Senior Business Analyst / Costing Specialist Consultancy

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Start Date: ASAP-July

Deadline for Applications: 22 July 2024 (Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the closing date)

Time Involvement: 50% July through October then 25% at least in November and December

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its thirteen Centers are independent legal entities and research organizations. Each Center has its own local footprint, with a host county agreement granting privileges and immunities. Although the Centers draw on the same pooled funding via the CGIAR Trust Fund, their assets and facilities are managed independently.

Project Background:

This Project aims to comprehensively assess CGIAR's strategic assets and develop a plan to ensure their continued readiness and effectiveness in supporting the CGIAR 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy. Phase II of the project includes the following objectives:

  • Collect data and create the asset portfolio of CGIAR’s 13 Centers
  • Develop a methodology to identify which assets should be considered essential or strategic for the delivery of CGIAR’s 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy and beyond
  • Conduct a business and financial assessment of strategic assets, identify potential funding gaps, and reviewing their current business model 
  • Develop a strategic investment and business model for CGIAR to budget and fundraise for assets, including creating business plans, full life-cycle costing models, and decommissioning.
  • Identify opportunities for investment to help reduce our long-term cost base, opportunities to optimize through consolidation, outsourcing or decommissioning, upgrading existing strategic assets, and procurement of new strategic assets to support CGIAR 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy.
  • Develop a methodology for creating business cases for the assets, including an accurate harmonized costing methodology for the assets.

Objective:

To hire a Senior Business Analyst / Costing Specialist (consultant) to develop a business case methodology including a harmonized methodology for costing the full life cycle costs of CGIAR's strategic assets across 13 Centers, and to analyse and compile data for a final report.  The consultant will also contribute to the development of a methodology to determine which assets are aligned to the CGIAR 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy.

Consultant Responsibilities:

  • Stage 1: Methodology Development & Business Case Template (July through 15 Aug)
      • Contribute to the development of a methodology to determine which assets are aligned to the CGIAR 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy.
      • In consultation with stakeholders, develop a business case methodology to justify funding for the inclusion of strategic and critical assets in the 2025-2030 research portfolio.
      • As a component of the business case methodology, create a harmonized costing methodology.
      • Collaborate with representatives from all 13 CGIAR Centers to understand existing costing methodologies for tangible and intangible assets.
      • Identify commonalities and differences in existing costing approaches across Centers.
    • Develop a guideline for harmonizing the costing of the asset life cycle, including acquisition, operation, maintenance, and disposal costs.
      • Ensure the methodology is clear, concise, and easy to implement by all CGIAR Centers.
      • Develop resources (e.g., templates, guidelines and training presentation) to facilitate consistent application of the harmonized methodology.
      • Work with data analysts to create the data collection template for costing data
    • Develop a template for business cases. In collaboration with project stakeholders, develop a template for business cases to be used by Centers when presenting investment proposals for strategic assets.
    • Cost Recovery methodologies and risk assessment:
      • For the different categories of asset bundles, recommend cost recovery methodologies (e.g. usage fees, service agreements) mindful of the funding environment.
  • Stage 2: Center Support and Data Collection (August & September)
    • Provide orientation/training to all Centers on the costing methodology and distribute necessary resources
    • Work with each Center to confirm understanding of the harmonized costing methodology and to troubleshoot questions
    • Provide remote support to Centers as they conduct their costing analysis using the developed methodology.
    • Ensure that Centers are fully recovering costs of assets to the maximum extent possible.
    • Support Centers in conducting the funding gap analysis to identify assets where the Centers' current funding model does not fully cover operational and maintenance costs.
    • Analyze and review reports provided by Centers as a quality check, and provide feedback to ensure completeness and accuracy as much as possible.
    • Analyze and review business case submissions from Centers for quality and adherence to the developed template.
    • Provide feedback and recommendations to Centers for improvement of their business cases.

