United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Expert (Supporting Energy Access During Covid-19 Outbreak and Response)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Description

 

United Nations Capital Development Fund

UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF’s financing models work through two channels: financial inclusion that expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small businesses to participate in the local economy, providing them with the tools they need to climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; and by showing how localized investments — through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance — can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion and sustainable development.

By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs.

UNCDF’s Energy Access Programme (also known as CleanStart):

UNCDF aims to empower millions of vulnerable people, such as farmers, youth, women, refugees, migrants, MSMEs, by leveraging the power of digital in various sectors (finance, agriculture, education, health, water & sanitation, energy, transport) to lead productive and healthy lives. To achieve this goal, UNCDF is providing financial support and technical expertise to both the public and the private sector. It provides capital financing -- in the forms of grants, soft loans and credit enhancement products – and the technical expertise to unleash sustainable financing at the local level.

In the Energy Sector, UNCDF supports low-income consumers to transition to cleaner and more efficient energy. To this end, UNCDF promotes Access to Finance across the energy value chain from customer to enterprise by investing in early stage, innovative business ideas from SMEs that have the potential to make a step-change in improving the accessibility, affordability, and reliability of modern energy for people, especially those at the last-mile. Business ideas should have strong commercial-viability potential.

UNCDF has adopted four pillars to improving the energy access market. The (1) investment component as described above is complemented by three other components that center around (2) providing technical advisory services to get concepts and business plans investment-ready, as well as general advice and linkages to non-financial resources such as experts and business development opportunities during the life of the partnership; (3) knowledge and learning through customer insights research and Think-Shops to discuss trending market topics; and (4) advocacy and partnerships with strategic partners to jointly support the improvement of the energy access market ecosystem so that business models can scale.

UNCDF’s vision for energy access is to dramatically expand consumer and enterprise financing, supported by innovative digital services, for vulnerable consumers who want to transition to cleaner and more efficient energy. To make this happen UNCDF partners with financial institutions, service providers and energy enterprises – providing financial solutions and advice – to test scalable business models in varying market conditions. The use of innovative digital services and finance solutions plays an essential role in many markets, particularly in reaching vulnerable people.

Since 2012, UNCDF’s energy access market development work is currently active in 4 countries (Nepal, Uganda, Myanmar and Ethiopia) and has recently expanded to other markets such as DRC and Burkina Faso. UNCDF is implementing key interventions in these countries to promote digital services, off-grid energy and other utility financing; and selectively deploy these depending on market needs and where UNCDF can add most value:

  • Support financial service providers on energy (and other utility) lending through risk capital (grants, loans, guarantees) and technical assistance;

  • Support energy (and other utility) enterprises (including MSMEs) who have viable business models to achieve market breakthroughs and scale, including for vulnerable last-mile consumers, through risk capital (grants, loans, guarantees) and technical assistance;

  • Support the development of guarantee mechanism and credit enhancement tools to micro-finance institutions and commercial banks lending to MSMEs;

  • Support the development of innovative digital services and digital finance solutions (e.g. business models using PAYG technology) enabling upscaling and reaching more vulnerable people;

  • Crowd-in (commercial) financial service providers (national and international) by de-risking transactions with energy (and other utility) enterprises, e.g. via guarantees or syndicated loans;

  • Provide technical assistance to energy (and other utility) enterprises to prepare them for external financing (debt, equity) and make them bankable;

  • Engage closely with government partners and regional/global initiatives, including those from UNDP, REDD+, GEF and GCF, as well as industry associations such as the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association to influence high-level dialogue and policies that help create an enabling environment for energy markets for low-income markets to flourish.

  • Strengthen capacities of private sector industry associations, such as solar energy or clean cooking associations, to enable them to act as an effective intermediary between individual energy companies and government and influence policy discussions.

The current global Covid-19 Pandemic has emerged as a fundamental challenge to developing the off-grid energy sector. Last-mile customers directly affected by economic down-turns and in their ability to access and purchase off-grid solutions on a regular and sustainable basis. Energy Service Provider Companies, as are many SMEs, are facing severe disruptions to their businesses and are under financial duress. These threaten the basis of a sustainable, decentralized energy market. UNCDF is looking at ways to support the energy sector in the face of these challenges, by assisting Governments, customers and private sector entities with immediate support as well as medium/long term efforts to build better energy markets for the last mile.

