Development Finance Specialist, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tags: climate change finance UNDP English language Environment
  • Added Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2021
  • Deadline Date: Monday, 26 April 2021

Job ID: 34849

Practice Area - Job Family: Management - DEVELOPMENT FINANCE

Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 06/02/2021

Duty Station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Education & Work Experience: I-Master's Level Degree - 5 year(s) experience

Languages: English

Grade: NOC

Vacancy Type: FTA Local

Posting Type: External

Bureau: Africa

Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


Ethiopia has demonstrated successive, rapid and strong economic growth in the past decade, with average growth rate of 10% that led to poverty reduction significantly. Building on the successful implementation of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), I&II, which will end in 2020, and following the socio-economic and political reform observed in the last two years, now 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. The HGER call for building a resilient and diversified middle-income economy, driven by the private sector; eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; building human capabilities; creating a modern policy and institutional framework; and creating an efficient, resilient, and well-functioning financial market. The HGER will implement a forthcoming 10-Year Perspective Plan, which is based on five strategic pillars: macroeconomic stability; quality of economic growth; productivity and competitiveness; implementation capacity at all levels; and a resilient green economy. The government of Ethiopia is committed to transform the finance sector; as enabler for economic growth while aspiring to make the sector inclusive, innovative and digitalized. In this perspective, National Bank of Ethiopia is now crafting a strategy to digitalize finance.

Aligned fully with the HGER and guided by the UNDP Strategic Plan, 2018-2021, the emerging UNDP strategic offer for Africa and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), the new Country Programme Document (CPD) 2020-2025 approved in June 2020 is expected to assist Ethiopia to overcome its structural challenges as it strives to become a democratic, peaceful and prosperous middle-income country. UNDP will support a successful transition to democratic governance, address drivers of conflict to consolidate and build peace, foster enabling conditions for expanded job creation by the private sector (especially MSMEs) and accelerate the transition to a green economy resilient to climate change.

As clearly outlined in the already approved CPD (2020-2025), UNDP will narrow its focus to financial inclusion and the ecosystem for entrepreneurship, targeting youth and female in order to achieve shared prosperity. UNDP, in partnership with UNCDF will involve a major push on digital finance as a launchpad for financial inclusion. Taking advantage of impending liberalization processes, particularly in telecommunications, and the Governmentโ€™s focus on innovation, UNDP will focus on ecosystem development approach to unlock policy and regulatory challenges, work with providers to tackle network and distribution infrastructure challenges, and tackle demand-side issues like access to phones, digital and financial literacy and behavioural change. This work will have a strong focus on innovations that foster inclusivity and reduce the digital divide for young female entrepreneurs, migrants, and smallholder farmers, among others.

In light of this important role for the private sector to enhance socio-economic development and promote pro-poor growth, UNDP Ethiopia intends to recruit a full time Programme Specialist โ€“ inclusive and innovative finance and sectoral transformations. The Programme specialist will work under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative and Deputy Resident Representative (programs) and will be placed under the direct supervision of the Team Leader โ€“ Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Unit.

The incumbent will be responsible for the overall management of the UNDP programme in the area of promoting access to finance for all, innovative and cost-effective approaches including digitalization and creating an enabling environment and ecosystem for the financial market. The Programme Specialist works in close collaboration with the Country Office (CO) projects and programme staff, operations team, programme staff in other UN Agencies particularly with UNCDF, UNDP HQs staff and Government officials, technical advisors and experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society to successfully implement the UNDP programme. The Programme specialist works on a daily basis with colleagues in the UNDP CO and at the project level, necessitating that the incumbent be able to develop and maintain viable working relationships with colleagues across the organization and in government offices, and be able to work with them in a responsive client orientation and in results oriented and problem solving manner. As part of the COโ€™s commitment to innovation, the incumbent will work with the Accelerator Lab team and other colleagues to explore, experiment and apply innovative approaches in the area of innovative finance including adopting protocols that are supported by evidence and best practices.

Duties and Responsibilities

Main Responsibilities:

  • Spearhead in-depth technical reviews of the state of the development finance and financial inclusion in Ethiopia.
  • Provide expert-level advice on evidence-based policies, institutional, legal and regulatory reforms needed to drive systemic change and transformation to expand the sources, scale and effectiveness of development financing and boost financial inclusion.
  • Lead work on financial innovation, especially new instruments, business models and delivery systems (as Head a.i. of the Innovative Finance Lab).
  • Build networks and partnerships with domestic and external, private and public, organisations/entities/institutions to foster technical, financial and programmatic collaboration.
  • Manage and monitor the UNDP Country Office finance portfolio, working closely with the Policy Unit.

Key Functions/Results:

1. Lead analytical work and provide high-quality advisory services:

  • Co-designs, organizes and participates in the execution of analytical work that builds a strong knowledge base on development finance issues in Ethiopia, working closely with the in-house Policy Unit and with national and international partners, drawing on global good practice;
  • Provides high-quality, expert level and evidence-based advice to government and other partners on institutional, policy, legal and regulatory issues and options for expanding the scope, scale and effectiveness of development financing and financial inclusion in Ethiopia (e.g. impact, green bonds, blended finance, microinsurance, microfinance);
  • Participates in technical work related to the rollout of new and innovative financing instruments (e.g. legislation, regulatory rules, taxes and subsidies);
  • Functions as the Head a.i. of the UNDP Innovative Finance Lab, playing a central technical role in its design, launch and on-going operations, including testing/prototyping of new instruments, business models, delivery systems, working closely with the UNDP Accelerator Lab.;
  • Synthesises good practices and lessons learnt that are directly relevant to policy development and programme design and implementation.

