Senior Technical Experts



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : home based
Application Deadline :10-Aug-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :One (1) year up to three (3) years, depending on performance and continued project demand.

Background

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (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. Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Based at UNCDF, the Better Than Cash Alliance’s mission is to catalyze a global movement from cash to digital payments to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Specific benefits include efficiency, transparency, women’s economic participation and financial inclusion, helping build economies that are digital and inclusive.

The Alliance has 75 members, including national governments from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, companies and international organizations which have committed to digitizing payments.

The Secretariat works with the Alliance members on their journey to digitize payments by:

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

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. The problems with these cash payments include a lack of transparency, accountability and security, as well as inefficiency. Individuals who receive cash payments are often part of the 1.7 billion excluded from the formal financial sector, the majority of whom are women. 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 Team’s Core Values are the following:

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

For more information about the Better Than Cash Alliance, please visit our website: www.betterthancash.org.


Duties and Responsibilities

OBJECTIVES OF THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

UNCDF 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 or individual.

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

Where a request for service arises, UNCDF 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 Terms of Reference (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. 

In the event that there will be multiple consultants qualified to perform the services on an assignment, UNCDF may conduct a secondary competition among them in order to determine who should receive the call-off.  The criteria for such selection shall be limited only to the lowest priced offer among those who confirmed availability.

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 said limit shall be inclusive of both professional fees and all other travel entitlements received by the consultant.

The Senior Technical Experts will be a part of the Experts Roster In coordination with the Better Than Cash Alliance Managing Director, Government and Corporate Relations Specialist and the Member Services Team the Senior Technical Expert will agree on an engagement strategy prior to the consultancy and on key follow up items after.

Successful candidates to this position will be engaged on an assignment basis and will be called for specialized discrete consultancies to provide technical advice to governments, companies and international organizations based on their expertise and/or engagements to represent the Better Than Cash Alliance.  These assignments may be short-term or long-term contracts which will be discussed with the candidate. He/she will be free to accept or decline the offer for each assignment.

SCOPE OF WORK

Duties and Responsibilities

Key Functions

Advocacy

  • Represent the Better Than Cash Alliance at high-level events and fora, when requested.
  • Compellingly explain the importance of digital payments in the global development agenda: Since its inception in 2012, the Better Than Cash Alliance has been successful in advocating for the importance of digitizing payments in the global development agenda. The Senior Technical Expert will contribute to continuing this success.

 

Sharing Technical Expertise

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

Strategic Advice

  • Based on an agreed strategy provide expertise and advice to governments to support their own strategy in digitizing payments and the development of an inclusive digital payments’ ecosystem.

Please check the Better Than Cash Alliance to get a better understanding of the type of research and communications materials we publish: www.betterthancash.org.

Contracting Arrangement 

Long-Term Agreement (LTA) as part-time based on specific assignment and deliverables. Under the LTA, a Terms of Reference (TORs) which indicate a set of clear deliverables, budget and timeline will be prepared, agreed and approved by UNCDF/BTCA prior to each assignment and/or mission. The payment will be made based on satisfactory completion of the assignment and submission of all deliverables, and within the terms of the approved ToRs.

Duration: Will be agreed for each assignment as per the Standard Operational Procedure (SOP).

Payments

A fixed daily fee submitted by the applicant will remain the same for the entire life of the LTA, and no changes may be allowed.  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.

Duty Station and expected places of travel: Home-based.  

The schedule of any travel, if needed, will be agreed on with the incumbent according to the requirements of each assignment. Travel costs associated to the assignment will be paid following the UN rules and regulations which is economy ticket, UN Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for specific countries. DSA rates are set on a monthly basis by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), accessible from https://icsc.un.org/Home/DataDSA


Competencies

Professional

  • Proven ability in public speaking, specifically to senior-level audiences including governments, companies and international organizations.
  • Strong professional spokesperson, technically able to convey messages on behalf of the Better Than Cash Alliance while respecting cultural contexts, political sensitivities and advancing national priorities.

Technical

  • Senior Level expertise of key related issues and international practices related to responsible digital payments as an integral part of fast-growing digital economies.
  • Excels at engaging with the highest levels across government, and/or executives of business, international organizations and civil society.
  • 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, with a recognized leading role in specific topic areas such as payments infrastructure, public financial management, G2P payments, tax policy, tax collection digitization (both at the central and local levels), digital financial services, digitization of utility bill payments (i.e. water, energy), digital identification, financial inclusion policy, pay-as-you-go payment methods and business models, ecosystem development for keeping funds digital, pricing of digital financial services, gender and digital financial inclusion, APIs and platform/data integration, e-KYC and regulation of digital financial services, digitization of wages, agricultural finance, innovation and digital platforms, remittances 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.
  • Bachelor’s degree, with 20 years of experience, will be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

Experience

  • Minimum of 20 years of professional experience at the highest possible level in responsible positions in either government, international organizations, corporate or academia working on digital payments, financial services, financial inclusion or a relevant related field.
  • Senior level expertise in driving the digitization of payments and expanding financial inclusion.
  • Fully versed in policy and technical implementation issues of financial inclusion and the digital agenda at a global level and/or in G20 emerging market countries.
  • Senior level 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 Issues 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.
  • Recognized research and publications in relevant fields essential.

Language Requirements

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English is required.
  • Working level knowledge of other UN languages is highly desirable.
  • Proficiency in other local languages, depending on the Region, is an advantage  

EVALUATION OF THE OFFER

Applications will be rated on both technical and financial submissions.

The evaluation of the proposal will be the combined scoring method. The award of the contract will be made to the individual consultants whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

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 related fields. Bachelor’s degree, with 20 years of experience, will be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
  • Experience: Minimum of 20 years of professional experience at the highest possible level in responsible positions in either government, international organizations, corporate or academia working on digital payments, 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 publication.

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.

Criteria for Technical evaluation - 100 points maximum (weight 70%):

  • Previous 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, with a recognized leading role 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. - 40 points.
  • Extensive experience in driving digitization of payments and expanding financial inclusion, especially in emerging and developing markets – 25 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 – 25 points.
  • Relevant education – 10 points.

Step III:  Financial Evaluation (Weight – 30%). The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal: lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

CONTRACT AWARD

Award Criteria: The contract shall be awarded to the applicant whose offer have been evaluated and determined as: Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and having received the highest combined weight (technical scores) 70% + financial 30%= 100%.

Only those candidates obtaining the highest combined scoring will be offered to enter into a Long Tern Agreement with UNCDF under this procurement notice. The successful candidates under this LTA will be selected for specific assignments based on availability, geographical preferences, and language ability.

The short-listed candidates may be required by UNCDF to submit a “CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE FORM” prior to, or at the time, of contracting.

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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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