Short-Term Consultancy, based in Lilongwe, Malawi
Member of Geo-Enabling team for Monitoring and Supervision (GEMS)
-Fluency in English as well as advanced GIS skills required-
The World Bank Malawi Country Office (CO) plans to roll out the implementation of the Geo-Enabling methodology for Monitoring and Supervision (GEMS) methodology for improved monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of project implementation across its portfolio. The GEMS methodology was initially targeted at Fragile and Conflict-Affected States (FCS), to reach and improve monitoring of project activities in hard to reach areas but has proven useful in many non-FCS countries as well. Given the significant allocation of IDA resources to countries, there is urgent demand by clients as well as World Bank Group (WBG) Global Practices (GPs) and Country Management Units (CMUs) for methods and tools that enhance transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness of interventions in regions with limited physical access. The GEMS has been developed in response to this demand, with the aim to provide project teams, client agencies, and partner organizations with timely access to invaluable field information from areas that cannot be regularly visited.
The systematic use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will be necessary for implementation of the GEMS. The system uses available capacity around the project sites/location to obtain updates on progress of works and implementation of other project activities.
The CMU believes the tool would be very useful in ensuring improved implementation monitoring of project activities as it is impossible for teams to visit all project sites, some of which happen to be in areas that are difficult to reach. In addition, travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for teams to conduct implementation support missions to be able to appreciate implementation progress for the various project activities and provide the necessary guidance for improvement. **
B. ICT for Operational Effectiveness and the GEMS Initiative
ICT support is the main pillar in rolling out the GEMS initiative systematically across the portfolio, to geo-enable operations for remote project supervision, M&E, and third-party monitoring.
Development Objective: The GEMS method enables project teams to use open source tools for in-field collection of structured digital data that automatically feeds into a centralized M&E system. The integrated data can include any kind of indicators, based on tailor-made forms; photos, audio, videos; time and date stamps; and GPS coordinates that allow for automated geo-mapping of the information. Using these tools systematically allows operations to enhance the transparency and accuracy of M&E and increase the accountability of third-party monitoring (TPM). Moreover, the GEMS method provides WBG GPs and CMUs with a platform for remote supervision, real-time safeguards monitoring, and portfolio mapping for coordination across projects and partners.
Focus of the GEMS method: The core of the GEMS methodology is an interactive face-to-face or online training with two main aims:**
a) Building M&E capacity among government agencies, WBG Task Teams, and Country Teams to use the GEMS methodology independently and sustainably, customized to their specific project needs.
b) Implementing the method systematically across the portfolio, to allow for real-time supervision and coordination of operations via a centralized platform that puts all field data on an interactive map.
After the training, each participant should have acquired the necessary skills to use the tools and methods independently for the benefit of the portfolio’s M&E system and supervision needs. Moreover, the Country Teams will have access to a central digital platform for monitoring the portfolio in near real-time.
GEMS use for the COVID-19 response: During the COVID-19 response, GEMS can be leveraged for operational monitoring and remote supervision of WBG-funded projects during preparation and implementation, including for:
· Creation/enhancement of digital portfolio/project monitoring platforms for response operations.
· Structured geo-mapping and recording of baseline data on existing service infrastructure.
· Monitoring of operational indicators across components, projects, and programs.
· Remote supervision of activities (e.g. infrastructure construction, training of health staff, etc.)
· Real-time tracking of delivery of medical equipment (e.g. through barcode recording system).
· Monitoring of social protection activities (e.g. LIPW/THIMO, psychosocial support, etc.).
· Real-time monitoring of compliance with environmental and social safeguards/ ESF.
· Beneficiary or multi-stakeholder engagement (e.g. perception or feedback surveys, etc.).
C. Objective and Scope of Work: Leveraging ICT to Enhance M&E, Supervision, and Citizen Engagement
The WBG Malawi country office is therefore looking to hire a short-term consultant (STC) to support the roll out and implementation of GEMS. The consultant will be based in Lilongwe, Malawi. The consultant will work under the guidance of the Country Manager and in very close coordination with the Operations Analyst. The consultant will also closely work with other units of the WBG, in particular the GEMS team, within the World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group, and the Geospatial Operations Support Team (GOST).**
A major objective will be to oversee the portfolio-wide implementation of the GEMS method by the client and Country Office/ CMU, for operational supervision, Monitoring and Evaluation, safeguards monitoring, and portfolio mapping. A major task will be to oversee the GEMS supervision system and implement the method across the WBG portfolio in Malawi. In this regard, the STC will be responsible for managing the CMU’s digital data collection and analysis platform and conduct customized geospatial analysis, as well as training workshops according to the CMU’s needs. The focus will be to support operational M&E, Project Supervision, Environmental and Social risks/safeguards monitoring and further the mapping of the operational portfolios across the CMU. The consultant will also provide close support to ongoing and future work and directly assist the Country Manager, Operations Managers and Program Leaders of the CMU. This work will be performed under the guidance of the Country Office/CMU Operations Analyst and the GEMS team.
The consultant will be responsible for regular follow-up engagement and technical support to clients, as required. This may include the delivery of GEMS capacity-building training for PIUs, WBG project task teams, safeguards and procurement specialists, and select partners. Additionally, this may include reviewing and drafting project documents, such as Project Appraisal Documents (PAD), Operations Manual, M&E frameworks, TORs, etc. and any documents necessary to the full deployment of the GEMS method in a project, sector or administration.
