Request for Proposals


Rainforest Alliance is seeking a consultant to submit proposals for mid-term of the project "Promoting the effective management of Salonga National Park by creating community forest and improving the well-being of local communities " United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-Global Environment Faculty (GEF).


Summary Information

  • Department: Programs -Africa

  • Location(s): Kinshasa and Monkoto, Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Commitment: 25 days

  • Desired start date and duration: October 25, 2023

  • Under direction of: RA Country Director in DRC in collaboration with UNEP Task Manager


Consultancy Summary

About the Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance, a New York-based 501(c)3, and UTZ, an Amsterdam-based foundation, merged in 2018. Together, the new Rainforest Alliance is now a $70 million per year organization with offices in 17 countries (and growing) and over 700 staff. The merged organization has two main offices—one in Amsterdam and one in New York City.


The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities.


We work towards making responsible business the new normal through our certification program, tailored supply chain services, landscape and community work and advocacy.


Section 1: Background and project overview 

1) General information about the project 

Table 1: Project identification

2) Project/program rationale


The rationale of the project is that there is major potential to limit wildlife depletion and the destruction of fragile habitats in the Salonga National Park by enabling local communities to participate in the management of the Park’s resources. Communities themselves represent one of the main threats to biodiversity if left without a way to generate decent livelihoods. There are a number of clearly identifiable barriers to achieving this, which are within the capacity of the project to address, namely i) the lack of formalized customary land tenure systems that gives credibility to the land use planning process; ii) long-standing conflicts over land use with Park authorities and as such, the lack of a basis for collaboration, and iii) the local communities’ lack of capacity and market access to successfully engage in sustainable livelihood alternatives.

The project will focus on laying the foundations for community-based natural resource management. Given the poor track record of law enforcement in the sector, as well as the prevailing dependence of local populations on natural resources, community participation in the regulation of access to land and resource use is more a necessity than an alternative. The project will directly contribute to the priorities expressed in the Salonga Land Use and Management Plan, and in particular its Program #6 on Governance, Participation, Access and Benefit Sharing. It is also highly compatible with needs expressed by local communities, indigenous peoples, women and producers consulted in the Corridor during Baseline studies and the validation workshop (see also Section 5 on Stakeholder Participation) who wish to have a better control over their forests’ resources enabled by the community forestry model.


The project will contribute to the generation of major global environmental benefits through the reduction of loss of biodiversity. Specifically, it will help to protect fragile species, preserve characteristic habitats and foster the territorial integrity of Africa’s largest protected area of dense rainforest. The project will in addition generate important social and economic benefits by supporting sustainable, intensified and value adding practices by local communities.


The project will contribute to the Aichi Targets 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 12, 18 and will further directly contribute to the implementation of five out of nine operational programs of the Salonga Management Plan, the overall objective of which is to increase the Park’s management effectiveness.


3) Project/program objectives and components


Objective: To protect Salonga National Park’s biodiversity by reducing pressures on the Park’s wildlife, forests and habitats.   The specific objective is that “Community-based management of forests and the promotion of sustainable development alternatives support and enhance biodiversity conservation, and strengthen livelihoods in the Monkoto Corridor and Salonga National Park”.


Component 1: Laying the foundations for community-based natural resource management (CBNRM).


Outcome 1: Community-based natural resource management is implemented in the Monkoto Corridor on a total area of 180,000 ha, including 90,000 ha of community forests and 90,000 ha of land under WWF-supported management plans.


Output 1.1: Forest-dependent communities on an area of 75,000 ha with at least 30% of women participating in decision-making community assemblies in the Monkoto Corridor submit legal requests for attribution of a forest concession to the local forest administration.


Output 1.2: Forest concessions of local communities on an area of 90,000 ha in the Monkoto Corridor establish governance bodies with at least 30% women and are involved in decisions related to Park management.


Output 1.3: Forest concessions of local communities on an area of 90,000 ha in the Monkoto Corridor draft Simple Management Plans in collaboration with the local administration with a participation rate of at least 30% women.


Output 1.4.a: Governance bodies in forest concessions of local communities on an area of 90,000 ha (i) monitor the use of natural resources in collaboration with the local administration and (ii) manage and operate forest concessions.


Output 1.4.b: Local Development and Conservation Committees in communities on an area of 90,000 ha implement WWF-supported natural resource management plans.


Output 1.5: Community leaders and educators, composed of at least 30% women, in forest-dependent communities on 180,000 ha deliver gender-sensitive awareness building modules on the importance of wildlife and fish protection, habitat and forest conservation, and the risks of poaching and bushmeat consumption.


Output 1.6: A community intelligence network with participating communities on 180,000 ha report on poaching activity in the Monkoto Corridor.


Output 1.7: A monitoring network, with at least 30% women, monitor elephant movements and at least two elephant baths in the Monkoto Corridor.


Output 1.8: Knowledge management system in place, and key project learning and communication products on operationalizing community-based management of protected areas are synthesized and disseminated within and beyond the GEF partnership.


Component 2: Developing sustainable livelihood alternatives that reduce pressures on wildlife and forests in the Monkoto corridor and in Salonga National Park


Outcome 2: Sustainable livelihood alternatives implemented by project-supported local communities and indigenous people improve income of 1,500 households and reduce pressure on wildlife and forests in the   Monkoto Corridor and in Salonga National Park


Output 2.1: Project partner AASD and 10 local NGOs/CBOs in the Monkoto Corridor, of which at least 50% women’s associations, improve their ability to support communities in natural resource management and in developing alternative income-generating activities.


Output 2.2: 20 producer groups of varying degrees of formality with at least 50% of members that are women efficiently deliver services to their members and aggregate products for sale.


Output 2.3: 1,000 farmers in project-supported communities, of which at least 50% are women, implement sustainable and productivity-enhancing agricultural practices.


Output 2.4: 300 producers in forest communities, of which at last 50% are women, sustainably harvest and process honey and edible caterpillars.


