Derisking Renewable Energy Investment (DREI) Specialist

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :09-Dec-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-10
Languages Required :

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.


The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.
  • A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.
  • Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as  reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.


UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. BPPS staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages; represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora, including public-private, government and civil society dialogues; and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.

BPPS works closely with UNDP’s Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP’s development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working. BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.

As a Global Environment Facility (GEF) Implementing Agency and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Accredited Entity, UNDP also supports countries in addressing development, climate, and ecosystem sustainability in an integrated manner. UNDP-Global Environmental Finance (UNDP-GEF) Unit is based in BPPS and is responsible for providing leadership and technical support for, among other areas, delivery of the Environment and Sustainable Development pillar of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. The principal areas of work are in environmental mainstreaming, environmental finance, adaptation to climate change, and local governance of resources, including energy.

Addressing climate change is one the key global challenges and priorities for UNDP. Working in over 170 countries and territories, UNDP is uniquely placed to work with all sectors of society to help mobilize the institutions and resources required to support countries implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the context of the Paris Agreement.

Additionally, one of six signature solutions under UNDP’s current Strategic Plan is to “Close the energy gap.” Access to clean and affordable energy is a critical enabler for sustainable development whether it be for nutrition, transport, education or economic opportunity. UNDP’s work in this area focuses on increasing energy access, promoting renewable energy, and enhancing energy efficiency in a manner that is inclusive and responsive to the needs of different sectors of the population (urban/rural, women/men, household/businesses), in line with the aspirations of Sustainable Development Goal 7. UNDP’s offer builds on UNDP’s growing portfolio of innovative interventions and projects at the country, regional and global levels – funded both by the GEF and by other donors – for which UNDP provides oversight, quality assurance, and policy and technical advisory services. The UNDP energy and climate change mitigation team is based in BPPS.

UNDP has developed a clear, market transformation-based theory of change and offer on energy, with its Derisking Renewable Energy Investment (DREI) framework central to this offer. DREI is innovative, quantitative methodology for developing countries to cost-efficiently select public instruments scale up sustainable energy investment. With DREI, UNDP assists governments to systematically identify the barriers and risks which can hold back private sector investment, and then supports policymakers to put in place packages of targeted public interventions to address these risks. Detailed techno-economic modelling and analysis underlies this support.

The DREI framework includes a theory of change, various conceptual tools (such as derisking tables), reports and a suite of financial models and tools in Excel (including LCOE tools, financing cost tools, instrument costing tools). Collectively, these conceptual and financial tools bring methodological coherence, and create efficiencies in generating quantitative and graphic outputs. At present, the DREI framework is available for application in four distinct renewable energy sectors, both grid-connected and off-grid: utility-scale (grid-connected PV or wind), grid-connected rooftop PV, off-grid solar PV-battery mini-grids, and off-grid pay-as-you-go solar home systems (SHS). For more information please visit

In the context of the above, UNDP is looking to engage a Derisking Renewable Energy Investment (DREI) Specialist to provide support to UNDP’s Principal Technical Advisor, Climate Change Mitigation/Energy.

The Government of Sweden, through SIDA, has funded a four-year, USD$40m global Strategic Collaboration Programme designed to strengthen UNDP capacities to achieve its overall sustainable development vision for poverty eradication through a more integrated, coherent approach to the environmental and climate dimensions of the UNDP Strategic Plan. SIDA funds will be used to hire new staff and consultants, including to support elements of this position.

