnership and people.
In July 2020, the Mission approved the exercise of Option Year 1 which extended the performance duration of the project for 12 months from March 19, 2021 to March 18, 2022 inclusive of two no-cost extensions due to COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, as the project completed the base year and starting its option year one, it is important that an objective outside review be undertaken to assess progress made towards reaching stated goals and objectives, as well to validate assumption and results indicators against the reality on the ground, based on USAID’s Tourism for All implementation experience to date.
When COVID-19 global pandemic hit Timor-Leste, USAID/Timor-Leste mission postponed the midterm evaluation as initially planned due to the inability to field an external evaluation team. While the COVID-19 situation remains the same, a performance evaluation of the TFA activity is still critical to the success of its implementation. Therefore, Mission will continue to carry out this evaluation to inform the Mission about the activity’s performance and achievements, and make programmatic adjustments.
Performance Evaluation Objective:
The objective of this assignment is to carry out a performance evaluation of USAID’s Tourism for All project to:
- Determine the relevance, efficacy, impact, and sustainability of the impact achieved. The evaluators will undertake a normative assessment of the project to gauge progress made in the implementation of planned activities toward reaching stated goals and objectives.
- Assess the wider project context to validate project assumptions and results indicators against the reality on the ground, based on actual USAID’s Tourism for All implementation experience to date. This should be done with a view toward making recommendations for adjustments of assumptions and results indicators, as warranted, to enhance project implementation if further option years are exercised.
- Assess the impact of COVID on the tourism industry and the Tourism for All activity and whether there should be any shift in focus should a second option year be awarded.
- Assess the effectiveness of the Tourism for All activity to collaborate, learn, and adapt in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Provide an evidentiary basis for determining whether or not to exercise the second option year.
- Has Tourism for All been successful/unsuccessful in the following key intervention areas:
- working effectively with stakeholders to develop tourism-related policies or regulations;
- supporting i mplementation of the National Tourism Policy;
- establishing effective and sustainable tourism sector associations and advocacy groups;
- supporting destination marketing domestically and internationally;
- building partnerships with a reasonable likelihood of stimulating private sector investment in the tourism sector; and
- Establishing Sustainable Management Plans within protected areas.
- Is there evidence that the six key intervention areas outlined in Evaluation Question #1 are likely to grow, scaling up and out? What specific actions will be required to ensure future sustainability after USAID Tourism for All ceased?
- What specific stakeholder groups within the tourism sector have benefited the most from USAID Tourism for All interventions ? Are there additional stakeholders with whom USAID Tourism for All should engage in order to support effective implementation of the National Tourism Policy that could stimulate private sector investment in the tourism sector?
- Given efforts by the Government of Timor-Leste (GOTL) and various development partners to more effectively implement the National Tourism Policy or to stimulate private sector investments in the tourism sector, what is USAID’s comparative advantage to achieve or advance these same goals?
- How has the Tourism for All Activity adapted in response to the impact of COVID-19 and how effective they have been? What additional adjustments should the Activity consider in order to further mitigate the COVID-19 impact on the industry?
SI is seeking a Team Leader to lead a mixed methods performance evaluation. This position will work directly with USAID and the evaluation team on the project in meeting the research goals on the project. The role is projected to start in February 2021 over the course of six months (fieldwork anticipated in April-May). This position is considered a short-term consultancy. Candidates located internationally would support fieldwork remotely or travel to Timor-Leste, depending on COVID-19 restrictions. Candidates located in Timor-Leste would participate in fieldwork in-country.
- The team leader (TL) will be responsible for the overall implementation of the evaluation and ensuring that all expected tasks and deliverables are achieved on time and of high quality.
- The TL will oversee the overall drafting of the evaluation framework, including methodology determinations; organization of calendar/travel/meetings; lead and oversee the desk study, interviews, and other data collection; and analyze the data with inputs from team members and USAID in order to draft the evaluation report.
- The TL will be responsible for team organization, scheduling, and primary liaison with the USAID Mission staff regarding technical aspects of the evaluation.
- The TL will have overall responsibility for the preparation and submission of the final report with substantial inputs from the other team members.
- The other team members will report to the TL on any issues that may have.
- The TL will take the lead in preparing the evaluation schedule and work plan and will work closely with the other team members to determine information requirements, develop key questions, conduct interviews, and gather other relevant information.
- The TL will also lead the entire team’s effort to prepare and deliver a presentation on the team’s response to the evaluation questions.
- The TL will be responsible for a clear presentation of the findings, conclusions and recommendations at the team’s final meeting with USAID.
- The TL will also supervise the preparation of the final report and will ensure the quality of its contents.
- Upon receiving USAID’s comments on the final draft report, the TL will be responsible for making any final corrections and improvements, and the submission of the final version to USAID.
- The candidate must have significant professional experience coordinating similarly complex assessment and/or evaluations, and leading assessment and/or evaluation teams.
- The candidate must have exceptional organizational, analytical, writing, and presentation skills.
- The candidate must have technical knowledge and experience in a relevant analytical field; doctorate-level credentials are an added strength.
- The Team Leader must demonstrate understanding of and have experience in Southeast Asia (and Timor-Leste preferred), Tourism, and/or economic growth and development programming.
- Knowledge and/or experience working with USAID’s, the U.S. Government’s or other development agencies’ rules, regulations, and procedures are highly desirable.
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Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. Please, no phone calls.