A. BACKGROUNDIn April 2017, as an important continuation and evolution of the Australia - World Bank Strategic Partnership Phase 1 (ABP1), Australia and the World Bank Group (WBG) in Vietnam have agreed to enter into the phase 2 of the partnership (ABP2) with Australia’s total investment of AUD30 million to further promote Vietnam’s development agenda and to sustain achieved efforts in priority areas. ABP2 finances various activities including Programmatic Advisory Services and Analytics (P-ASA) and Recipient-executed grants. ABP2 is set up as a programmatic trust fund (TF) which will: (i) strengthen collaboration and promote more strategic use of resources by the two institutions, (ii) enhance the achievement of results of the Australia’s Aid Investment Plan 2015/16-2019/20 and the World Bank Country Partnership Framework 2017-2022, and (iii) promote efficient management through harmonized TF processing and management. The development objectives of ABP2 are to share knowledge and to strengthen policies and programs for selected development priorities for Vietnam, with a focus on gender equality. Considering Australia and the World Bank’s shared strategic priorities and drawing on lessons learnt from ABP1, ABP2 focuses on six priority themes: (i) transport, (ii) trade and competitiveness, (iii) Mekong Delta, (iv) ethnic minorities, (v) gender, and (vi) VN2035 report implementation, with cross cutting themes of gender and innovation. To date, ABP2 has programmed 97% of the entire program amount. The disbursement amount is around AUD16 million, equivalent to 53%. The activities under ABP2 are mostly bank-executed. There will be a recipient-executed activity (Time Use Survey) which is under preparation. The ABP2 has a robust, quantitative result framework and an M&E system to track the progress of achieving the targeted result indicators. The Mid-Term Review in 2019 has recommended a qualitative impact assessment in selected areas to help consolidate into an overarching story that illustrates the results achieved under the ABP2. The ABP2 program is seeking an experienced international consultant to conduct a qualitative impact assessment. It is preferred that the candidates are based in Vietnam since international commercial flights to Vietnam are not allowed yet for the time being.
B. OBJECTIVESThe objective of the assignment is to qualitatively assess impacts achieved under the ABP2.
C. SCOPE OF WORKSDuring the assignment period, the consultant will undertake the following steps:
- Meet with the ABP2 Secretariat to discuss on initial ideas on proposed methodology and choice of samples/case studies in selected themes/areas for the assessment.
- Develop proposed approach and methodology for the assessment including the questionnaires, expected data sources, targeted interviewees; and timeline.
- Highlight areas that work well in the case study and areas that need improvement for the rest of the program implementation period;
- Capture lessons learnt, and provide forward-looking recommendations to ensure that the program can effectively capture optimal impact from qualitative perspectives;
- Make recommendations on strengthening methodology for qualitative impact assessment on the rest of the program.
D. STAKEHOLDERS OF THE ASSESSMENTThe following groups of stakeholders would be the primary audiences for consultations during the impact assessment: National Assembly, media, government agencies, institutes, researchers, beneficiaries, Australia (DFAT) in Hanoi, World Bank staff working for ABP2 activities. The consultant will construct a field interview guide to serve as the basis and starting point for stakeholder interviews. This guide will be shared for comments with World Bank staff. In addition, discussions will also be held with the ABP2 Secretariat during the impact assessment.
E. EVALUATION CRITERIAThe consultant will assess whether the selected activities under the ABP2 produce positive or negative changes (directly, or indirectly, intended or unintended) in the following aspects: Policy/Strategy Impact: Assess whether the selected activities under the ABP2 have influenced policies/strategies of the Government of Vietnam and to what extent (substantial, partially or negligible). Knowledge-Sharing: Assess whether the selected activities under the ABP2 has yield impacts on the participants of knowledge-sharing events and to what extent (substantial, partially or negligible). Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening: Assess whether the selected activities under the ABP2 has supported building capacity for the Vietnamese government’s agencies and to what extent (substantial, partially or negligible). Impact on end-users/beneficiaries: Assess whether and how end-users/beneficiaries have benefited from impacts brought by selected activities under the ABP2.
F. METHODOLOGYThe consultant will (i) review background material provided by the WB and Australia - Section I – Reference Materials below; (ii) develop proposed methodology and instruments; (ii) undertake focus group discussion or on-line interviews with relevant respondents (including Australia Embassy, WB, clients and beneficiaries); (iv) conduct the assessment; (v) compose the draft assessment report for WB and DFAT initial feedback and discussion; and (iv) finalize the assessment for ABP2 Steering Committee’s endorsement. The assessment should be further substantiated, where possible, by highlighting specific examples, beneficiary stories, quotes, graphs, and pictures to demonstrate results on the ground.
G. DURATION AND PHASINGThe assignment is expected to involve:
- Up to 5 days desk review of the document and development of approach and methodology
- Up to 15 days for conducting meetings and discussion with relevant stakeholders
- Up to 7 days drafting report
- Up to 3 days for report finalization
H. OUTPUTSA proposed approach and methodology for the WB’s approval. The assessment plan will identify the methods, tools, and information sources to be used for addressing the evaluation questions and provide an indicative timetable (including the timing of meetings, and delivery of outputs). This will be submitted to the WB and Australia by email for comments and subsequent approval.
- Inception report which outlines the selected case studies, study methodology including type and interview methodology, targeted respondents (who, what level, how many and how they will be selected) within 5 days of desk study on materials provided by the ABP2 Secretariat
- Study instruments which propose study questionnaires for WB’s approval upon receipt of the WB’s feedback on inception report.
- A draft assessment report provided to WB after completion of the interviews and field work for comments by WB and Australia.
- The final report is expected to be submitted upon receipt of such comments on the draft version.
I. CONSULTANT QUALIFICATION AND TEAM COMPOSITIONRequirements of the candidate are:
- Strong knowledge and experience in international development and policy reform.
- Demonstrated expertise in the evaluation of aid interventions, including sound understanding of operations of multilateral and bilateral organizations
- Experience in monitoring and evaluation methods and impact assessment of partnership arrangements and development activities, especially trust funds
- Demonstrated experience in undertaking qualitative assessment of development programs
- Demonstrated analytical skills and proficiency in verbal and written communication, especially report writing.
K. CONTRACTING ARRANGEMENTThe consultants will submit claims and supporting documents by the end of the assignment to the ABP2 Program Manager. Payment will be made to the consultants after verification of deliverables and payment claims by the WB.
J. REFERENCE MATERIALS
- Approved Concept Notes of the ABP2
- Approved Trust Fund Proposal
- Operations Manual
- Annual Progress Reports on ABP2
- Minutes of Meetings of Steering Committee Meetings
- ABP2 Quarterly Newsletters
- Approved P-ASA Concept Notes
- Approved P-ASA progress reports
- Australian Aid Policy Framework
- DFAT Aid Investment Plan Vietnam: 2015-16 to 2019-20
- DFAT Vietnam Aid Program Performance Report 2016-17 and 2017-18
- DFAT ABP2 Aid Quality Check 2017, 2018 and 2019
- DFAT ABP2 World Bank Partner Performance Assessment 2017, 2018 and 2019
- INVESTING IN REGIONAL PROSPERITY: Positioning the aid program to support Australia’s economic partnerships in Asia November 2018
- WB Country Partnership Framework
- WB Performance Learning Review (PLR)
- APB2 Mid Term Review Report and DFAT’s Management Response.
- Selected analytical works from selected Themes
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