Jordan: Energy Advisor, Amman

Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Jordan
Closing date: 19 Aug 2016

Background for position

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.

Energy for Sustainable Development is a major institutional priority and providing adequate energy to homes and businesses is one of the main goals for the UNHCR. It is also one of the most frequent demands from the refugee population so that they can live more productive lives under very difficult and harsh conditions.

Electricity is the key energy source that enables simultaneous significant economic growth, improvement of social conditions and higher environmental quality. Universal access to modern energy promotes the creation of local industry and entrepreneurship, raising the standard of living for recipients and support communities in their economic and social development.

Azraq refugee camp is located in a hostile desert environment with extremes of heat and cold, high winds and dust storms. The camp population is without electricity and therefore live without many basic necessities which were normal in life before the conflict. People depend on small solar lanterns donated by UNHCR upon their arrival to the camp for light in the evenings, but these are inadequate for the long term and easily broken. They also have no way of keeping food fresh due to lack of energy. And they very often feel disconnected from family, friends and news from the outside world.

Building upon previous studies and reports on potential solutions for energy in Azraq, several possible alternatives were systematically analysed and evaluated. The proposed Azraq Electricity Project was developed as the best way forward to provide electricity to the camp taking account of humanitarian, economic and technical considerations.

The Azraq Electricity Project will involve building a complete electrical system similar to a normal urban setting of more than 60,000 people in addition to a solar power plant of up to 6MW. These works are being carried out in phases to align with expanding camp population and available funding. Works are ongoing for both the electricity network and the solar power plant with the first phase due for completion by end of October 2016. Because of the latest arrival of refugees from the Syrian border (Berm), all existing villages are now occupied. In 2016, UNHCR will be able to provide electricity to village III and VI when refugees living in village II and V have only access to portable lanterns.

Zaatari camp was established in July 2012 and covers an area of 8.75 km2. The camp developed rapidly with an influx of over 3,000 refugees per day during certain periods of the crisis. The camp population, currently over 80,000 people, make their homes in UNHCR tents and prefabricated metal shelters, which are spread across 12 districts which also include hospitals, schools, and businesses (unformal markets along the two main streets, while humanitarian operations are concentrated near the entrance of the camp.

An electrical network was established in Zaatari in 2012 and subsequently developed with the support of the Irbid District Electricity Company (IDECO) to meet essential energy needs of the camp. The camp population is relatively stable with lighting on streets and inside homes that help provide increased safety and security. The electrical connections to shelters and businesses were originally created in haphazard fashion by the refugees themselves and, in many cases, are of poor quality and present serious health and security risks. The improvised electrical connections are highly dangerous and a major safety concern for the camp administration.

In order to create a regulated, sustainable solution, investment is being made in the necessary infrastructure to provide a controlled, safe and effective electricity supply to the refugee population, hospitals, schools, businesses and humanitarian agencies across the camp. There is also a large-scale solar power plant under development within the camp boundaries which will provide for electricity of the camp population.

Duty Station – Amman with frequent travel to Azraq and Zaatari refugee camps and any other locations in Jordan base on need (s)

Under the direct supervision of the Head of Technical Unit, the candidate will be entrusted with performing the following major duties and responsibilities:

Main Duties and Responsibilities

· Project Management of the Azraq Electricity Project and Azraq Solar PV project to include claims management and cost control, design alterations, management of contractor operations, project scheduling, coordination between contractor and any other operations within the refugee camp; supervision of installations, commissioning and operation of plant, develop of cost recovery systems.

· Assisting in management of the Zaatari Energy Strategy to include system design alterations, budgeting and cost control, project scheduling, coordination of all project stakeholders, development of cost recovery systems. Liaison with KfW and Ministry of Energy on the implementation of the solar PV plant for Zaatari camp.

· Assist and build the capacity of the energy technical team deployed at field level.

· Assessment, analysis and update of existing strategies in all camps including Azraq & Zaatari, or any other facilities, to determine optimal future steps from an economic and technical perspective, taking into account population developments, needs and actual energy consumption.

· Development of funding proposals for project financing in cooperation with PSFR and liaising with potential donors.

· Financial evaluations, preparation of operation plans and budgets, progress reports; liaising with program units, supply unit, external relations unit and management.

· Feasibility studies, design and development of cost recovery schemes and renewable energy across all areas of UNHCR Jordan operation.

· Development and implementation of programmes to promote energy awareness and energy conservation in administrative operations and throughout refugee camps.

· Development of programmes to train refugees in the installation, operation and maintenance of renewable energy systems.

· Close coordination with sector leads, agencies, implementing partners and camp residents.

· Negotiation with the relevant ministries of the Jordanian Government.

· Assist the Technical Unit in development of new concept(s), related to energy solutions/alternatives.

· Provide assistance to UNHCR technical advisers or consultants as well as visitors to project sites.

· Reporting immediately on security, health and safety issues that occur affecting programme beneficiaries and smooth running of the operation.

· Staff recruitment, management and training.

· Performs other duties as required.

Qualifications, experience and competencies

· Degree in relevant engineering discipline (electrical, mechanical, environmental, etc.).

· Minimum of 10 years experience in energy/electricity sector. This should include electrical installations within buildings, diesel generators, medium and low voltage urban electrical distribution networks installations. Any international working experience will be an asset.

· Comprehensive understanding of renewable energy, and of electricity systems and standards and demonstrated experience in the design and application.

· Comprehensive understanding and experience of project management.

· Experience of energy audits and comparative analyses of fuel and energy systems.

· Extensive knowledge of renewable energy, including financial, regulatory and/or policy frameworks, renewable energy financial management (including community involvement and capacity issues), renewable energy business development (including business planning, entrepreneurship development).

· Good understanding of using basic testing and monitoring equipment on pre-installation and project monitoring and evaluation.

· Experience in the planning, design, budgeting and management of energy projects.

· Ability to think creatively, and to explore, harness and translate innovative concepts and current practices into sustainable projects.

· Demonstrated ability in staff supervision, recruitment and training.

· Capable of working in stressful, harsh, unstable and difficult environments, independently and within a team

· Candidate must be fluent in English.

· Very good practice of Microsoft software: word, excel, PowerPoint, project as well as CAD software.

Start Date: ASAP

Contract Duration: Consultancy until December 2016, with possibility of establishing a position until at least December 2017.

How to apply:

Further technical details of the project can be forwarded to interested candidates.

Please send a cover letter and CV to: energy@unhcr.org

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