ARC - Consultant Technical Partnership Focal Point
The African Risk Capacity (ARC) was established as a Specialized Agency of the African Union (AU) in November 2012 to help Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and disasters and to assist food insecure populations. Operating under the privileges and immunities of the AU, the ARC Agency, through its Secretariat, provides Member States with capacity building services for early warning, contingency planning and risk finance. To date 32 countries are signatory to the ARC Establishment Agreement.
In late 2013 the Agency established its first financial affiliate, the ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd). ARC Ltd is a specialist hybrid mutual insurance company that issues policies to governments, and which aggregates and transfers risk to the international market. ARC, through ARC Ltd. and after its capacity building activities, provides financing in the form of insurance to African governments to execute pre-approved contingency plans in the event of severe disasters. In order for a country to purchase an insurance policy through ARC Ltd. and thus become a member of the Company, the country must demonstrate through a peer review process its ability to effectively use potential payouts.
As part of a mainstreaming of its operational procedures and in-country work programme, the ARC Secretariat supports in-country technical working groups on several technical and political work-streams as they progress towards building the necessary national risk management capacities as well as to make informed decisions regarding participating in the ARC Ltd insurance pool. In this context, ARC Ltd uses the satellite weather surveillance software Africa RiskView, developed together with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), to estimate needs and trigger insurance payouts to those countries affected by poor weather. By allowing Member States to capitalise on the natural diversification of weather risk across the continent, premiums are significantly more affordable than they would be for countries approaching the market alone.
In May 2014, with initial capital provided by the Governments of Germany and the United Kingdom, ARC Ltd launched its first drought insurance pool. 8 countries have actively participated in the pool and paid premium to transfer a portion of their risk. The company has also made payouts of over USD $36 million to member countries affected by drought. This has gone toward implementing pre-approved contingency plans which have been used to deliver assistance to over 2 million people and 1 million livestock.
Additional countries are working with ARC to join future pools with the target to increase insurance coverage across the continent and extend product offerings beyond drought to also include flood and tropical cyclone coverage.
As ARC scales up its activities to reach new client countries, it is seeking a qualified candidate to fill the position of Technical Partnership Focal Point.
Based in the Johannesburg ARC Agency office and working under the direction of the Director of Research & Development, the contract will be for a consultancy for an initial period of 11 months.
The Technical Partnership focal point will be responsible for supporting (i) the improvement of the Africa RiskView software in estimating the impact of weather and other shocks on the food security of vulnerable populations in Africa, (ii) leading the working-level interaction with national, regional and continental early warning institutions and technical partners as assigned by the Director and (iii) leading the writing and dissemination of Africa RiskViewtechnical publications and bulletins. This will be centered on ensuring the Technical Team outputs and the Africa RiskView software align with and improve on other early warning sources and supports ARC’s engagement with national, regional and continental early warning and technical institutions.
Specific duties and responsibilities will include:
Research and Technical Analysis:
- Understanding the Africa RiskView software and its underlying methodology;
- Research and review WFP and other institutions working in the space of drought modelling and weather hazards insurance work, data, as well as news pieces, in-country VAC reports to identify and evaluate different drought impact models and classifications to determine potential collaborations for ARC;
- Liaise with national and regional early warning institutions and other experts to help ensure drought risk is faithfully replicated by the Africa RiskView software; explore potential causes of the discrepancies and suggest required improvements;
- Produce policy briefs and research and development pieces on Africa RiskView;
- Contribute to the development of Africa RiskView and its new products (e.g. flood, cyclone) and support the testing of new Africa RiskViewreleases.
- Lead the interaction with technical counterparts for ARC as assigned by the Director;
- Cultivate and actively manage partnerships with national and regional early warning institutions and other experts to help build understanding and awareness of Africa RiskView towards mainstreaming of its use amongst technical partners across the continent and towards building on best practices;
- Lead the working-level interactions between the ARC and WFP Emergency Preparedness and VAM teams to develop and establish an information exchange relationship on the drought and other natural hazards events as necessary;
- Draft concept notes for technical collaborations with different institutions performing work relevant to ARC (ACMAD, AGRHYMET, OCHA, ILRI etc);
- Be the ARC focal point for the working level interactions among partners in all research consortia ARC is part of;
- Be the focal point for drafting research project documents to submit to funders call for proposals.
Client Support/Teaching and Capacity Building:
- Support with training and data provision for technical reviews of Africa RiskView;
- Support the writing and development of Africa RiskView Research & Development pages on the ARC website and other knowledge and communication products.
General ARC Support:
- Support the ARC Director of R&D in reporting to donors and other ARC partners, as necessary;
- Represent the ARC Secretariat on field missions and conferences, as required;
- Perform other tasks as directed by Director of the Research & Development Department.
Qualifications & Experience Required
- Advanced University degree (Minimum Master’s degree) from an accredited academic institution in a quantitative subject i.e. Economics, Statistics, econometrics, agriculture, development Studies or similar relevant/related multidisciplinary field.
- At least three years of postgraduate progressively responsible professional experience in food security analysis or a closely related area, such as agricultural risk management or early warning;
- Working knowledge of statistics and mathematics;
- Expert user of Microsoft Excel, Access and SPSS would be an asset;
- Some experience in remote sensing and drought index interpretation and analysis would be an asset;
- Strong interpersonal, negotiation and diplomatic skills with the ability to establish effective working relations with people at all levels and of different national and cultural background;
- Ability to prioritize multiple tasks under tight deadlines in a timely manner in a dynamic environment; and
- Ability to represent ARC as a trusted and reliable partner.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and French, including the ability to present coherent and convincing analysis to various audiences, both internal and external to ARC.
- Fluent communication skills in another official language (Portuguese or Arabic) is considered an asset.
Terms and Conditions
WFP offers a competitive compensation package which will be determined by the contract type and selected candidate’s qualifications and experience.
Please visit the following websites for detailed information on working with WFP.
http://www.wfp.org Click on: “Our work” and “Countries” to learn more about WFP’s operations.
Deadline for applications: 19 June 2018
Ref.: VA 83840
Qualified female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply.
WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.
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