BIOFIN Team Leader

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Applications have closed

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Background

Preliminary top-down estimates of the global financial gap for biodiversity range from US$ 100 to 400 billion annually and detailed bottom-up assessments in participating BIOFIN countries validate this significant financial need and have helped identify finance solutions required to achieve the Aichi Targets and biodiversity related SDGs. In recent decades, biodiversity finance tools and solutions have demonstrated their importance for achieving biodiversity and sustainable development goals. But since countries have not approached the issue of biodiversity finance in a comprehensive manner, the choice and adoption of finance solutions has remained experimental and opportunistic. Improved choice, design and implementation of effective well-tailored finance solutions will strengthen a countries’ chances of achieving national and global biodiversity targets.
The Biodiversity Finance Initiative – BIOFIN – is a global programme that developed, piloted, and is continuously improving a methodology to measure existing biodiversity expenditure levels, assess future financial needs, and design comprehensive plans to use finance tools and solutions that increase financing, effectiveness and efficiency of biodiversity management in 30 countries. BIOFIN’s first phase (2012-2018) enabled full assessments and initial implementation of finance plan elements in target countries. Significant enhancement and scaling up of finance solutions is required in all countries to address the biodiversity finance challenge. BIOFIN’s second phase enables the 30 countries to complete the design and implementation of priority finance solutions and will allow a further 15 countries to undertake the assessments as well as create and implement their biodiversity finance plan. At the central level, knowledge management platforms will be expanded, and additional guidance produced for most valuable finance solutions.
In countries, national teams work with the global BIOFIN team on the following components, corresponding to steps 3-7 of the 2016 BIOFIN Workbook (more updated guidance will be available):
  • BIOFIN Inception Workshop and Report. During the Inception Phase the national BIOFIN team is recruited, the Steering Committee established, an inception workshop is implemented, and an inception report is produced and shared with stakeholders.  Once operational, the national BIOFIN team carries out a first review of the national context, outlining available information and initiatives, identifying cooperation modalities with related initiatives and organising the inception workshop, a first introduction to a wider group of stakeholders and a first moment of active engagement, with the underlying purpose of starting to build a national vision on biodiversity finance. The inception report is developed to capture initial national level baseline information on biodiversity finance, describe recommendations from stakeholders made through the inception workshop, highlight adjustments made in national implementation arrangements and provide preliminary analysis for entry points to advance biodiversity finance in the country.
  • Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review (PIR).  The PIR enables participating countries to analyse current policies, institutions and existing finance mechanisms and tools associated with biodiversity and ecosystem services in order to evaluate their impact and effectiveness and to understand key entry points and opportunities for effecting change.  The first step includes identifying the existing national vision and key trends for biodiversity and sustainable development financing and mapping sectoral interactions with biodiversity and ecosystem services. The PIR includes an inventory of existing financing mechanisms used for biodiversity, key subsidies that affect biodiversity, biodiversity related revenues and all associated laws and regulations. It explores how finance and economics can be used to address the main drivers of biodiversity loss.  The PIR process is used to further clarify relevant stakeholders and their specific mandates, institutional arrangements and capacity related to the NBSAP and biodiversity finance. Existing economic valuation studies are reviewed and integrated into the analysis.  Policy recommendations, including possible reforms of harmful subsidies and other incentives that contribute to continued biodiversity loss, can be incorporated in PIR and national planning strategies. Stakeholder engagement is ensured through a consultation workshop in the early stages and a validation workshop at the end to discuss the complete findings and recommendations.
