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Re-advertisement: Consultancy - Giga Finance Associate, Office of Innovation, remote, 11.5 months

Apply now Job no: 548838
Contract type: Consultancy
Duty Station: New York
Level: Consultancy
Location: United States
Categories: Innovation

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.

For every child, innovate...

About Giga

Launched in 2019 as a joint initiative between UNICEF and ITU, Giga has set the ambitious goal to connect every school in the world to the internet.

Half of the world’s population has no regular access to the Internet. Millions of children leave school without any digital skills, making it much more difficult for them to thrive and contribute to local and global economies. This has created a digital divide between those who are connected and those who are not, a divide that has become even wider during the Covid-19 pandemic. UNICEF and ITU have therefore joined forces to create Giga, an initiative to connect every school in the world to the Internet and address this new form of inequality.  

Giga focuses on connecting schools so that children and young people have access to information, opportunity, and choice. It also uses schools as anchor points for their surrounding communities: if you connect the school, you can also connect local businesses and services. This creates opportunities for service providers to generate revenue from paying users, making connectivity more sustainable. A recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that a 10% increase in school connectivity can increase effective years of schooling by 0.6% and increase GDP per capita by 1.1%.  

You cannot fix a problem unless you can see it, so the first step is to map schools and their connectivity levels. Giga uses machine learning to scan satellite images and identify schools. These are then marked by coloured dots on an open-source map: green where there is good connectivity (over 5mb/s); amber where it is limited; and red where there is no connectivity at all. The project has already mapped over 1,000,000 schools in 42 countries, including several which were previously unknown to governments. 

Connecting every school in the world could cost $428 billion or more. Much of the funding already exists but it is not always well aligned. Giga therefore works with governments to unlock public funds for use in delivering connectivity and to attract private investors by reducing the risks in harder-to-reach areas. 

Once school connectivity has been mapped and financing secured, Giga works with a range of partners to bring the Internet to schools. We support governments in designing competitive procurement processes. We are also developing real-time payment mechanisms, meaning that if a dot on the connectivity map is only green for three hours a day, the provider only gets paid for three hours of access. Giga is already connecting schools in 19 countries and is prototyping several test solutions, including in refugee camps and remote, mountainous regions.   

Just as building railroads allowed previously isolated towns to flourish, providing good quality Internet access will allow communities to participate in the digital economy for the first time. But Giga’s work in laying the tracks for connectivity is only one part of a wider effort to bridge the digital divide. UNICEF’s Reimagine Education initiative brings all of this work together and has set the goal of connecting every child and young person – some 3.5 billion - to world-class digital learning solutions by 2030. In addition to Giga, it includes components focusing on the affordability of data and content, access to devices, teacher certification and the engagement of young people. Along with ITU’s digital skills programme and other initiatives, Reimagine Education aims to ensure that, once connected, young people are empowered with the tools they need to shape their own futures.  

You can read more about Giga’s work at and by following us on twitter @Gigaconnect

How can you make a difference?

According to the International Telecommunication Union (“ITU”), 1.3 billion children do not have access to the internet for learning and are excluded from the opportunities and services that have shifted online. Digital exclusion impedes the development of children and disenfranchises young people, perpetuating socioeconomic inequalities between countries and communities.

In 2019, UNICEF and ITU launched Giga, a partnership to connect all unconnected schools in the world to the internet. Giga is uniquely equipped to geolocate previously unmapped schools, finance projects and deliver connectivity. To date, Giga has connected over 1 million students and teachers to the internet for the first time.

We are seeking an associate to join a small group of finance specialists to support key workstreams, including capital formation, country engagement and project-level financing.

Main responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Capital formation:

Giga seeks to mobilize $5B in catalytic capital to jumpstart critical connectivity investments, including donor pledges, development loans, private capital, and other sources of project funding.

Support outreach to existing and prospective financial partners:

- develop fundraising materials for public and private sector donors;

- support related diligence processes, including the construction of data rooms;

- build financial models for development

Country-level engagement:

Giga is currently engaged with 19 countries to provide school connectivity and is actively cultivating relationships with new countries.  Giga has mapped over 1 million schools in the world, across 42 countries.

Support engagement efforts with local and regional governments:

- identify project opportunities in developing and middle income countries;

- draft TORs for feasibility studies;

- support country offices in securing developing loans and other funding sources;

- assist UNICEF Country Offices in the procurement, selection and technical evaluation of the potential bidders for delivering of projects;

- review of the deliverables and develop final project documentation;

Project-level financing:

- Build a detailed, actionable pipeline of connectivity projects at multi-national, national and regional levels;

- Maintain Giga’s connectivity project cost model, ensuring Giga is able to quickly and accurately determine the cost of delivering projects in focus countries

- Produce impact analyses for key financial stakeholders

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

- An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Business Administration, Economics, Finance or related field
*A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.

- A minimum of 3 years of professional experience in financial analysis and financial modelling

- Hands on experience in macroeconomic analysis and modelling

- Demonstrated strong skills in Power Point and Excel

- Demonstrated strong writing and presentation skills in English

- Ability to effectively work and coordinate in a multiple stakeholder environment

- Ability to work with a diverse team in a rapidly-changing work environment and adapt to unforeseen changes

- Experience working in the intersection of development/donor organizations, public finance, and commercial sector is an asset

- Experience in designing and developing business cases, business plans and financial plans is an asset

- Experience in telecommunication infrastructure sector is an asset

- Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

- Knowledge of the UN system is an advantage

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

The competencies required for this post are….

Builds and maintains partnerships – Level 1

Innovates and embraces change - Level 1

Manages ambiguity and complexity - Level 1

Thinks and acts strategically – Level 1

Works collaboratively with others – Level 1

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Payment details and further considerations

- Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.

- Consultant is responsible for his/her own health and travel insurance

- Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Deadline: Eastern Daylight Time

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