Digital Agri-finance Consultant



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Wewak, East Sepik, with travel to Port Moresby, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Application Deadline :07-Jun-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)
01-Jul-2020
Duration of Initial Contract :Up to 220 working days per year
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 months with the possibility of extension for another two (2) years

Background

Introduction – UNCDF 

UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 47 Least Developed Countries (LDC). UNCDF uses its capital mandate to support LDCs pursue inclusive growth. UNCDF promotes financial inclusion, also through digital financial services (DFS), as a key enabler of poverty reduction and inclusive growth; and it demonstrates how localizing finance outside the capital cities can accelerate growth in local economies, promote sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure development, and empower local communities. Using capital grants, loans and credit enhancements, UNCDF tests financial models in inclusive finance and local development finance; ‘de-risks’ the local investment space; and provides proofs of concept, paving the way for larger investors.

 

UNCDF’s objective is to develop inclusive financial systems in which a range of financial products are available to all segments of society, at a reasonable cost, and on a sustainable basis. UNCDF supports a wide range of providers (e.g. microfinance institutions, banks, cooperatives, money transfer companies) and a variety of financial products and services (e.g. savings, credit, insurance, pension, payments, and remittances).

 

Introduction:  Digital Finance in UNCDF 

UNCDF manages several initiatives in LDCs in Asia, Pacific and Africa, to develop an inclusive digital finance eco-system that offers a wide range of financial services specially for low income vulnerable communities. Specifically, UNCDF provides a mix of policy, technical and financial support to a range of government and private sector actors in each country, as well as invests in research and other public goods that benefit all market actors. 

 

Recently, UNCDF has formulated its strategy ‘Leaving no one behind in the digital era’ based on 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 of the Sustainable Development Goals aligns with the vision of promoting digital economies that leave no one behind. The vision of UNCDF is to empower millions of people by 2024 to use services daily that leverage innovation and technology and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. UNCDF will apply a market development approach and continuously seek to address underlying market dysfunctions.

 

Introduction:  UNCDFs digital interventions in Papua New Guinea and STREIT project  

UNCDF launched its Digital Finance interventions in Papua New Guinea in 2009 through its Pacific Financial inclusion Program (PFIP) and focused on creating an inclusive environment for inception and scale up of digital financial services. UNCDF has been supporting the digital financial service providers, banks and other stakeholders in the country to develop the eco-system.

 

UNCDF is part of the EU funded joint UN Support to Rural Enterprise Investment and Trade (STREIT) project in Papua New Guinea and is responsible for the access to finance component under the project. The STREIT project aims to support – vanilla, cocoa and fisheries value chains through a range of inter-related inputs. As part of its inputs to the project UNCDF will continue to engage with private sector, regulators and the government to scale up DFS eco-system in the project areas focused on supporting agri-value chains.


Duties and Responsibilities

To lead its technical inputs for STREIT project, UNCDF plans to hire a Digital Finance and Agri-finance Specialist, who will be part of the UNCDF country office team. S/he will be responsible to work closely with UNCDF partners at provincial and national level to achieve the project results by providing regular technical assistance and facilitating partnerships within the eco-system linked to - policy and regulations, financial innovation and consumer empowerment. 

 

Scope of Work

  • Lead the technical inputs, coordination, implementation and reporting on progress of UNCDF’s component of outputs to STREIT project and its linkage to UNCDF’s work at national level. 
  • Support in the identification, development and implementation of a diverse mix of strong projects within select agricultural value chains. 
  • Provide support and work with financial Institutions to assist with the launch of new financial services through targeted and focused pilots, as planned by the institution in a phased manner.
  • Provide inputs for capacity building, for range of stakeholder in private and public sector through dialogue, workshops/ events at provincial and national level on digital inclusion. 
  • Provide technical expertise and inputs to financial inclusion research including baseline studies to guide design and development of new products and services dedicated in select agri-value and assessing impact of digital financial services – savings, loans, insurance, remittance and pensions. 
  • Engage with the Central Bank, Regulators, and Line Ministries to work towards conducive policy and regulatory environment for financial inclusion both at provincial and national level.
  • Engage with other relevant state and non-state actors to add value to the work within the scope of the STREIT project and more particularly to the UNCDF component. 
  • Engage with other UN agencies involved in the STREIT project with a view to ensure adequate collaboration on joint deliverables and outputs 
  • Support the UNCDF Country team to implement the Country Strategy and drive the country-level outcomes.

 

Expected outputs and Deliverables 

Activities

Deliverables

Expected no. of Days

Market Research, Assessments and Workplan 

 

 

  • Market Research report submitted covering:  
    • mapping agriculture VC related financial products and services offered in PNG.
    • Recommendations on potential products/ services for VCs 
    • mapping of potential partnerships.

