Job Opening

Posting Title: ACES in-country Lead
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: PARIS
Posting Period: 05 January 2022 - 13 January 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-171886-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The ACES in country lead will support:
• Regular coordination with project partners and target audiences, including gathering information, conducting project planning, fundraising, reviewing technical documents and reporting,
• Commissioning and operation of the Centre and the SPOKE in Kenya, and
• Engagement with broader outreach as well as communication and knowledge sharing activities.

Performance indicators include:
• The effectiveness and management of the work, ensuring that activities (incl. meetings, Demonstration Hall design, procurement, agreements/contracts, fundraising, communication and outreach activities) are delivered on time to the extent practicable from U4E’s side.
• The effectiveness of engagement with key stakeholders, ensuring that partners from government, industry and civil society are well informed of the project and their feedback is relayed to the Project Manager for consideration and future planning.
• Timeliness (conducted per the work plan unless extenuating circumstances arise; providing advance notice of and potential resolutions for anticipated delays) and pertinence of deliverables and reporting.
• Usefulness and quality of information and technical recommendations (evidenced by retaining in final versions of documents content that the consultant has drafted).

Work Location

Rwanda

Expected duration

9 months

Duties and Responsibilities

UNEP is accelerating the global transition to energy efficiency and climate-friendly cooling. Getting the right solutions in place for refrigeration and space conditioning (cooling) is essential for improving the quality of life and health of people without undue impacts on the planet.

United for Efficiency (U4E) is a global initiative launched in 2015 to help developing and emerging markets quickly and comprehensively transition to energy-efficient and climate-friendly lighting, room air conditioners, household refrigerators, electric motors and transformers (see http://united4efficiency.org).

UNEP U4E has a diverse and growing portfolio of activities in Africa. The consultant will act as the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-chain (ACES) in-country lead for supporting build-out and operation of the centre headquarters in Rwanda and linkages with affiliated Specialized Outreach and Knowledge Centres (SPOKES) which deploy ACES solutions in rural communities more broadly in Africa. ACES and its SPOKES are a joint undertaking led by the Rwandan and UK Governments, U4E, the University of Rwanda (UR) and a consortium of UK universities. The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) is the lead interlocutor for the project in the Rwandan Government. An array of partners is joining ACES as it expands into the implementation phase and launches initial SPOKES.

A. Project implementation and coordination
• Facilitate project implementation alongside project partners, tracking deliverables as per the ACES Workplan and ensuring timely and quality reporting (including quarterly financial reporting and progress reporting provided by the Director) to the project team as well as donors.
• Organize meetings, including but not limited to regular gatherings of the Steering Committee (SC), National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC), and Academic Research and Learning Committee (ARLC), bilateral interactions with key partners, as well as general outreach via webinars and other platforms. Assist in preparation of meeting and event materials, present content and moderate discussions during assigned sessions, capture and disseminate notes, and follow-through on assigned actions items.
• Work closely with UR Single Project Implementation Unit (UR SPIU) to aid in the preparation, authorization and implementation of formal agreements and contracts with ACES collaborators who are jointly researching and developing technologies and business models, outreach materials, education content, academic exchanges, and related efforts.

B. Funding opportunities to support scale-up
• Coordinate with project partners to identify and secure potential funding for the ACES Demonstration Hall and other key needs identified with them.
• Coordinate with the National Designated Agency (NDA) of Rwanda to aid successful completion of GCF Readiness Proposal and assist in its execution (if approved by the GCF). Explore additional opportunities to complement secured funding from UK DEFRA and the World Bank, such as philanthropic donors and other sources by contributing written content equivalent to at least three pages in Word and reviewing at least 15 pages of content prepared by other teams for one funding opportunity application selected by the Project Manager.
• Coordinate U4E inputs in support of the Rwandan Government’s efforts to allocate land near ACES headquarters for a Model Smart Farm intended to demonstrate comprehensive post-harvest management. Submit a formal proposal with technical contents requested by the Government, working alongside UK University and UR experts. The proposal is to include a detailed concept note of at least 8 pages in length in Word, and if needed, draft text for an MOU or other pertinent formal agreement that can be used by pertinent partners.

