Expert on providing Technical Assistance to ALTECH (Energy Access Programme)

Publicado en nombre de :

Localidad : Home-based with possible travel to DRC
Fecha límite de postulación :20-May-21 (Medianoche Nueva York, Estados Unidos)
Tipo de contrato :Individual Contract
Nivel de puesto :International Consultant
Idiomas requeridos :
Inglés   Francés  
Duración del contrato inicial :6 months - part-time

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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 Programme (also known as CleanStart)

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 Think-Shops 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 and Burkina Faso. 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, as well as industry associations such as the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association 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 industry associations, such as solar energy or clean cooking 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, The Ministry of Energy Luxembourg, and the Central African Forestry Initiative and REDD+ in the DRC. 

UNCDF’s Energy Access Programme in DRC

In DRC, UNCDF is implementing with UNDP a Joint Programme for the Sustainable Consumption and Partial Substitution for Wood Energy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  Funded by the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) through the National REDD+ Funds of the DRC ( FONAREDD), the Joint Programme is structured around three main energy sub-sectors of focus: Improved Stoves; Liquid Petroleum Gas; Micro-Hydro Electricals. This is through an institutional setup that makes use of a diversified partnership with Congolese public institutions, the private sector, UN agencies, research institutions and learned societies as well as civil society. To this end, the Joint Programme aims to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable clean cooking market through (i) the establishment of a favorable environment and (ii) an incubation programme for the private sector to select clean cooking companies to receive funding and technical assistance throughout the duration of the programme. In line with the national and international lessons learned, the Joint Programme's efforts are focused on sites where a viable and self-sufficient potential market exists, with the presence of actors able to benefit effectively from catalytic technical and financial support of the Joint Programme to change scale of production (knowledge of the sector and sufficient basic entrepreneurial capacities).

In 2018, Altech[1] applied to participate in the DRC Clean Cooking Challenge round which subsequently led to stakeholder engagements and a market scoping exercise. ALTECH was selected and approved for $150,000 grant to develop clean cooking market in DRC by distributing clean cookstoves to end users in DRC.

Altech also attended a number of the incubator workshops and passed through the due diligence process ahead of the full application for the Challenge Fund. The platform was eventually used to evaluate Altech’s business model and with further engagement led to discussions around the various blended financing options available from UNCDF. In November 2020, the Investment Committee (IC) approved Altech’s proposal on clean cooking and granted $350,000 loan to build-up their in-country stock capacity of products (solar lamp and solar home system) and avoid stockouts given the fast-rising demand of its consumers. The ultimate goal is to purchase inventory while advancing business operations and profitability.

[1] Alternative Energy Technologies Group (“Altech Group” or “Altech”) is the DRC market leader in the distribution of world-class, pay-as-you-go clean energy products and services. Since its funding in 2013, Altech has built a near-national distribution network, sold close to 200,000 products and impacted close to 1,000,000 Congolese lives.

The company’s mission is to expand access to clean, reliable, renewable and affordable energy for off- and poor-grid households in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Having lived in the energy poverty themselves, the company’s Congolese founders designed energy solutions of, by, and for the Congolese people. A national network of young people has been trained by Altech to deliver and service off-grid solar products for customers who pay-in affordable, pay-as-you-go instalments via mobile money and also including so cash sales.

Deberes y responsabilidades

The overall objective of the Technical Assistance (TA) support is to strengthen ALTECH’s risk and credit risk frameworks and its financial management to make it more suitable for the anticipated business expansion and new business model. The TA objective was selected after a TA diagnosis conducted by UNCDF experts and validated by ALTECH.

To this end, the selected consultant will support ALTECH in the following areas:

  1. Review and update the business model considering its geographic and portfolio expansion namely towards bigger tickets for credit sales and extended credit terms; 
  2. Strengthen its financial and risk management functions through capacitating its incumbent staff and developing appropriate tools for cash flow management and treasury management;
  3. Standardize and streamline key business operations in view of the anticipated activity expansion.

Scope of Work

Review and enhancement of the business model

  • Analyze and discuss the following with management: key resources, key partners, target clients and value proposition, clients relationship, agency network management and channels, cost structures and revenue streams for credit sales etc. in order to update the business model to the existing loan offering.
  • Organize a workshop/webinar to present the proposed updated busines model based on reviews held.

Enhancement of the financial and risk management function

  • Discuss the policies and procedures adequate for the size of the business and its upcoming expansion. Thereafter, develop and operationalize appropriate Excel and Word tools for cash flow management, treasury management and reporting; this includes appropriate policies such as Liquidity management Policy; ensure integration to the existing MIS and procedures.
  • Facilitate a workshop/webinar with top management to discuss the key risk areas and discuss the mitigation measures/controls in order to adopt a risk management dashboard and a risk matrix/mapping to be updated at an agreed frequency.
  • After a needs analysis is done, design and facilitate training sessions for the Finance staff/management in core financial management activities in view of the anticipated business expansion and in the usage of the new developed tools
  • Do on-the job coaching sessions to ensure the tools are correctly applied by the Finance staff.

