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Overview of position:
The conflict in Yemen is now in its 8th year & has exacerbated chronic vulnerabilities, leaving an estimate of 20.7 million people (about 80% of its population) in need of humanitarian assistance, including 12.1 million people in acute needs, 4 million IDP’s of which 70% are women & children & approximately 30% of displaced households are now headed by females compared to 9% before conflict escalated in 2015. Yemen is one of the most food insecure countries in the world, according to the 2021 IPC in the 1st half of the year, with 54% of its population facing crisis or worse levels of food insecurity, of about 47,000 at the worst level (IPC phase 5) . The current conflict has led to a deteriorating macroeconomic condition, declining livelihood opportunities & access to income & rising prices of food & essential non food commodities. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the situation by disrupting supply chains & further reducing incomes. Moreover, before the outbreak of COVID-19 in April 2020, Yemen was already the largest humanitarian & development crisis in the world. Yemen’s COVID-19 epidemic represents a crisis within a crisis, with potentially catastrophic effects on the population. The country has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when its population 7 institutions have been massively weakened by a complex conflict & a succession of health shocks & natural disasters. Yemen is experiencing a severe economic downturn due to lowered domestic supply & demand resulting from containment measures & external macro shocks associated with reduced oil revenues & foreign exchange inflows emanating from a decline in remittances. These factors have placed additional burden on Yemen’s already limited foreign exchange, risking further devaluation, rising commodity prices & business closures. The public sector, which, traditionally is the biggest employer is so fragmented & collapsing & hence unable to absorb the growing labor force. Recent assessments by our client & other development players in Yemen have revealed that several small businesses have closed since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak due to viability challenges mainly to do with subdued demand & difficulties in getting supplies due either of the current situation or recent COVID-19 wave containment measures. The few operating enterprises are unable to absorb a critical mass of the available labor due to factors like their scale most are micro & small businesses with low labor absorptive capacities. Opportunities exist in setting new businesses, but most youth & women lack resources & skills. There has been a massive decline in vocational & skills training outside the major towns due to the ongoing conflict. Outside of the UN & NGO community, few public or private sector organizations offer vocational & entrepreneurial skills training. Where they exist, youth & women are constrained by costs & other social restrictions to travel to the training centers. Studies on youth unemployment have revealed a growing trend of skills mismatch, whereby potential labor does not possess the skills demanded by the enterprises. The skills mismatch includes vocational & entrepreneurial skills & soft skills, such as communication, ethical, life & social skills (how to build a business network). The predominantly youthful population also lack the entrepreneurial culture, the technical & artisanal skills & capacity to form & develop their own small businesses. Our client collaborated with SMEPS as the responsible partner under the project “vocational & business skills training & support” with an objective to empower rural young men & women with vocational, technical & business skills & nurture an entrepreneurship culture enhancing their employability & productive engagement in economic & local recovery activities. These efforts contributed to & complemented the overall collective efforts for economic recovery & livelihood restoration leading to improved well being & resilience among Yemenis. The project is anchored in our clients strategic plan, their Yemen country program document, SDG’s & KSA’s strategic objective of humanitarian & relief.
Our clients strategy: Advance poverty eradication in all its forms & dimensions.
Our clients country programme document: Yemenis improve their livelihoods & access inclusive productive services.
SDG’s; No poverty, zero hunger, decent work & economic growth.
KSA’s strategic objective: Humanitarian & relief, deliver KSA’s external humanitarian aid & relief, develop strong partnerships with leading humanitarian organizations & develop an effective process to respond to humanitarian crises quickly & effectively.
The theory of change underpinning the project was that “if youth & women in selected districts are provided with market linked vocational, technical & business skills support & if their entrepreneurial skills are nurtured to initiate or resuscitate self enterprises, then new business and income generating opportunities are created & then employability & engagement in economic & livelihood initiatives & productivity & incomes for young men & women in targeted areas will be increased resulting in improved well-being and resilience among Yemenis”
Project output 1: Young men & women in Hadramout & Lahj governorates provided with vocational, technical & entrepreneurial skills & support.
