Senior Specialist, Energy, SEforALL
Background About SEforALL
Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organization working with leaders in government, the private sector and civil society to drive further, faster action toward achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030, and the Paris Agreement, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate warming to below 2° Celsius.
Achieving these goals will require a radical rethink of the way we produce, distribute and consume energy. SEforALL is at the heart of this foundational shift to ensure no one is left behind. Drawing on data and evidence, we identify a critical path to success in achieving SDG7.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative in 2011. Now an independent organization, we maintain close links with the UN, including through a relationship agreement, partnerships with UN agencies and with SEforALL’s CEO acting as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. These roles include advising the UN Secretary General and his staff on issues relating to sustainable energy and the implementation of SDG7 and supporting the coordination of sustainable energy issues in the United Nations system.
The ambitions of SDG7 are extraordinary. Aiming to achieve them in the context of the Paris Agreement on climate change involves transformation at a scale never undertaken before. Swift action must be taken by leaders in governments, private sector companies, institutions, financiers, development banks, unions, communities, entrepreneurs and civil society. As we enter the final decade to achieve SDG7, SEforALL has strategically chosen to strengthen global agenda-setting while expanding its activities to an engagement model that prioritizes data-driven decision-making, partnerships with high-impact countries and implementation on the ground. The new SEforALL three-year business plan outlines “results offers” that scope out our planned interventions and demonstrate to our funding partners the impact of their support.
Context and Objective of Assignment
Results Based Financing Background:
Sovereign donors are increasingly experimenting with Results-Based Financing (RBF) for energy access programmes. Providing financial support at the required speed and scale to achieve SDG7 (and to reach the last-mile communities that are the most vulnerable) will require a paradigm shift towards RBF, which would allow governments and donors to: Shift an appropriate level of risk of delivery to the private sector; provide greater certainty to industry about the level of financial support required; and aggregate financing and scale support across multiple countries.
SEforALL launched and operationalized the Universal Energy Facility (UEF) in October 2020 as a multi-donor RBF facility designed to significantly speedup and scaleup the delivery of energy connections in Sub-Saharan Africa. The UEF provides incentive payments to eligible organizations that deploy energy solutions and provide verified end-user energy connections.
SEforALL’s activities include designing end-to-end UEF framework and processes, including qualification criteria, technical specifications and KPIs; conducting analysis of base case assumptions and financial modeling to ensure a sound subsidy amount; setting up the UEF Governance Structure; carrying out in-country due diligence and stakeholder engagement; and managing the full process from pre-qualification and site specific applications to grant disbursements. The UEF was launched in October 2020 with the application process opening for mini-grid projects in Sierra Leone and Madagascar. The UEF expanded to Benin for mini-grid projects in early 2021. Over the coming year, SEforALL expects to significantly grow the UEF to be a USD 100 million facility operating in multiple countries in Africa, expanding the mini-grid windows and launching new windows for stand-alone solar for productive use (SSPU).
The main objectives of the Results-Based Financing (RBF) programme are:
- To provide a funding mechanism that allows for scale, speed and efficiency to achieve universal energy access by 2030.
- To operationalize and scale the UEF for mini-grids, stand-alone systems for productive uses, and clean cooking solutions.
- Under the RBF programme, SEforALL also provides advocacy, communications and outreach to promote and scale the transition to results-based approaches to delivering energy access.
Purpose/Objective of the Role
The main objectives of the role include:
- Working closely with the Programme Manager, RBF, to scale energy access solutions (mini-grids, solar systems, clean cooking) across sub-Saharan Africa.
- Upstream development and operationalization for in-country implementation.
- To support development and operationalization for UEF for mini-grids, solar systems for productive use and clean cooking.
Duties and Tasks for the Role
The main duties and tasks of the role include, but are not limited to:
- Hold responsibility for:
- Pre-qualification review and approvals;
- Project proposal approval
- Contract and disbursement management;
- Connection verifications;
- Project modification approval.
- Lead development and finalization of UEF Platform for solar systems for productive uses and clean cooking.
- Provide technical expertise and supervise evaluations of applications for UEF grant funding for mini grids, solar systems for productive uses, and clean cooking.
- Provide support to the SRSG/CEO for SEforALL on RBF, including assisting in developing briefings, talking points and other communications as needed.
- Serve as the Monitoring Evaluation, and Learning liaison to drive KPI development.
- Represent SEforALL in different RBF related meetings, as needed.
- Communication and outreach to different stakeholders funding or working on RBF Schemes.
- Coordinate donor management and reporting with the PM, RBF.
- Facilitate knowledge building and knowledge sharing in own work area to bring about awareness and understanding, as well as utilise SEforALL systems and process to share the knowledge. e.g., Salesforce.
- Other tasks and duties as may be required.
Specific Competencies for the Role
- Master’s degree in energy economics, energy infrastructure, or in another relevant discipline; 8+ years of work experience in the energy sector.
- Knowledge of energy policies and energy systems in a developing country context.
- Recognized expertise in energy access, particularly decentralized energy solutions in Africa.
- French language competency is strongly desired
General Competences for the Role
- Innovation and Adaptability: Has expert skills and commitment to search for and produce innovative and creative approaches to activities. Is flexible to evolving circumstances, as well as helps others in doing so.
- Resilience and Emotional Intelligence: Has expert knowledge in the concepts of resilience and emotional intelligence. Is able to remain calm in challenging situations, to cope with setbacks, is responsive to the emotions of others and maintains a high level of performance.
- Analytical and Strategic Thinking: Has an expert level of analytical and strategic thinking skills. Gathers and processes demanding information, develops innovative solutions and contributes by representing topics/approaches in internal and cross-functional working groups/teams.
- Collaboration and Partnership: Demonstrates expert initiative and abilities to collaborate and form partnerships in own area of responsibility, across teams and externally. Builds and maintains effective relationships at all levels inside and outside the organisation. Displays team-oriented attitude contributing to creating a positive team spirit.
- Lead and Empower: Demonstrates initiative and role model behaviour in leading and empowering others. Takes responsibility for own work activities and personal actions and carries out the commitments agreed upon.
- Political and diplomatic understanding: Has an expert level of political and diplomatic understanding.
- Communicating information: Has expert skills in communicating information and uses the skills effectively in own scope of work and in others’ work.
- Research and Analytics: Has expert skills in research and analytics. Promotes the use of data within the team and to contribute to wider decision making.
- Project Management: Has expert skills in project management. Plans and organises their own work using project management tools in support of achieving the team’s objectives.
- Client Orientation / Striving for Excellence: Has expert skills in client orientation and achieving excellency in work delivery
Our Values – please refer to our core values as defined here: https://www.seforall.org/who-we-are/staff/our-values.
- SEforALL offers exciting high-impact assignments, a collegial and creative work environment, and the opportunity for committed professionals to thrive and grow within flat hierarchies and in the pursuit of an inspiring mission.
- SEforALL provides competitive compensation packages at its locations in Vienna, Washington DC and New York City, and flexibility and result orientated modern workplace arrangements.
- Qualified female candidates and candidates from developing countries are strongly encouraged to apply.
- Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
- SEforALL reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below the advertised level of the post.