Output 2.5: 20 micro-enterprises, of which 10 women’s enterprises, set up as alternatives to commercial hunting and fishing run profitable enterprises with robust business management systems.


Output 2.6: Project-supported forest-dependent communities are organized and trained to conduct maintenance on 180km of secondary agricultural roads connected to rural roads of provincial interest or waterways.


Component 3: Monitoring and evaluation


Outcome links to Project Management


Output 3.1.1: A multi-stakeholder Project Steering Committee (PSC) established and provides general oversight of the execution of the project and ensure that results are being achieved.


Output 3.1.2: A monitoring evaluation reporting and learning system designed and implemented.


Output 3.1.3: Stakeholders informed on project's achievements and learnings.


Output 3.1.4: On-time reporting of the project's progress.

4) Implementation modalities


The UN Environment/Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (Ecosystem) is the GEF Implementing Agency (IA) for this project. In this role, it will provide project oversight to ensure that GEF policies and criteria are adhered to and that the project meets its objectives and achieves expected outcomes in an efficient and effective manner. It will also, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of DRC and other key project partners, engage in promoting the project with a view to mobilizing resources and partnerships.


Project supervision will be entrusted to the UN-Environment/ Ecosystem Director, who will discharge this responsibility through the assigned Task Manager who represents the UN Environment/ Ecosystem Director on the Project Steering Committee. Project supervision missions by the Task Manager shall constitute part of the project supervision plan. UN-Environment/ Ecosystem will perform the liaison function between UN-Environment and the GEF Secretariat and report on the progress against milestones outlined in the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) approval letter to the GEF Secretariat. UN-Environment will inform the GEF Secretariat whenever there is a potentially substantive co-financing change (i.e. one affecting the project objectives, the underlying concept, scale, scope, strategic priority, conformity with GEF criteria, likelihood of project success, or outcome of the project). It will rate, on an annual basis, progress in meeting project objectives, project implementation progress, risk, and quality of project monitoring and evaluation, and report to the GEF Secretariat through the Project Implementation Review (PIR) report prepared by the Executing Agency (EA) and ensure that the Evaluation Office of UN Environment arranges for an independent terminal evaluation and submits its report to the GEF Evaluation Office.


The Project Executing Agency (EA) is the Sustainable Development Department (DDD) within the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD). The EA will be the institutional anchor responsible for overall policy direction, facilitated by the Project Director, a staff member of DDD. The Project Director guides project execution in accordance with Annual Work Plans and Budgets approved by the Project Steering Committee. S/he provides institutional support to project implementation, in particular regarding governmental policies and priorities. The Project Director will be appointed by MEDD among its staff. The EA will delegate project management and field implementation activities to the executing partners, Rainforest Alliance (RA) and Action d'Aide Sanitaire et de Développement aux plus Démunis (AASD), who will manage the Project Management Unit. Project executing partner Rainforest Alliance will report to MEDD and have a subgrant agreement with AASD.


A multi-stakeholder Project Steering Committee (PSC) will be established under the co-chair of MEDD and UN Environment. The PSC will have supervisory responsibility over the PMU and will take co-responsibility of the project, in accordance with the expected objectives, outcomes, outputs and budget. PSC members will include MEDD and UN Environment as co-chairs as well as representatives from ICCN, the Salonga National Park Management Unit, RA and AASD (who are not part of the PMU). Local communities and civil society will further be represented by one customary chief, one indigenous people representative, one representative of women’s organizations, and one member from each of the two civil society networks in Monkoto. PSC terms of reference and the selection of PSC members will be finalized upon project start.


Co-finance partners will be invited to have an observer role in the PSC. The PSC will provide general oversight of project execution and ensure that results are being achieved. Specifically, the PSC will:

  1. Ensure that all project activities and outputs are in line with the results framework;

  2. Review, amend (if appropriate) and endorse all annual work plans and budgets of the project;

  3. Review project progress and achievement of planned results as presented in Project Progress Re-ports and Financial Reports;

  4. Provide inputs to the mid-term review and final evaluation, review findings and provide comments;

  5. Advise on issues and problems arising from project implementation, submitted for consideration by the Project Management Unit or other stakeholders;

  6. Facilitate dissemination and integration of project outcomes into national policies and programs as appropriate; and

  7. Facilitate collaboration amongst stakeholders and ensure the timely availability of co-financing sources.

5) Project cost and funding


The main lines of the budget by year/result and by group of budget lines. expenditure percentages are summarises in the table below. (Amounts in USD)

6) Implementation challenges

  • The technical insufficiency and the instability of decentralized authorities that force us to multiply or repeat the same efforts.

  • Discrimination against minorities (indigenous peoples) and vulnerable groups (women). This makes it difficult to bring people together for joint action.

  • The area's isolation makes it difficult to move staff, people and goods, especially in the rainy season, and requires more resources.

  • The political adversity of certain elites divides the population, and delays or prevents certain activities from being carried out.

  • The health situation, including compliance with government barrier measures (e.g. reduced movement of people, no meetings of more than 20 people) due to COVID-19, delayed the implementation of certain activities. Their implementation also required more resources.

  • Ongoing upgrading of the partner's staff and management system.

  • The expected complementarity of other projects that were completed before the start of the project or started years later. 

Section 2: Objectives and scope of the review

7) Key principles of the review 

The project document calls for an independent mid-term evaluation to be conducted during the lifetime of the project and for UNEP to organize the evaluations. UNEP, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and Rainforest Alliance have agreed to conduct the mid-term evaluation in the second half of year 3 of the project.


The purpose of this mid-term evaluation is to determine the level of progress made toward achieving the project's objectives. The review will assess project performance and the implementation of planned outputs and activities against actual results. Risks to the achievement of project outcomes and objectives will also be assessed. The purpose of the evaluation is to identify corrective actions, and to make relevant recommendations for any changes in the project design and overall direction that may be necessary.

