Following the recommendation of the Evaluation of the Evaluation Function (2016) to explore decentralization of evaluation, a move towards decentralizing evaluations started in January 2019, with the decentralization of all project mid-term evaluations. In May 2020, the FAO Programme Committee approved a proposal submitted by OED on “Enhancing the use of evaluation for learning in FAO at regional and country levels through decentralized evaluation”.
The main purpose of decentralization for MTE and FE is to enhance the utility and use of evaluations for learning at management level which most directly relates to the project implementation.
Many UN Agencies have moved to various degrees towards the decentralization of part of their evaluation portfolio, with the aim, for some, of increasing evaluation coverage and, for all, to enhance learning through evidence base in decentralized offices. The main lessons from experience so far include the need to set in place a sustained support to those involved in decentralized evaluations, ensure proper human and financial resources as well as to define evaluation governance. Maintaining/improving evaluation quality, impartiality and credibility are key challenges to be addressed in decentralizing evaluation.
Starting June 2021, concentrated efforts for decentralization will go into effect, with OED preparing a series of measures to support successful implementation. Within OED, a dedicated group of staff will form a Decentralization Support Team to provide individual support to each evaluation process. In addition, OED will develop materials, guidance, and manuals as well as further develop and sustain capacity development efforts.
One additional measure to assist in the management and support of decentralization is the recruitment of Regional Evaluation Specialists (RES) for decentralization evaluations to be stationed in each of FAO’s five regional offices.
Job Title: Regional Evaluation Specialist for Decentralized Evaluations
RES will be responsible for managing the decentralized final project evaluations in the region, according to an evaluation plan developed in consultation with country offices of the Region and shared in advance by OED. They will also be responsible for ensuring dissemination of the results of the evaluation, and creating learning opportunities at regional and country level, based on evaluation results, in close cooperation with the regional field programme and knowledge management teams. The RES will also contribute to building evaluation capacities in the region, using CD material and guidance developed by OED.
Each RES will report to the Regional Office senior management.
Project evaluations, communication and utilization of evaluations
Tasks and responsibilities
Decentralized Evaluations planning and coordination
- Review and agree with OED over evaluation plans and agreed timelines for the completion of assigned decentralized evaluations in the region
- Liaise with relevant country offices on the process, timelines, and completion of each evaluation
- Report to the regional senior management team and OED on the implementation of the evaluation plan and alert them in case of timing issues
Final project evaluations management
- Review relevant background documentation and liaise with project key informants to develop evaluation ToRs, including evaluation design and methodology.
- Identify the evaluation team and launch their recruitment, in line with FAO processes and procedures.
- Contribute, as necessary, to the preparation of data collection tools, including the evaluation matrix, questionnaires, check-lists and interview protocols as appropriate; and/or revise their quality.
- Apply OED evaluation guidance and standards, and seek QA support from OED
- Ensure the collection of primary and secondary data by the evaluation team through, inter alia, interviews and meetings, face to face or virtual, with FAO concerned officers during the country visits, with key stakeholders including the Government, the FAO Representation, external partners, project teams and ultimate beneficiaries as appropriate
- Review and quality check deliverables of the evaluation team, including inception report, draft and final evaluation report
- Ensure budget and needed resources availability
- Ensure evaluation is credible and absent from any conflict of interest
- Complete evaluation on time and disseminate
- Oversee the completion of management response and dissemination of report
Communication, outreach and capacity development
- Identify, along with country office evaluation focal points and regional office representatives, opportunities for communication and dissemination of relevant evaluation results, in coordination with the programme, strategic analysis and knowledge management teams
- Organize communication and knowledge sharing events in the region to promote use of evaluation results, in collaboration with the regional knowledge management teams
- Gather information on main lessons and recommendations for different topics, and share them with all concerned stakeholders, either through webinars or specific presentations
- Contribute to the development and dissemination of capacity building activities for evaluation focal points and other FAO actors involved in evaluation processes in the region
CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING
- University degree in Economics, Agriculture, Social Sciences, Rural Development or a related field
- At least 7 years of relevant experience in in conducting and managing evaluations at the global, regional or country levels
- Working knowledge of English and French
FAO Core Competencies
- Results Focus
- Building Effective Relationships
- Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
- Work experience in more than one location or area of work.
- Extent and relevance of experience in the region is considered as an asset.
- Extent and relevance of experience in designing, planning, leading and conducting development evaluations.
- Demonstrated knowledge and experience in managing evaluation processes and creating opportunities for increasing the use of their results.
- Sound understanding of the functioning of UN agencies and the UN system is considered a strong asset.
- Demonstrated analytical skills and ability to write clear and concise reports.