Hiring an Individual Consultant for a Self-evaluation of the PPAF Component of the Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP) Project
Pakistan Poverty Alleviation FundFull time Full day
14th September, 2023
Last date to apply
18th September, 2023
Introduction to PPAF:
Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) is the lead apex institution for community-driven development in the country. PPAF was registered in February 1997 under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984 (now Companies Act 2017) as a not-for profit company. PPAF’s mission is to transform the lives of the poor to create a more equitable and prosperous Pakistan. It has outreach in 147 districts across all four provinces and regions of the country, supporting communities to access improved infrastructure, energy, health, education, livelihoods, finance, and develop resilience to disasters. It serves the poorest and most marginalized rural households and communities across the country providing them with an array of financial and non-financial services. PPAF aims to ensure that its core values of social inclusion, participation, accountability, transparency and stewardship are built into all processes and programmes. For a complete profile, please visit our website at http://www.ppaf.org.pk
Introduction to GRASP:
The Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP) is a six-year program, funded by the European Union and implemented by a consortium led by the International Trade Centre (ITC), including the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) as implementing partners. GRASP’s overall objective is to support poverty reduction and sustainable and inclusive economic growth in rural areas of Pakistan. The program’s specific objective is to support gender inclusive income and employment generation, enhanced productivity and profitability of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in primary production, service provision and value addition in and around selected clusters of production. The project is being implemented in 96 Union Councils (UCs) belongs to 22 selected districts of Balochistan and Sindh. Targeted value chains are Onion, Dates, Olives, Grapes, Livestock: Sheep (live animals, wool, and meat), Goat (live animals and meat), backyard poultry (and related products) in Balochistan and Onions, Dates, Tomatoes, Mangoes, Banana, Livestock; Cattle (live animals, milk and meat), Goat (live animals and meat) in Sindh province. PPAF has engaged seven Partner Organizations (POs) in 22 districts.
As such, the GRASP contributes directly to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 13 (Climate Action).
GRASP focuses on selected product lines within livestock and horticulture sectors. The program intervenes in three main ways:
- Improving the eco-system for rural SME development through building institutional capacity and improving the business environment
- Building production and quality of primary products through support to SME agribusiness service providers and business intermediary organizations in rural areas
- Increasing added-value and marketed volumes through developing value chains and supporting SMEs to improve management, increase access to finance, apply sustainable technology to add value and improve quality and reduce waste throughout the system.
Rationale and Purpose of the Assignment
The PPAF component of GRASP includes rural mobilization, access to finance, and major responsibility for the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the entire project. The PPAF component is managed by a project team based in the PPAF head office in Islamabad and in provincial offices in Quetta and Karachi, respectively. The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) component of the project, which reports to the Acting Chief Executive Officer (A/CEO) of PPAF, provides quality assurance for M&E activities of the project. M&E as well as the project team will be closely involved in the assignment described here.
The purpose of the assignment is to conduct a self-evaluation of the PPAF component ahead of the anticipated mid-term evaluation (MTE) of GRASP commissioned by the EU. Self-evaluation before external evaluation is a good practice in the international development community and is also a part of PPAF’s M&E guidelines. It is needed to present PPAF’s perspective on GRASP to the MTE.
Scope of Work
The assignment requires the services of a highly-experienced senior consultant based in Islamabad to lead and coordinate a focused international-quality self-evaluation. The exercise will be conducted with reference to the standard evaluation criteria definitions and explanations of the Organization for Economic Development, Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC). EU-specific guidelines will also be used, where applicable and available.
It is envisaged that the self-evaluation will address the six standard OECD-DAC criteria (OECD-DAC 2019):
- Relevance: is the intervention doing the right things? The extent to which the intervention objectives and design respond to beneficiaries’ global, country, and partner/institution needs, policies, and priorities, and continue to do so if circumstances change. Note: “Respond to” means that the objectives and design of the intervention are sensitive to the economic, environmental, equity, social, political economy, and capacity conditions in which it takes place. “Partner/institution” includes government (national, regional, local), civil society organizations, private entities and international bodies involved in funding, implementing and/or overseeing the intervention.
- Coherence: how well does the intervention fit? The compatibility of the intervention with other interventions in a country, sector or institution. Includes internal coherence and external coherence: Internal coherence addresses the synergies and interlinkages between the intervention and other interventions carried out by the same institution/government, as well as the consistency of the intervention with the relevant international norms and standards to which that institution/government adheres. External coherence considers the consistency of the intervention with other actors’ interventions in the same context. This includes complementarity, harmonisation and co-ordination with others, and the extent to which the intervention is adding value while avoiding duplication of effort.
- Effectiveness: is the intervention achieving its objectives? The extent to which the intervention achieved, or is expected to achieve, its objectives, and its results, including any differential results across groups. Note: Analysis of effectiveness involves taking account of the relative importance of the objectives or results.
