National Digital Payments Strategy - Programme Management Advisor



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA
Application Deadline :29-Jan-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :4d 14h 1m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
15-Feb-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months (240 days)
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 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

Better Than Cash Alliance (UNCDF)

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 UNDP.

Based in UNCDF, the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) is a partnership of 70 governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. by:

  • Advocating for the transition from cash to digital payments in a way that advances financial inclusion and promotes responsible digital finance.
  • Catalyzing the development of inclusive digital payments ecosystems in member countries to reduce costs, increase transparency, advance financial inclusion-- particularly for women-- and drive inclusive growth; and
  • Conducting research and sharing the knowledge and experiences of our members to inform strategies for making the transition.

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. Individuals who receive 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, 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 on BTCA, please visit the website: http://www.betterthancash.org/

Project Description: Implementation of Ethiopia’s National Digital Payment Strategy

In an effort to further   transform the Ethiopian payments ecosystem, the Government of Ethiopia, with the leadership of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), and technical support from the Better Than Cash Alliance, developed a National Digital Payments Strategy (NDPS). The development of the strategy included an in-depth review of the current payments landscape in Ethiopia, broad stakeholder engagement with key players in the ecosystem, and identification of opportunities for priority wins for the development of an inclusive and sustainable digital payments ecosystem. It also included an evaluation and review of the existing regulatory payment guidelines and governance systems to ensure alignment to support the overall transformation of the sector. Through the extensive consultation with all key government ministries, departments and agencies, ensuring their views, and expectations were captured, this strategy provides NBE with an opportunity to rally the ecosystem behind an all-inclusive, whole of government strategy that has the potential to re-shape the future of payments in Ethiopia.

The progression from the development of the National Digital Payment Strategy (NDPS) to its implementation presents a delicate transition that needs to be strategically managed to ensure all the various initiatives envisioned in the Strategy are brought to fruition. The development of the Strategy has underscored the importance of effective coordination among different payments ecosystem players and appropriate governance structures to operationalize the strategy and stimulate development of the financial sector as a whole.

The Better Than Cash Alliance is looking to hire a Digital Payments Programme Management Advisor, to be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to work with the NBE for one year, providing project management support to the implementation of the National Digital Payments Strategy.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Better Than Cash Alliance is looking at hiring an experienced consultant with Digital Financial Services (DFS) project management expertise to support the NBE’s Programme Management and Development Unit (PMDU) in implementing the country’s National Digital Payments Strategy (NDPS).

The PMDU is an entity to be hosted within the Payment Systems and Services Directorate (PSSD) at the NBE, tasked with coordinating the implementation of the NDPS. Working closely with the PSSD directorate, the consultant is expected to advise on the implementation of the NDPS, focusing on (i) Setting up and building capacity of the PMDU, (ii) Overall coordination of implementation of the NDPS, including tracking key indicators and (iii) Implementation of specific payment digitisation initiatives. 

 Work with the NBE, on setting up and building capacity of the PMDU- this will involve working with the NBE to prepare for the NDPS kick off and set up of the PMDU, including defining its mandate, roles and functionalities, as well as capacity building for relevant NBE staff by identifying and recommending solutions to the skills gap within the PMDU and PSSD overall.

A) PMDU Set Up

  1. Working with the NBE team, and in line with the NDPS, develop the PMDU structural document, including refining the PMDU’s mandate, and develop detailed TORs for the unit.
  2. In liaison with the PSSD, agree on the specific number of roles, and develop job descriptions/specifications for each role in line with its mandate,
  3. Participate, where and if necessary, in the identification process of key staff to the PMDU.

Deliverables

  1. Programme Management and Development Unit structural document in PDF approved by NBE and the Alliance.
  2. Programme Management and Development Unit job descriptions/specifications approved by the NBE and the Alliance.
  3. Programme Management and Development Unit inaugurated and start working as per the NDPS implementation plan

B) Kick off the implementation of the Strategy

Working closely with the PSSD team, and as outlined in the NDPS, focus on operationalizing strategic action teams provided for in the NDPS implementation framework to kick off the implementation process

