Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Regional Evaluation Specialist (Decentralized Evaluations – Regioanl Office for Asia and The Pacific)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Job Description

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or Duty Stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization Organizational Settings 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”.

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.

A key measure to support the abovementioned approval is to recruit Regional Evaluation Specialists (RES) to be stationed in each of FAO’s five regional offices, with reporting lines to regional office management. RES will be responsible for managing the decentralized 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.

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.

In RAP, the RES will also contribute to strategic thinking and capacity strengthening for overall Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) capacities in the region, with a focus on synthesizing and translating lessons learned from evaluations into programme formulation, thematic learning, and policy Design.

Reporting Lines The RES will report to the Senior Field Programme Officer, RAP Technical focus Project evaluations, communication and utilization of evaluations Tasks and responsibilities Under the overall guidance and Coordination of the Senior Field Programme Officer, tasks and responsibilities of the RES will include: Decentralized evaluations planning, coordination and management
  • Review and agree with OED over evaluation plans including 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;
  • 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 knowledge and lessons; and
  • Oversee the completion of management response and evaluation report and dissemination of report.
Communication and outreach
  • 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 communication and partnership/RM colleagues;
  • Gather information on main lessons and recommendations for different topics, and share them with all concerned stakeholders, either through webinars or specific presentations;
  • Develop a set of key lessons to be share among staff members in the region including country offices through desk review and interviews;
  • Provide comments for project documents including concept notes to provide key lessons learned from evaluation;
  • Develop a knowledge share folder and develop a knowledge/lesson sharing strategy for a wider dissemination;
  • Contribute to the synthesis of achievements and lessons learned for the regional achievements report and other reporting mechanisms; and
  • In delivering such, the incumbent shall familiarize him/herself with, and ensure mandatory coherence of, FAO’s corporate communication policy and operational guidelines for all communication and information outputs.
Capacity development on evaluation and learning / knowledge management
  • Review current project evaluation and learning practices in the region, drawing on MEAL survey of country offices conducted in 2020, with a focus on how project evaluations are designed, planned, undertaken and used for learning and knowledge management, particularly for programme formulation and thematic learning, at country and regional level;
  • Identify Capacity Building needs for projects, country offices, sub-regional office and RAP based on this review of evaluation and learning practices;
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of capacity building activities including training/webinars for evaluation focal points and other FAO actors involved in evaluation processes in the region;
  • Organize training on impact evaluation, which is in increasing demand for large scale projects, and provide Technical Support for pilot impact evaluation (planning stage) in an appropriate project the region;
  • Support RAP to improve capacity for translating lessons learned from evaluations into actionable knowledge to improve future programmes and policy designs, and into relevant normative and knowledge products by RAP; and
  • Contribute to RAP strategic thinking and planning on improving overall MEAL processes in the region.
  • 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 one other official UN language (Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French)
FAO Core Competencies
  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
Technical/Functional Skills
  • 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.
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