Expert Roster – Technical Experts on Digital Payments and Digital Financial Inclusion



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : home base with a possibility of travel to Africa, Asia, Asia Pacific, and Latin America
Application Deadline :20-Mar-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  

Background

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 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.

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: http://www.betterthancash.org/.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Better Than Cash Alliance is building a roster of international and national digital finance specialists to support the Alliance’s goal of catalyzing a movement from cash to digital payments and support members of the Alliance to adopt digital payment instrument methods. The consultants in this roster 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 requirement will be added to our roster of specialists to be engaged on assignments on an on-call basis. These assignments may suppose short-term or long-term contracts which will be discussed with the candidate, who will be free to accept or decline the offer for each assignment.

The consultant that will be selected will join a roster of experts that can be hired through a Desk review and whose selection will follow the share of technical and the value for money ratio (70:30). Candidates with experience working with members of the Better Than Cash Alliance or priority countries of the UNCDF Policy Accelerator are particularly encouraged to apply for this requirement. These countries include:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, Vietnam

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

  • Digital finance
  • Application Programming Interfaces and platform/data integration
  • Mobile and digital payments
  • 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 P2B (merchant payments), B2B (supply chains), B2P (wages) and B2G (taxes, among other) 
  • Digitization of humanitarian assistance payments
  • Digitization of wages
  • Digital identity
  • E-KYC
  • Regulation of digital financial services
  • Financial inclusion policy
  • Competition law
  • Banking supervision and payments oversight
  • Data protection and privacy
  • Financial literacy and training for digital payments and financial services
  • Gender and digital financial inclusion including sex-disaggregated data
  • Behavioral research and human-centered design
  • 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 Services

The scope of services will be specific to the country requirement that will arise during their implementation of BTCA programmes/project. The indicative categories and broad scope of such services could be described as follows:

Overall 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.

Act as subject matter expert in one or more of the areas listed above

Research

  • 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;

Advocacy

  • Help the Regional Leads and country offices of the Better Than Cash Alliance and the UNCDF Policy Accelerator 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 the Governments

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.  

Contracting Arrangement 

The candidates that will obtain a minimum passing in the technical evaluation will be included into UNCDF BTCA Roster of Specialists on Digital Payments and Digital Financial Inclusion, Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) for the period of up to 3 years. Entry into the expert roster system does not necessarily mean that contract with UNCDF is guaranteed. This will depend on forthcoming needs and the expert’s successful selection through approved selection process that will be undertaken.

Where a request for services arises - A specific Terms of Reference outlining the outputs for each assignment shall be provided, and the UNCDF office shall email to at least 2-3 candidates from the Roster with the most appropriate experience. This email will seek confirmation of their availability and submission of their financial proposal. From that point, when the offers are received, then the desk review and evaluation of the candidates will be completed, and a contract awarded accordingly [as per approved SOP,  to the most technically compliant and the best value for money proposal].

Payments

A fixed daily fee submitted by the applicant will remain the same for the entire life of the roster, and no changes may be allowed.  This daily fee will be indicated in the roster. Payments will be made to the consultant based upon successful completion of the Assignment, as defined within the ToR. 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, out-of-pocket expenses, 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, including any official travel as per the UNCDF rules.


Competencies

Technical

  • 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 and the UNCDF Policy Accelerator 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 supports 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

Education

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

Experience

  • 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;
  • 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. 

Language Requirements

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

Evaluation Process

Step I: Initial 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 related fields.
  • Experience: Minimum of 7 years of professional experience in either government, international organizations, corporate or academia working on digital payments, digital financial services, financial inclusion or a relevant related field
  • 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):

  • Relevant 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 or researching payments digitization initiatives and expanding financial inclusion, especially in emerging and developing markets – 40 points;
  • Relevant education – 20 points. 

Travel

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 Consultants who will be made to work in the country of their specified location shall not be entitled to any travel expenses.

Application Procedure

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

  • Detailed and up-to-date CV with a list of publications;
  • Completed Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability
  • 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.

For the applicant’s references, the General Terms and Conditions for ICs that will be signed by and between the selected consultant and UNCDF is provided; here: http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/documents/procurement/documents/IC%20-%20General%20Conditions.pdf

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 dss.un.org. The consultant is requested to provide his/her daily consultancy fee.


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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