|Overview : |
The Philippines is recognized as a high user of online services, with an estimated 67 million Filipinos using Facebook, yet 45% of the total population and 61% of households do not have access to the internet. The Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project, otherwise known as Pipol Konek, implemented by the DICT, aims to provide free broadband internet access to public places across the country. However, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) faced challenges in the bidding and implementation processes. One issue is the limited capacity and interest of local Philippine telecommunications companies to provide service to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs). Another concern is the limited expeditious access to cost-effective and up-to-date technology options, which have significantly slowed progress toward the goal of delivering 104,000 free Wi-Fi sites by 2023.
With the above challenges, this project supports DICT’s commitment to accelerate the roll-out of the Free Wi-Fi For All Program. Working in partnership with DICT, the UNDP uses its National Acceleration Modality (NAM) to apply its procurement system and partnership agreement instruments to provide Wi-Fi services for designated areas without or limited access to the internet. This phase of the DICT-UNDP partnership aims to expand internet access in 6,000 remote sites.
The DICT-UNDP partnership will contribute to reduce the Philippine’s digital divide by providing incentives to encourage new and existing local and international service providers to expand internet coverage in under-served areas. The project also incorporates citizen monitoring mechanisms to ensure internet service providers meet service quality standards. Finally, this undertaking seeks to sustain and improve the DICT staff’s capacity to oversee the procurement, management, and implementation of future large-scale ICT investments.
To implement the project, it has been divided into Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3. Phase 1 is composed of 3,000 sites across 12 provinces, Phase 2 in 2,000 sites across 25 provinces, and Phase 3 in at least 400 state universities and colleges (SUCs) with 1,000 access points (APs). Phase 1 and Phase 2 have completed the procurement process and deployment is ongoing. Phase 3 is undergoing procurement process with the bidding still in progress.
Currently, the project was able to activate 389 sites in Phase 1 and Phase 2. Specifically, the activated sites are spread across Albay, Batangas, Benguet, Cagayan, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Isabela, Lanao Del Sur, Puerto Princesa City, Pampanga, Sorsogon, and Quezon.
In characterizing the target sites, 91% are found in municipalities with poverty incidence higher than the national average. Also, 40% of these sites are in 4th to 6th class municipalities and 23% are under municipalities with geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs). The sites are mostly composed of remote last mile public schools, local government offices (city/municipal halls and barangay halls), SUCs, and public health facilities, among other public places.
The findings shall inform UNDP, DICT, other government agencies, and stakeholders on how to further improve project implementation. The findings and any other relevant lessons and recommendations is also expected to contribute to the internal programming of UNDP and to existing and emerging national policy considerations of increasing connectivity and up-and-coming role of internet access for the recovery of the Philippines from COVID-19 and in ushering a new normal.
The evaluation will be limited to the operations aspect of the project. The output of the Individual Consultant (IC) must contain details regarding the main achievements/results/issues of the project largely focused on its operation.
Management and Implementation Arrangement
The principal responsibility for managing this MTR resides with the Commissioning Unit, which is the UNDP Philippines Country Office. The MTR shall be managed by the Results-Based Management (RBM) Analyst of the Country Office together with the Institutions and Partnership (I&P) Programme focal.
An Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) shall be formed composed of principal representatives from the project stakeholders (particularly DICT as the government partner and representatives from the Project Board [DepEd, DILG, and DSWD]) that will perform an advisory role throughout the process. Further, the ERG will ensure that evaluation standards as provided by the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) are adhered to. This include safeguarding transparency and independence, advise on the relevance and appropriateness of questions, and support and provide input into the development of the management responses and key actions.
The Individual Consultant will report directly to the evaluation co-managers (RBM Analyst and I&P focal). For coordination during data gathering, the IC shall seek the assistance of the Free Wi-Fi for All PMO for the address, focal person/s, and contact details. The Outputs shall be reviewed by the UNDP Team Leader, Free Wi-fi for All Project Manager, and the Results Quality Team (RQT).
The IC is expected to provide his/her own laptop and internet connection for the work requirement.
Duration of work and duty station
The expected duration of the assignment is 50 person-days over a span of four months, unless revised in a mutually agreed upon timetable between the IC and the UNDP Philippines.