Key business operations standardization

  • Review the existing Policies and Procedures with regards to the new business model and update them where needed with a focus on best practices, and ease of implementation. A specific focus should be put on the inventory control and management, account receivable management (including credit underwriting process and collections), disaster recovery plan and business continuity planning
  • Design and facilitate training sessions to introduce the updated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to staff and coach them in their application.
  • Assist ALTECH in distributing widely the SOPs and making sure there is a mechanism in place to update them and disseminate any addition/amendment

Reports and monitoring features

  • An inception report must be submitted to document the launch of the TA during a work session with ALTECH’s management
  • A monthly steering committee should be organized by the consultant and documented as  progress reports that must be submitted to document progress and challenges
  • A final report must summarize the TA assignment and contain all the deliverables and the recommendations for sustainable use of the deliverables and for further enhancements.

Duration of Assignment, Duty Station and Expected Places of Travel

Contract Duration: 6 months part-time

The individual contractor is expected to be home-based with possible travel to Democratic Republic of Congo.

Because of the COVID -19 Travel Restrictions, this TA assignment could be implemented remotely or in person interchangeably. As such, the activities should be planned to take into account the way the tasks will be deployed including a mix use of webinars, workshops, on-the job-training, coaching sessions, etc. The consultant should ensure that proper measures are in place and are respected to deliver on the scope of services.

In case of travel, the schedule/duration of travel will be agreen with the consultant according to the requirements of the programme. Travel costs associated to the assignment will be advanced by the consultant, and paid by UNCDF on a  reimbursement basis, and following the UNDP/UNCDF rules and regulations which states that consultant 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.


The deliverables outlined below shall be issued in French



Submission Date

Payment Percentage


An updated business model documented and approved by ALTECH’s management.

By July 2021 




A client’s story (including pictures) highlighting the journey of a customer selected by ALTECH and demonstrating the benefits of ALTECH’s solar systems sold on credit.


Workshop/webinar slides


An inception report including deliverables 1, 2 and 3 as annexes


At least one Excel tool to manage cash flow and treasury, including a dashboard and a user guide that has been validated by ALTECH.

By September 2021







At least a set of policies and procedures developed and adapted to the business model including a reporting framework/template to present cash flow and treasury management outputs to the top management


A Risk matrix approved by ALTECH


Workshop/Webinar slides


Training materials / slides that will help ALTECH to further duplicate the session 


A Milestone Report including deliverables 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 as annexes


Newly designed and approved SOPs with a clear plan of distribution

By November 2021 



Staff training report and training slides


A final report 

by 15 December 2021

Provision of Monitoring and Progress Controls

The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Energy Programme Specialist, IDE Energy, DRC and TA Facility Manager, LDCIP. The consultant will work within a multi-functional team.

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 the Energy Programme Specailist, IDE Energy, DRC or TA Facility Manager, LDCIP; and (iii) authorization of payment disbursement from the IDE Energy Lead.


Functional Competencies

  • Able to conduct business plan development and/or institutional due diligence on fintech, 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 and 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 opinions.
  • Strong communications skills in speaking, writing, as well as presenting materials in variety of media.
  • Strong understanding of DRC regions and cultural differences /habits. Working and living experience would be a plus
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

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

Habilidades y experiencia requeridas


  • Masters level qualifications in business, finance, accounting, risk management, marketing, economics, accounting, energy, electrical engineering or related fields


  • At least 6 years of experience supporting market-based development of energy markets that serve low income people;
  • At least 5 years’ experience advising or implementing energy business models that may incorporate digital services, pay as you go business model, 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); experience must include risk management and financial management;
  • At least 3 years’ experience providing technical assistance to financial service providers and/or fintech and energy enterprises, particularly in developing the segment of business targeting vulnerable people (years of experience can overlap with other categories);
  • At least 2 years of work experience in more than one of the CleanStart programme focus countries in Africa (DRC, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana, Niger, Zambia).


Written and spoken fluency in English and French is required.


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

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the minimum criteria (education, experience, language) will progress to the pool for shortlisting.

Step II: Shortlisting by Desk Review

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 6 years of experience supporting market-based development of energy markets that serve low income people; (20 points)
  • At least 5 years’ experience advising or implementing energy business models that may incorporate digital services, pay as you go, 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 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 years of work experience in more than one of the CleanStart programme focus countries in Africa (DRC, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana, Niger, Zambia).  ( 20 points)

As applicable, only the applicants achieving a minimum of 70% of the points for the technical proposal will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step III: Financial Evaluation

The following formula will be used to evaluate the 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 candidate that achieved the highest cumulative score will be recommended for award of the contract.

Application Procedure

Interested individual consultants or firm 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.

The following documents are to be uploaded in one PDF file:

  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how they will approach the assignment.
  • Personal CV indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;

The following document is to be sent by email to

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 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 contract.

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.




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