  • Biodiversity Expenditure Review (BER).  The Biodiversity Expenditure Review helps countries to establish a firm baseline of historic and current biodiversity expenditure levels and future projections in comparison to the underlying institutional and policy vision and framework. The expenditure review is conducted with the public, private, and civil society institutions identified under the inception phase and the PIR. For each relevant biodiversity finance actor, budget, allocation and expenditure data are collected for the past 5-7 years.  For each budget or expenditure, the percentage that can be attributed to biodiversity and the target area of the expenditure is determined. The analysis will explore the relation of biodiversity expenditures to overall government budgets, stated policy objectives, GDP and jobs, NBSAP strategies and themes, etc. Historic trends are analysed, and projections can be made about future financing under a business as usual scenario.  The final report will provide very specific recommendations on (i) key sources of financing, (ii) possible re-alignment of expenditures; (iii) allocation or absorption issues; (iv) and other insights generated from the review.  Stakeholder engagement is ensured through a consultation workshop in the early stages and a validation workshop at the end to discuss the complete findings and refine recommendations.
  • Financial Needs Assessment (FNA).  The FNA is a detailed realistic costing of key biodiversity policies and plans – generally focused on the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). This involves an estimation of the financial needs and a prioritisation of actions for biodiversity management across all sectors of government, NGOs and can include private sector investments. Existing financing for specific actions will be compared to estimated needs to develop a projected financing gap.  The methodology includes reviewing and refining actions defined in the NBSAP and other major policies that require costing. For each of these costable actions, specific budget elements are calculated based on existing government budget categories and units. Stakeholder engagement is ensured through a consultation workshop in the early stages and a validation workshop at the end to discuss the complete findings and final recommendations.
  • Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP). The Biodiversity Finance Plan is a national strategy and plan for financing biodiversity addressing all possible dimensions of finance, including resource mobilisation, improving impact delivery, avoiding future expenditures and re-aligning expenditures towards biodiversity goals. The national experts will work closely with the global team to review a wide range of possible finance solutions and establish an agreed upon approach to prioritise based on a variety of characteristics of each solution, including the financing potential, the legal context and socio-economic/gender impacts, while mapping barriers that currently prevent further financing. For a selected number of the most promising financing mechanisms a more detailed feasibility study will be carried out. A large national workshop involving a wide variety of stakeholders should be organised as a key element of the consultation process followed by a smaller workshop planned at the end to validate the strategy and its recommendations.
  • Implementation of Biodiversity Finance Solutions – BIOFIN supports the implementation of biodiversity finance solutions that are identified during the course of the three main assessments – PIR, BER, and FNA – or elaborated in the Biodiversity Finance Plan.  Under this output, support is provided to implement one or more priority solutions likely to show significant or relatively rapid results. The national BIOFIN team will prepare one or more proposals and submit these for review by the global BIOFIN team. The selected activities can include a wide range of finance solutions including the provision of technical or advocacy support for developing laws and regulations, revising taxes and fees, the identification of legal thresholds, removal or reduction of biodiversity harmful incentives, certification processes, public-private-partnerships, voluntary agreements, awareness raising campaigns, behaviour change through education and training measures etc. A list of finance mechanisms and solutions is provided on the BIOFIN website