- The Consultant shall be home-based and deliver his/her outputs remotely. He/she is expected to have his/her own workspace, computers/laptops, software, and other facilities and equipment.
- In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and declaration of State of Public Health Emergency in the Philippines, all work of the individual consultant shall be done within the guidelines and protocols set by the local and national government
Evaluation consultants will be held to the highest ethical standards and are required to sign a code of conduct upon acceptance of the assignment. UNDP evaluations are conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) 'Ethical Guidelines for Evaluations' (http://www.unevaluation.org/document/detail/100).
Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments
The Consultant should send the following:
- Technical proposal for the Mid-term evaluation, including methodology.
- The Consultant should send the financial proposal based on a lump-sum amount for the delivery of the outputs identified in Section D. The total amount quoted shall include all costs components required to deliver the services identified above, including professional fees (daily fee X number of person-days) and any other applicable costs such as health insurance, communications, etc.
- Medical/health insurance must be purchased by the individual at his/her own expense, and upon award of contract, the contractor must be ready to submit proof of insurance valid during contract duration.
- The contract price will be fixed output-based price. Any deviations from the output and timelines will be agreed upon between the Contractor and UNDP.
- Payments will be done upon satisfactory completion of the deliverables by target due dates. Outputs will be reviewed and certified by the Team Leader, I&P Team, UNDP prior to release of payments as follows:
Acceptance of the Inception Report
Acceptance of the Draft Report
Acceptance of the Final Report
Duties and Responsibilities
The Mid-term Review Focus, Scope, and Objectives
The Midterm Review (MTR) will assess the operations aspect of the project specifically on efficiency, effectiveness, and relevance in relation to its outputs and outcomes as specified in the Project Document. It will 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 MTR report must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful. The Individual Contractor will review all relevant sources of information including documents prepared during the preparation phase (i.e. UNDP Initiation Plan, UNDP Social and Environmental Screening Procedure/SESP), the Project Document, project reports including annual progress reports, project budget revisions, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based review.
The consultant is expected to follow a collaborative and participatory approach ensuring close engagement with the Project Team, government counterparts, the UNDP Country Office, the Project Contractors, 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 the Project Management Office, key officials from the DICT, programme staff from UNDP, 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. Given travel restrictions and the general situation under the pandemic, travels will be discouraged and data collection methods should be replaced by appropriate means to do it remotely. The UNDP Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has released a decentralized evaluation guidance note highlighting the challenges confronting evaluations at this time and potential ways to overcome them, which can be considered for this MTR.
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.
Specifically, the mid-term evaluation aims to achieve the following objectives:
- identify the extent to which the project is consistent with the policies and priorities of the national and local governments as well as the needs of intended beneficiaries in addition to its responsiveness to the human development thrust of UNDP for empowerment, gender equality on industry innovation and infrastructure particularly universal and affordable internet access by 2020, reduced inequalities, on partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals, and emerging conditions such as COVID-19;
- identify initial results and their contribution to the attainment of the project outcomes along with lessons learned specifically in areas of success and improvement to attain projective outputs and outcomes (the effectiveness of the implementation strategy, which includes project design and scope, assumptions made at the inception of the project, and implementation status against planned results);
- measure how economically resources or inputs (such as funds, expertise and time) are converted to results;
- recommend how the program will improve the sustainability of FWFA; and
identify and provide implementation strategy for a potential second package of development projects under the FWFA. The UNDP, DICT, other government agencies, and stakeholders shall be the main recipients of the evaluation. They will use and act on the evaluation findings and recommendations in improving the project’s processes to ensure the expeditious delivery of its outputs. Necessary adjustments are expected to be undertaken to meet the project objectives. It is also anticipated that the evaluation findings will contribute to further enhance the internal process and operations of UNDP. Moreover, it is foreseen to be valuable to further advance the existing and emerging national policy considerations to improve digital connectivity. Lastly, it cannot be overemphasized that internet access has significant role in creating a new normal after the country has been ravaged and emerge from the effects the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a possibility that the provision of internet access in the project sites will be temporarily focused on COVID-19 response. Access of the public to the FWFA sites may also be limited since they can serve as converging points for the general public to congregate. It is then necessary that precautions regarding the minimum health standards against COVID-19 in the FWFA sites be made more visible.
