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Framework agreement for the services of an Individual Contractor Engaged on On-Call Basis, Senior Technical and Technical Experts on Responsible Digital Payments and Digital Financial Inclusion, Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA)
|Advertised on behalf of :|
|Location :||NEW YORK, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA|
|Application Deadline :||27-Sep-22 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||International Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English French|
|Duration of Initial Contract :||12 Months|
|Expected Duration of Assignment :||12 Months with possible extension to up-to three years|
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.
This is a re-advertisement of vacancy reference: 107364. Previous applicants need not re-apply. Applications to this re-advertisement shall be evaluated together with applications from the previous advertisement.
“Experts from West Africa or have experience in West Africa are strongly encouraged to apply”.
United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the UN’s capital investment agency for the World’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs). It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to inclusive finance and investment capital. Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
About the Better Than Cash Alliance
Hosted by UNCDF, the Better Than Cash Alliance’s mission is to catalyze a global movement from cash to digital payments to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Specific benefits include efficiency, transparency, women’s economic participation, and financial inclusion, helping build economies that are digital and inclusive.
The Alliance has 75 members, including national governments from Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, companies, and international organizations which have committed to digitizing payments.
The Secretariat works with the Alliance members on their journey to digitize payments by:
Billions of dollars in cash payments and transfers are made daily in emerging and developing economies, including payment of salaries, social welfare, relief, payments to suppliers, and remittances. The problems with these cash payments include a lack of transparency, accountability, and security, as well as inefficiency. Individuals who receive cash payments are often part of the 1.7 billion excluded from the formal financial sector, the majority of whom are women. This means they are excluded from access to a range of appropriate and affordable financial services to help them save safely take advantage of economic opportunities and reduce their vulnerability to risk.
Shifting these payments from cash to digital has the potential to improve the lives of low-income people, particularly women while giving governments, the development community, and the private sector a more transparent, time and cost-efficient, and often-safer means of disbursing payments.
The Better Than Cash Alliance Team’s Core Values are the following:
The Alliance has been widely recognized as a leading global authority on the digitization of payments, a trusted source of evidence-based and tailored policy guidance, and a forceful advocate for responsible and inclusive digital ecosystems. It is credited with having catalyzed a global movement to drive the digitization of payments. More than 100 organizations have made commitments to move away from cash to digital payments from Government, private sectors, UN agencies and many more.
The Better Than CASH Alliance has developed its strategy 2022-2025 focusing on scaling digital payments with a focus on Africa and women for COVID-19 post recovery using both advocacy and advisory services. Building on nine years of achievements, 2022-2025 Strategy will focus on scaling digital payments in emerging and developing economies with a focus on responsible practices and financial equality for women by:
The Alliance Secretariat provides demand-driven services to its members in payment streams that have the potential to scale, where the Secretariat has a unique value, and where they complement their partnership with the Alliance. During 2022-2025, the payment streams will be focusing on the following:
Duties and Responsibilities
The objective of this terms of reference is to find high- quality technical experts in digital finance that are capable of providing advisory and advocacy support to help achieve the Alliance’s goal of catalyzing a movement from cash to digital payments and support members of the Alliance to adopt digital payment instrument methods
Individual Consultants are expected to provide advocacy, research, advisory services, capacity building, and technical assistance interventions in the following areas:
The Expert must prove knowledge and practical experience in one or more of the following themes:
Financial Inclusion experts are expected to provide technical assistance and support to Governments or companies members of the Alliance be called upon to support the Alliance activities across its three key verticals:
Deliverables and Expected Results
For each specific assignment, the UNCDF will develop a specific Terms of Reference (TOR) with detailed scope of work, expected deliverables and project timeline which will be sent to qualified partners. Upon receipt of the TOR, the consultant will be requested to share confirmation of interest for attending the assignment and submit a financial proposal based on the work requirements and timeline specified in the TOR. The indicated outputs and delivery schedules can be different in each assignment and will be detailed in each Term of Reference (TOR) specifies per assignment.
The Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) is looking to hire Experts and Senior Technical Experts to support the Alliance’s work to advance responsible digital payments and provide advisory services (including policy and regulatory advice, expertise in financial inclusion and digital payments, experience in promoting inclusive innovation processes and expertise in capacity/skill-building) to support the development of program interventions in the above-mentioned payment streams.
This solicitation is for a long-term agreement (LTA) for three years. “LTA” refers to a mutual arrangement whereby the consultant will provide services as required, over a specific period. An LTA specifies the unit price, allowing for a framework agreement to be used when the contractors’ services are needed
An LTA is a framework agreement between UNCDF and individual where the latter may, at any time within the duration of the LTA, be required to render the agreed services at deliverable-based prices for a minimum period of 12 months, with potential extension for up to three (3) additional years, depending on satisfactory performance of the individual.
Under an LTA, Better Than Cash Alliance program does not guarantee that any specific quantity of services shall be purchased during the term of this agreement. The LTA does not form a financial obligation or commitment from UNCDF at the time the LTA contract is signed, and such an agreement is non-exclusive.
Over the past three years, the Alliance has established rosters for experts and senior experts, table data below demonstrating the historical data trends under each roster:
For this LTA, UNCDF would like to reach a total of 80 entries in the combined roster of experts and senior experts. However, if this number is not reached, the creation of the roster will still proceed.
Based on the objectives mentioned under section B “Specific Objective”, this TOR has been divided into 2 LOTS based on the preferred level of seniority, depth of knowledge, background, and years of experience.
UNCDF seeks to establish Long Term Agreements (LTAs) with multiple experts and senior experts under the following LOTS:
Under both lots, the experts will support the Alliance’s goal of catalyzing a movement from cash to digital payments and support members of the Alliance to adopt digital payment instrument methods.