Institutional Arrangement:

  • The Specialist will be home-based;
  • The Specialist will be expected to work five (5) days per week (full time);
  • The initial contract will be for one year, with the possibility of renewal for an additional year dependent on demand for services, availability of financial resources and good performance.
  • The Specialist will report to UNDP’s Principal Technical Advisor for Climate Change Mitigation/Energy.
  • The Specialist will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The Specialist will be responsible for providing her/his own working station (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to a reliable internet connection;


  • International travel may be required to countries in the following regions: Africa, Latin America and Asia over the 1-year period, a maximum of 6 missions are foreseen, with expected mission duration of approximately 5 days per mission. Exact locations to be determined and discussed upon commencement of each specific assignment;
  • Any necessary mission travel must be approved in advance and in writing by the Supervisor;
  • The BSAFE course must be successfully completed prior to commencement of travel;
  • The Specialist is responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director;
  • The Specialist is responsible for obtaining any visas and security clearances needed in connection with travel with the necessary support from UNDP;
  • The Specialist is required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under;   
  • The Specialist will be responsible for making his/her own mission travel arrangements in line with UNDP travel policies.

Duties and Responsibilities

The scope of work will involve close coordination with UNDP’s BPPS energy team, regional bureau andcountry offices. It will include one or more of the various activities below:

  • Oversee UNDP's in-country applications (apps) of the DREI framework, typically working with UNDP country offices, national partners and third-party consultants. Deliver technical support to consultants conducting the analyses and define/improve standardized processes. This will include in particular DREI applications planned under the UNDP’s Africa Minigrid Program (AMP);
  • Support in strengthening the roster of third party DREI apps consultants;
  • Support the ongoing development and direction of the DREI framework, provide strategic insights and thought leadership, and supporting partner outreach, e.g. ETH Zurich;
  • Maintain and keep up to date: (i) the DREI website, with support from UNDP's communications team, and (ii) the suite of DREI tools (e.g., financial models, derisking tables). If applicable, engage in further methodology development;
  • Assist in awareness-reaching and dissemination activities around the DREI framework, e.g., as applicable, contributing to webinars and blogs, attending conferences;
  • Act as focal point within UNDP for internal and external DREI support requests. Provide guidance to UNDP country offices and national partners in the definition of de-risking activities (DREI, but also other assessments) related to clean energy technologies.

All of the above listed tasks shall be performed under the supervision of UNDP’s Principal Technical Advisor for Climate Change Mitigation/Energy.


Core competencies

Achieve Results:

LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

Act with Determination:

LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 

Thematic Area




Strategic Thinking

Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritzed plans in line with UNDPs objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities, linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions.

Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP.


Systems Thinking

Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.


Knowledge Generation

Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge relevant for context or responsive to a stated need.


Nature, Climate and Energy

Energy: Energy planning, Derisking energy investment and financial appraisal


Nature, Climate and Energy

Energy:  Knowledge of techno-economic modelling for low-carbon energy


Nature, Climate and Energy

Energy:  Knowledge of low-carbon energy solutions, including key trends, markets and innovative business and finance models

Business Management


Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.

Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media, and other appropriate channels.

Required Skills and Experience

Minimum Qualifications of the Successful IPSA:

Min. Academic Education

Master’s degree in energy, environmental sciences, public policy, business or other relevant field

Relevant Work experience



  • At least 5 years’ of professional experience with low-carbon investment, including renewable energy;
  • Experience with research-based quantitative analysis studies for low-carbon energy.

Desired additional skills and competencies

  • Candidates with experience with financial modelling for low-carbon energy, (e.g. LCOE modelling) preferred.
    • To demonstrate any financial modelling experience, please submit a financial modelling sample, which can include techno-economic analyses, in Excel format. The modelling sample will be assessed on its sophistication, coherence, organization and use of financial analysis concepts. The sample should be a recent (in the last 3 years) analysis in a developing country context and be focused on the renewable energy sector. The sample should also be the candidate’s own work.
  • Experience around public instruments (policy and financial tools) to promote investment in renewable energy will be an advantage
  • Experience with applying the DREI methodology will be an advantage;
  • Experience working with multilateral organizations preferred;
  • Experience working on low-carbon energy in developing country contexts in the regions of assignment (i.e. Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia) preferred

Required Language(s) (at working level)

  • Excellent oral and written communications and presentations skills in English.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills in French is preferred.

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