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Consultancy: Giga Finance Specialist,11.5 months, Remote or NYHQ

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-16

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UNICEEF’s Office of Innovation is seeking a consultant to work on the Giga team to advise on and coordinate the development of the financing strategies and public-private partnership models in close coordination with key internal and external stakeholders. This work will be an essential input into the process for identifying and structuring digital infrastructure project finance and developing of bids. Giga aims to connect every school in the world and every young person to information, opportunity and choice.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, innovate...

UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives.

The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.

UNICEF's Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world's children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:

  • Connecting youth communities (or more broadly -- anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
  • Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach -- in a traditionally risk-averse field -- to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
  • Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.

How can you make a difference?

According to the ITU, nearly 3.7 billion people remain unconnected from the internet, and by extension, unconnected to digital products and services that could dramatically improve their lives. Approximately 29% of 18-24 year-olds, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, do not have digital access (~360m people) and thereby lack access to the same information, opportunity and choice as their more-connected peers. Unless things change, a big part of this rapidly growing group of young people is in danger of being left behind, excluded from the modern digital world.  

UNICEF and ITU have launched “Giga”,  a new initiative to connect every school to the internet, and every young person to information, opportunity and choice. Giga is anchored in the findings 1A and 1B of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, which state, respectively, that by "2030  every adult should have affordable access to digital networks" and  calls for "a broad, multi-stakeholder alliance, involving the UN, create a platform for sharing digital public goods."

We are seeking a consultant to advise on and coordinate the development of the financing strategies and public-private partnership models under the guidance of the Giga Finance Lead and working closely with UNICEF Office of Innovation and other key internal and external stakeholders. This work will be an essential input into the process for identifying and structuring digital infrastructure project finance and developing of bids. The work will include assessment and selection of the best technical, economic and financing solution for schools connectivity project.

Main responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Project planning and implementation

  • Originate and assess the school digital connectivity projects to maximize the potential for commercial co-financing and catalyzing of additional sources of capital.
  • Facilitate and lead relationships with donors, development finance institutions and other financial partners as well as with telecom companies, investors and governments.
  • Manage the feasibility studies or project appraisal and to structure the project financing and other forms of assistance.
  • Identify key risks (including regulatory constraints) and appropriate mitigants.
  • Prepare, evaluate and select the best technical, economic and funding option for the school connectivity for selected countries
  • Provide support to the governments in the preparation of the bidding process, if needed

Materials for investors and donors, strategy and planning, knowledge sharing

  • Develop the relevant technical decks and resources for internal and external use for pitching the project to public and private financiers, project sponsors and investors
  • Providing in-depth strategic and analytical support to other team members
  • Provide input and comments on project, policy and other papers related to Giga activities across a range of key themes and sectors
  • Participate in country teams for Giga planning and programming purposes

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced degree, or equivalent, in Business Administration, Finance, Engineering or related fields.

*A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.

  • 5 years of professional work experience in infrastructure project finance or PPP in emerging and developing countries, including hands-on experience in structuring loans, guarantees and/or equity transactions, managing due diligence, financial modeling, mitigating credit and other risks
  • Knowledge of debt securities
  • Experience in an international development finance institution is a strong asset
  • Experience in telecommunication infrastructure sector is an asset
  • Experience in pitching the projects to potential sponsors and investors
  • Demonstrated strong writing and presentation skills in English and the ability to comminicate effectively to management
  • International experience working in developing countries is an asset
  • Ability to plan and implement projects in coordination with multiple stakeholders
  • Ability to work with a diverse team in a rapidly-changing work environment and adapt to unforeseen changes
  • Knowledge of UN system is an advantage
  • Knowledge of another UN language is an asset

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The functional competencies required for this post are...

  • Analyzing (II)                          
  • Applying Technical Expertise (II)                                   
  • Communication (II)               

View our competency framework at

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Payment details and further considerations

  • Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.
  • Consultant is responsible for his/her own health and travel insurance
  • Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel
  • Consultant is eligible for roundtrip airfare to and from the duty station at the beginning and end of the assignment.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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.

What does it mean?

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