Innovative Finance Consultant, Home-based At UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Protection Officer (RSD) at UN High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a Innovative Finance Consultancy – Home-based Individual consultant within the Private Partnerships & Philanthropy Section of UNHCR’s Private Sector Partnership Service (PSP).

The successful candidate will work within the Private Partnerships & Philanthropy Section (PPH) within the Private Sector Partnerships Service (PSP).

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

  • Title: Innovative Finance Consultant
  • Duty Station: Home-based
  • Duration: 15 December – 31 December 2021 (with possibility of extension over 2022[1])
  • Contract Type: Individual Consultant
  • Closing date: 7 December 2021, 23:59 CET
  • Start date: 15 December 2021 or as soon as possible

Organizational context

UNHCR’s Private Sector Partnership Service (PSP) supports the Agency’s global collaboration with the private sector through 30 operations in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Africa and the Middle East and Gulf region. The Partnerships & Philanthropy Section (PPH) within (PSP) is responsible for engaging with corporations, foundations and private philanthropists. The PPH Section works to establish long-term private partnerships and strengthen existing relations to fund the immediate and long-term goals of UNHCR.

Background on innovative finance at UNHCR:

UNHCR consistently operates with budgets well below the actual needs to realize its protection and solutions mandate. The organization currently has an undiversified resource mobilization framework, in which five government sources provide almost three-quarters of UNHCR funding. In order to diversify funding streams, UNHCR has recently decided to pursue innovative financing methods as a strategic institutional priority, in order to generate funding, bring UNHCR into alignment with the broader humanitarian community, and reinforce a development approach to forced displacement.

“Innovative finance”, “new financing modalities”, or “alternative financing” are terms used to describe a range of non-traditional “innovative” mechanisms aimed at raising additional capital through activities, such as impact investments, venture philanthropy, micro-contributions, taxes, public-private partnerships and market-based financial transactions.

  • There are more than enough funds available in the global capital markets and such resources could be leveraged to support refugees if financial products are set up to convince investors, and financial actors at large, that there is a good business case in investing in refugees. For UNHCR, the work on innovative finance will have two objectives: 1) improving UNHCR’s financial and cash flow situation, and 2) catalysing support for refugees and refugee-hosting countries.

The position

UNHCR is seeking a consultant who will be working as part of the Private Partnerships and Philanthropy Section. Under the supervision of the Senior Innovative Finance Officer, who has overall oversight of innovative financing projects, the consultant will mainly be responsible for developing and implementing new financing modalities. This will be done in close collaboration with relevant internal units, within and outside PSP, such as DFAM (Division of Financial and Administrative Management), Legal Affairs Service (LAS), Donor Relations and Resource Mobilization Service (DRRM) and Division of Resilience and Solutions (DRS), as well as relevant field-based colleagues and technical staff.

This work will also include the development of alliances with key external stakeholders, including international organizations, international financial institutions, donor governments, refugee-hosting governments, as well as potential private sector investors.


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Duties and responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of the Senior Innovative Finance Officer, the consultant will perform the following responsibilities:

  • Investigate and develop innovative finance mechanisms from idea stage to implementation, including (but not limited to):
  • Examining feasibility of ideas through analysis and research
  • Engaging with DFAM, LAS, DRRM, DRS, and other technical and field-based colleagues to co-design each innovative finance mechanism
  • Evaluating and/or crystallizing the business case involved in potential mechanisms
  • Conducting partnership conversations with donors and private sector
  • Writing business plans
  • Conducting financial modelling
  • Serving as project manager for deal development and execution
  • Develop recommendations on whether potential deals are worth pursuing to Senior Innovative Finance Officer (Head of Unit) and other senior managers/leaders of UNHCR
  • Help with regular ongoing engagement with all key external partners in the UN and NGO community, multilateral development banks (MDBs), and within the government donor community
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the supervisor

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The ideal candidate will possess the qualification and experiences listed below:

  • Basic university degree in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration, or other related field combined with relevant work experience of at least 4 years, or at least 2 years with a Master’s degree;
  • Professional experience as a business development or finance expert in an auditor/consulting firm, social enterprise, or the private sector, with some experience with humanitarian/development issues preferred;
  • Excellent business analysis / business case development ability, including demonstrated experience doing business case development in development, humanitarian, or social enterprise settings;
  • Excellent financial modelling skills, including being able to independently construct an income and cash flow model and run financial sensitivities; accounting & finance background a plus;
  • Demonstrated experience in project coordination and management, in particular, in managing complex, multi-stakeholder, and fast-moving projects which are cross-disciplinary and require a certain degree of expert knowledge;
  • Fluency in English, knowledge of a second UN language would be desirable.


This position is home-based.


Under this contract the Individual Consultant is expected to work a maximum of 12 days within the assigned period and not more than 51 days in total if carried over 2022. Upon completion of project and receipt of invoice, payment will be issued for the actual hours worked.

[1] With possibility of extension based on satisfactory performance and budget availability.

How to apply

To learn more and apply, please visit

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Closing date: 7 December 2021 at 23:59 CET

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