Long Term Agreement, On-Call Basis, Energy Finance and Enterprise Development, UNCDF/Financial Inclusion Practice Area, Energy Access Team, Multiple Consultants

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home-based with possible travels to countries in Africa, including but not limited to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burkina Faso, Senegal, depending on the requirement of the work
Application Deadline :07-May-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English   French  
Duration of Initial Contract :Up to 240 working days each spread over one year, with possibility of extension up to a maximum of t


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 Initiative: CleanStart Programme

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 Thinkshops 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. 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, 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 groups, such as solar energy associations, to enable them to act as an effective intermediary between individual energy companies and government and influence policy discussions.

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, and the Central African Forestry Initiative and REDD+ in the DRC.

Information on the Contract Modality

UNCDF would like to enter into a non-exclusive Framework Agreement, also known as Long-Term Agreement (LTA), with a roster of consultants that will perform the services described in this TOR on a need-basis.   In UNCDF, an LTA is a framework agreement by and between UNCDF and a company or individual where the latter may, at any time within the duration of the LTA, be required to render the agreed services at the agreed and fixed unit prices.  An LTA can be valid for a minimum period of 12 months, with potential extension for up to two (2) additional years, depending on satisfactory performance of the individual / company.

Where a request for service arises, UNCDF can engage the individual holding an LTA through a “call-off” of the LTA.   Every call-off shall have specific tasks, scope of services and outputs to be delivered within a specific period of time.   For this particular work, the call-off shall be formalized through the issuance of a Purchase Order, attaching thereto the TOR, and any other document relevant to the call-off.  Financial commitments will only be established each time a Purchase Order for the specific services/TOR for Individual Contractor is issued.

The LTA shall have a cumulative ceiling amount that may accrue to the individual contractor during the life of the LTA, but said amount shall remain as an upper limit, and must not and cannot be interpreted nor understood as neither a financial commitment nor guarantee of business volume.  It is important to note that, under an LTA, UNCDF does not guarantee that any specific quantity of services shall be made during the term of this agreement.  The LTA does not form a financial obligation nor commitment from UNCDF at the time the LTA contract is signed.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Purpose of the Consultancy

The purpose of this consultancy is to contribute to CleanStart’s Outputs 1 and 2: Financing for Clean Energy and Technical Assistance in Africa, with emphasis on (but not limited to) Francophone African countries. This LTA requires fluency in English and French.

Selected consultants will focus on:

  1. Fund launch activities in selected countries: The objective is to support the CleanStart programme to launch funding activities in new markets. This will include market scoping and needs assessments with clean energy enterprises, and stakeholder constituency building with government and local funders as to tailor CleanStart tools and funding methodologies to the context of local markets.
  2. Fund management team: The objective is to be part of the local fund management teams, who are responsible for the evaluation and selection of enterprises and financial institutions who desire become CleanStart partners through our competitive selection processes. The enterprises selected by the fund management team are nominated to the independent investment committee to be considered for funding.
  3. Business and finance technical assistance: The objective is to provide clean energy and small enterprise finance technical assistance to enterprises within the CleanStart portfolio. The aim of technical assistance overall is to improve implementation of funded projects, review business operations strategies, and to prepare companies for scale up and for investment readiness as to crowd in external funders via business development services and advisory.  This technical assistance will complement clean cooking technology and production related technical assistance.
  4. Brokering investment partnerships: The objective is to work closely with external funders (local and international) to promote UNCDF’s financing instruments (loans, guarantees and grants) in addition to bringing visibility to our pipeline of investible enterprises. This is to ensure that enterprises have crowded in external investment to support further expansion and project sustainability after our investment and that funders are able to access local clean energy pipelines.
  5. Knowledge management and results sharing: The objective is to represent UNCDF best practices in clean energy investment and technical assistance at events as opportunities arise or putting together think pieces on lessons learned from our methodologies and from the enterprises we are supporting. This also includes providing feedback to improve CleanStart tools and methodologies for selecting partners and implementing technical assistance.

Scope of Services

Key Scope of services



Estimated duration of call-off / time to complete the service when called off per each consultant

  1. Fund launch activities in selected countries

Key work areas include:

  • Completing market scoping assessments including meetings with stakeholders and needs assessments for energy enterprises
  • Designing competitive financing (challenge fund; competitive incubation programme) guiding documents, including Call for Expression of Interest/Request for Proposal documents appropriate for market situations;
  • Disseminating calls among key institutions/people to generate high submission rates;
  • Organising group and one-on-one sessions with potential applicants to improve the quality of individual business and financial proposals and encourage organizational commitment;
  • Organizing information sessions in different regions to promote and market the financing mechanisms on the ground
  • Leading incubation workshops to provide early feedback direct technical assistance to enterprises interested in applying for support from CleanStart.

