Support to designing the UNCDF Transformative Food Security Finance Initiative for sustainable local and urban food systems



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home-based with travel to workshop locations
Application Deadline :30-Jun-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
15-Jul-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :5 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :15 July to 31 December 2021 (approximately 90 days over 5 months)

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 Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries through 3 practice areas: Local Transformative Finance Practice (LTFP), The Inclusive Digital Economy (IDE) and the Least Developing Countries Investment Platform (LDCIP). With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” financing models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. To this end, UNCDF developed a series of financial instruments and applies its seed capital and technical assistance to develop innovative solutions that leverage resource flows to the local level for local development. However, the populations of the most vulnerable areas of LDCs rely on agricultural and related activities for their livelihoods. Therefore, though agriculture and food security do not appear as the main areas of focus in the mandate, many interventions have been either explicitly implemented in the agricultural sector or have had an indirect impact on agriculture and food security.

Until 2005, the focus of UNCDF-LTFP support has been on fiscal decentralization and the introduction of innovative ways to strengthening the capacity of the public sector and the local level public institutions to deliver basic services and local infrastructure. After 2005 the focus has evolved to pay a stronger attention to the Local Economic Development (LED) and to the creation of an enabling environment for private investments. For this purpose, a new initiative was launched, the Local Finance Initiative (LFI), which works in tandem with the LDF but with the objective to unlock private finance and investments. To complement the LFI, UNCDF has developed, the Municipal Investment Financing (MIF) Program with the objective to increase the capacity of local governments and other sub-sovereign entities to address key urbanization challenges through access to sustainable sources of capital financing. In this perspective UNCDF developed and put in place an International Municipal Investment Fund (IMIF) to fund investments identified by local governments or local government supported entities and to provide financing to a pipeline of high-impact local government investment opportunities including those related to agriculture and food security.

UNCDF efforts to enhance food security and nutrition of local populations and sustainable local food systems can be ascribed to this evolution and in 2015 the UNCDF vision and approach to FSN and sustainable food systems has been formalized in a dedicated programme named Finance for Food (F4F), which identifies UNCDF role in the provision of “solutions for local Food and Nutrition Security in Africa and Asia through encouraging increased gender-sensitive public, public-private and community investments to fill missing links in the Local Food System (LFS)”. To operationalize the Programme, UNCDF has developed methodological guides and FNS impact assessment framework.

Recently the UNCDF decided to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the F4F programme that is expected to feed the internal discussion on the future reorganization of the FSN work under LTFP practice area. Among the main issues at stake in the internal brainstorming that are addressed in this assessment were the question whether FSN area of work is better delivered through a dedicated stand-alone program? how to make the best use of the UNCDF’s financial mechanisms and tools to support FSN interventions and whether and how the F4F programme should be updated and extended to reflect/incorporate emerging issues such as, for example, rural-urban linkages but also the scope and scale of UNCDF interventions.

The assessment report contends that F4F provides a useful framework if well used it provides a potential powerful tool for UNCDF to affirm its role and become a recognized player in support of food security. Furthermore, it points out that if well used, the arsenal of financial mechanisms developed by UNCDF can play a pivotal role to help local governments address the expected dramatic impacts of the pandemic on development finance and food security. With its mandate and experience UNCDF fills a critical gap in the FSN approaches applied by other FSN mandate actors and can therefore add significant value towards eradication of hunger in LDCs.

However, to achieve this objective, some actions should be undertaken to address and possibly remove some internal and external constraints that have hindered the implementation of the F4F programme. in the target countries and efforts should be multiplied.

The assessment report concludes that UNCDF should seize the opportunity of the international events like the UN Food Sustainable System Summit (UNFSSS), COP26, Summit on Nutrition for Growth, G7, G20, the World Food Day, and UN Global Leaders’ Summit in 2021 and the the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in 2022 to advocate for its role in fighting against food insecurity and malnutrition. Moreover, it is expected that the international events will be crucial to understand which trajectories will be devised by the global community to meet the food security and hunger eradication objectives in the post-Covid19 world and that they will provide UNCDF with important inputs to eventually reorganize the FSN area of work.

