Digital Innovation Consultant

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Application Deadline :25-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 :24 Months
Expected Duration of Assignment :24 months


UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to microfinance 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 provides seed capital – grants and loans – and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments finance the capital investments – water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes – that will improve poor peoples’ lives.

Through the UNCDF MM4P programme, UNCDF is expanding its work to focus on digital finance and innovations to both help digital finance reach its potential for the poor, but also to better use digital finance and other services to achieve the SDGs, anchored through a new initiative that will grow into a multi-country effort.  In each country, UNCDF will bring together companies to design, develop, test and refine digital solutions supported under a structured environment and with ready to use tools.  Those digital companies will be connected to enabling stakeholders, such as regulators, universities, think-tanks, providers, companies, other labs, and industry associations. Inspired by how technology can leapfrog limitations and pain points in today’s user experience, as well as imagine new uses for technology to address access, literacy, security, and other barriers. Ultimately, to create innovative user experiences that will help low-income people move from distrust, disenfranchisement, and exclusion to become confident and empowered.

The proposed approach focuses on supporting innovative solutions by:

  • traditional stakeholders (companies, providers, government) by building innovation mindset, team and processes
  • small and start-ups companies by providing access to finance, crowdsourcing, human centered design support, industry sandbox, business to business linkages that will allow to scale.

The development of in-country platforms is proposed to start from Malaysia, Uganda, China, Nepal in 2018 followed by other countries later.

As part of this engagement, UNCDF is looking for a team member to support its work in Malaysia with respect to digital innovation. As the intervention model is in early stage of development, he/she would be responsible to guide the development of methodology and its implementation, drawing on the previous experience of working with digital innovations, start-ups, iterative testing, etc.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Digital Innovation Consultant will be based in Malaysia as part of UNCDF team.  This Consultant will drive the overall methodology of engaging with start-up/entrepreneurs and established players around specific themes (e.g. inclusive financial services, financial services for migrants etc.).  He/she will be responsible to identify problem statements, crowd-in ideas, work closely with our partners to turn ideas into scalable business focusing on low income people.  A key part of the work will be to support providers and start-ups through the whole innovation journey (idea, concept, prototype, business). He/she will also be responsible for developing a community of practice by engaging with start-ups and existing financial service providers around digital innovations.

The Consultant would deploy his/her experience around behavioral science, customer journey mapping, design thinking and iterative testing with end-users to develop new solutions that could be put to test in market.

Support UNCDF with project design:

  • Support and train on behavioural science methodology and iterative design process for the participating teams. Train UNCDF teams and conduct quality assurance in project design.
  • Provide creative and strategic direction across a variety of design challenges: interaction, product, space and service design.
  • Conduct design research in low-income communities in Malaysia, and move quickly into prototyping solutions.
  • Raise awareness on UNCDF´ methodology for incubation/accelerator engagement with start-ups/entrepreneurs and established players in Malaysia.
  • Develop project plans and milestones to ensure we are succeeding/failing fast and learning smart; Including working with partners to develop a clearly articulated problem statement.


  • Presentation outlining the  use cases that could be the basis for launching the cohorts aimed at addressing new problem statements – at-least for 2 cohorts in 2018 and at-least 4 cohorts in 2019
  • Short two pager notes from the engagement with the existing service providers followed by detail plan from conceptualization stage to development followed by field testing – at-least for 2 providers in 2018 and at-least 2 provider in 2019.
  • Update of Customer mapping approach and other methods using behavioural science that could be readied as toolbox to be used on the field and as training material
  • Assist with structuring of the short engagement formats with the start-ups that would allow them to interact with industry leaders or other subject matter experts based on the need of their project (eg, start-up weekend model followed by Techstars).
  • Manage the 2 cohorts focused on market theme and with at-least 2 providers on the journey to develop/address problem, through the complete cycle of insight, ideation, concept, design, to delivery and measurement in 2018 and at-least 4 cohorts and 2 providers in 2019.  This may include guiding and mentoring the teams and other subject experts on different aspects of challenge management.
  • At least 2 full cycle of engagement in 2018 and 4 in 2019 with start-ups based on the thematic window agreed in work-plan and support them till prototype phase.
  • At least 2 existing service providers in 2018 and at-least 2 providers in 2019 on-boarded for the methodology on innovation and supported on one problem area leading to new changes adapted for prototyping.

Raise awareness about UNCDF's activities in country:

  • Educate and engage partners in the design process.
  • Provide technical support to partners´ solutions design to market.
  • Communicate the story of UNCDF work with partners, funders, and other stakeholders working closely with the communication team.
  • Work with UNCDF on collecting data that shows the impact of our solutions once launched.


  • Contribute to the learning collaterals (viz blogs) from technical perspective – at least 2 in 2018 and at least 4 in 2019.
  • Provide inputs in the annual work-planning process, specially linked to design of cohorts.
  • Participate in the monthly/weekly calls organized to update the progress of the programme with other team members.
  • Other deliverables as agreed during the weekly/monthly work-plan with the Technical Specialist.

