Climate Insurance & Financial Inclusion Specialist (Consultant)

WFP - World Food Programme

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Application deadline in 16 days: Thursday 14 Oct 2021 at 23:59 UTC

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WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance.


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes. Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.



A degree in an area related to Economics, Insurance and/or Finance is mandatory


• A minimum work experience of 6 years in the climate insurance, microinsurance 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

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

• Demonstrated data collection and analytical writing skills.

• Experience in establishing contacts and liaising with partner organisations.

• Ability to take initiative and work independantly while in a team;

• Knowledge of WFP procedures is a plus


• Fluency in English and at least one other UN language.


For a decade, WFP has been utilizing risk transfer 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 risk financing instruments that are accessible for governments and smallholders in climate risk hot-spots. Work has developed around two major areas: Micro insurance 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.

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. natural, physical and social assets for improved resource management), 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 Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, and Nicaragua and has initiated expansion to new countries including Haiti and Honduras. In 2020, R4 contributed to insuring close to 180,000 households (900,000 beneficiaries). Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, R4 managed a significant scale up as well as expansion to new regions and introduced new types of products. Complementary to establishing new R4 initiatives, WFP is providing technical assistance to governments and local insurers to develop, improve and scale up existing insurance programmes.

On the macro insurance side, WFP is purchasing drought risk insurance through the ARC Replica programme in Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, the Gambia and Zimbabwe. In 2020, this has enabled protection of over 1.2 million people from potentially catastrophic climate risks. In 2021, WFP is expanding its macro insurance portfolio to Mozambique and Madagascar, and transferring experience with sovereign insurance mechanisms from Africa to other world regions, including the Caribbean. 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 stakeholders, 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 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 programmes and set up a more coherent financial protection system.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

  • 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 Insurance Specialist will have to contextualize insurance and financial inclusion (savings & credit in particular) approaches and ensure that it is well included in CSPs (Country Strategy Plan). As COs and RBx are hiring insurance & financial inclusion advisors, the insurance & financial inclusion specialist 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 Insurance & Financial Inclusion Specialist will work closely with Programme Officers from the HQ-based risk transfer team to provide structured and coordinated support.

  • The Climate Insurance & Financial Inclusion Specialist will provide support to WFP COs and governments on product design 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.

  • 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. Develop strategies to progressively embed these functions in RBx and COs.

  • 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

  • Facilitate the connection of insurance (at micro & macro levels) with social protection systems and safety nets to help scale up shock responsive social protection systems.

  • Support the development, improvement and integration of financial inclusion activities with WFP-supported insurance programs. In particular, update the guidance and training on saving & loans groups, and articulate their relation with risk financing

  • Provide support to the implementation of the ARC Replica Plus program and other potential meso and macro schemes regarding technicalities of insurance. Specifically, focus on providing technical support to CO staff and Government officials regarding interaction & negotiation with the insurance provider, support index customization, and analyze risk transfer parameters. Provide training to country teams and, if requested, to technical working group members.

  • Inform the discussion on the contribution of ARC, ARC Replica, and other disaster risk financing instruments to national and international disaster risk management strategies. This may include the identification and design of new financial instruments that can complement the macro insurance policies purchased by WFP and its host governments.

  • Participate in, and contribute to, global events and platforms on climate risk financing and insurance, and liaise with national and international working groups, networks, multilateral frameworks and institutions in consultation with PRO-C management. A specific focus will be on the Microinsurance Network (MIN), the InsuResilience Global Partnership, and the Insurance Development Forum (IDF).

  • Support Monitoring and Evaluation of insurance activities, in particular the monitoring of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of insurance programs by WFP or local partners (insurance companies)


1. At least 8 countries in 3 regions have received specialized technical support, either through direct implementation or technical assistance, as previously defined with each CO and RB

2. At least 6 countries have an efficient climate risk insurance product available and ready to be distributed.

3. A training module on implementing microinsurance and savings groups has been developed

4. For the 2021/22 season, a critical mass of R4 participants are also enrolled in savings activities.

5. At least 4 countries are implementing an integrated climate risk financing strategy, combining savings, insurance and/or public sector contingency financing

6. For the 2021/22 season, at least 6 countries are implementing Replica macroinsurance solutions (mostly in Africa), based on technical notes to support the policy subscription decision by WFP for each country.

7. For the 2022/23 season, a sub-insurance risk layer is designed and tested in at least one country as part of ARC Replica Plus.

8. The scale up, graduation, integration, sustainability plans for 2021/22 season and beyond are prepared and approved by at least 3 countries.

9. The handover plans to insurance companies are being approved in at least 3 countries

10. At least 2 new feasibility or inception assessment studies for risk transfer instruments are undertaken


14th October, 2021


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.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

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