UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources to reduce poverty and support local economic development. UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels:
- Inclusive digital economies, connecting individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives;
- Local development finance, that capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and
- Investment finance, that provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization.
SMEs play an important role in Zambia’s economy, contributing significantly to GDP, employment, and the private sector. Despite their important role, SMEs face challenges in operating and growing their businesses. SMEs therefore are an important target group for UNCDF’s activities. UNCDF is setting up a loan guarantee and technical assistance facility in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Embassy of Sweden in Zambia. The objectives of the facility are;
- To scale up SME financing significantly and on a sustainable basis in Zambia. This includes financing for SMEs in sectors such as digital-first enterprises, renewable energy, agriculture, water and sanitation, women-owned enterprises, eco-tourism, and nature conservation.
- Improve the capacity of commercial banks to better serve SMEs, particularly through digital approaches.
- Support SMEs to run their businesses better and more efficiently using digital tools.
- Support the SME ecosystem in Zambia, including policy makers and regulators, in improving the operating and financing environment for small businesses.
The Loan Guarantees Risk Management Specialist will work under the direct supervision of the Guarantees and Investments Expert in Zambia.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Loan Guarantees Risk Management Specialist will be responsible for identifying, measuring, controlling, and reporting on all risks related to the loan guarantee facility. S/he will work closely with UNCDF’s Least Developed Countries Investment Practice (LDCIP) team based in UNCDF’s head office in implementing the risk management activities.
The scope of work covers the following specific areas:
Develop guarantee risk management policies, procedures, and processes.
- Work closely with the UNCDF country and head office teams to design risk management policies, procedures, and processes for the loan guarantee facility;
- Working with the country and head office teams, develop tools and dashboards to be used for risk management.
- Participate actively in the due diligence and onboarding process of financial institutions;
- Working together with internal teams, review guarantee applications (individual and/or portfolio) to ensure viability and compliance with internal guidelines;
- Ensure that loans placed under the guarantee facility comply with the eligibility criteria and UNCDF internal guidelines.
Guarantee portfolio credit risk management.
- Perform periodic risk analysis of guaranteed portfolio reports submitted by / received from financial institutions;
- Perform independent post-disbursement checks to ensure that loans placed under the guarantee comply with the agreed eligibility criteria and recommend remedial measures in cases of non-compliance.
Management of the guarantee claims payment and refund process.
- Manage the guarantee claim analysis, approval, and payment process, including recommendation on whether to approve or reject the guarantee claim, in close collaboration with the country and head office teams;
- Monitor claim refunds from financial institutions, including periodic audits, to ensure claim refunds reporting and payment is implemented appropriately;
- Prepare accurate and timely claim and claim refund reports for various stakeholders;
- Perform regular and delinquency guarantee audits to monitor non-performing loans and manage and mitigate credit risk.
- Work closely with country and head office teams in design and implementation of technical assistance / capacity building programmes for financial institutions.
Reporting and stakeholder management
- Prepare timely, accurate, and complete reports for internal and external stakeholders;
- Liaise with internal and external stakeholders in assessing and providing independent assurance of the adequacy, appropriateness and effectiveness of the loan guarantee risk management activities.
- Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impac.
- Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop innovative ideas to solve complex problem.
- Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences.
- Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demand.
- Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results.
- Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration.
- Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity.
Cross-Functional & Technical competencies
Business Direction & Strategy
- Strategic Thinking:
- Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNCDF’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks, and opportunities, linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions.
- Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight to model what future developments and ways forward look like for UNCDF.
- Effective decision making
- Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise, and resources.
- Knowledge generation
- Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need.
- Portfolio management
- Ability to select, priorities and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.
- Risk Management
- Ability to identify and organize action around mitigating and proactively managing risks.
- Ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and unambiguous manner through both written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s degree in Economics, Finance, Public/Business Administration, or a related discipline.
- Bachelor’s degree in relevant fields with additional 2 years of relevant experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the Master’s degree.
- Minimum of 7 years (Master’s degree) or 9 years (Bachelor’s degree) of progressive relevant professional in financial services particularly in the areas of risk management, internal audit, strategic planning, and governance frameworks.
- Ability to exercise and perform oversight functions over governance, risk, compliance, and control arrangements in a complex financial guarantee’s operation;
- Proven ability to evaluate several risk types, particularly credit risk. Knowledge and understanding of risk control arrangements;
- Knowledge of the regulatory environment for financial institutions in Zambia is key.
- A self-starter with strong internal motivation, able to set up systems and procedures in a ‘start up’ environment;
- Commercially astute: A high degree of business acumen, entrepreneurial spirit and willing to grow the loan guarantee activities;
- Flexibility: readily adapts to change, new products, systems, methods, and products;
- Demonstrated ability to meet aggressive deadlines per business demands, and ability to change work schedule to accommodate competing priorities.
- Fluency in English, with excellent writing, verbal communication, and presentation skills.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
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