Energy Demand Assessment Associate (EDAA), Multiple positions

Freetown | Freetown

Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peace building, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.  With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.  A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

1.1  Background Information – Sierra Leone

UNOPS has been established in Sierra Leone since 2000 and currently has 35 personnel in country, operating out of 3 main locations – in Freetown (with frequent visit to sites and other district) and home based.

During the last 15 years, UNOPS has delivered a variety of infrastructure projects nationwide, particularly in the fields of health and security infrastructure, and has procured a variety of vehicles, non-medical health related items and medical equipment.

Current projects include:

  • Infrastructure Programme for Isolation Units; Construction of screening and isolation units for government hospitals under the Ebola Emergency Response Project (EERP) (with funding from the World Bank) and medical waste management and WASH (with funding from DFID) in support of the Ministry of Health.
  • Procurement of non-health items and services to contribute to the Global Fund Programme in Sierra Leone, for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)
  • Construction of the new Administrative Headquarters of the Transnational Organised Crime Unit (TOCU) in Freetown, Sierra Leone for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

1.2  Purpose and Scope of Assignment

In order to respond to the Ministry of Energy’s challenge of providing off-grid rural electrification solutions in Sierra Leone, UNOPS has been engaged to deliver the Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP) with the objective of increasing accessibility to public services and enhancing economic growth in underserved rural communities.

The present four-year project has been developed with the target outcome to increase rural renewable energy access through private sector involvement, and support institutional development/reforms on regulatory frameworks and business model approaches. The RREP will implement sustainable technical and financial solutions to establish electrification of villages through mini-grids, along with the technical assistance required to support the sustainable development of this off-grid renewable energy initiative.

The RREP is developed around technical solutions designed under three work packages (WP):

  1. Work package 1 and 1+: Installing stand-alone 6kWp solar photovoltaic (sPV) systems in a minimum of 50 communities by July 2017 (with the ambition to scale up to 80 communities subject to availability of funds).  The stand-alone 6kWp solar photovoltaic systems will provide electricity to the Community Health Centres, and subsequently be expanded into small mini-grids in the 50 villages by the end of 2017, to connect all other public institutions and households in the village.  The 50 small mini-grids (< ~36kW) will be operated by private operators with commercial interests or local communities associations, both ensuring long term sustainability by December 2017.
  2. Work package 2: The project will support a range of public-private sector business models for providing rural communities electrification through installation of environmentally and economically sustainable mini-grids (> ~36kW). A minimum of 40 mini-grids will be completed by October 2020, adding up to 5 MW to the country’s power generation capacity
Work package 3: Technical Assistance (TA) and institutional development (capacity building) to both government authorities and private sector, as part of the holistic approach to facilitate mini-grids development and long term sustainable operations

Functional Responsibilities

In order to achieve this goal, the EDAA will need to work with the Filed Assistants dedicated carry out the demand assessments and community engagement in rural areas for data and information gathering for energy demand. The role will be to advice and set up quality control mechanisms in order to ensure the quality and reliability of the data collected by the field assistants.

Under the overall direction of the PM or Technical Team Lead and in collaboration with the Technical Assistance team, the AEDA will plan and organize how the required data collection will be carried out, provide trainings to the field assistants on how to use the checklists (for field data collection), monitor quality of the data collected by the field assistants deployed to carry out the surveys and also verifying their work. Also he/she will suggest to the PM possible modification in the process of assessment in order to increase the quality of the product and quality of data collected. In addition, he/she will report to the PM with updates and reports as agreed with the PM.

Assignment objectives and tasks

The main objectives of the demand assessment are:

1)             Prepare all the materials and checklists / other tools necessary for the energy demand survey

2)             Advice on the best strategy of intervention for the energy demand survey

3)             Support in communicate to the teams in order to ensure understanding of the plans and logistic

4)             Support of field missions and pre-assessment of sites

5)             Support the visit and evaluation of preselected sites according to specific selection criteria

6)             Reporting and document all obtained information

7)             Report on the lesson learnt on the strategy of intervention and quality control mechanisms and how to optimize the speed of collection of data.

  Description of the Activities of Demand Assessment in general: Stage I - Preparation

The EDAA will work with the field assistants to gather as much information as possible regarding the preselected sites in terms of accessibility and contact information in order to arrange meetings with the village representatives.

Detailed demand survey

The EDAA will work with the field assistants to organize the required logistics and arrange meetings with the respective village representatives.

The objective of the visit is to get a good visibility on the estimated electricity demand of potential domestic, commercial, public and small industrial electricity customers. The methodology is based on a specific questionnaire in combination with a demand negotiation procedure matching desired demand with an estimated price for the service. The effect of this is that the potential customers can adjust the desired electricity service level to their ability to pay, which again enables the system designer to come up with a system design well-adjusted to the real demand. The main building of each customer interviewed shall be marked with a GPS device.

For each site the EDAA will work with support from the field assistants on the following:

1-             Meeting with village representatives to prepare and coordinate the mission on the ground. The experts shall discuss certain key aspects with the village representatives in order to explain the proposed methodology and to receive an impression on the existing structures in the community. The most important information to be obtained is:

-               Sociocultural/political hierarchies, decision-making structures and community organisation

-               Demographic data (current population, growth and projection, migration, immigration)

-               Public infrastructures (religious institutions, schools, health centres, communal space)

-               Village groups and associations (women, youth, etc.)