  1. Staff strategic action teams based on the recommended institutions and other internal NBE departments/ directorates. 
    • With a focus on each action team, and in liaison with the PSSD team, finalise the grouping of each action under the relevant strategic action teams.
    • Working with the PSSD team, finalize the identification of relevant internal departments and external institutions to be assigned to each action team,
    • Ensure that all strategic action teams are represented with relevant personnel from the identified NBE departments and other institutions as per the implementation framework.  
  2. Organize and classify strategic action scope as per the implementation framework
    • Review each strategic action and agree with each team on the objectives, deliverables, timelines and any possible resourcing required for each strategic action point.   
    • Support the PMDU to create detailed implementation plan per each strategic action in liaison with the PSSD, and the Alliance.
  3. Assist the PSSD and PMDU and facilitate during orientation workshops on the strategy implementation framework to align the principal stakeholders and action teams on; strategic action teams’ staff; strategic action scope; recurring meetings and agenda; tracking and monitoring routine
  1. Develop internal PMDU report templates on status of implementation for dissemination at regular and agreed periods to the Internal NBE Steering Committee instituted as part of the implementation of the NDPS

Deliverables

  1. Strategic action teams staffed, and refined action charters approved by NBE and the Alliance
  2. Reporting templates developed and signed off by the digital payments steering committee
  3. Orientation workshops programme approved by the NBE and the Alliance
  4. Conduct at least two workshops per quarter

C) Identify and address skills gap

Working with the PSSD senior management, lead the PMDU in identifying knowledge gaps and coordinating possible capacity building initiatives to address the gaps

  • Conduct digital payments knowledge gap assessment of key NBE staff involved in implementing the NDPS.
  • Develop a digital payments knowledge building plan and coordinate its implementation, including the running of knowledge workshops and other training activities focused on building the capabilities of the PMDU and PSSD to deliver on the strategy beyond the consultancy period.

Deliverables

  1. Digital payments knowledge gap assessment pdf report (not more than 5pages)
  2. A digital payments knowledge building plan signed off by the PSSD and the Alliance.
  3. A maximum of ten staff from NBE and relevant ministries and agencies championing specific initiatives in the NDPS enrolled in online or in person digital payments courses that address gaps highlighted in the knowledge gap assessment report.

Working with the Digital Payments Technical Advisor, and with the PSSD, support the coordination of the digitisation of payment initiatives in a responsible way across leading ministries, agencies and the private sector. -this involves liaising with the NBE and key government ministries to digitise prioritised payment initiatives and activities, ensuring the implementation is in line with responsible digital payments practices and is gender intentional This will be in collaboration with key stakeholders and other technical development partners working with NBE and as guided by the NDPS implementation framework:

  1. Working with each action team, co-ordinate on the implementation of the most impactful initiatives as recommended by each team. This includes developing and tracking indicators of each initiative and advising other technical partners on the most optimal way of achieving set targets in an efficient way.
  2. Working with the PSSD and the digital payments technical advisor, coordinate the implementation of a private sector engagement plan, identifying catalytic companies and organisations that will champion digital payments in the country as per the NDPS. This may involve organising strategy orientation workshops, sector focused engagements and action focused meetings with   the private sector, (FSPs, Fintechs, retailers, FMCGs etc),

Deliverables

  1. Project management expertise and support provided to at least three payment initiatives at their different levels of implementation
  2. Key private sector players mapped and meaningfully participate in the implementation of the strategy.

Monitoring and evaluation of implementation of the NDPS- this involves providing project management expertise to the PMDU in implementing the strategy, including coordinating NDPS related activities by ministries, agencies, private sector and international organisations, tracking key indicators as well as monitoring all action teams as per the NDPS implementation framework

  • Building on the implementation plan outlined in the NDPS, refine monitoring and tracking tools for the overall implementation of the NDPS, ensuring they capture among other things, gender intentional indicators and responsible digital payments practices.
  • Hold regular review workshops/meetings on specific activities, to assess progress, identifying challenges and mitigants
  • Refine the implementation dashboard to report status of implementation for dissemination at agreed periods to the digital payments steering committee and the National Financial Inclusion Council, indicating remedial measures where necessary
  • Coordinate capacity building initiatives being supported by development partners working with the PSSD, ensuring all key staff are capacitated to implement activities beyond the consultancy period.
  • In liaison with the Alliance, and as per Alliance’s written guidelines, co-author an end of project report highlighting key lessons learnt and success factors in implementing national digital payments strategies.
  • Develop a detailed transition workplan, highlighting key achievements to date and upcoming activities and target milestones, to guide next steps on implementation of the NDPS upon conclusion of the consultancy.

