The African Risk Capacity (ARC) is a Specialized Agency of the African Union (AU) designed to improve current responses by AU Member States to drought-induced food security emergencies. The aim of ARC is to improve the timeliness of responses and build capacity within AU Member States to manage drought risks by directly linking funds to defined contingency plans. ARC is an African, continental index-based weather risk insurance pool and early response mechanism, which offers an African solution to one of the continent's most pressing challenges. By bringing together the concepts of insurance and contingency planning, ARC aims to create a new way of managing weather risk by transferring the burden away from African governments and the vulnerable population relying on government assistance to international markets that can handle the risk much better. ARC also aims to incentivize governments to plan for and implement best-practice response mechanisms for food security emergencies in a timely manner. ARC’s mission is to serve African governments and their communities in reducing the financial impact of natural catastrophes by providing immediate liquidity through the provision of insurance issued by the ARC Ltd.
As ARC prepares to scale up its activities and institutionalize the work of ARC Agency, it requires the services of a Lead Country Engagement Consultant to lead, coordinate, and manage country engagement work for East and Southern Africa. This person shall oversee the development and implementation of the strategy for the overall Country Engagement in East and Southern Africa. Specifically, the Lead Country Engagement Consultant for East and Southern Africa will make sure that the Country Engagement Managers who report to him/her have ensured successful in-country customisation of Africa RiskView, ARC's weather risk quantification software, and development of ARC contingency plans for countries in support of their applications for Certificates of Good Standing. The Lead Consultant will take the primary responsibility in helping countries understand ARC’s risk transfer. In addition to supervising Country Engagement Managers in seamlessly bringing together these three ARC work streams, the Lead Country Engagement Consultant for East and Southern Africa will also support governments in integrating ARC and general risk management principles.
Working under the direction of the ARC Programmes Coordinator, the specific duties and responsibilities of the Lead Country Engagement Consultant for East and Southern Africa will include:
In-Country Capacity Building
- Lead and guide the Country Engagement Managers (CEMs) in the implementation of the ARC in-country capacity building programme, ensuring all milestones and deliverables with respect to risk pool participation requirements for countries are achieved by the ARC Secretariat
- Work closely with ARC Ltd on the contract finalisation and premium payment issues
External Relations and Political Advocacy
- Lead the advocacy and the political ownership component of the capacity building programme for the region, ensuring that there is adequate buy-in for countries to join the pool
- Support and guide ARC current and prospective countries in accessing premium financing from relevant financial partners
- Interface with partner agencies, governments, NGOs, donor partners, and leading institutions in climate change and disaster risk management at the country and regional level, and guide the Policy and Technical services unit in fostering partnerships with relevant institutions
- Provide a strategic view across programme components and make linkages between them and the greater risk management and food security context in which ARC is operating
- Provide expert advice to ARC’s senior management on strategic advocacy in relevant forums
- Travel regularly all over East and Southern Africa to support CEMs in their ARC activities
- Coordinate and manage the development of country-level budgets and monitor fund consumption
- Ensure that any anticipated financial challenges are reported in a timely manner
- Liaise with the Programme Coordinator on implementation of any programming changes that might be necessary.
- Ensure the development of relevant Country Strategy Notes for all countries in East and Southern Africa
- Ensure coordination and continued information flow between management and government services team and that the strategic objectives of the ARC Agency are clearly communicated to all staff members under supervision
- Guide and support Country Engagement Managers in managing relationships for the Secretariat with ARC Member States
- Lead and coordinate regular work planning and reporting for East and Southern African Country Engagement team
- Effective preparation of countries that wish to participate in the insurance pool, including finalised and validated Africa RiskView Customisation Reports, Risk Transfer Parameters and ARC Operations Plans
- Annual and quarterly work planning and reporting on the in-country capacity building programme for participating and prospective ARC Ltd member countries
- Availability for ongoing support to the Chief Operating Officer and senior ARC staff
- Advanced University degree (or Master’s equivalent) from an accredited academic institution in International Development, Development, Economics, Rural Development, Business Administration, or any other related field to international development assistance.
- At least twelve (12) years of progressively responsible professional experience, preferably both in the field and Headquarters, in public sector management, financial risk management, development projects, emergency assistance, or in any other related field
- Progressively responsible supervisory / team leader experience is required
- Experience in working with statistical analysis is required
- Extensive international experience in Africa, in particular in the East and Southern Africa, is required
- Experience in dealing with African governments in the East and Southern Africa Region is required
- Availability to undertake frequent travel
- Senior expert in country programme engagement with a good understanding of the international humanitarian aid, donor and development communities, with focus on the East and Southern Africa
- Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective partnerships
- Strong analytical skills in order to identify systemic issues, both programmatic and operational, and develop viable solutions
- 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 backgrounds
- Ability to prioritize multiple tasks under tight deadlines in a timely manner within a dynamic environment
- Some knowledge and experience of food security planning and emergency response in Africa is an asset
- Understanding of and skills in applying best management / supervisory practices, including coaching and mentoring staff
- Ability to represent ARC as an advocate and reliable partner
Interested applicants should send their CV and cover letter to Lucy Nyirenda.
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