India requires a significant increase in funding to achieve the SDGs. According to UNCTAD the total requirement to achieve the 17 SDGs in India is $0.96 trillion. Based on historic spending, this translates to a gap of approximately $0.5 trillion representing around one quarter of India’s GDP.
The private sector is committed to funding social development and investing responsibly. The growing appetite for responsible investing is shared by investors across the ecosystem including supply-side funders such as equity investors and international institutions as well as government on the demand-side. However, despite this widespread interest, private sector investment at-scale in India is constrained by a lack of commercial instruments. While investors seek social investments (e.g., meeting ESG criteria), they must simultaneously meet risk and return requirements. To date, few products meet all three.
Middle income countries across the Asia-Pacific region, particularly India with 60+ active impact investment funds, exhibit a highly fragmented and disconnected approach to SDG Finance. Thus, SDG finance delivery is inefficient due to both a duplication of resources and lack of focus on priority goals. This results in multiple innovative instruments competing for the same pool of capital, higher transaction costs, lower success rates and a focus on splitting the pie rather than enhancing it.
Recognizing this need, UNDP is collaborating with leading stakeholders on a project, SDG Finance Facility (SFF or the ‘platform’), to incubate commercially viable SDG aligned innovative financial instruments that will catalyze financing towards improved social and developmental outcomes. Among others, the platform will work on:
- Municipal finance and SDG Bonds
- Guidelines for SDG Bonds in India
- Development/ Social Impact Bonds
- Alternative Pay for Success Mechanisms
- Public equities/ ETFs
On the ground in about 170 countries and territories, UNDP works to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. We help countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships and institutions so they can sustain their progress.
UNDP has worked in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development, from systems and institutional strengthening to inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods, as well as sustainable energy, environment and resilience. UNDP’s programmes continue to fully integrate a global vision for catalytic change with India’s national priorities. With over 30 projects on the ground in almost every state, today UNDP India works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by transforming traditional models to do development differently.
Objective / Results of Service:
The Consultant will be responsible for driving partnerships and developing a strategic roadmap for the platform. Housed under SFF, the role will report to the Advisor – Social Impact Investments, India/ South Asia.
Duties and Responsibilities
Partnerships development and resource mobilization
- Identify and engage with potential partners for the platform including private sector partners (core business and CSR), philanthropic institutions, family held funds/ offices, and Government departments.
- Develop custom proposals and ideation notes based on the specific alignment of potential funders.
Mapping and Landscape Assessment
- Using current available information to map, analyze and interpret current and future potential for innovative finance instruments – including identifying trends and areas of growth
- Develop and implement strategy for outreach accordingly
- Investor relations and catalyzing financing for incubated instruments
- Mapping landscape and identifying prospects who could invest in instruments being incubated including: SDG Bonds, Municipal Bonds, Public Equities and Impact Bonds
- Preparing investment pitches, concept notes, crystallizing the value proposition (social and financial) and engaging in strategic discussions
- Supporting UNDP with development of additional SDG Finance Initiatives
- SDG Finance Facility is a start-up within UNDP - lean and dynamic. The success of the Facility as a delivery platform for the wider UNDP/ UN system is key to creating value for partners and this will involve regular engagement with other teams/ agencies.
- Effective liaison between members of the platform – including donor partners, technical partners, government counterparts and other UNDP teams/ UN agencies
- Curate and coordinate various meetings, roadshows and workshops conducted by the platform
Instrument scoping and structuring
- Key part of the role involves leveraging past experience with innovative financial instruments to scope for market potential and viability as well as outline appropriate structures
- Carrying out basic due diligence, evaluating regulatory constraints (if any), market opportunities and determining overall financial and social attractiveness
- Identifying key risks and mitigation factors
- Providing in-depth strategic and analytical support
- Mapping of potential partner landscape – across private sector (core business and CSR), philanthropic organizations/ foundations, family offices, government and aid agencies.
- Developing a strategic roadmap for the SDG Finance Facility platform
- Coordinating the meetings and developing the presentations for the project steering committee meetings
- Coordinating the SDG Bond India consultations and other consultations as required.
- Assisting with the landscape studies and work underway on impact bonds and municipal bonds scoping exercises
- Engaging with potential partners in a strategic manner to catalyze financing/ resources for the SFF
- Sharing a brief monthly progress report
- Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity;
- Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
- Self-development, initiative-taking;
- Acting as a team player and facilitating team work;
- Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;
- Creating synergies through self-control;
- Managing conflict;
- Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others
- Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member;
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
- Functional Competencies
- Experience and familiarity with a range of financial instruments
- Expertise with innovative finance – particularly pay for success models
- Updated knowledge on the landscape for financial instruments in India and abroad
- Demonstrated ability to plan and implement projects in coordination with multiple stakeholders
- Financial due diligence, structuring and pricing knowledge
- Awareness of potential investors for instruments and partners for the platform
- Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UNDP and partner(s) mandate
- Passionate about and genuinely interested in civic engagement and social innovation
- Strong Powerpoint, Word and Excel skills
- Ability to synthesise concepts and create informative reports
- Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing:
Basic research and analysis
- Generates new ideas and approaches, researches best practices and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things;
- Documents and analyses innovative strategies and new approaches.
- Fundamental knowledge of own discipline (finance/ economics)
- Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical specialty relating to the position;
- Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks;
Establishing effective client relationships
- Researches potential solutions to internal and external needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion;
- Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet needs and deadlines;
- Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships within the work unit and with internal and external parties
Required Skills and Experience
- Academic Qualifications: An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent), preferably in business/ finance/ economics or related field.
- Experience: A minimum of six (6) years of progressively responsible experience that demonstrates an understanding of core finance and previous engagement with innovative financing instruments. In addition, expertise around partnerships and resource mobilization must also be demonstrated.
- Language: For this post, fluency in spoken and written English is required.