FSS Management Specialist, Lesotho

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Background

The Government of Lesotho and UNDP Country Office are implementing a five years (2016 – 2021) GEF-financed project “Development of Cornerstone Public Policies and Institutional Capacities to accelerate Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Progress”. The objective of the project is to catalyse investments in renewable energy-based mini-grids and energy centres to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to the achievement of Lesotho’s Vision 2020 and SE4All goals. The project will create a favourable regulatory and market environment and build institutional, administrative and technical capacities to promote rural electrification through isolated renewable energy-based mini-grids and energy centres. Through engagement of the private sector, the project will support the Government of Lesotho to use renewable energy-based technologies to generate electricity for rural households and income-generating activities. The project is expected to implement 10 mini-grids and 10 energy centres providing modern energy services to 1,000 rural households in the 5 districts of Mohale’s Hoek, Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka, Qacha’s Nek and Quthing.

The focus of Component 3 of the SE4All Project is the ‘successful establishment of a village-based energy service delivery model for replication nationally’. Key to the success of this component is the Financial Support Scheme (FSS), that targets allocation of grant funding to qualifying project developers focusing on both mini-grids and energy centres.

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) will support implementation of Component 3 of this project, as the Management Agent (MA) for the Financial Support Scheme (FSS). The MA will be responsible for the overall strategic administration and management of the FSS Fund (overall value $1.2 million). This will include evaluating and approving applications for financial support, disbursing funds, monitoring project performance of grant beneficiaries and reporting fund and project performance to the Project Steering Committee (PSC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry of Energy and Meteorology (MEM). The Management Agent will develop and implement all required guidelines, manuals, and regulations for the successful implementation of the FSS Fund, and all related activities including efficiency and effectiveness of the fund as well as monitoring of project developers.

United Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
UNCDF is the only UN agency mandated to focus primarily on the least developed countries (LDCs), currently supporting 33 out of the 48 LDCs, with country level programmes, as well as regional and global programmes.

UNCDF provides investment capital and technical support to both the public and the private sector. It provides capital financing — in the forms of grants, soft loans and credit enhancement – and the technical expertise in preparing portfolios of sustainable and resilient capacity building and infrastructure projects.

UNCDF has proven its ability to deliver true leverage on smaller and riskier investments and interventions within its core areas of expertise: Inclusive Finance and Local Development Finance. The concept- proven pilot projects and programmes are replicated and brought to scale with the help and the add-on financing of other development partners with different and complementary mandates.

UNCDF’s work on local development finance
UNCDF invests its seed capital and technical assistance to promote increased capital flows to the local level, reducing inequalities, improving basic services and increasing opportunities for sustainable economic development. UNCDF’s Local Development Finance Practice does this through innovation and testing in new public and private financial systems that mobilize, allocate and invest additional resources and promote transparency and accountability in their use. The overall impact of UNCDF’s work in local development finance is measured in terms of the increase in local fiscal space and the increase in local fixed capital formation that is triggered, or leveraged by UNCDF’s investment.
Working within the existing FSS design, UNCDF will be responsible for:

Formalize and establish the FSS Fund and incentive delivery mechanism.
Create the FSS institutional framework, including operating procedures, delivery mechanisms, terms of reference, and selection criteria for private developers seeking finance. This will be done in collaboration with the SE4All Project Management Team.
Ensure compliance with government policies and regulations
Provide an overview of and guidance on the priorities of renewable energy mini-grid/energy centre development and ensure the design of the FSS Fund addresses these priorities.
Implement the FSS and assume full programmatic and financial accountability for the incentives disbursed to private-sector developers.
Disburse incentives to mini-grid/energy centre developers who choose to participate in programmatic activities according to the investment decisions made by the Steering Committee.
Serve as the financial operational arm of the SE4ALL Project and provide day-to-day support for the implementation of related tasks.

In this context, the FSS Management Specialist is responsible for day-to-day management and implementation of the FSS activities to ensure overall implementation of the project’s Component 3.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the guidance and supervision of the Global Programme Manager, Local Finance Initiative (LFI) and in close coordination with the project manager of the UNDP-GEF project “Development of Cornerstone Public Policies and Institutional Capacities to accelerate Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Progress in Lesotho”, the FSS Management Specialist will perform the following tasks which are grouped into three functional areas:
Management and implementation of FSS project activities.
Provision of technical guidance and specialized expertise to support project FSS activities.
Partnership building, advocacy and resource mobilization