The objectives of the evaluation will include:

  • Assess of the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and coherence of the project and progress towards its stated objectives and intended impacts;

  • analyze the effectiveness of the implementation of partnership agreements and subcontracting of activities by consultant;

  • identify problems requiring decisions and remedial actions.;

  • identify lessons learned from project development, implementation, and management;

  • propose mid-course corrections and/or adjustments to the project design, particularly to inform the second half of the five years project, as well as potential future interventions.

8) Aim of the review


The project review will be conducted according to internationally applied evaluation criteria of relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness, although it is recognized that impact and sustainability will be more difficult to capture at this early stage of implementation.

The objective of the review is also to provide DRC (MEDD) and the technical and financial partners, with institutional, legal, and technical basis for efficient project implementation, based on lessons learned and best practices internationally for the sustainable management of natural resources and the protection of biodiversity.


8.1.  Assessment of Project Relevance

  • In relation to the national priorities defined by the DRC in its environmental and resources management policies.

  • In relation to national development priorities.

  • In relation to GEF focal areas, operational programmes and strategic priorities as identified in the project document.

  • In relation to the UNEP programme of work.


8.2.  Assessment of the quality, clarity, and suitability of the project design


  • Clarity and logical coherence between inputs, activities, outputs and expected effects to achieve the project's environmental and development objectives.

  • Relevance and adequacy of indicators and means of verification.

  • Validity of assumptions and risks.

  • Adequacy of the implementation schedule, including delays in project preparation.

  • Adequacy of resources of all parties and appropriateness of budget allocations to achieve desired results.

The following questions were identified to guide the evaluation:

  • The process of identifying and preparing the project took place over a long period of time. Could the Mission identify any issues that have delayed the process? Do you have any suggestions on how to further streamline the process?

  • Was the expected level of co-financing and the ratio of GEF budget to co-financing budget realistic?

  • Has the GEF budget been properly allocated among the different components and activities of the project in order to achieve the expected results?

  • How realistic were the overall contributions expected from the DRC government to the project, not only in terms of financial resources but also in terms of providing qualified and motivated staff?

  • Quality and realism in the identification of actors and beneficiaries, including the decision to select for field activities; and

  • The quality and realism of external institutional relations, as well as in the institutional structure and management modalities for the implementation of the project.


The institutional structure of the project is a major aspect to be examined in depth by the assessment mission. The mission will assess the extent to which the management arrangements described in the project document were realistic, and whether they were carefully followed, and/or whether project management was able to adapt to changes during the course of the project. The mission will assess the effectiveness, efficiency and adaptability of the project management and the supervision of the activities and modalities of project implementation at all levels: (1) political decisions of the Project Steering Committee; (2) GEF guidance through UNEP; and (3) the day-to-day management of the project by Rainforest Alliance (RA) in collaboration with AASD and MEDD


The mission will compare the roles and responsibilities of the different institutions involved and the ambitions expressed in the project document and the reality on the ground.


Role and responsibilities of the Project Steering Committee: Was its composition adequate to provide effective and efficient guidance for the implementation of the project? Why hasn't it been implemented yet? Have the stopgap measures such as the planned Scientific and Technical Committee, had a positive impact on the smooth running of the project?


Review of the Program and project structure to make it simpler and more effective. This structure is in charge of the coordination, monitoring and evaluation, and implementation of the project.


Role and responsibilities of UNEP/Ecosystem Division as implementing agency: Have UNEP staff provided adequate oversight and supervision, including project supervision missions, in the field? Did UNEP staff provide quality advisory support to the project, approve changes (e.g. budget revisions) on time, and readjust the project when necessary? Have UNEP staff been actively involved in mobilizing co-financing resources?


Review of the Program and project structure to make it simpler and more effective. This structure is in charge of the coordination, monitoring and evaluation, and implementation of the project.

Role and responsibilities of UNEP/Ecosystem Division as implementing agency: Have UNEP staff provided adequate oversight and supervision, including project supervision missions, in the field? Did UNEP staff provide quality advisory support to the project, approve changes (e.g. budget revisions) on time, and readjust the project when necessary? Have UNEP staff been actively involved in mobilizing co-financing resources? Did UNEP staff ensure the real-time transfer of funds to the Rainforest Alliance assisted in reporting, including timely PIRs to the project when necessary?



8.3.  Management of financial resources, including:


  1. Co-financing: What efforts have been made by whom to actually mobilise the announced co-financing? What measures have been taken to remedy the situation? Has a contingency plan been developed? 

  2. Adequacy of budget allocations to deliver outputs: Have significant transfers of funds been made between budget lines being implemented? Have budget revisions been consistent and streamlined to meet project implementation needs and objectives? and

  3. Implementation rate and budgetary balance at the time of evaluation.


8.4.  Effectiveness of project management and implementation, including:


  1. The quality and realism of the work plans, during these first three years of implementation to date.

  2. Efficiency and effectiveness of operations management.

  3. How did the financial and technical management of the project from UNEP/Ecosystem Division headquarters affect its implementation? What was the response time to requests received from the field, as well as the follow-up? How is the flow of information and decision-making organized between UNEP and RA Project Management Unit (PMU) staff? How are funds transferred to the RA?

  4. Effectiveness in achieving outputs, including assessment of discrepancies and delays between planned and achieved outputs, causes and consequences of delays, and appropriateness of any corrective actions taken. To what extent is the project successful in achieving desired outcomes?

The evaluation mission will take stock of the results achieved to date, including a comprehensive and systematic assessment of the project's performance in terms of the achievement of the outputs planned to date, in relation to the work plan, in terms of quantity and quality, but also in terms of usefulness and timeliness. In particular, the mission will examine the status and quality of work on:


Logical framework of the Salonga project


  1. Effectiveness of internal monitoring and evaluation processes

    The evaluation will determine whether the project has met the minimum requirements for the design of the project (M&E) system and M&E plan, including the review of baseline data, indicators and means of verification. The following questions provide guidance in this regard: Does the project have a robust M&E plan to track results and progress towards project objectives? Have regular reports have been produced and used to feed into the Project Implementation Report? Is the information provided by the M&E system used by project management to improve project performance and adapt to changing needs? Is the budget allocation for M&E sufficient? Has training on M&E activities taken place?