Market scoping report and enterprise needs assessments; pipeline database of prospective companies; minutes from stakeholder meetings; guidelines for fund launch and implementation plan; mission reports from information sessions and incubation workshops.

90 days

  1. Fund management

Key work areas will include:

  • Systematically reviewing long and short-list business and financial proposals submitted;
  • Conducting due diligence on potential partners; drafting due diligence report with specific recommendations on how UNCDF can best support the institution;
  • Advising the Investment Committee (IC) through analytical documentation and presentation during the IC so that IC members can make informed investment decisions;
  • Facilitating the negotiation of financing agreements (grants, loans, guarantees or other) and roadmaps with selected partners and other funding providers, including setting up performance indicators, milestones and payment schedules.
  • Monitoring performance of partners as per financing agreement.

Company evaluations; due diligence reports; summary portfolio reports and presentations for the investment committee; Performance based agreements and company roadmaps.


75 days

  1. Technical assistance

Key work areas include:

  • Pre-investment technical assistance to enterprises’ submission to the competitive funding processes;
  • Evaluation of company reports (KPI and narratives) to assess progress against roadmaps and agreement milestones;
  • Implementing additional needs assessments and spot checks with enterprises to strengthen monitoring and evaluation;
  • Preparing plans for direct technical assistance execution;
  • Implementing technical assistance over a set period of time as determined by roadmaps;
  • Monitoring and reporting on progress of technical assistance for enterprise milestone checks;
  • Executing investment readiness technical assistance to help enterprises prepare for external investment raising.

Draft application submissions and pre-investment TA meeting minutes; TA needs assessments and evaluations; TA implementation plans; TA monitoring reports.

50 days

  1. Brokering investment partnerships

Key work areas include:

  • Guiding the evaluation of enterprises and carrying out due diligence;
  • Advising external funders to structure blended finance opportunities;
  • Nominating partners to other funding opportunities, including from UNCDF and strategic partners.

Company investment evaluations and due diligence reports; notes from meetings with external funders; documentation of deal structuring.

10 days

  1. Knowledge management and results sharing

Key work areas will include:

  • Documenting and synthesizing key lessons/insights from engaging with various stakeholders throughout the business opportunity identification, strategy development, partner selection; and collaboration stages.
  • Refining partner selection tools and financing agreements for risk capital & technical assistance; 
  • Contributing to the development of user tool-kits focused on decentralized energy/utility access financing;
  • Providing inputs to other energy access related activities and tools (e.g. M&E tools).
  • Presenting findings and analysis in good communication presentations (written/social media and other including representing UNCDF at conferences and in webinars);
  • Updating enterprise progress reports for internal and donor reporting.

Analytical reports;

Short communication articles; Enhanced partner selection and portfolio monitoring tools;
Mission reports; enterprise progress reports for donors.


15 days


Duration of Assignment, Duty Station and Expected Places to Travel

The assignment, under this Framework Agreement (On Call basis), is expected to have a maximum duration of 3 years. The initial contract would be for one year with an option for renewal in subsequent years upon project needs, availability of funds and satisfactory performance of the consultants.   The duration of each call-off shall be clearly indicated in the TOR that supports the PO that signals the call-off.
The individual contractor is expected to be Home-based with possible travel to countries where UNCDF FIPA projects operate in Francophone Africa, including but not limited to Burkina Faso, Senegal and DRC.  The schedule/duration of travel will be negotiated with the consultant according to the requirements of each programme country.

Travel costs associated to the assignment will be advanced by the consultants, and paid by UNCDF on a  reimbursement basis, and following the UNDP/UNCDF rules and regulations which states that consultants 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.

Monitoring and Progress Control

The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Financial Inclusion Practice Area’s (FIPA) Energy Access Global Team Lead, or other FIPA project management unit that may call-off the LTA and require the services of the individual.  The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own laptop during the course of his/her engagement with UNCDF.