 

  • VC assessment and payments flow mapping report submitted

 

  • Detailed workplan and resource planning for the inception phase of STREIT project submitted, clearly drawing linkages to UNCDF’s overall digital finance work in the country  

 

40 days 

Actioning of partnerships with financial service providers and development of projects 

  • Evidence-based assessment of potential opportunities for introducing or modifying existing financial products/services for select Agri-VCs 

 

  • Design and development of at-least two new agri-value chain focused, enterprise development linked projects to improve access to finance for farmers, MSMEs in PNG  

 

  • Drafted and submitted recommendations with detailed notes and rationale (project appraisal documents) for UNCDF to present to the PSC

 

  • Strategic engagement with FSPs and partnerships formalised through contractual agreements. 

 

35 days 

Technical Assistance to partner institutions for project implementation. 

 

(Pilot / Product Launch, Customer Acquisition and Marketing)

Technical assistance (TA) to projects commissioned. This will tentatively include the following deliverables, which are subject to change depending on specific needs of the projects. 

 

  • Document governance structure for projects approved by UNCDF with FSPs

 

  • Finalized resource and project work plans for implementation submitted 

 

  • Reporting tools and mechanism to report on project KPIs at regular intervals developed

 

  • Customer acquisition and on-boarding processes documented

 

  • Customer engagement and communication plan developed and documented; and marketing materials developed

 

  • Training material developed and capacity building trainings of FSPs staff on the above carried out.

 

  • Data analysis for customer, product and channel usage conducted and analysis reports with recommendations for improvement submitted.

 

  • Report handed in on analysis of project outcomes and recommendations of scale-up plans for expansion within the project geography with plans and inputs for replicability in other parts of PNG and rest of Pacific where feasible presented.  

 

100 days 

Technical inputs to partner UN agencies for joint activities 

  • Financial literacy, financial competency enhancement and consumer empowerment work jointly done by UN agencies finalised with UNCDF inputs. 

 

  • UNCDFs technical inputs and feedback for enterprise development and MSMEs access to finance component incorporated in UNJP. 

 

  • Finalised baseline, end-line studies, and strategies such as e-agriculture etc have UNCDF’s inputs. 

 

  • Draft reports for regular reporting (M&E) for STREIT submitted to PIMU in time 

 

  • Two regional knowledge sharing and learning events with short report thereof organised

 

30 days

Business Impact Analysis for a scale-up plan

  • Final customer usage analysis report to develop the customer journey mapping and profile creation to assess the impact on people prepared and submitted

 

  • Final report covering completion of all deliverables submitted 

15 days

Total Payment 

220 days

 

Duration of the Work and Duty Station 

Maximum number of working days: The consultancy will be for a period of up to 220 days spread over a period of one year and it is expected that at least 90% of the time will be spend onsite in Papua New Guinea. 10% of the working days can be home station based. 

Duty Station: The consultant will be based and operate from in the UN Joint office based in Wewak, East Sepik Province. 

Travel: Approx. 20% of travel is expected to project locations and Port Moresby. All this travel will be requested by UNCDF management on a need basis and will be compensated on a reimbursable basis and following the UNDP/UNCDF rules and regulations that state 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 in amounts not exceeding the UN established rate.

 

UNCDF cannot guarantee residence permits or visas for consultants. Consultants are responsible for securing their work documentation with limited support from UNCDF. 

 

Provision of Monitoring and Progress Control 

  • The consultant will be part of the UNCDF PNG country team and will work closely with STREIT project team consisting of representatives from other participating UN agencies. 
  • The consultant will report to the UNCDF Country Lead, PNG based in Port Moresby or his designate. 
  • The consultant is responsible for providing his/her own laptop during the course of his/her engagement with UNCDF.

 

In addition to the general deliverables mentioned in the table above, specific deliverables will be requested by UNCDF, and their receipt and validation will condition the payments. These deliverables include: 

  • A fortnightly activity briefs. The format and content of this report is to be agreed between the consultant and the UNCDF Country Lead.
  • Mission reports for any official travel undertaken.

Payments 

Payment will be made on a periodical basis in accordance with number of days worked and upon satisfactorily achieved deliverables. All payments are subject to the clearance and approval of the direct supervisor, UNCDF Country Lead, PNG and on receipt of: 

 

  • A Monthly Project Progress Report with timesheet highlighting the key activities and outputs, submitted after every 30 billable days or monthly, whichever is earlier. 

 

UNCDF will provide feedback on the work of the consultant to ensure the quality of deliverables as per the expectations of UNCDF and that the work is aligned with the broader project objective. 

