Digital Finance Expert: Dairy Value Chain Digitization

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Office and home based with some travel within Rwanda, RWANDA
Application Deadline :26-Nov-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :Up to 60 working days per year
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 months


The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF’s financing models work through two channels: financial inclusion that expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small businesses to participate in the local economy, providing them with the tools they need to climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; and by showing how localized investments—through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project? finance—can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion and sustainable development. UNCDF financing models are applied in thematic areas where addressing barriers to finance at the local level can have a transformational effect for poor and excluded people and communities.

By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to 28 of 169 SDGs targets.
Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era
The widespread use of digital financial services in Kenya helped lift around 1 million people out of extreme poverty between 2008 and 2014. Since 2008 and the launch of M-PESA in Kenya, digital finance has revolutionized access to financial services for the unbanked, both individuals and enterprises.? The mobile money only sector opened access of 690 million people worldwide to formal financial services . Often starting with payment as entry points (money transfer, bill payment, government payment), it has now expanded to a range of service like savings, credit, loans, insurance and remittances.

Based on 2017 Findex data and trend analysis from 2011 and 2014 , it is clear that digital finance has become the primary route to financial inclusion. Inclusive financial services are transforming the lives of the unbanked by enabling them to better manage irregular resources, smooth income flows, build assets, overcome shocks, protect against risks, access social benefits more cheaply and invest in economic opportunities. Digital technology further expanded access and usage by offering lower cost of provision of services, greater convenience and ubiquity as services can be available around the clock, lower costs for user and greater range of services for the poor/low income people. In that respect inclusive digital financial services are directly contributing to reaching a number of SDGs, as described in the recent compendium developed by the Better Than Cash Alliance, UNCDF, the World Bank, and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate on Inclusive Finance for Development, Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.

With over a decade of experience in digital finance in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, UNCDF recognizes that reaching the full potential of digital financial inclusion in support to the SDGs lies with the vision of promoting digital economies for the following reasons:

  • The value of digital financial services is not obvious, especially for the poor and vulnerable populations, as it is not closely linked to their ability to respond to their specific constraints and needs around agriculture, education, health, energy and other key aspects of their daily lives.
  • New innovative services should be developed to address these unmet needs.? Innovation will come from traditional providers but mainly by a range of new players (entrepreneurs, start-ups in various sectors & platforms like Facebook, WeChat, Grab, etc.)

This is the reason why the promotion of “Inclusive digital economies where everyone can thrive” is an integral part, and the ultimate vision of UNCDF’s new strategy on Digital Finance.

UNCDF in Rwanda

Agriculture is a key pillar of Rwanda’s economic growth, contributing 33% to the country’s GDP and employing 80% of the population. The Dairy value chain continues to experience growth with a 15% increase in milk production between 2015 and 2018.? Yet, dairy small holder farmers, like their counterparts and other actors in the value chain, face multiple challenges arising from over reliance on cash payments.? Given the volume and frequency of cash payments made, digitization can generate a positive impact at various levels of the value chain. Dairy farmers benefit from more timely payments, cost savings in accessing funds, improved security, and formal financial records that can facilitate access to additional products such as savings, credit and insurance. Service providers benefit from increased efficiency, reduced cash handling costs, security and improved visibility of payment flows.


Duties and Responsibilities

UNCDF is seeking a Digital Financial Service (DFS) Value Chain expert to collaborate with the Government of Rwanda, Value chain players, Financial and Technical service providers to jointly support increased access and usage of Digital Payments in the Dairy Value Chain. The main objective is to promote inclusive growth and improved livelihoods for smallholder dairy farmers especially women; by using data generated from dairy activity to address barriers to access and usage of digital financial services, improve the efficiency of payment flows and bridge access to market gaps. ?

This initiative aims to increase access to Digital Savings, Credit and Livestock insurance for 10,000 Small holder dairy farmers in 3 Districts of Rwanda, scaling to national levels within the next 4 years.

Reporting to the Programme Specialist, the Digital Finance Expert: Dairy Value Chain Digitization will be responsible for the following deliverables:

Key scope of services



Estimated number of days

Conduct a comprehensive landscape mapping of the Dairy Value Chain in Rwanda, identifying and assessing financial services gaps that are addressable through Digitizing payments. ?



1) Conduct a demand and supply side mapping of the key activities and actors in the Dairy Value chain. This will entail a desk review of recent authoritative literature, consultations with key stakeholders in the value chain including relevant Government entities, Development Organizations, NGO’s, Suppliers and FSP’s; Interviews with dairy farmer groups, ?farmer based organizations and other identified actors e.g. Fintech companies active in the value chain.?

2) Map the payment processes and identify key pain points including cash points with potential for digitization across the value chain ?

3) Define appropriate digital payments value propositions for Fintech service providers and corresponding business cases.

4) Draft recommendations for addressing gaps for improved efficiency and transparency of payment flows in the Value chain.

?5) Highlight ongoing Dairy Value Chain digitization efforts by other stakeholders and identify areas of convergence.

6) Facilitate a 1-day stakeholder consultative workshop to validate findings and recommendations of the Landscape mapping.

7) Draft action plan for digitization pilot which should include, time-frame, geographical area of focus, potential partners, their roles and expected outputs.

?Landscape Mapping Report outlining Rwanda’s Dairy Value Chain Demand and Supply side and justification for digitizing payments flows.


Consultative Workshop plan.


Validated recommendations for Digitizing Payments in the Dairy Value Chain.

?????????? 20

In collaboration with the project steering committee, champion the selection of a technology partner through a Tech Challenge Fund event


7) Launch Tech challenge event to select a technology partner to design, develop and implement an integrated payments platform with digital solutions addressing the identified payments gaps in the dairy value chain.? Provide technical inputs to the ‘call for applications’ and appraise applications for defined short list.

