Climate change adaptation mainstreaming and local development - Blended finance specialist

United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 


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UNCDF works with local and central government institutions to improve the capacity of local governance institutions in planning, budgeting, public expenditure management, procurement and delivery management and other areas related to the application of development capital and other resources.

UNCDF is supporting an expanding portfolio of programmes in all regions that provide capital resources to local governance processes to enable them to meet the challenges of poverty reduction, the Millennium Development Goals and climate change. These programmes promote (1)  local level public financial management and decentralized governance responses and (2) local economic development solutions to these challenges.

The goal of the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) is to promote climate change resilient communities and local economies by increasing investments in Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) at the local level in target countries, thereby contributing to the achievement of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the specific goals of poverty eradication (SDG1) and climate action (SDG13) as well as women empowerment as a key transverse priority. The objectives are to increase local government access to climate finance and implement climate change adaptation investments in participating countries and to establish a standard and internationally recognized country-based mechanism to channel climate finance and increase local resilience through Performance Based Climate Resilience Grants (PBCRG).

LoCAL works in three phases :

  • Phase I: Following scoping, the first phase entails testing in a small number (2-4) of local governments. Phase I has a budget of USD 300,000 per year. It can include co-financing from government or other partners. Phase I introduces the Performance-Based Climate Resilient Grant (PBCRG) over one or two fiscal cycles; it tests the minimum conditions and performance measures of the PBCRG and the relevance of the menu of investments (eligible adaptation measures). It provides the necessary experience and lessons for the refinement of the approach and the design of phase II in conjunction with the appropriate national authorities and partners.
  • Phase II: Phase II takes place in around 5 to 10 of local governments (of the appropriate tier) in a country. Phase II is usually financed by UNCDF together with financing partners and has generally a budget of USD 3,5 to USD 10 million. Funding can come directly through the LoCAL project or through parallel financing if government or other development partners make resources available to the LoCAL methodology, with TA and QA by UNCDF. The purpose of this phase is to demonstrate the effectiveness of LoCAL and create the conditions for a full national rollout of the approach.
  • Phase III: Phase III consists of a full national rollout of the PBCRG in the country based on the results and lessons of the previous phases. It is gradually extended to all local governments (of the appropriate tier). Phase III is expected to be financed by central government through a re-adjustment of the architecture of existing resources to enable financing of local adaptation, as well as through financing from international organizations, financing institutions and funds such as the Green Climate Fund.
    It is now broadly recognized that, while grant should be considered as the cornerstone of local governments action, additional funding should be brought. This implies to develop national platforms for blended finance as well as mobilize domestic banks and development bank for investments with high local impacts. Innovative solutions to enhance adaptation and mobilize funding for local infrastructures private sector would complement the efforts made by LoCAL and others partners to strengthen national mechanisms of fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental based grants mechanisms based on performance.

    To help increase funding for local adaptation, UNCDF wants to complement the PBCRG mechanism through the mobilization of private finance at local level. Despite remarkable achievements of LoCAL, there are certain projects that can not be financed solely through government grants, for example, revenue generating or entrepreneurial projects. Meanwhile, there is huge potential of other investors besides public sector, whose financing resources have not been leveraged in local development. Facing this dilemma, in response to requests from LoCAL countries, UNCDF aims to unlock a diversity of finance for local adaptation projects, including LDC domestic capital from banks, pension funds and other private sources.

    With UNCDF technical expertise and financing instruments – including the facility for Municipal Investment Finance (MFI) - LoCAL wants to increase ability and willingness of domestic financial sector to provide financing for climate resilience infrastructure projects while improving capacities of public and private project developers to identify and develop climate resilience projects. As the potential of the blended financing model is revealed and additional domestic capital is released, an enabling environment for domestic resource mobilization for climate resilience needs to be improved, thus increasing interest and support from the international development community for climate resilience project development and finance.

