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International Consultant - Final Project Evaluation - Advisory Support to the Deputyship of Electricity Affairs at Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Energy
Procurement Process :IC - Individual contractor
Office :Saudi Arabia - SAUDI ARABIA
Deadline :10-Apr-23
Posted on :20-Mar-23
Reference Number :97625
Link to Atlas Project :
00122410 - Technical and Advisory Support to Electricty sector
Documents :
IC Offerors Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability
Overview :

Terms of Reference for Individual Contractor

Post Title:

Final Project Evaluation - Advisory Support to the Deputyship of Electricity Affairs at Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Energy

Starting Date:

April 2022


30 Working days over a period of 2.5 months


Mixed between In-country Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Home-based 


Advisory Support to the Deputyship of Electricity Affairs at the Ministry of Energy

National or International consultancy:

International Consultant


  1. Background and context

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), founded by King Abdulaziz Al Saud in 1932, is a high-income, net-contributing country and among the 20 largest economies in the world. The government is actively seeking to improve the socio-economic conditions of the country and in April 2016 it launched Vision 2030[1], an ambitious blueprint for development of the kingdom. Vision 2030 is a strategic framework with the aim of reducing the country’s traditional reliance on hydrocarbons and establishing a more diversified economy based on sustainable development. The National Transformation Programme 2020[2] (NTP2020), launched in June 2016 across 24 governmental bodies, aims to develop governmental work and establish the needed infrastructure to achieve Vision 2030 meant.


​​​The Ministry of Energy oversees all aspects of the activities of the energy ecosystem in the Kingdom through an integrated sector strategy[3], which is based on maximizing the added value to the national economy in a sustainable and highly efficient manner. That includes a strategy for hydrocarbons (oil and gas, refined products, and petrochemicals) and a strategy for electricity and renewables, such as refractories and complementary energy. The Ministry works on various programs that adopt the concepts of innovation, technology, and artificial intelligence in the energy sector.


To achieve the objectives of the Ministry within the scope of Vision 2030 and the NTP2020, the Ministry is seeking to provide a comprehensive and efficient electrical service in line with the best global practices, achieve sustainability, participate in the preparation of policies and supervision of their implementation and provide the necessary electrical safety conditions within the electrical system in the Kingdom. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided technical assistance and advisory support to the Ministry of Energy to improve its efficiency in implementing its tasks, initiatives and plans, and overseeing achievement of its future strategic objectives through the project (Advisory Support to the Deputyship of Electricity Affairs at Ministry of Energy). The project is a national project benefitting the entire Kingdom as well as contributing to UNDP CPD 2017-2021 Outcome 3 (Improved management of non-oil natural resources and preservation of culture and heritage) and Output (National capacities developed for better management of non-oil natural resources, Gender marker 1). On the basis of the outputs of the Ministry of Energy Strategic Plans and UNDP Projects, as well as considering the UN and Saudi strategy and policy documents, the final evaluation will look into the progress of the following outputs:  

  1. Prepare and develop policies, strategies, and plans related to electricity sector, and supervise their implementation after the adoption.
  2. Prepare and conduct the technical studies and consultations related to the electricity sector.
  3. Provide advisory services to support the implementation of awareness campaigns on the Deputyship's functions.
  4. Provide the administrative and technical support to the Deputyship's departments.
  5. Support the cooperation with national and international entities and authorities.
  6. Strengthen the capacity of the Deputyship.


The total resources allocated towards the budget of this intervention amounted to USD 16 million. A mid-term evaluation was not undertaken. 


Observed changes and achievements

  • Changed the electricity distribution voltage from (127/220) volts to the international voltage (230/400) volts.
  • Conducted multiple studies on the impact of renewable energy and energy storage technologies.
  • Updated the energy mix model using the latest programs specialized in simulating the expansion of the generation system.
  • Conducted technical/economic studies to deliver electrical service to remote villages areas in the most efficient and environmentally friendly manner.
  • Participated in the updating of the Saudi Grid Code.



