Position: Climate Risk Insurance Expert
Duration and type of contract: 1 to 11 months
Location: based on needs of specific assignment (WFP HQ, regional and country-specific support)
Application deadline: 15 th September 2023
Duration and Resources: These roster terms of reference will cover the period of two years
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE OF THE ASSIGNMENT:
For a decade, WFP has been utilizing climate risk insurance tools to advance the protection and resilience of communities affected by extreme climate events. More recently, it has become a priority to integrate these tools into a broader bundle of climate and disaster risk financing instruments that are accessible for governments and smallholders in climate risk hot-spots. Work has developed around two major areas: Microinsurance as part of an integrated risk management approach embodied by the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative; and macro/sovereign insurance through the Africa Risk Capacity (ARC) Replica initiative, but also with other sovereign risk pools.
The R4 Rural Resilience Initiative (R4) was launched in 2011 to empower farmers and food insecure rural households with a set of integrated risk management tools, including Risk Transfer (e.g. drought insurance), Risk Reduction (e.g. adoption of adaptation measures), prudent Risk Taking (e.g. access to credit for productive investments) and Risk Retention (e.g. savings schemes). This way, R4 aims to develop long-term resilience to the growing challenges of food insecurity and climate change, integrating risk management approaches with WFP core programs and national social protection systems. R4 is currently active in 15 countries and keeps expanding (to 5 more this year) and scaling up. In 2022, R4 contributed to insuring close to 400,000 households (2,000,000 beneficiaries).
On the macro insurance side, WFP is purchasing drought risk insurance through the ARC Replica programme in Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Sudan the Gambia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, against drought and tropical cyclones. WFP is also working with governments in the Caribbean and Central America to top up their macro insurance policies and strengthen their shock responsive social protection systems. In 2022, this has enabled protection of over 1.8 million people from potentially catastrophic climate risks. In 2022, 3 payouts were triggered, for about 15 m USD, which allowed WF to provide early assistance to around 0.5 million people in the Sahel. In the space of sovereign insurance, WFP supports Governments in index customization, choice of risk transfer parameters and the design of more rapid and effective mechanisms to deliver public action. Complementary to these efforts, WFP supports governments in designing and implementing more robust disaster risk financing systems. This requires action in terms of capacity building of National stake holders ,as well as staff in WFP country offices.
As part of its overall risk financing strategy, which involves micro and macro-level insurance approaches, WFP is also developing risk retention (savings and financial inclusion) capabilities with the objective of helping people and governments to absorb the risks that occur more frequently and with lower severity, and that are not covered by insurance mechanisms. Greater integration between risk transfer and risk retention approaches is envisaged to improve the performance of the programme and set up a more coherent financial protection system.
As WFP is quickly expanding its work in climate risk insurance, and more broadly in climate disaster risk financing, country offices and regional bureau do not always have the internal capacities and expertise to implement their activities at the expected quality standard. The Consultant will provide flexible support to country offices, regional bureaux and HQ, based on specific TORs for each mission.
- Depending on the specific TORs for the mission, the consultant will be expected to work on some of the following topics, either on inclusive or microinsurance, meso or macro insurance, and financial inclusion. It is not expected that the consultant has expertise in all of these topics.
- Strategic level : Provide technical support to Country Offices (COs) and Regional Bureaux (RBx) to develop and implement microinsurance activities, and integrate them into WFP country strategies and program activities. The climate risk insurance expert will have to contextualize insurance and financial inclusion (savings & credit in particular) approaches and ensure that it is well included in Country Strategy Plans. She/he will provide direct technical support to regional advisors, provide on-demand support to CO focal points, and advise on the application of best practices. In doing so, the Climate Risk Insurance expert will work closely with Programes Officers from the HQ-based risk transfer team to provide structured and coordinated support.
- Technical expertise : The Climate Risk Insurance Expert will provide support to WFP COs and governments on product design or customization and expansion; support the development of national capacities for index insurance design; help with testing and the scaling up of alternative insurance distribution channels; support insurance companies to put in place a standardized and comprehensive process to deal with basis risk; support the capacity building process regarding index design, and support the design of a sustainable business model. If the candidate possesses cat modelling or actuarial calculation skills, they may be drawn on to conduct research and design work on insurance and other financial products that WFP may purchase to support beneficiaries impacted by climate risks and protect its own operations.
- Inclusive / Microinsurance : Support the development of R4 in new countries. This includes: providing technical input to proposals and programming activities; conducting feasibility studies or inception assessments; building partnerships with relevant institutions; providing technical support during the implementation of pilot projects. More specifically, the consultant will support the design and implementation of sustainability strategies with insurance companies, and delivery channels, or support the digitization of the different processes. She /He will be expected to develop specific tools and methodologies….
- Macro insurance : Support COs and governments in the index customization process, the analysis of the risk transfer parameter and any other technical aspect of the macro insurance system. This support can include capacity building and training activities. Contribute to the design of the CDRFI strategy at global, regional or local level.
- Financial inclusion / savings :
- i . Support the design of saving (risk reletion) and credit strategies, provide expertise on the implementation and development of Village Saving & Loans methodology (or similar) and on how to facilitate complementarity with, and eventually transition to, more formal savings systems. Saving is essential in the context of R4 both in term of risk management, but also in terms of investment tool and capacity to afford the premium
- Knowledge Management : Document processes and results from ongoing insurance activities in specific countries and develop knowledge management materials, including training modules and guidelines, for the use of different financial products to protect against climate risks at micro and macro levels.
- The consultant will work on basis of TORs for each mission agreed with the CO or the RB and HQ.
DELIVERABLES AT THE END OF THE CONTRACT:
Each mission will include TORs and specific deliverables, as well as number of days dedicated to the mission, and potential time in country.
QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:
Education: A degree in an area related to Economics, Insurance and/or Finance is mandatory
Experience: To be considered for inclusion in the roster, applicants must indicate whether applying for a consultant level I (3 to 5 years), consultant level II (6-10 years’ experience) or consultant level III (12+ years’ specialized expertise) position. Applicants should also indicate whether they are available for short or long-term assignments (or both) and location.
A minimum work experience in the climate risk insurance space, inclusive or microinsurance, meso or macro insurance or disaster risk financing sector.
- Specific knowledge of agricultural and climate insurance initiatives in developing countries, at both micro- and macro-level;
- Experience of microfinance and savings systems would be an advantage;
- Demonstrated field experience desirable in distribution, operations and management of risk financing solutions or microfinance, including awareness raising and training and capacity strengthening;
- Experience in supporting country level planning and project development processes. Experience with broader food security analysis, policy, disaster risk reduction or related area will be an asset;
- Experience in farmers organizations and cooperatives management and development;
- Demonstrated in agricultural value chains development and support.
Knowledge & Skills:
- Demonstrated ability to present information and ideas and to communicate technical content effectively to non-technical audiences;
- Ability to conduct effective meetings, listen to others and engage in dialogue;
- Demonstrated experience working in developing countries, with a special focus on risk financing solutions;
- Strong interpersonal and coordination skills, ability to work in a team and to communicate clearly and diplomatically with a wide range of stakeholders from diverse backgrounds
- Demonstrated data collection and analytical writing skills;
- Experience in establishing contacts and liaising with partner organizations;
- Ability to take initiative and work independently while in a team;
- Ability to work under pressure and stressful situations;
- Proficiency in Windows, MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook);
- Knowledge of WFP or UN procedures is a plus.
- Fluency in English and at least one other UN language (French, Spanish, Portuguese are particularly useful).
Ref: VA 156581