Key project activities across all components:
Promotion linkage with markets.
In kind grants (toolkits, input materials, safety gear, etc.).
Financial literacy / in kind grants.
Textile & handloom products.
Key stakeholders & partners:
Our client has built strategic partnerships with the SMEPS as a RP in the YECRP project. our clients partnership with SMEPS is characterised by well structured & joint coordination, decision making & supervision from the start of the project cycle & a division of labour which contributed to effective implementation. The other key partners are the vocational & technical training services providers in the targeted areas.
Evaluation purpose, objectives & scope:
The vocational, business skills training & support project will end on the 30th June 2022, so this evaluation is being conducted to assess the project’s contribution towards aims to empower rural young men & women with vocational, technical & business skills & nurture an entrepreneurship culture to enhance their employability and productive engagement in economic & local recovery activities. These efforts will contribute to & complement the overall collective efforts for economic recovery & livelihood restoration leading to improved well being & resilience among Yemenis.
Our client commissions a final project evaluation to serve as an important learning & accountability tool, providing the project donor, our client, national stakeholders & other partners with an impartial assessment of the results achieved by the project. The evaluation also assesses the internal & external factors affecting the project’s outcomes. The evaluation will assess the project’s relevance, effectiveness, efficiency & sustainability; identify & document lessons learned & provide recommendations to inform key stakeholders; relevant national institutions / partners, donors, our client, UN agencies, CSO’s on any adjustment / redirection that may be necessary for future social safety net support in emergency contexts.
The principal objectives of the evaluation are to ascertain the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, gender equality & women’s empowerment of the vocational & business skills training & support project intervention on well being of most vulnerable households & communities in targeted areas. The specific objective of the evaluation is to fulfil our clients top management & donor requirements as well as assessing project implementation in terms of relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact to date & sustainability of the activities that have been undertaken, with consideration of recommendations to improve future programming in terms of vocational training program for new sector / components & the other integration of host communities, IDPs & returnees.
The evaluation should provide information that is credible & useful, enabling the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision making process.
The evaluation will focus on the vocational & business skills training & support intervention implemented by our client & its national RP, the SMEPS in the target governorates of Hadramaut & Lahj during the project period (November 2020 – June 2022). The evaluation will cover the project conceptualization, design, implementation, monitoring, reporting & evaluation of results & will engage all project stakeholders. The evaluation will assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency & sustainability of the project; explore the key factors that have contributed to the achievements or non achievement of planned results & determine the extent to which the project has contributed to improving the resilience of the targeted beneficiaries & communities; addressing key challenges & gaps, crosscutting issues of gender equality & women’s empowerment & human rights that may have affected / limited the attainment of the project development objective & recommend actionable intervention.
Evaluation criteria & key guiding questions:
The evaluation will answer the following questions structured around the OECD DAC criteria of relevance, efficiency, effectiveness & sustainability. Furthermore, the evaluation will also answer specific questions related to human rights, gender equality & impact of COVID-19 & limitations to cover evaluation questions.
Relevance / coherence:
To what extent was the project in line with national development priorities, country program outputs & outcomes, our clients strategic plan & SDGs?
To what extent does the project contribute to the theory of change for the relevant country program outcome?
To what extent were lessons learned from other relevant projects considered in the design?
To what extent were perspectives of men & women who could affect the outcomes & those who could contribute information or other resources to the attainment of stated results, taken into account during project design processes?
To what extent does the project contribute to gender equality, the empowerment of women & the human rights based approach?
To what extent has the project been appropriately responsive to political, legal, economic, institutional, etc., changes in the country?
To what extent did the project contribute to the country program outcomes and outputs, the SDGs, our clients strategic plan & national development priorities?
To what extent were the project outputs achieved, considering men, women & vulnerable groups?
What factors have contributed to achieving, or not, intended country program outputs & outcomes?
To what extent has our clients partnership strategy been appropriate & effective?
What factors contributed to effectiveness or ineffectiveness?
In which areas does the project have the greatest achievements? Why & what have been the supporting factors? How can the project build on or expand these achievements?