Provide support to UNCDF's mentorship programme:

  • Train project teams in innovative design solutions
  • Support participants (Private Sector, Banks, Government Officials, UNCDF)  in using innovation techniques
  • Act as a mentor and coach on innovation techniques. Run innovation workshops, events, hackathons, other methods that would allow for developing a community of practice in Malaysia around digital innovations


  • 1 Key National Convening in 2018 and 1 in 2019 with local stakeholders on sharing the innovation methodology and creating interest in programme for further participation/partnership.
  • At least 4 short workshops/sessions in 2018 and at-least 4 workshop/session in 2019 aimed at deepening the understanding around financial inclusion and topics that would be of immediate relevance to the programme.
  • Assist with developing the mentor structure for the programme for Malaysia and globally
  • Community or practice launched.


  • An obsession with what design and technology can do for people.
  • Experience managing clients and partners—from early stage companies to mature organizations.
  • Solution-focused and medium-agnostic, willing to step out of your core skill set or discipline to find the correct solution to a challenge.
  • Fluency in the human-centered design process from qualitative research and synthesis to ideation, prototyping, and implementation.
  • Cultural sensitivity, creativity, and resourcefulness—as comfortable finding your way through a bustling market in Malaysia as you are in a design studio workshop.
  • Results-driven, problem-solver with structuring and analytic capabilities.  
  • Strong ability to think and act strategically, even in situations of ambiguity, to develop both short- and long-term visions.   
  • Inspires others, influences and builds trust.
  • Strong communicator that can serve multiple functions as needed.   

Required Skills and Experience


  • Bachelors Degree in international development, research, anthropology, behavioral economics/sciences, business or service design, human-centered design, UX, etc. is required


  • 5+ years of professional experience in a design consultancy or equivalent position leading multidisciplinary design teams specialized around behavioral science is mandatory.
  • In depth understanding of the key drivers in a digital product/emerging technology business.
  • Understand methodologies and frameworks related to behavioral change, gamification, human-centered design, UX, etc.
  • Experience building, leading, and coaching teams.
  • Experience in a middle and/or low-income country and a deep understanding of the complexity of challenges low-income communities deal with would be a plus.
  • Comfortable in operating in a flat organization, all hands-on deck.   
  • Insight into the way that digital transformation is affecting industry and knowledge of best practices.   
  • Exceptional written and oral communications skills.


  • Excellent written and oral English is mandatory.
  • Fluency in one local language (Malay, Mandarin) is a plus but not mandatory.

Timeline, total number of working days, duty station:

  • Timeline: April 2018 – March 2019
  • Total Number of Working Days for Assignment: 220 working days within 12 months (Max. of 20 working days in a month, 8 hrs/working day), 440 days in 24 months
  • Duty station: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

For unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. UNCDF would cover the cost of stay for the selected person.

Please note that UNCDF cannot guarantee residence permits or visas for consultants. Consultants are responsible for securing their work documentation. In the case of national consultants, applicants that are not nationals of the duty station requested will have to prove their residence status.  

Please note that consultants residing in the duty station will not be compensated for living expenses.

Progress Controls & Payments:

Payment will be made on periodical basis in accordance with number of days worked and upon satisfactorily achieved deliverables. All payments are subject to the clearance and approval of the Regional Technical Specialist – Asia.

Final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant.

Application process:

Interested individuals must submit the documents mentioned below as proposals in order to demonstrate their qualifications (Note: the system does not allow multiple uploads of documents. Applicants must make sure to upload all documents in one PDF file).

All applications must contain the following information:

  • Cover letter with a summary statement of competencies in relation to the Terms of Reference (TOR);
  • Earliest availability and proposed schedule for consultancy;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Completed and signed P11, Personal History Form with names and current contacts of 3 referees (available from
  • Signed financial proposal for the assignment outlining: All-inclusive fee (including professional fees and other professional expenses, such as insurance, taxes, etc.), the cost of one return ticket to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from place of origin. Available at The consultant’s hosting is provided by UNCDF, therefore no DSA or living allowance is to be quoted in the financial proposal.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. 

Selection process: 

Step I: Screening: Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the minimum criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting.

Step II: Technical Evaluation:

Shortlisting (20 points): UNCDF will produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate candidates as per experience requirements in the Terms of Reference. As applicable, only the first top 3 ranked applicants shall be considered for an interview.

Interview (80 points): An interview shall be conducted for the top 3 shortlisted candidates.

Step III: Financial Evaluation: Only candidates with scores above 70% of the technical evaluation (70 Points or above) will be considered. 

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal: lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

Award Criteria

The contact shall be awarded to the applicant whose offer have been evaluated and determined as:

Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and Having received the highest combined weight (technical scores) 70% + financial 30%= 100%.

Both individual consultants and individual employed by a company or institution are welcome to apply. 

Any individual employed by a company or institution who would like to submit an offer in response to a Procurement Notice for IC must do so in their individual capacity (providing a CV so that their qualifications may be judged accordingly). Women candidates or women-owned businesses are strongly encouraged to apply.

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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© 2016 United Nations Development Programme