Covid-19 RMG Wage Digitization Grievance Redressal Mechanism Design Expert



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : BANGLADESH
Application Deadline :29-May-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
15-Jun-2020
Duration of Initial Contract :70 days

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 Millennium Development Goals, especially Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, and Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability.

Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP. UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 47 least developed countries (LDCs). 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. This last mile is 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’s financing models work through two channels: savings-led 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 with a focus on reaching the last mile and addressing exclusion and inequalities of access. At the same time, UNCDF deploys its capital finance mandate in line with SDG 17 on the means of implementation, to unlock public and private finance for the poor at the local level. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs and currently to 28 of 169 targets.

UNCDF hosts the Secretariat of the Better Than Cash Alliance.

The Better Than Cash Alliance is a partnership of 75 governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty, drive inclusive growth and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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 1.7 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 -who are twice as likely to be excluded from the financial system, while giving governments, the development community and the private sector a more transparent, time and cost efficient, and often safer means of disbursing payments. Digitizing payments can also contribute to women’s economic participation by providing them with more control over family finances, increasing personal security, and improving economic opportunities.

The Alliance Secretariat works with its 75 members to navigate their digitization journeys, by:   

  • Providing advisory services based on member priorities 
  • Sharing action-oriented research and fostering peer learning 
  • Conducting advocacy at national, regional and global level 

The Better Than Cash Alliance Secretariat Core Values:

  • Achieving together
  • Striving for excellence
  • Service oriented
  • Results oriented

The Alliance is looking to hire an international consultant with good understanding of the garment sector to support the Alliance Garment Digitization Work in priority countries of the Alliance. Since 2017, the Alliance has worked with its member companies and governments to catalyze the digitization of wages in a responsible manner in the garment sector. Estimates show that some 33% of garment workers worldwide are paid in cash which is unsafe and prevents workers from having access to other financial services.  For more information on BTCA, please visit the website: http://www.betterthancash.org/


Duties and Responsibilities

Covid-19 and Wage Digitization

Bangladesh is facing an unprecedented crisis with Covid-19’s significant negative impact on its economy, a crisis faced by many countries globally.  The Alliance’s members include the Government of Bangladesh and the Global Garment Brand members responding to the negative impact in the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) Sector that employs approximately 4 million garment workers, majority of which are women. The Alliance has been requested, by it’s brand members, to provide support to the RMG sector through responsible digitization of the relief wages , starting from April 2020 onwards announced for the RMG employees by the Government of Bangladesh though a financial assistance package, for the garment factories, put together with active participation and support from the Bank of Bangladesh

On March 25th, 2020, the Honorable Prime Minister announced a stimulus package for the export-oriented industries to include $595 million to pay salaries to garment workers for April, May and June, despite factory closure.  This was an important step that Government of Bangladesh prioritized due to the significant loss of income faced by the RMG employees who are already vulnerable to shocks and have limited means to weather the crisis.

Following the announcement on April 1, the Bangladesh Bank issued a circular on “Opening & Disbursement of Salary & benefits through Mobile Financial Service & Bank Accounts for active & running Export Oriented Companies” .

The above circular included the following instructions:

  1. All running export-oriented companies in Bangladesh to pay their workers salary through digital means, either by bank accounts or through Mobile Financial Services. Mandatory for all export-oriented companies to open MFS accounts by 20th April 2020.
  2. KYC requirements for MFS relaxed to include Birth Certificates in addition to the National ID.
  3. No service fees to be charged for opening these MFS accounts.
  4. Awareness campaigns to be run for MFS by respective stakeholders/organizations.

Following the above circular, a total of 1.9 mn MFS accounts have been opened, for RMG workers, by 3 leading MFS players in Bangladesh- Nagad, Bkash and Rocket.  This brings the total number of digital payments accounts with RMG workers to around 3 mn.

