International Consultant/Small Hydropower Based Mini-grids Expert

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Bangui, , CF


The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the poorest nations in the world. According to the 2015 UNDP Human Development Report (HDR), CAR is ranked 185th in the Human Development Index, out of 187 assessed countries. CAR is a Landlocked Least Developed Country (LDC). The country has faced several civil wars and political instability. The total population of the country is estimated at 5 million inhabitants (2014), and its surface at about 623,000 km2. 39% of the population lives in urban areas, against 61% in rural areas.

The main sources of energy are biomass and fossil fuels. Non-renewable biomass represents 93% of the energy balance. Biomass is mainly used as firewood or charcoal for cooking. Wood consumption is estimated in CAR at 1.6 million tonnes per year. Petroleum products account for 6% of the energy balance, mainly used for transport and electricity generation. CAR has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world. Only 2.5% of the population have access to electricity. This is a national average and the rate varies considerably between regions. The access rate is 19% in Bangui (the capital), about 1% in other regions/provinces, and virtually zero in rural areas. With 61% of the population living in the rural areas, rural electrification is almost non-existent in Central African Republic.

In order to increase the rural electrification rate, the UNDP-GEF project, “Promotion of small hydropower based mini-grids for better access to modern energy services in Central African Republic” intends to promote investment in decentralized small hydropower (SHP) based mini-grids in CAR. The proposed project has four components.

The first component seeks the preparation and adoption of a comprehensive policy framework for the promotion of SHP-based electrification. The framework will complement existing policies on power sector development and rural electrification by putting explicit emphasis on, and providing more favorable conditions for, SHP. Such policy frameworks will include specific timeframes and targets for development of SHPs. The SHP policy framework will also establish a cornerstone policy instrument (e.g. a financially-viable tariff for SHP-based mini-grids) and supporting policies and regulations, including, but not limited to, harmonized and simplified concession regimes and licensing rules for SHPs, standardized PPAs, and land and water use rights for SHP projects.

The second component will help to provide capacity building for hybrid mini-grid system management. This component will address technical barriers to the implementation of hybrid mini-grids. The aim is to help the power utility ENERCA, ACER (the agency for rural electrification) and potential service providers to upgrade their capacity for delivering turnkey solutions for hybrid systems.

The third component will be showcasing a viable business model for SHP-based mini-grids. The project will aim at facilitating the roll-out (preparation and implementation) of staggered batches of commercial SHP-based mini-grid systems for a total of up to 2 MW of SHP-based capacity.

The final, fourth, component will address investment promotion.

Overall, the project will result in the improved confidence of communities, developers and potential investors in the technical and economic viability of SHP-based mini-grids for rural electrification and local socio-economic development; and SHP as an alternative solution to centralized grid-expansion schemes.

The proposed project received a Project Preparation Grant (PPG) approved by the GEF Secretariat to prepare a Full-Sized Project (FSP) document, based on the approved project proposal concept (PIF). The PPG phase will need to support various data collection efforts and undertake validation of the indicative outcomes and outputs contained in the PIF; the development of a full M&E plan including appropriate indicators and baseline; and the development of a participatory plan to involve communities and government stakeholders as well as agreed on implementation arrangements and co-financing. The final output of the PPG phase will be a UNDP-GEF project document and GEF CEO Endorsement Request ready for submission to UNDP and GEF, with all required supporting annexes, tracking tools, Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP) and background information.

A separate consultancy contract will be advertised to manage the overall development of the GEF project and its associated documentation. The contract described in this TOR relates to a specific element of the PPG work, focused on the design of financial instruments and incentive schemes for SHP-based mini-grids in CAR.

Duties and Responsibilities

The PPG phase will include four interrelated components:

Component A:  Technical review

  • Baseline studies: this will include a desktop review of all relevant documents, actual and previous studies on existing SHP plants, mini-grids and rural electrification development sector;
  • Studies to address any opportunities/risks identified during the environmental and Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP);
  • Identification of specific sites for SHP installations;
  • Integration with development plans, policies, budgets and complementary projects: on-going projects and other initiatives will be identified and incorporated in the project document. Activities of the same types could be implemented jointly and/or in parallel as long as projects calendars will permit it;
  • Completion of the GEF climate change mitigation focal area tracking tool;
  • Stakeholder consultations during technical review: mobilize and engage stakeholders during project design. Negotiate partnerships with on-going projects to align their activities and the project to build synergies. Document these consultations.   

