International Social and Environmental Safeguards Coordination Consultant for the Africa Mini-grids Program

Location : Home-based with possible travel mission
Application Deadline :08-Jun-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :45 working days through 30 April 2021


The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council recently approved the Program Framework Document (PFD) for the Africa Mini-grids Program (AMP). The overall program objective of AMP is to support African countries to increase energy access by reducing the cost and increasing commercial viability of renewable energy mini-grids. The program has two main elements:

  • A cohort of National ‘Child’ Projects, each with a set of tailored activities in line with the program’s three thematic areas of (i) policy and regulations; (ii) business model innovation and private sector; and (iii) innovative finance. The program will initially support a first round of 11 national child project concepts approved in the GEF December 2019 work program. These 11 countries are: Angola, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan.  Funding for national child projects has come from GEF STAR resources (9 of the 11 approved concept notes), UNDP TRAC and AFDB Sustainable Energy for All (SEFA), as well as other co-financing sources.
  • A Regional Project, to support the program’s national child projects, and the Africa mini-grid market more generally, offering three core sets of activities: (i) knowledge tools for both public and private actors; (ii) tailored technical assistance to countries; and (iii) convening, dissemination, and tracking of progress. The Rocky Mountain Institute is UNDP’s main partner for the regional project. Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an impartial not-for-profit organization with a 37-year history of creating market-led energy transformations globally. Its work in mini-grids focuses on reducing cost of service and supporting innovative business models.


The AMP program is broadly focused on supporting appropriate policies and enabling environments; cost-reduction – across hardware costs, soft costs and financing costs; and promoting innovative business models for mini-grids. The programmatic approach aims to achieve greater impact by helping create new mini-grid markets across the continent, which, in aggregate, will create scale and momentum, attracting private sector interest and investment. The programmatic approach will also allow for a broader sharing of good practice and create economies of scale in providing program services. The program will support and facilitate knowledge management and information sharing between the regional project and national child projects, within the program’s community of practice, as well as broader information sharing amongst the larger mini-grid community.

The initial 11 aforementioned countries participating in the program represent a diverse cross-section of African countries: both large as well as smaller markets; Anglophone and Francophone countries; small island developing states; and countries in post-crisis contexts.

The program is structured as four components, across national child projects and the regional child project, as set out in Figure 1 below. This structure allows for a clear results framework for measuring impact across national child projects, with a commonality in outcomes, outputs and indicators in each component.

Figure 1. Proposed Architecture of the GEF-7 Africa Mini-grids Program

UNDP is now commencing a detailed project preparation phase expected to last 9-12 months. The PFD was approved by the GEF Council on 20 December 2019. At the end of the preparation phase, UNDP will finalize 9 project documents and CEO endorsements for approval/endorsement by the GEF CEO for the national child projects allocated GEF resources and one project document and CEO endorsement for the regional project supported by the GEF. In the case of Angola and Madagascar, while both projects are officially part of the Africa Mini-grids Program, these two projects are funded separately from the GEF, using UNDP TRAC and AfDB Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) resources. For Angola and Madagascar, UNDP will work closely with the AfDB SEFA team to prepare the required project documentation.


The Project Preparation Grant (PPG) team composition for each national child project will include the following international consultants:


  • International UNDP-GEF Project Development (PPG Team Leader)
  • International Social and Environmental Safeguards Coordination Consultant
  • International Social and Environmental Safeguards Support Consultant
  • International Social and Environmental Safeguards expert for a high-risk country (only for Sudan)
  • Gender Specialist
  • Mini-grids Technical Experts (providing services for all participating child projects)

As per the 2018 GEF cancellation policy, the following key milestones will apply for the project preparation phase for each national child project:

Table 1: Key Dates for the GEF PPG




Internal submission date for all documentation for UNDP-GEF review and clearance

19 January 2021

2 months prior to the first submission deadline and 8 months prior to the program commitment deadline of 19 September 2021

First GEF Submission Deadline for CEO Endorsement

19 March 2021

The first submission must be 6 months before the program commitment deadline. Failure to submit a ProDoc and CEO ER to the GEF Sec by this date will lead to the automatic cancellation of the project by the GEF Secretariat.

CEO Endorsement Deadline after which the project will be cancelled if not endorsed

19 September 2021

GEF Endorsement must be by the program commitment deadline. If the project has not been CEO endorsed by this date, then it will be automatically cancelled by the GEF Secretariat.

UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards (SES) underpin our commitment to mainstream social and environmental sustainability in our Programmes and Projects to support sustainable development. The objectives of the standards are to:

  • Strengthen the social and environmental outcomes of Programmes and Projects
  • Avoid adverse impacts to people and the environment
  • Minimize, mitigate, and manage adverse impacts where avoidance is not possible
  • Strengthen UNDP and partner capacities for managing social and environmental risks
  • Ensure full and effective stakeholder engagement, including through a mechanism to respond to complaints from project-affected people

A key mechanism to ensure these standards are applied is through UNDP’s project-level Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP) which is a requirement for all proposed projects. The objectives of the SESP are to: (a) Integrate the SES Overarching Principles (human rights, gender equality and environmental sustainability); (b) Identify potential social and environmental risks and their significance; (c) Determine the Project's risk category (Low, Moderate, High); and (d) Determine the level of social and environmental assessment and management required to address potential risks and impacts.

UNDP’s SES and SESP came into effect January 1, 2015. All guidance on UNDPs Social and Environmental Safeguards can be found in the SES Toolkit. Pre-SESPs were done for all national child project concept notes developed as part of the PFD submission and all child projects – with the exception of Sudan – were classified in the pre-SESP as medium-risk.

UNDP, in collaboration with the participating Governments, seeks to engage a qualified International Social and Environmental Safeguards Coordination Consultant to support PPG team leaders in finalizing the Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP) for all child projects and to prepare an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) for the overall Africa Mini-Grids Program, excluding Sudan. This consultant will work to prepare and finalize a single program-wide ESMF (excluding Sudan), with inputs from an International Social and Environmental Safeguards Support Consultant, and with the support of national consultants who will collect data for all relevant national child projects. The International Social and Environmental Safeguards Coordination Consultant will work with the PPG team leaders to finalize the required screening assessment and ESMF for the overall program.



Duties and Responsibilities


The Coordination Consultant  will support the PPG Team Leader to conduct the necessary assessments to identify potential environmental and social risks, ways to avoid negative environmental and social impacts where possible, and where risk avoidance is not possible, to identify appropriate mitigation and management measures, in line with the UNDP Social and Environmental Standards. The Coordination Consultant will:

  1. Support the PPG Team Leaders in updating the Social and Environmental Screening Procedures (SESP) for the following countries: Burkina Faso, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Malawi, Nigeria and Somalia; and

2)    Design the ESMF for the development of the Project Documents for all participating countries (excluding Sudan). The Coordination Consultant will collect and coordinate content from country level analyses, including indigenous people considerations, and

3)    Prepare legal and institutional frameworks per country to finalize the overall ESMF for the AMP.



The list below outlines key responsibilities and deliverables of this contract:

A. Preparatory Technical Studies and Reviews: Prepare inputs and support the required analyses/studies, as agreed with the PPG Team Leaders, including:

Review the pre-screening (SESP) of the Concept Notes; agree to a project-specific safeguards approach, workplan and mission schedule (as needed) with the PPG Team Leaders, UNDP Country Office and the UNDP-GEF Regional Technical Specialist (RTS); familiarize other PPG team members with UNDP’s SES and specific requirements, as appropriate; update the SESPs and develop the draft ESMF, in line with UNDP’s Guidance Note on Assessment and Management; finalize the ESMF based on inputs from the international and national consultants carrying out stakeholder consultations; support the PPG team leaders in updating and finalizing the SESP reports based on the ESMF; and, assist and/or advise the PPG Team in applying Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) where required.

B. Formulation of the ProDoc, CEO Endorsement Request and Mandatory and Project Specific Annexes: Prepare inputs and support the development of final PPG deliverables, as agreed with the PPG Team Leaders to ensure alignment with and consideration of safeguards, including but not limited to: Risk Table and “Risks and Assumptions” section; Relevant project Outcomes and/or Outputs; and Terms of Reference for the project team. The consultant is also expected to provide guidance, and provide inputs, to the Gender Specialist during the preparation of the Stakeholder Engagement Plan; Gender Analysis and Action Plan; and Indigenous Peoples Plan (if applicable).

C. Prepare legal and institutional frameworks for 8 child projects (not including Sudan):

  • Review the pre-screening (SESP) of the Concept Note;
  • Agree to a project-specific safeguards approach, workplan and mission schedule (as needed) with the PPG Team Leaders, UNDP Country Office and the UNDP-GEF Regional Technical Advisor (RTA);
  • Familiarize other PPG team members with UNDP’s SES and specific requirements, as appropriate;
  • Finalize legal and institutional frameworks via content provided by each national consultant (excluding Sudan), for efficient inputs into the preparation of the overall ESMF.

