Consultant for Final Evaluation for CIFOR’s ‘A Global Comparative Study for achieving effective, efficient and equitable REDD+ results’
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
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The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) envisions a more equitable world where forestry and landscapes enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific institution that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world. Using a global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we conduct innovative research, develop partners’ capacity, and actively engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. CIFOR is a CGIAR Research Center, and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Yaoundé, Cameroon; Lima, Peru; and Bonn, Germany.

CIFOR is looking for

Consultant for Final Evaluation for CIFOR’s ‘A Global Comparative Study for achieving effective, efficient and equitable REDD+ results’

Overview

CIFOR's Global Comparative Study for achieving effective, efficient and equitable REDD+ results (GCS REDD+ Phase 3) works with research partners and stakeholders in eight countries (Peru, Brazil, Guyana, DRC, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia) to ensure that REDD+ policy makers and practitioner communities have access to and use the information, analysis and tools needed to design and implement REDD+; create enabling conditions; and assess to what degree REDD+ has delivered effective, cost-efficient and equitable carbon and non-carbon benefits. The project combines research, in-country capacity building and policy engagement at sub-national, national, and international levels. The project is structured into four research modules and one knowledge-sharing module (see below) designed to deliver salient, credible and legitimate knowledge products that address important gaps in REDD+ policy design and implementation. Through knowledge co-production, project partners develop their technical capacity to address policy and implementation challenges and assist in dissemination, multiplication and uptake of research results. The project builds on two previous phases of GCS REDD+, which demonstrated the catalytic potential of combining research, capacity building and partner engagement to bridge the science-policy divide.

The titles of the five modules are:

  • Module 1: Towards effective policies and measures at the national level
  • Module 2: Assessing the performance of sub-national and private corporate initiatives
  • Module 3: Forest Monitoring, Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MMRV)
  • Module 4: Integrating REDD+ measures with development goals at landscape level
  • Module 5: Sharing evidence and experiences
Narrative descriptions of each module can be found in Annex 1.

The current project theory of change reflects the knowledge that CIFOR has developed during the previous phases of GCS REDD+ and is structured in five phases (with text in parentheses pointing to the respective outcome and impact levels):

  1. Knowledge creation and co-learning (knowledge co-production activities)
  2. Enhanced access to knowledge (knowledge co-production outcomes)
  3. Change in aspirations (intermediate outcomes)
  4. Change in implementer behavior that is assessed by looking at the resulting changed policy and practice (end of program outcomes), and finally
  5. Impacts or changes in state (e.g. carbon and non-carbon benefits, forest cover, carbon emissions etc.).

The first four stages are within CIFOR's sphere of influence. Achieving the desired outcomes in these phases would mean the project will make a credible contribution to changes in the aspirations and decisions of key policy makers and practitioners.

The goal of GCS REDD+ Phase 3 (2016-2020) was a transition from CIFOR initiated co-production and co-learning to policymaker- and practitioner-initiated ownership and use of information in their decision-making processes.

A mid-term evaluation of GCS REDD+ Phase 3, as requested by Norad, highlighted several recommendations to enhance potential impact, which the project team is following.

Objectives of the assignment

The final evaluation will focus on Phase 3 of the project cycle (2016-2020), including priority setting, research design, implementation, and ongoing engagement processes. It is important to bear in mind that half of the countries in Phase 3 (DRC, Ethiopia, Guyana and Myanmar) were new to the project, meaning that engagement with these countries only began in Phase 3, whereas the other countries (Brazil, Indonesia, Peru and Vietnam) benefitted from the project since its earlier phases. Consequently, the maturity of some results may vary from one country to the next depending on when the country started benefitting from project activities.

The evaluation will address the following three questions:

  1. Did the project achieve intended outcomes and what lessons were learned about policy engagement?
    • To what extent were project outcomes realized and is there evidence of project activities contributing to policy or practice change?
    • Were there any positive or negative unexpected outcomes?
    • How and under what conditions were decision makers equipped by the project's knowledge processes and products?
    • What lessons have been learned about engaging decision makers in specific country contexts?
  2. Was the research important, timely and well targeted to the context?
    • How did the project engage with policymakers to identify country priorities such that research outputs were timely and well targeted? What factors contributed to or hindered the relevance of the research to the priority country contexts?
    • How did the research contribute to international, national and sub-national REDD+ processes? What factors contributed to or hindered the relevance of the research at different levels?
  3. Have the recommendations of the GCS REDD+ mid-term evaluation been addressed?

Summary of responsibilities

The evaluation team will be required to conduct an externally-led summative evaluation of GCS REDD+ Phase 3 (2016-2020). The evaluation will examine the relevance of the project's research and the extent to which the project achieved its outcomes effectively.