The consultant will provide GIS and cartography support to the internal and external clients. An additional role of the consultant will be to support the CMU and project teams with the creation and administration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related data platforms, as well as maps and spatial data analyses. This includes the responsibility to proactively liaise with technical counterparts, gather and process geospatial information, and create visualizations and technical analyses.
The consultant will directly support ministries and government agencies in Malawi as well as donors and other partners, if there is interest, in setting up systems for data collection, sharing and coordination. To leverage the GEMS system as an inter-agency coordination tool, the consultant will also build capacity with stakeholders outside of the World Bank. To this end, the consultant will closely work with government agencies, donors, UN agencies and other partners to leverage the GEMS tools and method for supervision and coordination. In this regard, the consultant will oversee the technical cooperation in terms of leveraging the GEMS tool, develop strategies for joint data analysis, and create data collection questionnaires upon agreement with the partners.
The consultant will also support the wider ICT4FCV agenda. In this regard, the consultant will work with the GEMS team and CMU to explore and apply complementary field-appropriate ICT tools and procedures to improve spatial targeting, effectiveness and accountability of operational engagement. ICT based approaches that will be explored include inter alia (a) the use of mobile networks and SMS-based systems for citizen engagement, beneficiary feedback, and grievance redress mechanisms; (b) leveraging ‘big data’, call detail records, and other data sources for complementary monitoring tasks; and (c) relying on geo-spatial data including satellite-based earth observation and remote sensing through drones and sensor technology for initial assessments and supervision activities. The above list is not exhaustive and may be extended during implementation of the activity.
The selected STC will be responsible for the following main deliverables:
· Coordinate the ongoing implementation of the GEMS methodology in the CMU. **
· Administrate the CMU’s GEMS system, based on a KoBo Toolbox platform.
· Deliver GEMS capacity building trainings to project task teams, client Project Implementation Units, and select partners in the CMU.
· Leverage GIS and geospatial analysis at the demand of the CMU, including work on Conflict Risk Monitoring.
· Train World Bank staff in the GEMS method (train-the-trainers approach).
· Oversee the sustainable application of the GEMS method across the CMU’s portfolio and ensure that gradually all projects are integrated in the system.
· Support back-office tasks required for the systematic application of the GEMS method across the WBG portfolio.
· Provide follow-up support to clients, the CMU and project teams to ensure that the system is leveraged sustainably.
· Review or support the digitalization of data collection questionnaires and methods for specific clients and projects.
· Explore options for collaboration on data exchange and analysis with partners.
· Produce practical guidance material and use complementary field-appropriate ICT tools and procedures for operational engagement.
· Prepare a monthly briefing note on the GEMS implementation throughout the portfolio of the country.
E. Selection Criteria
The ideal candidate will have a primary expertise in M&E, GIS, ICT and digital data collection systems as well as an in-depth understanding of World Bank operations, policies and procedures. S/he will be familiar with ways in which technology can be applied to monitor projects and other dynamics on the ground and will meet the following selection criteria:
a. Fluency in English, enabling the consultant to conduct interactive technical trainings and to produce high-quality written outputs.**
b. Proficiency or fluency in English.
c. Master’s degree or PhD in either (i) engineering, geography, or computer science; or (ii) economics, development studies, international relations, public policy or a related field. In both cases, specific experience in using ICT to boost development effectiveness will be crucial.**
d. At least 5 years of experience in issues related to M&E, ICT, geospatial analysis or development/humanitarian work, with a clear demonstration of the ability to apply technologies to solve the challenges of development/humanitarian interventions.**
e. Advanced GIS skills and proven experience with geospatial data and analysis (through ArcMap, QGIS, R, and/or Python)**
f. Ability to manage databases and suite of large datasets.
g. Proven experience in using mobile data collection tools, such as KoBoToolbox, ONA, SurveyCTO, Survey Solutions, etc.
h. Knowledge of M&E systems, especially as they apply to fragile contexts, demonstrated through field experience.**
i. Experience working with household survey/census/ firm data is a plus. **
j. Knowledge of data analysis programs such as R, SPSS, Stata or Phyton is a plus.**
k. Knowledge of Bank operational policies and business practices is a plus.**
l. Demonstrated initiative, leadership skills, innovation and drive for results including ability to undertake a diversity of tasks within a rapidly changing and demanding environment on short deadlines.**
m. Excellent communication skills, with an ability to adapt to an audience that is operational, but not necessarily knowledgeable of ICT issues.**
n. Advanced skills in MS office applications, in particular Excel and PowerPoint.**
o. Excellent workflow management skills and a proactive attitude.**
F. Administrative Arrangements
The selected consultant will be contracted by the WBG Malawi country office for a period of 60 days, at a fee to be negotiated with the supervisor. The Consultant will report to the Country Manager based in Lilongwe. S/he will closely collaborate with the CMU, more specifically with the Operations Analyst who will co-lead the coordination of GEMS in the CMU, and GEMS colleagues based in Nairobi and Washington, DC. The Consultant will also interact with other WB initiatives such as the Geospatial Operational Support Team (GOST) based in Washington DC, and with other relevant teams, as needed.
The contract will comprise the Fiscal Year 2021 (until June 30, 2021). The consultant will be based in Lilongwe, Malawi, with the possibility to work remotely until the Country Office reopens. Once travel restrictions are lifted, the consultant can be expected to travel within the country. **
How to apply
Please read the selection criteria carefully. Interested candidates should send their resumes and a one-page motivation letter in English explaining how their background and professional experience meets the requirements to [email protected] The subject line of the email should be ” Application for GEMS position in Malawi”. Only successful candidates will be contacted.
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