Framework agreement for the services of an Individual Contractor Engaged on On-Call Basis, Technical Experts on Digital Payments and Digital Financial Inclusion, Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA)

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Various
Application Deadline :21-Jan-19 (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 :1 year
Expected Duration of Assignment :3 years


The Better Than Cash Alliance is a UN-housed partnership of governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth. Billions of dollars in cash payments and transfers are made daily in emerging and developing economies, including payment of salaries, social welfare and relief, payments to suppliers, remittances, etc. The problems with these cash payments include a lack of transparency, accountability and security, as well as inefficiency.  Furthermore, the individuals who receive the cash payments are often part of the 2 billion excluded from the formal financial sector.  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 partners with governments, companies, and international organizations that are the key drivers behind the transition to make digital payments widely available by:

  • Advocating for the transition from cash to digital payments in a way that advances financial inclusion and promotes responsible digital finance;
  • Conducting research and sharing the experiences of our members to inform strategies for making the transition;
  • Catalyzing the development of inclusive digital payments ecosystems in member countries to reduce costs, increase transparency, advance financial inclusion, particularly for women, and drive inclusive growth.

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.

UNCDF works to enlarge peoples’ choices: it believes that poor people and communities should take decisions about their own development. UNCDF works in challenging environments – remote rural areas, countries emerging from conflict – and paves the way for others to follow. Its programmes are designed to catalyze larger investment flows from the private sector, development partners and national governments, for significant impact on the SDGs.

Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP. The Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) is looking to hire the Senior Technical Experts in the fields of digital payments and financial inclusion. For more information on BTCA, please visit the website:

Duties and Responsibilities

The Better Than Cash Alliance would like to enter into a non-exclusive Framework Agreement, also known as Long-Term Agreement (LTA), with one or more individuals that will perform the services described below on a need-basis.  In UNCDF, an LTA is a framework agreement by and between UNCDF and a company or individual where the latter may, at any time within the duration of the LTA, be required to render the agreed services at the agreed and fixed unit prices for a minimum period of 12 months, with potential extension for up to two (2) additional years, depending on satisfactory performance of the company.

Under an LTA, BTCA 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 UNDP at the time the LTA contract is signed and that such an agreement is non-exclusive.  


Where a request for service arises, BTCA can engage the individual on LTA through a “call-off” of the LTA.  Every call-off shall have specific tasks, scope of services and outputs to be delivered within a specific period of time.  For this particular work, the call-off shall be formalized through the issuance of a Purchase Order, attaching thereto the TOR, and any other document relevant to the call-off.  Financial commitments will only be established each time a Purchase Order for the specific services/TOR for Individual Contractor is committed.

The LTA shall have a cumulative ceiling amount that may accrue to the individual contractor during the life of the LTA, but said amount shall remain as an upper limit, and must not and cannot be interpreted nor understood as neither a financial commitment nor guarantee of business volume.

The consultants on LTA will be called upon to support the Alliance activities across its three key verticals: Advocacy, Member services and Research and Innovation. Subject to their availability and interest for specific missions, the consultants included in the roster may be tasked with activities such as providing technical assistance and support to Governments or companies members of the Alliance, conducting research or helping BTCA members design and implement public policies to support the responsible digitization of payments. These tasks may support either services to members (in-country work) or the global advocacy and research roles of the Alliance.

Successful candidates to this position will be be engaged on an assignment basis. These assignments may be short-term or long-term and will be discussed with the consultant, who will be free to accept or decline the offer for each assignment.