Payments are subject to UNCDF’s approval of the Project Progress Reports and the submission of the finalized documents, after incorporating the relevant feedback.

 

  • Final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant.

 

The following supporting documents will serve as conditions for disbursement: 

  • submission of an Invoice and Certificate of Payment (COP). 
  • submission of all deliverables / workplan / progress report with relevant supporting documentation; and
  • review, approval and written acceptance of each deliverable by the UNCDF Country Lead and/or his designate. 


Competencies

  • Open to work with challenging projects in challenging environment; 
  • Ability to plan, organize, implement and report on work;
  • Strong networking, interpersonal, communication and facilitation skills;
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities skills;
  • Experience in managing clients and partners—from early stage companies to mature organizations;
  • Solution-focused and medium-agnostic, willing to step out of your core skill set or discipline to find the correct solution to a challenge;
  • Results-driven, problem-solver with structuring and analytic capabilities;
  • Strong ability to plan and act strategically, even in situations of ambiguity, to develop tangible solutions;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.


Required Skills and Experience

REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:

Educational Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in in Economics, Microfinance, Finance, Humanities or related discipline. 
  • Master’s degree in the disciplines above would be an advantage. 
  • Qualifications in human centric design or any discipline related to digital financial services would be an advantage.

 

Experience

  • Minimum 5 years of experience working in the microfinance and/or digital financial inclusion sector preferably at senior level 
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in managing DFS deployments, agriculture value chains with innovation in solutions for customer acquisition and agent network management, for digital channels in low-fidelity, low-resource environments
  • At least 2 years’ experience in conducting assessments of finance institutions on their operational viability, financial feasibility, market expansion, product diversification strategies
  • Demonstrated project management experience, including multi-tasking to lead and execute multiple time-sensitive projects in parallel.
  • Experience engaging diverse set of public and private sector stakeholders, regulators, government departments, industry associations would be preferable;
  • Experience with agri-value chains is preferred. Experience in the Pacific would be an advantage

Language requirements

  • Fluency in English language is required;

 

APPLICATION PROCESS AND EVALUATION 

Interested individual consultants should submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Please group them into one (1) single PDF document as the application only allows to upload maximum one document:

 

  • Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability
  • 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);
  • A detailed methodology for the assignment   including a) a brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment; 
  • Signed Financial proposal for the assignment outlining: All-inclusive fee (including professional fees and other professional expenses, such as housing, communications, insurance, taxes, travel to and from the duty station, and any other applicable cost to be incurred by the IC in completing the assignment). Available at http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=29916

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.

Failure to submit all the below mentioned documents may result in rejection of the application.

 

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%, where weight distribution shall be 70% technical (30% desk review + 40% interview) and 30% financial.

The Technical Evaluation will entail three key steps, as follows:

 

Step I: Screening

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in in Economics, Microfinance, Finance, Humanities or related discipline. 
  • Minimum 5 years of experience working in the microfinance and/or digital financial inclusion sector preferably at senior level 

 

Step II: Shortlisting by Desk Review (Maximum 100 points x 30%) 

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate the candidates. Only candidates that obtained 70% of the points at this stage shall be invited for the next step.

 

Shortlisting scoring:

Education (10 points):

  • Bachelor’s degree in in Economics, Microfinance, Finance, Humanities or related discipline – 5 points
  • Master’s degree in Economics, Microfinance, Finance, Humanities or related discipline would be an advantage – 3 points
  • Qualifications in human centric design or any discipline related to digital financial services -2 points

 

Experience (90 points):

  • Minimum 5 years of experience working in the microfinance and/or digital financial inclusion sector preferably at senior level (20 points)
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in managing DFS deployments, agriculture value chains with solutions for customer acquisition and agent network management, for digital channels in low-fidelity, low-resource environments. (30 points) 
  • At least 2 years’ experience in conducting assessments of micro-finance institutions on their operational viability, financial feasibility, market expansion, product diversification strategies (20 points) 
  • Experience in agri-value chains financing (10 points). 
  • Experience in the Pacifics (10 points) 

 

Step III: Technical Interviews (Maximum 100 points x 40%)

A competency-based interview shall be conducted for a maximum of top five candidates shortlisted by Desk Review. 

A competency-based Interview shall be conducted with the candidates shortlisted by Desk Review. Candidates will be tested on the same key work areas, in greater depth, with the same weighting, namely:

  • Relevant experience
  • Sector Technical Knowledge  
  • Program Development and Management
  • Understanding of the mission

 

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Step II: Desk Review and Step III: Technical 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 award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose profile has been evaluated and determined as: 

a) Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and 

b) Having received the highest score out of set of weighted technical criteria (70%) and financial criteria (30%).

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./ rb


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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