UNCDF’s energy access market development work is supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation, the Government of Andorra, the Government of Liechtenstein, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the Swedish International Development Agency, Embassy of Sweden in Uganda, the UK Department for International Development in Uganda, The Ministry of Energy Luxembourg, and the Central African Forestry Initiative and REDD+ in the DRC.

Duties and Responsibilities

To this end, the selected consultant will support the UNCDF team through supplying:

  1. Enterprise funding expertise and Technical Support to fund management of the Renewable Energy Challenge Fund (RECF) in Uganda and any new Challenge Fund or Call for Interest operated by Energy Access in Asia and East Africa to make sure they (enterprises/projects) achieve the expected results despite COVID-19;

  2. Technical assistance and advisory service to Energy Service Providers (ESPs) facing additional challenges due to COVID-19 in Asia and Eastern/Southern Africa;

  3. Scoping, background research, technical inputs and drafting support to the new phase of UNCDF’s Energy work, using a market-systems development approach, under its Inclusive Digital Economies strategy development in consultation with complementary regional and global energy access initiatives and stakeholders to address COVID-19 recovery challenges.

Scope of Work

1) Enterprise funding expertise and technical support to fund management of the Renewable Energy Challenge Fund (RECF) in Uganda and any new Challenge Fund operated by Energy Access in Asia and Eastern/Southern Africa to make sure they achieve the expected results despite COVID-19;

  • Support the technical selection of companies with a particular attention to those projects that provide viable solutions to address COVID-19 related market challenges and help business stimulation, recovery and business continuity;

  • Support UNCDF’s grants, loans and guarantee pipeline development by analysing details of application submitted to market scoping activities and RECF including (unmet) funding needs of the industry, how such needs differ for locally owned/internationally owned companies; vertically integrated players vs distributors only; cash based models vs PAYG models; start-ups vs more mature companies, etc. with a clear emphasis to innovative projects that could support the market navigating these uncertain times due to COVID-19 outbreak;

  • Support technical supervision and financial monitoring of selected partners’ projects performance and flag to the Energy Access team challenges to the implementation of the project as a result of COVID-19 and mitigation measures to ensure the achievement of agreed milestones.

  • Tailor advisory support to business, to maximize positive customer (including women and youth), outcomes and overall sustainability of the last-mile energy market.

2) Provide rapid technical assistance and advisory service to Energy Service Providers (ESPs) facing additional challenges due to COVID-19 in Asia and Eastern/Southern Africa;

  • Technically assist ESPs facing decrease in sales, liquidity constraints, loss of jobs and of business as a result of COVID-19 outbreak in terms of business risks and continuity, online sales and remote customer management, PAYGO repayments, staff retention etc ;

  • Prepare assistance packages tailored to the need of each company with the aim to avoid excessive markets disruptions due to COVID-19, supporting adjusted business planning, HR management, financial mitigation strategies and continuous market impact measurement.

  • Assist with networking and partnership initiatives linking ESPs to funders, Business Support services, industry associations, and other relevant support mechanisms and entities.

3) Scoping, background research, technical inputs and drafting support to the new phase of UNCDF’s Energy work, using a market-systems development approach, under its Inclusive Digital Economies strategy development in consultation with complementary regional and global energy access initiatives and stakeholders to address COVID-19 recovery challenges.

  • Provide scoping, technical input, analysis and update support to the expansion of Energy Access in new countries in Asia and East-Africa under a market systems development approach;

  • Liaise with relevant stakeholders, to identify market opportunities and where Energy Access can add value and support process of strategy development;

  • Contribute to the development of UNCDF’s new phase of Energy access work, through concept notes and proposals aligned with its inclusive Digital Economies strategy; Scope potential partnerships at regional and global level to further Energy Access visibility and footprint as a go-to -partner to address energy access challenges during COVID-19 and the build-back better post-COVID 19 time-frame, with consultation process support.

Duration of Assignment, Duty Station and Expected Places of Travel

Contract Duration: 6 months.

