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Consultant - African Energy Dialogues, WRI Africa

World Resources Institute

World Resources Institute

Nairobi, Kenya
Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Program Overview:

The global energy transition marks a pivotal moment in addressing climate change and ensuring a more resilient energy future. Africa's role in this transition is unique. Although the continent is endowed with significant energy resources, many countries face numerous energy challenges. Approximately 600 million people live without access to power. The transition will likely have profound implications for hydrocarbon export-dependent economies, necessitating careful management of the economic impacts. Mitigating the social impacts of the transition, such as job displacement and community disruptions, while ensuring the equitable distribution of benefits, will be critical. Overall, discussions around energy transition in Africa require careful navigation through multifaceted challenges, with tailored and context-specific solutions.

WRI seeks to advance a holistic approach that considers the interplay of these various challenges to promote sustainable energy solutions across Africa. To support this effort, the WRI Africa is looking to recruit a consultant to work closely with the Energy program team in developing the program’s work on Clean Energy Transition in Africa and support the successful conclusion of ongoing activities under the African Energy Dialogues. This platform, under the Clean Energy Transition pillar, is set up to promote inclusive dialogue on energy transitions in Africa.

Scope of Work:

Africa's energy transition requires a holistic approach that considers the interplay of various challenges and adopts tailored solutions to address them effectively. It is imperative that debates and discussions are informed by the best available research, data, and evidence, and that they prioritize African voices. Within this context, the Clean Energy Transition program at WRI Africa has adopted two interlinked strategies: First, we use systems modeling and other analytical tools to explore the spectrum of viable transition pathways available to African countries. We synthesise data to articulate informed perspectives on just transition pathways, and produce insights on sectoral electrification and decarbonization opportunities. Second, in partnership with several African organizations, WRI has launched the African Energy Dialogues (AED), a platform to promote evidence-based and inclusive dialogue around energy transition. The AED aims to integrate varied perspectives from stakeholders across the continent to collaboratively accelerate the design of appropriate transition plans, strengthen countries’ ability to influence the global debate, and promote positions that maximize benefits for the African people. The AED is convened by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in partnership with the African Energy Commission (AFREC), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

WRI intends to award a consultant a seven-month reimbursable contract to work with the WRI Energy Team members to achieve two objectives: support the successful execution of ongoing activities under the AED, and assist in developing an integrated strategic plan to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the work under the Clean Energy Transition pillar in Africa. While this position requires a basic understanding of clean energy technologies, it is not a technical position. The focus of the position is on program strategy and engagement with a broad range of both policy and technology-focused stakeholders.

Task 1: Support the successful execution of activities under the AED:

Launched at COP28, one of the first actions taken by the AED Steering Committee was to establish the structure for three working groups to steer and guide the platform's work in three key areas: Investment and Finance (I&FWG), Enabling Policies and Regulations (EPRWG), and Technologies and Infrastructure (T&IWG). These working groups will articulate the platform's priorities and lead in identifying action points and policy proposals. Between July and December, the working groups will undertake various activities. The consultant will support the team by overseeing the activities of these three working groups. Responsibilities will include:

  • Establishing and maintaining effective channels of communication among the WRI team, partner organizations, and members of the three working groups.
  • Monitoring and documenting the progress of the working groups, addressing emerging issues, and providing necessary support to ensure timely and planned delivery of outputs.
  • Coordinating national and international convenings, workshops, and other engagements to publicize and share the work produced by the working groups.

Task 2: Support the development of the strategic plan for the Clean Energy Transition work in Africa.

As noted above, the Clean Energy Transition work within WRI Africa currently involves conducting country-level research and analysis using energy systems modeling and other data analytical tools to articulate the spectrum of viable transition pathways available to countries and the AED platform. We are looking to strengthen and advance our strategic approach for a more integrated connection between these two streams of work. In this regard, the second set of deliverables focuses on activities aimed at developing a strategic plan for managing the growth and agility of the Clean Energy Transition work. This may include articulating the work’s added value, identifying areas for expansion, and outlining a phased work plan with milestones and timelines.

Activities will include:

  • Developing strategic objectives and key result areas for the Clean Energy Transition work in Africa through a consultative process and application of appropriate analytical tools.
  • Proposing a strategy for achieving the strategic objectives and identifying opportunities for integration and alignment between the two streams of activities.
  • Conducting an ecosystem and stakeholder analysis to identify opportunities for synergies and collaboration with other African-based platforms and alliances focused on energy transition.
  • Developing recommendations on how the AED and country-specific research work can complement, add value to, and collaborate with other platforms.
  • Supporting the development and writing of proposals to finance and support the growth and expansion of the platform's offerings.

Consultant Qualifications:

  • At least a Master’s degree in a relevant field including energy systems, energy economics, energy and development, or relevant field required.
  • At least 5 to 8 years of research or industry experience with good working knowledge of African energy transition issues.
  • Strong knowledge of renewable energy technologies, market dynamics, policy frameworks, and regulatory environments.
  • Experience with program strategy and engagement with a broad range of both policy and technology-focused stakeholders.
  • Experience supporting the African Union or African country governments is an added advantage.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills, with comfort in exploring new research topics and identifying synergies within a broader context of energy transition.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills, ability to work in a team.
  • Flexibility in working with dynamic and diverse project teams and comfortable with tight timelines in a diverse cultural environment across multiple time zones.
  • Proficiency in English is required, and fluency in any French or Portuguese or any African language is highly desirable.
  • Located in Kenya, or with the ability to travel and work from the WRI Africa Nairobi office, based on an arrangement with the Program Director.

Evaluation and Selection:

The following elements will be the primary considerations in evaluating all applications submitted in response to this posting:

  • Submission of resume with a cover letter.
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience with similar projects.
  • Overall cost of the applicant’s proposal.
  • The extent to which the consultant’s qualifications fulfils WRI’s stated requirements as set out above.
  • Debarment and sanctions – WRI will not consider proposals from vendors/consultants, etc., that are presently debarred by the U.S. government or named on any restricted parties lists.
  • Sustainability – WRI values sustainability and, all other factors being equal, will favor a proposal to perform the work more sustainably.

The consultant offering the best overall value will be selected. For this position, non-price aspects are considered to be relatively more important than price.

Compliance Requirements: WRI receives funding from a variety of sources, including governments and other non-governmental organisations. In addition to WRI’s standard contract terms, certain funder conditions may apply.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organisation that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills, and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyse change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include integrity, innovation, urgency, independence, and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environmental and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years, and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.

The World Resources Institute (http://www.wri.org) is an environmental and development research and policy organisation that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citisenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experiences enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and women of all backgrounds.