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Project Manager for the Regional Project for the African Minigrids Program (AMP)/ United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Feb 20, 2022
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Application Deadline : 02-Mar-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left : 10d 10h 55m
Additional Category : Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract : IPSA (Regular)
Post Level : IPSA-11
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract : 1 year
Expected Duration of Assignment : 1 year

UNDP 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.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Office/Unit Description

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at Headquarters (HQ), Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Energy is one of UNDP’s six signature solutions – alongside poverty and inequality, governance, resilience, environment, and gender equality – to support countries towards three directions of change: structural transformation, leaving no one behind and resilience.

As per UNDP’s new Strategic Plan 2022-2025, the first objective of UNDP is increasing energy access for those furthest behind. By speeding up investment in distributed renewable energy solutions, especially for those hardest to reach and in crisis contexts, it aims to increase access to clean and affordable energy for 500 million people. The Africa Minigrids Program (AMP), for example, is improving the financial viability of renewable energy minigrids in 18 countries, encouraging private investment, lower tariffs and expanded service. Second, UNDP will work to accelerate the transition to renewable energy through systems changes that support inclusive, green economies, particularly in countries with low levels of renewable energy generation or poor energy-efficiency improvement rates. This work will capitalize on technological gains, clean energy innovations and new business models in the energy sector.

The newly established UNDP Sustainable Energy Hub (hereafter, the ‘Sustainable Energy Hub’) will be the arrowhead of UNDP’s new Strategic Plan objectives. The Sustainable Energy Hub will build on UNDP’s existing Energy Portfolio, covering over 100 countries to harness clean energy and support the energy transition as well as on UNDP’s Climate Promise, UNDP’s Sustainable Finance Hub and UNDP’s Digital offer. The Sustainable Energy Hub will develop and operationalize, policies, programmes and partnerships to support UNDP Energy Compact, a commitment to help increasing access to clean and affordable energy for 500 million people; and accelerating and supporting the transition to renewable energy. Recognizing that change will be disruptive, UNDP will work to ensure that such transitions are just, and that their impact on vulnerable people is understood and duly mitigated.

As a Global Environment Facility (GEF) Implementing Agency and a Green Climate Fund (GCF) Accredited Entity (together, GEF and GCF are considered by UNDP ‘vertical funds’), UNDP supports countries in addressing development, climate, and ecosystem sustainability in an integrated manner. UNDP’s offer builds on UNDP’s growing portfolio of innovative interventions and projects at the country, regional and global levels – funded both by the GEF and by other donors – for which UNDP provides oversight, quality assurance, and policy and technical advisory services.

Program and Project Description

Overview of the Africa Minigrids Program (AMP)

The Africa Minigrids Program (AMP) is a new technical assistance program for minigrids, developed by UNDP with initial funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and executed in partnership with the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

The program’s objective is to increase access to electricity by improving the financial viability and promoting scaled-up commercial investment in renewable energy minigrids (‘minigrids’). The programmatic approach aims to achieve greater impact by creating new minigrid markets across the continent, which, in aggregate, will create scale and momentum, attracting private sector interest and investment.

The program has been approved by key donors, and will now enter execution starting in the second or third quarter of 2022.

The program architecture has two main elements:

  • A cohort of AMP National Projects (2022-2027), each with a set of tailored activities structured across four components: (i) policy and regulations, (ii) business model innovation with private sector, (iii) scaled-up financing and (iv) digital, knowledge management, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E).
  • The AMP Regional Project (2022-2026), acting as the knowledge, advocacy and coordinating platform of the Africa Minigrids Program. The regional project is structured  across five components: (i) knowledge tools for both public and private actors; (ii) tailored technical and operational assistance to countries; (iii) communities of practice, (iv) digitalization for minigrid cost-reduction, and (v) M&E.

The program is initially supporting two rounds of AMP National Projects, totaling 18 in number, which will be implemented over the course of four years. The first round (2022 – 2026) includes 11 national projects: Angola, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan; The second round (2023 – 2027) includes 7 national projects: Benin, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Sao Tome & Principe, and Zambia.

The AMP Regional Project

The AMP offers a pivotal opportunity for knowledge to emerge from, and be shared among the initial 18 participant countries and the diverse implementation environments they represent. At the same time it creates economies of scale for providing program services. To seize this opportunity the AMP Regional Project will augment the AMP by providing technical, operational, and knowledge support to the AMP National Projects, while also serving as a knowledge platform for AMP and the wider African minigrids ecosystem. The AMP regional project will aggregate and systematically disseminate lessons learned and experiences from AMP National Projects’ implementation, as well as from collaboration with other national stakeholders, that can help foster enabling conditions for minigrid cost-reduction and the development of minigrid markets across Africa.