- Efficiency: how well are resources being used? The extent to which the intervention delivers, or is likely to deliver, results in an economic and timely way. Note: “Economic” is the conversion of inputs (funds, expertise, natural resources, time, etc.) into outputs, outcomes and impacts, in the most cost-effective way possible, as compared to feasible alternatives in the context. “Timely” delivery is within the intended timeframe, or a timeframe reasonably adjusted to the demands of the evolving context. This may include assessing operational efficiency (how well the intervention was managed). Note: It is recognized that analyzing the entire results chain, and in particular looking at the efficiency of inputs to impacts, is methodologically challenging. Benchmarking data are often missing.
- Impact: what difference does the intervention make? The extent to which the intervention has generated or is expected to generate significant positive or negative, intended or unintended, higher-level effects. Note: Impact addresses the ultimate significance and potentially transformative effects of the intervention. It seeks to identify social, environmental and economic effects of the intervention that are longer term or broader in scope than those already captured under the effectiveness criterion. Beyond the immediate results, this criterion seeks to capture the indirect, secondary and potential consequences of the intervention. It does so by examining the holistic and enduring changes in systems or norms, and potential effects on people’s well-being, human rights, gender equality, and the environment.
- Sustainability: will the benefits last? The extent to which the net benefits of the intervention continue, or are likely to continue. Note: Includes an examination of the financial, economic, social, environmental, and institutional capacities of the systems needed to sustain net benefits over time. Involves analyses of resilience, risks and potential trade-offs. Depending on the timing of the evaluation, this may involve analysing the actual flow of net benefits or estimating the likelihood of net benefits continuing over the medium and long-term.
Indicative Methodology and Tasks
The self-evaluation process will span three main phases – inception, interviews and documentation, and analysis and report writing.
In the inception phase, the consultant will:
- Conduct a desk review of the PPAF’s GRASP component based on documents provided by ME&E and the project team.
- Draft a brief introduction to the PPAF component of GRASP based on information provided by PPAF that will be included in the first chapter of the self-evaluation report.
- Identify specific project activities for inclusion in the self-evaluation in consultation with M&E and the project team.
- Draft a list of key questions and corresponding sub-questions for focusing specifically on these activities with reference to some or all of the evaluation criteria, as appropriate.
- Finalize the questions in consultation with M&E and the project team.
- Finalize the work plan for the assignment in agreement with PPAF.
- Submit an inception report that includes the outputs of the above-mentioned tasks.
For interviews and documentation, the consultant will:
- Interact with the project team’s staff responsible for access to finance, access to markets, and M&E to understand their work and perspectives and obtain relevant documents.
- Submit a report to M&E, Chief Programs and the A/CEO containing the findings (in brief) and their sources, and assessing the adequacy and reliability of evidence in relation to the evaluation criteria.
- Discuss the report with M&E, Chief Programs and the A/CEO and agree on the way forward for analysis and report writing. M&E will record the agreed points in writing for all concerned.
The main task during analysis and report writing will be to prepare a self-evaluation report as agreed with M&E, Chief Programs and the A/CEO. This will include:
- a chapter providing a brief introduction to the PPAF component of GRASP, and the purpose and methodology of the self-evaluation;
- separate chapters on the findings, conclusions and recommendations pertaining to each of the evaluation criteria and corresponding questions included in the inception report;
- if required, a chapter on the main conclusions and recommendations; and,
- supporting annexes.
The consultant will first submit a draft report on which M&E, Chief Programs and the A/CEO will provide their feedback. The consultant’s final report will reflect the feedback to the satisfaction of PPAF.
- inception report;
- findings and documentation report; and,
- the final self-evaluation report.
Reporting and Coordination
The consultant will be reporting to the MEAL Lead of GRASP and will collaborate closely with the Head of MEAL, Chief of Programs, the Acting CEO, and the GRASP project team.
Qualifications and Competencies Required
The consultant must possess at least a M. Phil/Master’s degree in economics, social sciences, or a related field. S/he should have a minimum of 20 years of implementation and M&E experience with donor-assisted poverty-reduction and rural development projects, including at least 10 years of evaluation experience in Pakistan and other countries. The candidate must have strong report writing and documentation skills, and the ability to meet agreed deadlines.
10. Duration of Consultancy
The allocated duration for the assignment is six weeks starting from the date a contract is signed between the consultant and PPAF.
11. Payment Schedule
The consultant will be paid according to the following schedule:
Upon signing of contract
Upon approval of the inception report
Upon submission of the findings and documentation report
Upon approval of the final report
The individual consultant will be selected in accordance with PPAF’s Procurement Manual guidelines.
 OECD-DAC. 2019. Better Criteria for Better Evaluation (https://www.oecd.org/dac/evaluation/revised-evaluation-criteria-dec-2019.pdf); and, OECD-DAC. 2021. Applying Evaluation Criteria Thoughtfully https://www.oecd.org/dac/applying-evaluation-criteria-thoughtfully-543e84ed-en.htm .
 Beneficiaries is defined as, “the individuals, groups, or organizations, whether targeted or not, that benefit directly or indirectly, from the development intervention." Other terms, such as rights holders or affected people, may also be used.