Innovation Lead - IPSA 12

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :10-Jun-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-12
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 months

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.


Instructions to Applicants: Click on the "Apply now" button. Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. Please ensure that CV or P11 and the Cover letter are combined in one file.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.

A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.

Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.


Office/Unit/Project Description

UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to inclusive finance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia and the Pacific, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis. It can provide seed capital both grants and loans as well as technical support that will improve poor peoples’ lives.

The UNCDF digital agenda for migration and remittances falls within the organization’s broader global strategy, set forth in 2019, of “Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era.” This vision is to empower millions of people by 2024 to use services daily that leverage innovation and technology and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. Through a market development approach, UNCDF continuously seeks to address underlying market dysfunctions. The Programme contributes to, and benefits from, this overarching corporate mandate. The Programme is administered by UNCDF with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, or SDC, and Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency.

UNCDF’s Migration and Remittances for Development Programme, or the Programme, aims at contributing to sustainable development by making remittances more accessible and affordable, while helping build resilience for migrants and their families. For both sending and receiving countries, the Programme seeks to increase the share of migrant remittances flowing through formal channels, thereby giving policymakers at both ends greater visibility into the true picture of inbound and outbound financial flows. For remittances service providers, the Programme seeks to build the capacity to understand the financial needs and preferences of migrants and their families, and to design and deliver responsive products accordingly. For migrants themselves, the Programme aims not only to lower the costs and increase the safety and convenience of sending money, but also to link remittances to a broader suite of financial services—including insurance, savings, pensions, investments, and credit—that can help them reach their goals. The Programme recognizes digitization as the key to achieving these objectives.


Institutional Arrangement

The direct supervisor of the Innovation Lead will be the Lead Specialist, Migration and Remittance portfolio at UNCDF.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

  • Leading UNCDF’s effort and convenings on an open regulated payments network, which includes dissemination and following up with stakeholders on adopting key recommendations
  • Leading UNCDF’s effort to design a global interoperability scheme for remittances
  • Leading UNCDF’s work on open digital infrastructure, including designing APIs to help scale remittance linked products
  • Contributing to the cross-border interoperability reference guide project
  • Reviewing key publications linked to UNCDF’s work on share market infrastructure, portability of digital identity, migrant and gender centric open-source user interfaces, remittance-linked credit research, digitization of wage payments, micro-insurance and pensions, etc.




Achieve Results:

LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

Act with Determination:

LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

People Management


Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Thematic Area



Digital and Innovation

Digital Inclusion

Knowledge of how digital inclusion works, opportunities and challenges for governments and society


Innovation Management

Being able to create the, strategies, conditions, structures and systems to enable innovation at an organisational level. Ability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity, is able manage projects based principles of adaptation and emergence. Ability to shape demand for innovation services, navigate political constraints and make the case for allocation of resources to innovation, connect the appropriate innovation approaches based on business needs and make the case for innovation to be integrated at the planning level within their context. Having in-depth theoretical and experiential knowledge of innovation processes, methods, capabilities.

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirements

  • Master’s degree in business, technology, business/public administration, economics, finance, or a related discipline

Min. years of relevant work experience

  • 10 years of dedicated experience in financial services, financial inclusion or digital financial services

Required  skills

  • Previous proven experience working on the areas of remittances
  • Previous experience with the UN / UNDP is considered an advantage

Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section

  • Excellent understanding of key issues and international good practices relating to remittances, digital payments, and digital financial inclusion

Required Language(s)

  • Proficiency in English

Professional Certificates

  • NA

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