Finance Specialist (Clean Cooking)

Closing date
31 Jan 2023
Vienna, Austria (preferable)
Clean Cooking/ Integrated Energy Planning/ Universal Energy Facility
Duration of assignment
One year with possibility to extend

Background About SEforALL 

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organization working with leaders in government, the private sector and civil society to drive further, faster action toward achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030, and the Paris Agreement, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate warming to below 2° Celsius. Achieving these goals will require a radical rethink of the way we produce, distribute and consume energy. SEforALL is at the heart of this foundational shift to ensure no one is left behind. Drawing on data and evidence, we identify a critical path to success in achieving SDG7. 

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative in 2011. Now an independent organization, we maintain close links with the UN, including through a relationship agreement, partnerships with UN agencies and with SEforALL's CEO acting as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. These roles include advising the UN Secretary General and his staff on issues relating to sustainable energy and the implementation of SDG7 and supporting the coordination of sustainable energy issues in the United Nations system.   

The ambitions of SDG7 are extraordinary. Aiming to achieve them in the context of the Paris Agreement on climate change involves transformation at a scale never undertaken before. Swift action must be taken by leaders in governments, private sector companies, institutions, financiers, development banks, unions, communities, entrepreneurs and civil society. As we enter the final decade to achieve SDG7, SEforALL has strategically chosen to strengthen global agenda-setting while expanding its activities to an engagement model that prioritizes data-driven decision-making, partnerships with high-impact countries and implementation on the ground. The new SEforALL three-year business plan outlines “results offers” that scope out our planned interventions and demonstrate to our funding partners the impact of their support. 

Context of Access to Clean Cooking 

About one third of the global population, some 2.4 billion people do not have access to clean cooking solutions. Instead, they must rely on burning traditional biomass or polluting fuels, which has severe consequences. Indoor air pollution from the use of traditional fuels for cooking causes millions of deaths annually. The estimated cost worldwide from the use of traditional fuels for cooking is approximately USD 2.4 trillion each year (World Bank), which accounts for the adverse impacts on health, the climate, lost productivity and the environment, including deforestation.  

Meanwhile, there is a chronic lack of finance flowing to the clean cooking sector. Finance commitments remain far below the estimated investment needed to achieve universal access by 2030. Clean cooking for all hinges on catalytic public finance, enabling domestic policies that support sustainable clean cooking value chains and consumer support that promotes demand. This calls for cross-sector coordination and broad consensus to make access to clean cooking a priority at global and country levels. Expanding access to modern, clean cooking solutions will also need diversified responses tailored to local contexts and market conditions, while applying existing technologies that address factors like affordability and reliability.  

SEforALL’s clean cooking access programme focuses on filling missing links within the sector, including the need to raise ambition and help governments recognize the co-benefits of clean cooking access, and providing data to drive planning and unlock investments in scalable solutions. 

Objective of Assignment 

SEforALL’s strategic role within the clean cooking sector is consistent with its focus on SDG7 and Paris Agreement objectives. Our work looks to support breakthroughs in the political commitment, planning, investment, and knowledge and innovation. Our efforts include: 

  • Advocating globally for greater commitment to clean cooking as a pathway to meeting energy, climate and development goals. 

  • Building ambition and supporting country action on clean cooking through Energy Compacts, the platform for action developed by UN-Energy. 

  • Supporting countries on including clean cooking in their national energy access and transition plans, specifically through the development of country specific integrated energy plans.  An integrated energy plan forms a critical starting point, or basis for all energy access efforts. It provides planners and practitioners valuable insights into the appropriate mix of solutions, costs and financing needed to scale up energy access. 

  • Improving data and evidence bases to facilitate decision-making within the sector. 

  • Unlock investments in scalable solutions, including through the Universal Energy Facility, is a multi-donor results-based finance (RBF) facility established to significantly speed up and scale up energy access across Sub-Saharan Africa. 

By developing a thriving global market for clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels, we can transform the way the world cooks, saving lives, improving livelihoods, empowering women, and protecting the environment, while accelerating economic growth, simultaneously. 

Purpose/Objective of the Role 

The purpose of the Finance Specialist will be to provide effective support and delivery capacity to the Clean Cooking and Integrated Energy Access Planning team, including leading and conducting financial planning and analysis assessments on the clean cooking transition based on the integrated energy access plans, and formulate actions on unlocking finance from results-based, carbon markets and other innovative finance mechanisms. 

The Finance Specialist will work alongside the Clean Cooking Access Programme, and in close coordination with the Integrated Energy Planning and Universal Energy Facility Teams and other Teams at SEforALL, incl. Energizing Finance team. Responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, the following: 

Duties and Tasks for the Role 

The main duties and tasks of the role include, but are not limited to: 

  • Support the Team(s) to develop and implement strategic interventions and partnerships to advance universal access to electricity and clean cooking in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, with a specific focus on unlocking finance for the clean cooking transition. 

  • Conduct financial planning and analysis based on the outputs of the Integrated Energy Access Plans in terms of accelerating a clean cooking transition, including in identifying a pipeline of investment-ready projects for high-impact development. 

  • This includes supporting SEforALL to design and offer strategic support that can help direct capital to gender responsive and socially inclusive energy businesses that support faster delivery of modern energy cooking services and 

  • Conduct research and analysis on funding mechanisms and related policy, regulatory and governance structures to enable access to modern energy cooking services. 

  • Conduct research and analysis in scoping out results-based financing mechanisms to deploy clean cooking solutions through the Universal Energy Facility with the aim to promote private sector activity and household demand. 

