Assessment of UNCDF contribution to food security and identification of emerging needs and benchmark for future programming

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : home base
Application Deadline :30-Sep-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English   French  
Duration of Initial Contract :60 days

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 United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. 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. UNCDF pursues innovative financing solutions through: (1) financial inclusion, which expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in the local economy, while also providing differentiated products for women and men so they can climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; (2) local development finance, which shows how fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion, women’s economic empowerment, climate adaptation, and sustainable development; and (3) a least developed countries investment platform that deploys a tailored set of financial instruments to a growing pipeline of impactful projects in the “missing middle.’’

UNCDF’s Local Development Finance Practice is a Centre of Excellence that helps LDCs to address challenges to local development, to allow fiscal resources and domestic capital markets to invest in local economies that can attract investment finance for catalytic infrastructure projects with high impact in critical themes such as women’s economic empowerment, climate change, clean energy and food security. The UNCDF Center of Excellence supports transformative capital investment through local governments and local banks in the least developed countries by designing, piloting and testing innovative financing mechanisms and policies in the public and private sectors.

In this context, UNCDF developed, in 2015, a global food security (Finance For Food-F4F) program based on its long standing experience in implementing local development programs and projects, with strong FNS components  in Benin, Mali and  Niger..

Finance for Food (F4F)’s underpinning assumption is that, to embrace emerging rural development policy challenges and food insecurity issues faced by many LDCs, innovative governance and investment mechanisms must be fostered. Such new policy instruments should aim to promote territorial and place-based focused approaches able to identify and capitalize on local assets and knowledge, and to enhance vertical/horizontal coordination and multi-stakeholder partnerships between public, private and non-profit sectors. In this view, UNCDF’s F4F programme was conceived as an innovative approach to develop sub-national mechanisms that help Local Governments to catalyze public and public-private investments to fill missing links in the Local Food Systems (LFS), with the ultimate development goal of improving FNS of vulnerable communities in the LDCs. F4F built on UNCDF experience of decades.

F4F applies a territorial framework for intervention. LFS are taken as unite of analysis and intervention to promote sustainable local economic development and address the key determinants of food insecurity and malnutrition at a local level. The concept of LFS is thus used as comprehensive framework to support effective multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral interventions where LGs are ideally placed to adopt territorially-integrated approaches to identify, diagnose, prioritize and effectively support FNS interventions.

F4F uses the Local Finance Initiative (LFI) methodology to identify and support private initiatives that have a transformative impact on food security in Tanzania and Uganda. LFI provides project development and financing support in the form of seed capital, credit enhancements and technical expertise to local economic infrastructure projects that are otherwise un-bankable are de-risked and taken to an investment ready stage where they are prepared to attract equity investors and access commercial capital.

To complement the LFI, UNCDF has developed, in consistence with its Strategic Framework, 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. This approach to municipal financing is critical to create opportunities for collaboration with the private sector and transitioning local governments from traditional pure grant funding to a mix of public and private sources. In this perspective UNCDF developed and put in place an International Municipal Investment Fund (IMIF). The Fund is proposed 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 and other municipal social services.

In line with its Theory of Change, in support of a recent re-orientation of the Local Development Finance Practice (LDFP) Area under the 2018 – 2021 Strategic Framework and following the outcome of the LDFP 2020 Annual Planning and Investment Plan Meeting in Istanbul, UNCDF is seeking to commission an external assessment of the relevance of its F4F program and identify the benchmark of new niche and perspective to address challenges related to agriculture and food security in the urban and rural areas in the LDCs and beyond.

Duties and Responsibilities

The overall objective of this exercise is to assess the extent to which F4F has been relevant to fill the gap of the contribution to food security and nutrition and how to make UNCDF contribution more meaningful with the new context of the IMIF and other innovation in the UNCDF/LDFP financing mechanism.

The 2 specific objectives are to:

  • assess the design, the relevance and in some extent the effectiveness of its F4F program 
  • propose way to better address food security emerging needs and gaps in terms of local capacity development, local investments based on UNCDF’s current instruments including the IMIF and support to SMEs in the LDC and graduated countries. 

Under the global supervision of UNCDF Local Development 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

Assess and generate concrete lessons learnt from the 5 years of implementation of the F4F program and identify gaps to be filled based on the needs of LDCs and graduated countries.

  • Analyze the problem UNCDF tried to solve through F4F, assess how relevant is UNCDF positioning compare to FAO, IFAD, WFP in the realm of food security and nutrition and identify gaps to be filled?
  • Analyze the Territorial Approach to Food Security and its relevance in addressing FNS at the local level
  • Analyze how the public and private finance worked alone or in tandem to implement the F4F and address FNS issues.