  2. Efficiency and effectiveness of coordination and steering bodies including the Project Steering Committee

  3. Quality and quantity of administrative and technical support provided by Salonga Project Partners.

    The evaluation mission will determine the composition of the project technical working group and the frequency and relevance of the working group meetings. It will also assess the readiness of the members of the working group to respond to requests for specific assistance as well as the quality of the technical services provided, including support missions, review and approval of documents, ToRs, etc.

  4. Respect for the deadlines, quality and quantity of contributions and support from partners and the DRC government through the MEDD.

    The evaluation mission will estimate the actual contributions of the project partners in terms of staff time, as well as in-kind and cash contributions, and compare with expected contributions. If there is a discrepancy between the expected level of co-financing and the actual co-financing, what are the reasons? Does the importance of the co-financing have an impact on the results and/or sustainability of the project and, if so, how and what are the causal links?

    It will also assess the actual contributions of the DRC, compare it with the planned co-financing and analyze the consequences of non-implementation of co-financing during the implementation of the project.

8.5.  Evaluation of gender issues, participation and empowerment and equity, including


  • Analysis of the integration of gender issues in the objectives and design of the project during the identification of beneficiaries and the implementation of the project.

  • Analysis of possible influences of the project on gender relations.

  • The degree of consideration of gender issues by the project managers in addressing specifically the following questions:

  1. To what extent has the project empowered communities to take part in the decision making and policy processes?

  2. What are the impacts of the project, positive or negative, on women and gender equality? What are the lessons learned?


8.6.   Evaluation of the sustainability of effects and products


Sustainability refers to the likelihood of having ongoing long-term project-derived effects and impacts after the end of GEF project funding. The assessment will identify and assess key conditions or factors that may facilitate or hinder the progress of the project towards achieving its objectives. At mid-term, it is particularly important to identify possible obstacles to the sustainability of the project's expected outcomes and outputs. Some of these factors could be effects of the project, such as institutional capacity building or more informed decision-making. Other factors will include contextual conditions or developments that are not effects of the project but relevant to the sustainability of its effects and products.


Four aspects of sustainability need to be examined:


  1. Financial sustainability: to what extent do the effects and outputs of the project depend on ongoing financial support? What is the likelihood that the DRC will provide the necessary financial resources to sustain the effects and outputs of the project once GEF assistance ends?

  2. Institutional framework and governance: To what extent are the effects and outputs of the project dependent on their uptake and institutional integration beyond the direct beneficiaries of the project? What is the likelihood that government institutions, legal frameworks, policies and structures will enable the sustainability of project effects and outputs?

  3. Technical and economic sustainability: to what extent do the effects and outputs of the project depend on the technical capacity and economic situation of the beneficiaries in adopting the proposed technologies? What is the likelihood that technologies will be replicated on a larger scale in the region?

  4. Socio-political sustainability: to what extent do the effects and outputs of the project depend on socio-political factors? What is the probability that the level of ownership of stakeholders will allow the maintenance of project effects and products? Have the public and stakeholders provided sufficient information to support the long-term objectives of the project? 

The evaluation will assess the status of the project against internationally accepted criteria for assessing relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness, although it is recognized that impact and sustainability will be more difficult to measure at this early stage of implementation.


9) Key strategic issues


In addition to the evaluation criteria set out in section 10 below, the review will provide answers to the policy questions listed below. These are issues of interest to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to which the project could make a significant contribution:

  • To what extent does the project follow a sound theory of change with appropriately formulated products, direct effects, intermediate states, and long-term outcomes? What revisions are needed to ensure that the intervention can be effectively evaluated at the end of its cycle? This will include assessing whether performance indicators are verifiable and appropriate to record progress towards development goals.

  • To what extent is the steering component integrated into a process for documenting a "model" that can be replicated and scaled?

  • Attention should be paid to the lessons that can be drawn from the following issues in the effectiveness evaluation:

  • To what extent has the project made the Fund operational (i.e. development of action plan regulations, operations manual, accounting and contracting rules; and appointment of board members)?

  • To what extent has the project developed an operational national strategy and action plan to ensure appropriate access to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization in the DRC, by establishing a legal and regulatory framework and the system for granting access to genetic resources?

  • To what extent has the project established a national ABS system clearly defining the well-defined roles and responsibilities for each actor?

  • To what extent has the project enabled the valorization of medicinal, cosmetic and nutraceutical value-added plants in the DRC? 

  • Progress towards the achievement of the medium-term objectives of the project results framework and GEF monitoring tools, UNEP.

10) Evaluation criteria


All evaluation criteria will be scored on a six-point scale. Sections A to I below specify the scope of the criteria and a link to a table to record ratings is provided in Annex 1). A weighting table will be proposed in Excel format (link available in Appendix 1) to facilitate the determination of the overall score of the project. The evaluation criteria are grouped into nine categories: (A) strategic relevance; (B) quality of project design; (C) nature of the external context; (D) effectiveness, which includes assessments of the achievement of outputs, achievement of effects and likelihood of impact; (E) financial management; (F) efficiency; (G) monitoring and reporting; (H) sustainability; and (I) factors affecting project performance. Reviewers may propose alternative evaluation criteria if deemed appropriate.


A.    Strategic relevance


The review will assess, in line with the relevance as defined by the OECD/DAC: "the adaptation of the activity to the priorities and policies of the target group, the recipient and the donor". The review will include an assessment of the project's relevance to UNEP's mandate and its alignment with UNEP policies and strategies at the time of project approval. As part of the strategic relevance, an assessment of the complementarity of the project with other interventions addressing the needs of the same target groups will be carried out. This criterion consists of four elements:


  1. Alignment with UNEP's Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) and Programme of Work (P)[1]

The review should determine the alignment of the project with the MTS TDP under which the project was approved and consider a reflection on the extent and scope of the contributions made to the expected results recorded in the relevant MTS and TDP.