2. Ensure effective formulation and implementation of programmes and projects to expand development finance and financial inclusion addressing the ecosystem, focusing on quality control of the full cycle of programming from formulation, implementation, M&E and reviews, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Designs and formulates programmes and projects for development finance and financial inclusion ecosystem reform and development that address the areas of work outlined in the Country Programme Document (CPD);
  • Manages, supports and coordinates timely, transparent and effective implementation of programmes and projects collaborating closely with implementing partners and responsible parties at federal and regional levels;
  • Provides technical advice to Government in assuming leadership and strategic oversight of the planning, budgeting, implementation and monitoring of programmes and projects;
  • Ensures programmatic collaboration and performance monitoring of ecosystem reform and development portfolio across the Country Programme, working closely with other programme staff (e.g. Policy Unit, Accelerator Lab, innovation ecosystem, ICT start-ups);
  • Provides technical support and expert advice for monitoring and reviews of the UNSDCF and the Country Programme in the area of development finance and financial inclusion.

3. Develop and sustain strategic partnerships including successful resource mobilization, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Develops and maintains strong collaborative relationships with the Government at federal and regional levels, development partners (WB, EU, EIB, AfDB, DFID, others) and sister UN agencies/entities (including UNCDF);
  • Embeds UNDP within and, where needed, builds national, regional and international practitioner networks dedicated to development finance and financial inclusion;
  • Develops and sustains deep and wide-ranging policy and programmatic partnerships with the private sector at national and regional levels, especially financial institutions;
  • Initiates, formulates and effectively follows-through on an innovative fundraising/resource mobilization strategy that elicits financial support from a wide range of private, non-profit and public sector partners, both domestic and external, to sustain and expand UNDP programmes and projects;
  • Provides donor intelligence in the areas of development finance and financial inclusion;
  • Acts as the lead technical representative of UNDP in professional and decision-making for a dealing with development finance and financial inclusion.


Core Competencies:


Ability to make new and useful ideas work.

  • Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them;


Ability to persuade others to follow .

  • Level 5: Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers;

People Management:

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.

  • Level 5: Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others;


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.

  • Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others;


Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.

  • Level 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions.

Technical/Functional Competencies:

Advocacy/Advancing Policy-Oriented Agenda:

  • Preparing information for advocacy;
  • Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UNDPโ€™s mandate.

Results-Based Programme Development and Management:

  • Contributes into results through primary research and analysis;
  • Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices;
  • Researches linkages across programme activities to identify critical points of integration;
  • Monitors specific stages of projects/programme implementation;
Analyses country situation to identify opportunities for project development; Participates in the formulation of project proposals and ensures substantive rigor in the design and application of proven successful approaches and drafts proposals accordingly.

Building Strategic Partnerships:

  • Maintaining a network of contacts;
  • Maintains an established network of contacts for general information sharing and to remain up-to-date on partnership related issues;
  • Analyses & selects materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners & stakeholders.

Innovation and Marketing New Approaches:

  • Enhancing processes or products;
  • Generates new ideas and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things;
  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies/best practices/new approaches.

Resource Mobilization:

  • Providing inputs to resource mobilization strategies;
  • Analyses information/databases on potential and actual donors;
  • Develops a database of project profiles. Identifies opportunities for project proposals for presentation to donors.

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing:

  • Basic research and analysis;
  • Generates new ideas and approaches, researches best practices and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things;
  • Documents and analyses innovative strategies and new approaches and collect and compile data on the thematic/sector areas.

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise:

  • Fundamental knowledge of own discipline;
  • Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical specialty relating to the position;
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks;
  • Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study & other means of learning;
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
  • Demonstrates in-depth understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments.

Global Leadership and Advocacy for UNDPโ€™s Goals:

  • Preparing information for global advocacy;
  • Identifies and communicates relevant information for advocacy for UNDPโ€™s goals for a variety of audiences;
  • Identifies and takes advantage of opportunities for advocating for UNDPโ€™s mandate.

Client Orientation:

  • Establishing effective client relationships;
  • Researches potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion;
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines;
  • Anticipates client needs and addresses them promptly.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master's level university degree or higher in development finance or related fields (e.g. economics with a strong specialization in finance issues).


  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in regulatory institutions (e.g. central banks) and/or financial institutions (e.g. commercial banks, investment banks, pension funds) and/or development finance institutions (DFIs);
  • Hands-on experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of development finance projects;
  • Demonstrated ability to raise funds from diverse sources;
  • Proficiency with standard office software;
  • Proven ability to work independently or under pressure and handle multiple activities;
  • Stamina, enthusiasm and a positive attitude.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency โ€“ at a high level - in English, both written and verbal.


Important applicant information

All posts in the GS categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

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.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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