Based on the assessment outcomes, the various consultations in the framework of the UNFSSS and its comparative advantage of financing mandate, UNCDF could excel in transformative food security finance to improve urban-rural linkages for better local and urban food systems. In this perspective, UNCDF is seeking for a service of consultant to develop a strong business case and Program document that can identify the benchmark of new niche and confirm UNCDF’s role in the FSN arena.


Duties and Responsibilities

The overall objective of this exercise is to use the F4F assessment report and other relevant key frameworks and documents to identify the benchmark of new niche that make UNCDF contribution more meaningful and develop strong programme document that will contribute to meet the food security and hunger eradication objectives in the post-Covid19 world .

The 2 specific objectives are to:

  • Support building partnerships and advocacy to create a niche for UNCDF in the FSN community of practice
  • propose strategy and business case to better address food security emerging needs including the nature production/Biodiversity management and gaps on UNCDF’s past intervention in the LDC and graduated countries. 

Under the global supervision of UNCDF Local Transformative Finance Practice and the responsibility of the Regional Technical Advisor in charge of Food Security, the consultant will inter alia perform and achieve the following tasks and activities:

1. Building partnerships to create UNCDF niche in the FSN community of practice

  • Organize advocacy for UNCDF visibility within food security community of practice.
  • Support the participation to the UNFSS dynamic and release UNCDF Food security Policy and Positioning Papers.
  • Target and advise on the participation of UNCDF to global events, clustering, publishing, leading groups and thematic working groups in the UNFSS,
  • Support the organization of official meetings, side events on the new UNCDF Food Security approach

2. Develop project document for a new UNCDF niche and intervention to meet the food security and hunger eradication objectives in the post-Covid19 world 

This must include, but not limited to the following:

  • Propose strategy for the promotion of local governance and territorial approach adoption to FS, FSNincluding biodiversity management,
  • Propose how the gap of local finance, including public and private can be filled in the context of the new development of the UN Sustainable Food System and Global Food Security agenda,
  • Propose strategy to increase access to transformative capital for municipalities to strengthen urban food system using the Municipal Investment Finance and the International Municipal Investment Fund (IMIF)
  • Propose blueprints to leverage international food finance to attract private sector investment for urban and peri-urban food production, to create financial platform for funding food and biodiversity value chain actors and to possibly issue a ‘food bond’ to finance sustainable urban food systems

The consultant will work in close collaboration with other colleagues and consultants working with UNCDF along the Local Transformative Finance Practice especially those on the support to SMEs and project finance, the MIF program and IMIF Technical Assistance and all Regional Technical Advisors.  

Deliverables/Payment Terms 

Deliverable 1:  Inception Report/Methodolgy - 15%

Deliverable 2: (i)Draft policy/ positioning papers; (ii) Partnerships developed, events organized (meetings, side event etc..), in the preparation of the UNFS Summit - 25%

Deliverable 3: (i) Draft project document including Logframe of the new UNCDF Transformative Food Security Finance (ii) Partnership developed, high level meeting preparation and organization reports - 40%

Deliverable 4: (i) Final version of project document of the new UNCDF Transformative Food Security Finance (ii) Final version of the Policy and positioning papers - 20%

Note on Travel:

In the case of travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNCDF and the Individual Consultant, prior to travel.

The fare will always be “most direct, most economical” and any difference in price with the preferred route will be paid for by the expert.


