Framework Agreement for Digital Financial Services Policy Expert



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : home based
Application Deadline :04-Dec-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :4d 11h 8m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
08-Feb-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :36 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :36 months


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.


Background

UNCDF makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. 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.

UNCDF’s financing models work through two channels: (1) 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 (2) 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. By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF directly contributes to SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and expand access, UNCDF’s work also contributes indirectly to additional SDGs.

Since 2008, UNCDF has been supporting digital finance with significant success; digital finance is currently the largest part of its inclusive finance portfolio. Digital finance includes digital innovations linked to off-grid energy, agriculture, employment, health and transport.

UNCDF is also host to the secretariat of the Better than Cash Alliance, a 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.

With 60 professionals who have strong digital finance experience across the globe and with several hundred projects in digital on-going, UNCDF is one of the leading development agencies in digital finance aimed at very low-income customers in some of the world’s most difficult markets. UNCDF is in the process of consolidating its financial and technical resources to create a comprehensive team of experts in various domains to drive the new strategy “Leaving no one behind in the digital era.”

This strategy aims beyond household- or community-based interventions to support the evolution of inclusive digital financial ecosystems. The strategy recognizes that reaching the full potential of digital financial inclusion in support of the SDGs aligns with the vision of promoting digital economies for the following reasons:

  • The value of digital financial services (DFS) is not necessarily obvious to poor and vulnerable populations, as it is not currently closely linked to their specific constraints and needs around agriculture, education, health, energy and other key aspects of daily life.
  • Innovative services should address these unmet needs. Innovation will not come from traditional providers but mainly from a range of new players (entrepreneurs, start-ups in various sectors, and platforms like Facebook, Grab, WeChat, etc.).

The ‘Leaving no one behind in the digital era’ strategy to move from DFS to digital economies represents a logical integration of UNCDF interventions, developed over many years, in financial inclusion and digital. The legacy of UNCDF interventions was built through a range of country/regional programmes and global thematic initiatives, and has established a very strong reputation for UNCDF vis-à-vis donors and peers.

Please refer to www.uncdf.org.

Digital economies:

UNCDF manages initiatives to develop inclusive digital finance ecosystems which offer 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 to benefit all market actors. By supporting the development of digital finance ecosystem 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. 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 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 SDGs. UNCDF will apply a market development approach and continuously seek to address underlying market dysfunctions. For more information, please see: https://www.uncdf.org/article/4567/uncdf-launches-digital-economy-strategy-leaving-no-one-behind-in-the-digital-era.

UNCDF has been working with national governments to improve access to financial services for over 25 years. In the last decade, we have focused specifically on the role that digital technologies play in accelerating usage of financial services by low-income people. In our role as a technical assistance provider and neutral broker, UNCDF works closely with global and national partners to build capacity and support governments to engage with industry to facilitate solutions to key market constraints at the local and regional level. For more information, please see: https://www.uncdf.org/article/4944/enabling-policy-and-regulation-leaving-no-one-behind-in-the-digital-era.

Under the umbrella of UNCDF’s recently developed strategy, ‘Leaving no one behind in the digital era’, UNCDF has expanded the scope of their support on policy and regulations to improve access to an inclusive digital economy ecosystem. UNCDF Policy Accelerator is focusing on enabling DFS regulations across several African and Asian markets to ensure people, particularly women, benefit from the increased use of digital services in the economy.

UNCDF is looking for a Digital Financial Services Policy Expert to provide regulatory advice and analysis in support of UNCDF’s Policy Accelerator methodology. Under the direct supervision of the Lead Specialist for Policy and Government Advocacy, the consultant will collaborate with UNCDF’s team of policy and DFS experts at global, regional, and country level. UNCDF is looking for a resource with strong knowledge of retail financial service regulation, emerging trends in digital economy regulation, cross-border remittances, and the role that the digitization of finance can play in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The core function of the consultant is to deepen the expertise of the existing technical team and support ongoing technical assistance to regulators and policymakers in markets where UNCDF works. The consultant will work closely with the Lead Specialist, Migration and Remittances.

The Digital Financial Services Policy Expert is expected to be engaged through a non-exclusive Long-Term Agreement (LTA) or Framework Agreement formalized through an Individual Contract (IC). A Framework Agreement or is known in UNCDF as an agreement that establishes the terms, conditions and prices that will govern future contract or contracts (known as “call offs”) arising from the said Agreement during a period of 3 years.

Every call-off shall have specific tasks, scope of services and outputs to be delivered within a specific period.   For this work, the call-off shall be formalized through the issuance of a Purchase Order, attaching thereto the 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.

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. 

It is important to note that, 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 nor commitment from UNCDF at the time the LTA contract is signed.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Lead Specialist for Policy and Government Advocacy, the Consultant will complete the following activities and deliverables.

