Intern, SHIFT SAARC Programme (UNCDF)

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Dhaka, BANGLADESH
Application Deadline :10-Aug-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :3-6 months (6 months preferable)
Expected Duration of Assignment :This is an open call for applications, indicate your availability from September 2018 to August 2019

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.


United Nations Capital Development Fund and inclusive Finance:

UNCDF is the UN’s capital development agency for the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). UNCDF uses its capital mandate to help LDCs pursue inclusive growth. UNCDF’s last mile financing models help eradicate poverty, mobilizing public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, which benefit poor people, small businesses, and under-served regions. These models focus on those areas 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 does this in two ways. First, by showing how localized public finance - through fiscal decentralization, innovations in municipal finance, and structured project finance - can drive public/private funding for essential infrastructure and services which underpins local economic expansion. Second, UNCDF supports savings-led financial inclusion which expands the opportunities for poor individuals and households and small businesses to participate in the local economy, providing them with the tools they need to better manage their financial lives, plan for the future, and climb out of poverty.

Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) Programme in SAARC countries:

UNCDF’s SHIFT SAARC programme is a regional market-facilitation initiative that seeks to stimulate investment, business innovations, and regulatory reform to expand the economic participation of and opportunities for low-income people, especially women, and small and growing businesses to be active agents in the formal economy across the SAARC region. At the regional level, the SHIFT SAARC programme framework is deploying its efforts on specifically removing market constraints limiting women’s equal access to economic opportunities and participation in the markets. SHIFT SAARC aims to reach at least one million low income people by 2021, 65% of whom are women, and 30,000 small and growing businesses be given access and use to financial services to secure opportunities for employment, enterprise development, and increased sustainable consumption.

Bangladesh is the first country of implementation under SHIFT SAARC Programme with focus on accelerating uptake and usage of digital financial services (DFS) responding to the needs of expanding financial inclusion through digital pathways. The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has prioritized Financial Inclusion through Digital Financial Services (DFS) as one of the key strategies towards achieving middle income country status by 2021, as described in the Seventh Five Year Plan 2016-2020. Expanding financial inclusion through digital pathways is also crucial for the country in achieving the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Built upon these macro level national plans, SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh’s approach is based on the principle that access to digital accounts can significantly improve financial inclusion and therefore provide needed solutions to low income people, women and Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of Bangladesh to weather financial shocks and avail income generating opportunities.

SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh focuses on narrowing the gender gap in financial access and usage through support for more enabling policy and regulations in DFS. The intervention is expected to lead to the presence of a critical number of providers that are willing to significantly invest in expanding digital finance infrastructure, offering greater value to women in particular through a wider range of financial services. The intervention also seeks to support people and businesses to take up DFS offering because of greater consumer protection.

In addition, UNCDF initiative supports downstream market development, as a complement to the policy and regulatory work, focusing on providing integrated business solutions to small retail merchant leveraging digital pathways. This will contribute to widening retail payment systems in the country and increase flow of credit to MSMEs.

In implementing SHIFT SAARC programme, UNCDF is utilizing its proven programmatic blueprint based on four streams of work adapted for the Bangladesh context to achieve the following objectives:

  • Generate data on digital financial services to improve evidence and knowledge around Digital Financial Services (DFS) in Bangladesh (Data and Evidence).

The data collection and research component focuses on undertaking research activities to further inform DFS practice and policy, as well as to bring Bangladesh’s DFS knowledge and experiences to the global arena. The aim is to support the Government of Bangladesh’s (GOB) agenda about improving knowledge and information on DFS by providing evidence base for the private sector (suppliers) and others in supporting their efforts to innovate and find solutions for DFS. SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh closely works with selected national research/policy organizations to further advance their capacities in research around DFS.

  • Strengthen technical knowledge through training and technical assistance, to support knowledge and practice on DFS (Self-assessment based Capacity Enhancement).

The capacity enhancement component builds on UNCDF’s significant experience on strengthening DFS capacities and training activities. The focus is especially on activities that contribute directly to accelerating DFS in Bangladesh. The aim is to support building competences required in the context of guiding DFS acceleration efforts in the country. SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh closely works with national stakeholders to further advance their capacities in DFS.

  • Analyse regulatory and policy framework and formulated recommendations to inform the DFS policy process and review (Policy and Advocacy).

SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh is facilitating consultative stakeholder dialogues with the Bangladesh Bank on aspects of policy and regulatory needs necessary to enable greater acceleration of DFS. SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh has reviewed the current regulatory and policy framework, produced analysis and suggested recommendations to inform the DFS policy and strategy formulation.

  • Inform opinion shapers, DFS providers, meso level organizations, small businesses and women associations about DFS through communication campaigns (Innovation and Communication).

