National Consultant – Organization – Eswatini
07 Jun 2024
Region:
Southern Africa
Country:
Remote
Company:
UNICEF
Segment:
Organization
Experience:
3+

About the job

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, Health

How can you make a difference?

Purpose Of Activity/Assignment

UNICEF has integrated sustainable and disaster-resilient systems for responding to natural risks, climate change and disasters into its key programmatic sectors such as health, education and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) with environmentally sound, low-carbon, and climate-smart technologies. In contribution to the UNICEF Strategic Plan 2022-2025, UNICEF Eswatini Country Office is committed to scaling up sustainable energy integration in priority programme areas (e.g., Health, Education and related WASH interventions) with the goal of promoting positive social benefits for children and young people as per UNICEF Sustainability, Climate Change Action Plan (SCAP) 2023-2030.

Positive correlations between electricity access and health outcomes have been demonstrated during routine maternal, newborn and child health services and emergencies. The interruption in availability of electricity is a bottleneck in using life-saving equipment especially for newborns and children which has resulted in many preventable deaths. Similarly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, electricity in health facilities is critical to treat patients and operate vital, lifesaving medical devices to manage cases. Health facilities with un-interrupted, stable and suitable electricity supply are expected to have a higher performance in delivering health services. Besides enabling a proper cold chain and improving diagnostic and curative services, the availability of reliable electricity leads to a better administration of the health facilities and supports the access to better communication channels and data management.

Access to reliable electricity in health facilities and schools is therefore an important enabler of quality health, education and related WASH services and is necessary to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in energy, health, education, and WASH.

Despite its importance, access to reliable and affordable electricity is often overlooked as a building block of quality health, education and related WASH services. Some of the solutions to increase energy access in health and education facilities include extending the grid network or connecting to decentralized solutions such as mini-grids or stand-alone solar Photovoltaics (PV) systems. Decentralized solar energy solutions are promising options that can also simultaneously transform the sectors to a low carbon and climate resilient development pathway. This is a powerful benefit to children and young people in the face of a changing climate and degrading environment.

In Eswatini, the overall electrification rate is 85%. However, the majority of electricity consumed is imported from Eskom (South Africa), which is experiencing significant capacity shortages. This necessitates a strategy to wean the country off electricity imports. Solarization of critical infrastructure such as health and education facilities would therefore be desirable. Therefore, UNICEF Eswatini developed in 2022-2023 an Investment Case for Sustainable Energy in Health and Education a 54M USD investment for solarization of all health facilities will result in a lifetime reduction of 67,813 tons of CO2 emissions for currently unelectrified facilities otherwise powered by diesel generators and reduce costs for electricity payments by approx. 1.76M USD per year for facilities currently connected to the grid. These saving could be re-invested in Rehabilitation of current facilities, building new ones, or earmarking funds for emergency response purposes are all viable options to consider or in operational & maintenance (O&M) costs for the health facilities.

UNICEF has technically and financially supported MOH to solarized two Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen production plants (one in Nhlangano Health Centre and one in Hlathikhulu Government Hospital in Shiselweni region), and 10 Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities (2 with funds from Canda; 5 with funds from USAID an d 3 with funds from HETA) named: Malindza Clinic (installation ongoing), Khuphuka Clinic (installation ongoing), Nkonjwa Clinic (installation ongoing), Tsambokhulu Clinic (installation ongoing) in Lubombo region, Musi Clinic (installation ongoing) and Sidvokodvo Clinic (installation ongoing) and Lundzi Clinic (installation not yet started) in Manzini region, Ezindwendweni Clinic (installation ongoing), Mzipha Clivic (installation not yet started) and JCI Clinic (installation not yet started) in Shiselweni region.

Consequently, UNICEF Eswatini is aiming to recruit a national consultant who possesses specialized expertise to offer comprehensive technical assistance to Eswatini country office. This role entails guiding and facilitating the implementation of solar energy electrification initiatives across the UNICEF supported healthcare facilities in Eswatini. The responsibilities of the consultant will include detailed project planning, execution oversight, and the application of advanced technical knowledge in solar energy systems to ensure efficient and sustainable project outcomes. Crucially, these outcomes will be guided and evaluated using the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (SCAP), alongside the UNICEF Sizing Tool, as fundamental anchors for decision-making processes. These tools provide a framework for assessing environmental impacts, ensuring sustainability, and aligning project objectives with broader climate action goals. The consultant will leverage these resources to develop and implement strategies that are not only technically sound but also aligned with global sustainability standards and practices.