  • As part of the Government’s vision as articulated in the Digital Bangladesh Manifesto and its commitment to digitizing wages in the RMG sector, a key result from the Digital Wages Summit organized by the Government of Bangladesh, the Global Brands and the Better Than Cash Alliance along with a number of partners in November 2019, all relief wage payments will be digitally paid in the Bank Accounts or MFS Wallets of RMG employees.
  • A key component of ensuring that the relief wages are paid responsibly, is an integrated responsive grievance redressal mechanism that includes all value chain actors, with a strong focus on quality and speed of response to RMG employees and built around their limited financial and technical literacy, with a gender focus, will be critical to the success of this relief. 

Working in service of our members’ commitments, specifically our brand partners, the Better Than Cash Alliance is supporting the “Amader Kotha” helpline to include grievance redressal mechanism on digital payments as part of their services to the RMG workers. Working with the Amadar Kotha team, the Alliance is supporting our brand members to responsibly digitize payments to approximately 1 million employees through a network of 625 factories.

Phase 1 of the Grievance Redressal Mechanism (GRM) project has now been completed. During this phase, a number of activities took place: conceptualization, strategy, stakeholder selection & engagement, GRM architecture design, identification of FAQs, development of decision trees for each of the FAQs, design and development of training guides & modules, and delivery of training to call center agents.  As the project moves to phases 2 and 3, there are a series of activities that need to be completed. Furthermore, there are off-shoot activities that will be required from an action research and learning perspective.

Expected Outcomes:

  1. Validate each of the steps of the RMG digitization journey based on the data collected through interactions between “Amader Kotha” helpline and the RMG workers.
  2. Develop a lesson learnt document based on the above to inform process improvements for the future.
  3. Provide required technical support to Improve the support process based on lessons learnt including the following:
  • New FAQs based on queries received from the RMG workers.
  • Update decision trees based on responses received and new information available.
  • Develop new training material and delivery to partner.

     4. Guidance for responsible digitization of relief wages with a focus on women employees. Identifying relevant lessons and experiences, to be included in the Responsible Digital Payments Guidebook, based on the project.

      5.Provide advisory support to BTCA RMG expert.

Duties and Responsibilities

COMPONENT 1 – PHASE 2 ACTIVITIES

At a high level, this involves simultaneously working on a number of activities:

  • The data that is generated in a periodic basis from Phase 1 operations are required to be analyzed – including statistical analysis, patterns and trends analysis, and potential impact analysis.
  • Key lessons need to be extracted, packaged appropriately and communicated with stakeholders. Improvement opportunities need to be identified, assessed from multiple lenses and a clear list of feasible enhancements for implementation are to be fleshed out.
  • Once those are vetted by appropriate stakeholders, the changes need to be implemented – this may include addition of FAQs, development of decision trees, and design of training guides and delivery of the training to call center agents.
  • There is also a need for call center implementation support throughout Phase 2 – this involves collaborating closely with the call center team and management to provide guidance and troubleshoot as and when required.

COMPONENT 2 – PHASE 3 ACTIVITIES

At a high level, this involves simultaneously working on a number of activities:

  • The data that is generated in a periodic basis from Phase 2 operations are required to be analyzed – including statistical analysis, patterns and trends analysis, and potential impact analysis.
  • Key lessons need to be extracted, packaged appropriately and communicated with stakeholders. Improvement opportunities need to be identified, assessed from multiple lenses and a clear list of feasible enhancements for implementation are to be fleshed out.
  • Once those are vetted by appropriate stakeholders, the changes need to be implemented – this may include addition of FAQs, development of decision trees, and design of training guides and delivery of the training to call center agents.
  • There is also a need for call center implementation support throughout Phase 3 – this involves collaborating closely with the call center team and management to provide guidance and troubleshoot as and when required.

