Individual Consultant: Digital Payments & Fintech Consultant - UNDP/Office of the UNSGSA

Application Deadline :11-Mar-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :180 days (from 16 April 2018 until 15 April 2019) subject to satisfactory performance review.
Expected Duration of Assignment :180 days (from 16 April 2018 until 15 April 2019) subject to satisfactory performance review.


In September 2009, the UN Secretary-General designated H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).  As UNSGSA and Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), Queen Máxima raises awareness and advocates specific policies, investments and actions with governments, regulators, private companies, international institutions and diverse additional stakeholders, all with view of how inclusive financial systems can help to reduce poverty, equalize opportunity and accelerate progress toward numerous development goals.   She does so through country visits, speeches, meetings, convening of stakeholders and other outreach.  This requires careful, comprehensive and rigorous analysis of local conditions, policies, available services and public priorities, as well as the needs of households, enterprises and communities.

The UNSGSA’s work is done in partnership and with wide consultation among the many stakeholders working to advance financial inclusion—and those affected by it. She collaborates closely with an advisory Reference Group of leading international organizations in financial inclusion to share expertise and suggest strategic opportunities that she can advance through advocacy and partnerships. Reference Group members include: Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Better Than Cash Alliance, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Monetary Fund, Omidyar Network, UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and The World Bank. The UNSGSA also consults and cooperates with the UN Rome based agencies and the wider UN system, the UN secretariat, UN country teams, and other multilateral organizations, private financial institutions, companies, donors, civil society organizations and the media.

Members of the Reference Group and many other in-country and global partners play an important role in converting advocacy into action. 

The UNSGSA also engages with the, financial standard setting bodies (SSBs) so that their work takes into account the advancement of Financial Inclusion around the world.

A small team works closely with Queen Máxima and her secretariat in The Hague to coordinate and advance her UN and G20 activities. The Office of the UNSGSA is housed at BERA/UNDP in New York and receives financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

For more information on the activities and priorities of the UNSGSA, please visit:

Under the supervision of the Director of the Office of the UNSGSA, the Digital Payments and Fintech Consultant will provide support to prepare the UNSGSA on her strategic advice in the area of digital payments/finance. The consultancy assignment will last for up to 180 days subject to satisfactory performance review. The anticipated start date is 16 April 2018 and the end date is 15 April 2019.  Payments will be made upon certification by UNDP that the services related to the TORs have been satisfactorily performed and deliverables have been achieved. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions and Tasks

  • Organize Fintech event co-chaired by the UNSGSA and ensure timely follow up on the outcomes of the event.
  • Provide information and remain informed on emerging financial products, technologies and innovations, business models and delivery mechanisms that meet the needs of low-income clients and small enterprises;
  • Monitor the development of the Fintech sector with a particular view to inform the UNSGSA on trends, as well as risks and developing an advocacy approach for the UNSGSA.
  • Develop key partnerships in the area of digital payments and Fintech (e.g. fintech platforms, regulators etc).
  • Lead the work of the newly created fintech working group, ensuring timely outputs;
  • Prepare briefing notes, speeches/statements, talking points, and background papers for the UNSGSA’s meetings with government leaders, multilateral organizations, private sector companies, and participation in high profile events, ensuring that the relevant financial inclusion issues and developments are appropriately reflected and serve to support the UNSGSA high-level advocacy activities and outreach.
  • Contribute to country follow-up specifically for countries that have significant actions required on digital finance/payments.
  • Perform any other duties as may be assigned.

Key Expected Results

  • Lead the team’s work on digital payments and Fintech.
  • The UNSGSA is aware of emerging trends, political and social developments and strategic opportunities in Fintech and digital payments, and is presented with technically accurate, politically astute recommendations for high-level advocacy opportunities in a timely manner;
  • The UNSGSA’s fintech related activities and events are well prepared and followed up, supported by insightful, technically rigorous and up-to-date briefs, back ground notes, and followed-up in a timely manner that supports agreed upon decisions and actions;
  • Tangible outputs are produced by the Fintech working group.
  • Significant outputs in the area of conducive regulations and key pre-requisites for inclusive Fintech workstreams

Impact of Results

If effective, the consultant will contribute to the successful implementation of an ambitious global advocacy agenda for financial inclusion by the UNSGSA and to an Office that provides timely, insightful and technically accurate support to the UNSGSA.


The duty station is New York at the UNSGSA Office. Office space will be provided. This consultancy may require some international travel. The cost of any travel (including DSA) will be covered by the Office of the UNSGSA upon prior approval. Ticket cost will be based on economy class. Boarding passes are required to be presented along with F10s after returning from each mission/trip.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UNSGSA and UNDP.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies:

  • Experience and understanding of payments and digital finance;
  • Familiarity with national financial policy, regulatory or supervisory agencies, digital finance and Fintech industry, financial service companies and institutions, research community, multilateral organizations and the relevant donor community is an asset;
  • Field based experience in working in payments for low-income and unbanked segments;

Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills.

Required Skills and Experience


University degree or equivalent in International Development, Finance, Economics, Business, Public Policy, or related fields.


  • Minimum 6 years of experience in payments and digital finance for financial inclusion. Experience in applied research, policy development, and/or delivery of digital payments/financial services in developing country contexts or multilateral context is preferred.
  • Technical knowledge and deep understanding of the breadth of digital financial inclusion.
  • Hands-on field experience in digital finance is particularly useful.
  • Strong experience in drafting policy memos.
  • Capacity to prioritize multiple tasks, meet deadlines even in imperfect conditions
  • Thrive as part of a small and fast-moving team.
  • Outstanding written communication skills, with an ability to sum up key points concisely.
  • Sense of humor and grace under pressure, team player and excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Equal enthusiasm and efficiency for any task and ability to travel and, as needed, work over weekends.

Language Requirements:

Excellent command of, and drafting skills in, English essential. Spanish desirable. Knowledge of another UN language an advantage.

Application Procedure 

The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):

  • Online application with brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment; and
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references.

Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.

Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.

  • The financial proposal should specify an all-inclusive daily fee (based on a 7-hour working day - lunch time is not included - and estimated 21.75 days per month).
  • The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; cost of travel from the home base to the duty station and vice versa, where required; living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
  • In the case of unforeseeable travel requested by UNDP, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
  • If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.

The Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.

Evaluation process

Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below.  Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring.  When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.

Technical evaluation - Total 70% (700 points):

  • Assessment of Technical knowledge of digital payments and Fintech. Maximum Points: 200;
  • Experience in drafting concise documents and strong written communication skills. Maximum Points: 150
  • Capacity to multitask and meet deadlines.  Maximum Points: 150.
  • Written Test. Maximum Points: 100
  • Interview. Maximum Points: 100

Having reviewed applications received, UNDP will invite the top three shortlisted candidates for interview. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (490 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.

Financial evaluation - Total 30% (300 points)

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

p = y (µ/z), where

p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated

y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal

µ = price of the lowest priced proposal

z = price of the proposal being evaluated

Contract Award

Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.

Institutional arrangement

The consultant will work under the guidance and direct supervision of the Director, Office of the UNSGSA and will be responsible for the fulfilment of the deliverables as specified above.

Payment modality

  • Payment to the Individual Contractor will be made based on the actual number of days worked, deliverables accepted and upon certification of satisfactory completion by the manager.

The work week will be based on 35 hours, i.e. on a 7-hour working day, with core hours being between 9h00 and 18h00 daily.

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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.

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