  1. Alignment with UNEP on /GEF/donor strategic priorities

The strategic priorities of the donor, including the GEF, will vary from intervention to intervention. UNEP’s strategic priorities include the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building (PSB) and South-South Cooperation (C-SS). The PSB refers to the ability of governments to: comply with international agreements and obligations at the national level; promoting, facilitating and financing environmentally sound technologies and strengthening frameworks for coherent international environmental policy-making. C-SS is considered the exchange of resources, technology and knowledge among developing countries. GEF priorities are specified in the programming priorities and strategies of the published focal areas.[2]


  1. Relevance to regional, subregional and national environmental priorities

The review will assess the extent to which the intervention is appropriate or responds to the expressed environmental concerns and needs of the countries, subregions or regions where it is implemented. Examples include national or subnational development plans, poverty reduction strategies, nationally tailored mitigation plans (NAMAs) or regional agreements, etc.


  1. Complementarity with existing interventions

An evaluation will be conducted on whether the project has taken into account ongoing and planned initiatives (under the same subprogramme, other subprogrammes of UNEP or implemented by other agencies) at the design stage or during advocacy and that address similar needs of the same target groups. The review will determine whether the project team, in collaboration with the regional bureaux and subprogramme coordinators, ensured complementarity of its own intervention with other interventions, maximized synergies and avoided duplication. Linkages with other interventions need to be clarified and cases where the comparative advantage of UNEP has been particularly well applied highlighted.


Factors affecting this criterion include: stakeholder participation and cooperation; consideration of human rights and gender equity, as well as country ownership and motivation.


B.     Quality of project design


The quality of the project design is assessed using an agreed template during the start-up phase of the review. Scores are assigned to the defined criteria and an overall score of the quality of the project design is established. This overall rating of the quality of the project design is entered in the scoring table of the final review under heading B. The strengths and weaknesses of the project at the design stage are summarized in the main report of the review.


Factors affecting this criterion include (at the design stage): stakeholder participation and cooperation and sensitivity to human rights and gender equality, including the appropriate level of budgeting of relevant actions.


C.  Nature of the external context


At the start stage of the review, a rating is established for the external working context of the project (taking into account the prevalence of conflicts, natural disasters and political upheavals). This note is entered in the table of notes of the final review under heading C. When a project is recognized as facing an unfavorable or very unfavorable and unexpected external work environment, the overall efficiency rating may be revised upwards at the discretion of the consultant under review in consultation with the Task Manager and this increase is accompanied by a justification.


D.  Effectiveness


The review will determine effectiveness across three dimensions: output achievement, direct impact achievement and likelihood of impact.

  1. Realization of products

The review will determine the project's ability to generate the programmed outputs (products and services delivered by the project itself) and achieve the key milestones defined in the project design document (Prodoc). Any formal changes/revisions made during the implementation of the project will be considered part of the project design. Where project products are presented inappropriately or inaccurately in the Prodoc, a table showing the original wording and the amended version should be provided for transparency. The achievement of the products will be evaluated in quantitative and qualitative terms, and the evaluation will examine their usefulness and delivery times. The review will provide a brief explanation of the reasons for the success or weaknesses of the project in achieving the programmed outputs and meeting the expected quality standards.


Factors affecting this criterion include preparation and availability, and quality of project management and supervision.[3]


  1. Realization of direct effects

The achievement of direct effects is evaluated in terms of performance in relation to direct effects as defined in the reconstructed theory of change. These are the first level effects that are expected to be achieved as immediate outcomes of the project outputs. As in point 1 above, a table may be used if substantive changes to the formulation of direct effects are necessary. The review should provide evidence attributing direct effects to UNEP's intervention. In the case of normative activities or where several actors collaborate to achieve common results, evidence of the nature and extent of UNEP's contribution should be provided.[4]

Factors affecting this criterion include the quality of project management and supervision; stakeholder participation and cooperation; human rights and gender sensitivity, communication and public awareness.


  1. Probability of impact

Based on the formulation of long-term effects in the theory of change (ToC) (i.e. starting from direct effects, via intermediate states to impact), the review will assess the likelihood that the desired positive impacts will become a reality. Project objectives should be integrated into the ToC, possibly as intermediate states or long-term impacts. The Evaluation Office's approach to the use of CTT in project evaluations is described in a guidance note available on the EOU website ( and accompanied by an Excel flowchart called Impact Likelihood Assessment (see Appendix 1). The approach essentially follows a "probability tree", from direct effects to impacts, taking into account that the assumptions and factors identified in the reconstructed TDC are well established. Any unintended positive effects must also be identified and their causal link to the intended impact specified.


The review will also examine the likelihood that the intervention may lead to or contribute to unintended negative effects. Some of these potential adverse effects may have been identified in the project design as risks or as part of the analysis of environmental, social and economic protections.[5]


The review will determine the extent to which the project has acted as a catalyst or fostered scale-up and/or replication as part of its theory of change and as a factor that may contribute to long-term impact.  The ultimate goal of UNEP and all its partners is to generate benefits for the environment and human well-being. Few projects are likely to have impact statements that reflect such long-term or large-scale changes. However, the review will determine the likelihood that the project will make a significant contribution to high-level changes such as UNEP's expected accomplishments, the Sustainable Development Goals and/or high-level outcomes prioritized by the funding partner.[6][7]


Factors affecting this criterion include the quality of project management and supervision, including adaptive project management, stakeholder participation and cooperation; sensitivity to human rights and gender equality; country ownership and motivation, communication and public awareness.


E.   Financial Management


Financial management will be assessed under three main themes: completeness of financial information, communication between financial management and project management staff, and compliance with applicable United Nations financial management standards and procedures. The review will establish actual expenditures throughout the project on funds leveraged from all donors.

