Research Assistant, UN Women’s Energy Flagship Programme on Women’s Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Energy with UNEP and MNRE (Open to Indian Nationals)
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security
Within the overall context of its Strategic Plan 2014-17, UN Women has launched a Global Flagship Programme on Women’s Sustainable Energy, Entrepreneurship, and Access with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21) in December 2015 in six countries, including India. Other five countries are Bolivia, Indonesia, Morocco, Myanmar and Senegal.
The Women’s Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Energy (WESE) Programme is in line with the Government of India’s national priorities and international commitments towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically on Gender Equality (SDG5) and Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7) as well as the United Nations Framework on Climate Change. The objective of the WESE Programme is to identify and remove structural gender-specific barriers facing women entrepreneurs, enhance women’s productive use of sustainable energy, and increase women’s participation and leadership in gender-responsive energy policy-making.
In India, the WESE Programme will be implemented in partnership with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy with an initial focus on Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The WESE Programme, through scalable pilots, will build evidence to strengthen the business case of investing in women entrepreneurs through employing innovative technology applications, business models and inclusive financing to accelerate sustainable energy access through decentralized solutions. At the institutional or collective level, the programme will look at solar powering institutions linked to women’s welfare such as Anganwadi centres and production centres that employ large number of women as entry point interventions to raise awareness about the use of solar and other clean energy technologies as well as promote women’s entrepreneurship through management and service provisioning of solar installations. Aanganwadis are typically a village courtyard built as a main platform for delivering of the services under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme including health check ups, pre-school education, supplementary nutrition etc. It is also being planned that the Anganwadis will also form as the meeting point for Self Help Groups under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).
To begin implementation at the state level, UN Women has signed an MoU with the Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (MPUVNL) and is working in partnership with the Madhya Pradesh Department of Women and Child Development to pilot the concept of Smart Anganwadi. Solar powered community centre’s can host a range of basic services and activities lacking in an under-served community. The centre should aim to positively impact quality of life and livelihoods by addressing fundamental energy needs and services relying on energy. Additionally, every centre will help promote the use of alternate energy, educating users with possible methods and technologies that can be implemented to meet their energy need, and connect users to local service providers.
WESE believes that the strength of this pilots and subsequent projects lies in their operational viability and ability to sustain in rural environments. While technological interventions can create a platform of energy and a plethora of allied services, the success of the intervention will depend on:
- Ability of the project to train and leverage women entrepreneurs;
- Linking earnings of these projects with women entrepreneurs;
- Ability to create women led businesses;
- Robust operational and business models that are created around these energy interventions and can continue to provide employment, revenue and services;
- Leverage existing physical and social infrastructure linked to women and improve and expand their function by working with last mile technology providers ;
- Engagement of technology providers with women entrepreneurs;
- Continued engagement of technology providers on ground and nurturing an evolutionary model that translates into high tech interventions run by local women entrepreneurs, where both parties work as partners;
- A successful revenue model that ensures earnings not only for women entrepreneurs working on ground, but also technology partners, by not limiting it to one time payment model for procurement of hardware and its installation;
WESE is aiming to create a working model where all that stakeholders and service providers continue to work, operate, and engage local women entrepreneurs over time to ensure sustainability of these projects.
Duties and Responsibilities
The objective of the assignment is to support the technical expert in undertaking a site survey and energy needs assessment of 100 Anganwadi’s to identify energy requirements and create viable and sustainable business model for 100 Anganwadis, in the four select districts in MP, under Smart Anganwadi pilot. The findings will be based on the site survey carried out by the technical expert and a thorough need assessment for energy at the site and surrounding areas, possible energy interventions, potential energy linked solutions, financial and social implications, robust O&M model, impact and monitoring matrix.
Geographic Location: Alirajpur, Bhuranpur, Jhabua, and Mandla will be targeted under this proposed site survey and technical assessment study. The districts have been prioritised based on Human Development Indicators and the presence of marginalised communities.
Target Number: A total of 100 Anganwadi centres in the above four focus districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The Research Assistant will assist the technical expert and be responsible for:
- Facilitating in organizing and participate in interviews and focussed group discussions with Anganwadi workers, members of panchayats and communities;
- Facilitating the site identification and assessment process to evaluate the energy needs of Anganwadi centres;
- Providing technical support to the expert in developing sustainable operation model at the Smart Anganwadi, ecosystem strengthening activities and, a monitoring framework;
- Providing supporting to the expert in drafting the report and tender document for the Smart Anganwadi pilot that draws from the site assessment including the technical specifications, operational model and ecosystem supporting activities and monitoring framework.
Technical Site Assessment will include:
- Evaluating the energy needs of Anganwadis, creating and leveraging women entrepreneurs, in the four selected districts of Madhya Pradesh;
- Developing a criteria for selection of Anganwadis that includes but is not limited to number of marginalized women served by the centre, areas that are off grid or energy poor, etc.
- Undertaking a study to provide solutions for technology based on required renewable energy intervention that can create women entrepreneurs in these Anganwadis, through services such as:
System Design and Costing
- Clean water
- Socket points- for mobile charging, weighing scales and other minor electrical equipment
- Digital communication – TV/projector
- Boost to existing small scale industry in the region
- Other businesses that the study team finds relevant to the context, eg: flour mills
- Number of operational hours
- Requirement of electricity in terms of number of units per day
- Assessment of the site of installation, including roof access, configurations, and structure
- System proposed to meet requirement of electricity per day with necessary system autonomy: Technical Standards shall be in accordance with minimum technical standards as notified and amended by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt of India to ensure eligibility of CFA(Central Financial Assistance) from MNRE. Tariff control to be maintained in accordance with CERC guidelines. Any model developed should include a minimum of 5 years comprehensive maintenance contract and warranty. Safety and hazard guidelines to be strictly adhered to.
