National Consultant to review the financial support mechanism


Location : Home based
Application Deadline :15-Apr-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :3d 16h 6m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English   Russian  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
26-Apr-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :25 working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :26 April 2021 - 30th June 2021


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.


Background

"The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Construction (Minstroy) are jointly conducting a project entitled Market Transformation for Sustainable Rural Housing in Uzbekistan.  The objective of the project is to provide Uzbekistan’s rural population with improved, affordable and environmentally friendly living conditions. The project seeks to transform the rapidly growing rural housing sector in Uzbekistan towards a more sustainable and low-carbon development pathway by designing, piloting and scaling-up a green mortgage market mechanism, which will boost the demand for low-carbon housing among the Uzbek rural population.  This project, under financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as well as significant national co-financing, was launched in March 2017 and is due for completion in March 2023.

The project consists of four inter-linked outcomes. The outcomes relate to introducing a green mortgage scheme for rural housing (Outcome 1), strengthening domestic supply chain and the capacity to design and construct efficient and low-carbon housing (Outcome 2), Strengthening policies and regulations, particularly building codes for rural housing and rural settlements (Outcome 3), and raising public awareness about benefits and advantages of energy efficiency and low-carbon housing (Outcome 4).

By achieving these outcomes, the project will create a favorable market environment and scalable business model for investment in both energy-efficient and low-carbon rural housing.

Under Outcome 1 of the project is the development, establishment and operationalization of a financing scheme for supporting the implementation of energy efficiency (EE) projects in rural housing in Uzbekistan under the heading “Green Mortgage market mechanism to scale-up demand for low-carbon housing”. Under this component, the project works with national financial institutions, primarily Qishlok Qurilish Bank (QQB/Rural Construction Bank) and builds on and complements the existing and highly popular mortgage programme for rural housing implemented by the Rural Construction Bank. The Rural Construction Bank provides mortgages to the families wishing to buy a house under the State Investment Program “Housing for Comprehensive Rural Development” at 7% for 15 years. The demand for mortgages has been steadily increasing since 2009 and the Bank plans to further expand its mortgage operations in the next decade. The project implemented a financial support mechanism to complement the mortgage programme for rural housing and encourage low-carbon housing during 2019 and 2020. During these years, 800 rural housing were supported by the project in 2019 and 528 rural housing were supported by the project in 2020.

The project undertook a mid-term review in 2020 which was completed at the end of 2020 and which has concluded that the project needs adaptive management on the financial support mechanism needs an overall review and a new strategy.

Now that the financial support mechanism for low-carbon rural housing has been running for two years and now that the mid-term review has concluded that there are some issues that need to be addressed with regards to this mechanism, it is time to take stock and assess its performance and make recommendations for the future using adaptive management in terms of either: a) enhancing and strengthening it; or (b) making clear and specific recommendations for the design of a new financial support mechanism for low-carbon rural housing.


Duties and Responsibilities

The objective of this assignment is, using the theory of change and using data collected from the project and from interviews with all relevant stakeholders, to review and take stock of the results and impacts of the financial support mechanism (FSM) developed under Outcome 1 “Green Mortgage market mechanism to scale-up demand for low-carbon housing” by the project and evaluate how this has been implemented so far  in order to undertake adaptive management and make recommendations for: a) adjusting and strengthening it; or (b) making clear and specific recommendations for the design of a new financial support mechanism for low-carbon rural housing.

The project will hire a team of two persons (international and national consultant) to carry out this work. The international consultant will be responsible for the lead drafting of all reports while the national consultant will provide detailed review on all versions of the draft reports for all deliverables as well as inputs and feedback on proposed methodology and approach. The main focus of the national consultant will be on data collection and stakeholder outreach. The national consultant will also be available to translate summaries of documents in Russian for the international consultant, as required, and to provide brief analysis of documents in Russian for the international consultant, as required. The national consultant will take the lead role in organizing stakeholder meetings with various project stakeholders to assist with the drafting of reports and will also be available, where possible, to undertake in person meetings with key project stakeholders connecting to the international consultant via internet communications.

The assignment will start by means of developing an Inception Report and will further consist of three main outputs which are 1) a Review of the financial support mechanism as it was deployed in 2019 and 2020 analyzing the suitability of the design and assessment of the impact of the mechanism, including its sustainability on the longer term and 2) a Recommendations for a Revised Financial Support Mechanism that discusses a way forward for the financial support mechanism in the rural housing project, either by adjusting the existing financial mechanism or by suggesting alternative approaches to (financially) support low carbon rural housing development and 3) suggested revisions to the Project Logframe following from the recommendations for the financial support mechanism.

Output 1: Review of the Financial Support Mechanism Design and Performance (international consultant responsible for the lead drafting, the national consultant supporting this task): This involves the review of the existing financial support mechanism under the project. The review must cover the following: (i) the design of the financial support mechanism under the mortgage scheme operated by the QQB, particularly whether this is based on additionality and/or incremental cost principles; (ii) actual implementation of the financial support mechanism, including procurement arrangements and the sequence of steps in the operation of the financial mechanism towards compensation of low-carbon housing features; (iii) selection process of responsible parties currently involved, in light of stakeholders operating in the rural housing mortgage scheme in Uzbekistan; (iv) whether sound economic/financial feasibility analyses are done (comparison of IRR, NPV, and payback period with and without subsidy); (v) the transparency of design of the financial support mechanism including assessment of the stakeholder consultations that were carried out; (vi) the selection of the rural housing projects that are endorsed for the financial mechanism support; (vii) accuracy of the estimation of the total investment costs; (viii) accuracy of the assessment that the subsidy is what turned an unattractive investment into an attractive one (ix) assessment of the impact of the financial support mechanism in terms of effect on influencing consumer decisions for low-carbon housing (x) sustainability of the financial mechanism in terms of likeliness for the financial mechanism to be continued after the project ends.  