These expenditures will be recorded, where possible, at the output level and will be compared to the approved budget. The review will determine the level of communication between the Task Manager and the Financial Manager regarding the effective delivery of the planned project and the need for an adapted and flexible management approach. The review will verify the application of appropriate financial management standards and compliance with UNEP's financial management policies. Any financial management issues that affected the timely completion of the project or the quality of its performance will be highlighted.


Factors affecting this criterion include the preparation and quality of project management and supervision.


F.    Efficiency


In accordance with the OECD/DAC definition of efficiency, the review will assess cost-effectiveness and timeliness in project implementation. Cost-effectiveness focuses on translating inputs into outputs and is the extent to which an intervention has achieved, or is expected to achieve, its outcomes at the lowest possible cost. Turnaround times refer to whether or not planned activities are completed within the planned timeframes, as well as whether or not events are effectively sequenced. The review will also determine to what extent an extension of the project could have been avoided through enhanced project management and identify any negative impacts caused by project delays or extensions. The evaluation will identify any cost or time reduction measures put in place to maximize results within the guaranteed budget and agreed project schedule. The review will also determine whether the project was implemented in the most efficient manner compared to other interventions or approaches.

The review will pay particular attention to the efforts of project teams to leverage pre-existing institutions, agreements and partnerships, data sources, synergies and complementarities with other initiatives, programmes and projects, etc., in order to increase the efficiency of the project. The review will also assess the extent to which the management of the project has minimized UNEP's environmental footprint.


Factors affecting this criterion include preparation and availability (e.g. timeliness); quality of project management and supervision; and stakeholder participation and cooperation.


G.  Monitoring and reporting


The review will analyze monitoring and reporting in three subcategories: monitoring design and budgeting, implementation monitoring and project reporting.


  1. Follow-up design and budgeting

Each project must be supported by a robust monitoring plan designed to track progress against SMART indicators towards the achievement of project outputs and direct impacts, including at the gender level or low-represented groups. The review will analyze the quality of the design of the monitoring plan as well as the funds allocated for its implementation. The adequacy of resources for the mid-term and final evaluation/review should be examined, where appropriate.[8]


  1. Monitoring implementation

The review will determine whether the monitoring system was operational and facilitated the timely monitoring of results and progress against project objectives throughout the project implementation period. It will also determine how the information generated by the monitoring system during project implementation was used to adapt and improve project execution, achieve impact and ensure sustainability. The review should confirm that monitoring funds have been used to fund this activity.


  1. Project Reports

UNEP has a centralized Project Information Management System (PIMS) in which project managers upload semi-annual progress reports based on agreed project milestones. The Task Manager will provide this information to the consultant(s). GEF-funded projects have additional requirements for verification of documentation and reporting (i.e. project implementation reviews, tracking tool, and Director General approval template), which will be made available by the Task Manager. The review will assess the extent to which UNEP and donor reporting commitments have been met.[9]


Factors affecting this criterion include: quality of project management and supervision and sensitivity to human rights and gender equity (e.g. sex-disaggregated data and indicators).


H.   Sustainability


Sustainability refers to the likelihood that direct effects will be maintained and improved after the closure of the intervention. The review will identify and determine key conditions or factors that may compromise or contribute to the continuity of the direct effects achieved. Some sustainability factors may be incorporated into project design and implementation approaches, while others may be contextual circumstances or conditions that evolve over the life of the intervention. Where appropriate, an assessment of biophysical factors that may influence the sustainability of direct effects could also be included. The review will ensure that the project has an appropriate exit strategy in place and measures to mitigate sustainability risks.


  1. Socio-political sustainability

The review will determine the extent to which social or political factors favor the continuation and subsequent improvement of the direct effects of the project. It will take into account the level of ownership, interest and commitment of government and other stakeholders to advance the project's achievements. In particular, the review will assess whether individual capacity development efforts are likely to be sustained.


  1. Financial sustainability

Some direct effects, once achieved, do not require additional financial inputs; the adoption of a revised policy, for example. However, in order to take advantage of this effect, additional management measures may still be necessary, such as undertaking actions for the implementation of the policy. Other direct outcomes may depend on a continuous flow of actions that must be resourced to be sustained, such as the pursuit of a new approach to resource management. The evaluation will assess the extent to which project results depend on future funding to ensure that the benefits they generate are sustainable. Guaranteed future financing is only about financial viability when the direct effects of a project have been extended to a later phase of the project. It remains to be seen whether the future effects of the project will be financially viable.


  1. Institutional sustainability

The review will determine the extent to which the sustainability of the project's effects depends on issues related to institutional frameworks and governance. It will also assess whether institutional achievements such as governance structures and processes, policies, sub-regional agreements, legal and accountability frameworks, etc. are robust enough to continue to deliver the benefits associated with the effects of the project after its closure.


Factors affecting this criterion include: stakeholder participation and cooperation; sensitivity to human rights and gender equity (e.g. where interventions are not inclusive, their sustainability may be compromised); communication and public awareness; ownership and motivation of the country.


I.     Factors and processes affecting project performance


These factors are noted in the scoring table, but are discussed as cross-cutting themes depending on the circumstances, relative to the other evaluation criteria above.

                i.         Preparation and availability

This criterion concerns the start-up or mobilization stage of the project. The review will determine whether appropriate action has been taken to address weaknesses in the project design or changes that occurred between project approval, funding and project engagement. In particular, it will examine the nature and quality of the project team's engagement with stakeholder groups, confirmation of partners' capacities and the development of partnership agreements, as well as initial staffing and funding arrangements (project preparation is taken into account in the project design quality assessment model).

               ii.         Quality of project implementation and execution

For GEF-funded projects, this factor refers to the performance of the executing agency, technical support and oversight provided by UNEP, as the implementing agency.