The individual contractors are expected to be Home-based with possible travel to countries where Energy Access Programme operates in Asia and Africa. The schedule/duration of travel will be negotiated with the consultant according to the requirements of the programme

Travel costs associated to the assignment will be advanced by the consultant, and paid by UNCDF on a reimbursement basis, and following the UNDP/UNCDF rules and regulations which states that consultant shall only be paid the most direct and most economical ticket, as will be quoted by the official UN travel agency. Any amount in excess of the said quotation, such as class and airline preference of the consultant, shall be borne by the consultant. The daily living allowance will be paid as per UN Rate prevailing on the city/ies of destination, and may be paid before or after the travel, and only upon submission of appropriate supporting documents. All other expenses outside of these items shall be on the account of the consultant.

Deliverables

  • Scoping report/proposal/input/process Mapping into strategy document for new programming and partnership assessment documents

  • Document analysing financing needs based on data from companies that applied to the Challenge Fund rounds

  • Evaluation report for calls for proposals including project summaries and eligibility scoring of applications for the Challenge Fund rounds

  • Application overviews for Investment Committees and for Boards for the Challenge Fund or Call for Interest rounds

  • Technical Assistance needs assessment, workplans, advisory notes and reports for ESPs projects dealing with COVID-19 challenges

  • Technical and financial monitoring dashboards/tools for the selected partners’ projects

Timeline and payment terms

Scoping report/proposal/input into strategy Document for new programming and partnership assessment documents

July - November 2020

By Nov 2020

30%

Asia and East Africa

Document analysing financing needs based on data from companies that applied to the Challenge Fund or Call for Interest rounds

August - October 2020

By Oct 2020

15%

Asia and East Africa

Evaluation report for calls for proposals including project summaries and eligibility scoring of applications for the Challenge Fund or Call for Interest rounds

August-Sept 2020

By Sept 2020

15%

Asia and East Africa

Application overviews for Investment Committees and for Boards for the Challenge Fund or Call for Interest rounds

August-November 2020

By Nov 2020

10%

Asia and East Africa

Technical Assistance needs assessment, workplans, advisory notes and report for ESPs projects dealing with COVID-19 challenges

July-December 2020

By Dec 2020

20%

Asia and East Africa

Technical and financial monitoring dashboards/Tools for the selected partners’ projects

October-December 2020

By Dec 2020

10%

Asia and East Africa

Provision of Monitoring and Progress Controls

The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Energy Access Programme Manager and in close collaboration with other consultants and Energy Access partners.

Supporting documents that will serve as conditions for disbursement are as follows: (i) submission of invoice and Certificate of Payment form; (ii) review, approval and written acceptance of outputs for each deliverable confirmed in writing by UNCDF; and (iii) authorization of payment disbursement from the direct supervisor in UNCDF.

Competencies

Functional Competencies

  • Able to conduct market research, business plan development and/or institutional due diligence, such as on energy enterprises and financial institutions;

  • Able to support business models that include linkages between energy access and access to finance, using a market systems development approach;

  • Understands how financial service providers and/or small to medium scale enterprises serving vulnerable people operate;

  • Understands incubation and investments needs of decentralized energy and other utility enterprises and service companies;

  • Understands blended finance and how to operationalize financing instruments such as results-based financing, impact investing, and/or carbon financing;

  • Strong quantitative and financial abilities, such as making financial projections and analyzing financial statements;

  • Strong analytical writing skills; experienced in producing concise, executive level reports and presentations, training modules and materials with an ability to present information in a graphic format;

  • Demonstrates comprehension of how natural or man-made disasters or pandemics affect markets and how to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies to these;

  • Good interpersonal skills and experience in working effectively in a multi-cultural environment, with sensitivity to diverse opinions;

  • Strong communications skills in speaking, writing, as well as presenting materials in variety of media.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNCDF;

  • Demonstrate integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards;

  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Masters level qualifications in business, finance, climate finance, marketing, economics, accounting, energy, electrical engineering or related fields;

Experience:

  • At least 6 years of experience supporting market system-based development of energy markets that serve low income people;

