Technical Specialist (Contractual Relationships), Least Developed Countries Investment Platform (LDCIP), P-4, UNCDF New York
United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
New York City United States
Date Posted 03/01/2022
Application deadline 01/31/2022
Type of Position Full-time
Education Requirement Master


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Job Purpose and Organizational Context:

The UN Capital Development Fund makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs). UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, both domestically and internationally, to reduce poverty and support economic development.

UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: (1) inclusive digital economies, which connects individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty; (2) local development finance, which drives structural transformation of localities through policy and regulatory reform, fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance including project finance to unlock capital flows to the local level; and (3) investment finance, which provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization.

UNCDF uses a combination of grants, reimbursable grants, loans, guarantees and technical assistance to support early stage businesses, SMEs, projects, financial institutions and municipal investments. UNCDF’s use of loans and guarantees has been growing and there is now a higher ambition to make better and wider use of these financial instruments. Today the portfolio consists of approximately 25 transactions. UNCDF has also seen a strong increase in demand for its loan and guarantee services from other UN agencies, not least UNDP. In response to the need to deploy different kind of risk tolerant capital, a blended finance impact fund was launched by Bamboo Capital Partners, as the result of a joint initiative between UNCDF and Bamboo Capital. The fund, called BUILD, was incorporated in 2020 and UNCDF made an investment into the Fund in the beginning of 2021, and the Fund made it’s first investment in Q2 of 2021.

UNCDF’s LDC Investment Platform (LDCIP) serves as UNCDF’s center of excellence on innovative development finance in LDCs by creating the conditions for investment viability in financially underserved areas. The aim of the LDCIP is to support the system by (a) demonstrate to domestic and international investors that LDC markets can and do generate returns and merit the attention of a wider range of investors and that (b) use its’ experience to support policy and regulatory improvements which will help the scale up of investment activities.

The transactional work undertaken by UNCDF and other actors has proven to be especially effective in stimulating SME growth. Indeed, SMEs are the mainstay of many LDC economies and play an essential role in creating formal employment, empowering women and youth, and reducing inequalities. Similarly, essential small-scale local infrastructure projects can foster local economic development and contribute to the “leave no one behind” agenda. Lastly, to incentivize local financial institutions to take more risk and be a more aggressive in their lending programs in financially underserved areas can also prove to be a very effective use of public funds to support the SDGs.

UNCDF developed the Loan and Guarantee Policy and its associated tools in 2017. Since then, the portfolio of investments has grown and the requirement for developing a more rigorous and solid operational framework has increased. UNCDF is balancing between maintaining the characteristics of a development agency while developing internal operational processes and systems that match the ones of international development finance institutions. In this area UNCDF is still a young institution and there is more work to be accomplished in the coming years to achieve best-in-class standards. Existing policies and procedures regulating UNCDF investment operations need to be upgraded, so that UNCDF is ready to scale. In 2021 UNCDF is implementing an Oracle-based Financial Instrument Management System (FIMS) for this purpose.

The LDCIP’s role is to ensure that UNCDF’s financial instruments are deployed in an orderly fashion, and as such the LDCIP is both a support function to the other UNCDF’s Practices as well as an independent quality control and risk function. In light of the growing portfolio of loans and guarantees, the more complex nature of some of the project finance investments, and the deployment and implementation of more sophisticated development finance initiative, (UNCDF also manage two joint initiatives with third party fund managers, Bamboo Capital Partners and Meridiam). There is a clear need to enlarge the team with a Technical Specialist having a legal background to service the transactional work.

As some matters arising from the work by the Specialist may impact the legal framework of the UN organization or its partners relationship, the incumbent will be expected to liaise with the legal office. All legal matters related to UNCDF, including but not limited to privileges and immunities of the organization, are handled exclusively by the Office of Legal Support at UNDP.

This is a newly created fixed-term position.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Technical Specialist P-4 (contractual relationships) is focused on supporting UNCDF’s growing investment operations, and in particular the preparation and execution of financial transactions from a contractual standpoint. Each investment transaction is underpinned by the negotiation and execution of contractual agreements with the recipients of finance. These transactions need to be managed by a specialist who understands the contractual implications of specific financial instruments, such as loans and guarantees. In addition to loan and guarantee transactions, new emerging development finance initiatives may require the establishment of specific memorandums of understanding, letters of intent, or other types of contractual arrangements to memorialize partnerships and collaborations with third-party stakeholders in lawful terms. UNCDF already manages two joint initiatives with third-party fund managers, Bamboo Capital Partners and Meridiam with hierarchy of contractual documents that need management. There may also be work reviewing and assessing the compatibility of capital market products by entities that wish to partner with UNCDF in its operations.

