Deputy Director ARC Research & Development Department

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Background

African Risk Capacity (ARC) is a Specialised Agency of the African Union. The ARC Agency leads the ARC Group, a development finance institution that provides financial tools and infrastructure to help countries manage natural disaster risk and adapt to climate change. It counts 32 AU countries as members and is supervised by a ministerial level governing board elected by its Conference of the Parties. The ARC design and establishment phase was managed by WFP, under a MoU with the African Union, and WFP continues to provide administrative services support to the ARC Agency through an administrative services agreement.

 

In 2014, ARC launched its initial risk insurance product for member states through its financial affiliate the ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd).  ARC Ltd is a specialist hybrid mutual insurance company and Africa’s first ever disaster insurance pool, aggregating risk by issuing insurance policies to participating governments and transferring it to the international market. ARC Ltd uses the satellite weather surveillance software Africa RiskView, developed by WFP, to estimate the impact of drought on vulnerable populations – and the response costs required to assist them – before a season begins, and as it progresses, so that index-based insurance payouts, based on Africa RiskView, are triggered at or before harvest time if the rains are poor. ARC Ltd issued drought insurance policies totalling USD 129 million for a total premium cost of USD 17 million to a first group of African governments – Kenya, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal – in May 2014, marking the launch of the inaugural ARC pool with a USD 200 million initial capital commitment provided by the governments of Germany (through KfW on behalf of BMZ) and the United Kingdom (DFID).  As ARC’s insurance pool continues, it aims to reach up to 30 countries with drought, flood and cyclone coverage totalling up to USD 1.5 billion in sum insured by 2020.  In addition, in February 2015 following the Ebola crisis, the Agency was requested by its Member States to explore epidemic risk coverage and has undertaken a research and development programme to pilot outbreak and epidemic insurance in select countries in 2018.  ARC is also developing a new financial mechanism, called the Extreme Climate Facility, or XCF, that will provide eligible countries – those already managing their weather risk through ARC – with additional funds should extreme weather events in their region increase in magnitude and/or frequency.  Through XCF, ARC aims to secure up to USD 500 million of initial climate adaptation capital from the private markets for ARC Member States from 2018.

 

ARC’s research and development programme focuses on developing and continually improving ARC risk management tools and insurance products so that they continue to be relevant to ARC Member States.  As an integrated component of ARC Agency operations and services this includes: the design and launch of new risk management and insurance products and associated country work programmes (flood, cyclone and outbreak and epidemic (O&E) risk), the further refinement and development of Africa RiskView for drought and on-going technical ARC activities, the design and deployment of new financing initiatives, such as the Extreme Climate Facility (XCF), and the development of other special projects of the Agency.  ARC’s philosophy to date has been to develop initial products using external firms and teams. The in-house research team ensure, to the extent possible, that they meet ARC’s exacting and specific requirements for risk transfer, and then engage with ARC Member States and partners on the refinement, review and further development of the initial product concepts and the tools needed to support their successful use and application. The expected result of this engagement process is not only to improve the products through expert feedback and input, but also – through partnerships with national and regional research institutions in the same thematic areas – to share the principles and requirements for product development and risk transfer and to encourage inter-disciplinary collaborations for better modelling and understanding of events in terms of their natural and socio-economic realities and impacts. By focusing on concrete and operationally applied products which are integrated within the national contingency plans and sovereign risk management frameworks, ARC aims at evolving and substantially contributing to the improvement of risk modelling and disaster risk management across the continent. The ultimate objective of this process is to ensure that all Member States have access to the state-of-the-art technologies and the internal capacity to use them effectively, in an effort to meet the needs of the people that are most vulnerable to natural disasters and to build long-term climate resilience for Africa.

 

 

Responsibilities

ARC is seeking a Deputy Director to join Research & Development (R&D) Department. The candidate will work closely with the R&D Director in the role of Deputy and will support the Director in ensuring that R&D is an integrated component of ARC Agency operations and capacity building and knowledge transfer services in Africa, developing products and new initiatives that respond to the needs of ARC Member States and their vulnerable populations.

