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Risk Financing Consultant, Regional Bureau for Western Africa

Senegal (Senegal)

  • Organization: WFP - World Food Programme
  • Location: Senegal (Senegal)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-18

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Job Title: Risk Financing Consultant, Regional Bureau for Western Africa     

Contract Type: Regular Consultancy / CST

Contract duration:  ASAP to December 2021 (possibility of renewal)

Duty Station (City, Country): WFP Regional Bureau for Western Africa, Dakar, Senegal




The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.




The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world's largest humanitarian agency, fighting hunger worldwide. We are currently seeking for a consultant to fill the position of Climate Risk Financing Consultant to design a coherent Risk Financing strategy for the West Africa region well integrated with and support existing resilience, social protection, and emergency preparedness portfolios. This position will be based at the West Africa Regional Bureau in Dakar, Senegal but will involve extensive travel in the region.


Climate change multiplies existing threats to food security, hunger, and malnutrition. It will make natural disasters more frequent and intense, land and water scarcer and more difficult to access, and increases in agricultural productivity even harder to achieve. It will disproportionally impact the most vulnerable people, the majority of whom live in fragile areas prone to climate hazards, ultimately putting hundreds of millions of people at risk.  It is estimated that by 2050, the risk of hunger could increase by 20 percent, and child malnutrition is anticipated to be 20 percent higher than it would have been without a climate change scenario.


Each year, the humanitarian sector and governments spend billions to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from increasingly destructive climate-related disasters. Humanitarian responses are typically mobilized only after an extreme weather event has resulted in catastrophic damages and losses for the most vulnerable and food-insecure people. For slow-onset events, such as droughts, assistance reaches people often months after crops have failed and livestock are lost, and when many households have already resorted to negative coping strategies. Efforts to provide more timely assistance to vulnerable populations, as well as more risk-informed and forward-thinking approaches to humanitarian action are urgently required.


The Sahel is one of the most vulnerable and exposed regions in Africa. The region is already deeply impacted by weather shocks, conflict and fragility, and the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbating these vulnerabilities. The global recession resulting from the pandemic has already hit the Sahel hard, potentially setting back poverty reduction and food security objectives for years.


The number of people depending on humanitarian assistance can be reduced through investments in disaster risk reduction activities at the community level and actions to absorb risks including stronger safety nets, saving mechanisms and early response after a hazard hits. Climate risk finance allows to act before the effects of a shock on affected communities are visible and even before a hazard materializes. Particularly in the case of drought, the cost of mobilizing a humanitarian response can be greatly reduced when anticipatory actions and early response systems are in place prior to a failed harvest.


Through collaboration with a range of public and private sector partners, WFP has become a global leader in the development of climate risk finance solutions that help governments and vulnerable households to anticipate, absorb and rapidly recover from climate shocks. These solutions rely on three essential and interrelated pillars: pre-arranged finance; triggers that are based on independent, verifiable, and frequently reported data points; predefined action plans that get executed either before or immediately after a shock occurs and operational delivery systems. The essence of climate risk finance is that ex-post decisions are minimized, thus enabling predictable management of risks through targeted preventive action at the moment when it is most needed. This reduces reliance on ad-hoc resource mobilization following a climate shock, which is the prevailing paradigm in many humanitarian programmes. Climate risk financing programmes provide donors with an opportunity to invest in approaches that transform the current humanitarian model, which is focused on repetitive crisis response, and move it to a model which is based on forward-looking and predictable risk management interventions.


Climate risk finance tools are more effective when implemented as part of an integrated risk management strategy that promotes investments in reducing and absorbing disaster risk, with the most appropriate combination of tools adapted to the risk profile of the country.


WFP is also active with climate risk finance initiatives in the region, including the development of microinsurance solutions under the R4 integrated approach, the expansion of sovereign insurance under the ARC Replica Plus initiative and the design of Forecast triggered contingency funding mechanisms. In 2021, the ARC Replica Plus programme portfolio will significantly expand in scope to also include a complementary contingency funding mechanism, while starting 2022 WFP will be in charge of executing the microinsurance component of a large regional programme covering seven countries, funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and implemented by IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and the AfDB (African Development Bank). With several countries in the region in the process of building climate risk financing solutions into their portfolios, there is the need to develop a coherent regional strategy to ensure that WFP Country Offices can be adequately guided on the design of solutions that are adapted to their country contexts as well as to identify complementary sources of funding to set up pre-arranged financing mechanisms in a sustainable way.


When risk-based financing is linked with social protection systems it has the potential to not only help smooth climate-related shocks, avoiding setbacks in development, but also to enable poor and vulnerable people to manage climate risks more effectively and in a proactive manner. This includes connecting the social protection system with predictable finance that allows it to become more self-sustaining in the long-term.


Linkages of social protection systems with risk-based financing can facilitate vertical and horizontal expansion of social protection programmes, in advance of a shock and could also help to increase the timeliness of interventions.


In the Sahel, where social protection systems are developing, ensuring these are risk informed and prepared to expand to respond to shocks is critical. As these efforts progress, risk-based financing mechanisms need to be put in place to provide sustainable funding for shock response through social protection systems. This can be done by integrating social protection into wider risk-based financing mechanisms or integrating risk-based financing into existing social protection systems, depending on contexts.


