BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE OF THE ASSIGNMENT:
WFP is well known for its ability to deliver food assistance rapidly to people in need. In order to respond effectively in the challenging contexts in which WFP operates, staff require a sound knowledge of humanitarian and development contexts as well as skills in specialised areas.
The Programme Division is responsible for providing strategic and normative direction and support to the organization, its Regional Bureaux and Country Offices to ensure quality programme design.
In coordination with other parts of the organization, the Division is responsible for shaping WFP’s strategic direction on key issues related to food security and nutrition in the context of Zero Hunger and the 2030 Agenda.
Based on WFP’s diverse programming and the ever-changing context we operate, PRO division is looking for a specialist to provide advice and analysis on Innovative Financing.
Reporting to the Programme and Policy Officer in the PRO (Programme division) Front Office, the incumbent will coordinate closely with PD colleagues from other divisions. The consultant will be a key member of the Innovative Finance working group, along with a counterparts from the Partnerships and Finance Departments.
The consultant will identify strategies and ways to pilot IF strategies, that are aligned to programmatic objectives, and will support the overall policy/strategy setting role of the Steering Committee.
Work with HQ PRO/PD units (across programme activities) to identify key functional and programmatic areas and identify alignment of IF strategies with WFP operational policies/strategies such as local & regional food procurement, sustainable food systems support and supply chain financing, school feeding, and social protection (in view of Covid-19 impact).
- Identify opportunities for Blended Financing and identify new opportunities for linkages with WFP programme offerings and debt swaps/debt relief, in view of Covid-19’s anticipated global economic impact, and building on WFP’s experience with debt swaps.
- Work with regional and country office colleagues to identify ways in which to support country operations/programmes that can benefit into IF and engineer pilot projects that are scalable and take advantage of opportunity to align to national development plans.
- Produce a strategy for Programme (in collaboration with other departments) that articulates key opportunities for programme activities in the area of innovative finance, especially with regard to:
- Multilateral co-financing: Where a government has defined priorities on food security and social protection and is seeking multilateral support from IFIs/DFIs, the consultant will work with countries to explore ways to support operations to lower the overall programme costs through provision of grants from its multilateral resources, or to complement financing from IFIs/DFIs and thereby lowering the effective cost of new borrowing for these countries, simultaneously increasing investment towards the SDGs.
- Debt relief/debt swaps – To sustain continued donor support towards development priorities related to food security as part of Covid-19 response efforts, the consultant will explore ways through which debt relief agreements at multilateral and bilateral levels could free up more resources towards SDG 2.
- Blended finance – defined as the use of grant funding (or resources related to WFP’s local and regional food procurement activities) to attract financing from IFIs, development agencies and the private sector towards development areas such as smallholder agriculture and market support (SAMS), resilience and climate related activities. The consultant will propose a strategy/ pilot blended finance activities to further the implementation of the Local and Regional Food Procurement Policy.
- Produce an implementation plan for the above areas, ready for piloting in identified/prioritised country offices.
- Support country offices that already have opportunities in the above areas to start implementation.
- Produce an advisory on changes to systems and architecture that may need to take place to adapt to new forms of financing, including recommendations and implications for legal, M&E and financial processes.
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:
- Advanced University degree in International Affairs, Economics, Nutrition, Social Sciences or other field relevant to international development assistance, or First University Degree with additional years of related work experience.
- Eight years of progressively responsible professional experience. Has worked with WFP and gained direct experience in innovative financing mechanisms at the country level.
Knowledge & Skills:
- Knowledge and understanding of non traditional financing mechanisms and WFP’s programme offerings that are suitable for such funding.
- Strong writing, analytical and research skills (qualitative and quantitative);
- Project management skills and ability to work under pressure, to tight deadlines;
- Good interpersonal skills, teamwork spirit and ability to work in multicultural settings;
- Knowledge and understanding of United Nations and its role in humanitarian and development cooperation.
Languages: Excellent oral and writing skills in English are required.