The consultant hired for this position will be working for the BTCA. Candidates with experience working with members of the Better Than Cash Alliance are particularly encouraged to apply for this position. The member governments of the Better Than Cash Alliance include:

  • Bangladesh
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Peru
  • Senegal
  • Colombia
  • Ethiopia
  • Indonesia
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Rwanda
  • Vietnam
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Uganda
  • Afghanistan
  • Dominican Republic
  • Fiji
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Moldova
  • Paraguay
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Sierra Leone
  • Uruguay
  • Solomon Islands
  • Nepal

The consultant must prove knowledge and implementation experience in one or more of the following subjects:

  • Digital finance
  • APIs and platform/data integration
  • Mobile and digital payments
  • Tax policy and public financial management
  • Digitization of tax collection (both at national and local levels)
  • Digitization of utility bill payments (i.e. energy, water)
  • Digitization of G2P payments (i.e. social welfare payments, public payroll)
  • Digitization of business payments, including B2B (supply chains), B2P (wages) and B2G (taxes, among other)
  • Digitization of humanitarian assistance payments
  • Digitization of wages
  • Digitization of collection from small merchants
  • Digital identity
  •  E-KYC
  • Regulation of digital financial services
  • Financial inclusion policy
  • Financial literacy and training for digital payments and financial services
  • Gender and digital financial inclusion
  • Keeping money digital (digital ecosystems development)
  • Innovation and digital platforms
  • Mobile Money
  • Pay-as-you-go payment methods and business models
  • Payment systems
  • Payments infrastructure
  • Pricing of digital financial services
  • Remittances (international and domestic)
  • Telecommunications

Scope of Work
The scope of work is specific to the country / project assigned. The following is indicative:

Key objectives: Support elaboration of an informed and sound ecosystem strengthening strategy or roadmap for electronic payments and digital financial services; technical advice to support its implementation; manage activities and institutional relations for in-country projects / programmes; help promote and accelerate the transition from cash payments towards digital payments and financial inclusion/; conduct research on the digitization of payments, drawing insights and lessons for other countries or members of the Alliance following a similar path.

Sharing Expertise
Act as subject matter expert in one or more of the following areas:

  • Share expertise and experiences from the Better Than Cash Alliance and from the Senior Experts own academic and professional work with governments, companies and international organizations;
  • Translate complex technical ideas to non-technical audiences: In order to effectively reach senior decision makers, it is necessary to make complex technical ideas into easy to understand language;
  • Perform a leading role in Better Than Cash Alliance member peer exchanges drawing on extensive subject matter expertise and networks.

Scope of Responsibilities
The scope of work is specific to the country / project assigned.
The following is indicative:

Act as subject matter expert in one or more of the following areas;

  • Digital payments and digital financial inclusion strategies;
  • Digitization of utility payments;
  • Digitization of tax collection and other P2G payments;
  • Digitization of social payments and public sector payroll (G2P payments);
  • Linkages between digital payments and public financial management;
  • Digitization of corporate payments – B2B and B2P (supply chains and payroll);
  • Payments (payments systems and infrastructure).


  • Design and conduct research thematic or market-driven research on digital payments and digital financial services.
  • Collect and analyze data on the access and use of digital financial services;
  • Draw insights and lessons for members of the Alliance seeking to digitize payments;


  • Help the Regional Leads and country offices of the Better Than Cash Alliance develop national and regional advocacy plans and public policy recommendations;
  • Help the Alliance reinforce the importance of digital payments in national and regional agendas.

Strategic Advice to Better Than Cash Alliance Members

  • Based on an agreed strategy provide expertise and advice to governments to support their own strategy in digitizing payments and the development of a roadmap, pilot or financial literacy training to build an inclusive digital payments ecosystem.

Subject to the topic or the region covered, the consultant will work under the direct supervision of one of the following BTCA staff:

  • Managing Director
  • Head of Knowledge & Research
  • Asia Pacific Regional Lead
  • Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Lead
  • Africa Regional Lead
  • Private Sector Digital Innovation Lead
  • Head of Government Relations & Public Policy