Moreover, this consultancy will play a pivotal role in fostering and enhancing collaborative relationships between UNICEF and key Eswatini governmental bodies, including but not limited to the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Health. Additionally, the role will involve strategic engagement with other United Nations agencies, private sector entities, and a diverse array of stakeholders such as investors and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

The overarching objective of this consultancy is not only to contribute significantly to the solar energy electrification projects but also to catalyze broader efforts aimed at achieving universal access to electricity within Eswatini. This involves leveraging these partnerships to build robust, integrated frameworks for sustainable energy access, thereby aligning with UNICEF’s mission to support and enhance social development and environmental sustainability initiatives in the region.

Scope Of Work

Operating under the strategic guidance of the Chief of Child Survival and Development, in conjunction with the Regional Energy Specialist overseeing Sustainable Energy Program implementation across 21 country offices in the East and South Africa region, this role demands close collaboration with the UNICEF Supply Division. The position also requires coordinated efforts with Health / WASH specialists at the Country Office (CO), and a synergistic partnership with the Ministry of Health’s Biomedical Engineering Department (MOH BIOMED) and ABT/HETA teams. The appointed consultant is tasked with delivering expertise in a multitude of technical areas, outlined as follows:

  • Provide in-depth technical assistance to the country office in the formulation of detailed implementation plans for solar projects, ensuring comprehensive planning and effective execution strategies.
  • Provide technical advice to country related to solar power systems encompassing a broad spectrum of activities such as solar feasibility analysis, service provider mapping, needs assessment, cost-benefit analysis, project scoping, precise requirements definition, and thorough site surveys.
  • Provide technical guidance to the country office team on various aspects of solar power system electrification projects, enhancing project efficacy and sustainability.
  • Direct or assist installation teams during key phases such as installation, startup, testing, system commissioning, and performance monitoring, ensuring adherence to technical specifications and quality standards.
  • Develop and implement detailed checklists for the review or inspection of completed solar installation projects, ensuring compliance with established norms and best practices.
  • Contribute technical expertise in the development of tender-ready specifications and requirements for solar power systems, ensuring clarity and precision in project expectations and timelines and requirements.
  • Participate in the technical evaluation of tender submissions for solar power system projects, providing insights to ensure the selection of competent and efficient solutions.
  • Support the Offices in the Supervision and quality assurance of the project(s) implementation.
  • Documentation of the Solarization project through to share the knowledge to support future and other countries with the similar project.
  • On job training of the BIOMED.
  • Conduct thorough analyses of energy consumption versus savings at health facilities post-solar power implementation, illustrating the tangible benefits of the projects. Aid in the creation of an innovative, sector-specific Operations & Maintenance (O&M) plan tailored to ensure the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of the solar installations.

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

Minimum Qualifications Required

 

  • Bachelors in the areas of Project Management, Supply Chain management, Electrical Engineering, Renewable Energy or similar.
  • Technical training in Electrical Engineering and/ or Solar PV and/or Renewable Energy is required.
  • Completion of a Professional Engineering Accreditation (i.e. Association of Energy Engineers Certified Business Energy Professional, Renewable Energy Professional, or similar) is desirable.

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills Required

Work experience:

 

  • Minimum of three years of relevant experience in designing and/or implementing technical solar power systems solutions in developing countries is required.
  • Minimum of three years of relevant experience (including practices) at the national or international level in procurement is desirable.
  • Field experience in delivering projects in high-risk environment.

Technical Knowledge

 Experience in planning, execution, monitoring, control and closure of Solar Power electrification or similar projects, with an emphasis on practical application in diverse settings.

 Proficiency in Solar Power Systems Sizing, showcasing the ability to tailor solutions to specific environmental and infrastructural contexts.

 Experience in Solar systems Site Survey and comprehensive needs assessment.

 Proven track record in training, planning and delivery of technical assistance to teams in country and regional offices. Prior involvement in supporting country-level solar power system projects, including reviewing and verifying project tender documents such as designs, bill of quantities, cost estimates, and technical specifications.

Competencies

 Strong analytical, oral & written communication skills

 Proven track record in project management, demonstrating the ability to lead projects to completion on time and within budget.

 Effective facilitator with proven ability to engage and train a group of individuals (through an interpreter if necessary)

 Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment

 Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively within a team, fostering a cooperative and productive work environment.

How To Apply

Prospective consultants should apply through UNICEF jobs website using the link provided No later than 15th June 2024. The application package should include the following:

  • A cover letter;
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • Qualified candidates are requested to submit their daily and monthly fees, inclusive of insurance and travel (if necessary) in their financial proposal.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

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.

Remarks

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.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

Apply here.