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religious, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Exhibits integrity in the workplace, including transparency and honesty

Functional Competencies:

  • Fully proficient computer skills;
  • Strong analytical and research skills;
  • Strong communication skills and ability to communicate to a variety of audiences.
  • Strong writing skills and track record in producing relevant reports and other communications and knowledge materials.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • University Degree (Msc or PhD) in economics, project finance, municipal finance, finance, rural development, food security and agriculture finance, or related discipline

Experience:

  • 10 years of progressively responsible experience in agriculture development, food security, Agric financing, private sector development, municipal finance, or other relevant field is required at international level. Experience in Africa desirable.
  • Substantive knowledge of infrastructure financing and public and private financial mechanisms related to agricultural infrastructure financing.
  • Experience in conducting program formulation agriculture investment finance, including municipal finance, local finance, fiscal decentralization, economic development, private sector development for food security.
  • Experience in developing business case and program design based on lessons learnt and recommendations on complex topics, document and report production.
  • Knowledge and experience of the UN system and the UN donor community is highly desirable
  • Experience in engaging with development communities of practice and existing network in food security and/or development finance community highly desirable.
  • Experience working with a UN organization is an asset

Language Requirements:

  • Written and spoken fluency in English mandatory. Fluency in French desirable

Application Process

Interested individual consultants shall submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications (remark: the system does not allow to upload many documents. Candidates shall upload documentation in one PDF).

Submissions shall include the following information:

  1. Cover letter - motivation statement with a summary of competencies in relation to the TOR deliverables
  2. Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability duly filled. This include a signed all-inclusive financial offer (professional fees, housing, transportation insurance, taxes, different types of cost, etc…). This should be emailed separately to financial.proposal@uncdf.org with the subject line: 99904 - Support to designing the UNCDF Transformative Food Security Finance Initiative for sustainable local and urban systems 
  3. Personal CV including past experience in similar assignments and at least 3 references (names, titles, email addresses)

For section (e) of the Letter of interest: payment rate: fill the second choice:” total lump sum” as payment will be on a lump sum payable in the manner described in the Terms of Reference.

In case the offeror is employed by an organization/firm/institution and is expecting to be charged by his employer for the management fees during the period of his service providing process to UNCDF within a refundable loan agreement, the offeror shall include these fees in his financial offer. Incomplete submission is subject to rejection of application.

Evaluation Process

Cumulative analysis method will be used to evaluate proposals. Weight distribution will be as follow:

  • Technical Criteria weight: 70%
  • Financial Criteria weight: 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on technical part will be considered as technically qualified and will be considered for Financial Evaluation. Shortlisted candidates may be requested to submit a writing sample in English and French.

Step I: Longlisting

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the following minimum criteria will be shortlisted:

  • Mimimum Master's degree  in economics, project finance, municipal finance, finance, rural development, food security and agriculture finance, or related discipline.
  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in agriculture development, food security, Agri financing, private sector development, municipal finance, or other relevant field is required at international level. Experience in Africa desirable.

Step II Part A. Technical Review of CVs by Desk Review - 60% of technical evaluation

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates by evaluating the following criteria with the corresponding points (100 points):

  • Master's degree or PhD in economics, project finance, municipal finance, finance, rural development, food security and agriculture finance, or related discipline: 10 points
  • Substantive knowledge of infrastructure financing and public and private financial mechanisms related to agricultural infrastructure financing: 15 points

  • Experience in conducting program formulation agriculture investment finance, including municipal finance, local finance, fiscal decentralization, economic development, private sector development for food security: 15 points

  • Experience in developing business case and program design based on lessons learnt and recommendations on complex topics, document and report production: 10 points

  • Knowledge and experience of the UN system and the UN donor community is desirable: 10 points

  • Experience in engaging with development communities of practice and existing network in food security and/or development finance community highly desirable. 10 points

  • Experience working with a UN organization or similar international organization is an asset: 10 points 
  • Written and spoken fluency in English mandatory. Fluency in French desirable: 10 points 

  • Motivation Statement: 10 points 

Step II: Interview 40% of the technical evaluation

A competency-based interview is conducted with the three or four candidates who obtain the best results in stage II (minimum of 70 points). Applicants will be tested on the same key areas of work, in more depth, with the same weighting, namely :

  • Competence based interview
  • Substantive knowledge Technical based interview

Step IV: Financial Proposal Evaluation

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal: lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

Step V- Contract Award

The contact shall be awarded to the applicant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable vis-à-vis the requirements of the TORs.
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (70%) and financial (30%) criteria.

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). 

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

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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