The Cities Alliance is a global partnership promoting the role of cities in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and managed by a Secretariat based in Brussels, the Cities Alliance is a unique partnership with a diverse membership, which is committed to strengthen developmental impacts through improved coherence in urban development. Cities Alliance is a global leader with a strong track record in supporting strategic city planning, slum upgrading and national policies designed to make cities more inclusive and sustainable. Cities Alliance uses a combination of grants, procurement of services and goods as well as direct technical assistance to prepare and implement urban projects and programmes.

The Cities Alliance, as in its mandate, has been facilitating the development of urban strategies and plans for cities across the globe. Through this technical assistance work, various urban development projects – such as service infrastructure – have been identified, and in some successful cases the Cities Alliance has been able to leverage follow-up development funding to support their implementation.

The majority of these funding has been coming from the public sector where no financial return

is demanded. However, many other identified projects fall outside the scope of international development aid funding but could still be attractive for private sector investors if a viable financial model is identified. Given the limited budgetary capacity of the domestic public sector, the investment gap could be filled by innovative and blended financial instruments. This could allow cities to better realize their development potential while guaranteeing to investors opportunities for returns both financially and socially.

The Cities Alliance is seeking a Senior Investment/Project Finance Advisor with extensive experience on project finance and basic infrastructure in cities. The incumbent will be responsible for the development and implementation of a new Cities Alliance engagement strategy with Private Sector players interested in investing in basic infrastructure in rapidly urbanising cities. The incumbent will be responsible for identifying an operational niche and model for the Cities Alliance that is aligned to its mission and local demands but also attractive to the logic on investments. Finally, the incumbent is expected to lead the definition and implementation of concrete projects where the collaboration with the private sector is displayed and to mobilise the initial funding needed. The overall goal is for the Cities Alliance to test new models of promoting development and leveraging investments through innovative financial instruments and actors.

  1. Strategic Analysis and Positioning
  2. Review of Cities Alliance operations and UNOPS instruments to deliver basic infrastructure and identification of areas and modalities for project financing;
  3. Conduct research and gather information on existing donors as well as project preparation facilities in the field of project finance and basic infrastructure which are relevant for Cities Alliance operations and intended areas of work;
  4. Conduct research and gather information on private investment actors relevant and interested in the mandate and scope of operations by the Cities Alliance;
  5. Advisory Services and Development of Business Opportunities
  6. Provide overall support and guidance to the Cities Alliance in the establishment of bespoke partnerships with the private sector for the financing of municipal investment plans and infrastructure projects in partner cities.
  7. Design, prepare and lead the negotiation with private sector players and relevant governments for the development of joint urban projects which are based on innovative financing instruments and capable of attracting private sector investments in partner cities. These instruments could include complex forms of impact investment, blended financing or bonds.
  8. Finally, identify and mobilise the initial funding needed to initiate and pilot these projects from either traditional public sector donors and/or corporate philanthropies.


How to apply