Stakeholder analysis




Potential project impact

Relative priorities of interest

ECRA (Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority

Regulation and supervision/awareness



SEEC (Saudi Energy Efficiency Center)

Regulation and supervision/awareness



REPDO (Renewable Energy Project Development Office)

Regulation and supervision



MOMRA (Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs)

Implementation of policies



K.A.CARE (King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy)

Regulation and supervision/awareness



SEC (Saudi Electric Company)

Service provider







Project/outcome title

Advisory Support to the Deputyship of Electricity Affairs at Ministry of Energy

Atlas ID


Corporate outcome and output 

Outcome: Improved management of non-oil natural resources and preservation of culture and heritage

Output: National capacities developed for better management of non-oil natural resources, Gender marker 1


Saudi Arabia



Date project document signed

December 7, 2019

Project dates


Planned end

October 2019

December 2023

Project budget

US$ 16,000,000

Project expenditure at the time of evaluation


Funding source


Implementing party[4]

Deputy of Electricity Affairs at Ministry of Energy




  1. Evaluation purpose, scope and objectives


Evaluation purpose and objectives



This evaluation is the final evaluation for a project that was conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and extended to December 2023. The primary purpose of the evaluation is to assess the impact of the project with regards to the delivery of outputs and the achievement of the strategy. The evaluation and accompanying recommendations will appraise the project and help guide further interactions and a potential new project document with the Ministry of Energy.     



  • To review the effectiveness of the advisory support provided to the Deputyship in terms of the development of policies, strategies and plans.
  • To evaluate the administrative and technical support provided to the Deputyship’s departments.
  • To determine if the collaboration between the stakeholders resulted in any synergetic effects. 
  • To determine if adequate human and financial resources were deployed to ensure the proper implementation of the project.
  • To assess the extent to which gender equality and the empowerment of women were addressed in the design, implementation and monitoring of the project.


Scope of the evaluation


The final evaluation will look into the progress of the following outputs:


  1. Prepare and develop policies, strategies, and plans related to electricity sector, and supervise their implementation after the adoption.
  2. Prepare and conduct the technical studies and consultations related to the electricity sector.
  3. Provide advisory services to support the implementation of awareness campaigns on the Deputyship's functions.
  4. Provide the administrative and technical support to the Deputyship's departments.
  5. Support the cooperation with national and international entities and authorities.
  6. Strengthen the capacity of the Deputyship.


This evaluation will cover all activities held during the span of the project (1st October 2019- 31st of December 2023) and highlight issues and recommendations in all aspects (technical, financial, management, structural and operational), including the effective use of resources and delivery outputs in the signed project document and workplan.


The project does not have a specific geographic coverage as the electricity system encompasses the entire country and all groups.

UNDP evaluations must address how the intervention sought to mainstream gender in development efforts, considered disability issues and applied the rights-based approach.











  1. Evaluation criteria and key guiding questions


Referencing and adopting from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) evaluation criteria ((a) relevance/ coherence; (b) effectiveness; (c) efficiency; and (d) sustainability (and/or other criteria used), the evaluation will answer the following questions:


Project evaluation sample questions:


Relevance/ Coherence

  • To what extent was the project aligned with the Paris Agreement and Vision 2030?
  • To what extent were perspectives of men and women who could affect the outcomes, and 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 and 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 were the project outputs achieved, considering men, women, and vulnerable groups?
  • What factors have contributed to achieving, or not, an improved efficacy of the power sector?
  • 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? In which areas does the project have the fewest achievements? What have been the constraining factors and 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 and outputs clear, practical and feasible within its frame?  Do they clearly address women, men and vulnerable groups?




  • To what extent was the project management structure as outlined in the project document efficient in generating the expected results in accordance with the Paris Agreement and Vision 2030?
  • To what extent were resources used to address inequalities in general, and gender issues in particular?
  • To what extent has there been an economical use of financial and human resources? Have resources (funds, male and female staff, time, expertise, etc.) been allocated strategically to achieve outcomes?
  • To what extent have project funds and activities been delivered in a timely manner?
  • To what extent do the M&E systems utilized by UNDP ensure effective and efficient project management?





  • How does the project integrate the overarching principles in order to strengthen social and environmental sustainability?
  • To what extent will financial and economic resources be available to sustain the benefits achieved by the project in the electricity sector?
  • Do the legal frameworks, policies and governance structures and processes within which the project operates pose risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project benefits?
  • To what extent do UNDP interventions have well-designed and well-planned exit strategies which include a gender dimension?










Sample evaluation questions on cross-cutting issues


Human rights

  • To what extent have poor, indigenous and physically challenged, women, men and other disadvantaged and marginalized groups benefit from the work of UNDP in the country?
  • Did the project have inequitable impacts on affected populations, particularly people living in poverty or marginalized groups?


Gender equality

All evaluation criteria and evaluation questions applied need to be checked to see if there are any further gender dimensions attached to them, in addition to the stated gender equality questions.


