Crisis Risk Financing Consultant
New York City (United States of America)
The IRC’s Airbel Impact Lab designs, tests, and scales life-changing, cost-effective solutions for people affected by conflict and disaster. By applying the IRC’s deep technical expertise and field experience with a range of skills from the behavioral sciences, human-centered design, rigorous research, and multi-disciplinary problem-solving in humanitarian contexts, we work to develop breakthrough solutions that combine creativity and rigor, openness and expertise, and a desire to think afresh with the experience of a large-scale implementing organization.
Global humanitarian budgets are not keeping pace with our clients’ needs and aspirations. The Airbel Impact Lab’s Innovative Finance Practice is designing and testing new approaches to raising finance, and impactful new ways to use funds before, during and after conflict episodes. We work across crisis risk financing and longer-term investment approaches, both of which seek to ensure that finance reaches the right people at the right time and endures until crisis-affected communities no longer require support.
Scope of Work OverviewWith support from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs, the Airbel Impact Lab is designing a series of crisis risk financing pilots to support people affected by violent conflict. Building on a recently completed landscaping exercise, the Crisis Risk Financing Consultant will deliver analytical products to inform the design of two pilots:
- Mitigating malnutrition in Afghanistan: This pilot will apply crisis risk financing approaches to help mitigate food insecurity more effectively than would be possible through a conventional ‘need and response’ model. The pilot will combine existing analysis of drought as a trigger for food insecurity with IRC’s expertise in conflict risk monitoring and management. Early scoping suggests a contingent grant agreement to finance trigger-based cash transfers could substantially enhance response times and cost-effectiveness of assistance.
- Preparing for health costs in emergencies - Health services are the second-most important driver of emergency humanitarian costs funded by the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Our analysis shows that emergency health costs are volatile in any given country, but are relatively stable across a group of highly fragile countries. This is because crises spike at different times in different countries. This pilot will design a risk pool for health costs associated with major crisis spikes in a group of countries experiencing protracted crises. The pool will initially cover up to 10-12 countries and up to three risk types that constitute 40-50% of CERF emergency health allocations: displacement, one natural hazard, and one epidemiological threat (precise risks to be determined). Early scoping suggests a grant pool backed by a contingent credit layer, disbursed through established NGO and national systems, could substantially enhance response times and provide budgetary predictability needed to support rigorous operational planning.
Building on initial design work that will be made available, the Crisis Risk Financing Consultant will undertake analytical work needed to operationalize these two concepts as pilots. This means assessing the accuracy of event modelling needed for each concept; identifying and analyzing triggers; modelling losses associated with different trigger thresholds; assessing how different instruments shape the incentives and behavior; crafting financial parameters of the instrument based on empirical data; and identifying potential risks and mitigating strategies.
Analytical briefing note for each pilot covering: (i) technical feasibility of alternative triggers, (ii) modelled losses for the most promising triggers at 2-3 different threshold levels, (iii) empirical appraisal of alternative triggers in terms of (a) sensitivity, (b) timeliness, and (c) administration costs, (d) incentives, and (e) other risks. These notes should be 10-15 pages, comprising empirical analysis and robust theoretical insights.
Options note for each pilot covering: (i) technical feasibility of alternative risk financing instruments, (ii) options for layering priority instruments, and (iii) empirical appraisal of alternative structures in terms of (a) humanitarian outcomes, (b) monetary and opportunity costs, and (c) risks, including financial and reputational risk. The note should be 15-20 pages, comprising empirical analysis and robust theoretical insights.
Final briefing note, combining evidence-based recommendations on triggers, thresholds, and structures for the two pilots. This note should be 5-10 pages.
Qualifications and required experience:
- 5+ years’ experience modelling natural hazards in conflict-affected situations and (preferably) experience identifying, monitoring, and responding to conflict risks.
- 5+ years’ experience structuring risk financing instruments, including contingent credit facilities and risk pools.
- Strong familiarity with the crisis risk financing landscape, including recent UN experiments with anticipatory action and World Bank experience with disaster risk financing in conflict-affected situations.
- Proven track record communicating to non-technical audiences, verbally and in writing.
- Familiarity with research and innovation methodologies an advantage.
- Familiarity with Afghanistan, food insecurity risk, and/or humanitarian health risks an advantage.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
IRC et les employés de IRC doivent adhérer aux valeurs et principes contenus dans le IRC WAY (normes de conduite professionnelle). Ce sont l’Intégrité, le Service, et la Responsabilité. En conformité avec ces valeurs, IRC opère et fait respecter les politiques sur la protection des bénéficiaires contre l’exploitation et les abus, la protection de l’enfant, le harcèlement sur les lieux de travail, l’intégrité financière, et les représailles.