National Project Coordinator:- Climate Resilience and Agriculture Insurance Program

United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN)


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Ethiopia is undertaking significant transformational changes including in liberalizing the economy and partial privatization of some of the most important economic sectors. To ensure this transformation, Ethiopia has developed the Homegrown Economic Reform Programme (HGER), that aims to address structural issues and sustain a rapid and inclusive economic growth setting the country on a path to prosperity. In line with the above context and following the approval of the new Country Program Document (CPD) for the period of 2020 – 2025, the UNDP CO has identified major focus areas in supporting structural reforms in Ethiopia. Among these areas is promoting access to innovative and inclusive finance, promotion of innovation and digitalization, risk financing and insurance as well as promoting entrepreneurship in support of people and businesses. Ethiopian agriculture is significantly small-scale production, which is also highly vulnerable to climate change and variabilities. Some of the common challenges could be hydrological variations that may lead to either drought or flooding and to some extent hailstorm, prevalence of crops and livestock diseases, insects, and pests. On the top of that the small-scale producer is not supported with adaptive technologies to keep agricultural production and productivity. Therefore, agricultural risk financing shall be integrated with innovative technologies that could either adapt or mitigate climate risks. Ethiopia is vulnerable to risks that hamper the development and growth trajectory unless managed and mitigated through measures such as risk financing and insurance. Ethiopian smallholding agriculture is characterized by subsistent, low input and low output production, fragmented holding, and weak extension support against natural and manmade risks. Therefore, a robust and contextualized agricultural extension (proper agricultural inputs supply, best agronomic practices, access to markets, and early warning system) coupled with risk guarantee could improve agricultural production and food security. Hence, learning from successful experiences such as clustered farming, farmers training and on-farm demonstrations, access to diversified agricultural inputs supply via electronic vouchering system, digital farming support via call centers (for early warning system, agronomic and markets information) could successfully support the development and delivery of agricultural insurance.
With the support and facilitation of the UNDP’s Insurance & Risk Finance Facility, within the Sustainable Finance Hub; this position will focus in exploring the options and potential to expand agricultural insurance for small scale producers in Ethiopia to sustain development productivity and livelihood gains and to solve the existing challenges in scaling up climate protection for farmers. As clearly indicated in the CPD, UNDP will support efforts to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of various risks that emanate from climate change and to build resilience through improved public policies, piloting insurance products, integration of insurance to adaptation practices, learning and scalingup. The strategies will include, among others is the support provided for upscaling climate risk insurance systems. This approach could take an advantage from the existing Ethiopian disaster risk reduction and management policy and strategy.
Sustainable and climate proof and resilient agriculture requires among others building government’s capacity, to initiate policies that support agriculture insurance. Also extending partnerships with the private sector actors, which could play a key role for the micro insurance functioning is important. Risk insurance finance for Ethiopian smallholder farmers requires huge resource mobilization, therefore as part of the risk insurance development sustainable local funding models need to be in place.
Globally 104 out of 195 countries have an agriculture insurance program, but most of these are high income countries. When it comes to Africa, only 14 out of the 54 countries have national schemes and another 10 are experiencing as a pilot which Ethiopia belongs in the last category. Ethiopia being an agrarian nation (75% engaged in agriculture) and exposed for various risks (climate, lack of access to finance, inputs, and information); as strong agriculture insurance program is a must to pursue. Despite the long history of insurance in Ethiopia (for more than 100 years), its outreach is still at infancy stage, where little is provided for farmers, pastoralists, vulnerable and poor people, small and micro businesses who are not able to afford the premium and not at all aware about the availability of the service. The insurance industry itself seems stagnated lacking the innovation to use insurance as promoter for development. Little efforts have been made in Ethiopia by development partners to test micro insurance and innovative insurance products to address the needs of the most vulnerable people including in rural areas engaged in agriculture. However, there are some pilot initiatives on crop and livestock insurance for farmers and pastoralists. Some development partners have been supporting with the view to share risks. However, the mechanism is still not fully practiced and only few insurance companies are involved with some subsidy from the development partner’s side. In general, the insurance industry in Ethiopia is not well developed and it lacks the innovation, flexibility to address all sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, services, and others as well as all segments of the society.
Given that women do take a significant proportion of the farming community, the micro insurance need to take into account to women empowerment and gender equality, therefore, to ensure equal access to productive assets, goods, services, access to rights. These are essential prerequisites to minimize agricultural related risks and for the implementation of successful micro insurance products. 
The BMGF supported “Advancing Smallholder Financial Resilience towards Climate Adaptation” global initiative is expected to play a strategic and catalytic role to curb the challenges of various risks faced by smallholder farmers in Ethiopia and to support country-led agriculture risk management and climate adaptation strategies that empower small-scale producers, smallholders and rural farming communities to manage and better adapt to the impacts of climate change on their economic livelihoods and wellbeing.
Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of Work and responsibilities The National Project Coordinator (the “Coordinator”) 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. 
Reporting to the IRFF Regional Specialist for Africa, the coordinator will ensure implementation mechanisms like the stakeholder platform linked to the ATI. That all planned workshops, technical studies and other activities are organized in a timely manner, and that they meet expected quality standards. Key duties and responsibilities include:
1.Management and operationalization of Insurance and Risk Financing in Ethiopia
  • Oversee the identification, selection and supervision of national consultants and experts, in close collaboration with the UNDP Country Office and the IRFF Global Technical Team and write/revise terms of reference for review by relevant national team such as in Inclusive Economic Transformation (IET) of the Ethiopia Country Office. 
  • In consultation with the UNDP Country Office and IET Team and supported by the IRFF Global Technical Team, elaborate/revise the work plan and budget and submit draft work plans /budgets timely for the bi-annual budget revision process (30 June and 31 December of each year).
  • Integrate the areas of intervention that UNDP will contribute with to the overall landscape of work to develop agricultural insurance for small scale producers in Ethiopia by public entities, development partners and the private sector. 
  • Support relevant public entities to drive improvements and engagements in scaling up agricultural insurance towards value chain resilience through specific technical assistance, direct support and capacity building. 
  • Lead specific activities to develop the market foundations for agricultural insurance with all relevant stakeholders.
  • Facilitate a joint process with private sector (insurers, solutions providers, intermediaries, value chain players), development partners and public entities to drive the insurance product design.  Organize all relevant project workshops in a consultative manner, involving a wide variety of insurance industry 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 AIRM team. 
  • Collaboration with the Innovative Finance Lab (IFL) of UNDP Ethiopia and create alignment and synergy of insurance with access to innovative finance.
  • Organize monthly meetings with AIRM Regional Specialist.
  • Signal any delays in national deliverables compared to the workplan to the Regional Specialist and UNDP Country Office focal person. 
  • Lead project monitoring, reporting and evaluation at national level, draft monthly and quarterly reports for review by the IRFF Global Technical Team. 
  • Develop workshop reports for all technical workshops. 
  • Develop knowledge and lessons documents, 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 BMGF supported AIRM program methodology.
3.Technical leadership in analysis, design and applications, policy advisory work, institutional development and growth
  • Serve as the overall technical lead for agricultural insurance and value chain resilience in UNDP Ethiopia.
  • Guide and oversee analytical work to support the IRFF’s global work around value chain resilience and climate adaptation for small scale producers building on the context of Ethiopia. 
  • Collaborate and work closely with development partners, insurance industry and value chain players in Ethiopia to influence policy reform.
  • Ensure that the management of the IRFF meets the ‘market test’ and best practice in the global financial industry. 
  • Spearhead and/or contribute substantively to the development of agricultural insurance and value chain resilience instruments in alignment with the Innovative. Finance Lab in Ethiopia but guided by the BMGF supported AIRM program team. 
  • Advice the UNDP CO on an ambitious short- to medium-term institutional development strategy on insurance risk financing. 
  • Conduct research and analytic work on Insurance and risk financing in Ethiopia. 