  • To what extent have gender equality and the empowerment of women been addressed in the design, implementation and monitoring of the project?
  • Is the gender marker assigned to this project representative of reality?
  • To what extent has the project promoted positive changes in gender equality and the empowerment of women? Did any unintended effects emerge for women, men or vulnerable groups?




  • Were persons with disabilities consulted and meaningfully involved in programme planning and implementation?
  • What proportion of the beneficiaries of a programme were persons with disabilities?
  • What barriers did persons with disabilities face?
  • Was a twin-track approach adopted? [5]




Guiding evaluation questions can be further refined by the evaluator and agreed with UNDP and the evaluation stakeholders during the inception phase.


  1. Methodology


Evaluation should employ a combination of qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods and instruments. The evaluator is expected to follow a participatory and consultative approach that ensures close engagement with the evaluation managers, implementing partners and male and female direct beneficiaries.  All evaluation products are expected to address gender, disability and human right issues. Evidence obtained and used to assess the results of the support should be triangulated from a variety of sources, including verifiable data on indicator achievement, existing reports, and technical papers, stakeholder interviews, and other means as far as the current situation allows. All analysis must be based on observed facts, evidence, and data. Findings should be specific and concise and supported by information that is reliable and valid.


Suggested methodological tools and approaches may include:


  • Document review. This includes a review of all relevant documentation, inter alia.


  • Project document (contribution agreement).
  • Theory of change and results framework.
  • Programme and project quality assurance reports.
  • Annual workplans.
  • Activity designs.
  • Consolidated quarterly and annual reports.
  • Results-oriented monitoring report.
  • Highlights of project board meetings. 
  • Technical/financial monitoring reports.


  • Interviews and meetings with key stakeholders (men and women) such as key government counterparts, donor community members, representatives of key civil society organizations, United Nations country team (UNCT) members and implementing partners:
    • Semi-structured interviews, based on questions designed for different stakeholders based on evaluation questions around relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability.
    • Key informant and focus group discussions with men and women, beneficiaries and stakeholders.
    • All interviews with men and women should be undertaken in full confidence and anonymity. The final evaluation report should not assign specific comments to individuals.


  • Surveys and questionnaires including male and female participants in development programmes, UNCT members and/or surveys and questionnaires to other stakeholders at strategic and programmatic levels.
  • Field visits and on-site validation of key tangible outputs and interventions.
  • Other methods such as outcome mapping, observational visits, group discussions, etc.
  • Data review and analysis of monitoring and other data sources and methods. To ensure maximum validity, reliability of data (quality) and promote use, the evaluation team will ensure triangulation of the various data sources.
  • Gender and human rights lens. All evaluation products need to address gender, disability, and human right issues.


The evaluation is expected to include a representative random sample of the beneficiaries to ensure generalization of the key findings.


The final methodological approach including interview schedule, field visits and data to be used in the evaluation should be clearly outlined in the inception report and fully discussed and agreed between UNDP, key stakeholders and the evaluators.


  1. Evaluation products (deliverables)


The evaluator is expected to deliver the following:


  • Evaluation inception report (10-15 pages). The inception report should be carried out following and based on preliminary discussions with UNDP after the desk review and should be produced before the evaluation starts (before any formal evaluation interviews, survey distribution or field visits) and prior to the country visit in the case of international evaluators.
  • Evaluation debriefings. Immediately following an evaluation, UNDP may ask for a preliminary debriefing and findings.


  • Draft evaluation report (within an agreed length). A length of 40 to 60 pages including executive summary is suggested.


  • Evaluation report audit trail. The programme unit and key stakeholders in the evaluation should review the draft evaluation report and provide an amalgamated set of comments to the evaluator within an agreed period of time, as outlined in these guidelines. Comments and changes by the evaluator in response to the draft report should be retained by the evaluator to show how they have addressed comments.


  • Final evaluation report: addressing the content required (in the standard evaluation report template and as agreed in the inception report) and quality criteria as outlined in the UNDP evaluation guidelines.


  • Presentations to stakeholders and/ or evaluation reference group (if required).


  • Evaluation Brief and Knowledge Products: the evaluator is expected to prepare a 4-pages knowledge product summarizing the findings and lessons learned to enhance the use of the evaluations results.


Standard templates that need to be followed are provided in the Annexes section. It is expected that the evaluator will follow the UNDP evaluation guidelines and UNEG quality check list and ensure all the quality criteria are met in the evaluation report.