  • At least 5 years’ experience advising or implementing energy business models that may incorporate digital services and access to finance for vulnerable people, including household/business level solutions as well as larger SME and community-based solutions, including in disaster situations (years of experience can overlap with other categories);

  • At least 3 years’ experience in designing and implementing challenge funds or competitive call for interest and/or other competitive financing instruments (e.g. credit risk guarantee facilities) (years of experience can overlap with other categories);

  • At least 3 years’ experience providing technical assistance to financial service providers and/or energy enterprises, particularly in developing the segment of business targeting vulnerable people (years of experience can overlap with other categories);

  • Demonstrated work experience in more than one of the Energy Access programme focus countries (years of experience can overlap with other categories).

Language:

  • Written and spoken fluency in English is required.

EVALUATION

Applications will be rated on both technical and financial submissions. The following selection method will be used: Highest rated proposal using the combined scoring method, which assigns the weight distribution between the technical and financial proposals. The weight distribution shall be 70% technical and 30% financial.

Step I: Screening/Longlisting

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the following minimum criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting.

  • Masters level qualifications in business, finance, climate finance, marketing, economics, accounting, energy, electrical engineering or related fields;

  • At least 6 years of experience supporting market system-based development of energy markets that serve low income people;

  • At least 5 years’ experience advising or implementing energy business models that may incorporate digital services and access to finance for vulnerable people, including household/business level solutions as well as larger SME and community-based solutions, including in disaster situations(years of experience can overlap with other categories);

  • Fluency in English

Step II: Shortlisting by Desk Review

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates

by evaluating the following criteria with the corresponding points (100 points)

  • At least 6 years of experience supporting market system-based development of energy markets that serve low income people (30 points);

  • At least 5 years’ experience advising or implementing energy business models that may incorporate digital services and access to finance for vulnerable people, including household/business level solutions as well as larger SME and community-based solutions, including in disaster situations (years of experience can overlap with other categories (20 points));

  • At least 3 years’ experience in designing and implementing challenge funds or competitive call for interest and/or other competitive financing instruments (e.g. credit risk guarantee facilities) (years of experience can overlap with other categories (15 points);

  • At least 3 years’ experience providing technical assistance to financial service providers and/or energy enterprises, particularly in developing the segment of business targeting vulnerable people (years of experience can overlap with other categories) (15 points);

  • Demonstrated experience in more than one of the Energy Access programme focus countries (years of experience can overlap with other categories) (20 points).

As applicable, only the applicants achieving 70% of the points will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step III: Financial Evaluation

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%. All financial proposals shall be submitted along with the applications, and no modification shall be made on the proposals unless requested by UNCDF.

The top candidate that achieved the highest cumulative score will be recommended for award of the contract

Application:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Proposers who shall not submit below mentioned documents will not be considered for further evaluation.

  • When applying for this consultancy position, please apply with your official name as shown in the government issued identification document (e.g. passport and/or driver license). Contract award is subject to this verification;

  • CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references; link to P11: http://sas.undp.org/documents/P11_Personal_history_form.doc;

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application;

  • Confirmation of interest and Financial proposal: https://popp.undp.org/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/UNDP_POPP_DOCUMENT_LIBRARY/Public/PSU_%20Individual%20Contract_Offerors%20Letter%20to%20UNDP%20Confirming%20Interest%20and%20Availability.docx&action=default

  • Earliest Availability

Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when traveling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under dss.un.org If the consultant is over 65 years old, UNCDF reserves the right to require full medical certification and clearance from the consultant’s physician prior to commencing the travel.

Both individual consultants and individuals employed by a company or institution are welcome to apply. Any individual employed by a company or institution who would like to submit an offer in response to a Procurement Notice for IC must do so in their individual capacity (providing a CV so that their qualifications may be judged accordingly). If the company or institution that employs them will charge a management fee, the said amount must be incorporated in the financial proposal that the individual will submit. No further changes to reflect additional costs shall be accommodated by UNCDF at the point of awarding the contract.

Women candidates or women-owned businesses are strongly encouraged to apply. UNCDF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

(NOTE: the system does not allow multiple uploads of document. Applicants must make sure to upload all documents in one PDF file)

References

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
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