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Senior Adviser (Giga Financing and Market Shaping)

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Contract type: Temporary appointment

Level/grade: P5

Duration: 364 days

Application deadline: 5 February 2024, 11:55 pm CET

Link to apply via UNICEF Portal

Summary

The Senior Adviser (Giga Financing and Market Shaping) plays a pivotal role in guiding Giga’s programmatic activities, ensuring effective oversight, alignment and coordination. As a key team within the Office of Innovation (OoI), this role also involves close collaboration with other OoI teams, particularly those focused on education, to foster education-focused collaborations and enhance the initiative’s impact.

Under the guidance of the Senior Innovation Advisor (Giga), the Senior Adviser (Giga Financing and Market Shaping) will lead the strategic implementation of Giga’s global internet connectivity initiatives for schools. This role is pivotal in harmonizing Giga’s core areas—Financing, Connectivity Credits, and Procurement & Market Shaping—into a unified strategy. Furthermore, the Senior Adviser will liaise closely with cross-sectoral OoI teams, including Communications and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E), to ensure the initiative’s success through integrated efforts.

The Senior Adviser will supervise several key teams, each with distinct goals: Capital Fund, Connectivity Credits Marketplace, Market Influence & Procurement Centre, and Country Support. These teams collectively aim to innovate financial structures, reduce connectivity costs, and enable on-the-ground implementation in numerous countries, ensuring that Giga’s objectives are met efficiently and effectively.

Your main responsibilities will be…

Market Analysis and Structuring

  • Conduct thorough market analyses to understand the potential of new commodities like connectivity credits.
  • Work closely with financial, legal, and technical teams to structure the marketplace, ensuring a conducive environment for trading and redeeming connectivity credits.

Financial modeling

  • Utilize a strong financial background to develop frameworks that support the trading, valuation, and redemption of connectivity credits.
  • Explore and integrate decentralized finance (DeFi) and blockchain technologies to foster a robust and transparent marketplace.

Emerging Market Adaptation:

  • Apply emerging market expertise to tailor strategies that accommodate the diverse regulatory and market conditions across different countries.
  • Engage with in-country teams to understand the unique market dynamics and regulatory frameworks governing connectivity and digital commodities.

Stakeholder Engagement and Partnership Building:

Managerial leadership:

  • Ensure strategic alignment and coordination among the three major areas of Giga’s work: Financing, Connectivity Credits, and Procurement & Market Shaping.
  • Actively engage with other OoI teams, notably education-focused groups, to integrate their insights and collaborative efforts into Giga’s strategies.
  • Work closely with the Senior Innovation Advisor (Giga) to align these programmatic areas with the sections of Operations and Communications and the Barcelona Tech Centre.
  • Establish and uphold effective communication channels among the leads of these areas, ensuring synchronization with Giga’s overarching goals and objectives, as well as with broader OoI strategic initiatives.
  • Oversee the recruitment of specialists in Financing, Connectivity Credits, and Procurement & Market Shaping areas, ensuring a balanced skill set and expertise to achieve program objectives, ensuring the right mix of skills and expertise to drive Giga’s goals.

Programme development and planning

  • Formulate comprehensive strategic plans for Financing, Connectivity Credits, and Procurement & Market Shaping, setting clear objectives, timelines, and deliverables.
  • Manage the budget planning, allocation, and monitoring process within the three programmatic areas, ensuring efficient utilization of resources.
  • Prepare and submit regular progress reports to the Senior Innovation Advisor (Giga), highlighting achievements, challenges, and recommendations for moving forward.

Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

  • Monitor the execution of these strategic plans, ensuring timely achievement of outcomes and adapting strategies as necessary to respond to evolving challenges and opportunities. Leverage the expertise and insights from cross-sectoral OoI teams for a more robust and adaptive approach.
  • Develop and manage a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework to track and assess the progress and impact of Giga’s programmatic activities.
  • Promote a culture of continuous learning and continuous improvement within the teams, leveraging insights from M&E activities to refine and enhance program strategies.

Advisory services and technical support

  • Offer technical guidance and support to the leaders of Financing, Connectivity Credits, and Procurement & Market Shaping, leveraging expertise in open-source technology, startup projects, and organizational operations.
  • Ensure the integration of best practices in financial modeling, tech development, and procurement within these programmatic areas.

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

  • Represent Giga in discussions with external stakeholders, including donors, partners, and government representatives, enhancing Giga’s visibility and cultivating strategic partnerships.
  • Lead discussions and negotiations with potential investors and partners, aligning their contributions with Giga’s programmatic objectives.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Support the Human Resources/Human Engagement element of team management, cultivating a collaborative, inclusive work culture that values diversity and encourages professional growth.
  • Coordinate with legal and compliance teams to ensure all programmatic activities adhere to UNICEF, ITU, and other relevant regulations and standards.
To qualify for this position, you will have…
  • An Advanced degree in Business Administration, Finance, Economics, Technology, or related field.
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience at the national and international level in leading strategic programme management, financial engineering, tech startups, or related areas, preferably within both corporate and humanitarian/development sectors.
  • Proven experience in managing multi-disciplinary teams and driving programmatic initiatives to achieve set objectives.
  • Strong understanding of open-source technologies, blockchain, and other emerging tech platforms.
  • Experience in budget management, financial analysis, and reporting.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively within large organizations, navigating complex structures and processes to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to engage effectively with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, agile, and flexible environment, adapting strategies and operations as needed to achieve programme goals.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, with a proactive approach to identifying and addressing challenges.
  • Commitment to promoting a culture of respect, inclusivity, and team collaboration.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
About Our Team

We are a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary team of software engineers, finance specialists, data scientists, policy experts, and much more. Our team is a distributed workforce and plans to remain distributed into the foreseeable future. We are growing fast. Our team has grown by over 400% in the last 6 months as we rapidly scale to meet our stated mission.

About Giga

Giga is a joint initiative of UNICEF and ITU to connect every school in the world to the Internet by 2030. Working with corporate and non-profit partners, Giga maps schools’ Internet access in real time, creates models for innovative financing, and supports governments contracting for connectivity. It is part of ITU’s Partner2 Connect Coalition, UNICEF’s Reimagine Education initiative, and the UN Secretary General’s Common Agenda and Roadmap for Digital Cooperation 

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About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up. 

UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives. 

About ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations.