UNDP-supported GEF-financed projects

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


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In accordance with UNDP and GEF M&E policies and procedures, all full- and medium-sized UNDP-supported GEF-financed projects are required to undergo a Terminal Evaluation (TE) at the end of the project. This Terms of Reference (ToR) sets out the expectations for the TE of the full-sized project titled Mitigating key sector pressures on marine and coastal biodiversity and further strengthening the national system of marine protected areas in Djibouti (PIMS 5560) implemented through the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development. The project started on the July 24, 2018, and is in its 5 years of implementation. The TE process must follow the guidance outlined in the document ‘Guidance for Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’.



The Republic of Djibouti is a small coastal country in the Horn of Africa, with a total area of 23,200 km2, a coastline of 372 km and, within a maritime territory area of 7,200 km². Djibouti’s economy is largely dependent on its service sector (76.3% of GDP) connected with the country’s strategic location as a deep-water port at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Over the last years, led by the vision to turn the country into a platform for commercial and logistics services for the Horn of Africa, the Government has started to undertake vast projects for the development of port, rail and road infrastructure, aimed at facilitating and increasing access to markets in the region.

While the Government of Djibouti has made investments to protect some of its unique and biodiversity rich marine habitats, these achievements risk to become precarious given the magnitude and speed of new developments of port infrastructure in Djibouti, most notably in the Gulfs of Tadjourah and Ghoubet. There are major risks (e.g. pollution due to accidents or cleaning) associated with the new shipping routes and increased traffic of oil tankers and other ships transporting noxious substances through this vulnerable environment.

This GEF project has the objective to “Enhance the resilience of Djibouti’s marine biodiversity through increasing institutional capacity, enhancing financial sustainability and management effectiveness of the MPA system, and mainstreaming marine biodiversity into key maritime sectors” (often referred as the MPA 2 project). The project Objective will be achieved through implementation of four components that address the key barriers identified for effective MPA and marine ecosystem services management:

The project Objective will be achieved through implementation of four components that address the key barriers identified for effective MPA and marine ecosystem services management.

  • Component 1: Strengthening the effectiveness of Djibouti’s MPA system through enhanced capacity of all stakeholders, including dialogue to mainstream biodiversity into maritime sectors;
  • Component 2: Expanding the national MPA network and strengthening MPA management at site level;
  • Component 3: Sustainable financing mechanism for marine biodiversity and the national protected areas system;
  • Component 4: Gender Mainstreaming, Knowledge Management and M&E.

The total cost of the project is USD $15,212,374. This is financed through a GEF grant of USD 2,822,374 and USD 12,390,000 in parallel co-financing from Government of Djibouti (GoD), GoD PRAREV project, GoD (PRMSRVCP/Islamic Development Bank), World Food Programme and IGAD-IUCN-Nature Djibouti. UNDP, as the GEF Implementing Agency, is responsible for the execution of the GEF resources and the cash co-financing transferred to UNDP bank account only. The project’s main stakeholders include government authorities, MPA management agencies, local communities living near marine protected areas, biodiversity-related civil society organizations and maritime sector players. Particular attention will be paid to building the capacity of all stakeholders to ensure effective management of the MPA system. The project integrates cross-cutting aspects such as the vulnerability of marginalized groups, gender equality and respect for human rights. It aims to ensure equitable and inclusive management of marine biodiversity, considering the needs and rights of vulnerable groups. The biodiversity project is closely aligned with the Djibouti government’s marine biodiversity conservation strategies and priorities, such as the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and the National Action Plan for the Environment (PANE). It contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 14 on aquatic life. The project is also aligned with the objectives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in terms of environmental conservation and sustainable development.

The implementation of the project was affected to some extent due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the country was under confinement for eight weeks. With the announcement of the nationwide lockdown, the businesses-both formal and informal were badly affected. People were forced to stay-put inside their houses until the lockdown was lifted on May 17, 2020.

A request for a 6-month extension of the project was approved to extend the project until 31 December 2023. The implementation of the project, which included activities mainly related to training workshops and the request for international expertise, was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country was quarantined, and internet access was limited throughout the country, so the digital option was not feasible.


Duties and Responsibilities

The TE report will assess the achievement of project results against what was expected to be achieved and draw lessons that can both improve the sustainability of benefits from this project, and aid in the overall enhancement of UNDP programming. The TE report promotes accountability and transparency and assesses the extent of project accomplishments. The final evaluation report will assess the progress and achievement of the project’s objectives and outcomes as specified in the project document. The TE will also examine the project strategy and its risks to sustainability.

This evaluation is the first one, in this regard, the results and recommendations of the final review will be essential to know the achievements and main accomplishments of the project.

The results of the evaluation will allow donors, UNDP, and the government to draw lessons learned from the project. These results will be used to improve future programs, in particular by using the evaluation report as a tool to guide future actions.

Completion of the final evaluation process is scheduled for October 2023.


The TE report must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable, and useful.

The TE team will review all relevant sources of information including documents prepared during the preparation phase (i.e. PIF, UNDP Initiation Plan, UNDP Social and Environmental Screening Procedure/SESP) the Project Document, project reports including annual PIRs, project budget revisions, lesson learned reports, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based evaluation. The TE team will review the baseline and midterm GEF focal area Core Indicators/Tracking Tools submitted to the GEF at the CEO endorsement and midterm stages and the terminal Core Indicators/Tracking Tools that must be completed before the TE field mission begins.

The TE team is expected to follow a participatory and consultative approach ensuring close engagement with the Project Team, government counterparts (the GEF Operational Focal Point), Implementing Partners, the UNDP Country Office(s), the Regional Technical Advisor, direct beneficiaries, and other stakeholders.

Engagement of stakeholders is vital to a successful TE. Stakeholder involvement should include interviews with stakeholders who have project responsibilities, including but not limited to to the following list of executing agencies, senior officials and task team/component leaders, key experts and consultants in the subject area, Project Board, project beneficiaries, academia, local government and CSOs, etc.

Additionally, the TE team is expected to conduct field missions to 2 regions in Djibouti (Tadjourah, Arta), including the following project sites (Arta plage, La baie de Ghoubet El Kharab , Sagallou-Kalaf, Sable Blancs & Ras Ali ) :

List 1: Stakeholders to be consulted/interviewed:

  1. Directorate of Environment and Sustainable Development (DEDD) / MUET
  2. Directorate of Fisheries / Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Livestock and Marine Resources (MAWFLM
  3. Directorate of Maritime Affairs / Ministry of Equipment and Transport (MET)
  4. Ports Authority / MET
  5. National Scientific Research Institution: CERD / Ministry of Higher Education and Research
  6. National Coast Guard
  7. Prefecture councils of Arta, Tadjourah and
  8. National Union of Women of Djibouti
  9. Transport Management
  10. Djibouti Telecom
  11. Arta and Tadjourah Fishermen’s Association
  12. Djibouti-Nature Associatio

The specific design and methodology for the TE should emerge from consultations between the TE team and the above-mentioned parties regarding what is appropriate and feasible for meeting the TE purpose and objectives and answering the evaluation questions, given limitations of budget, time and data. The evaluation should employ a combination of qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods and instruments. The TE team must use gender-responsive methodologies and tools and ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as other cross-cutting issues and SDGs are incorporated into the TE report. This needs to be elaborated in the evaluation report, including how data-collection and analysis methods integrated gender considerations, use of disaggregated data and outreach to diverse stakeholder’s groups. All evaluation results should be based on evidence. The findings of the evaluation should lead to the elaboration of specific, practical, achievable recommendations that should be directed to the intended users.

Suggested methodological tools and approaches may include:

  • Document review. (see annex B Project Information Package to be reviewed by TE team)
  • Interviews and meetings with key stakeholders (men and women) such as key government counterparts, donor community members, representatives of key civil society organizations, United Nations country team (UNCT) members and implementing partners:
    • Semi-structured interviews, based on questions designed for different stakeholders based on evaluation questions around relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability.
    • Key informant and focus group discussions with men and women, beneficiaries and stakeholders.
    • All interviews with men and women should be undertaken in full confidence and anonymity. The final evaluation report should not assign specific comments to individuals.
  • Surveys and questionnaires including male and female participants in development programmes, UNCT members and/or surveys and questionnaires to other stakeholders at strategic and programmatic levels.
  • Field visits and on-site validation of key tangible outputs and interventions as mentioned above.
  • Other methods such as outcome mapping, observational visits, group discussions, etc.
  • Data review and analysis of monitoring; financial and funding data, and other data sources and methods. To ensure maximum validity, reliability of data (quality) and promote use, the evaluator will ensure triangulation of the various data sources.

The methodology should be robust and innovative[1] enough to ensure high quality, triangulation of data sources, and verifiability of information. The final methodological approach including interview schedule, field visits and data to be used in the evaluation must be clearly outlined in the TE Inception Report and be fully discussed and agreed between UNDP, stakeholders, and the TE team.

The final report must describe the full TE approach taken and the rationale for the approach making explicit the underlying assumptions, challenges, strengths and weaknesses about the methods and approach of the evaluation.


The TE will assess project performance throughout the project period (2018- 2023) against expectations set out in the project’s Logical Framework/Results Framework (see ToR Annex A). All project components and outputs should be included in the evaluation covering all project areas.

The evaluation project will be carried out over a period of 3 months from the date of contract signature. The scope of the evaluation should include assessment of the project’s key components, namely:

  • Component 1: Strengthening the effectiveness of Djibouti’s marine protected area (MPA) system through capacity building of all stakeholders, including dialogue for the integration of biodiversity in the maritime sectors.
  • Component 2: Expansion of the national MPA network and strengthening of MPA management at site level.
  • Component 3: Sustainable financing mechanism for marine biodiversity and the national system of protected areas.
  • Component 4: Gender mainstreaming, knowledge management and monitoring-evaluation.

The geographical coverage of the project will include Djibouti’s marine and coastal target areas indicated in the project document (Arta plage, La baie de Ghoubet El Kharab , Sagallou-Kalaf, Sable Blancs & Ras Ali ), including specific existing marine protected area sites. The target population will include local communities dependent on marine ecosystems, MPA managers, government authorities and relevant stakeholders listed below.

The evaluation will provide an understanding of the project’s effectiveness in achieving its objectives, identify successes and challenges encountered, and provide recommendations for improving the management of marine protected areas and the preservation of marine biodiversity in Djibouti.The TE will assess results according to the criteria outlined in the Guidance for TEs of UNDP-supported GEF-financed Projects.

The Findings section of the TE report will cover the topics listed below. A full outline of the TE report’s content is provided in ToR Annex C.

The asterisk “(*)” indicates criteria for which a rating is required.


  1. Project Design/Formulation
  • National priorities and country driven-ness
  • Theory of Change
  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Social and Environmental Standards (Safeguards)
  • Analysis of Results Framework: project logic and strategy, indicators
  • Assumptions and Risks
  • Lessons from other relevant projects (e.g. same focal area) incorporated into project design
  • Planned stakeholder participation.
  • Linkages between project and other interventions within the sector
  • Management arrangements
  1. Project Implementation
  • Adaptive management (changes to the project design and project outputs during implementation)
  • Actual stakeholder participation and partnership arrangements
  • Project Finance and Co-finance
  • Monitoring & Evaluation: design at entry (*), implementation (*), and overall assessment of M&E (*)
  • Implementing Agency (UNDP) (*) and Executing Agency (*), overall project oversight/implementation and execution (*)
  • Risk Management, including Social and Environmental Standards (Safeguards)
  1. Project Results
  • Assess the achievement of outcomes against indicators by reporting on the level of progress for each objective and outcome indicator at the time of the TE and noting final achievements
  • Relevance (*), Effectiveness (*), Efficiency (*) and overall project outcome (*)
  • Sustainability: financial (*) , socio-political (*), institutional framework and governance (*), environmental (*), overall likelihood of sustainability (*)
  • Country ownership
  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Cross-cutting issues (poverty alleviation, improved governance, climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster prevention and recovery, human rights, capacity development, South-South cooperation, knowledge management, volunteerism, etc., as relevant)
  • GEF Additionality
  • Catalytic Role / Replication Effect
  • Progress to impact

Main Findings, Conclusions, Recommendations and Lessons Learned

  • The TE team will include a summary of the main findings of the TE report. Findings should be presented as statements of fact that are based on analysis of the data.
  • The section on conclusions will be written in light of the findings. Conclusions should be comprehensive and balanced statements that are well substantiated by evidence and logically connected to the TE findings. They should highlight the strengths, weaknesses and results of the project, respond to key evaluation questions and provide insights into the identification of and/or solutions to important problems or issues pertinent to project beneficiaries, UNDP and the GEF, including issues in relation to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Recommendations should provide concrete, practical, feasible and targeted recommendations directed to the intended users of the evaluation about what actions to take and decisions to make. The recommendations should be specifically supported by the evidence and linked to the findings and conclusions around key questions addressed by the evaluation.
  • The TE report should also include lessons that can be taken from the evaluation, including best practices in addressing issues relating to relevance, performance and success that can provide knowledge gained from the particular circumstance (programmatic and evaluation methods used, partnerships, financial leveraging, etc.) that are applicable to other GEF and UNDP interventions. When possible, the TE team should include examples of good practices in project design and implementation.
  • It is important for the conclusions, recommendations and lessons learned of the TE report to incorporate gender equality and empowerment of women.

The TE report will include an Evaluation Ratings Table, as shown below:

ToR Table 2: Evaluation Ratings Table for Mitigating key sector pressures on marine and coastal biodiversity and further strengthening the national system of marine protected areas in Djibouti.

[1] [1] UNDP encourage evaluators to follow innovative evaluation approaches. Examples on Innovation in Evaluation Approaches can be found in the following links: 23059_AEA_Flyer_v02_MM_HQ (undp.org)

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Rating[1]
M&E design at entry
M&E Plan Implementation
Overall Quality of M&E
Implementation & Execution Rating
Quality of UNDP Implementation/Oversight
Quality of Implementing Partner Execution
Overall quality of Implementation/Execution
Assessment of Outcomes Rating
Overall Project Outcome Rating
Financial resources
Institutional framework and governance
Overall Likelihood of Sustainability


The total duration of the TE will be approximately 35 working days over a period of 3-month period beginning July 17, 2023. The tentative schedule for the TE is as follows:

Timeframe Activity
10 July 2023 (2 weeks) Application closes
17 July 2023 (1 weeks) Selection of TE team
31 July 2023 (2 weeks) Preparation period for TE team (handover of documentation)
10 August 2023. (5 days) Document review and preparation of TE Inception Report
15 August 2023, (5 days) Finalization and Validation of TE Inception Report; latest start of TE mission
05 September 2023 (1 weeks) TE mission: stakeholder meetings, interviews, field visits, etc.
10 September 2023 (1 day) Mission wrap-up meeting & presentation of initial findings; earliest end of TE mission
10 October (1 weeks) Preparation of draft TE report
15 October 2023, 2023 (1 weeks) Circulation of draft TE report for comments
25 October 2023, 2023 (3 days) Incorporation of comments on draft TE report into Audit Trail & finalization of TE report
30 October 2023, (1 day) Preparation and Issuance of Management Response
10 October 2023, (1 day) Concluding Stakeholder Workshop (optional)
30 October 2023 (3 days) Expected date of full TE completion

Options for site visits should be provided in the TE Inception Report.


# Deliverable Description Timing Responsibilities
1 TE Inception Report TE team clarifies objectives, methodology and timing of the TE 15 August 2023 TE team submits Inception Report to Commissioning Unit and project management
2 Presentation Initial Findings 10 September 2023 TE team presents to Commissioning Unit and project management
3 Draft TE Report Full draft report (using guidelines on report content in ToR Annex C) with annexes 10 October 2023 TE team submits to Commissioning Unit; reviewed by RTA, Project Coordinating Unit, GEF OFP
5 Final TE Report + Audit Trail Revised final report and TE Audit trail in which the TE details how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final TE report (See template in ToR Annex H) 30 October 2023 TE team submits both documents to the Commissioning Unit
6 Evaluation brief and knowledge product 4-pages knowledge product summarizing the findings and lessons learned

*All final TE reports will be quality assessed by the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). Details of the IEO’s quality assessment of decentralized evaluations can be found in Section 6 of the UNDP Evaluation Guidelines.[2]


The Commissioning Unit will contract the evaluators and ensure the timely provision of per diems and travel arrangements within the country for the TE team. The Project Team will be responsible for liaising with the TE team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits.