Component B:  Institutional arrangements, monitoring and evaluation

  • The outputs of Component A will be used as technical input to Component B for the formulation of the UNDP-GEF project document; 
  • Finalization of project results framework: further define the results framework with appropriate objective-level and outcome-level quantitative and qualitative SMART indicators, and end-of-project targets. Special attention will be made to include socio-economic and sex-disaggregated indicators;
  • Definition of monitoring and evaluation (M&E): a detailed M&E work plan will be developed, including clear identification of responsibilities and accountabilities, as well as an appropriate M&E budget. The plan will be based on the standard template provided in the UNDP-GEF project document template that reflects the mandatory requirements of the GEF M&E Policy; 
  • Define sustainability plan: the sustainability plan will outline the principles and guidelines for ensuring the long-term sustainability of project achievements. It will also outline an exit strategy, seeking the continuation of key activities/achievements without the need of long-term international financing; 
  • Definition of management arrangements: the organisational structure governing the project will be decided. This will include identification of the project board;
  • Stakeholder consultations during Component B: Involve key agencies in the development of the project strategy to ensure strong national ownership. In close collaboration with key government representatives and other stakeholders, ensure full participation in the development of the project results framework and ensure agreement on the project objectives and outcomes. Undertake consultations to secure agreement(s) on project implementation arrangements, including roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of lead and partner agencies.  Document these consultations.  

Component C:  Financial planning and co-financing investments: 

  • Prepare a detailed multi-year budget following the standard template provided in the UNDP-GEF project document template that reflects the mandatory requirements of the GEF M&E Policy;
  • Explore multilateral and bilateral co-financing opportunities: undertake a series of consultations with partners to ensure a coherent and sustainable financing package for the project, including post-GEF grant phase;
  • Ensure completion of required official endorsement letters: an official endorsement letter will be prepared by the GEF Operational Focal Point of the Government. A co-financing letter will be collected from participating government institutions, bilateral development partners, multilateral development partners and NGOs who wish to provide grant, loan or in-kind contributions to the project.

Stakeholder consultations during Component C:

  • During the implementation of the PPG project, consultation will be carried out with key stakeholders (including civil society organizations, indigenous people, gender groups, and others as relevant) and describe how they will be engaged in project preparation.

Component D:  Validation workshop

  • A validation workshop will gather representatives from all relevant stakeholders to present, discuss and validate the final draft project document;
  • The PPG phase will include extensive stakeholder consultations with government entities, private sector entities, industry groups, donors and civil society organizations as part of the above-mentioned activities.

Under the overall supervision of the UNDP Country Director in collaboration with the Resilience and Natural Resources Management Analyst program, the Consultant will have approximately 40 days of total work throughout the duration of the PPG process (various tasks are expected to be done concurrently), the overall purpose of the consultancy is the preparation of a UNDP-GEF compliant full-sized project. The consultant will be expected to provide lead quality assurance as regards of all activities under the preparation. The consultant will be the leader of a team consisting of another international consultant (who will be focused on the design of financial instruments to support SHP) and some local consultants (energy engineer, gender specialist, economist, policy and strategy, Environmentalist etc.). More specifically, the consultant is expected to:

GEF Project Formulation

  • Control quality of inputs and outputs of all consultants and sub-contractors;
  • Mainstream the project’s problem and barrier analysis among the project planning team;
  • Help determine the project’s system boundaries and scope;
  • Facilitate the logical framework analysis workshop;
  • Help in the coordination of financial mechanisms and other institutional work;
  • Investigate potential options for the project’s institutional and implementation arrangements;
  • Address any opportunities/risks identified during the Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP);
  • Provide detailed information on the proposed activities;
  • Develop the project’s sustainability strategy;
  • Clarify the additionality of the proposed outcomes and activities, and ensure that the project approach is the most cost-effective according to GEF guidelines;
  • Facilitate the process of confirming the co-funding and co-financing plan;
  • Develop a detailed M&E work plan for all activities funded by the GEF climate change mitigation allocation, including clear identification of responsibilities and accountabilities, as well as an appropriate M&E budget. The plan will be based on the standard template provided in the UNDP-GEF project document template that reflects the mandatory requirements of the GEF M&E Policy;
  • Finalize the project results framework. Further define the results framework with appropriate objective-level and outcome-level quantitative and qualitative SMART2 indicators, and end-of-project targets. Ensure that all energy-related activities are in conformity with GEF 6 focal area guidelines and indicators. Special attention should be paid to include socio-economic and sex-disaggregated indicators;
  • Define the gender sensitivity of the project, and the best strategies for women’s empowerment;
  • Develop the Project Document and CEO Endorsement Request, and annexes;
  • Address all comments on the project design by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), GEF Council and GEF Secretariat.

