UNCDF General Internship Call 2021 – 2022 – Financial Health Internships – Global



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Multiple: India, Singapore, Elsewhere
Application Deadline :30-Sep-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :306d 18h 44m
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
10-Nov-2021


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.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs). With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. This last mile is where available resources for development are scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where benefits from national growth tend to leave people excluded.

UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: (1) inclusive digital economies, which connects individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; (2) local development finance, which capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and (3) investment finance, which provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization.

By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to SDG 1 on eradicating poverty with a focus on reaching the last mile and addressing exclusion and inequalities of access. At the same time, UNCDF deploys its capital finance mandate in line with SDG 17 on the means of implementation, to unlock public and private finance for the poor at the local level. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs and currently to 28 of 169 targets.

Hosted by UNCDF, the Centre for Financial Health is set-up as an umbrella platform towards convening a global coalition and thought leadership. The Centre for Financial Health acts as a convener, providing a platform to bring together global, regional and local actors committed to using financial and digital solutions to improve the financial lives of low-income families—helping them climb - and stay - out of poverty. The Centre creates space for thought leadership where best financial health practices and models are exchanged and lead to concrete action with governments and the private sector.

The Centre is implementing programmes in different countries called Living Labs which support players with a combination of high quality financial, advisory and networking support to design, test and scale financial health solutions. The aim of the programmes is to improve the financial health of five million people over the next four years. The key focus segments are gig economy workers, elders and women, with micro-enterprises and small-holder farmers cross cutting across these segments as livelihood channels.

 

UNCDF’S Work in Financial Health

Significant progress has been made in financial inclusion, but some problems persist, indicating that financial inclusion is a useful but narrow lens. More than 1.2 billion people have financial accounts since 2011 (Global Findex); historically disenfranchised groups use a range of products from savings to credit, and countries and governments now have national financial inclusion strategies. Yet, most of this success derives from “first-level access”–the use of basic accounts or payments products. In some cases, financial inclusion has led to unintended but pernicious effects such as over-indebtedness through easy access to digital credit. The effects of financial inclusion on people’s welfare is mixed, and where these effects are positive, they are rather modest. Financial inclusion has also failed to reach all people equally with women, youth and microenterprises still experiencing account ownership, usage and funding gaps.

 

Financially Included but not Financially Healthy

A few studies have examined the correlation between financial inclusion and financial health, and the results have not been encouraging. A study by the US-focused Financial Health Network conducted in 2019 shows that only 29% of Americans are financially healthy despite a (pre-COVID-19) booming economy and near-universal financial inclusion.[1] Similarly, while financial inclusion in Kenya increased from 75% to 83% between 2016 and 2019, the percentage of adults deemed financially healthy declined from 39% to 22% in the same period.[2] Gallup’s study indicated that there is no clear relationship between account ownership and financial security in low- and middle-income countries.[3]

In the development community, there is a general consensus that the ultimate objective of financial inclusion is to improve lives through creating financial security and increasing control over finances, for example. Yet we might need to pause and reflect on what constitutes “improving lives”.

Financial health as an approach offers a way forward.

Financial health is not the next panacea but offers a larger, more comprehensive perspective to define, create and measure impact. By definition, financial health encompasses three important aspects of an individual’s financial life: financial security and resilience, financial control and financial freedom. The following definition of financial health captures these dimensions:

  • The ability to meet one’s ongoing commitments, now and in the future, and under adverse circumstances (financial security). The ability to meet one’s commitments during adverse conditions, sustain oneself through it, and reorient one’s financial life once those conditions cease is termed as financial resilience;
  • A feeling of control of one’s finances (financial control); and
  • The ability to meet one’s financial goals and enjoy things one values (financial freedom).

Financial health is an improved approach over financial inclusion for many reasons. For one, financial health is more user-centric in that it accounts for both objective and subjective ways to define impact, embodying the principle that impact can mean different things to different people and is best defined by individuals themselves. Financial health also measures what matters. While transactional indicators remain relevant, the perceptive indicators of financial health such as the ability to come up with liquid funds offer a more nuanced view of an individual’s financial life. Financial health also recognizes that a whole range of factors are at play as it relates to people’s financial lives, from individual characteristics such as income and assets to environmental factors such as social capital and public infrastructure.

UNCDF is seeking qualified  interns to accelerate the learning agenda and the effective support to the UNCDF Financial Health portfolio.