Some of the evaluability questions could be used to organize the assessment (not exhaustive):

  • Relevance and quality of design of the F4F program: Have UNCDF F4F  program been strategically relevant to the positioning and comparative advantage in terms of food security and nutrition in the UN system and beyond
  • Efficiency of program execution: What have been the main constraints in program management and how can they be improved? How involved have been the key program partners in reporting and program oversight? How relevant was the reorientation/readjustment (Local Resilience Program etc…)
  • Effectiveness of funding mechanism: To what extent have the F4F performed in using the innovative financing mechanism to address FNS issues
  • Impact on local food systems, policy influence, upscaling and replication at the country level: To what extent have the F4F program contributed to the FNS in the countries where it has been implemented? To what extent have F4F approach (territorial approach to FNS) led to scaling up and replication?
  • Sustainability: Have F4F public and private investments led to the sustainable provision of public services and improving local fiscal space

Provide advices, guidance and logical framework and indicators for a possible new UNCDF niche and intervention in agriculture and food security in general This must include, but not limited to the following:

  • Propose how UNCDF can build on its F4F contribution and using its innovative funding mechanism including thru the Local Finance Initiative, the Municipal Investment Finance and the International Municipal Investment Fund (IMIF);
  • Propose how UNCDF could address cities needs on agriculture production, food security (peri urban agriculture, water recycling for peri urban production system, using migrants and refugees in the cities food production systems, improve access to groundwater for peri urban food system development, Covid 19 recovery in the suburb etc…)
  • 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 value chain actors and to possibly issue a ‘food bond’ to finance sustainable food value chains to address city needs
  • provide a short concept note including a logical framework and indicators for a possible UNCDF niche and intervention in ensuring access to food at the municipal and local government levels.

The consultant will work in close collaboration with other colleagues and consultants working with UNCDF along the Local Development Practice Area especially those on the support of the SMEs and project finance, the MIF program and IMIF Technical Assistance.  

Duration of Assignment

  1. Oct 2020 – Dec 2020 (3 months) Home based with travel to countries where UNCDF operates food security program when appropriate.
  2. The schedule of travel will be agreed on with the incumbent according to the requirements of each programme country.
  3. A field mission not exceeding 10 days will be prepared and agreed within the terms of this ToR.

Key deliverables and Payment Terms


Payment term

  Inception Report/Methodology


Document: Stock taking and Assessment of the F4F program including Lessons learnt and gaps to be filled, emerging needs/benchmark and recommendations


Document: Proposal on the connection to UNCDF funding instruments, how to address rural and cities needs in food; proposition of blueprints to leverage international food finance, to create financial platform for funding food value chain and food bond


Outline and logframe of a concept note


A total of 10 days mission to 1 or 2 countries (arranged and agreed with the supervisor)  Airfare and DSA


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 work place, 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


  • University Degree (Msc or PhD) in economics, project finance, municipal finance, finance, rural development, social sciences, or related discipline


  • 10 years of progressively responsible experience in food security, fiscal decentralization, private sector development, municipal finance,  or other relevant field is required at international level. Experience in Africa highly desirable.
  • Substantial knowledge of infrastructure financing and public and private financial mechanisms related to infrastructure financing;
  • Experience in conducting field mission related to municipal finance local finance, fiscal decentralization, economic development, private sector development or food security;
  • Experience in creating program based lessons learnt and recommendations on complex topics, document and report production.
  • Knowledge and experience of the UN system and the UN donor community;
  • 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 and French mandatory.

Documents to be included in the proposal : 

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

  1. Cover letter with a summary statement of competencies in relation to the TOR deliverables
  2. Personal CV including past experience in similar projects and at least 2 references (names, titles, email addresses)
  3. Signed financial proposal for the full assignment outlining: All-inclusive fee including professional fees and other professional expenses, such as insurance, taxes, etc (Available at:


There are several anticipated travel for this assignment. 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.

Evaluation :

Method: Cumulative analysis method will be used to evaluate proposals.

When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
  • Technical Criteria weight: 70%
  • Financial Criteria weight: 30%

Criteria for technical evaluation :

  • Education:  20 points
  • Competencies: 20  points
  • Experience: 40 points
  • Summary statement:  20 points

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.

Criteria for financial evaluation 

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

For information:

A completed PH 11 Form will be required at the time a consultant signs an Individual Contract (IC) or his/her employer, if employed, signs a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA) for work associated with this assignment.

UN Personal History form (UN PH11) can be downloaded from here(



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