  1. Qualifications of the Successful Individual Contractor

The evaluation exercise will be conducted by an independent expert with the following qualifications:



  • Advanced degree in a relevant discipline to environmental science, energy studies, development studies, social sciences and/ or other related fields.


  • Proven extensive professional experience (7+ years) in conducting evaluations, preferably in the field of energy, electricity or natural resources
  • Experience in the usage of various evaluation methodologies. Proven experience in data collection, instrument development and data analysis both qualitative and quantitative is essential.
  •  Demonstrated experience in gender sensitive evaluation and analysis. 
  • Previous experiences with project design/implementation/evaluation and results-based management 
  • Demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender other cross-cutting areas such gender equality, disability issues, rights-based approach, and capacity development.
  • Proven accomplishment in undertaking evaluations for international development organizations in particular UNDP is highly desirable.
  • Excellent report writing skills is essential. Proven analytical skills and ability to conceptualize and write concisely and clearly. 
  • Evidence of delivering good quality evaluation and research products in a timely manner
  • Familiarity with UNDP Guidelines, Procedures, participatory monitoring approaches is an added advantage.
  • Knowledge of Saudi Arabia, GCC region or similar context is an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is considered an asset.



  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards.
  • Demonstrates professional competence and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results.
  • Display cultural, gender, nationality, religion and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Excellent facilitation and communication skills.
  • Client-oriented and open to feedback.
  • Flexible and responsive to changes and demands.




  1. Recommended Presentation of Offer


  • 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;
  • Brief description of the approach to work/technical proposal of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment and a proposed methodology on how they will approach and complete the assignment; (see application requirements section below)
  • Copy of degree certificate
  • Two work samples within the past 5 years (to be submitted or provide links)
  • References


Explicit statement of the evaluator’s independence from any organizations that have been involved in designing, executing, or advising any aspect of the intervention that is the subject of the evaluation. 


  1. Evaluation ethics


This evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. The consultant must safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, interviewees, and stakeholders through measures to ensure compliance with legal and other relevant codes governing the collection of data and reporting on data. The consultant must also ensure the security of collected information before and after the evaluation and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of sources of information where that is expected. The information knowledge and data gathered in the evaluation process must also be solely used for the evaluation and not for other uses with the express authorization of UNDP and partners.


  1. Implementation arrangements


The section describes the specific roles and responsibilities of all involved in this evaluation.


  1. Evaluation commissioner: The Resident Representative who will approve the inception report and the final evaluation report.
  2. Evaluation manager: Lead the evaluation process and participate in all of its stages - evaluability assessment, preparation, implementation, management and use. Ensure quality assurance and manage the ERC portal.
  3. Evaluator:
  1. Fulfil the contractual arrangements under the TOR.
  2. Develop the evaluation inception report, including an evaluation matrix and a gender-responsive methodology, in line with the TOR, UNEG norms and standards and ethical guidelines.
  3. Conduct data collection and field visits according to the TOR and inception report.
  4. Produce draft reports adhering to UNDP evaluation templates, UNDP Evaluation guidelines, including the required quality criteria and brief the evaluation manager, programme/project managers and stakeholders on the progress and key findings and recommendations.
  5. Consider gender equality and women’s empowerment, and other cross-cutting issues, check if all and respective evaluation questions are answered, and relevant data, disaggregated by sex, is presented, analysed and interpreted. The evaluator needs to ensure that all the evaluation sections are gender-responsive.
  6. Finalize the evaluation report, incorporating comments and questions from the feedback/ audit trail. Record own feedback in the audit trail, including those of the members of the team, the evaluation manager, the commissioning programme unit, and key stakeholders.


  1. Project manager:
  1. Provide inputs/ advice to the evaluation manager and evaluation reference group on the detail and scope of the TOR for the evaluation and how the findings will be used.
  2. Ensure and safeguard the independence of evaluations.
  3. Provide the evaluation manager with all required data (e.g., relevant monitoring data) and documentation (reports, minutes, reviews, studies, etc.), contacts/ stakeholder list etc.
  4. Ensure that data and documentation in general, but in particular related to gender equality and women’s empowerment and other cross-cutting issues, are made available to the evaluation manager.
  5. Provide comments and clarification on the TOR, inception report and draft evaluation reports.
  6. Respond to evaluation recommendations by providing management responses and key actions to all recommendations addressed to UNDP.
  7. Ensure dissemination of the evaluation report to all the stakeholders, including the project board
  8. Implement relevant key actions on evaluation recommendations.


  1. Institutional Arrangements:


The consultants will take responsibility, w