 

[1] US Financial Health Pulse, Financial Health Network, 2019

[2] Inclusive Finance: Headline Findings from Finaccess 2019, FSD Kenya, 2019

[3] Gallup’s Global Financial Health Study, 2018


Duties and Responsibilities

The Internship opportunities are available across the following five (5) areas listed below:

Area 1: Financial health research

Curate financial health data and insights

  • Curate the financial health data and insights by reading the latest financial health publications from recognized sources such as CFPB, FHN, HBR, Aspen institute, World Bank,
  • Update the Global Financial Health Dashboard with the latest insights

Draft deep-dive thematic research on financial health with specific reference to the banked customers, women, youth, ageing, and low-and-middle income segments

  • Support in implementing the financial health measurement research in Malaysia and other countries
  • Draft financial health survey questionnaires, support in data collection and analysis, and produce relevant insights
  • Create and test financial health statistical models to identify its determinants

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Support in content development for easy-to-use knowledge products including blogs, website materials, concept notes, technical papers on financial health
  • Create presentations for the financial health workshop and webinars
  • Synthesize and summarize research outcomes and lessons learned into formats tailored to specific audience such as government, regulator, banks or consumers

Conduct deep-dive explanatory data analysis and create interesting visualizations

  • Leverage the survey and transactional data to diagnose the baseline and trends in financial health
  • Create data visualizations and dashboards using tools like PowerBI and Tableau

 

Area 2: Measurement and Index Development

  • Support in preparing note of engagement with the institutions intending to embed financial health measurement in there strategy
  • Work to identify data sets that the institution gathers at transaction level
  • Assist with workshops to socialize the concept on financial health and layout the process for taking forward the exercise
  • Assist with data prioritization exercise related to outcome indicators that can be tracked on objective and subjective basis
  • Support with deploying surveys including setting data collection tools and assist with running analysis of different data sets originating from surveys or supply side data
  • Assist with developing dashboards that could provide information on financial health outcomes of the customers within a institution (ie Bank, Insurance, Fintech, etc)

 

Area 3: Global Financial Health Research and Insights 

  • Support in Data curation, maintain, acquire and mine the demand and supply side datasets related to the existing projects on gig economy workers, women or elderly
  • Maintain and update the evidence map or datasets as required (for the focus segments)
  • Support the development of research and data dashboards
  • Support in the experimentation of new survey methods for impact measurement including mobile phone surveys (e.g. on finance and poverty, empowerment, etc)  
  • Deep dive into quarterly reports to draft case studies. Support in maintaining and updating the qualitative database for case study analyses of the progress of innovation partners in implementing their digital finance and Fintech innovations
  • Conduct desk and literature review on digital and Fintech solutions and keep abreast of latest insights in market trends and impact research
  • Support in qualitative and quantitative study on customer journey mapping.
  • Support in data collection and survey design
  • Conduct data cleaning, data curation and visualization to inform the product design.
  • Support in content development for easy-to-use knowledge products including blogs, website materials, infographic, presentations etc. Review and edit, working papers, research and communications materials
  • Synthesize and summarize research outcomes and lessons learned into formats tailored to government, digital finance service providers, private sector and donors.

 

Area 4: Programme, Community and Advocacy

  • Conduct research on key topics related to Financial Health outcomes and determinants and resources in selected countries across Asia, Africa.
  • Help manage follow-up with the influencers of FH agenda, innovators, others
  • Contribute to the conceptualization and development of the community and advocacy plan
  • Help develop case studies, and key supporting documents to be featured in the community engagements like workshops, webinars, etc.
  • General support to the Advocacy team or related to programme support

 

Area 5: Financial health of the gig workers

Curate data and insights on financial health of gig workers

  • Curate data and insights on financial health of gig workers by reading the latest financial health publications from recognized sources on gig worker space
  • Update the Global Financial Health Dashboard with the latest insights

Draft deep-dive thematic research on financial health of gig workers

  • Work with the leading gig workers companies such as Grab, foodpanda, others to undertake financial health research for gig workers
  • Support in implementing the financial health measurement research for gig workers in Malaysia and other countries
  • Draft financial health survey questionnaires, support in data collection and analysis, and produce relevant insights
  • Create and test financial health statistical models to identify its determinants in context of gig workers

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Support in content development for easy-to-use knowledge products including blogs, website materials, concept notes, technical papers on financial health
  • Create presentations for the financial health workshop and webinars
  • Synthesize and summarize research outcomes and lessons learned into formats tailored to specific audience such as government, regulator, banks or consumers