8) Work with the selected tech partner to develop an action plan for platform development and pilot implementation. Coordinate Induction, platform design, development, testing and rollout for pilot phase.

9) Oversee milestones and assess final solution for Tech partner against timelines.

Tech Challenge Fund Concept Note


Demo day plan and post event report


Assess prototype and final platform developed











????????? 10

Formulate and support Pilot implementation in at least 3 districts in Rwanda.


10) Provide advisory and support services to UNCDF’s implementing partners during the pilot phase

Establish Agent network points suitable for providing payment services to Dairy Farmer group leveraging existing value chain structure

??Pilot phase plan and periodic reporting including incidences and any deviations from plan

????????? 20

Pilot Phase Review



11) Review pilot outcomes and make recommendations for scaling the Digitized value chain financing solution.

12) Develop a Knowledge management blog article on Lessons learnt

  1. Pilot review Report

????????? 10

Total number of days



????????? 60

Monitoring and Progress Control

The consultant will work under direct supervision of the UNCDF Programme Specialist and/or his designate, and in close collaboration with the in-country team.

The consultant will have regular communication with the supervisor via email and Skype for coordination and guidance purposes, ensuring consultant’s output quality and targets.

The consultant is responsible for providing his/her own laptop during the course of his/her engagement with UNCDF.

Payment to the consultant will be made based on the actual number of days agreed with UNCDF and upon certification of satisfactory performance, and acceptance of the output by the UNCDF Programme Specialist and/or his designate.

The following supporting documents will serve as conditions for disbursement: (i) submission of an invoice and Certificate of Payment (COP); (ii) review, approval and written acceptance of each deliverable by the UNCDF Programme Specialist and/or his designate; (iii) submission of a time-sheet and expenses with relevant supporting documentation; and (iv) an authorization of payment disbursement from a direct supervisor.

Number of working days:? up to 60 working days per year

Duty station: Office and home based with some travel within Rwanda, if needed.? The schedule of travel will be negotiated with the consultant according to the requirements of each task.

Travel: Travel costs associated to the assignment will be paid as reimbursable basis and following the UNDP/UNCDF rules and regulations which states that consultants shall only be paid the most direct and most economical ticket, as will be quoted by the official UN travel agency.? Any amount in excess of the said quotation, such as class and airline preference of the consultant, shall be borne by the consultant and the daily living allowance will be paid as per UN Rate.


  • Understanding and/or background in digital financial services;
  • Strong ability to communicate and function effectively in local/international/multicultural environment;
  • Excellent networking with a demonstrated ability to build and maintain professional relationships;
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure;
  • Project management skills;
  • Excellent PowerPoint and Excel skills;
  • High-level planning, organizational and time management skills, including flexibility, attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure to meet changing deadlines;
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to liaise effectively at senior levels, including government bodies;
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills of a high order, including the ability to formulate recommendations and advice;
  • Pro-active, constructive attitude, open to feedback.

Required Skills and Experience

The consultant must provide evidence of the technical capacity to undertake this assignment. This includes the ability to deliver the results in the timeframe provided as well as an indication of prior experience (expertise in DFS, agriculture and knowledge of Rwandan context).


  • A Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, Agriculture, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience


  • At least 8 years of experience in progressively more responsible positions in Digital Financial Services and/or Telecommunications field;
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in in managing large-scale, high-impact programme delivery schemes for digitizing payments particularly in in low/middle income countries is mandatory;
  • At least 3 years of experience working with policymakers and regulators on DFS and innovation topics in Rwanda and other African countries is desirable;
  • At least 3 years of experience assessing and implementing inclusive digital solutions for small holder farmers;
  • Strong Project Management skills;
  • Experience in Agent Network Development and Management preferably in East Africa;
  • Knowledge of East Africa and/or Rwanda is mandatory.


  • English is required;
  • Fluency in Kinyarwanda is a plus.

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

All applications must contain the following information:

Failure to submit all the above-mentioned documents may result in the rejection of the application. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.

Evaluation Criteria:

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.

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

  • A Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience;
  • At least 8 years of experience in progressively more responsible positions in Digital Financial Services and/or Telecommunications field;
  • At least 3 years of experience working with policymakers and regulators on DFS and innovation topics in Rwanda and other African countries is desirable;
  • At least 3 years of experience assessing and implementing inclusive digital solutions for small holder farmers.

Step II: Shortlisting criteria by Desk Review - 80% (100 points):
UNCDF will conduct a desk review to technically evaluate the candidates as follows:


Maximum Points Attainable

Experience managing large-scale, high-impact programme delivery schemes for digitizing payments and piloting innovative approaches (5+years).


Experience conducting assessments/market research and/or mapping landscape on inclusive digital solutions for small holder farmers and/or in the agricultural sector.


Experience supporting policymakers and regulators on DFS (payments and financial services) in Rwanda and other African countries. (3+years)


Experience working with branchless banking and mobile financial services; working with digital financial services (FSP or Telco’s) with focus on agent networks (3+ years)


Experience designing digital financial/payment services models.




Step III: Financial Evaluation – 20%:

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

Step IV: Contract Award:

The top candidate that achieved the highest cumulative score will be recommended for a contract award.

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 If the consultant is over 65 years old, UNCDF reserves the right to require full medical certification and clearance from the consultant’s physician prior to commencing the travel.

Please include all documents into one file while submitting your application.

UNDP’s Individual Consultant’s General Terms and Conditions are provided here:

UNCDF reserves the right to increase or decrease this number depending on the quality of the applications that will be received. ?
Individual consultants, individuals employed by a company or institution and companies 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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