C. Inform the design of ACES headquarters and a SPOKE in Kenya
• Support UK and Rwandan experts to finalise the design concept of ACES headquarters based on initial high-level design recommendations, including researching appropriate specifications for equipment, permitting, protocols for importation of equipment, etc. Contributions are mainly to focus on gathering information for reference by fellow project team members and ensuring that comments from key stakeholders on the design are properly addressed.
• Help UR to identify furniture and equipment needs for the ACES headquarters and recommendations on practicable solutions for site preparation (e.g. coordinating with UR technicians that upgrade electrical equipment and repairs) so that these sites can be prepared for subsequent specialized equipment installation and use according to the overall project Workplan.
• Support UK and UR teams to update the renderings of the Demonstration Hall, Bills of Quantities (BoQ) for items in the Demonstration Hall and other renovation areas, as directed.
• Support UK University experts and African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) for full design of a SPOKE in Kenya akin to the support provided for ACES headquarters, albeit remotely and via desktop research and phone calls. Help to ensure that the SPOKE in Kenya is closely linked with ACES headquarters by keeping core partners well informed and ensuring seamless integration of technology and business model concepts.
• Assist cold chain market assessment in African countries when required. Contributions are mainly to focus on gathering information and review assessment report.

D. Staffing and commissioning of facilities
• Support REMA and UR to bring a Director on board and identify other initial staffing needs that address critical gaps at the Centre, from financial and contracts to specialized equipment technicians, lecturers, and so forth from the cooling, agriculture and medical domains.
• Support ACTS to bring initial staffing on board at the SPOKE. Contributions will include development/review of ToR, input during the initial screening of candidates’ profile and feedback on the interviews (if requested by the ARLC).
• Help to review the procurement plan and technical specifications developed by UR and UK universities for the procurement of an initial set of equipment at the ACES headquarters. Similar engagement will be undertaken with ACTS for the SPOKE in Kenya.
• Liaise with UR SPIU and ACTS on the tendering process for the procurement of equipment at the ACES headquarters and the SPOKE based on technical specifications developed by core partners.
• Help monitor and provide suggestions on the installation of equipment and review the maintenance plan developed by UR SPIU for adequate coverage of procured equipment.
• Provide advice and support to UR when it convenes parties for construction, installation and commissioning of infrastructure and equipment to ensure an integrated effort and representation of U4E perspectives at key junctures.

E. Communications and knowledge sharing
• Develop and maintain effective working relationships with project partners and key stakeholders.
• Support wider outreach to new potential collaborators, conveying ACES’ progress at events and via telecommunications.
• Work with Rwandan Government, UR and UK university specialists to develop the full website of ACES (hosted by UR).
• Work with UR and UoB communication specialists to prepare a concept note for the development of radio station/podcasts for ACES, and if approved within the contract period, contribute as appropriate on behalf of U4E to its implementation.
• Provide inputs to the development of communication materials (e.g. press release, social media content, flyer, banners) to increase the visibility of ACES and raise awareness of sustainable cooling.
• Assist with planning site visits if travel and in-person gathering protocols permit, such as a potential visit by senior UK officials and other partners in mid-2022 and a visit by a Rwandan delegation to the UK to see examples of established centres of excellence.
• Provide written and verbal inputs to ARLC members on curriculum design and related capacity building content.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent additional experience) with agricultural or medical fields, or general supply-chain or logistics that are relevant for these fields (e.g.: Masters in Agribusiness Management).

Experience: At least 5 years of professional experience working in the agriculture policy arena in sub-Saharan Africa, including at least one year working on sustainable cooling with international organizations, is required.
• Familiarity with refrigerator markets and technologies.
• Experience with developing and implementing market transformation projects with East African and international partners.
• Strong familiarity with data gathering, processing and report writing.
• Excellent written and oral communications skills on agricultural or medical policies, programmes and technologies.
• Experience in working as part of a multi-team coalition.
• Availability to work in Rwanda is required.

Language: Fluency in spoken and written English is required, and in Kinyarwanda 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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