 

Under the direction and guidance of the ARC Director of Research & Development (R&D), the Deputy Director will be responsible for:

  1. Supporting the Director in conducting the day-to-day operations of the R&D Department and ensuring that the Department’s objectives, with respect to all components, are met in an efficient, effective and financially prudent manner.
  2. Assisting the R&D Director in formulating and implementing the research and development (R&D) strategy of the African Risk Capacity, ensuring that integrated work plans are aligned with ARC’s growth goals and mandate.
  3. Conceptualizing and implementing cutting-edge research and analysis in order to generate greater and always current evidence for ARC’s value proposition to Member States and to identify opportunities and methods for realizing ARC’s transformative potential for those most vulnerable to natural disasters in Africa.
  4. Maintaining oversight of all R&D work-streams, including XCF and O&E, and working closely with the out-posted research teams and research firms on contract with ARC.
  5. Managing, on-boarding and coordinating specialised teams that work on development aspects of ARC’s R&D programme, including the Africa RiskView development team, and specialised staff, consultants and service providers and partner collaborations to ensure work is completed on time and with high quality to ARC’s specifications.
  6. Defining, managing and contributing to the work programme to develop and improve existing ARC insurance products, the Africa RiskView software and risk models to ensure ARC remains at the cutting-edge of global risk management and modeling technology, with appropriate quality assurance and control.
  7. Managing and contributing to the development, successful deployment and integration of new ARC insurance products, including flood and tropical cyclone, into Africa RiskView and ARC’s country programmes.
  8. Supporting the XCF and O&D teams where necessary, maintaining oversight as these products are developed and managing and supervising the integration of these new products into Africa RiskView.
  9. Based on the identified research priorities, developing and managing technical research partnerships and collaborations, in Africa and beyond, including with US-based partners (e.g. UN, World Bank).
  10. Assisting the R&D Director in dialogues and interactions with risk market counterparties and engaging with ARC Ltd on new product development.
  11. Working with the Manager for Development to ensure that evaluation, audit, intellectual property, sustainability and compliance recommendations are efficiently implemented within the R&D work processes and teams, including for Africa RiskView.
  12. Contributing to improvements in, and capitalising on synergies across, ARC operations and policies through ARC’s R&D programme, in order to streamline and improve the delivery of products and services to Member States by all ARC operating units to better achieve the objectives of ARC’s Establishment Treaty.
  13. Working with the Manager for Development, deploying R&D resources to develop and enhance ARC training programmes for Member States, with a particular focus on R&D elements.
  14. Contributing to donor reporting on R&D activities and providing technical support to other ARC units and staff, including travel to ARC Member States, as necessary.
  15. Supporting Africa RiskView Expert Advisory Panel meetings and other panels for R&D projects and ARC products as needed.
  16. Participating in conferences, continental and global forums and dialogues on relevant technical and research topics to ensure ARC messages are promoted and that ARC delivers on its broader mandate to catalyze a more effective risk management system for Africa for those most vulnerable.
  17. Performing any other duties as necessary.

 

 

Desired Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, Climate Change, Food Security, Risk Management or similar relevant quantitative discipline.
  • Self-starter, with strong experience of working on and managing new, complex and developing technical projects in-house and with technical partners.
  • Eight years or more of progressively responsible professional experience in risk analysis, risk modelling, insurance product design and/or risk management of natural disasters, agriculture, food insecurity or other relevant sectors.
  • Good understanding of the (re)insurance and risk transfer markets, particularly with respect to the design of insurance products for agriculture, climate and/or weather related risks.
  • Expertise and experience in capacity building and designing and deploying programmes for developing countries with work experience and partnership building with African sovereigns a plus.
  • A working knowledge of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in Africa and/or the international dialogues and debates on climate change and DRR.
  • Excellent writer, communicator and team-worker.
  • Excellent skills in stakeholder management, negotiation, communication, report-writing, IT, Excel, MIS and delivering quality products on time.
  • Quantitative with solid knowledge of statistics.
  • Fluent in English and French.

 

Contract Type

The candidate is being recruited to fill up a core role within the organisation. This position is currently envisaged as a senior consultancy position of 11 months duration with a possibility of extension.

Duty Station

The selected candidate will be based in ARC Headquarters (Johannesburg) with frequent travels to New York and the Netherlands.

Closing date: 10 Septemeber 2017

Apply here!

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