Area 1: Advise on country specific DFS legal and regulatory solutions

Activities:

  • Support policy and regulatory interventions with advice on assessment and design of policy options for financial inclusion
  • Provide guidance on established and emerging global regulatory practices to inform UNCDF’s technical assistance
  • Work with Policy Specialists to develop bespoke policy solutions for the respective countries we work with.
  • Review and advise on policy and regulatory engagement strategies developed by regional and country leads to inform their activity prioritisation. 

Indicative deliverables:

  • Brief report on the support provided on designing and implementing policy options across countries and regions.

Area 2: Advise on remittance policy and regulatory framework

Activities:

  • Provide guidance on policy and regulatory interventions with advice on assessment and design of policy options for cross-border remittances.
  • Review and advise remittance specialists on policy and regulatory engagement strategies developed by regional and country leads to inform their activity prioritisation towards country and regional harmonization of remittances. 
  • Convene stakeholder meetings with public and private sector partners at country and regional level to build consensus towards risk-based policy and regulatory practices that would also inform UNCDF’s technical assistance to regulators in remittance sending and receiving countries.

Indicative Deliverables:

  • Brief report on the support provided on designing and implementing policy options across countries and regions, including capacity building activities.

Area 3: Provide analysis on emerging policy issues in inclusive digital economies

Activities:

  • Inform organisation policy position on areas of future UNCDF focus, including the following:
    • Privacy by design 
    • Data protection 
    • Fair access to telecommunications channels 
    • Competition and anti-trust 
    • DFS Taxation
  • Identify likely impact of emerging issues on IDE strategy, with focus on developing a position on the critical enablers of inclusive digital economies.
  • Support development of assessment and diagnostic framework for technical assistance, including refinement measurement approach used in IDE Scorecard

Indicative Deliverables:

  • Report on the analysis on emerging policy issues in inclusive digital economies and likely impact of these emerging issues on the IDE strategy

Area 4: Improve the quality and relevance of technical assistance tools and resources:

Activities:

  • Support policy specialists in the appropriate use of legal and technical analysis to enable assistance to governments.
  • Support team with market assessment activities and design of policy options for policymakers and regulators
  • Review materiality and accuracy of policy and regulatory TA ‘toolkit’ and that its content aligns with global regulatory practice
  • Support team to ensure content and analysis framework is up to date, including use of the DFS Regulatory Reference Guide and other similar tools.

Indicative Deliverables:

  • Report on the quality and relevance of technical assistance on tools and resources

Area 5: Train policymakers, regulators, and UNCDF staff on relevant DFS regulatory issues

Activities:

  • Provide briefings, workshops, and other training to government counterparts to improve capacity and accelerate the policy development process
  • Develop relevant training materials, in collaboration with the UNCDF team.
  • Participate in UNCDF internal training events to upskill and develop the capacity of the UNCDF team on emerging policy and regulatory issues relevant to inclusive digital economies. 

Indicative Deliverables:

  • Report on the briefings, workshops, and other trainings on relevant DFS policy and regulatory issues developed and convened

The table below outlines the list of key deliverables and estimated number of days:

 

Activities

Deliverables

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Total

Area 1: Advise on country specific DFS legal and regulatory solutions

 

33

40

42

115

o    Support policy and regulatory interventions with advice on assessment and design of policy options for financial inclusion

Brief report on the support provided on designing and implementting policy options across countries and regions.

8

10

14

32

o    Provide guidance on established and emerging global regulatory practices to inform UNCDF’s technical assistance

10

10

10

30

o    Work with Policy Specialists to develop bespoke policy solutions for the respective countries we work with.

10

10

10

30

o    Review and advise on policy and regulatory engagement strategies developed by regional and country leads to inform their activity prioritisation. 

5

10

8

23

Area 2: Advise on remittance policy and regulatory framework

 

40

52

45

137

o    Provide guidance on policy and regulatory interventions with advice on assessment and design of policy options for cross-border remittances.

 

 

Brief report on the support provided on designing and implementing policy options across countries and regions, including capacity building activities.

10

18

15

43

o    Review and advise remittance specialists on policy and regulatory engagement strategies developed by regional and country leads to inform their activity prioritisation towards country and regional harmonization of remittances. 

12

12

10

34

o    Convene stakeholder meetings and capacity building with academic and public and private sector partners at global, regional and country level to build consensus towards risk-based policy and regulatory practices that would also inform UNCDF’s technical assistance to regulators in remittance sending and receiving countries.

18

22

20

60

Area 3: Provide analysis on emerging policy issues in inclusive digital economies

 

23

30

35

88

o    Inform organisation policy position on areas of future UNCDF focus, including the following: Privacy by design, Data Protection, Fair access to telecommunications channels, Competition and anti-trust, and DFS Taxation

Report on the analysis on emerging policy issues in inclusive digital economies and likely impact of these emerging issues on the IDE strategy

10

15

20

45

o    Identify likely impact of emerging issues on IDE strategy, with focus on developing a position on the critical enablers of inclusive digital economies.

