Agriculture and Livelihood Advisor



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : home-based with travel to Asia and Africa
Application Deadline :18-Aug-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-Oct-2020
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :renewable for another 12 months based on performance and available funding

Background

INTRODUCING 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 and more risk-averse investors.

With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” financing models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local development. UNCDF targets low-income and underserved populations and areas in the LDCs where resources for development are the scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where increased national economic prosperity does not reach a large part of the population. UNCDF focuses on local development finance and inclusive finance, using its capital mandate paired with strong technical and policy support to help communities and individuals save, borrow and invest.

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, payments, and remittances).

INTRODUCING DIGITAL FINANCE IN UNCDF

UNCDF manages several initiatives in LDCs in Asia 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. By supporting the development of digital finance eco-system in these countries, UNCDF aims to increase the financial security of low income and rural households through access to appropriate, affordable and secure means to receive, manage and save money.

In 2019, 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.

INTRODUCING UNCDF’S AGRICULTURE, LIVELIHOOD AND DIGITAL INNOVATION INTERVENTIONS

UNCDF under its new strategy Digital@UNCDF identifies agriculture as a critical sector to impact lives of low-income segment specially women and youth by leveraging digital solutions. Agriculture is a critical source of livelihood for more than a billion people across the globe; it therefore plays an essential part in eradicating poverty and achieving global food security. Smallholder farmers who own less than 2 hectares of land produce 50-60% of agri produce in middle- and low-income countries. These farmers face several challenges that curtail their productivity. Digital solutions can enable agri-value chain actors especially smallholders improve productivity, quality and marketability of their outputs with lower risks. As we approach digital solution from human perspective our efforts create impacts that drive sustainability, improve resilience and help reduce hunger.

UNCDF has demonstrated its uniqueness in Asia and Africa on connecting the dots in the value chain and bringing different stakeholder and digital solutions providers at one platform to ideate and implement innovative and unique agri digitization solutions. UNCDF will leverage digital innovation and technologies, combined with viable commercial models that are adapted to the needs of smallholder farmers and agri-businesses/SMEs to impact every aspect of agri-value chains specially smallholder’s income levels.

UNCDF plans to strengthen its portfolio in agriculture projects, both financial and non-financial intervention specially on food security and climate change adaptation. With advent of technologies especially 4th industrial revolution technologies, UNCDF will continue to support private sector and communities adopt these technologies to increase agriculture productivity and increase in smallholder’s income. Innovations will play an important part in this vision. Thus, agriculture sector stream will closely work in coordination with Innovations team with UNCDF.

UNCDF’s innovation team has been leading interventions designed to enhance financial health and wellbeing of low income and under-served segments both in emerging markets and LDCs. UNCDF has established Innovation Lab in Malaysia that support digital innovations (both financial and non-financial) in different markets and focused on multiple sectors including agriculture, health, financial services, micro small enterprises and others. Innovation Lab’s support includes technical assistance and grant investments. Innovation Lab is also expanding its interventions in other countries in Asia with focus on cross-exchange of learnings and drive partnerships between start-up communities. Thus, the Innovation Lab will continue to create opportunities for South-South exchange specially in sectors critical for economic growth.

In this context, UNCDF plans to hire an Agriculture and Livelihood Advisor who will lead the agriculture innovation initiatives with in-country teams and Innovation Lab primarily in Asia as well as across UNCDF portfolio in different countries. 


Duties and Responsibilities

The Agriculture and Livelihood Advisor will report to the Global Innovation Specialist. The Agriculture and Livelihood Advisor will be responsible for:

  1. Leading agriculture sector stream under Digital@UNCDF strategy. Developing strategic vision and plans for agriculture work stream in UNCDF with outlook towards emerging 4th industrial revolution technologies and challenges of climate change and food security.
  2. Supporting country teams and innovation team develop and implement digital agriculture and livelihood related technical projects; provide technical inputs and oversight, as required.
  3. Working with Global Innovation Specialist and regional/country team on resource mobilization for digital agriculture and livelihood projects across Asia and Africa.
  4. Working with Global Innovation Specialist or other colleagues from FIPA (Financial Inclusion Practice Area) to represent UNCDF at different development partners, government, industry platforms to highlight UNCDF’s work in agriculture and food security; drive partnerships with other stakeholders.
  5. Coordinating with research and insights team and knowledge management team to collate learning from different agri projects and share them at wider platforms through webinars, social media, websites, etc.
  6. Providing technical support/advisory to other sector and work-stream lead for cross-sector projects.   

    Activities

    Deliverables

    Timelines

    Disbursement

    Develop concept notes on agriculture and innovations 

    • At least 2 concept notes

    Nov 2020

    10%

    Support UNCDF country team to plan Digital Agri linking to Digital economy and Financial Health outcomes  

    • Project Description of Agri DFS projects in coordination with country teams

    Dec 2020

    8%

    Activities on fundraising efforts and program expansion efforts specially with respect to innovation work stream

    • Quarterly fundraising pipeline and documentation
    • Meeting minutes
    • Program Management Documents

    Feb 2021

     

    10%

    Quarterly review of implementation on new agri-innovation projects

    • Quarterly Reports
    • Recommendations

    Mar 2021

     

    12%

    Develop collaterals and learning materials based on agri projects

    • At least 1 webinar on agri digital project learning
    • 2 Briefing Note (BN)/Blogs