-               Main income sources of the community

-               Access to micro finance services

-               Access to sales markets for products and services from the village

-               Discussions of indicators for energy demand development

2-             Request the village representatives to select individual community members to accompany the mission team members (one community member with one mission team member) during their work in the village. The effect of this measure is that the interviewers get a proper guidance during the mission for correct data collection (questions and answers) information flow, and that interviewees are aware of the objective and familiar with the field assistants during the interview. As a result, the quality of the data obtained provides the desired information and accuracy.

3-             Interviewing all potential electricity customers in the entire community (within a radius of 1.5 km from the village centre. All domestic, commercial and communal customers are interviewed to obtain information on income sources, current energy expenses, current and future energy demand and the ability to pay. The greatest challenge will be the assessment of the electricity demand based on the greatest possible number of interviews and the most exact information possible, given the limited time available.

The EDAA will advise on how to use questionnaires provided by UNOPS min-grid specialist or Technical Assistance team to document all relevant information. The information obtained shall be filled into an Excel sheet provided by and to be shared with the PM/Technical Team Lead.

It is important that the team is well-prepared in order to spend as little time as possible (to increase efficiency) and as much time as necessary (to obtain all required information) during the site visits. The 
EDAA must be able to communicate the necessary information with the community leaders in order to obtain the required information without making any promises on electrification. The EDAA has to verify and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the process.

For each of the visited sites the EDAA will work with the support of the field assistants or data collectors in preparing a back-to-office report based on a template provided by UNOPS.

  Stage II - Preliminary site evaluation

For all the approved sites the EDAA will conduct the following:

Meeting with village representatives to prepare and coordinate the mission with the community leaders. He/she shall discuss certain key aspects with the village representatives in order to get an impression on the existing structures in the community to enable him/her;

-               Sociocultural/political hierarchies, decision-making structures and community organisation

-               Demographic data (current population, growth and projection, migration, immigration)

-               Public infrastructures (religious institutions, schools, health centres, communal space)

-               Village groups and associations (women, youth, etc.)

-               Main income sources of the community

-               Access to micro finance services

-               Access to sales markets for products and services from the village

-               Discussions of indicators for energy demand development

The EDAA will advise on how to use questionnaires provided by UNOPS Micro grid Expert to document all relevant information. The information obtained shall be filled into an Excel sheet provided by and to be shared with the PM.

The EDAA will be responsible for verifying the accuracy and reliability of the data entered in the questionnaire.

For each of the visited sites the AEDA will work with the support of the EDAA in preparing a back-to-office report based on a template provided by UNOPS.

Deliverables for the AEDA:

-  Mission plans and regular updates -  Correctly filled out user questionnaires (Stage I), village questionnaires (Stage II) and back-to-office reports for all evaluated sites.
- A completed Excel sheet containing all relevant data for each site and cluster according to the UNOPS templates provided.
- Report on the quality and reliability of the reports produced by the team in the phase I and II
- Report on the quality and reliability com of the Excel sheet containing all relevant data for each site and cluster
- Mission Report
- Lesson learnt form a data quality and reliability point of view


Education/Experience/Language requirements

Education:
Bachelor's degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Energy, Economy or related field.

Applicants with a relevant Diploma with 5 years of relevant working experience may also be considered. 

Applicants with a relevant Secondary School certification with 7 years of relevant working experience may as well be considered.


Experience: 3 years of experience in Survey (data collection & analysis) / implementation / monitoring activities preferably in communities with demonstrated capacity to deliver results in an international development environment is required.

Candidates with experience working with UN or other Humanitarian/Development agencies will be well regarded.

Language: Fluency in written and oral English is required.  

Competencies

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Functional competencies

  • Ability to work under pressure and tight schedules in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Knowledge and capacity to manage people in the field and interactions with community leaders with proven experience on those activities.
  • Flexibility and ability to quickly grasp complex structures;
  • Good team player attitude;
  • Ability to perform with professionalism, integrity and commitment to project demands
  • Ability to work accurately, control quality and multi-task;
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines;
  • Excellent communication skills, both in English and Creole;
  • Ability/experience in surveys or implementation of project or monitoring at community level;
  • Ability/experience in assessments/surveys on Energy.

Skills

  • Community Assessments
  • Communication in community environment
  • Management of teams of local staff
  • Quality Control skills in data collection and database / data entry activities.
  • Experience in systems for data collection, surveys and data entry.
  • Good understanding of local economies and economy in general
  • Good Mathematic skills for data analysis and percentages/statistic calculations
  • Precision and attention to details.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Local Individual Contract Agreement (IICA)
Contract level: LICA 7
Contract duration: 1 year


For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx 

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale. 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time.
  • This is a local position and only qualified Sierra Leonean National are eligible to apply
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
Apply
  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Freetown | Freetown
  • Grade: LICA-7, Local Individual Contractors Agreement - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Energy sector
    • Administrative support
    • Energy sector
  • Closing Date: 2017-08-11

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