Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant for Fiscal Study on SWFs and Financing SDGs
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 12 June 2017 - 18 June 2017
Job Opening Number: 17-United Nations Environment Programme-80741-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The services of the consultant will result in the delivery of a global study on ‘Mobilizing finance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The role of extractive industries and sovereign wealth funds’

Work Location


Expected duration

The consultancy contract will start on 30 June 2017 and expire on 30 October 2017.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the UN system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. In 2008, UN Environment launched the Green Economy Initiative (GEI) to promote investments in clean and efficient technologies, natural capital and social infrastructure as a driver for economic growth, job creation, environmental improvement, poverty eradication and social equity worldwide. The GEI is led by the Resources and Markets Branch of UN Environment's Economy Division. The Branch undertakes research activities and country-level advisory services, engaging with partners from UN agencies, intergovernmental institutions, governments, academic institutes, businesses and environmental groups to support the shift to an inclusive green economy and help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Among its areas of work, the Resources and Markets Branch undertakes research and analysis on how green fiscal policies can support the inclusive green economy and delivery of the SDGs across different sectors from water, extractives and energy, to agriculture and fisheries among others. UN Environment works with a range of partners including fiscal authorities such as the IMF, development agencies such as the GIZ, academic institutions, think tanks, and national research institutes, to provide policy advice, develop knowledge products and host technical workshops on the role of fiscal policy in the transition to a green economy.

Achieving the SDGs requires the mobilization and effective use of all available sources of financing. A number of resource-rich countries establish sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) as savings vehicles to manage revenues. Typically, SWFs are established to enhance returns on international reserves while minimizing risks over the long-term to meet pension liabilities, provide for future generations, stabilize fiscal revenues, promote economic growth and support development objectives. Well-managed SWFs can support delivery of the SDGs by helping to improve the quality of public spending (e.g. Peru, Chile, Botswana), strengthening international competitiveness (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan), earmarking spending for high impact projects, development or green investments (e.g. Ghana, Alabama, Texas, Timor-Leste, China, Qatar and Abu Dhabi) and supporting ethical investments (e.g. Norway). However, using such funds to support long-term development objectives such as the SDGs faces a number of challenges/constraints and requires careful management, supported by substantive transparency requirements, adequate government capacities, and a balanced growth strategy.

To create further research and knowledge products on capitalizing SWFs for strategic investments to support delivery of the SDGs, UN Environment requires support from a consultant with expertise in this area.

The UN Environment, Economy Division, Resources and Markets Branch currently does not have the relevant expertise in house, to carry out the required tasks.

The objective of the consultancy is to prepare a global study on capitalizing SWFs to mobilise resources to finance the SDGs.

The study will develop in-depth analysis focusing on the following issues:

• Identify and analyse current and planned SWFs and use this revenue to invest in green assets as a strategy for sustainable development. This overview of green investments by SWFs should cover developed and developing countries. It should identify the size of SWF assets in these countries, the proportion allocated to green investments, current and expected future investment trends, the main drivers of investment and obstacles/barriers to investing SWFs in green assets.

• Compare and contrast several case studies from developed and developing countries of existing SWFs that are investing in green assets. (e.g. Qatar Investment Authority, Norway Government Pension Fund Global, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority). These cases should ideally cover developed and developing countries and identify the amount of investment targeted at green assets, the type of green investments supported by SWFs, the main drivers of greening SWF portfolios, the process which led to the greening of the SWF and any trade-offs between achieving green economy policy objectives while balancing financial and socio-economic returns. This assessment of country-specific examples should help develop a case for supporting delivery of the SDGs through SWFs as a means to generate financial returns as well as social and environmental gains.

• Based on the assessment, develop practical guidelines on how to design SWFs to support delivery of the SDGs for those countries interested in using such funds for these purposes. The guidelines should discuss what type of green investments could be targeted by SWFs, what the implications for financial returns are, what benefits in terms of socio-economic returns could occur due to green investments, how to evaluate the effectiveness of such green investments and other governance related aspects to support this process.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: • Proven understanding of the knowledge gaps which exist in the field of sovereign wealth funds and their investment in green assets.
• Proven understanding of organizations and research institutions producing research on SWFs, extractive industries and green investment, internationally.
• Proven professional level writing skills
Academic Qualifications: • An advanced university degree in a relevant field: economics, finance, public policy, natural resource management, environment, development, international relations.
Experience: • Five years of experience in empirical research, data analysis and writing evidence-based reports and policy materials with practical recommendations.
• A minimum of three years of experience in researching and analysing sovereign wealth funds, sustainable resource management and/ or fiscal policy in the extractive industries is desired.
• Proven track record in producing literature reviews and analysis in the aforementioned field, particularly with relation to sovereign wealth funds and green investments (in both developing and developed economies).
• Experience in working on projects with relevant experts in the field across different organizations, including experience in jointly drafting reports.

No Fee


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