The communication campaign will first target wider communities of policy makers and opinion shapers, thereafter it will gradually involve meso level organizations, small business and women associations. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The Intern will assist the SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh team in undertaking work supporting the implementation of one of the following streams of work listed below:

  1. Data analysis and advocacy through data
  2. Capacity building training and policy advocacy consultative workshops
  3. Communications and visibility
  4. Micro-merchant focused Business Innovations Pilot projects and new partnership exploration

Applicants are requested to state which of these areas are of interest in the applicant’s cover letter.

Data analysis and advocacy through data:

  • Support in-depth data analysis and ongoing data generation work of SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh programme.
  • Support to design and disseminate SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh’s policy publications.
  • Analyze, consolidate and communicate data and information on supply, demand and innovation in financial markets to strengthen the evidence base around DFS in Bangladesh.
  • Produce and analyze and disseminate data on financial inclusion and DFS, with focus on sex, gender and household disaggregation and analysis.
  • Curate and analyze demand, supply and case studies data, collected through financial diaries, merchants landscaping, Big Data projects and regular monitoring.
  • Undertake segment specific case studies, develop blogs/ articles/ other relevant materials for wider dissemination.
  • Produce and coordinate easy-to-use presentation and communication material including data dashboards, maps, graphs, charts, info-graphics, blogs and other presentation material.
  • Synthesize research outcomes and lessons learned into formats tailored to government, DFS providers, private sector and donors.
  • Provide support to other ad-hoc assignments directed by the supervisor.

Capacity building training and policy advocacy consultative workshops:

  • Support capacity building module development related activities for DFS regulators.
  • Support micro-merchant capacity development training, capacity enhancement of business associations and policy makers through contributing in module development, delivery and quality assurance coordinating with implementing partners.
  • Support in developing standardized formats for capturing results and impact of capacity development training conducted by the programme.
  • Support SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh’s monitoring and evaluation reviewing and analyzing reports submitted by the consortium partners upon completion of capacity building training of micro-merchants and other stakeholders.
  • Support in design and delivery of consultative stakeholder workshops, knowledge sharing events and international conference 2018.
  • Capture lessons and contribute to preparation of event reports/ highlights following consultative workshops/ international conference.
  • Support arrangement of executive mentoring workshops for regulators and capture lessons through reporting in standardized formats.
  • Provide support to other ad-hoc assignments directed by the supervisor.

Communications and visibility:

  • Support in design, delivery and lessons documentation of community level awareness campaigns undertaken by SHIFT SAARC Programme.
  • Support enhancing social media visibility of SHIFT SAARC activities.
  • Support in preparation and dissemination of reports and all other communications materials to concerned stakeholders.
  • Support in increasing the visibility of the project and showcase the results achieved during the implementation.
  • Support to develop a communications and showcasing depository of SHIFT SAARC Programme in Bangladesh compiling all the materials and evidences produced.
  • Coordinate with consortium partners and ensure all branding and communications are complying UNCDF and donor policies.
  • Provide support to other ad-hoc assignments directed by the supervisor.

Micro-merchant focused Business Innovations Pilot projects and new partnership exploration:

  • Support SHIFT SAARC team in exploring and launching at least 06 private sector led innovative business models complying with the scope of project interventions integrating Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) supply chains, retail micro-merchants, digital financial service providers, technology support service providers and fintech innovators.
  • Support to develop monthly status report on implementation of business innovation pilots and support developing M&E frameworks for pilot business innovation model implementation.
  • Coordinate with selected partners for reporting, documentation and implementation related supports.
  • Contribute to development of knowledge products/ blogs/ articles/ case studies and other communications materials on regular basis based on results of the pilots to share learnings with policy makers, donors and wider private sector stakeholders;
  • Support arrangement of exposure visits for policy makers, private sector stakeholders and development partners to the project districts during implementation of innovative business model pilots;
  • Support showcasing of progress and interim results of the pilot projects in policy dialogues, national and global learning forums with regulators, private sector institutions, donors and development partners.
  • Support UNCDF country and regional team in exploring new partnerships/ projects through literature review, document preparation and related tasks.
  • Provide support to other ad-hoc assignments directed by the supervisor.


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


  • Enrolled in or recently graduated from a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher). If already graduated, selected candidate must start the internship within one-year from the day of graduation.


  • 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 skills.


  • Strong writing and speaking abilities in English.

Duration of Assignment:

  • Please note that this is an open call for applications, please indicate your availability in between September 2018 to August 2019. Kindly mention the preferred duration (03-06 months) also in the cover letter.


  • Interns are not financially remunerated by UNCDF. The costs associated with the latter must 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. Dhaka, Bangladesh);
  • The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNCDF but to complement an intern’s studies; therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship.
  • Please submit your Resume/CV and an application using the UNCDF Internship Application form: 

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