    May 2021

    10%

    Activities on fundraising efforts and program expansion efforts specially with respect to innovation work stream

    • Quarterly fundraising pipeline and documentation
    • Meeting minutes
    • Program Management Documents

    Jun 2021

     

    7%

    Quarterly review of implementation on new agri-innovation projects

    • Quarterly Reports
    • Recommendations

    Jul 2021

    10%

    Support UNCDF country teams to implement Digital Agri and livelihood on digital economy and Financial Health outcomes

    • Brief Word/PPT Note (3 in numbers)

    Nov 2020-Aug 2021

    13%

    Activities on fundraising efforts and program expansion efforts specially with respect to innovation work stream

    • Quarterly fundraising pipeline and documentation
    • Meeting minutes
    • Program Management Documents

    Aug 2021

     

    10%

    Updates to Agri DFS Strategy 

    • Updated regional Agri DFS Strategy document

     

    Sep 2021

    10%

    Evaluation of regional agri DFS portfolio and documentation of same

    • Evaluation Report
    • Due diligence document -  Word/PPT 

Timeline, total number of working days, duty station:

  • Timeline: October 2020 to September 2021
  • Total Number of Working Days for Assignment: up to 200 working days within 12 months (renewable for another 12 months based on performance and available funding)
  • Duty station: Home-based with travel to Asia and Africa

For unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed.

 Progress Controls & Payments:

Payment will be made against each satisfactorily achieved deliverable. All payments are subject to the clearance and approval of the Global Innovation Specialist.

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


Competencies

  • Open to work with challenging projects that required in-depth support to partners largely on operations level.
  • 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.
  • Fluency in the qualitative research and synthesis to ideation, prototyping, and implementation.
  • Open to working with multi-cultural and diverse team of professionals.
  • Results-driven, problem-solver with structuring and analytic capabilities.  
  • Strong ability to think and act strategically, even in situations of ambiguity, to develop both short- and long-term visions.   
  • Inspires others, influences and builds trust.
  • Strong communicator that can serve multiple functions as needed.   


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Bachelor’s or Masters’ Degree in either economics, social or international development, finance, business administration, public policy or related field.

 

Experience:

  • At least 8 years of professional experience in digital finance, social development, banking, microfinance, telecom or agriculture sector
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in digital financial services and innovations
  • Experience in management of multi-country/regional projects   
  • Experienced in Digital Plus projects including DFS Agri, DFS MSE or DFS Energy is a plus
  • Proven experience of independently managing projects/tasks with defined KPIs and timelines 
  • Experience in developing and managing business relationships with private sector, government agencies/regulators and civil society organizations
  • Experience in designing and managing qualitative or quantitative research is a plus
  • Experience in writing case study, project descriptions, work plans, budgets, research papers or other learning materials
  • Previous experience of working with UNDP or UNCDF or UNDP/UNCDF funded projects is a plus
  • Exceptional written and oral communications skills.

Language:

  • Excellent written and oral English is mandatory.

Application documents

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

All applications must contain the following information:

  • Cover letter with a summary statement of competencies in relation to this Terms of Reference (TOR);
  • CV and/or Completed and signed P11-Personal History Form with names and current contacts of 3 referees (Available at: http://sas.undp.org/documents/p11_personal_history_form.doc);
  • Signed financial proposal for the assignment outlining: All-inclusive fee including professional fees and other professional expenses, such as insurance, taxes, etc (Available at: http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=29916).

Incomplete applications may not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested documents. 

Evaluation method

Step I: Longlisting 

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the minimum criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting.

  • Bachelor’s or Masters’ Degree in either economics, social or international development, finance, business administration, public policy or related field.
  • At least 8 years of professional experience in digital finance, social development, banking, microfinance, telecom or agriculture sector.
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in digital financial services and innovations.

Step II: Shortlisting/Desk review (50 points)

UNCDF will produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate candidates using the following criteria. Only candidates obtaining 70% at this stage shall be invited for the next step.

Shortlist scoring:

  • Bachelor’s or Masters’ Degree in either economics, social or international development, finance, business administration, public policy or related field. – 10%
  • At least 8 years of professional experience in digital finance, social development, banking, microfinance, telecom or agriculture sector. – 20%
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in digital financial services and innovations. – 20%
  • Experience in management of multi-country/regional projects. – 10%
  • Experienced in Digital Plus projects including DFS Agri, DFS MSE or DFS Energy is a plus. – 10%
  • Experience in developing and managing business relationships with private sector, government agencies/regulators and civil society organizations. – 10%
  • Experience in designing and managing qualitative or quantitative research is a plus. – 10%
  • Previous experience of working with UNDP or UNCDF or UNDP/UNCDF funded projects is a plus. – 10%

    Step III: Interview (50 points)

    Only the top ranked applicants having scored a minimum of 70% at the desk review stage shall be invited to a panel interview. The interview will have a pass/fail mark of 70%.

    Step IV: Financial Evaluation

    Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Steps II (50 points) + III (50 points) will be considered as technically-qualified and shall be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

    The following formula will be used to evaluate the financial proposal:

    Lowest priced proposal / Price of the proposal being evaluated x 30

    Award criteria 

    The contract shall be awarded to the applicant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest combined score
  • Technical evaluation weight: 70% x (Desk review 50 points + Interview 50 points) 
  • Financial evaluation weight: 30%

Both individual consultants and individuals 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. 

 


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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