In which areas does the project have the fewest achievements? What have been the constraining factors & why? How can or could they be overcome?
What, if any, alternative strategies would have been more effective in achieving the project objectives?
Are the project objectives & outputs clear, practical & feasible within its frame? Do they clearly address women, men & vulnerable groups?
To what extent have different stakeholders been involved in project implementation?
To what extent are project management & implementation participatory & is this participation of men, women & vulnerable groups contributing towards achievement of the project objectives?
To what extent has the project been appropriately responsive to the needs of the national constituents (men, women, other groups) & changing partner priorities?
To what extent has the project contributed to gender equality, the empowerment of women & the realization of human rights?
To what extent was the project management structure as outlined in the project document efficient in generating the expected results?
To what extent were resources used to address inequalities in general & gender issues in particular?
To what extent have our clients project implementation strategy & execution been efficient & cost effective?
To what extent has there been an economical use of financial & HR? Have resources (funds, male & female staff, time, expertise, etc.) been allocated strategically to achieve outcomes?
To what extent have resources been used efficiently? Have activities supporting the strategy been cost-effective?
To what extent have project funds & activities been delivered in a timely manner?
To what extent do the M&E systems utilized by our client to ensure effective & efficient project management?
Are there any financial risks that may jeopardize the sustainability of project outputs affecting women, men & vulnerable groups?
To what extent will targeted men, women & vulnerable people benefit from the project interventions in the long term?
To what extent will financial & economic resources be available to sustain the benefits achieved by the project?
Are there any social or political risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project outputs & the project contributions to country program outputs & outcomes?
Do the legal frameworks, policies & governance structures & processes within which the project operates pose risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project benefits?
To what extent did our clients actions pose an environmental threat to the sustainability of project outputs, possibly affecting project beneficiaries (men & women) in a negative way? What is the chance that the level of stakeholder ownership will be sufficient to allow for the project benefits to be sustained?
To what extent do mechanisms, procedures & policies exist to allow primary stakeholders to carry forward the results attained on gender equality, empowerment of women, human rights & human development?
To what extent do stakeholders (men, women, vulnerable groups) support the project’s long term objectives?
To what extent are lessons learned documented by the project team on a continual basis & shared with appropriate parties who could learn from the project?
To what extent do our clients interventions have well designed & well planned exit strategies which include a gender dimension?
What could be done to strengthen exit strategies & sustainability in order to support female & male project beneficiaries as well as marginalized groups?
To what extent have poor, IDPs & vulnerable, indigenous & physically challenged & other disadvantaged & marginalized groups benefited from the intervention in Yemen?
To what extent have gender equality & the empowerment of women been addressed in the design, implementation & monitoring of the project?
Is the gender marker data assigned to this project representative of reality?
To what extent has the project promoted positive changes in gender equality & the empowerment of women? Were there any unintended effects?
How the project has contributed to the empowerment of women & reduced gender inequalities (keep women in poverty, accelerate transformations for sustainable development, reduce structural vulnerabilities to shocks & crisis)?
Were persons with disabilities / IDPs engaged in project planning & implementation?
What proportion of the beneficiaries of the project were persons with disabilities / IDPs?
What barriers did persons with disabilities / IDPs face? How it was overcome? What is the impact of the project on the lives of people with disability & IDPs? Have any positive changes have been added?
The final key guiding questions to be used in the evaluation should be clearly outlined in the inception report & fully discussed & agreed between our client, key stakeholders & the evaluator.
The evaluation will be carried out in accordance with our clients evaluation guidelines & policies, UN group evaluation norms & ethical standards; OECD / DAC evaluation principles & guidelines & DAC evaluation quality standards. The evaluation will employ a combination of both qualitative & quantitative evaluation methods instruments: The evaluator is expected to follow a participatory & consultative approach that ensures close engagement with the evaluation managers, implementing partners, project direct & indirect beneficiaries & communities with gender balance. However, final decisions about the specific design & methods for the evaluation emerge from consultations with our clients OST, the evaluators & key stakeholders about what is appropriate & feasible to meet the evaluation purpose & objectives & answer the evaluation questions, given all limitations including time, security situation, accessibility, budget & data. Suggested methodological tools and approaches include:
Document review of all relevant documentation. This includes a review of inter alia, theory of change & results framework, joint implementation program document, letter of agreement with national RP & proposal, project quality assurance reports, annual workplans, annual reports, vocational, technical & business skills training project results oriented monitoring report, highlights of project board meetings & technical / financial monitoring reports.
