Municipality Advisor

Chemonics

Pretoria, South Africa

Background

The USAID Empower Southern Africa (ESA) Project is a $85 million, five-year activity aimed at increasing the availability of and access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy in Southern Africa in order to reach measurable outcomes.

The activity will support the accelerated connection of more Southern Africa homes, businesses, and institutions to reliable electricity and increase its productive use, ESA will contribute to the following three objectives:

  • Objective 1 – Ending Energy Poverty
  • Objective 2 – Accelerate a Carbon Free Future
  • Objective 3 – Bolstering Energy Sector Investment and Innovation

The ESA program aims to provide support and strengthen capacity of key energy role players in South Africa through the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JET-P) buy-in. This will be achieved by accelerating the completion of clean energy projects, strengthening transmission grid, and increasing investment in and performance of distribution grid. In South Africa, the vision and objectives of the JET-P are to establish an ambitious long-term partnership to support South Africa’s pathway to low emissions and climate resilient development, to accelerate the just transition and the decarbonization of the electricity system, and to develop new economic opportunities such as green hydrogen and electric vehicles amongst other interventions to support South Africa’s shift towards a low carbon future.

Clean energy generation underpins the transition and will strengthen energy security in South Africa. ESA will provide combined support for both on-grid and beyond-the-grid efforts. This combined on- and beyond-the-grid approach will optimize USAID resources to provide targeted advisory services, catalytic grants, and investment mobilization more effectively to a range of energy sector institutions including government ministries, utilities, regulators, private sector energy companies and their trade groups, investors, multilateral organizations and initiatives, academic institutions and/or civil society. ESA’s JET-P workstream may seek to advance activities in South Africa through some of the following opportunities:

  • Identify and assess opportunities to facilitate renewable energy projects to increase new energy generation using clean energy technologies;
  • Forge partnerships with South African energy players to address electrification backlog;
  • Evaluate collaboration opportunities with the USG Interagency and other donors;
  • Design and potentially fund conditional grant vehicles in collaboration with various;
  • Utilize existing partnerships to promote the intergovernmental relations by demonstrating effectiveness of working in coordinated manner to catalyzing investment in various spheres of government.

PURPOSE OF ASSIGNMENT

ESA seeks a full-time advisor to municipality activities under the JET-P buy-in scope. The advisor will be responsible for work to increase investment in and performance the South Africa JET-P workplan, catalyze investment in Municipality distribution infrastructure, coordinate an outcomes-based approach to with government and international stakeholders, and ensure continuation of existing activities.

PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The South Africa Municipality Advisor is expected to undertake the following specific activities:

  • Municipality Coordination:
    • Establish and/or advance relationships with key staff in the Municipalities across South Africa;
    • Understand details of energy activities undertaken by Municipalities in South Africa;
    • Serve as the focal point for ESA on all its Municipality Activities;
    • Ensure that coordination with other stakeholders is prioritized and intentional;
    • Participate in technical working group and other Municipality meetings on behalf of USG in coordination with USAID and USG counterparts;
    • Ensure all Municipality activities undertaken by the USG are well documented, understood and coordinated with other donors.
  • USG & IPG+ Coordination:
    • Provide a streamlined “one stop shop” for USG, International Partners Group (IPG) and IPG+ members (e.g., donors) on Municipality activities and coordination;
    • Work with USG partners to understand USG interagency funding and activities committed to the Municipalities;
    • Participate in regular update meetings with USG interagency and IPG+ to share status of ESA Municipality activities, and coordinate on activities of similar scope (Municipal support, Distribution, Private Sector project development, etc.);
    • Develop understanding of USG activities, as well as IPG+ and other donor Municipality activities, to help coordinate support at a technical level between all partners at an early-stage of new activity planning.
  • Activity Development and Management:
    • Review existing ongoing and proposed Municipality activities and documents related to JET-P workplan development and JET-P activity monitoring;
    • Support selection and finalization of Municipality activities for the ESA JET-P workplan/action plan, including milestones for annual workplans;
    • Review Municipality regulatory environment and propose adjustment to improve the enabling environment;
    • Develop working relationships with Government Counterparts, Public Utilities, municipalities, Independent Power Producers, USG, international donors, and Private Sector actors.
  • Private Sector Engagement:
    • Support JET-P lead in capturing private sector engagements in PATT related to South Africa’s Municipality activities; maintain internal tracking of potential partners;
    • Include Private Sector activities related to Municipalities in ESA updates/deliverables;
    • Coordinate private sector engagements in Municipalities with USG counterparts (particularly Power Africa/DFC/USTDA/Commerce).
  • Other duties as assigned by the South Africa’s ESA JET-P Technical Lead, Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party-Technical, and/or their designee).

QUALIFICATIONS

The candidate for this assignment should have:

  • An advanced degree in Communication, Energy Studies, Engineering, Public Policy, International Development, Sustainable Development, Law, or another relevant field, masters preferred;
  • At least 5 years of work experience on energy sector development or power sector programs;
  • Demonstrated experience/understanding on South Africa’s Just Energy Transition activities;
  • Experience planning or coordinating energy transition and renewable energy activities;
  • Proven experience managing coordination with USG, national, and international stakeholders, with prior experience in USAID/Power Africa or international donor-funded programs strongly preferred;
  • Experience collaborating with South African Government Agencies, Public Utilities, Independent Power Producers, and other Private Sector stakeholders acting in the Just Energy Transition space is preferred as well;
  • Demonstrated leadership, versatility and integrity;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.

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