The review will assess the effectiveness of project management with respect to: leadership in achieving intended outcomes; management of team structures; maintaining productive partnership relationships (including steering groups, etc.); communication and collaboration with UNEP colleagues; risk management; the use of problem solving; the adaptation of the project and the overall execution of the project. Evidence of adaptive project management should be highlighted.


              iii.         Stakeholder participation and cooperation

Here, the term "stakeholder" should be considered in a broad sense, encompassing all project partners, duty holders involved in the delivery of project outputs, target users of project outputs and any other collaborating actors outside UNEP. The review will take into account the quality and effectiveness of all forms of stakeholder communication and consultation throughout the project, as well as the support provided to maximize collaboration and coherence among different stakeholders, including through the sharing of plans, the pooling of resources, and the sharing of learnings and skills. The inclusion and participation of all differentiated groups, including groups of different genders, should be considered.


             iv.         Sensitivity to human rights and gender equity

The review will determine the extent to which the project has implemented the Joint UN Convention on the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRCA) and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In the context of human rights, the review will assess the extent to which the intervention is consistent with UNEP’s policy and strategy on gender equality and the environment.


The report should indicate the extent to which the intervention, after appropriate gender analysis at the design stage, implemented the identified actions and/or applied adaptive management to ensure that gender equity and human rights are duly taken into account. In particular, the review will examine how project design (section B), implementation underlying effectiveness (section D) and monitoring (section G) have taken into account: (i) possible gender inequalities in access to and control over natural resources; (ii) the specific vulnerabilities of women and children to environmental degradation or disasters; (iii) the role of women in mitigating or adapting to environmental change and their participation in environmental protection and rehabilitation.


              v.         Country ownership and motivation

The review will determine the quality and degree of involvement of government/public sector agencies in the project. The review will take into account the participation not only of those directly involved in the implementation of the project and members of technical or leadership groups, but also of officials whose cooperation is necessary to integrate change into their respective institutions and offices. This factor relates to the level of ownership generated by the project in relation to the outputs and effects and which is necessary to achieve the long-term impact. This ownership must adequately represent the needs and interests of all gender-diverse and marginalized groups.


             vi.         Communication and public awareness

The review will determine the effectiveness of: (a) knowledge sharing and experience sharing between project partners and interested groups resulting from the project throughout its existence; and (b) public awareness activities undertaken during the implementation of the project with the aim of influencing attitudes or shaping behaviour within wider communities and civil society in general. The review should assess whether existing communication channels and networks have been used effectively, including to address the differentiated needs of different gender or marginalized groups, and whether feedback channels have been established. In the event that spaces for knowledge sharing have been created as part of a project, the journal will issue an opinion on the sustainability of the communication channel, whether in terms of socio-political, institutional or financial sustainability, as appropriate.


Section 3. Review approach, methods and deliverables

The mid-term review will use a participatory approach whereby key stakeholders are informed and consulted throughout the review process. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods will be used, where appropriate, to determine project achievements in relation to expected outputs, outcomes and impacts. It is strongly recommended that the consultant(s) maintain close communication with the project team and promote the exchange of information throughout the implementation phase of the review, in order to enable them to take greater ownership (as well as other stakeholders) of the results of the review. Where appropriate, the consultant(s) should provide a geo-referenced map delimiting the area covered by the project and, if possible, provide geo-referenced photographs of the main intervention sites.

The conclusions of the review will be based on the following:

·       Document review of relevant project documents and communications

·       Interviews (individual or group) with:

·       The UNEP Task Manager (TM);

·       The project management Unit;

·       Project partners, etc;

·       The relevant resource persons.

·       Etc.


Field visits: visits are planned in the DRC in the province of the project: Tshuapa (Monkoto corridor and Wafanya territory).

Other data collection tools: to be determined by the consultant based on the information needed to complete the review.  This aspect will be discussed when the contract is signed.


11) Review deliverables and procedures


The review team will prepare:

  • An initial report: (see Annex 1 for links to all templates, tables and guidance notes) taking stock of the interviews, field visits and key elements of the exchanges with stakeholders and a summary of the diagnosis (institutional, technical and financial) of the project and containing an assessment of the quality of the project design, a draft of the reconstructed Theory of Change, an analysis of project stakeholders, a review framework and a draft review schedule

  • A note on preliminary findings: usually in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, the sharing of preliminary findings is intended to encourage the participation of the project team, partner organizations and structures.  It is a means of ensuring that all sources of information have been accessed. It also verifies emerging findings.

  • The preliminary report and the final report: (see links in Annex 1) containing an executive summary that can be used as a stand-alone document; a detailed analysis of the evaluation findings organized according to evaluation criteria and supported by evidence; lessons learned, recommendations and an annotated scorecard. Review of preliminary review report. The review team will submit a preliminary report to the Task Manager and the Acting Program Coordinator for review in response to their comments and suggestions. Once a good quality draft has been peer reviewed and accepted, Task Manager will share the approved draft report with key project stakeholders for review and comment. Stakeholders will be able to comment on factual errors and highlight the importance of such errors in conclusions, as well as on proposed recommendations and lessons. All comments or responses to preliminary reports will be forwarded to Task Manager for consolidation. The latter will forward all comments to the review team for consideration in the preparation of the final report, as well as indications of points of contradiction or issues requiring an institutional response.

The Task Manager will prepare a quality assessment of the first and final versions of the main review report, which will serve as a tool to provide structured feedback to the review consultants. The quality of the report will be assessed and scored according to the criteria specified in the template in Annex 1.

At the end of the review process, the Task Manager will develop a tabular Implementation Plan for the recommendations, to be completed and updated at regular intervals.


General terms and conditions for Request for proposal

  • Proposals and/or any additional information received after the submission time and date are subject to rejection by The Rainforest Alliance. Incomplete proposals may be rejected by RA at its discretion.

  • The Rainforest Alliance reserves the right to request additional information at any time during the procurement process.

  • RA is at liberty to make multiple or no selections as part of the proposal process. RA also reserves the right to cancel the procurement.

  • All proposal costs shall be borne by the applicant and will not be reimbursed by RA.

Selection Criteria

12) The journal manager

For this review, the work will be carried out by a consultant under the direct supervision and under the overall responsibility of the Task Manager (Andre Toham) in collaboration with Rainforest Alliance (RA), MEDD and AASD.. The consultants will liaise with the Task Manager on all procedural and methodological matters related to the review. However, it is the responsibility of RA and the ASSD project team to make arrangements to facilitate the consultant's travel, obtaining visas, collecting documentary evidence, organizing meetings with stakeholders, organizing online surveys and resolving any other logistical issues related to their mission. The Task Manager and the project team will provide, where possible, logistical support (presentations, meetings, etc.) to enable the consultant to conduct the review as efficiently and independently as possible.

The consultant will be engaged for a period of 25 days, over the period from October-December 2023 and must have: an advanced university degree in environmental sciences, international development or any other relevant field of political or social science; a minimum of 10 years of technical/evaluation experience, including evaluation of large/medium-sized, regional or global programs using a theory of change approach; a broad understanding of the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable landscape management, SDG  and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs); fluency in time management and excellent writing skills in English; experience in team leadership and, to the extent possible, knowledge of the United Nations system, in particular the work of UNEP. Experience in partnership management, knowledge management and communication are desirable for the evaluation consultant.

The consultant will be responsible, in close consultation with RA and in collaboration with the UNEP Task Manager, for the overall management of the review and the timely delivery of its outputs, described above in Section 11 Evaluation Deliverables. The consultant will ensure that all evaluation criteria and questions are properly addressed. Detailed information on the role of the consultant is available on the website of the UNEP’s Evaluation Office: The consultant should have an excellent written and verbal skills in French required, and very good working knowledge of English. 

Proposal Process and Format

13) Review timeline

The table below presents the provisional timeline for the review.

Table 3. Provisional timeline of the review
Interested candidates are requested to submit their application to the e-mail address no later than the 25th September 2023, indicating the following subject: "MTR consultant".


The application must be submitted in French and/or English and will include,

  • A technical proposal including:

-        A duly signed letter of submission addressed to the UNEP Task Manager;

-        A note explaining the terms of reference;

-        A methodological proposal;

-        A Work plan including timeline for deliverables;

-        Presentation and references of the consultant;

-        CV(s) of the consultant or all team members, if applicable;

-        Three (3) recent references (e-mail addresses and telephone numbers). 

  • A financial proposal including: 

the overall budget in US dollars (excluding tax and including all taxes) and detailed prices (daily/hourly rate, perdiems, transport, etc.).


14) Contractual arrangements


The consultant for the review will be selected by UNEP Task Manager and recruited by Rainforest Alliance in accordance with its internal procedures. The fees will be paid on an instalment basis, following UNEP’s acceptance of the expected key deliverables. The payment schedule is as follows:

Payment schedule [Consultant]:

Fee contracts. The necessary airline tickets, local trips inside DRC on and DSA will be  included in the contract.

In the event that the consultant is unable to deliver the deliverables in accordance with these guidelines and the quality standards expected by the UNEP Task Manager, payment may be withheld at UNEP's discretion.

In the event that the consultant(s) fails to submit a satisfactory final product to UNEP Task Manager, i.e. before the expiry date of their contract, the Rainforest Alliance in consultation with UNEP Task Manager, reserves the right to use additional human resources to finalize the report and to reduce the consultants' fees by an amount equal to the additional costs incurred by Rainforest Alliance in submitting the report.




Thank you for your interest in working with The Rainforest Alliance

Annex 1: Tools, templates and guidance notes to be used in the review


The tools, templates and guidance notes listed in the table below and available on the Evaluation Office ( website are intended to assist Task Managers and review consultants in generating compatible evaluation products that contribute to the communication of UNEP’s results. This series of documents also aims to make the review process as transparent as possible so that everyone involved in the process can participate in an informed manner. It is recognized that project and portfolio review needs vary and that adjustments may be required to achieve the objective of the evaluation process (broadly speaking, accountability and lessons learned). These adjustments should be decided by the Task Manager and the review consultant for the production of review reports that are useful both for project implementers and for the production of credible conclusions.


In case these links do not open, please contact to be completed by UNEP at the Evaluation Office of UNEP and ask her to provide you with these resource materials.

[1]The Medium-Term Strategy (MTS)e lUN Environment is a document that guides the planning of UN Environment programmes over a four-year period. It identifies UN Environment's thematic priorities called sub-programmes. (SP), and defines the desired results referred to as Expected Accomplishments (ERs) of the sub-programs. 


[3]In some cases, "programme management and oversight will refer to the oversight and guidance provided by UN Environment to implementing partners and national governments and in other cases, particularly with respect to GEF-funded projects, this term will refer to the performance of the project executing agency and the technical support provided by UN-Environment..

[4]  UN Environment staff are currently required to submit a theory of change with all project designs submitted. The level of "replenishment" required during an evaluation will depend on the quality of that TDC, the time that has elapsed between project design and implementation (which may be related to obtaining and using funds) and the level of changes to the project design. In the case of projects prior to 2013, the intervention logic is often represented in a logical framework and a TDC will have to be built at the initial stage of the evaluation.

[5]More information on environmental, social and economic guarantees (ESES) is available at

[6]The « Scaling " refers to approaches taken on a much larger scale, but in a very similar context. Updating The scale is often the long-term goal of pilot initiatives. The replication refers to repeated approaches or lessons explicitly applied in new/different contexts, e.g. other geographical areas, different target groups, etc. Effective replication usually requires some form of revision or adaptation to the new context. It is possible to replicate at the same scale or another.

[7]A list of relevant SDGs is available on the EO website at

[8]SMART refers to indicators that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and Time-bound.

[9] The consultan(s)t (s) must verify that the evaluations project implementation reports have been submitted, the monitoring tool is maintained and in Model DApproval of the Director-General, Tables A and E were Filled.


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