  • Stage 3: Reporting and Presentations (October)
    • Compile data and reports submitted by each Center.
    • Analyze the collected data to identify cost trends, funding gaps, and potential areas for optimization.
    • Create aggregate numbers for a holistic view of CGIAR's asset portfolio costs.
    • Note limitations due to differences in Center costing methodologies and explain how these "apples to oranges" comparisons may impact the total numbers.
    • In collaboration with data analyst, create visual graphs to illustrate key findings and facilitate easier understanding of the data.
    • Support analysis for how to achieve efficiencies in the asset portfolio, and how to access alternative funding sources
    • Prepare a comprehensive report detailing the developed harmonized costing methodology, data analysis, and key findings.
    • Include recommendations for improving asset cost management and achieving greater operational efficiencies.
    • Compile the business case submissions from Centers for inclusion in the final report.

  • Stage 4: Finalization and Availability (November & December)
    • Be available on a 25% time commitment basis to address any questions or concerns from Centers or senior level stakeholders regarding the report.
    • Participate in calls and meetings as needed to finalize the report and address any identified revisions.
    • Be prepared to give presentations to stakeholders on the developed methodology and findings of the study.
    • Prepare a final report summarizing the activities and providing recommendations to improve harmonized asset management across the CGIAR to ensure assets are optimized to support the CGIAR research and innovation strategy in the long run.

The Senior Business Analyst / Costing Specialist will work collaboratively as part of a project team to deliver the final report. They will work closely with other team members, including the project lead, project coordinator, and senior data analyst.

Deliverables:

The Senior Business Analyst will deliver the following throughout the project:

  • 10 Aug:
    • Developed and harmonized costing methodology for CGIAR strategic asset study.
    • Report on commonalities and variances of costing methodology across the 13 Centers.
    • Guideline for harmonizing the costing of the asset life cycle for the purpose of this study.
    • Accompanying training presentation, template, and training materials.
    • Template for business cases used by Centers for investment proposals.
    • Participation in periodic presentations to stakeholders
  • August & September
    • Training and orientation to Centers
    • Support to Centers in applying the costing methodology and funding gap analysis for under-recovered operational and maintenance costs.
    • Analyzed and reviewed business case submissions from Centers.
    • Participation in periodic presentations to stakeholders
  • 31 October:
    • Compiled data and reports from each Center.
    • Analysis of collected data including cost trends, funding gaps, and optimization areas.
    • Aggregate numbers for a holistic view of CGIAR's asset portfolio costs.
    • Comprehensive report detailing the methodology, data analysis, findings, and recommendations for improved asset cost management.
    • Final presentation  with accompanying presentation slides
    • Compiled business case submissions from Centers.
    • Participation in periodic presentations to stakeholders
  • November & December:
    • Availability for addressing questions and concerns regarding the report (25% time commitment).
    • Participation in calls and meetings to finalize the report.
    • Presentations to stakeholders on the methodology and study findings.
    • Final internal report including recommendation on the project’s work including recommendations for harmonizing costing methodologies across all Centers for the full asset life cycle, and any other enablers that would improve asset management in the CGIAR

Requirements

Consultant Qualifications:

    • Proven experience in developing and implementing asset costing and cost recovery methodologies
    • Extensive experience with infrastructure costing, including laboratories and research facilities.
    • Experience working with complex asset portfolios, including tangible and intangible assets
    • Experience with life-cycle costing, including acquisition, maintenance, operation, and decommissioning costs.
    • Understanding of financial analysis, budgeting, and funding gap analysis for research and development projects.
    • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to collaborate with diverse stakeholders across different CGIAR Centers across multiple time zones from GMT-6 to GMT+8
    • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines effectively
    • Experience developing and working with business case templates

Additional Considerations:

    • The consultant should be flexible and adaptable to accommodate variations in existing costing practices across Centers.
    • Knowledge of CGIAR or the international agricultural research context would be a valuable asset.

Timeline:

  • July to Mid-Aug: Full-time commitment for methodology development.
  • August & September: Full-time commitment for Center support and data collection.
  • October: Full-time commitment for compiling and finalizing the final report and presentations.
  • November & December: Available for at least a 25% time commitment for finalization and presentations.

Selection Criteria:
Candidates will be shortlisted and interviewed based on their qualifications, experience, and understanding of the project requirements. The successful candidate will possess the technical skills, experience, and communication abilities necessary to contribute effectively to the achievement of project objectives.

Benefits

CGIAR is committed to fair, safe, and inclusive workplaces. We believe that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-colour, multi-generational, and multi-disciplinary, collegial working environment, with a competitive salary, excellent benefits, and flexible working arrangements. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.

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