  • Manage all aspects of the FSS in Lesotho according to the SE4All Project 2019 annual work plan. Monitor progress against work plan from both activity and financial management point of view.
  • Provide advice and direction to the implementation team for Lesotho with a view to implement activities in a high-quality and timely manner.
  • Design and develop terms of reference (TORs) for hiring consultants/companies, oversee consultant assignments and provides substantive guidance to ensure high-quality deliverables.
  • Regularly report to the LFI Global Manager and UNDP-GEF Project Manager about the status of activities and strategic direction of energy access related work in Lesotho.
  • Regularly update the Project Steering Committee (PSC) and government partners, including the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology and UNDP on project progress.
  • Manage enterprise financing process front to end. Support management of contracts/ agreements with private developers, and regularly monitor performance of private developers to ensure a high-performing investment portfolio.
  • Manage and verify achievement of milestones and targets, and work closely with Project Management Team to ensure disbursements are made to project developers in a timely manner.
  • Support timely procurement of goods and services for the implementation of project activities.
  • Develop the FSS institutional framework, including operating procedures, delivery mechanisms, terms of reference, and selection and screening criteria for private developers seeking finance.
  • Develop and oversee issuance and application of the calls for proposals for mini-grids and energy centres.
  • Provide implementation support for the process of identifying, developing, and financing energy projects in accordance with the FSS procedures, UNDP and government policies.
  • Interact with local stakeholders during project identification, development and financing (government officials, private sector, local banks, project sponsors, development partners, etc).
  • Support pre-investment activities including due diligence, financial modelling, feasibility studies, business plans, financial analysis, market assessment and financial advisory services.
  • Coordinate inputs from technical experts from UNCDF for the Financial Support Scheme and keeps track of progress.;
  • Provide technical assistance to the portfolio of companies to boost achievement of contract obligations and become more investable to other funders during/post-GEF/UNCDF funding.
  • Facilitate linkages to people/organizations outside the companies’ usual remit (e.g. funders, local governments, mobile network operators).
  • Design and organize capacity building activities, learning and experience sharing events for government and non-government partners, private sector representatives, banks and other funders on how to promote and finance the mini-grids market.
  • Provide technical advice and implementation support to other UNCDF initiatives that have local resilience, climate change adaptation and energy access as components of their activities.
  • Prepare investment briefs and other promotional material related to activities under Component 3.
  • Develop close rapport with local banks and funders in and outside of Lesotho to keep them informed about the portfolio companies and scope out prospective deals.
  • Identify areas of cooperation and coordination with other UNCDF initiatives, UN agencies, and other development partners and market facilitators in Lesotho and in the region that will help create an enabling environment for businesses in the energy access sector and leverage additional financing.
  • Work closely with UNCDF’s LDC Investment Platform to secure additional finance and bring non-grant financing deals to a close.
  • Understands how financial service providers and energy companies targeting low-income populations operate through field experience;
  • Understands macro-environments and implications for programmes like the “Development of Cornerstone Public Policies and Institutional Capacities to Accelerate Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Progress”, such as market situation (demand and supply), initiatives to promote urban and rural energy access and need for financial access for low-income households and relevant policies;Understands Government policy on renewable energy in Lesotho.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in preparation of project financial analysis and creation/evaluation of advanced and complex MS Excel spreadsheet financial models;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of private equity/venture investments, credit and risk assessment, with solid financial modelling and risk assessment skills.  Project financing experience in the private sector is a plus;
  • Demonstrated experience in preliminary evaluation of project proposals for assessing their feasibility for private sector funding and/or technical support.
  • Contributes to positive outcomes for the client (internal and external)
  • Strives for high quality client-oriented services; Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners;
  • Works towards creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service providers
  • Solicits feedback on service provision and quality.
  • Demonstrates strong numerical and analytical skills;
  • Experience in coordination, technical assistance and advisory support to government and private institutions.
  • Experienced in delivering training and other needed capacity/ institutional building support to a wide range of stakeholders including financial institutions.
  • Demonstrates excellent organizational and administrative skills.
  • Comprehensive understanding and knowledge of project management cycles and tools, and utilizes these regularly in work assignments;
  • Familiarity with UNCDF/UNDP rules and procedures will be seen as advantage, but not required;
  • High proficiency in all Microsoft Office Applications, and ability to use them independently without support.
  • Contributes to results through provision of information (internal & external)
  • Provide information for linkages across programme activities to help identify critical points of integration;
  • Proactive in identifying and building partnerships that create synergies with the Programme;
  • Experience working with Monitoring and Evaluation tools.
  • Effectively writes for a wide range of audiences, donors, government and UNCDF
  • Demonstrated ability to speak and write well in English.
  • Serve and promotes the vision, values and strategic goals of UNDP and UNCDF;
  • Focused on delivering results by taking calculated-risks and problem solving approach;
  • Collaborates effectively in a team environment;
  • Fair and transparent decision making; regularly shares information with team members;
  • Organized and good with following-up on pending issues; meets deadlines;
  • Clear and upfront communication skills;
  • Good inter-personal skills;
  • Display cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Promote learning and knowledge management/sharing;
  • Demonstrate integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards.
  • Master’s degree in Finance, Engineering, Economics, Business Administration, or related fields or the equivalent experience.
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience with financing of and/or credit enhancement facilities for (small and medium) businesses in Lesotho and/or other countries in the region, preferably in the energy sector;
  • Experience with analyzing business plans of financial institutions and/or renewable energy technology suppliers;
  • Experience with advising financial institutions and/or renewable energy technology suppliers in operationalizing energy portfolios/businesses;
  • Demonstrated experience in collaborating with private sector financial institutions and/or the government bodies in sectors relevant to the project;
  • Demonstrated progression in work responsibilities;
  • Work experience with donor funded projects, for instance from UNCDF, UNDP or MDBs, would be an advantage, but is not required.

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Closing date: 30/04/2019

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