COMPONENT 3 – LESSONS LEARNED DOCUMENT

The implementation of the GRM has provided practical lessons that may be valuable to a wider set of stakeholders. Furthermore, as a knowledge organization, BTCA is deeply committed to extracting and sharing lessons from various initiatives with the world. The document needs to cover a variety of lessons, for example, from designing and implementing a GRM, value proposition, impact on end-beneficiaries using personas and other tools, business case and business model.

COMPONENT 4 – RESPONSIBLE DIGITAL PAYMENTS DOCUMENT UPDATE

BTCA has demonstrated thought leadership across a number of areas involving digital payments. In 2016, it had published a set of guidelines for Responsible Digital Payments that have since been widely used. Four years on, that document requires a review and potential addition to the guidelines in light of the learnings from GRM implementation. This activity will require starting with a thorough review of the existing guidelines and how they are being used. This will need to be followed by extracting potential guidelines from the output of Component 3 above as well as experience from implementing GRM across all three phases. Subsequently, the new content will need to be written up, vetted with a number of stakeholders, and finalized for inclusion in the 2020 update of the Responsible Digital Payments Guidebook.

COMPONENT 5 – ADVISORY SUPPORT TO BTCA BANGLADESH RESOURCES

Given the volume and nature of BTCA’s work envisaged for Bangladesh, BTCA will be expanding its local team. The local resources require expert level strategic guidance from a demonstrated thought leader in Digital Financial Services with deep and very specific Bangladesh experience and network. In addition to ad hoc strategic guidance, there may be needed to collaborate on certain digital payment activities, as required in the Covid019 context.

Duration of the Work

Under the supervision of the Asia Pacific Lead, and working closely with the Private Sector Digital Innovation Lead, the consultant will undertake the following work to achieve the following key results:

Data Analysis for Phase 1:

  1. Key task: Analyze data collected from Phase 1 engagement with RMG workers.
  2. Output:

              - Recommendations on improvement of process, content, and other key elements.

              - Updated FAQs, decision trees, training guides, and training delivery.

              -  Support implementation of above recommendations through new/edited FAQs, decision trees, training guides, and training delivery.

       3.  Expected Results: Updated process and GRM leading to higher levels of satisfaction among RMG workers.

Data Analysis for Phase 2:

  1. Key task: Analyze data collected from Phase 2 engagement with RMG workers.
  2. Output:

               - Recommendations on improvement of process, content, and other key elements.

               -  Updated FAQs, decision trees, training guides, and training delivery.

               -  Support implementation of above recommendations through new/edited FAQs, decision trees, training guides, and training delivery.

        3.  Expected Results:

               -  Updated process and GRM leading to higher levels of satisfaction among RMG workers.

               -  Business case for an independent Help Line and how it fills a gap not provided through FSP Help Lines and compliments existing support.

Lessons Learnt Document:

  1. Key task: Document key lessons and relevant experiences gathered as part of the project implementation exercise around key elements like content, targeting, process, technology, outreach and responsiveness to RMG workers’ needs.
  2. Output: Lessons learnt document.
  3. Expected Results:

                 -  Improved understanding of the nature of challenges being faced by the RMG workers and the options for GRM available to them during the crisis.

                 -   Role of Help Line in building capabilities and providing financial education

Responsible for Digital Payments Guidebook:

  1. Key task: Provide content, based on the project experience, for RDP Guidebook.
  2. Output: Content to be provided for the Guidebook based on project experience.

Advisory support to Country Resource:

  1. Provide strategic guidance to BTCA RMG sector expert at the request of the Alliance during Covid-19.

Duty Station

The duty station/location for the contract duration will be Bangladesh.


Competencies

Technical Competencies:

  • Good analytical, and diplomatic skills;
  • Strong inter-personal skills and a demonstrated capacity to forge effective relations with colleagues and counterparts from different backgrounds essential;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively as part of a team as well as individually;
  • Excellent attention to detail, a proactive approach to achieving key results, a high level of thoroughness in a complex multitasking environment and a strict adherence to deadlines;
  • Builds strong relationships, focuses on impact and results;
  • Comfortable working with senior level management and officials;
  • Establishes and maintains relationships to understand needs and gain support;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and positive, constructive attitude;
  • Ability to work under pressure; and
  • Proven networking and communication skills.