Duties and Responsibilities

The core responsibility of the team leader is to provide overall technical guidance and leadership at the national level and produce the Biodiversity Finance Plan. The team leader will work in close collaboration, with the entire National BIOFIN Team, UNDP CO and the global BIOFIN team to assure the high-quality delivery of all reports and outcomes of BIOFIN at the national level. These reports will include the Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review, the Biodiversity Expenditure Review, Financial Needs Assessment and the Biodiversity Finance Plan. Additionally, the team leader will be directly responsible for sections of specific reports and for leading the development, drafting, and finalization of the Biodiversity Finance Plan. All reports will be provided to the designated national government institute and, UNDP CO, and validated by the designated national government institute, UNDP CO and the global BIOFIN team. The team leader will be responsible for the overall management of in-country activities, ensuring a proper workplan and budget is in place and implemented within set timelines, with an effective national team and strong partnerships.

The team leader will be the spokesperson of BIOFIN at the national level. He/she is expected to have senior experience and to provide substantial technical expertise in assuring horizontal integration and consistency of workstreams/studies, as well as quality assurance of national products and processes throughout the duration of the national project. He/she will be responsible for relevant sections of the Policy and Institutional Review, will lead the preparation of the Biodiversity Finance Plan, and will oversee the identification and implementation of finance solutions as requested. He/she will also specifically be responsible for outreach activities to national (Government, donors delegation, academia, etc.) and relevant international stakeholders, and the preparation of synthesis reports, policy briefs, press releases and briefing notes for Government, UNDP etc. The Team leader will report to UNDP Country Office and the Global BIOFIN Team.

Specific duties and responsibilities will include:
Project Management Leadership
  • In consultation with the UNDP Country Office and global BIOFIN team and supported by the Finance Assistant, elaborate/revise the work plans and budgets.
  • He/she will ensure that technical activities and administrative requirements are managed and executed in a timely and appropriate manner including within planned budget.
  • Participate in recruitment processes for other members of the national BIOFIN team as appropriate.
  • Oversee the work of the Finance Assistant to ensure administrative requirements and budgets are managed and executed in a timely and appropriate manner and within UNDP and donor rules and regulations;
  • Support the formation and management of the National BIOFIN Steering/Advisory Committee.
  • Prepare the Inception Workshop and Report and organise all relevant project workshops in a consultative manner, involving a wide variety of biodiversity finance stakeholders, including the government, private sector, NGOs, donors and academia
  • Ensure a timely identification of risks in implementation at the national level and communication to the global BIOFIN team.
  • Organise bi-monthly meetings of the national team and monthly calls with the Technical Advisor from the global BIOFIN team. Ensure participation of national BIOFIN team members in regional technical calls.
  • Lead project monitoring, reporting and evaluation at national level. Prepare BIOFIN progress reports for submission to UNDP and project partners.
  • Establish and maintain links with other national and international programmes (e.g. NBSAP) and projects including UNDP-GEF projects.
  • Lead the process of capturing and documenting lessons from project implementation and make recommendations to the National Steering/Advisory Committee for more effective implementation of activities.
  • Develop one or more proposals for finance solutions to present to the global BIOFIN team
  • Participate in all regional and global BIOFIN webinars and workshops where possible.
Policy Development
  • Engage with 2-3 key national policy processes identified in the Inception or Policy and Institutional Review (PIR) stage (e.g. national development and sectoral planning and budgeting), provide inputs into budgets and other policy documents, and participate in related meetings to promote the adoption of BIOFIN methodology and recommendations.
  • Provide other inputs into policy development processes as per government requests/emerging opportunities (national/sectoral development plans/NBSAPs/legislation on biodiversity finance) and report on these inputs to the UNDP Country Office and the global BIOFIN team.
  • Discuss BIOFIN findings with a range of stakeholders and other related strategic planning projects to identify areas where collaboration can benefit from new insights generated through the BIOFIN Process and vice versa.
Project Outreach and Communication
  • Oversee the identification, selection and supervision of national consultants and experts, in close collaboration with the UNDP Country Office, Sr. Finance Expert and the Global BIOFIN Team and write/revise terms of reference for national BIOFIN team members;
  • Lead an extensive stakeholder consultation/engagement process for the development of all deliverables, involving actors from the public and private sector, civil society and academia.
  • Engage national stakeholders and strongly position BIOFIN objectives and processes towards relevant government departments and partner institutions to catalyse transformational outcomes. Ensure the inclusion of organisations representing indigenous/woman/vulnerable groups where possible.
  • Work with national and international counterparts, NGOs and other groups to ensure effective coordination and communication of BIOFIN project objectives, activities, and finance solutions and on data and information provision, expert review and verification.