Evaluation criteria and key questions
The evaluation criteria for this MTR will focus on the project’s relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability.
The Evaluation Questions
- To what extent is the project’s theory of change relevant to the project’s results and implementation strategies?
- What are the project’s potential contributions to gender equality, women’s empowerment, and to results specific to other marginalized sectors that benefit from the project?
- How does each project component support the attainment of project outputs and outcomes?
- To what extent are project interventions relevant to the needs of the stakeholders; and
- To what extent is the project aligned with the government’s initiative to strengthen connectivity and the DICT’s development objectives in the Philippines?
- To what extent were the project outputs achieved?
- Are the projects objectives and outputs clear, practical and feasible within its frame?
- What factors have contributed to achieving or not achieving intended project outputs?
- In which areas does the project have the greatest achievements? Why and what have been the supporting factors? How can the project build on or expand these achievements?
- How can the project further expand the benefits that it provides?
- What is the level of quality of project implementation, including the application adaptive management techniques?
- What factors contributed to effectiveness or ineffectiveness?
- Are the strategies, tools, interventions used in project implementation effective to achieve the planned results?
- What, if any, alternative strategies would have been more effective in achieving the project’s objectives?
- Are proper means of communication established or being established to express the project progress and intended impact to the public?
- To what extent has the project been appropriately responsive to the needs of the national constituents and changing partner priorities?
- To what extent has the project contributed to gender equality, the empowerment of women and the realization of human rights?
- What were the causes of any delays in project start-up and implementation? identify the causes and examine if they have been resolved and provide recommendations;
- How appropriate and relevant were the changes to fund allocations as a result of budget revisions?
- To what extent are the monitoring tools being used by the project sufficient to provide the necessary information to determine project outputs and outcomes? Are they properly costed and implemented, participatory, inclusive and cost-effective?
- Do the actual or expected results justify the cost incurred?
- Are there any financial risks that may jeopardize the sustainability of project outputs?
- What are the institutional, social, political, and environmental risks to the sustainability of project results?
- What is the risk that the level of stakeholders’ ownership will be sufficient to allow for the project benefits to be sustained? To what extent do stakeholders support the project’s long-term objectives?
- What could be done to strengthen exit strategies and sustainability?
The specific design and methodology for the MTR should emerge from consultations between the MTR consultant 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 consultant must 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.
Moreover, per UNDP guidelines, the Independent Evaluation Office has gathered experience from its own implementation of remote evaluations to help guide programme units in the implementation of evaluations during COVID-19. This covers various potential approaches to consider, the limitations and challenges identified in implementing evaluations using remote data collection and stakeholder interviews and offers some approaches to address these issues. Underlying this guidance is a principle of “do no harm”, and a consideration that the safety of staff, consultants, stakeholders and communities is paramount and the primary concern of all when planning and implementing evaluations during the COVID-19 crisis. The methods enumerated are: a) desk review and data collection, and b) remote engagement with stakeholders (this guideline will be provided to the IC during the preparation of the Inception Report).
The final methodological approach including interview scheduling, respondents, and data sources, among others, to be used in the MTR must be clearly outlined in the Inception Report and be fully discussed and agreed between UNDP, stakeholders, and the IC.
It must also be noted that as of 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic as the new coronavirus rapidly spread to all regions of the world. Travel to the country has been restricted since March 17, 2020 and travel within the country is also restricted. If it is not possible to travel to or within the country for the evaluation, then the evaluation consultant should develop a methodology that takes this into account the conduct of the evaluation virtually and remotely, including the use of remote interview methods and extended desk reviews, data analysis, surveys and evaluation questionnaires. This should be detailed in the Inception report and agreed with the Evaluation Manager.
If all or part of the evaluation is to be carried out virtually then consideration should be taken for stakeholder availability, ability or willingness to be interviewed remotely. In addition, their accessibility to the internet/ computer may be an issue as many government and national counterparts may be working from home. These limitations must be reflected in the evaluation report.