4.Key deliverables (products and processes): 

  • Detailed Work Plan and budget agreed by all relevant partners. 
  • All consultants and service providers delivering to schedule, while working relations with CO are clarified and effective. 
  • Lines of communication and working methods agreed and functional. 
  • Reporting and updates provided to national stakeholders, Country Office, UNDP, IRFF, etc. 
  • Planned activities are carried out in line with timelines and required quality standards. 
  • All workshops, events and sessions organized in line with strategy and well documented. 
  • Technical inputs to reports, knowledge documents and policy briefs as required. 
  • Overall transformational process (outreach to government, steering committee, etc.) 
  • Research and analytical work on issues related to insurance and risk financing in Ethiopia. 
5. Partnerships, collaboration, networking, and coordination with stakeholders in the ecosystem. 
  • Actively participate in various platforms and events in relation to agriculture insurance.
  • Mapping of stakeholders in the ecosystem and build strong partnership and networking for effective collaboration. 
  • Mobilize resources to pilot, test, and scale various initiatives. 
  • Collaborate with various initiatives in the CO (such as the IFL) and at regional level (such as IRRF) for synergetic impact on the overall risk financing in Ethiopia. 


  • 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: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships.
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

  • Business Direction and Strategy – Priority Setting: Ability to scan and synthesize diverse sets of information to arrive at strategic priorities and positioning recommendation.
  • Business Management- Communication: Ability to communicate clearly through successful interactions with all levels of stakeholder groups, including senior government officials, business  executives, and local people/communities.
  • Business Direction and Strategy – Strategic Thinking: Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives. 
  • Business Management – Portfolio Management: Ability to select, prioritize, and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity. 
  • Business Management – Operations Management: Ability to effectively plan, organize and oversee the organizational business process. 
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Development Management, Agricultural Economic, Agronomy, Public Policy, or another field combined with relevant work experience.
  • At least 7 years of experience (for bachelor’s degree holders) or 5 years (for master’s degree holders), preferably in the implementation of projects relevant to agriculture insurance and value chain, rural finance, or financial inclusion 
  • Prior experience with UNDP projects would be an asset. 
  • Experience in collaborating with international and national experts and institutions. 
  • Exposure to or value chain sustainability and resilience highly desirable, but not required. 
  • Sound understanding of key software packages (MS Office).
Required skills:
  • Ability to manage and coordinate stakeholders and partners .
  • Excellent analytical capacity on development financing and policy advocacy work on insurance and risk financing .
  • Ability to prepare quality reports.
  • Ability to effectively coordinate a multi-stakeholder project including extensive experience in planning, prioritizing, sequencing, managing, problem-solving, and reporting on the implementation of projects. 
  • Excellent working knowledge of English and track record in producing reports in English including writing project success stories, lessons learned, and best practices.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication in English.
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Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 
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