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:

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

Experience:

  • A minimum of seven (7) years dedicated experience working on digital payments implementation with governments, RMG sector
  • Work experience in Bangladesh ang solid knowledge of the digital payments ecosystem in country
  • Solid understanding of the last mile payments ecosystems in Bangladesh
  • Solid understanding of the RMG wage digitization initiatives in Bangladesh including a comprehensive understanding of the current challenges and opportunities
  • Strong relationship with BGMEA and understanding of the key opportunities at the RMG factories. 

 Languages:

  • Fluency in English, both oral and written, is required.

Duration of the Work and Schedule of Payments

The task is expected to be completed in 70 days, composed of:

Deliverables

Description

Delivery Est. Date

% of the total payment/share

 

Deliverable 1:

Data Analysis and Recommendations for Phase 1

 

Jun 20

25%

Deliverable 2:

 

Lessons Learnt Document

Jun 30

20%

Deliverable 3:

 

Data Analysis and Recommendations for Phase 2

July 10

25%

Deliverable 4:

 

Responsible for Digital Payments Guidebook

July 31

15%

Deliverable 5:

 

Advisory support to Country Resource

Nov 30

15%

Total

 

 

100%

Provision of Monitoring, Progress Controls & Payments

  • Working under the supervision of the Asia Pacific Lead and working closely with the Private Sector Digital Innovation Lead, who would set the weekly deliverables and will hold a weekly communication either in person, or via e-mail and/or skype for coordination and guidance purposes, ensuring consultant’s  output quality and targets.
  • Payments will be made periodically, in line with the payment schedule below and upon confirmation of UNCDF that the individual has delivered on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner based on the completed deliverables
  • Final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant

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 Private Sector Innovation Lead and/or his designate.

(iii)           submission of a workplan / progress report with relevant supporting documentation; and,

(iv)           an authorization of payment disbursement from a direct supervisor.

Recommended Presentation of Offer

Interested individuals 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).

The following documents are requested:

a)     Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability;

b)     Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and the names of at least three (3) professional references (e-mail addresses, telephone numbers);

c)     Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the consultancy

d)     Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive Daily Fee price excluding travel. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNCDF under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNCDF. Please use the form available at http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=29916

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

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 (30% desk review + 40% interview) and 30% financial.

Step I: Screening:

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the following minimum criteria (listed under education and experience) will progress to the pool for shortlisting:

  1. Advanced university degree (Master’s level) in international affairs, development, political science.
  2. Minimum 7 years of relevant professional experience working on issues related to digital payments and citizen-focused, Grievance Redressal Systems.
  3. Exposure to the garment sector will be considered as an advantage.

 Step II: Shortlisting by Desk Review (100 points)

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate candidates as per the following criteria: 

  1. Minimum 7 years of relevant professional experience working on issues related to digital payments and citizen-focused, Grievance Redressal Systems-  40 points
  2. Knowledge of digital payments and digital financial inclusion a strong advantage- 40 points
  3. Exposure to the garment sector- 20 points.

As applicable, only the first top 3 ranked applicants achieving minimum 70 points shall be invited for an interview.

Step III: Technical interviews

A competency-based Interview shall be conducted with the top three candidates who score the highest in Step II (minimum of 70 points). Candidates will be tested on the same key work areas, in greater depth, with the same weighting, namely:

  • Relevant experience
  • Sector Knowledge 
  • Programme Development and Management

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Step II: Desk Review and Step III: Interview will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step IV: Financial Evaluation:

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

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

Step V: Award Criteria:

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

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable vis-à-vis the requirements of the TOR and the project operating environment; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (70%) and financial (30%) criteria.

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.

UNCDF 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.

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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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