8

10

10

28

o    Support development of assessment and diagnostic framework for technical assistance, including refinement measurement approach used in IDE Scorecard

5

5

5

15

Area 4: Improve the quality and relevance of technical assistance tools and resources

 

33

37

26

96

o     Support policy specialists in the appropriate use of legal and technical analysis to enable assistance to governments.

Report on the quality and relevance of technical assistance on tools and resources

10

12

12

34

o    Support team with market assessment activities and design of policy options for policymakers and regulators

8

10

5

23

o    Review materiality and accuracy of policy and regulatory TA ‘toolkit’ and that it’s content aligns with global regulatory practice

10

10

5

25

o    Support team to ensure content and analysis framework is up to date, including use of the DFS Regulatory Reference Guide and other similar tools.

5

5

4

14

Area 5: Train policymakers, regulators, and UNCDF staff on relevant DFS regulatory issues

 

21

30

30

 

 

95

o    Provide briefings, workshops, and other training to government counterparts to improve capacity and accelerate the policy development process

Report on the briefings, workshops, and other trainings on relevant DFS policy and regulatory issues developed and convened

8

10

10

28

o    Develop relevant training materials, in collaboration with the UNCDF team.

7

10

10

27

o    Participate in UNCDF internal training events to upskill and develop the capacity of the UNCDF team on emerging policy and regulatory issues relevant to inclusive digital economies. 

6

10

10

26

 

 

150

189

178

517


Competencies

  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism
  • Creates and promotes open communication.
  • Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree in law, economics, international relations or a related field is mandatory.

Work experience:

  • At least ten years of experience in providing advice on regulation of mobile money, digital payments, remittances, and retail financial services in emerging markets is mandatory.
  • At least five years of experience in writing diagnostics and reports designed to influence policymaking processes is mandatory.
  • At least five years of experience providing policy support to international organizations, development agencies, and governments, including donors is preferred.
  • Working knowledge in policy, legal and regulatory issues related to inclusive payment technologies including gender-related issues around the access and use of digital payments is preferred;
  • Working knowledge of international development and donor organizations is preferred;
  • Previous experience working in emerging markets in Africa or Asia is preferred.

Language requirements:

  • Written and spoken English is mandatory.
  • Additional UN languages i.e. Spanish, French are highly desirable.

Timeline, total number of working days, duty station, travel:

Timeline: February 2021 – February 2024.

Total Number of Working Days for Assignment:  517 working days spread over a period of 36 months.

Duty station: home-based, except when called by UNCDF to attend meetings or conduct missions. 

Travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses shall be agreed upon as per UNCDF policy, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel. Please note that consultants residing in the duty station of travel will not be compensated for living expenses.

Application process:

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 (incomplete applications may not be considered):

  • Cover letter with a summary statement of competencies in relation to the Terms of Reference (TOR);
  • Personal CV indicating all past experience from similar projects, full name as well as the contact details (email, telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability with Breakdown of Costs that indicates the all-inclusive Daily Fee price on page 1 of letter of confirmation of interest and availability. All-inclusive daily fee = all costs in the breakdown of costs (Section I, II and III) divided by 517 working days.
    • Section II in the breakdown of costs is not to be filled in as it is a home-based assignment
    • Section III in the breakdown of costs is not to be filled in as travel to the field and other relevant locations may be required but will be compensated on reimbursable basis and following the UNDP/UNCDF rules and regulations which states 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.

Evaluation: 

Step I: Screening: Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the mandatory criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting.

Step II: Shortlisting by Desk Review (40%)

UNCDF will produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate candidates from 1 to 100% as per experience requirements in the Terms of Reference. As applicable, only applicants scoring 80% or more shall be considered for an interview.

Shortlisting scoring:

Education/Qualification (20 points);

  • Master’s degree in law, economics, international relations or a related field.

Mandatory Experience (50 points).

  • At least ten years of experience in providing advice on regulation of mobile money, digital payments, remittances, and retail financial services in emerging markets (25 points).
  • At least five years of experience in writing diagnostics and reports designed to influence policymaking processes (25 points).

Preferred Experience (30 points).

  • At least five years of experience providing policy support to international organizations, development agencies, and governments, including donors (10 points)
  • Working knowledge in policy, legal and regulatory issues related to inclusive payment technologies including gender-related issues around the access and use of digital payments (10 points)
  • Working knowledge of international development and donor organizations (5 points)
  • Previous experience working in emerging markets in Africa or Asia (5 points)

Step III: Interview (60%): An interview shall be conducted to candidates who scored 80% or more at the desk review stage.

Step IV: Financial Evaluation: Only candidates with scores above 70% of the technical evaluation (70 Points or above) will be considered. 

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal: lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

Award Criteria

The contact shall be awarded to the 3 best applicants whose offer have been evaluated and determined as: Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and Having received the highest combined weight (technical scores) 70% + financial 30%= 100%.

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.

 

/ma

 



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