If a data collection/field mission is not possible then remote interviews may be undertaken through telephone or online (skype, zoom etc.). International consultants can work remotely with national evaluator support in the field if it is safe for them to operate and travel. No stakeholders, consultants or UNDP staff should be put in harm’s way and safety is the key priority.
A short validation mission may be considered if it is confirmed to be safe for staff, consultants, stakeholders and if such a mission is possible within the evaluation schedule. Equally, qualified and independent national consultants can be hired to undertake the evaluation and interviews in country as long as it is safe to do so.
Expected outputs and deliverables
LEVEL OF EFFORT
REVIEW AND APPROVALS REQUIRED
DESIGNATED PERSON WHO WILL REVIEW AND ACCEPT THE OUTPUT
Document review, preparation and submission of the MTR Inception Report (MTR Inception Report due no later than 2 weeks before the MTR mission)
10 working days
I&P Team Leader
Results-Based Management (RBM) Analyst
Institutions and Partnership (I&P) Programme focal
MTR mission: stakeholder meetings, interviews, data collection
20 working days
I&P Team Leader
I&P Programme focal
Preparation and presentation of initial findings
5 working days
I&P Team Leader
I&P Programme focal
Preparation draft report (due within 4 weeks from presentation of Initial findings)
10 working days
I&P Team Leader
I&P Programme focal
Finalization of MTR report, incorporating audit trail from feedback on draft report
5 working -days
I&P Team Leader
I&P Programme focal
- Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN's values and ethical standards;
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
- Demonstrates strong analytical skills and mature judgement;
- Ability to work in close collaboration with a group of national and international experts; self-motivated and ability to work under pressure and to meet strict and competing deadlines and plan the work according to priorities;
- Demonstrates capacity to plan, organize, and execute effectively;
- Ability to establish effective working relations in a multi-cultural team environment;
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
- Facilitates and encourages open communication in the team and with stakeholders;
- Excellent written communication and presentation/public speaking skills
- Displays analytical judgment and demonstrated ability to handle confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner;
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities
Required Skills and Experience
Only those who will obtain a minimum passing score of 70 out of 100 obtainable points will be shortlisted.
Maximum obtainable Points
Master’s degree in the areas of politics, economics, development, evaluation, design, engineering, or ICT related courses.
21 points for relevant bachelor’s degree
25 points for master’s degree
30 points for doctorate degree in relevant field
At least 10 years of relevant experience with results-based management evaluation methodologies; application of SMART indicators and reconstruction or validation of baseline scenarios; relevant experience in information and communication and internet connectivity; remote evaluation and project evaluation/review experiences within the United Nations system will be considered an asset.
21 points for 10 years of experience
2 points for every additional year of experience
3 points work experience within the UN system
At least 5 years of specific experience in conducting gender-sensitive evaluations and analyses
14 points for 5 years of experience
2 points for every additional year of experience
At least 2 years of relevant experience and demonstrated competence in adaptive management, as applied to managed internet services and deployment, commercialization, market development, and/or sustainability
14 points for 2years of experience
2 points for every additional year of experience
Excellent command of written and spoken English
Applications from qualified candidates will be desk reviewed by the UNDP Philippines’ selection panel. Assessment of best offer will be via Combined Scoring method – where qualifications and proposed methodology will be weighted a maximum of 70% (40% for methodology and 30% for qualifications) and combined with the financial proposal (price offer) which will be weighted a max of 30%.
Interested applicants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Please group them into one (1) single PDF document as the application only allows to upload maximum one document.
- Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP;
- Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
- Half-page description of the Consultant’s understanding of the TOR and proposed methodology and program;
- Submission of one previous written document/report.
- Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.
Interested applicants to note that personal Medical/health insurance (to be purchased by the individual at his/her own expense) is mandatory for the issuance of contracts. Upon award of the contract, the consultant must be ready to submit proof of insurance valid during the contract duration.
Interested applicants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications at the given link https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=95186. Please group them into one (1) single PDF document as the application only allows to upload maximum one document.
In view of the volume of applications, UNDP receives, only shortlisted offerors will be notified.