Small hydropower based mini-grids

  • Provide detailed analysis and best strategy for promoting the investments in decentralized small hydropower-based mini-grids (including financial and fiscal instruments, socio-economic interests and value chain analysis);
  • Take into account the financial mechanisms conducted by another consultancy. Provide a best strategy based on the results of the life-cycle analysis. Demonstrate its potential sustainability and incrementality compared to the baseline practices in place, as well as that these financial mechanisms are in line with UNDP comparative advantage (harmonized and simplified concession regimes and licensing rules for SHPs, standardized PPAs, land and water use rights for SHP projects, etc.);
  • Analyze the gathered data on possible hybrid system resources and propose suitable and adaptive technologies.


  • All documents (project document, CEO endorsement request, tracking tools, SESP, etc.) are to be prepared in English. However, it is expected at the end of the process, to translate the project document from English to French. In this regard, the international consultant should include a translation lump sum payment in his/her financial offer.  

Outputs/Expected Deliverables

  • Deliverable 1: A mission plan (1 working day) – home-based.
  • Deliverable 2: A stakeholder consultation report which includes a baseline assessment report, a preliminary logical framework and key project outcomes and outputs (10 working days) – based in Bangui. 
  • Deliverable 3: Draft and Final ProDoc, CEO endorsement request, tracking tools and SESP validated at national level (5 working days) – based in Bangui.
  • Deliverable 4: Draft and Final ProDoc, CEO endorsement request, tracking tools and SESP cleared by UNDP STA/PTA (22 working days) – home-based;
  • Deliverable 5: Address all comments on the project design by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel, the GEF Council and the GEF Secretariat (2 working days) – home-based.

In summary, the final expected products are:

  • PPG inception workshop report;
  • Stakeholder/community consultation reports;
  • Baseline assessment report;
  • Project document validation workshop report (in English and French);
  • Detailed Full UNDP Project Document following the appropriate template (in English and French);
  • The Request for GEF CEO Endorsement following the appropriate template;
  • GEF CCM tracking tool;
  • UNDP Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP).

Functional competencies:

  • Proven ability to conduct detailed financial and technical analyses of project investments or activities, including calculation of estimated GHG reductions and cost-benefit analyses;
  • Proven ability to prepare Log Frame Analyses (LFAs) and project budgets;
  • Strong logical and analytical reporting and writing abilities;
  • Proven communication and leadership skills;
  • Excellent team player with good interpersonal skills amongst diverse cultures;
  • Ability to proceed plans and manage workloads with minimum supervision;
  • Ability to conduct detailed quantitative GHG emission reduction calculations (direct and indirect) according to GEF policies and procedures.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relations with colleagues in multi-cultural environments;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
Required Skills and Experience


  • Minimum of Master’s degree in energy, engineering, finance, economics, development or related fields.

Successful applicants are expected to possess more than one of the following areas of expertise on the ground and proven experience in the respective areas of specialization in addition to the minimum qualifications specified above.


  • Minimum 7 years of professional experience in the field of sustainable energy, i.e. with projects and policies on renewable energy (and particularly small hydro-power systems and/or mini-grids), energy efficiency and technology transfer. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in Africa;
  • Of which at least 5 years’ experience with renewable energy project development, implementation or demonstrations at local, national and/or international levels;
  • Experience with policy or institutional development/implementation/reform, relating particularly to energy and infrastructure investment;  
  • Experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa is an asset; national knowledge is desirable;
  • Experience working with international organizations, including UNDP and GEF, is preferred but not required.

Language requirement:

  • Fluent written and spoken English and French are essential.

Application procedure:

  • Qualified and interested candidates are hereby requested to apply. The application should contain the following;

  • Personal CV or P11, indicating education background/professional qualifications, all past experience, as well as the contact; details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment;
  • Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs. 

Evaluation criteria :

Applications will be estimated on base of the following methodology:

Cumulative analysis: the contract will be given to the consultant whose offer will have been estimated and confirmed as:

In adequacy with the terms of reference of the mission;

  • Having obtained the highest score in the technical evaluation exceeding 70%;
  • level-headedness: · Award a diploma to 10 %;
  • Number of years of relevant experience 10 %;
  • similar References (a minimum of 3) 20 %;
  • Understanding of the TdRs and the relevance of the methodological subjected note 45%;
  • · Schedule:
  • adequacy of the calendar of implementation of the consultation 15%.

Duration of the mission:

  • the duration of the mission is of 6 months (40 working days: home-based (25 days), Bangui-based (15 days – 2 missions; Mission 1 of 10 days and Mission 2 of 5 days)

The women applicants are deeply encouraged to apply.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.