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Evaluation Team and Team Leader - Evaluation of FAO's efforts in post-crisis transition

FAO Office of Evaluation
Evaluation of Efforts to Promote Post-Crisis Transition
Call for Expressions of Interest (April 20, 2012

FAO's Office of Evaluation is initiating a thematic evaluation of FAO's "efforts to promote post-conflict transition", to start at the end of 2012. The evaluation will look at how FAO promotes transitioning from immediate emergency relief to longer-term and more sustainable recovery and development work, verifying the effectiveness of FAO's tools to support the recovery of rural livelihoods, markets and institutions at different levels.

The tentative timeline for this work includes an inception phase in November 2012-January 2013, an evaluation phase in March-May 2012, and a report-writing and dissemination phase in June-August 2013.

FAO’s role in recovery and transition

Improved preparedness and response in emergencies is one of FAO’s global Strategic Objectives. Under this global objective “improving transition and linkages between emergency, rehabilitation and development” is one of three pathways to achieving the overall objective, with specific results expected over a 4 year period.

The strategic role of agriculture and natural resources in crises, whether caused by disasters, conflicts or political or economic instability, has thus been recognised by the organisation. Often the most vulnerable and most affected populations live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. At the same time that crisis often affect agricultural sectors, land and water, and/or food access and availability triggering emergencies, programmes addressing these areas are also crucial means to overcome insecurity and instability, on the path towards recovery and building greater resilience.

FAO has a global mandate as a specialized UN agency to advise governments, support capacity development, stimulate the generation and dissemination of information, statistics and knowledge, negotiate and promote norms and standards of good practice, and through partnerships support joint action and encourage commonality of purpose. With respect to humanitarian contexts, FAO (together with WFP) has a specific role in coordinating food security responses at global and country levels.

Purpose of the Evaluation

The Evaluation will serve as a vehicle for accountability and learning by providing a rigorous evidence-based analysis of the current status of FAO’s work in the area of recovery and transition programming and policy making globally.

The Evaluation will be forward-looking: it will identify areas for improvement and draw lessons to enhance the relevance and effectiveness of FAO assistance in bridging the gap between relief and development, in particular informing FAO’s strategy for transitioning and current efforts to strengthen country level programming.

Timeline of the evaluation

An inception phase (November 2012- January 2013) will include an evaluability assessment, scoping of the evaluation domain (frameworks, definitions, issues to be addressed, stakeholder analysis, etc), preparation of data gathering tools and definition of methodologies, mapping of FAO’s work in transition, synthesis of evaluations which include FAO’s work in transition, literature review to identify benchmarks of good practice, and preparation for field data gathering work. A FAO reference group and an external expert panel will be established and convened to inform and advise the independent evaluation team.

The Evaluation phase (March-May 2013) will build on the previous analysis and proceed with the assessment by enlarging and deepening the data and information collected through:

• Desk Reviews of projects and normative products related to transition programming;
• Desk reviews (and possible field assessments) of a sample of global, regional and national projects;
• Country case studies where a comprehensive assessment of all recovery and transition related activities will be conducted by the Evaluation Team. The selection of countries will take the following elements into account: i) sub-regional balance; ii) diverse typologies of FAO activities in this area across core functions of the organization; iii) coverage of sub-sectors (crops, livestock, nutrition, natural resources, fisheries, etc.); and iv) coverage by other recent or ongoing assessments (including the evaluation of FAO’s work in Disaster Risk Reduction in South and Central America and Asia).
• Interviews with key internal and external informants and focus group discussions at Headquarters locations and in decentralized offices.

The Report Writing and Dissemination Phase (June-August 2013) will involve the entire team. This phase will work to ensure that the evaluation’s conclusions and recommendations are evidence based, identifying lessons learned, good practices and suggestions for how FAO can be more relevant and effective in its future work in promoting appropriate and timely transitioning to asset building and development post crisis. The team leader together with the Office of Evaluation will identify opportunities for feeding the results of the evaluation into FAO’s strategic planning and learning processes, as well as ensure ample dissemination to external stakeholders.

Composition and profile of the evaluation team

The Evaluation will be conducted by a multidisciplinary team of independent consultants. Gender equity and geographical balance will be pursued in so far as possible in the team composition, to ensure diversity of perspectives. Knowledge of FAO, expertise in food security, nutrition, natural resource management, agriculture and related sectors will be prioritised. Direct experience in conducting strategic thematic evaluations will be important – as will experience in working in both humanitarian responses and transition/development programming.

The Evaluation team will consist of:

A Team Leader, who will be a leading expert in the field and have experience in leading large and complex evaluations. They will possess in-depth knowledge of transition and recovery debates, and of one or more areas of FAO’s work. The Team Leader will be required to start working during the inception phase, for around 20 working days in the last quarter of 2012.

Four to five Team Members with expertise in one of FAO’s areas of work (Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Food and Nutrition Security), institutional capacity building, market analysis, agricultural and food security policy. They will possess good knowledge of the international debate on transition/recovery post-conflict and post-disaster. Hands on experience in humanitarian settings and in-depth knowledge of funding architecture are a plus.

Candidates will demonstrate solid interviewing skills, confidence with the theoretical debates, and an ability to collect information and to write succinct well developed analysis.

Consultants with expertise in one of the technical areas indicated above and experience in undertaking independent evaluations of complex programmes are invited to submit an expression of interest together with their resume/cv and indication of availability and expected remuneration to the Office of Evaluation:

Deadline for application: May 30, 2012.

Organisation Food and Agriculture Organisation UN

Country Italy/International