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The Grant Implementation Unit offered by the Austrian Development Agency „Danube connects” in cooperation with Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment is seeking offers for the national / international consultancy for the elaboration

 

  1. 1.   Background and Context

 

Moldova is participating in the EU CBC Programmes since 1996 being part of the Tacis CBC Programme that was lately followed by Neighbourhood programmes, as part of the EC Neighbourhood Policy (namely Neighbourhood Programme Romania-Moldova and Neighbourhood Programme CEDSES). In the 2007-2013 programming period Moldova was eligible for two ENPI CBC programmes and one TNC programme targeting social and economic development, common environmental challenges, development of an integrated infrastructure system in the border area, as well as ‘people to people’ co-operation: Joint Operational Programme Romania-Ukraine-Republic of Moldova 2007 – 2013, Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme 2007-2013, Transnational Cooperation Programme for South East Europe 2007 – 2013.

The participation of Moldova within the Black Sea Basin Programme is considered very successful in terms of number of submitted applications, involved partners and budget allocated via awarded contracts. In terms of the level of participation, beneficiaries and partners from Moldova had a 16% share of the total budget in the first call of proposals, the third highest comparing with all partner countries. After the evaluation process 62 applications were selected for implementation during two calls for proposals. Out of these, 40 applications have partners from Moldova. In five cases Moldovan applicants were Lead Partner. The projects involving Moldovan partners accounted 3.5 mil Euro. In terms of the number of submitted applications by Moldovan applicants the most demanded was the Priority 1 “Supporting cross border partnerships for economic and social development based on combined resources”, followed by Priority 2 “Sharing resources and competencies for environmental protection and conservation”.

The participation of Moldovan applicants within Joint Operational Programme Ro-Ua- Md 2007-2013 was also considerable. Within the first call for proposals, institutions from Republic of Moldova have submitted 112 project proposals and twice more within the second call - 272 project proposals. Moldovan applicants and partners managed to access about 40 mil Euro within two calls for proposals. If analysing the number of submitted applications by Moldovan applicants the most addressed are Priority 1 “Towards a more competitive border economy” and Priority 3 “People to People Co-operation”. Within this programme Republic of Moldova has also participated in 6 Large Investment Projects (LIPs). LIPs were implemented by central public authorities such as: Interconnection gas pipeline between the Natural Gas Transmission System of Romania and the Natural Gas Transmission System of the Republic of Moldova on the Iaşi (Romania) – Ungheni (Moldova); Improvement of the response capacity of Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD); Prevention and protection against floods in the upper Siret and Prut River Basins (EAST AVERT), etc. Thus, in addition to the budget within the open calls, 11 mil. Euro were allocated to Moldovan beneficiaries/partners in order to implement the activities foreseen in the Large Investment Projects.

The South East Europe Programme aims to develop transnational partnerships on matters of strategic importance, in order to improve the territorial, economic and social integration process and to contribute to cohesion, stability and competitiveness of the region. The Programme helps to promote better integration between the Member States, candidate and potential candidate countries and neighbouring countries. Regional cooperation in South East Europe is essential, regardless of the different stage of integration of the various countries. The South East Europe Programme Area includes 16 countries. For 14 countries the eligible area is the whole territory of the country, namely for Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and Republic of Moldova. As the ENPI funds were availed after the Financing Agreement was signed in December 2012, within the first tree calls the Moldovan partners have participated as “10% partner” in 7 projects and implemented activities which amounted EUR 285.500. An additional ENPI call for Moldovan partners has been launched in April 2013. Total ENPI contribution awarded for 7 projects constitutes 640,231.72 EUR

Following the closure of programmes, Moldovan national authorities, in cooperation with the Austrian Development Agency have decided to assess the impact of cross border cooperation programmes 2017-2013 on social and economic development of the Republic of Moldova. The currents exercise is financed under the Danube Connects Project, financed by the Austrian Development Agency.