    Risk mitigation and technical assistance are necessary to mobilize and leverage private sector capital in the LDCs context where issues include inadequate national legal and operational frameworks, inadequate technical capacity, and the lack of domestic banks’ willingness in financing small and medium-sized infrastructure projects. Private sector capital can be successfully mobilized using financial structures and instruments that mitigate risks. For example, infrastructure projects in LDCs can use a variety of financial and governance structures that mitigate risk or appropriate for the type of investment required including balance sheet finance, blended finance and or project finance, etc. Furthermore, many risk mitigation instruments are already available that have proven successful in leveraging limited official sector support, such as the partial loan guarantees offered by UNCDF and other development partners for the purpose of reducing risks to unlock additional capital to LDCs’ underserved markets and sectors.

    In Mali, UNCDF has a long-standing experience to support the ANICT and develop performance-based grants. In the recent year, UNCDF has commissioned a study to identify potential additional sources of funding for ANICT and municipalities. This study shows the challenges faced by this institution and the need to strengthen existing national mechanisms and develop new sources of funding

    Within that perspective, LoCAL wants to test a blended funding model in Mali as a specific output of a multi-country programme under development in West-Africa with the BOAD. The programme aims at upscaling and reinforcing LoCAL in the following countries : Mali / LoCAL Phase II (target regions : Kayes and Segou), Niger / LoCAL Phase II (target regions : Zinder and Dosso), Burkina Faso / LoCAL Phase I (target regions : to be confirmed. Expected outputs from this programme are the following :

  • Output 1. Awareness and capacities to respond to climate change at the local level (local governments, communities and actors) are increased and local adaptation responses are promoted
  • Output 2. CCA is mainstreamed into communes’ planning and budgeting systems and investments and adaptation measures are carried out across the communes
  • Output 3. The PBCRG system is deployed on a large scale and institutionalized in the 3 countires
  • Output 4. A blended funding model that mobilizes the domestic banking sector and the private sector for public, private and public-private partnership (PPP) projects aligned with the adaptation needs identified by local governments and communities is tested  in one country (Mali)

To help support the implementation of this programme, a proposal is under preparation to mobilize funding from the Green Climate Fund.

Specific assistance is needed to help design the Output 4 in the context of Mali.

To support the preparation of the GCF Funding proposal for the UNCDF-BOAD multi-country programme, the overall objective of the assignment is to conduct a feasibility study to develop a blended funding model aligned with the LoCAL mechanism in Mali, propose operational process, assess conditions for implementation.

Scope of Work

Working under the direct supervision of the LoCAL Programme Manager in close collaboration with UNCDF (programme manager and country team), the consultant will be responsible for providing technical support to LoCAL by:

  1. Developing knowledge of LoCAL generally and of the programme in place in Mali (e.g. from global project document, brochure, annual and thematic reports) as well as of UNCDF initiatives and programmes on private finance mobilization at local level (Municipal Finance Initiative)
  2. Assessing the specific context in Mali for the mobilization of private finance for local projects.:

Building on studies previously led in Mali (analysis of alternative source of funds for municipalities and ANICT), the assignment will aim at assessing the national financial sector and existing financial mechanisms - type of loans and guaranties – in relation to the scope of the LoCAL programme.

The following questions will be addressed:

  • General situation of financial markets in the country (banking regulations, actors of financial intermediation, presence of commercial banks, conditions of access to credit, etc.), mapping of actors
  • Effective presence (i.e. transactions) of international financiers in the country (public - DFIs and / or private - impact investors, etc.)
  • General credit conditions (cost, terms, currency, etc.) including the definition of a benchmark for financial return rates on blending operations - expected by domestic and international, public and private actors
  • Examples of blended finance operations already carried out in the country and how the risk and financial return has been shared between the public actor and the private actor
  • Analysis and market assessment / potential need (ie which actors / projects could benefit from blended finance) in relation to LoCAL's upscaling prospects in Mali
    Key barriers impeding the mobilization of private finance for projects led by local governments have to be identified. Recommendations have to be provided, describing most relevant tools to implement (e.g. credit line , guaranty line, support the creation of a national platform, strengthen ANICT to access to loans, improve the PPP institutional and regulation framework).
  • Detailed logical framework
  • Financial instruments
  • Operating procedures
  • Pre-identification of actors to involve
  • Economic and financial model including risk sharing models, expected return rates
  • Risk analysis
  • Implementation budget

Duration of assignment, Duty Station and Expected Places of Travel 

Duration: Up to 30 days over 12 weeks.