One of the key questions that should be examined refers to the rationale behind the maximum compensation for low carbon features in the financial support mechanism versus other approaches such as a partial subsidy or partial financial incentive based upon principles of additionality and incremental costs. The review should assess and examine how the idea of a maximum subsidy came about and what was the rationale behind this decision. The review should also look at what other options were considered for the financial support mechanisms and why were these rejected.

The Review of the Financial Support Mechanism Design and Performance should review all documents involved in preparation of the financial support mechanism, the GEF review sheets and the correspondence between persons involved in designing the financial support mechanism as well as interviewing current and previous project managers, national CTA, international consultant who undertook the MTR, UNDP CO staff, the RTA as well as other (UNDP and other) individuals/parties/key stakeholders involved in the original design of the mechanism back in 2018 and 2019.

Output 2: Recommendations for a Revised Financial Support Mechanism (international consultant responsible for the lead drafting, the national consultant supporting this task): The revised financial support mechanism recommendations report will focus on  recommendations to adjust and/or enhance the performance of the existing financial support mechanism  to be applied for  the remainder of the lifetime of the Project. The Revised Financial Support Mechanisms Report should discuss the analysis of the various options for an enhanced financial support mechanism or a new financial support mechanism together with justification of the chosen approach. The recommendations shall focus on cost-effectiveness, impact, efficiency, transparency/good governance, and sustainability. It shall provide an analysis of the resources required to run and implement the recommended improved or new financial support mechanism also including recommendations for (improved) third party validation and verification. If the recommendation will be to continue with QQB, then measures to enhance and strengthen the existing financial support mechanism will be included. If the recommendation will be to develop a new financial support mechanism, then recommendations will be made about the choice of an appropriate partner as well as the structure of the mechanism and how it should work. The options that can be looked at can go beyond the currently used performance based payments/direct financial incentives and consider, for example, also other possible options such as a stronger focus on technical assistance for de-risking activities for innovative projects.

Output 3: Revisions in the LogFrame of the project following from the recommendations (international consultant responsible for the lead drafting, the national consultant supporting this task): Depending on the type of recommendations for the financial support mechanism as formulated under Output 2, there may be consequences following from the recommendations for the LogFrame of the project, specifically in terms of adjustments of indicators on Output level, where possible (leading to similar results on Outcome and Objective level in the LogFrame).

Draft reports for both Output 1, Output 2 and Output 3 will be shared with all key stakeholders including original RTA (ORTA), the additional RTA (ARTA) and the relevant staff in the UNDP Country Office as well as the Project Manager and the international CTA to the project. 


Competencies

  • 5 years or more of experience working with and/or analysis/development of private sector financing;
  • 5 years or more of experience working with international organizations or multi-lateral financing institutions is an asset but not required;
  • Experience with the GEF is an asset but not required;
  • Working experience in other countries of Central Asia is an asset but not required.


Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree in finance/business/economics, energy/environmental economics/international relations, or any other relevant field
  • Minimum 5 years of demonstrable experience in financial/economic analysis related to energy sector (focused on renewable energy/ energy efficiency);
  • Experience working with financial institutions in a professional capacity that shows understanding of how financial mechanisms work is required.
  • Fluency in English, Russian. Knowledge of Uzbek desirable

UNDP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified female candidates, people with disabilities, and minorities are highly encouraged to apply. UNDP Gender Balance in Management Policy promotes achievement of gender balance among its staff at all levels.

Application Process:

Interested candidates need to apply online by clicking “Apply Now” button and upload requested documents (Technical Proposal/MethodologyCV/P11 form, Offeror’s Letter of confirmation and Financial Proposal merged into one single file) in Part 5 of Procurement Notice no later than end of 15 April, 2021 (New York time).  Please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document. Your on-line applications submission will be acknowledged to your email address provided in application. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary.

You can review detailed Procurement Notice, Terms of Reference and download templates from the UNDP Procurement Notices Site following the link http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_notice.cfm?notice_id=76996 (cut and paste into browser address bar if the link does not work).

Application submitted via email, incomplete applications or received after the closing date (April 15, 2021) will not be given consideration.

For more detailed information about UNDP Uzbekistan please visit our website at www.uz.undp.org.  UNDP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified female candidates, people with disabilities, and minorities are highly encouraged to apply. UNDP Balance in Manage Policy promotes achievement of gender balance among its staff at all levels.

Requests for clarification must be sent in writing to pu.uz@undp.org,  ensuring that the reference number above is included in the subject line. UNDP shall endeavor to provide such responses to clarifications in an expeditious manner, but any delay in such response shall not cause an obligation on the part of UNDP to extend the submission date of the Proposals, unless UNDP deems that such an extension is justified and necessary.



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