  • Train or raise awareness with at least 30 national level colleagues on the basic concepts of biodiversity financing and work to develop the capacity level of government counterparts.
  • Edit, print and publish a final Summary for Policy Makers or Policy Briefs (4). Publicise and promote the results and impacts of BIOFIN at the national level.
  • Prepare detailed reports and analyses of national BIOFIN project results and impacts including in preparation for COPs and at project’s end.
Reporting/Communication/M&E
  • Signal any delays in national deliverables compared to the workplan to the UNDP Country Office and the Global BIOFIN Team.
  • Lead project monitoring, reporting and evaluation at national level, draft monthly and quarterly reports for review by the lead expert and submission to the global BIOFIN team.
  • Develop workshop reports for the inception workshop and all technical workshops.
  • Develop briefing notes, case studies, press releases, web articles and other media products as required.
  • Assist with research and write and edit sections of technical reports as required.
  • Review all national level deliverables to ensure quality and consistency with the BIOFIN methodology
Technical Tasks and Responsibilities
  • Act as principal technical contact for national BIOFIN implementation with the global BIOFIN team with regards to all questions and issues that arise during national implementation.
  • Provide key technical leadership on all finance issues and assure horizontal integration and consistency of work streams/studies.
  • Provide technical support to the national BIOFIN team to complete BIOFIN deliverables in a consistent and high-quality manner.
  • Ensure drafts of all work are sent to the global BIOFIN team regularly to provide backstopping and assure feedback is adequately integrated into national reports.
  • Research and write the sections on subsidies and financing incentives in the PIR
  • Provide technical support for the data collection, analysis, and conclusions of the BER
  • Support the data collection, modelling, quality checking, and validation of the FNA
  • Develop a Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP) according to the guidance provided by the global BIOFIN team and written guidance documents (especially the BIOFIN Workbook)
    • Develop an outline for the BFP for discussion with the UNDP CO and the global BIOFIN team.
    • Identify, screen and prioritize specific biodiversity finance mechanism and calculate how much revenue/financial contribution or impact each mechanism may generate.
    • Establish and include a detailed plan for implementing key financial mechanisms in the Biodiversity Financing Plan including a timeframe and budget.
    • Develop a draft of the Finance Plan based on the BIOFIN workbook and in line with recommendations from the national consultation workshop and submit for discussion to the UNDP CO and the Global BIOFIN team.
    • Develop the final version of the Biodiversity Finance Plan for discussion with the Government, UNDP CO and the Global BIOFIN team and present the plan for final review during the validation workshop.
  • Steer the initial implementation of the Biodiversity Finance Plan including the preparation, submission and implementation of priority finance solutions. This may include a set of measures or activities addressing legal, institutional, entrepreneurial, financial, awareness, capacity matters to put the BIOFIN results into action.  If these activities require outside expertise, draft the Terms of Reference for these additional consultants and assist in their recruitment and activities. Review all deliverables produced and provide feedback to team members to assure quality and impact.
  • Ensure all national level outputs are developed in line with the BIOFIN methodology as described in the current version of the BIOFIN Workbook, while at the same time are sufficiently tailored to the national context. Review all national level deliverables and provide detailed feedback to other team members. Liaise with the global BIOFIN team and government to obtain timely feedback on deliverables. Obtain final clearance of each deliverable from government and the global BIOFIN team to enable further dissemination.
  • Undertake an exit interview with the UNDP Country Office and the BIOFIN Technical Advisor to document the main lessons learnt during the assignment.

Competencies

  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Strong analytical, writing and communication skills.
  • Excellent financial and budgetary skills.
  • Ability to prepare publications, reports and presentations.
  • Ability to manage and work with a multidisciplinary and multicultural team.
  • Strong motivation and ability to work and deliver under short deadlines.
  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to critical feedback.
  • Able to work independently with little or no supervision.
  • Maintains professional relationships with supervisors, co-workers and clients
  • Familiarity with government planning and budgeting processes strongly desired

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree in finance, business administration (MBA), economics, environmental economics, environmental finance or a closely related field, or equivalent relevant work experience
  • At least 5 years of experience in the management or review of public finance, conservation finance or environmental finance.
  • Experience in working with international and national experts and institutions
  • High level work in Malawi
  • Prior experience with UNDP projects would be an asset.
  • Exposure to environmental issues or biodiversity desirable, but not required.
  • Sound understanding of key software packages (MS Office)
  • Good command of English.

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