Special Arrangements proposed, such as:
- DC system along with DC fans and fittings is proposed for long life and avoiding possibilities of theft and misuse.
- System shall be installed on turnkey contract basis with a built in component of its maintenance and warranty over a period of 5 years.
- System shall be supplied with Lithium Ion / Jelly filled sealed maintenance free, long life battery accumulators with an expected life of more than 5 years. The battery shall be an integral component of power conditioning unit for avoiding theft and misuse.
- The SPV panel shall be grouted on a strategic location with anti-theft arrangements.
- All external & internal wiring shall be laid in conduits.
- Regular servicing of systems and cleaning of SPV panels shall be obligatory for the vendor over a period of 5 years. Free replacement of any defunct part shall be ensured under warranty
- 24x7 toll free helpline number of service centre of vendors, linked with a 48hr response and resolution window
- Support the development of a detailed costing of the intervention.
Operational Model for Smart Anganwadi will include:
- Developing an operational model towards the sustainability of the Smart Anganwadi model that leverages women as entrepreneurs/ operators:
- Secondary research to document Smart Anganwadi/ Community centre models, for example the Nand Ghar model in Haryana;
- Additional services proposed that can be enabled through the centre and through improved energy access such as digital education tools, health diagnostics, water purification, financial services, etc.;
- Identify areas for women’s entrepreneurship in the installation, operation, and maintenance of the Anganwadi centre.
Ecosystem Strengthening Activities will include:
- Identifying associated activities such as community engagement, awareness campaigns and technical training workshops for the intervention;
- Identifying relevant longer term policy interventions and ecosystem building initiatives.
Monitoring Framework will include:
- Developing a monitoring framework including for installations and usage.
Development of a Tender will include
- Developing a Smart Anganwadi model that draws from all of the above and list associated costs;
- Developing a tender that includes a detailed Smart Anganwadi model including the technical specifications, operational model and supporting activities for the implementation of a pilot Smart Anganwadi intervention.
Input to the inception report including literature review, research methodology representative sample size, location and its rationale, plan for primary and secondary data collection, research tools for quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis and research limitations. Inception report must contain a detailed work plan with list of activities clearly stated.
Input to the draft report based on survey findings, including:
- Technical solution for Anganwadis to address energy needs and associated services
- Operational model towards the sustainability of the Smart Anganwadi model that leverages women as entrepreneurs/ operators
- Ecosystem strengthening activities that will enable women’s participation in the long-term sustainability of the Smart Anganwadi model
- Monitoring Framework including installations and usage
Input for the Draft Tender/RFP for the Smart Anganwadi pilot that draws from the site assessment including the technical specifications, operational model and ecosystem supporting activities and monitoring framework for the implementation of a pilot Smart Anganwadi intervention to be released by UN Women
Support with development of the Final report including:
- Technical solution for Anganwadis to address energy needs and associated services;
- Operational model towards the sustainability of the Smart Anganwadi model that leverages women as entrepreneurs/ operators;
- Ecosystem strengthening activities that will enable women’s participation in the long-term sustainability of the Smart Anganwadi model;
- Monitoring Framework including installation and usage.
Support with development of the Final Tender/RFP for the Smart Anganwadi pilot that draws from the site assessment including the technical specifications, operational model and ecosystem supporting activities and monitoring framework for the implementation of a pilot Smart Anganwadi intervention to be released by UN Women.
Core Values / Guiding Principles:
- Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
- Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity:
- Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organisation and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.
Ethics and Values:
- Demonstrate and safeguard ethics and integrity.
- Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.
Work in teams:
- Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
Communicating and Information Sharing:
- Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication.
Self-management and Emotional Intelligence:
- Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behaviour towards others.
- Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.
Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing:
- Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge.
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
- Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
- Focuses on impact and result for the partners and responds positively to feedback.
Required Skills and Experience
- Graduate or equivalent in environmental sciences, social sciences, public administration, women's studies, or a related field.
- Minimum 2 years of experience in research, programme implementation in the area of renewable energy, with Government partners, donor relations and diverse stakeholders.
- Experience in programme and policy analysis, strategic planning specially in the field of renewable energy.
- Relevant experience in the state of Madhya Pradesh is desirable and will be of an added advantage.
- Fluency in English and working knowledge of any other Indian language.
Interested applicants should apply to this announcement through UNDP jobs site: jobs.undp.org
Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF document:
- All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://asiapacific.unwomen.org/en/about-us/jobs;
- Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment, please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment;
- Applications received after the close date will not be accepted;
- Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
Evaluation and Selection Criteria:
Criteria for shortlisting of CVs will be based on the following assessment:
- Required Degree and Qualification (5 points);
- Minimum 2 years of experience in research, programme implementation in the area of renewable energy, with Government partners, donor relations and diverse stakeholders, preferably in Madhya Pradesh (5 points);
- Relevant experience in programme and policy analysis, strategic planning specially in the field of renewable energy, preferably in Madhya Pradesh. Working knowledge and experience on Gender Issues desirable. (5 points);
- Working knowledge and use of computers and its programmes / applications. Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and advance knowledge of spread sheet and database packages (5 points).
The evaluation process for selection of the candidate will be based on the following assessment:
- Interview (70 points);
- Proof of writing samples (30 points).
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.