  1. 2.   Evaluation purpose and target audience

The impact assessment evaluation is intended to measure the level of achievement of programmes results and to prepare an inventory of effects, including impacts which have been or may be associated with the CBC and TNC interventions. These shall include results at the level of individuals, Civil Society Organisations/Local Public Authorities and social-economic sectors at large. It is expected that the impact assessment study will also provide relevant analysis, as well as conclusions, recommendations and lessons learned for future CBC programmes and collecting best practices/examples of successful projects. A separate Chapter on the promotion gender equality/women empowerment will be part of the Study.

The primary intended users of this evaluation are: State Chancellery, Ministry of Regional Development and Construction, Austrian Development Agency, as well as other central public authorities and externals development partners, involved in Programme implementation.

Primary intended uses of this evaluation are:

  1. Learning and improved decision-making to support the development of the next programmes
  2. Capacity development and mobilisation of national stakeholders to ensure and effective and efficient implementation of future CBC programmes
  1. 3.   Evaluation tasks and questions

The assessment shall aim to identify any change resulting from Programmes interventions materialized in specific projects were Moldovan applicants are lead partner or partner in a CBC or TNC project. The study shall establish a causal connection between the change and the project inputs and measure the magnitude of the change. It will focus on and try to measure/assess a wide range of broad and strategic indicators, including projects relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.

In doing so, it should address the following questions:

-          The extent to which Programmes interventions were suited to the priorities and policies of the target group: individuals, local public authorities, etc.?

Example of specific questions: Are the activities and outputs of Programmes interventions consistent with the overall goal and the attainment of its objectives? To what extent the project partners chosen were appropriate / relevant in reference to the project objectives? Etc.

-       What effects, positive or negative (intended/unintended, direct/indirect) are produced by the Programmes interventions?

            Example of specific questions: To what extent were the projects objectives achieved? What were the major factors have influenced the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives? Assess the effectiveness of project partners in implementing the project’s activities Etc.

 

-       Efficiency. This part shall concern the least costly resources possible in order to achieve the desired results and this may require comparing alternative approaches to achieving the same outputs, to see whether the most efficient process has been adopted.

Following evaluation questions shall be considered: Were activities cost-efficient? Were objectives achieved on time? Were projects implemented in the most efficient way compared to alternatives? Etc.

-       Is the project producing the most appropriate impact, given the context and resources available? This shall involve the main impacts and effects resulting from Programmes interventions on the socio economic. The examination should be concerned with both intended and unintended results and must also include the positive and negative impact.

It shall be necessary to consider the following questions: What has happened as a result of Programmes interventions? What real difference has the Programmes interventions made to beneficiaries?  Has the project produced an objectively measureable impact on gender equality/women empowerment? Etc.

 

-       Sustainability. This shall concern measuring whether the benefits of Programmes interventions are likely to continue after EC funding has been withdrawn.

It will be necessary to consider the following questions: To what extent did the benefits of Programmes interventions continue after EC funding ceased? What were the major factors which influenced the achievement or non-achievement of sustainability.

  1. 4.     Approach and Methodology

 

The evaluation will use a theory-based[2]. The performance of the Programmes interventions will be assessed according to the theory of change. Understanding why and under what conditions the interventions supported by CBC and TNC programmes (2007-2013) produced effects shall be of utmost importance for the evaluation consultant. The application of a theory-based impact evaluation approach give ground to assess if the three Programmes worked, how they worked and in which context at the same time for Moldovan beneficiaries.

The evaluation shall be carried out in three steps, namely:

-       Collecting data and drawing-up findings concerning Programmes’ results achievement in relation to Moldovan applicants/beneficiaries. It shall cover examination of every Programme implementation and providing evidence of the level of achievement of projects results and objectives expressed in qualitative and quantitative terms grouped by priority axis and measures/sphere of interventions; defining the main type of beneficiaries and target groups actively involved and/or interested in the programmes implementation, and the preferable themes of cooperation under the Programmes.