Duty Station and expected places of travel: Home based

Please note that consultants that are home-based will not be compensated for living expenses.

Final Products and Indicative Schedule I

Products have to be delivered in English.

  • A short inception report (max 5 pages) that will include a detailed table of content for the Feasibility study, a tasks description for the assignment as well as a timeline
  • A feasibility study for a blended funding model aligned with the LoCAL mechanism in Mali,
  • Payments within each assignment will be phased and payment will be made against key deliverables. Payment will be made upon submission of deliverable(s) to the satisfaction of LoCAL Programme Manager, which shall be formalized through a written acceptance of outputs and explicit authorization of release of payment. 

Technical Competencies

  • Owns a comprehensive knowledge of public finance and blended finance instruments 
  • Owns a comprehensive knowledge and experience of sustainable and local development in West-Africa
  • Owns a comprehensive knowledge and experience of climate finance, more particularly on the adaptation pillar
  • Strong analytical, assessment capabilities 
  • Proven experience writing outcome documents, actions plans and road

Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UN;
  • Displays cultural, gender religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Functional competencies:

  • Speaks confidently and exercises diplomacy in dealing with all partners, demonstrating tact, determination and sensitivity;
  • Builds strong relationships, focuses on impact and result and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Ability to lead effectively, facilitation as well as conflict resolution skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;


  • Expert knowledge with political and development strategies on public finance management in LDCs

Planning and organizing

  • Demonstrated ability to undertake a diversity of tasks within a demanding, multi-stakeholder environment, to prioritize among these tasks, and to work toward short deadlines.


  • Excellent drafting ability and communication skills, both oral and written, including a proven ability to communicate complex processes or technical information orally and to prepare documents that are clear, concise and meaningful;


Superior client orientation and inter-personal skills with a proven ability to work cooperatively with multi-disciplinary teams and staff and managers at all levels.



  • At least Master’s Degree in international development, economics, business, finance


  • Minimum of ten years progressive experience related to impact investment
  • Experience in the financial industry and social finance, especially innovative finance vehicles such as impact investment, challenges funds, microfinance, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) finance, foundation finance, blended and related hybrid finance products. 
  • Hands on work experience with feasibility studies in developing countries in general and Africa in particular.
  • Experience in designing, monitoring and reporting on programs related to gender equality is required;
  • Proven track record of providing advisory service and coordination
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Experience in the United Nations, a governmental, other multilateral or civil society organization in a developed or developing country is highly desirable.


Oral and written proficiency in English and French is required.

Evaluation of Candidates

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology.

Cumulative analysis
The award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant on Cumulative Analysis/evaluation and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum 70% mark in technical evaluation, including desk review and interview, will be considered eligible for financial evaluation.

Technical Evaluation Criteria (Total 70 marks):
Education 10 Marks

Experience 55marks

Language   5 Marks

Financial Evaluation (Total 30 marks):

All technical qualified proposals will be scored out 30 based on the formula provided below. The maximum points (30) will be assigned to the lowest financial proposal. All other proposals received points according to the following formula: p = y (µ/z), where:

•    p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated;
•    y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal;
•    µ = price of the lowest priced proposal;
•    z = price of the proposal being evaluated.

Application Procedure

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Proposers who shall not submit below mentioned documents will not be considered for further evaluation.

  • When applying for this consultancy position, please apply with your official name as shown in the government issued identification document (e.g. passport and/or driver license). Contract award is subject to this verification;
  • Personal CV – or UN P11 form - indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references; 
  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment; Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application;
  • Confirmation of interest and Financial proposal: Template for Confirmation of Interest and Submission of Financial Proposal
  • Earliest Availability.

Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when traveling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under

Both individual consultants and individuals employed by a company or institution are welcome to apply. Any individual employed by a company or institution who would like to submit an offer in response to a Procurement Notice for IC must do so in their individual capacity (providing a CV so that their qualifications may be judged accordingly).

Women candidates or women-owned businesses are strongly encouraged to apply. UNCDF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.