Chief Technical Advisor (Rural Finance and Microfinance) - readvertised

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Maseru, LESOTHO
Application Deadline :18-May-08 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :ALD International
Post Level :ALD-4
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :One year
Expected Duration of Assignment :Four years


Closing date has been extended 1 May to 18 May 2008

For sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, the Government of Lesotho is committed to enhancing sustainable access to financial services by the poor and low-income populations, particularly in rural areas. The Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD, a specialised agency of the United Nations) jointly developed a seven-year Rural Financial Intermediation Programme (RUFIP) and recently signed a financing agreement. The Programme will seek to improve access to efficient financial services by the rural poor on a sustainable basis by capacity building of member-based financial institutions, institutional strengthening and extending the outreach of formal financial institutions and improving their linkages with informal and semi-formal institutions, as well as establishing an enabling environment for the development of rural and micro finance industry. The programme will be coordinated under the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MOFDP) and the key implementing partners include the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL), Department of Cooperatives of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing, as well as the Lesotho PostBank.  A Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) will be established under the auspices of the MOFDP to be responsible for day-to-day management and coordination of the programme activities.

Following consultations with the Government of Lesotho and IFAD, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also would like to assist in the building of an inclusive financial sector in Lesotho and intend to design interventions and provide support that will be complementary to the RUFIP and coordinated under the Government.

In the above context, a Chief Technical Advisor will be placed in the MOFDP to provide support on policy-related issues and strategic directions for the development of an inclusive financial sector.  The position will be co-financed by UNDP, UNCDF and IFAD funding under the RUFIP for a minimum of two years. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Functions/Key Results Expected

Chief Technical Advisor – Overall Roles and Responsibilities:

MOFDP is looking for a highly competent and motivated professional who will act as a Chief Technical Advisor (CTA). Directly reporting to the Chief Executive, Department of Private Sector Development and Financial Affairs, MOFDP, CTA will provide policy-level support and strategic guidance for the development of inclusive financial services, assist in effectively coordinating relevant initiatives and stakeholders, as well as to provide technical backstopping services to programmes and initiatives in the sector (including RUFIP and those to be supported by UNCDF/UNCDF). His/her tasks will include the following:

Provide technical support and advise MOFDP on policy-related matters relating to the development of an inclusive finance sector, including the following aspects:

  • Strategic leadership and guidance to the initiatives for promoting inclusive financial services in Lesotho;
  • Development or strengthening of policy, strategies and a framework for programmatic support aimed at building an inclusive financial sector, based on consultations and dialogues with key national stakeholders;
  • Guidance to develop strategies and programmatic support for an enabling legal and regulatory framework, in close
       liaison with the CBL and technical assistance to be provided under RUFIP;

Assist in ensuring effective coordination of relevant initiatives and stakeholders at national level, specifically including:

  • Provide advices on the functions and operational modalities of the existing Financial Sector Steering Committee coordinated under MOFDP, with a view to enable the Committee to effectively fulfil its role to review and advise on strategic issues,  proposals and progress pertaining to financial sector development and reform;
  • Develop partnership with government departments, CBL, development partners, private sector and civil society to promote an  enabling policy,legal and institutional environment for inclusive financial services, including support to organising policy dialogue/fora in close collaboration with CBL, the RUFIP’s PCU and other UNCDF and UNDP supported initiatives;

Provide technical guidance and backstopping to the major initiatives in the sector, notably including RUFIP and UNDP/UNCDF support,  specifically including:

  • Assisting in the selection and supervising qualified technical service providers recruited under RUFIP and UNDP/UNCDF-supported  interventions;
  • Providing technical support to RUFIP’s PCU on programme coordination and management, in particular, strategic review and guidance  on the overall programme plans and performance, as well as assessment of performance of implementing agencies;
  • Assisting in the elaboration of planned UNCDF/UNDP support and providing strategic guidance on its implementation, ensuring its complementary to the existing Government’s initiatives including RUFIP.
  • Ø Advise MOFDP senior management on technical issues, needs and opportunities to build capacity of MOFDP staff in rural / inclusive finance to fulfil their roles effectively, while also endeavouring to develop skills and knowledge of key counterpart staff through working jointly;
  • Ensure that sound investments are made in the sector, including technical support to the investment committee that could be set up to decide on the  proposals submitted by the Financial service providers;
  • Conduct other activities relating to this work as relevant and necessary.

Impact of Results

  • The general impact of this post will be on improved implementation of the activities supported by MOFD, including RUFIP and other programmes  to develop and inclusive financial sector in Lesotho;·
  • Specific results of this effort are to guarantee the designing and implementation of  national strategy for financial inclusion and sound technical advice in the field of microfinance, rural finance and inclusive finance, in general and to ensure good coordination mechanisms for the development of the sector.


  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness;
  • Displays cultural sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Shows strong corporate commitment;
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP/UNCDF, IFAD;
  • Displays a high level of respect, diplomacy and tact when dealing with government officials, donors and other project stakeholders;
  • Is proactive and has ability to discuss openly with all senior government staff;
  • Shares knowledge and experience and contributes to UNDP Practice Areas and IFAD Rural finance agenda and actively works towards continuing personal learning and development;
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to lead formulation and evaluation of programme components and activities;
  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to critical feedback, consensus-oriented;
  • Leads teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills;
  • Capacity to perform effectively under pressure and hardship conditions;

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced degree in economics, business administration, finance, banking or related fields;
  • A minimum of 10 years of professional experience in microfinance, rural finance, banking or related fields  (at least 3 years should be at the managerial level), preferably in Africa;
  • Exposure to the design, implementation and management of pro-poor initiatives and development projects;
  • Exposure to programme accounting, disbursement and procurement in projects financed by multilateral financial  institutions would be an advantage;
  • Leadership, management and negotiation skills;
  • Ability to work as part of  a team and actively pursue networking;
  • Ability to lead and manage change;
  • Demonstrated experience designing or facilitating professional microfinance/rural finance training;
  • Excellent computer skills and ability to use information technology as a tool and resource;
  • Excellent analytical skills; and,
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.

Timing, terms of appointment

Start date: As soon as possible. The duration of this position jointly co-financed by UNDP,  UNCDF and IFAD funds is expected to be for a minimum of two years, renewable up to the maximum of four years. The successful candidate will be engaged on a performance-based contract, renewable annually subject to satisfactory performance evaluations. A competitive international remuneration package reflecting UN remuneration standards will be offered.

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.

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