In above tasks the role and scope of the Specialist is to promote and advocate UNCDFs business interest. Any issue in the above categories which in any way is connected to the UNCDF’s status as an international organization and legal framework will be handled by UNDP’s legal office. The Technical Specialist P-4 UNCDF will liaise with the Office of Legal Support, UNDP, for all such legal aspects.

Summary of key functions:

  1. Support on the contractual relationships in relation to financial transactions and initiatives, including with fund managers, asset managers, and third-party stakeholders related to UNCDF’s investment mandate and operations.
  2. Liaise with the Office of Legal Support, UNDP, with respect to all legal matters related to or arising from the incumbent’s work, including but not limited to UNCDF’s status as an international organization and its legal framework.
  3. Advocacy and knowledge management of contractual relationship experiences as they relate to investments, financial structuring and business advisory support.

Functions / Key Results Expected

1) Commercial Legal Support to Investment Operations

  • Conducting due diligence on proposed investees and contractual relationships to ensure, among other things, compliance of the transaction with the mandate and financial regulations and rules of UNCDF, including (but not limited to): prospective loan and guarantee transactions; review of project documents and agreements, constitutive documents of the proposed investee;
  • Drafting and/or reviewing, negotiating, and finalizing all relevant contractual documentation required for UNCDF’s lending and guarantee operations, including any amendments thereto, based on pre-approved templates;
  • Handling and ensuring proper administration of the implementation and monitoring of projects/transactions post-investment including (but not limited to): advising on waiver requests, amendments, consents and approvals, amongst others;
  • Liaising with co-lenders/investors, partners as appropriate;
  • Advising on the third-party investment fund collaborations, including the review and management of specific agreement between the parties, offering memoranda, organizational documents, service provider agreements to ensure compliance with UNCDF’s business interests;

2) Advocacy and Knowledge management

  • Provide intellectual leadership in financial transactional contractual matters related to the UNCDF’s investment mandate and operations;
  • Conducting research on contractual issues relevant to UNCDF’s business operations, as necessary.
  • Adopt approaches to ensure that the lessons learned from the many contractual relationships are captured, documented and disseminated to relevant parties.
  • Attend high-level forums and conferences, meet with donors, sponsors and borrowers as needed.



Innovation. Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor), Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them

Leadership. Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor), Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers

People Management. Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor), Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others

Communication. Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform, strong presentation skills

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor), Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others

Delivery. Ability to get things done

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor), Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions

Technical / Functional


Time Management; Ability to work on multiple opportunities across products and sectors while working to deadlines and managing time effectively.

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)

Partnership and Networking; Ability to build the relations and to develop a network of relevant external contacts, as well as internally across different teams

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)

Analytical and Research Skills; Including the ability to analyze company reports, sector data, economics and relevant political events

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)

Financial Analysis & Modeling; Credit analysis skills and ability to analyze company`s financial statements and make commercial assessments. Financial Modeling

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)

Change Management; Ability to contribute to setting up administrative structures, financial product design and propose adequate processes for loan and guarantee management in UNCDF

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)


Knowledge Management; Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge

Level 5: Integrate & Empower (Strategic Advisor)

Required Skills and Experience

Education: A Postgraduate or an advanced degree in law (Master of Laws (LL.M) and/or Juris Doctor (J.D.)), as well as admission to the bar of a Member State or equivalent qualification to practice law in a Member State.

Required Experience & Technical Competency Profile:

  • A minimum of 7 years of experience in the practice of law with a reputable law firm, financial institution or an international financial organization is required. Legal experience as a practicing lawyer in the legal department of a development finance institution, multilateral development bank or impact investment firm with proven technical competence and experience in lending and/or guarantee operations is a requirement;
  • Solid understanding of private debt, private equity, fixed income and/or project finance transaction structuring solutions is a distinct advantage, as well as experience in executing innovative investment product solutions within multilateral institutions is a requirement;
  • Practical experience in the operations of fund formation, investment management and/or structured finance is desirable;
  • Experience from a public sector legal frameworks and/or the legal institutional arrangements of a United Nations organization is desirable.

Further, the interested applicants should be able to demonstrate:

  • Active interest in investing in developing countries and a minimum understanding of emerging market environments;
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment, with a willingness to travel.


Full working proficiency in English is required
Working proficiency in French will be considered an asset. Knowledge of any other local/regional languages knowledge will be considered an asset.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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Only applications received through the below link will be considered:

You can view and apply for this job at: UNDP Posting ID 40749