Ongoing efforts are developed by country offices, supported by the Regional Bureau, to strengthen the risk information and shock-responsiveness of social protection systems, in particular across the Sahel. A joint-WFP-UNICEF project funded by BMZ for a total amount of 54 million euros, in Mali, Mauritania and Niger, will support coordinated capacity strengthening activities to support national governments developing their social protection systems and their ability to respond to shocks. Supporting Governments defining risk-based financing mechanisms that will support over the long term the ability of the system to expand in the face of shocks in a fiscally sustainable manner, is a critical part of these efforts, which needs to be developed.





To deliver against the above, WFP’s Regional Bureau is seeking a Risk-based Financing specialist to guide regional positioning and countries in the definition and implementation of initiatives to strengthen the risk-based financing pillar of national social protection systems responsive to shocks, and develop proposals to support risk-based programmes, linking social protection, emergency preparedness and response and resilience.  The incumbent will operate under the direct supervision of the Regional Social Protection Advisor, and the overall guidance of Head of the Programme Support Unit and Deputy Regional Director and will work in close collaboration with the Heads of the Emergency Preparedness and Response and Resilience Units.

The incumbent will be responsible for carrying out the following tasks and responsibilities:




  1. Review the current humanitarian framework in the region, and Sahel in particular, and document humanitarian responses by regional Government and donors in the last 10 years in terms of magnitude, timing and impact.
  2. Analyse the shock responsive social protection systems across the Sahel through their financing pillars, analyse the strengths and weaknesses of their financing pillars, develop recommendations to support these efforts.
  3. Coordinate with RAM, to have an inventory of existing regional food security monitoring systems, in particular the Cadre Harmonisé, and describe how the information process translates into funding decisions and into actions.
  4. In focus countries, document existing risk financing initiatives by WFP, the Government and/or other partners, and conduct a donor mapping.
  5. Provide technical support to country offices to develop or strengthen risk-based financing mechanisms linked with social protection systems.
  6. Identify options for further engagement for WFP linking risk-based financing with social protection, humanitarian action and resilience building interventions, in particular for rural communities that are exposed to a variety of climate-related hazards.
  7. Identify capacity building and/or support needs to address identified gaps in country climate/disaster risk financing and management approaches.
  8. Document good practice and lessons learned from WFP or other agencies in the Sahelian region, in terms of setting up risk financing mechanisms, including insurance and other funds and instruments, for drought and other major hazards.
  9. Provide strategic guidance to country offices in their formulation of country strategic planning to consider risk financing and management and advising on partnerships with donors and various stakeholders in the area of risk financing and risk management, in particular linked with social protection systems, in line with ongoing efforts and dialogue with partners.
  10. Support country offices through the development of risk financing project concept notes and proposals.
  11. Produce a funding proposal for a regional initiative supporting the establishment of a coherent risk financing programme led by WFP in the Sahel region that complements and supports existing social protection and resilience initiatives.
  12. Other duties, as required.





Advanced University degree, or University degree with experience and training/courses in one or more of the following disciplines: Economics, environmental studies, agriculture and food security, development studies or related area.




  • At least eight (08) years post graduate, progressively responsible, job related experience in Risk Financing, food security analysis, policy, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction or related area.
  • Understanding of adaptive/shock responsive social protection, and experience linking risk-based financing mechanisms with social protection systems.
  • Experience in the Sahel Region.
  • Prior experience working within, or in connection with, WFP or a UN System or a Development Organisation will is be highly regarded. 




  • Project management skills; knowledge management skills; reporting skills
  • Familiarity with WFP’s core areas of business.
  • Familiarity with donor rules and regulations including with climate finance multilateral funds.
  • Proficiency in Windows, MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Competencies: Cognitive Capacity, Teamwork, Action Management, Innovation, Partnering, Client Orientation.



  • Excellent written and spoken French (level C) and English intermediate (level B); or excellent written and spoken English (level C) and French intermediate (level B)




This position is based in the Regional Bureau for Western Africa, Dakar, Senegal. It supports 19 country offices (CO) in their programme delivery and advocate for the integration of WFP corporate priorities (People at the centre, Organizational effectiveness, Triple Nexus and Digital transformation) into national policies and programmes.

The Regional Bureau core functions are to provide strategic guidance, technical support, and operational oversight. By providing guidance and policy support to COs, the Regional Bureau ensures clear communication at management level between HQ, RB and COs, in line with the realignment of HQ-RB responsibilities, including advisory support to improve the quality of programme implementation, positioning and fundraising efforts. Significant work of the Regional Bureau is around technical support provided to COs, notably to ensure the quality of project design, to facilitate the sharing of technical resources and enhance CO’s staff capacity. WFP Regional Bureau also advocates for assessing and recommending appropriate actions to strengthen the capacities of Governments and National actors involved in achieving SDG2, foster the linkages between national academics, research entities and WFP operations. The Regional Bureau works to strengthen emergency preparedness and response capacities across the region to strategically position WFP as the leading organization responding to emergencies.


This is an opportunity for an exciting and challenging position in a multi-cultural and interdisciplinary team, based in a unique location, on a topic with high relevance. In addition, we offer:

Meaningful and impactful careers:

Our day to day work makes a difference in the lives of the people we serve

Continuous learning and training:

We provide learning tools for our staff to continually develop their careers

Multicultural and stimulating work environment:

We encourage gender and cultural diversity to make our teams stronger

Join us to make a difference, watch this video to know more about us!!




Qualified female applicants are especially encouraged to apply.

WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate based on race, sex, colour, ethnic group, age, sexual orientation, other affiliation, or HIV/AIDS status.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

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.

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