Competencies

Core Competencies:

  • Commitment to UNCDFs vision, mission, and strategic goals
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty
  • Excellent organizational, inter-personal, communication and administrative skills
  • Able to work effectively in a team and in an international environment

Functional Competencies:

  • Demonstrable skills in research, analytical thinking, and communication
  • Excellent writing and editing skills in English
  • Proven ability to manage diverse and complex tasks, with tight deadlines
  • Able to take initiative and work independently, with minimum supervision
  • Strong organizational, communication and interpersonal skills with ability to work under pressure within an international setting
  • Interest in the UN system and general knowledge of development issues is a plus

Ability to perform a variety of administrative tasks.


Required Skills and Experience

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

Applicants to the UNDP internship programme must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Be enrolled in a postgraduate degree programme (such as a master’s programme, or higher);
  2. Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (such as bachelor’s degree or equivalent);
  3. Have recently graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation;

Work Experience and Desired Skillset:

  • Demonstrated experience (part or full-time, paid or volunteer) in economics, policy related work, finance, inclusive finance or related fields
  • Demonstrated research and analytical capacity
  • Excellent computer capabilities
  • Experienced in STATA, R-Studio, Tableau, Nvivo, Power-BI, Python, GIS Mapping software’s, or other similar data analytic tools (For those applying on research and data related engagement)

Language:

  • Strong writing and speaking abilities in English.

 

Work arrangements:

  • The Intern will work full-time home based and should be based out of either India or Singapore.
  • Interns are expected to use their own computer/laptop as they may not have full-time access to office computer/laptop

 

Internship conditions:

  • UNCDF Internship Programme is governed by the UNDP Internship Policy Framework and Rules.
  • The maximum possible internship duration is 6 months.
  • Interns are partially financially remunerated by UNCDF. The costs associated with the assignment will be partially supported by UNCDF and the rest to be borne by the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students; or by the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his/her own arrangements for travel, accommodation, etc. Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location in which the internship will be carried out (i.e. India).
  • Under the new revised UNDP Internship Policy, UNCDF will provide a modest monthly internship stipend to its interns, in accordance with the provisions of the UNDP Internship Policy. All expenses connected with the internship will be borne by the Intern or her/his sponsoring entity/institution.
  • Selected interns must be able to share proof of education enrolment and/ or graduation, medical/health and life/accident insurance, valid for the location in which the internship will be carried out and be able to provide insurance documentary proof at the time of their selection.
  • It is expected that due to CoVID-19 restrictions in place, the most- immediate internship assignments will be home-based till the situation in respective duty station improves.
  • The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNCDF but to complement an Intern’s studies and learning growth.
  • There is no expectation of employment at the end of these internships.
  • Interns are not staff members and may not represent UNCDF in any official capacity.

 

Evaluation:

Shortlisted candidates shall be invited for an interview, candidates who were not shortlisted will not be notified. Candidates will be evaluated mainly from 4 aspects:

  • Working and/or research experience in relevant area
  • Knowledge on financial inclusion, development finance and SDGs
  • Data analytic skills (For category 1 and 2)
  • Communication skills

 

Application:

Please group all your documents into one single PDF document as the system only allows to upload a maximum of one document.

  • In your application, please state in one paragraph why you would like to be considered for the internship and your primary motivation to apply for this role;
  • Please note that you will need to answer the mandatory questions on timeframe and availability (under Additional Questions section), which is a part of the internship application process, in addition to your cover letter.
  • Please submit your Resume/CV and an application using the UNCDF Internship Application form: http://www.uncdf.org/download/file/127/2509/internshipdoc 
  • Applications should include the application form and latest resume. Applicants are welcome to submit any additional work samples or portfolios in one single file, preferably PDF.
  • Please note that the UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application document, so please make sure that you merge all your documents (CV/ Resume, Cover Letter etc. into a single file before uploading).

Interested candidates can apply at any time indicating the timeframe of their availability in the internship form. However, only those candidates selected for interviews / further assessment by hiring managers will be contacted. 

 

Additional Questions:

Select periodof availability for internship:

  • 15 Nov 2021 – 14 May 2022
  • 15 May 2022 -  14 October 2022

Identify specific areas of internship to which you would like to be associated:

  • Area 1
  • Area 2
  • Area 3
  • Area 4
  • Area 5

Period of internship for which you are available

  • 3 months
  • 6 months



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