  • Support in developing strategy to help unlock finance for modern energy cooking services through the Universal Energy Facility and other innovative finance mechanisms. Support implementation of this strategy and participate in developing and implementing SEforALL business and work plans as required. 

  • Collaborate with and provide technical input to SEforALL’s research partnership on Energizing Finance research series to map public and private, international and domestic finance commitments for electricity and clean cooking access. 

  • Support the Team to develop and disseminate case studies and communications collateral to help increase awareness around financing mechanisms, business models and complementary policy/ regulatory success stories. Work closely with SEforALL’s Communications team colleagues to visualize and communicate data and analysis. 

  • Support implementation of SEforALL led and other events that convene SEforALL’s clean cooking and finance sector stakeholders, e.g. the SEforALL Forums, and assist in convening workshops and multistakeholder dialogues in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to enable capacity- and coalition- building in support of SDG7. 

  • Undertake other tasks that emerge in a fast-moving, dynamic, high-level policy environment, as needed. 

Specific Competencies for the Role 

  • Degree in financial management, economics, energy economics, or in another relevant discipline 

  • Preferably at least 5 years of experience relevant to this assignment 

  • Experience in the energy field, including energy access and energy transition topics and themes 

  • Technical qualifications in energy project finance, with desired experience in innovative financing 

  • Knowledge/experience with financing mechanisms to bridge affordability gaps in rolling out clean cooking technologies/Decentralised Renewable Energy (DRE) solutions or Productive Use of Energy (PUE) is a plus 

  • Experience or knowledge of developing country conditions in sub-Saharan Africa or Asia is preferable 

  • Knowledge of sustainable energy policies, strategies and practices gained through academic study and/or work experience 

  • Understanding of energy finance and funding mechanisms, tools, and other resources for clean energy projects 

  • Demonstrated skills with task/ project management. Demonstrated ability to design and manage complex programs that involve many different partners 

  • Prior publications in energy finance space would be an added advantage 

  • Complete fluency in English with strong written and verbal communication skills are required 

  • Other languages are considered an advantage 

  • Advanced research and writing skills with strong attention to detail. 

  • Ability to draft quickly and concisely, with proven experience delivering high-quality reports and other written work product. 

  • Experience producing content suitable for external communication, for example social media, newsletter articles and web content. 

  • Demonstrated success working in a collegiate and collaborative team environment. 

  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and relationship-building skills. 

  • Flexible, responsive and diligent approach to work. 


General Competences for the Role 

  • Innovation and Adaptability: Has proficient skills and commitment to search for and produce innovative and creative approaches to activities. Is flexible to evolving circumstances, as well as helps others in doing so. 

  • Resilience and Emotional Intelligence: Has proficient knowledge in the concepts of resilience and emotional intelligence. Is able to remain calm in challenging situations, to cope with setbacks, is responsive to the emotions of others and maintains a high level of performance. 

  • Analytical and Strategic Thinking: Has a proficient level of analytical and strategic thinking skills. Gathers and processes demanding information, develops innovative solutions and contributes by representing topics/approaches in internal working groups/teams. 

  • Collaboration and Partnership: Demonstrates proficient initiative and abilities to collaborate and partner with others in own are, and across teams. Identifies, develops, builds and actively promotes partnerships and collaboration, maintaining long-lasting partnerships. Displays team-oriented attitude contributing to creating a positive team spirit. 

  • Lead and Empower: Demonstrates initiative and role model behaviour in leading and empowering others. Takes responsibility for own work activities and personal actions and carries out the commitments agreed upon. 

  • Political and diplomatic understanding: Has a proficient level of political and diplomatic understanding. 

  • Communicating information: Has expert skills in communicating information and uses the skills effectively in own scope of work and in others’ work. 

  • Research and Analytics: Has proficient skills in research and analytics. Promotes the use of data within the team and to contribute to wider decision making. 

  • Project Management: Has proficient skills in project management. Plans and organises their own work using project management tools in support of achieving the team’s objectives. 

  • Client Orientation / Striving for Excellence: Has proficient skills in client orientation and achieving excellency in work delivery 


Our Values - please refer to our core values as defined here:

Salary information: SEforALL has adopted its own salary scales corresponding to the SEforALL grading system. The minimum yearly salary for this position is EUR 52,370. The actual salary offer will be determined within the scale depending on the successful candidate’s qualification and experience, and applying the principle of internal equity. In addition to the base salary, SEforALL staff receive a benefits package that includes contribution to pension, contribution to health insurance & homeworking allowance.  

Additional Considerations 

  • SEforALL offers exciting high-impact assignments, a collegial and creative work environment, and the opportunity for committed professionals to thrive and grow within flat hierarchies and in the pursuit of an inspiring mission. 

  • SEforALL provides competitive compensation packages at its locations in Abuja, Vienna, Washington DC and New York City, and flexibility and result orientated modern workplace arrangements. 

  • Qualified female candidates and candidates from developing countries are strongly encouraged to apply. 

  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. 

  • SEforALL reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below the advertised level of the post. 


Your data will not be passed on to third parties outside SEforALL. We will only use your data to the extent necessary for the purposes of selecting personnel in accordance with the applicable data protection regulations. 

We will only disclose your personal information if we are required to do so by a court´s or administrative authority´s decision. In such a case, we will inform you as soon as possible of such an order so that you can take legal action against it if necessary. Please email to if you require updates to your information in accordance with Art. 5 lit. d of the GDPR