Interviews & meetings with key stakeholders (men & women) such as key national counterparts, donor community members, representatives of key CSO’s, UNCT members & implementing partners.
Semi structured interviews, based on questions designed for different stakeholders & also evaluation questions around relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency & sustainability, human rights & gender equality & women’s empowerment.
Key informant & FGD’s with beneficiaries, communities & stakeholders with gender balanced.
All interviews with men & women should be undertaken in full confidence & anonymity. The final evaluation report should not assign specific comments to individuals.
Surveys & questionnaires including direct & indirect beneficiaries, respective communities with gender balanced (at least 30% female to be engaged during the evaluation survey), UNCT members & / or surveys & questionnaires to other stakeholders at strategic & programmatic levels (if necessary).
Field visits & on site validation of key outputs & interventions. The evaluation team is expected to follow a participatory & consultative approach that ensures close engagement with the evaluation manager, project team, implementing partners & direct beneficiaries.
Other methods such as outcome mapping, cash study approach, stakeholder analysis / consultations, observational visits, group discussions, etc such as:.
Data review & analysis of monitoring & other data sources & methods. To ensure maximum validity, reliability of data (quality) & promote use, the evaluation team will ensure triangulation of the various data sources.
Gender & human rights lens. All evaluation products need to address gender, disability & human rights issues.
The evaluator will need to conduct funding analysis to answer the related evaluation questions. Our client will provide the needed funding data to support the analysis.
Building on project M&E data of production volumes & income levels of beneficiaries of the 3 main components agro processing, textile & handloom productions, vocational skills, the evaluation will collect up to date data on productivity & income gains for a purposive sample of earlier beneficiaries, for an assessment of the sustainability of project benefits beyond project support. Current productivity & income for a control group engaged in the same activities as the beneficiary sample will be assessed. The size of the control group will be equal to the beneficiary sample. Productivity & income data for both the treated group & the nontreated control group will be collected through household / beneficiary interviews using structured questionnaires. Project impact will be assessed against both the control group counterfactual & initial needs assessment, baseline data for project beneficiaries insofar as such data is available through the project M&E system. Cost information will be collected from M&E records of grants & other support given to the respective beneficiary of the 3 project main components, from cost information in project progress reports &, if required, from itemized accounts of our client, SMEPS.
Stakeholder participation is to be an integral component of the evaluation design & planning, data gathering, drafting of findings, evaluation reporting & results from dissemination. The evaluation should therefore focus not only on quantifiable results but also analyze processes & dynamics generated by the project, their scope (in terms of people & other actors involved) & their sustainability. The proposed framework of the evaluation can be subject to change based on the agreement between our client, which approves the work plan & the external evaluator(s).
Evaluation products (deliverables):
The evaluation will be expected to deliver the following:
Evaluation inception report (maximum 15 pages excluding annexes). The inception report should be carried out following & based on preliminary discussions with our cleint after the desk review & should be produced before the evaluation starts (before any formal evaluation interviews, survey distribution or field visits) & prior to the country visit / project site visits in the case of international evaluator / national evaluators respectively. The evaluation inception report should highlight how the evaluation is planning to integrate major gender aspects during data collection & reporting.
Immediately following an evaluation, the evaluation team will conduct a preliminary debriefing of findings & key critical observations including gender issues.
Draft evaluation report (maximum 60 pages including 4 – 5 pages executive summary). Our client & stakeholders will review the draft evaluation report & provide an amalgamated set of comments to the evaluation team within 10 days, addressing the content required (as agreed in the inception report) & quality criteria as outlined in our clients evaluation guidelines.
