Sustainable Energy Project Manager

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United Purpose (UP) began working in Malawi in 1988 as Concern Universal, initially supporting refugees from the Mozambican civil war and host communities in Dedza district. Over the past 32 years we have strived to improve the lives of people living in rural areas by working with them to find lasting ways to overcome the challenges they face.

Today we are one of Malawi’s largest INGOs with an annual income of more than £7 million over the past three years. We are governed by a Malawian board and work in partnership with local government and communities across 18 districts, mainly in the Central and Southern regions.

We have long taken a multi-sectored approach to development and humanitarian response because the root causes of poverty and disasters are multidimensional. We work in partnership with District Councils, sub-district structures and communities to implement development interventions.

Our long-term vision is a Malawi where justice, dignity and respect prevail for all. Our mission is to move people beyond aid. We want to see all people in Malawi determining their own lives supported by strong and accountable government services, and effective local markets and value chains. To achieve our mission, over the next five years, we will work with the Government of Malawi to eliminate poverty and end the recurrent cycle of hunger and humanitarian assistance in Malawi.

Job Identification

Job Title:                                  Sustainable Energy Projects Manager
Grade:                                     9
Location:                                 Based in Lilongwe with significant travel across Malawi
Duration of the contract:     Until 31 st December 2021, with possible extension until December 2022

  Reporting Relationship

Supervision received:          Energy Programme Manager

Job Purpose
The Sustainable Energy Project Manager’s core responsibility, under the supervision of the Energy Progamme Manager, is for the coordination of planning, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of the Embassy of Ireland funded Accelerating Commercial and Community Energy Supply Sustainably (ACCESS) project. This includes ensuring expenditure is in line with the budget and implementation is on track to meet expected targets and managing the project team.

  The Embassy of Ireland funded ACCESS project aims to improve the livelihoods of the 80% of Malawians anticipated to be living in ‘energy poverty’, by contributing to the Government of Malawi’s goal of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, efficient and modern energy for all Malawians by 2030 [Draft NEP 2016]

Specifically, the program intends to achieve the following;

  1. Increased energy access to rural and peri-urban households to meet their cooking and lighting needs in a number of districts in Southern and Central Malawi
  2. Strengthened stakeholders voice to advocate nationally for sustainable energy for all
  3. Commission and conduct research and share learnings, by acting as a ‘thought incubator’ to influence national dialogue and inform best practice

The Sustainable Energy Project Manager’s most immediate activity will be to manage the completion of the ACCESS project alongside assisting in the development of the proposal for follow-on funding from the Embassy of Ireland.

More broadly the role will also involve contributing to the wider growth and development of the Sustainable Energy Management Unit (SEMU) and supporting the carbon finance programme activities in country.  The role also involved line management of field facilitators and drivers.

Key Duties and responsibilities

The Sustainable Energy Project Manager shall:

  • Manage the Embassy of Ireland funded ACCESS project.
  • Develop, implement and monitor the ACCESS work plan and budget, in line with project log frame, agreed deliverables, and resources. This includes ensuring effective project budgetary control, forecasting and monitoring in line with UP’s financial procedures and guidelines, and fraud and risk management policies.
  • Deliver expert technical support and guidance in all aspects of project implementation and budget.
  • Coordinate project activities with other UP projects in the same districts
  • Share learning and knowledge across all UP’s Energy Projects
  • Ensure close collaboration and networking with all district partners, including government and communities, as well as other UP projects, during all stages of project implementation.
  • Closely monitor and assess project activities to ensure relevance, effectiveness, efficiency.
  • Conduct effective monitoring and evaluation of projects, manage data and provide learning.
  • Represent and raise the profile of the SEMU with all relevant internal and external stakeholders of UP Malawi.
  • Act as liaison between the SEMU, UP projects with energy components and other stoves or energy stakeholders in the country.
  • Support in the identification and development of proposals for funding opportunities specific to the work of the SEMU.
  • Undertake energy specific pieces of research as agreed with their line manager.
  • Lead in the implementation of a community carbon fund reinvestment process.
  • Ensure that UP sustainable energy programming is founded on and consistent with the latest international best practice in the field.
  • To contribute to the work of the National Cookstove Steering Committee by working with the Malawi Bureau of Standards to define standards for improved cookstoves.
  • Plan and conduct baseline and monitoring surveys according to the requirements of the relevant methodology as directed by their line manager and in consultation with relevant 3 rd
  • Uphold and promote UP’s safeguarding policy
  • Undertake any other duties that contribute to the sustainability and viability of the SEMU.

Experience and qualifications.

  • A degree in any area related to sustainable energy or engineering while a Masters degree would be an advantage.
  • Minimum of 3 years in a similar position including field-work and office based activities.
  • Able to demonstrate experience of working with rural energy or sustainable energy programmes.
  • Have an excellent working knowledge of the social, environmental and technical problems facing rural and urban communities in access of sustainable and affordable energy.
  • Ability to design, implement and sustain an effective monitoring and evaluation system.
  • Excellent communication, coordination and facilitation skills are essential.
  • Strong respect and empathy for rural communities, and an affinity to UP’s mission and values of integrity, dignity and environmental respect.
  • Analytical thinking, problem solving and decision-making ability
  • Evidence of budgeting and project planning skills and experience.
  • Well developed skills in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc) and experience using online conferencing platforms (e.g. Microsoft Teams).
  • Proactive and highly motivated individual who needs the minimum of supervision.
  • Strong time-management skills and proven record of completing activities according to deadlines.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Chichewa.

A full clean driving license and ability to drive a four wheel drive manual vehicle is essential. Able to, or willing to learn to, ride a motorbike would be an advantage.

Please visit   to download the Application Form, and then submit the completed form via email only to [email protected]?  When submitting, please put YOUR NAME_ [POSITION APPLIED] in the email title. Any applications that do not include this in the title will not be considered.

  No hard copy / physical applications will be accepted. Closing date for the receipt of completed application forms is 25 th August 2021. Only short listed candidates will be contacted. For more information about UP, please visit our website at .

  UP is an equal opportunity employer, and women are particularly encouraged to apply.

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