The consultants will report directly to the designated evaluation manager and focal point and work closely with the project team. Project staff will not participate in the meetings between consultants and evaluands. Limited administrative and logistical support will be provided. The consultant will use his own laptop and cell phone.

The evaluator is expected to follow a participatory and consultative approach that ensures close engagement with the evaluation managers, implementing partners and the project stakeholders. The evaluation manager will convene an evaluation reference group comprising of technical experts from UNDP, donors, GEF RTA and implementing partners. This reference group will review the inception report and the draft evaluation report and provide detailed comments related to the quality of methodology, evidence collected, analysis and reporting. The reference group will also advise on the conformity of processes to the GEF, UNDP and UNEG standards. Comments and changes by the evaluator in response to the draft report should be retained by the evaluator to show how they have addressed comments (audit trail). The ERG will also provide input to the development of the management responses and key actions recommended by the evaluation.

The final report will be approved by the evaluation commissioner.

[1] Outcomes, Effectiveness, Efficiency, M&E, Implementation/Oversight & Execution, Relevance are rated on a 6-point scale: 6=Highly Satisfactory (HS), 5=Satisfactory (S), 4=Moderately Satisfactory (MS), 3=Moderately Unsatisfactory (MU), 2=Unsatisfactory (U), 1=Highly Unsatisfactory (HU). Sustainability is rated on a 4-point scale: 4=Likely (L), 3=Moderately Likely (ML), 2=Moderately Unlikely (MU), 1=Unlikely (U)

[2] Access at: http://web.undp.org/evaluation/guideline/section-6.shtml



A team of two independent evaluators will conduct the TE.

The international consultant will be the team leader. He/she will be responsible for conducting stakeholder interviews, conducting field visits, and preparing and finalizing all initial and final evaluation reports in English. The international consultant is responsible for the timely delivery of all reports and will ensure the quality of the report in accordance with GEF and UNDP evaluation guidelines.

The CO office will assist in identifying stakeholders and organizing bilateral and group consultations with stakeholders.

The international should not have been involved in the preparation, formulation, and/or implementation of the project (including the drafting of the project document) and should not have any conflict of interest with the project activities. The selection of evaluators will aim to maximize the overall qualities of the “team” in the following area:


  • Master’s degree or Phd in Natural Resources Management, Conservation or Marine Protected Areas Management, Fisheries, Coastal Zone Management, Environmental Sciences, or related fields of expertise


  • Relevant experience with results-based management evaluation methodologies.
  • Experience applying SMART indicators and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios.
  • Competence in adaptive management, as applied to Climate Change, and Biodiversity.
  • Experience in evaluating GEF projects.
  • Experience working in east Africa.
  • Experience in relevant technical areas for at least 7 years.
  • Demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender and environment, experience in gender responsive evaluation and analysis.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Demonstrable analytical skills.
  • Project evaluation/review experience within United Nations system will be considered an asset.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Proficiency in French French with good report-writing skills is essential. Samples of previously written work should be submitted with the application.

Required Skills and Experience
Required Competencies

  • Demonstrates commitment to the UN values and ethical standards.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Treats all people fairly and with impartiality.
  • Good communication, presentation and report writing skills,
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Experience managing research and evaluation teams.

Client-oriented and open to feedback


The TE team will be held to the highest ethical standards and is required to sign a code of conduct upon acceptance of the assignment. This evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. The evaluator must safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, interviewees, and stakeholders through measures to ensure compliance with legal and other relevant codes governing collection of data and reporting on data. The evaluator must also ensure security of collected information before and after the evaluation and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of sources of information where that is expected. The information knowledge and data gathered in the evaluation process must also be solely used for the evaluation and not for other uses without the express authorization of UNDP and partners.

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