Evaluation report audit trail. Comments & changes by the evaluation team in response to the draft report should be retained by the evaluators to show how they have addressed comments.
The final report should address comments, questions & clarification.
Presentations to stakeholders & the ERG.
Evaluation brief & other knowledge products / impact case studies (potentially, focusing on project components / sub components / intervention sectors (capacity building, assets, livelihood impact of beneficiaries & communities, gender / women empowerment) agreed in the inception report. The brief should highlight the best practices, key lessons, innovative solutions & recommendations to maximize the benefits & can be used to inform new interventions.
It is expected that the evaluator will follow our clients evaluation guidelines & UNEG quality check list & ensure all the quality criteria are met in the evaluation report.
Coordinator\Project Manager\M&E specialis
Master’s Degree in M&E, Development Studies, Geography / Environmental Studies, Economics or similar field, PhD is an advantage.
Minimum 5 years’ experience in international development & evaluations & researches.
At least 5 years’ experience of conducting program evaluations / impact evaluations with a focus on experimental or quasi experimental approaches.
Experience in research, analysis, M&E particularly in evaluation of vocational education & training programs or related interventions is an advantage.
Good knowledge of best practices & indicators to measure impact of evaluation for vocational education & training projects including current trends in large project portfolio management, M&E.
Experience working with international donors & UN agencies.
Knowledge & experience in Yemen will be an added advantage.
Good understanding national & state govt. priorities, policies & planning process on vocational education & trainings in Yemen.
Excellent skills in analysis, synthesis & oral and written communication (in Arabic & English).
Familiarity with the quality criteria on evaluation reports & the code of conduct for evaluating our clients projects is an asset.
Ability & experience in producing quality reports within the given time.
Team leadership skills.
Excellent drafting, documentation & communication skills.
Knowledge of vocational & educations interventions & project management skills.
Proven record on similar documentation work at the national & international levels.
Promote the highest standards of ethics & integrity.
Support creativity & innovation.
Help create an enabling environment for open communication.
Share knowledge & support a culture of learning.
Demonstrate fairness & transparency.
Must be fluent in Engish & Arabic.
This role has no team management responsibility.
This evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’.
The consultant must safeguard the rights & confidentiality of information providers, interviewees & stakeholders through measures to ensure compliance with legal & other relevant codes governing collection of data & reporting on data.
The consultant must also ensure security of collected information before & after the evaluation & protocols to ensure anonymity & confidentiality of sources of information where that is expected.
The information knowledge & data gathered in the evaluation process must also be solely used for the evaluation & not for other uses with the express authorization of our client & their partners.
Our clients Yemen Country Office will select the consultant through a competitive process in line with their rules & regulations.
Our client will be responsible for the management of the evaluator & will in this regard designate an evaluation manager & focal point.
Project Manager will assist in facilitating the whole evaluation process, providing relevant documentation, constituting the evaluation reference group, support to conduct selected project site visits / interviews with key informants, reviewing evaluation products stated above etc.
The evaluation manager will convene an evaluation reference group comprising of technical experts from partners & our client with gender balanced to enhance the quality of the evaluation.
The reference group will review the inception & the draft evaluation reports, providing detailed comments related to the quality of methodology, evidence collected, analysis & reporting.
Comments & changes by the evaluator in response to the draft evaluation report should be retained by the evaluator to show how they have addressed the comments (audit trail).
The reference group will also advise on the conformity of the evaluation process to our client & UNEG standards.
The national consultant will be responsible to conduct the evaluation.
S / He will ensure the quality of the evaluation process, outputs, methodology & timely delivery of all products.
S / He/ will be responsible on the conceptualization and design of the evaluation and shapes the findings, conclusions & recommendations of the report.
The consultant will take responsibility, with assistance from the PM, for setting up meetings & conducting the evaluation, subject to advance approval of the methodology submitted in the inception report.
The consultants will work full time & will be required to travel to the project sites as part of the evaluation (unless the situation dictates otherwise).
The final report will be approved by the evaluation commissioner.
Our client with support of relevant stakeholders will develop a management response to the evaluation within 2 weeks of report finalization.