-       Elaborating the impact evaluation of the CBC and TNC Programmes 2007-2013 for Moldova. This step comprises detailed analysis of long-term impacts of each Programmes intervention as well as their intended and unintended effects on Moldova socio-economic development. For the above, a combination of methods shall be mobilised, namely: projects’ review; interview and/or survey among three major target groups (e.g. key programme’s stakeholders, project partners and general public); field visits to projects partners. The evaluation consultant shall also elaborate a comparative analysis of the Programmes’ identified impact on Programmes’ beneficiaries, target groups and social-economic sectors at large. A separate chapter assessing the impact on promotion of gender equality/women empowerment by the Programmes shall be drafted.

-       Drawing-up recommendations/lessons learned on Programme and project level which could facilitate the future projects planning and to ensure sustainability of the results.

 

 

  1. 5.     Timing and deliverables

 

This section describes the type of products that are expected from the evaluator and the timeframe. The estimated number of person-days required for the evaluation is 30 days.

Deliverable Resources/level of effort Time frame (indicative)

An inception report, outlining the key scope of the work and intended work plan of the analysis, methodology and

evaluation questions

3 person-days  
Draft Report, word format (including 2 rounds of revision) 20 person-days  
Final Report, word format 7 person-days  

The Final Report shall be presented in English and Romanian and shall be structured as following:

-          Title and opening pages;

-          Executive summary;

-          Background and purpose of the evaluation;

-          Evaluation methodology and limitations;

-          Findings, in accordance with the structure indicated by the methodology;

-          Conclusions;

-          Recommendations;

Annexes:

-          Documents consulted;

-          Lists of institutions interviewed or consulted and sites visited;

-          Data collection instruments.

  1. 6.     Required Expertise and qualifications

To be admitted to the competition, applicants must meet the following qualification requirements: 

Education:

-    University degree in public administration, economics, international relations, statistic, social sciences or other related fields. In its absence, experience of at least five (5) years above the required minimum number of years of experience;

Working experience and knowledge:

-          Minimum 5 years of professional experience/technical knowledge in monitoring and evaluation methodologies;

-          Minimum 2 years of professional experience in designing, data collection for surveys and reviews.

-          Prior experiences and knowledge in impact studies and completion report preparation conducted in similar context will be considered as advantage.

-          Good spoken and written English. Fluency in Romanian

-          Advanced computer skills in common office programmes MS Office

  1. 7.     Payment

 

The Consultant shall be paid upon successful completion of each deliverable. The payment shall be made only if the deliverables of this TOR are submitted to the Danube Connect project within the timeframes stipulated in the TOR and they are approved. The deliverables will be submitted in English, except the Final Report which shall be submitted in English and Romanian. The Consultant will be paid in MDL or in EUR, equivalent of EUR in line with the estimative payment schedule below.

Deliverable Payment amount
An inception report, outlining the key scope of the work and intended work plan of the analysis, methodology and evaluation questions 20% of the total contract amount (upon approval)
Draft Report, word format (including 2 rounds of revision) 40% of the total contract amount (upon approval)
Final Report, word format 40% of the total contract amount (upon approval)

 

  1. 8.     Proposal submission

 

The interested candidates must submit the following documents/ information to demonstrate their qualification:

-          Letter of Intent with justification of being the most suitable for the work, vision and working approach, specifically indicating experience of carrying out evaluations and in producing out analytical reports, etc.;

-          CV of the candidate including records on past experience outlining required expertise and qualifications

-          Financial proposal (in EUR) - specifying an all-inclusive daily fee, and the lump sum for the envisaged number of working days. The financial offer should include all costs related to completion of the task under the current Terms of Reference.

Applications should be submitted in English to the electronic address [email protected]    with the mark “Impact Assessment Study” no later than 13nd of October 2017. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

 


[2] A cluster evaluation assess a large number of interventions by ‘grouping’ similar interventions together into ‘clusters’, and evaluating only a

representative sample of these in depth.

 

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