Short term expert for midterm evaluation of the Project Development of Rural Areas in the Republic of Moldova (DevRAM) Part I - Increasing the competitiveness of the agri-food sector through integration to domestic and global value chains, in the soya sector

  1. Introduction/Background

In the framework of the European Union’s (EU) Action Document for the Development of Rural Areas in the Republic of Moldova under the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI) the EU delegated the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with the management of the EU’s financial contribution to increase the competitiveness of the agri-food sector in Moldova through integration to domestic and global value chains, in particular in the soya sector (PART 1 of the project). The project started at 01 April, 2018 and will end at 31 March 2021.

In the framework of the Project PART I - ADA awarded a grant to a Project consortium consisting of Donau Soja gGmbH, Donau Soja Verein, Donau Soja Representative Office in Moldova and Educational Center Pro Didactica to implement the following components of the PART I of the project:

  • Enhancing capacities for innovation and education in agriculture in the Republic of Moldova
  • Increasing access to market and advancing the demand for certified and organic agri-food products on national and foreign markets.
  • Use of standards and certification to raise the performance of value chains
  • Promoting an enabling environment for ensuring quality standards in the agri-food sector (including organic agriculture and products) and alignment of the legal framework and policy documents of the Republic of Moldova to EU quality standards
  1. Purpose

The main reason for conducting the mid-term evaluation of the PART 1 of the DevRAM project is to assess achievements, gaps and shortcomings made during the project implementation period and to make recommendations for the next period of implementation. It is expected to provide a base for an informed follow-up planning of the project activities for the remaining 16 months.

The evaluation will assess also the preliminary indicators of prospects for impact and sustainability of results including the contribution to capacity development and achievement of sustainable development goals.

The evaluation should focus also on the process management, the cooperation of implementing partners and all beneficiaries along the value chain as well as on synergies with the strategic partnership.

The draft and final version of the report will be provided to key project stakeholders such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MARDE) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (MECR).

  1. Objective

The midterm evaluation is carried out at the midpoint of the project implementation in order to assess whether the project is on track in terms of achieving its objectives, to ascertain results (output, outcome), assess the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of this development intervention and to improve the ongoing activities for the remaining 16 months period of the project implementation.

  1. Subject and Focus

The mid-term evaluation will cover a period of 20 months (April 2018 – November 2019).

The evaluation will include desk work and a field visit to Moldova. During the field visit, the evaluation team should visit and interview the project counterparts in the EUDEL, Austrian Development Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MARDE), the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (MECR), Donau Soja Representative Office in Moldova, Educational Center Pro Didactica, VET Institutions participating in the project, Soya producers, CSO representatives that have participated within activities and other public events in order to discuss their perception regarding project results.

A minimum number of 25-30 stakeholder interviews will be undertaken within the framework of the evaluation (individual interviews, focus group discussions, etc.).

A time-engagement of 34 expert days is foreseen in a time period from December 2019 -  end of February 2020.

  1. Approach and Methods

The evaluation consists of several phases: Contract and Kick-off meeting, Desk Study, Inception-Phase, Field-phase, Final Draft Report, Final Report.

  1. The Evaluation Team

The evaluation team will consist of at list two members. Key Qualifications of the expert team should be:

  • Multidisciplinary professional backgrounds including management, economics, agricultural and education programmes, and government structures;
  • At least one person has sector expertise and experience;
  • Experience in conducting strategic level (programmatic and/ or thematic) outcome &impact evaluations which assess „contribution‟;
  • Broad and in-depth knowledge of development cooperation and related institutional arrangements and relationships within/ relevant to the country (national government, donors & civil society);
  • Prior experience on evaluations;
  • A minimum of three years’ experience and expertise in the fields of business analysis, agricultural production and education / VET;
  • Team leader (if applicable) has led or conducted at least three evaluations in the last five years ideally in this or a related field;
  • Team member has conducted at least three evaluations in this or a related field;
  • Expert team has experience in evaluation development projects, especially in the sphere of Business development and/or Reform of VET sector;
  • Experience and expertise in evaluating cross-cutting issues;
  • Proven experience with reconstructing and testing Theories of Change as well as quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods;
  • Experience in assessing OECD/DAC criteria
  • Relevant experience and understanding of local economic and political development context;
  • Knowledge of the agricultural and VET sectors in the Republic of Moldova;
  • International experience, especially in the other post-soviet countries will be an asset;
  • Ability to conduct meetings with senior government, EUDEL, business sector, VET institutions and NGO level personnel;
  • Excellent communication skills in English (written and oral); at least one member of the team has sound knowledge of Romanian; Sound MS Office and IT skills.
  1. Reports

The consultants will submit the following reports:

  • an inception report (10-15 pages without annexes),
  • a final draft evaluation report (about 25-30 pages without annexes), including a draft executive summary (5 pages max.) and the results-assessment form (part of the reporting requirement)
  • the final evaluation report (25-30 pages without annexes), the final executive summary and the results-assessment form (part of the reporting requirement)

All reports need to be written in English.

  1. Submission of Offer

The offer should be submitted within the indicated submission date November 29, 2019, 16:00 local time and should provide the following details in English:

  • Experts’ Technical Proposal, including a brief description of the understanding of the assignment, the presentation of the approach and methodology suggested, a work plan including time schedule and, if applicable, division of tasks.
  • Experts’ curriculum vitae, including:
    • at least three reference to evaluations conducted/lead in a relevant sphere and
    • at least three professional reference contacts relevant to the field of evaluation.
  • Budget indicating daily fees per expert, envisaged travel costs, material costs if applicable, other costs. Please prepare the budget in EUR.
  1. Co-Ordination/Responsibility

The evaluation team will be supported by the DS project director.

The contact person is: Ms. Elena Anghel,

Contact details:

Phone: +373 69 00 1117

E-mail: moldova@donausoja.org

Please send your files to the following e-mail addresses: moldova@donausoja.org

More information is provided on the link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1a_cazmW13YMoMPI6MRYDTgOKVegWJZhv


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