The evaluation team will work closely with the project team, members of CIFOR's Research-to-Impact team (RTI), and in-country CIFOR staff and core partners to design an evaluation plan, data collection tools and analytic frameworks. They will be required to collect and synthesize existing information against the key evaluation questions, then assess the need for further remote or face-to-face data collection to address information gaps as needed before compiling the evaluation report.

The evaluation will focus primarily on the influence of GCS REDD+ in the eight priority countries (Peru, Brazil, Guyana, DRC, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia) where Phase 3 activities were undertaken.

The evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, the following four phases: planning, data collection, analysis, and reporting. Below is an outline of the specific responsibilities of the evaluation team in each phase.

Phase 1: Design and planning

The design and planning evaluation will be conducted in a consultative manner and will involve members of the evaluation team discussing the proposed approach with CIFOR's RTI team and key members of the project implementation team. During this phase the evaluation team will:

  1. Conduct a (remote) inception meeting
  2. Undertake an initial document review. Key documents to be provided include:
    • Project proposal and design documents (including annual implementation plans)
    • Key research publications, tailored communication products and press releases
    • Annual project reports
    • Existing outcome assessments and evaluations
  3. Lead evaluation design and planning consultations. This will involve:
    • Remote consultations with project staff regarding the history and evolution of the project and the specific work packages
    • Participation in a review of the project's theory of change and progress markers in order to address evaluation question 1
    • Development of an approach to address key evaluation questions 2 and 3
    • Integration of project team and RTI input into the analytic frameworks for assessing achievements against evaluation questions 1 and 2
    • Identification of data sources required to address the questions (including identifying how existing information can be utilized in addressing the evaluation questions)
  4. Develop an evaluation plan and data collection instruments.
Phase 2: Data collection

The evaluation team will lead the collection of evaluation data with the support and facilitation of the project team. During this phase the evaluation team will:

  1. Compile all existing data related to the evaluation questions. Relevant existing information includes:
    • Annual implementation plans and project reports (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
    • Mid-term evaluation report (this evaluation provides insights related to the project design, achievements tested against the results framework, and policy influence and relevance with key national stakeholders)
    • Influence logs from country teams
    • Outcome stories and stories of change
    • Citation, download and social media monitoring data
    • Event and engagement data
  2. Collect additional information from key informants at the sub-national, national and international scales to address the evaluation questions. This will involve:
    • Participation in national stakeholder workshops and events scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2020
    • Remote consultations with key stakeholders in the eight priority countries
    • Remote consultations with key actors in the UNFCCC and UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance, the Green Climate Fund, FCFP/FIP and CCBA
Phase 3: Analysis and sensemaking

The evaluation team will lead the analysis of the collected evaluation data and be prepared to present a summary of findings in reference to supporting evidence. During this phase the evaluation team will:

  1. Undertake data analysis in line with agreed plans and frameworks
  2. Design and facilitate a remote sensemaking process to engage project managers, module leaders, country project staff and the RTI team
Phase 4: Reporting

The evaluation team will lead the writing of the report in consultation with the project manager and the RTI team. The evaluator will produce:

  1. A 5-page standalone executive summary
  2. A full report with annexes

Requirements

The assignment will be conducted by an evaluation company with the following expertise and capacities:

  • Technical experts in forests and climate change research with a minimum 5 years' experience in evaluating such initiatives
  • Available networks of local experts in the eight priority countries for data collection purposes
  • Proven experience conducting theory-based evaluations, i.e. outcome assessments and impact evaluations
  • Technical experts with excellent communication, facilitation and interpersonal skills
  • Extensive experience producing written products (in English) for a variety of audiences, including bilateral and multilateral partners, and governments
  • Technical experts with a strong knowledge of issues related to forests and climate change, REDD+ policies and policy impact evaluation are preferred.

Terms and conditions

  • This is an assignment for Project Evaluation.
  • Duration of the assignment is 6 months.
  • Work location: Home-based with necessary contacts in project priority countries (Peru, Brazil, Guyana, DRC, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia)
  • Please submit a letter of interest, technical and financial proposal, and company profile with CV of the evaluation team, including contact information to CIFOR-PMC@cgiar.org.

    To apply, please visit our career site at: https://www.cifor.org/careers/

    To learn more about CIFOR, please visit our website at: https://www.cifor.org

Application process

The application deadline is 06 Sep-2020
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.


About CIFOR

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) envisions a more equitable world where forestry and landscapes enhance the environment and well-being for all.

CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific institution that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world. Using a global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we conduct innovative research, develop partners’ capacity, and actively engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people.

CIFOR is a CGIAR Research Center, and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA).

Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Yaounde, Cameroon; Lima, Peru and Bonn, Germany. Research in the six thematic work areas is underway in more than 50 countries.