Job Opening

Posting Title: Private Sector Involvement in Weather and Climate Information Services in Africa (WCIS)
Department/Office: Economic Commission for Africa
Duty Station: ADDIS ABABA
Posting Period: 13 May 2022 - 19 May 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Economic Commission for Africa-179735-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Developing a comprehensive study report and business case for better engagement of private sector in the value chains of WCIS in Africa

Work Location


Expected duration

•The consultant assignment shall be for a period of four months

Duties and Responsibilities


Increasing frequency in seasonal variability as well as climate change continue to pose serious threat to African economies and peoples, especially in low income countries where ability to cope with severe impacts is limited. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the projected heat and drought stress will significantly decrease crop productivity and cause massive adverse effects on regional, national and household livelihoods and food security in Africa. Hence, timely and accurate Weather and Climate Information Services (WCIS) are needed to support various stakeholders (public sector, private sector, and communities/individuals) to deal with the impacts of climate change (drought, heatwaves, storms, sea level rise, floods and others). The value chain of WCIS includes, but is not entirely limited to, data production through observation systems, data exchange, data processing, analyzing and forecasting, and dissemination and service delivery to end-users. Historically, the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) are responsible for handling the WCIS value chain but such public offices alone cannot effectively manage the growing demand for WCIS especially as the impacts of climate change in the continent are becoming more varied and rampant. The NMHSs on the continent also are not well resourced to adequately provide data and services required for adaptation and resilience building to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Since NMHSs face mounting challenges emanating from lack of adequate funding, modern meteorological equipment and trained manpower, they should explore all available options to fill the unprecedented gaps along the WCIS value chain. The involvement of private sector in WCIS through Public Private Engagement (PPE) could be one of the solutions. This is because it could bring innovation, modern technology and the capital necessary for operational, maintenance and upgrade of national and regional weather observation and communication networks. Moreover, PPE could generate strong positive returns on investments in WCIS. However, the market for WCIS is largely global and still in its infancy in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) except for the commercial aviation industry that purchases CIS at a larger scale. Nevertheless, the study from the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) shows that private sector involvement is feasible in many other key economic sectors including agriculture, energy, infrastructure, insurance, shipping and transportation. Hence, the PPE could be a promising business model to fill the gaps in WCIS value chain as most African governments public enterprises (historically dominated by NMHSs) are becoming more willing to engage with the private sector in the WCIS value chain.
In this context, the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) through its Weather and climate Service (WISER) Programme carried out a preliminary study on the engagement of the private sector in WCIS value chains in Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) and found that the engagement of the private sector is limited and varied across the continent. The study also identified about eight private companies operating in Ghana, six in Kenya, five in Malawi, Burkina Faso, and Uganda, four in Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire, three in Madagascar, two in Zambia, Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. These private companies are playing key roles, amongst others, in educating the public on use of CIS at various community levels. The rest of the countries in SSA have either one or none. The private companies operating in these countries are Viamo, Esoko, Ignitia, Farmerline, Farm Radio, Manobi, The Hershey Company, and Ghana Agriculture Insurance Pool. Other private companies like Climate Risk Analysis, Predictia, Climpact, Climate Corporation, and Prescient Weather are yet to get to SSA countries. However, this study was limited in scope and therefore a deeper study is required.

Objectives of the study
Building on the experiences and lessons learned from the Weather and climate Service (WISER) study, the ACPC in collaboration with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) will
• undertake a comprehensive study on the involvement of private sector in the production, dissemination and uptake of WCIS in Africa;
• assess current markets for WCIS, existing private sector operators engaged in WCIS value chain, the policy/regulatory framework in WCIS; and
• identify promising business models for private sector involvement in WCIS value chain.
Scope and Tasks of Work

This consultancy position is located at the ACPC, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Division (TCND) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The incumbent will undertake a critical analysis on the involvement of the private sector in WCIS delivery, involving assessment of current markets for WCIS in SSA, identify existing private sector engagement in WCIS value chains, analyze the policy/regulatory framework in WCIS and develop promising business models for private sector involvement that enhance the production, dissemination and uptake of WCIS in Africa. This assignment shall use case studies from one anglophone and one francophone countries as well as Africa Small Island Developing States(SIDS) to identify best practice in private sector engagement in the climate information and services(CIS) value chain

under the direct supervisor of Inter-Regional Adviser of ACPC the consultant will assume the following duties and responsibilities (research activities).

1. The methodology to carry out the study;

2. Produce and submit a detailed work workplan;

3. Analyse how the NMHSs in the selected countries operate and provide needed services for various uses {agriculture, water, health, energy, disaster management, transport (land, air and on water)} by:

• Identifying gaps and strength of NMHSs for both metrological and human resources components;
• analysing the mechanisms of services delivery and cost-recovery of WCIS by the NMHSs.

4. Identify existing private sector engagement in the specific targeted countries and assess the current market for WCIS in SSA along the WCIS value chain.

5. Analyse the existing business models for the PPE and identify/produce promising business model(s) based on country case studies to recommend for private sector engagement in CIS by:

• Assessing the existing enabling environment that could lead to higher number of private sector operators’ involvement in these countries;

• Analyse the real and potential impact of COVID-19 in promotion of the private sector engagement in WCIS value chain;

• Based on best practices case studies and experience globally of business model(s) recommend options for the enhancement of PPE engagement in SSA.

6. Assess gender engagement and role of women in the WCIS value chain both in private and public sectors.

7. Draft a private sector engagement report to be presented to expert group meeting for validation.

8. Organize and present the study findings to key stakeholders for validation of study findings;

9. Produce the final report of the study following the validation workshop.

Qualifications/special skills

• proven experience in scoping and assessing the PPE business models;
• extensive experiences in works related to the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in Africa;
• be well versed with emerging and contemporary approaches to WCIS, and specific experience in business/private sector engagement in WCIS in Africa;
• good communication, synthesis, and writing skills to critically examine WCIS value chain;

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university (Master’s degree) in physical sciences, climate studies, development studies, economics,or related fields is required. A doctorate degree in the above field is highly desirable.A first level university degree in a combination of additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the master’s degree.

Experience: A minimum of ten years of experience in climate change issues, climate science/meteorology and a proven track record in working on development policy issues is required.

Language: English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this consultancy, fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another UN language is desirable

No Fee


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