Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Consultant- MENA Regional Coordinator
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 14 April 2021 - 23 April 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-153810-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Through these services the Initiative will be able to engage a broad range of financial institutions, including commercial banks, asset managers, insurers, and multi-lateral development banks and agencies in implementing global finance sector principles to catalyze integration of sustainability into financial market practice. The frameworks UNEP FI is supporting implementation include Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) now committed to by more than 210 banks collectively holding USD 53 trillion in assets, or one third of the global banking sector, and the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), established 2012 by UNEP FI and today applied by one-quarter of the world’s insurers (25% of world premium).

The services will also help promote sustainability into all aspects of the financial sector’s operations and services. Finally, the services will help the Initiative to broaden its outreach both within UNEP / UN and external to banks, insurers and investors, governments, regulators, private sector and multi-stakeholders, including supporting institutions.

Work Location

Working Remotely in the MENA Region.

Expected duration

The duration of the contract will be 6 Months.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

The overall objective of the UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 300 banks, insurers and investors. For over 28 years UNEP FI has been shaping and driving the international sustainable finance agenda, setting global standards and growing a global network of leading financial institutions. Through its work-streams and regional activities, peer learning, methodology development, training and research, UNEP FI promotes sustainable finance and helps the financial industry align with and contribute to the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

UNEP FI needs a consultant to assist the implementation of UNEP FI’s strategy to mobilise sustainable finance in the Middle East and North Africa, working in co-operation with UNEP FI’s Sub-Saharan Africa coordinator. The coordinator will be responsible for outreach to banks to become signatories to the Principles for Responsible Banking and insurers to join the Principles for Sustainable Insurance. The consultant will be responsible for relationship management with UNEP FI members to engage them to participate in UNEP FI’s work programme, promote leadership, raise awareness and share knowledge. The consultant will establish and maintain partnerships to promote training and other capacity building opportunities to advance sustainable finance. The consultant will develop UNEP FI’s coordination plan for the MENA and engage supporting institutions in accelerating sustainable finance. The consultant will liaise with industry associations, regulators and supervisors, relevant networks and other key stakeholders in the region, as well as coordinating events and convening meetings with financial institutions. The coordinator will support the Secretariat on member communications on sustainable finance in the region and maintain regional information on UNEP FI’s website. The coordinator will provide the Secretariat with information on members’ news and priorities to accelerate sustainable finance market practice in the MENA. The consultant will support the UN Environment Secretariat as required. E.g. surveys, briefings, meetings. The consultant will have additional responsibilities at a global level by contributing to the update of UNEP FI’s project document and strategy development.

Additionally, the consultant will be responsible to coordinate activities under region-specific projects, including but not limited to the SDG Climate Facility.

In line with the UNEP FI project document approved by UNEP, and under the direct supervision of the Regional Coordination Manager, the Consultant will carry out the following project tasks for UNEP FI.

The consultant will assist the implementation of the activities of the three Industry Committee – banking, insurance and investment - at the regional level in the MENA. The Consultant will work with UNEP FI members and supporting institutions to accelerate sustainable finance in the Middle East and North Africa. Support the collection of their financial contributions, as well as contributing to regional and global meetings.

These outputs will include undertaking relationship management with members, sharing information on key topics and policy developments, creating briefings/web content to provide insights into regional developments and market practice in sustainable finance, and maintaining member profiles and contact details. Develop and maintain pipeline of potential members and supporting institutions that can contribute to reaching a critical mass on sustainable finance in the MENA. The Consultant will coordinate regional activities, organize meetings and facilitate two-way communications with members. Respond to ideas/requests from stakeholders in the region and keep the Secretariat updated on members’ challenges, progress, priorities and interests. The Consultant will support industry and thematic programme management and implementation in the region, including positive impact, climate change, ecosystems, energy efficiency, and help advance projects through enhanced membership engagement and dissemination. To build on this the idea is to scale up capacity building activities such as training and workshops. The Consultant will also support delivery of UNEP FI’s strategies (including membership and communications) and support delivery of the overall Middle East & North Africa strategy and co-ordinate with the Sub-Saharan Africa co-ordinator on UNEP FI engagement priorities and membership support in the region. Expand and reinforce MENA-based representation in the Finance Initiative, as well as building partnerships to develop opportunities to advance sustainable finance in priority countries, through increasing signatories to the Principles for Responsible Banking and Principles for Sustainable Insurance, capacity building and /or policy/regulatory engagement. Finally the consultant will start awareness raising and knowledge management, assisting and supporting the Communications Team to coordinate communications, disseminate materials, consult members and secure speaking opportunities for sustainable finance leaders and members’ participation in webinars/events. The consultant will also coordinate all UNEP FI activities under regional projects, including but not limited to the SDG Climate Facility.


