UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) Biodiverse Landscapes Fund (BLF)
Consultant Terms of Reference: Mesoamerica Hub Lead, February 2023
The UK Government’s Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) Biodiverse Landscapes Fund (BLF) is a highly innovative portfolio aiming to reduce poverty, protect and restore biodiversity and lessen the impact of climate change in an integrated manner across six environmentally critical Landscapes across the globe. The £100m Fund will run from 2022 to 2029, with funding shared across the Landscapes according to need. The BLF supports work in six of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots, spanning 18 countries. Landscapes were selected based on the global importance of their biodiversity, their potential to act as carbon sinks and the economic and livelihood needs of their resident populations. The Mesoamerica Landscape spans Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, with a focus on the Selva Maya, Trifinio and Moskitia landscapes.
The BLF aims to:
- Reduce poverty and create sustainable economic development for communities living in – and dependent upon – environmentally precious landscapes.
- Restore landscapes and deliver long-lasting protection through sustainable management practices, improving the quality of ecosystems and safeguarding biodiversity.
- Help to tackle climate change with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through the protection of natural carbon sinks.
- Address the drivers of environmental degradation and support national governments, local and park authorities and communities to deliver long-term sustainable management and use of natural resources.
Work in each Landscape will be led by one Lead Delivery Partner (LDP), working with a consortium of Delivery Partners (DPs). LDPs will be awarded grants through open grant competitions administered by the BLF Fund Manager. The e-Pact consortium (led by Itad and Oxford Policy Management) has been procured by Defra as the Independent Evaluator responsible for the evaluation of the BLF at both Landscape and programme levels. The Independent Evaluator will provide inception reports for each Landscape as well as work with LDPs and their DPs to map the evidence base for their work, set their Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning frameworks, and support the production of baselines.
The Independent Evaluator in each Landscape will be represented by an Evaluation Hub comprised of:
- Hub Lead: an individual with strong Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning expertise and an excellent understanding of the Landscape.
- Hub Team: a local organisation experienced in data collection and facilitating evaluative conversations amongst stakeholders.
Further information on the Biodiverse Landscapes Fund can be found here: https://www.itad.com/project/independent-evaluation-biodiverse-landscapes-fund-defra/
The role will last until November 2029 and it will start as soon as possible. The LoE is anticipated to be up to 8 days per month starting immediately and running through to the end of October 2023 and will then likely settle at around 4-5 days per month. The role, entitled Regional Hub Lead, will be responsible for leading the evaluation in the Mesoamerica Landscape (Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras), including coordinating a regional team in the Landscape, grounding the evaluation in the regional context, and serving as intermediary between the core team of the evaluation based in the UK and the regional stakeholders of the fund itself.
Responsibilities of the hub lead include:
- Establishing and maintaining a close relationship and co-ordinating role with the Evaluation Hub Team in each country in the Landscape, working with them to support developmental and impact evaluation activities as required - based on quarterly, annual and longer term learning cycles - and as directed by the core evaluation team members (the programme leadership team or 'PLT').
- Attending regular and irregular meetings with their Lead Delivery Partners (LDP) and consortium of Delivery Partners (DPs) on the progress of the design and delivery of interventions and data collection; contributing developmental evaluation facilitation, and documenting the process and learning that emerge from these meetings.
- Participating in virtual meetings between the LDP and the FM every quarter and record alternate minutes of these meetings.
- Orienting and managing evaluation activities and/or data collection by staff from Hub Team partners within their hub as needed.
- Synthesising developmental and impact evaluation recommendations and learning on an annual basis and supporting the FM in the design for annual learning events within their Landscape and discussing the results with the PLT.
- Translating DE and IE evidence and evaluative learning into products that can be communicated more widely within Landscapes
- Acting as a conduit for contextualised, local knowledge and perspectives from one of the six Landscapes – helping the PLT put portfolio-level data and evidence in context.
- Tracking and ensuring high quality information to support the PLT to communicate and present at portfolio level to BLF stakeholders, Advisory Board and key partners on the programme’s progress that can inform timely and evidence-based decision-making.
- Working closely with the PLT on common frameworks and consistent approaches across the Landscapes.
- Supporting South-South and North-South knowledge exchange and lesson learning at the portfolio level.
- Over time, building the capacity of those embedded in the Landscapes to leave a legacy.
- Fluency in English (written/spoken).
- A university degree (minimum undergraduate) in a relevant field.
- A proven, substantial track record in monitoring, evaluation and learning.
- Long-term multi-country evaluations.
- Understanding of the Mesoamerica Landscape.
- Understanding of biodiversity, climate change and environmental issues.
- Team management.
- Experience with Darwin Awards / FCDO logframe development and reporting.
- Experience working and living in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras.
How to Apply
The Consultant will be required to manage their time to ensure that it is spread appropriately across the Agreement period to take into account project workload.
Please send a current CV, cover letter and current daily fee rate in GBP£