Payment to the Individual Contractor will be made based on the actual number of working days agreed with UNCDF as reflected in the call-off (PO) and upon certification of satisfactory completion and acceptance of the output by the FIPA Energy Access Global Team Lead.  All time extensions beyond what is originally indicated by UNCDF in the call-off PO shall have to be mutually agreed in writing by UNCDF and the consultant, as basis for payment.

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.   Where payment is based on days worked and not on milestone outputs, the submission of time sheet and expenses with relevant documentation may be required by UNCDF.  

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Calling Off Experts Under the LTA/Framework Agreement

  • NEEDS ASSESSMENT:  For every assignment, UNCDF will conduct a need assessment on the services required. The services requirements may be linked to global and national programmes.  
  • ASSESS IF THE PROJECT FALLS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE LTA:  UNCDF is not mandated to use the LTA holders and can resort to other procurement sources at any time.  However if the work required is aligned with the design and purpose of the LTA, UNCDF will generally approach LTA holders.  
  • CONTACT LTA HOLDERS AND AWARD THE CALL-OFF PO:  Based on the need assessment and a predefined TOR, UNCDF will review the LTA holders’ qualification and experience, focus area, regional coverage as well as work languages as per below table, and then approach the LTA holders that fit with the assignment.  The TOR will include details on duration, number of days, mission places,  scope of works, and deliverables.  If more than one consultant is available in the required area of specialization, UNCDF will conduct interviews to ensure that the consultant(s) have the required expertise and knowledge to successfully complete the deliverables. After the interview, if there are still more than one consultant available, the award will be based on the lowest total daily rate among those that are available and meet the work requirement.





Consultants profile 1: Fund Management & launch activities in selected countries

  • Country strategy and/or market scoping development
  • Challenge fund design
  • Challenge fund implementation
  • Investment pipeline management tools development
  • Specialization in clean cooking and/or pay-as-you-go financing



English, French

Consultants profile 2: TA and Brokering investment partnerships

  • Investment appraisals, due diligence
  • Financial modelling for investment transactions
  • Business plan development TA to energy and financial service providers
  • Setting up risk-sharing instruments/structures with other investors/financial institutions




English, French

Consultants profile 3 Knowledge management and results sharing

  • Fundraising proposal and/or project document development
  • Specialization in clean cooking solutions or solar solutions.
  • Specialization in energy projects funded by global/ regional climate/environment funds e.g. GEF, GCF



English, French



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


  • Masters level qualifications in business, finance, economics, energy, (electrical) engineering or related fields;


  • At least 7 years hands-on experience supporting market-based development of off-grid energy or other utility sectors such as water access;
  • At least 5 years’ experience advising or implementing energy business models that incorporate digital services and access to finance for vulnerable people, including household/business level solutions as well as larger SME and community-based solutions (years of experience can overlap with other categories);
  • At least 3 years’ experience in designing and implementing challenge funds 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);
  • At least 2 year of work experience in African countries, with additional advantage for Francophone African countries.


  • Fluency in English and French is required.
  • Knowledge of other local languages in the DRC and Burkina Faso is an advantage.


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 Criteria

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, economics, energy, (electrical) engineering or related fields;
  • At least 7 years hands-on experience supporting market-based development of decentralized energy or other utility sectors such as water access;
  • Fluency in English and French required. Knowledge of other local languages in the DRC and Burkina Faso is an advantage.

Step II: Shortlisting Criteria

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 5 years’ experience advising or implementing energy/utility business models that incorporate digital services and access to finance for vulnerable people, including household/business level solutions as well as larger SME and community based solutions (years of experience can overlap with other categories); (30 points)
  • At least 3 years’ experience in designing and implementing challenge funds and/or other financial instruments (e.g. credit risk guarantee facilities) (years of experience can overlap with other categories); (30 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); (30 points)
  • At least 2 year of work experience in one or more of the countries mentioned above a plus. (10 points)

As applicable, the applicants achieving 70% of the points at this stage shall be invited for an interview via Skype.

Step III: Interview

A competency-based Interview shall be conducted for the shortlisted candidates.
Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Steps II Desk Review (20 points) +III Interview (80 points) will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step IV: 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 candidates that achieved the highest cumulative score will be recommended for award of LTA, upon approval of the appropriate Procurement Review Committee.   UNCDF reserves the right to increase or decrease this number depending on the quality of the applications that will be received.  

Application Process

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.

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 LTA.

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.

Please include all documents into one file while submitting your application.



UNDP’s Individual Consultant’s General Terms and Conditions are provided here:

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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