Business Development Consultant

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Consultant Contract (CTC)
    Hamilton, Canada
    UTC -5

    United Nations University

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

    United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)

    The United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health ( is a member of the UNU family of entities. Its vision is a world free of water problems where sustainable human development and environmental health and security are assured for all. Its mission is to help resolve pressing water challenges that are of concern to the United Nations, its Member States, and their people. UNU-INWEH pursues its mission through critical analysis and synthesis of existing bodies of scientific discovery; targeted research that identifies emerging policy issues; application of on-the-ground scalable science-based solutions to water issues; and global outreach. UNU-INWEH is the only entirely-water focused Institute within the UNU System, and the only entirely water-related UN entity in Canada. UNU-INWEH is supported by the Government of Canada and hosted by McMaster University.

    UNU-INWEH works on four broadly defined, interconnected thematic areas: i) accelerating the implementation of water-related SDGs, ii) activating a technology revolution for water security in the Global South, iii) advancing gender equality for effective water management, and iv) managing water- and climate-related risks for improved water security UNU-INWEH-Strategic-Plan. The institute focuses primarily on global water issues and their implications for developing countries.


    As part of its new strategy, UNU-INWEH aims to diversify its funding base to significantly increase donor support. This consultancy will support the overall UNU-INWEH fundraising effort and help accelerate the achievement of the fundraising targets through both i) stronger engagement with a range of national and international donors (including international funding institutions, bilateral donor agencies, private companies and foundation, Canadian research councils and provincial governments), and ii) internal support to UNU-INWEH staff in marketing UNU-INWEH tools and expertise, monitoring relevant competitive funding calls globally and regionally, and assisting with proposal development.


    The fundraising strategy for UNU-INWEH has been developed, and fundraising efforts have been ongoing. The consultant is expected to work together with UNU-INWEH staff and partners to implement the strategy and help accelerate its success. The consultant will report to the UNU-INWEH Director, more specifically the consultant will:

    • implement the fundraising strategy that unifies UNU-INWEH’s identity to key donors and stakeholders, and that is aligned with the overall UNU-INWEH Strategic Plan and its main thematic priorities
    • maintain regular contact with key donors together with the institute’s management and staff, plan participation in key donor events, explore and develop contacts with prospective new donors, including through cold calls, and build long-term trusting relationships with relevant donors and ensure the maintenance of complete and up-to-date donor information
    • proactively seek new business opportunities globally, examine various donor needs and changing priorities, present the institute to potential donors, and suggest appropriate products/services and customised solutions that are essentially aligned with UNU-INWEH’s strategic work priorities
    • continuously monitor international competitive funding calls, assessing them for UNU-INWEH’s eligibility, relevance to UNU-INWEH thematic directions, complexity, likely level of success vs. expected effort, available capacity to timely respond, and strength of regional partnerships; regularly and timely inform UNU-INWEH management of such identified opportunities and maintain fundraising effort pipeline
    • assist UNU-INWEH staff and partners with funding proposal development and submission processes; ensure the steady flow of research proposals to potential donors and in response to competitive calls; together with management, ensure quality control in the proposal development process
    • assist UNU-INWEH staff in building stronger partnerships and consortia for fundraising; establish and maintain continuous contact with business development units in other relevant UNU-INWEH sister centers, including those of recently established UNU Water Network, with a view of collective applications for large funding opportunities
    • specifically, throughout the term of this consultancy, help expand relations with the private companies and foundations and help accelerate the ongoing effort to establish working relationships with several large multilateral donors, and, in particular access Green Climate Fund — to the stage of proposals’ submission
    • assist the UNU-INWEH Director with preparation of an annual report to the Host Government on organisational performance, in line with the new UNU-INWEH Institutional Results Framework


    Specific numerical targets for this consultancy will be negotiated prior to the consultancy start date and subject to further discussion and revision based on developments around fundraising. However, they will reflect progress in diversifying the funding base of the organisation, overall fundraising status and trajectory ensuring targeted increase in third-party funding, managing donor and partner relations, fundraising pipeline management and donor information management. The numerical targets will also be linked with the financial performance indicators of the UNU-INWEH Institutional Results Framework.

    Qualifications and requirements

    Qualifications and requirements of the position include:

    • a master’s degree in marketing, business administration, water management / policy, or a closely related field; if not a ‘water” degree, knowledge of global water / environment issues is a strong advantage
    • a minimum of 10 years experience in business development, ideally for research organisations
    • a thorough understanding of global donor environment and its dynamics
    • strong entrepreneurial and negotiation skills; ability to liaise successfully with key donor agencies
    • demonstrated fundraising experience within private sector, private foundations and other non-traditional donors
    • experience in engagement with large donors, such as multilateral banks, focused global funds, etc.
    • strong communication skills. Hands-on experience with multiple “sales” techniques, including cold calls
    • strong relationship building and interpersonal skills
    • ability to form partnerships and consortia with numerous UNU-INWEH partners
    • good understanding of the theory of change, output-outcome-impact continuum, and organisational performance indicators including financial ones
    • demonstrated ability to meet the set targets, multitask, and work within tight deadlines
    • ability to work under minimal supervision and with a high level of resilience
    • cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability
    • excellent team player, highly self-motivated, and innovative
    • proficiency in oral and written English
    • knowledge of the UN and UNU system and Canadian funding landscape are added advantages

    UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation.

    UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and might be based on an estimate of total costs and daily rate in USD required to support UNU-INWEH for the length of consultant contract to be submitted as part of the application procedure.

    UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of the contractor.

    Duration of contract and specific conditions

    The successful candidate will be employed under a consultant contract (CTC) for about ten (10) months between February and November 2021. General conditions of contracts for the service of consultants apply. Consultants will not hold international civil service status nor be a ‘staff member’ as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations. If the work during the first year (2021) results in tangible financial benefits, the consultancy may be extended / renewed in the following year and its terms may be re-negotiated.

    The consultant will be home based and is not expected to travel. However, if such a need emerges and becomes possible in the current pandemic situation, it will be discussed with the appointed consultant at such an occasion and will be considered as an additional activity.

    UNU-INWEH reserves the right to cancel this consultancy if a suitable candidate is not identified.

    Starting date

    1 February 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.


  • Interested applicants should submit their application online through Impactpool and must upload all required documents listed below:

    • a separate cover letter setting out how the applicant’s qualifications and description of previous relevant experience match the requirements of the position; including an estimate of total costs and daily rate required to support UNU-INWEH for the length of consultant contract in USD
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2020/UNU/INWEH/CTC/BD/96)
    • Please include your surname in the file names of any attachments

    Only upload documents as requested. Applications submitted with additional documents, e.g. reference letters, can be disqualified.

    Only short-listed candidates will be notified. The selection process may include tests/assessments.

    Applications that do not include all the requested information will not be considered.