  • Demonstrated expertise on digital payments and financial inclusion and key related issues;
  • Robust expertise in one or more priority use cases identified by the Better Than Cash Alliance for its digitization of payment efforts (P2G, G2P, B2G, B2B, B2P) and related issues (linkages between digitization and PFM, digitization and taxation, among other as listed above);
  • Excellent ability to engage with governments effectively, and/or executives of business, international organizations and civil society;
  • Proven capacity to design and support the implementation of digital financial inclusion strategies and initiatives;
  • Demonstrated experience managing projects, particularly on digital finance and related issues;
  • Experience conducting research on digital financial services at a global and national level;
  • Experience working directly with national administrations including ministries of finance, national treasuries, central banks and/or other ministries relevant to the digitization of payments such as ICT, Social Development, Women, Welfare and other senior leaders and their staff  in specific topic areas such as payments infrastructure, public financial management, G2P payments, tax collection, digital identification, financial inclusion policy, ICT, innovation or other related fields;
  • Ability to translate complex technical ideas to a non-technical audience in both verbally and in writing as evidenced in authored publications.

Core Competencies

  • Demonstrates ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrates political acumen and calculated risk taking;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in economics, finance, public/business administration, law, social sciences, international relations or related fields.


  • Minimum of 7-10 years of professional experience in either government, international organizations, corporate or academia working on digital payments, financial services, financial inclusion or a relevant related field;
  • Recognized research and publications in relevant fields;
  • Demonstrated expertise in the implementation of digitization of payments and expanding financial inclusion;
  • Proven knowledge of policy and technical implementation issues of digital payments and financial inclusion at a global level and/or in Better Than Cash member countries;
  • Expertise in policy, legal or regulatory issues related to inclusive payments systems;
  • Expert knowledge in topics related to ICT4D, Digital Identity, Last Mile Delivery, Gender Aspects of Digital Financial Inclusion, Emerging Technologies, FinTech or Digital Economy.
  • Experience working with high level government officials and international organizations;
  • Experience working with the United Nations and/or other multi-lateral organization, an advantage. 


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in French or Spanish, an asset.
  • Proficiency in other languages an advantage  

Evaluation Process

Step I: Screening/ Longlisting
Applications will be screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum criteria will progress for further review:

  • Education: Master’s degree in economics, finance, public/business administration, law, social sciences, international relations or
  • Experience: Minimum of 7 years of professional experience in either government, international organizations, corporate or
  • Language: Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, other languages an advantage.
  • Mandatory submission of CV with list of relevant publications.

Step II: Shortlisting by Review of a Profile

UNCDF will conduct a review of a profile (technical evaluation). Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 80 points in Step II will be considered as technically qualified and included into the Roster.

Criteria for Technical evaluation (100 points maximum):

  • Previous experience working directly with academia, private sector, international organizations or national administrations including ministries of finance, national treasuries, central banks and/or other ministries relevant to the digitization of payments such as ICT, Social Development, Women, Welfare and other, in specific topic areas such as P2G, G2P, B2B, B2P and B2G payments, tax collection, digital identification, financial inclusion policy, ICT, innovation, payments infrastructure, public financial management or other related fields. - 40 points;
  • Extensive experience implementing payments digitization initiatives and expanding financial inclusion, especially in emerging and developing markets – 30 points;
  • Writing illustrates clear understanding and knowledge of substantive issues covered by the Better Than Cash Alliance and makes complex topics interesting and easy to understand – 20 points;
  • Relevant education – 10 points.

Applications will be rated on both technical and financial submissions.  The following selection method will be used:  Highest rated proposal using the combined scoring method, which assigns the weight distribution between the technical and financial proposals.  The overall combined score will be 100 points, where weight distribution shall be 70% technical and 30% financial.  

Contracting Arrangement

The top candidates that obtained  a minimum passing in the technical evaluation will be awarded a Long Term Agreement for the period of up to 3 years. 

Please refer to Call-Off instructions above.


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 based on the number of days worked or on 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 with 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.

Application Procedure

Interested individuals must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

  • Detailed and up to date CV;
  • 3 examples of publications or provide internet link to the publications. If internet links are not available, the candidate must otherwise submit the relevant content by email to with the subject line "Sample Work for Specialists on Digital Payments and Digital Financial Inclusion, BTCA";
  • Please note that UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application document, so please make sure that you merge all your documents into one single file.
  • General Terms and Conditions for ICs is provided; here:

Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when traveling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under 

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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