Specific tasks and responsibilities

 Develop and implement outreach and coordination plan for the region, together with UNEP FI’s Sub-Saharan Africa coordinator. Assist in developing and implementing a work plan for the MENA and contribute to the regional (Middle East & Africa) work programme, aligned with UNEP FI’s global work programme. Identify key markets and focus activities on mobilising sustainable finance across the region.
 Maintain member, supporting institution and key stakeholder contact information and follow up on members’ fee payments.
 Facilitate relationships with UNEP FI members and increase banking and insurance membership in the region. Assist with the management of regular communications with UNEP FI’s members via e-mails, conference calls, and in-person meetings; update the Africa & Middle East regional section on UNEP FI’s website as well as the Knowledge platform created under the SDG Climate Facility project.
 Consult, with the guidance of UNEP FI, members on activities in the region, hold regular and focussed calls with members to advance sustainable finance priorities.
 Raise awareness of sustainable finance and disseminate UNEP FI materials/information to members and key stakeholders in the MENA and promote consultations/surveys/research findings.
 Support adoption and implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking and Principles for Sustainable Insurance in the MENA through peer exchanges and knowledge sharing.
 Assist in engaging members to participate in the global work programme and sustainable finance network activities, including projects and knowledge sharing.
 Raise awareness of project outputs from the industry and thematic workstreams and engage members in opportunities to get involved through email and virtual communications channels.
 Promote uptake of UNEP FI guidance and tools, such as guidance on target setting on financial inclusion, biodiversity and gender equality and ESG in underwriting guidelines.
 Support TCFD implementation in the region through knowledge sharing and regional research development and dissemination.
 Coordinate and maintain communications with the designated Regional Advisory Group to support UNEP FI governance.
 Inform project leads of regional context, priorities and needs where relevant to enhancing market uptake of outputs.
 Support organization of the Africa & Middle East Regional Roundtable and other UNEP FI events in the region. Assist in securing sponsorship/delivery/media partners for Regional Roundtable. Promote financial sector participation in AGM and relevant activities, meetings and UNEP FI events. Ensure that the preparations and outcomes for UNEP FI events in the region are delivered effectively on time and on budget, co-ordinating with the Secretariat, membership, supporting institutions, partner organisations and UNEP’s Regional Office for Western Asia. Support coordination of finance sector sessions and participation in UNEP events in the MENA. Assist in convening members, supporting institutions and relevant stakeholders virtually.
 Manage relationships with supporting institutions to facilitate active contributions to UNEP FI’s work programme, outreach and events.
 Help the Secretariat to identify priority countries, develop country profiles of sustainable finance landscape and opportunities and to engage private sector finance in accelerating regional and national sustainable finance agendas.
 Develop and implement an outreach campaign to engage financial institutions in priority countries in sustainable finance activities.
 Assist in engaging central banks and insurance supervisors and industry associations in priority countries to support the creation of an enabling environment for sustainable finance and advance market practice in the region.
 Assist the preparation of missions by UNEP delegates in the region.
 Assist in the facilitation of cross-regional network engagement in co-ordination with UNEP FI’s regional co-ordination team.
 Ensure that the preparations and outcomes for UNEP FI events in the region are delivered effectively on time and on budget, co-ordinating with the Secretariat, partner organisations and UNEP’s Regional Office for Western Asia
 Developing an annual coordination plan for engagement under the SDG Climate Facility project to correspond with the outlined project activities and coordinate activities.
 Delivery and implementation of SDG Climate Facility activities. In particular engage financial institutions, regulators and policy makers in the region/selected countries to take part in the specific project activities of the SDG Climate Facility, and other initiatives, assist in organization and delivery of Positive Impact efforts in Egypt and Morocco, assist in organization and delivery of climate risk analysis (TCFD-aligned) workshops for regulators in Tunisia and in Egypt, provide input into applications/proposals for additional funding (e.g. DFID, GCF, GEF) to scale up specific activities under the SDG Climate Facility project, review translated materials that will be made available under the capacity building component of UNEP FI’s work, contribute to reporting on progress to donors/partners, facilitate contact with stakeholders on the ground and help in organizing meetings to discuss engagement. This includes drafting of concept note/outline highlighting objectives and incentives for engagement. As UNEP FI’s coordinator on ground, advise on best modality of engagement with public agencies, when appropriate, and help coordinate engagement. Working with the training team to design and deliver a number of workshops on climate change and finance and integrating sustainability into decision-making. Liaise with project partners to coordinate on complementary activities and ensure they do not overlap. Organize events/meetings and correspond to activities under this project and promote participation of investors and other FI’s, and regulators.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: Proven knowledge of the field of sustainable finance is required; understanding of drivers of sustainability in the financial sector in the MENA. Skilled in convening public and private sector stakeholders to create consensus or mobilise action. Ability to juggle varied work programmes, multiple projects and activities in an organized and timely manner; Excellent communication skills (listening, spoken and written). Strong interpersonal and relationship management skills. Ability to translate new and diverse ideas and concepts into tangible outcomes, to identify and prioritize common interests in a diverse set of point of views. The incumbent is expected to work independently with minimal supervision and must have significant latitude to be self-directed and be highly motivated. Problem solving ability skills are desirable. An established network of sustainable finance decision-makers /influencers/practitioners is desirable.

Academic Qualifications: First university degree in international relations, business, economics and finance, sustainable development or an environmental field.

Experience: At least 5 years’ experience of working with the financial services sector. Experience of building and managing relationships with external stakeholders. Experience of presenting and moderating conference calls and organising events/workshops. Desirable: Programme management experience in international organizations. NGOs or consultancies. Experience working on public-private sector partnerships, specifically in the sustainable finance field or in related field such as corporate responsibility. Event management and moderation/public speaking. Experience of writing/editing technical reports desirable.

Language: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of Arabic is an asset.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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