The AMP Regional Project’s activities will be structured through the following components:

Table 1: AMP Regional Project Components

Component 1 – Knowledge Tools Will ensure that the latest developments, cutting-edge guidance and good practice in minigrids are captured and made available to relevant stakeholders, leveraging existing partner minigrid programs and knowledge tools where possible.
Component 2 – Tailored Technical and Operational Assistance to National Child Project Implementation Will ensure that AMP National Project countries benefit from rapidly-deployable technical and operational expertise.
Component 3 – Communities of Practice


Will support knowledge sharing and facilitate the development of solutions to common challenges within the African minigrid sector. It will strengthen South-South cooperation and learning, drawing on the experiences of participating countries in minigrid cost reduction and deployment.
Component 4 – Digital tools and solutions for minigrid cost-reduction Will curate and promote the use of specialized digital tools and solutions for the minigrids sectors and develop a data aggregation platform as a regional public good that will enable the aggregation of data  collected by AMP National Projects on minigrid pilots receiving project support.
Component 5 – Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Will put in place an efficient and effective system of reporting and adaptive management that will allow the AMP Regional Project to achieve its objectives, and aggregate and coordinate reporting of M&E results for all AMP National Projects.

Project Management Unit (PMU): On behalf of UNDP, the Project will be managed by the AMP Regional Project Management Unit (PMU), in charge of daily project coordination/execution and monitoring of the project activities. The PMU will consist of: (i) A Project Manager (PM); (ii) A Digital/M&E Specialist; and (iii) An Administrative Assistant.


Role Description

The Project Manager (PM) will support the successful execution of the AMP Regional Project by performing the following functions:

  1. Overall project management and coordination
  2. Stakeholder engagement, resource mobilization, communications, and partnerships;
  3. Implementation of project outputs and activities

All activities will be conducted in line with UNDP’s POPP and as defined in the AMP Regional Project documents.

The Project Manager will work closely with: (i) other AMP Regional Project PMU team members, including the Digital and M&E Specialist and the Administrative Assistant; (ii) staff at UNDP’s BPPS/Nature, Climate and Energy Unit; (iii) staff with the UNDP Sustainable Energy Hub; (iv) UNDP country offices; (v) the respective implementing partners and project management units of the 18 AMP National Projects (National Project PMUs); and (vi) other project consultants.

The Project Manager will report to the BPPS/NCE Energy Regional Policy Advisor based in the UNDP Dakar Regional Hub, in Senegal.

Scope of Work

The Project Manager (PM) will have the following responsibilities:

  1. Overall project management and coordination
    1. Manage and coordinate the implementation of all AMP Regional Project (project) activities;
    2. Support the recruitment and coordination of project consultants, service providers;
    3. Supervise and provide guidance to other project staff, consultants and experts;
    4. Ensure effective project monitoring, evaluation, quality assurance and reporting;
    5. Liaise with with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in all matters related to project implementation;
    6. Organize Project Board and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings, including the preparation of meeting documents and materials;
  2. Stakeholder engagement, resource mobilization, communications, and partnerships;
    1. Maintain collaborative working relationships and coordinate with key project stakeholders in the clean energy and minigrids space in Africa;
    2. Identify and pursue opportunities for deepening cooperation among key project stakeholders;
    3. Provide strategic direction for project implementation and opportunities to scale-up AMP ensuring a strong and relevant AMP value proposition;
    4. Present at industry meetings and events, including delivering talks and presentations;
    5. Identify and advise on opportunities to mobilize additional funding and resources to increase program impact;
  3. Implementation of project outputs and activities
    1. Lead the implementation of activities and delivery of outputs under Component 1 (Knowledge Tools) and Component 2 (Technical and Operational Support to AMP National Projects);
    2. Provide strategic guidance, technical inputs and quality assurance for the implementation of all project outputs and activities;
    3. Develop and deliver guidance, training and capacity building to UNDP Country Offices and/or National Project PMUs to enhance program implementation;
    4. Provide strategic guidance as well as technical and operational support to National Project PMUs to enhance program implementation;


Core Competencies
Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity
Cross-Functional / Technical Competencies
Business Development / Knowledge Generation Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need
Business Management / Project Management Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals
Business Management / Communication Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience
Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels
2030 Agenda / Nature, Climate and Energy / Energy Energy Access
2030 Agenda / Nature, Climate and Energy / Energy Renewable Energy


Min. Academic Education
  • Master’s degree in Business or Public Administration, finance, science, engineering, policy, economics, international relations or other relevant field
Min. years of relevant Work experience
  • A minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience including at least 5 years in the area of clean energy;
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant professional experience with the design and/or implementation of clean energy development projects financed by a multilateral or bilateral development agency, or development bank;
Required  skills
  • Experience working in developing country contexts;
Desired additional skills
  • Experience with project management processes in clean energy development projects is an advantage;
  • Experience in the design and/or implementation of clean energy development projects in Sub-Saharan Africa is an asset;
  • Experience working in off-grid electrification is an asset;
  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of French is an asset;
Required Language(s) (at working level)
  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English;

Institutional Arrangement

  • The Project Manager will be home-based during the first year of project implementation;
  • The Project Manager will be office-based (at one of UNDP’s regional hubs in Africa) from the second year until the end of the project implementation period;
  • The Project Manager will be expected to work full-time;
  • The initial contract will be for one year, with the possibility of being renewed annually, based on good performance, for up to a total contract duration of 4 years or until the end of the project implementation period were it to be extended.
  • The Project Manager will report to, and be directly supervised by, the Regional Policy Advisor (RPA) (primary supervisor) who is based in Dakhar, Senegal;
  • The Project Manager will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The Project Manager will be responsible for providing her/his own working station (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to a reliable internet connection;


UNDP will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services. Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.
  • A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.
  • Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as  reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.


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