D. Validation Workshop:

  • Contribute to the preparation of the validation workshop (no mission required); and
  • Support all necessary revisions that arise during the workshop, as appropriate.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables:

Table 2. Deliverables, estimated duration, dates, fee percentage and required approvals




Tentative Dates

Fee (%)

Review and Approvals Required


Draft Environmental and Social Management Framework[1] for overall program (excluding Sudan)

12 days

30 September 2020




Inputs to 8 ProDocs and CEO ERs, including annexes

8 days

31 October 2020




Legal and Institutional Framework Annexes for 8 countries

20 days

30 November 2020




Submission of ESMF documents, as part of the CEO ER package, to UNDP-GEF Directorate for technical clearance and submission to GEF SEC for CEO endorsement

3 days

31 December 2020


UNDP Cos and RTS


Address comments from GEF SEC for all countries

2 days

30 April 2021





45 days




Information on Working Arrangements:

  • The consultant will be home-based, with the possibility of missions to select countries as needed;
  • The consultant will report to, and be directly supervised by, the relevant Regional Technical Advisor for Climate Change Mitigation and Energy at the Addis Regional Service Centre, and will receive directions from and coordinate closely with UNDP's Senior Advisor on Environmental Finance and Private Sector Development;
  • The Consultant will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The Consultant will work closely with the international experts and national consultants for each country to collect data necessary for the overall ESMF;
  • The Consultant will closely interact with the other consultants hired as part of the PPG Team;
  • The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own work station (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to reliable internet connection;
  • Given the global consultations to be undertaken during this assignment, the consultant is expected to be reasonably flexible with his/her availability for such consultations taking into consideration different time zones;
  • Payments will be made upon submission of a detailed time sheet and certification of payment form, and acceptance and confirmation by the Supervisor on days worked (with a “day” calculated as 8 hours of work) and outputs delivered.


  • Once travel restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so, mission travel to participating countries may be required;
  • Mission travel must be approved in advance and in writing by the Supervisor of the corresponding CO;
  • The BSAFE course must be completed before the commencement of travel;
  • 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
  • The consultant will be responsible for making his/her mission travel arrangements in line with UNDP travel policies;
  • All travel expenses related to mission travels will be supported by the project travel fund and will be reimbursed as per UNDP rules and regulations for consultants. Costs for mission airfares, terminal expenses, and living allowances should not be included in financial proposal.

[1] IMPORTANT: The draft ESMF must be posted for public disclosure. At the end of the disclosure period the Safeguards Specialist must address comments and finalize the ESMF.



  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.


  • Able to communicate effectively in writing to a varied and broad audience in a simple and concise manner;
  • Capable of working in a high- pressure environment with sharp and frequent deadlines, managing many tasks simultaneously;
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills;
  • Exercises the highest level of responsibility and be able to handle confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner;
  • Works well in a team;
  • Projects a positive image and is ready to take on a wide range of tasks;
  • Focuses on results for the client;
  • Welcomes constructive feedback.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree or bachelors with relevant experience, in fields such as Environment, Renewable Energy, Environmental Sciences, Development, Engineering, or a related discipline (Max 10 points);



  • Minimum 10 years of demonstrable experience related to social and environmental safeguards and/or impact assessment in an international development context (Max 15 points);
  • Demonstrable experience of in carrying out an ESMF in line with SES guidelines is required (Max 15 points);
  • Work experience with sustainable development environmental management issues, as related to decentralized renewable energy such as mini-grids, is an asset (Max 10 points);
  • Work experience in African countries an asset (Max 5 points);
  • Previous working experience with GEF project agencies and familiarity with GEF and UNDP policies, procedures and practices are assets (Max 15 points).



  • Fluent English language (both oral and written) and excellent communication and presentation skills, particularly in the preparation of written documents (Pass/Fail).


Evaluation Method:

  • Only those applications, which are responsive and compliant, will be evaluated. Incomplete applications will not be considered;
  • Offers will be evaluated according to the Combined Scoring method – where the technical criteria will be weighted at 70% and the financial offer will be weighted at 30%;
  • The technical criteria (education, experience, language) will be based on a maximum 70 points;
  • Only the top 3 candidates that have achieved a minimum of 49 points from the review of education, experience and language will be will be deemed technically compliant and considered for financial evaluation;
  • Financial score (max 100 points) shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal of those technically qualified;
  • The financial proposal shall specify an all-inclusive lump sum fee. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal must additionally include a breakdown of this daily fee (including all foreseeable expenses to carry out the assignment);
  • Applicant receiving the Highest Combined Score and has accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.

Documentation to be submitted:

  • Applicants must submit a duly completed and signed UNDP Personal History form (P11) and/or CV including Education/Qualification, Professional Certification, Employment Records /Experience to be downloaded from the below link;
  • Applicants must reply to the mandatory questions asked by the system when submitting the application.
  • Applicants must submit a duly completed and signed Annex II Offeror´s letter to UNDP confirming interest and availability for the Individual Contractor (IC) assignment to be downloaded from the UNDP procurement site.

Kindly note you can upload only ONE document to this application (scan all documents in one single PDF or Word file to attach).  File size cannot exceed the maximum limit of 10MB


UNDP Personal History form P11 

General Conditions of Contract for the ICs:GTC

Annex II Offeror´s letter to UNDP confirming interest and availability for the Individual Contractor (IC) assignment: (reference no. 66363 )

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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