Bidders must apply to only one lot that highly corresponds to their level of seniority, knowledge, background, and years of experience as reflected in the section Professional Qualifications of the Successful Consultants.
Technical and Financial proposals must be submitted separately, for financial proposals, it should be password protected.
The consultants must provide their CVs, for the senior experts the CVs must include the list of relevant publications, as well as a cover letter substantiating their understanding of the Better than Cash Alliance interventions, area of expertise as reflected under the themes in the Specific Objective, section B, and what their approach would be to respond to the indicative outputs.
The consultants must demonstrate their expertise with the key customer segments (Youth, women, migrants, refugees, and MSMEs) with the sectors targeted (finance, agriculture, energy, health, tax, wages, Social Protection beneficiaries, women-led enterprises and Climate focusing on renewable energy and energy transition).
The Better Than Cash Alliance operates in Low and Middle-Income Countries in West Africa, East Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific thus relevant implementation experience in these geographies should be highlighted.
Case studies of past successful efforts of embedding the above in the development and organizational space should be brought to the fore.
Price and Schedule of Payments
An LTAs is not a financial commitment with UNCDF at the time of its signed. UNCDF will issue call-off contract against the LTA only upon a specific requirement with clear and measurable deliverables. Financial commitments will be established on an ad-hoc basis every time services are requested within the scope of the LTA and a contract will be issued.
Final Price and Schedule of Payments will be determined at the time of the call-off contract. When required, the UNCDF will contact LTA holders to provide a signed Confirmation of Interest and price proposal. The subsequent quotes provided must be equal to or lower than the unit rates agreed in the LTAs. Call-off contracts are separate contracts that fall under the framework agreement of the LTA.
Financial proposals will include professional fees: ‘’All-inclusive Daily Rate”. This all-inclusive Daily Rate must include all expenses to be incurred by the respective consultant in their daily work schedule when not traveling. This will include but is not limited to his/her professional fees, incidental expenses, medical and health insurance, communication, stationery, etc.
A financial proposal for this LTA shall not include travel costs including all costs associated with such travels All travel-related expenses including tickets, lodging, terminal expenses, insurance/medical costs, etc. should be agreed upon between the hiring unit and service provider prior to undertaking an assignment.
Travel will be reimbursed on an actual basis. In general, UNCDF shall not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the service provider wish to travel in a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources. The total contract value of each specific assignment, inclusive of all elements, shall be converted into a lump sum contract. Payments under each contract shall be made on submission and acceptance of deliverables under the contract in accordance with the schedule of payment.
Call-off/ Selection Process for Specific Assignment
Standard Operation procedure for placing the call-off
Based on the need assessment and a predefined TOR, UNCDF will review the Vendor’s qualification and experience, focus area, regional coverage as well as work languages and then approach the Vendor from the Roster that best fits with the assignment & offers the best VFM – seeking the consultant’s:
Key Performance Indicators and Service Level
Each specific TOR will describe in detail the list of key services required, their frequency of requirement, and minimum standard of services acceptable.
Monitoring of progress shall be measured both per the activities of the contractor as well as the performance of the BTCA partners involved in the project.
The contractor will be asked to organize progress calls with the Key Lead/s from the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Payments will be linked to the approval of deliverables, should a deliverable not meet the standard agreement, BTCA will withhold payment and discuss remedial actions with the contractor.
The consultant must prove knowledge and implementation experience in one or more of the following subjects:
Governance and Accountability
The LTA agreement will be managed by the Head of Research and Innovation Hub and the Management Specialist for the Alliance.
Additionally, each specific project TOR will:
Facilities to be provided by UNCDF
Unless specified in an assignment TOR, The Better Than Cash Alliance will not provide any facilities.
Expected duration of the contract/assignment
This solicitation is for a non -exclusive long-term agreement (LTA) three years starting from the date of signing the LTA.
For each assignment the duration will vary and will be specified in the TOR, each specific project TOR will:
Depending on the topic or the region covered, the consultant will work under the direct supervision of one of the following BTCA staff:
Limited to Experts in Africa French speaking countries
The Better Than Cash Alliance currently works in
For each assignment the location will be specified in the TOR, each specific project TOR will:
Required Skills and Experience
Professional Qualifications of the Successful Contractor:
Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer
Applications will be screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum criteria will progress for further review:
Interested individuals must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:
Please refer to the Section above “Standard Operation procedure for placing the call-off” where a request for service arises, the UNCDF office shall directly contact the consultant with the most appropriate experience with the specific Terms of Reference outlining the outputs for the assignment and a request for a lump sum price quotation. The regional/international consultant will notify the UNCDF unit/office of his /her availability for the assignment within 3 working days and a purchase order will be issued to the consultant. Conditions of an assignment is maybe negotiable.
The consultant must provide a daily fee which will be used to score the application and calculate payments for each assignment. Payments will be made to the consultant as a lump sum based on the deliverables required as agreed with the UNCDF contracting office. The daily fee is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant during the period of the contract, including professional fees, insurance, risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions, and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract. Payments will be based on timesheets and invoices approved by the supervisor.
National or international business travel may be anticipated in which case it will be included under the assignment contract and agreed upon with the supervisor. UNCDF will pay separately travel expenses of approved travel (economy airfare, terminal expenses, and per diems which include hotel and food expenses) according to standard UN rates based on evidence of approved and actual travel.
Individual consultants are responsible for ensuring have vaccinations inoculations when traveling to countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under the DSS.UN.ORG
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