Deliverables

  1. Refined timelines of the implementation framework signed off by NBE
  2. Refined existing tracking, monitoring and evaluation tools to develop the implementation dashboard signed off by key stakeholders
  3. Implementation dashboard updated monthly and shared with key stakeholders on a quarterly basis.
  4. Agenda invite and minutes of monthly progress review meetings signed off by the PMDU head and shared with the Alliance.
  5. National Digital Payments Strategy Implementation- lessons learnt report (not more than 20pages PDF)
  6. NDPS implementation transition workplan in PDF along with supporting documentation on key upcoming activities and timelines signed off by NBE and the Alliance.

?Expected Outputs and Deliverables

Target Completion

Deliverables

Payment terms in % of total contract price

Approvals

Q1 2021

 

  1. Program Management and Development Unit structural document in PDF approved by NBE and the Alliance.
  2. Program Management and Development Unit job descriptions/specifications approved by the NBE and the Alliance.
  3. Program Management and Development Unit inaugurated and start working as per the NDPS implementation plan
  4. Orientation program on implementation of the NDPS developed signed off by NBE & key stakeholders.

 

20%

Signed off by NBE and approved by Africa Regional Lead

 

Q1  – Q2 2021

  1. Strategic Action teams staffed, and refined action charters approved by NBE
  2. Reporting templates developed and signed off by the digital payments steering committee
  3. Conduct at least two stakeholder workshops per quarter

 

20%

Signed off by NBE and approved by Africa Regional Lead

 

Q2 – Q3 2021

  1. Digital payments knowledge gap assessment pdf report (not more than 5pages)
  2. A digital payments knowledge building plan signed off by the PSSD and the Alliance.
  3. A maximum of ten staff from NBE and relevant ministries and agencies championing specific initiatives in the NDPS enrolled in online or in person digital payments courses that address gaps highlighted in the knowledge gap assessment report.  

 

20%

Signed off by NBE and approved by Africa Regional Lead

 

Q3 – Q4 2021

  1. Project management expertise and support provided to at least three payment initiatives at their different levels of implementation
  2. Key private sector players mapped and meaningfully participating in the implementation of the strategy

 

20%

Signed off by NBE and approved by Africa Regional Lead

 

Q4 2021-Q1 2022

  1. Refined timelines of the implementation framework signed off by NBE
  2. Refined existing tracking, monitoring and evaluation tools to develop the implementation dashboard signed off by key stakeholders
  3. Implementation dashboard updated monthly and shared with key stakeholders on a quarterly basis.
  4. Agenda Invite and Minutes of monthly progress review meetings signed off by the PMDU head and shared with the Alliance.
  5. National Digital Payments Strategy Implementation- lessons learnt report (not more than 20pages PDF)
  6. NDPS implementation transition workplan in PDF along with supporting documentation on key upcoming activities and timelines signed off by NBE and the Alliance.

20%

Signed off by NBE and approved by Africa Regional Lead

 

Any delay in the completion of the outputs, if not attributed to the performance of the consultant, shall be addressed through a no-cost time extension.

Institutional Arrangement

The consultant will be hired by UNCDF Better Than Cash Alliance and will be based in the Payment Systems and Services Directorate (PSSD) at the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE). The consultant will be supervised by the Alliance’s Africa Regional Lead in close consultation with the NBE.

A Project Steering Committee will convene regularly (monthly or more if needed) to review project progress, address any issues, and provide feedback and clearance on deliverables or when necessary. The project steering committee will be constituted by members of the Better Than Cash Alliance and NBE.

Duration of the Work

This assignment has a duration of 240 days. However, the performance control/ monitoring mechanism will be applied from the start date.

Duty Station

The duty station/location for the contract duration is Addis Ababa in Ethiopia;


Competencies

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrates political acumen and calculated risk taking;
  • Demonstrated excellent writing, editing and communications skills to an international standard including correspondence, reports, talking points and briefing material; essential
  • Builds own competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation;
  • Creates and promotes open communication;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Conducts fair and transparent decision making;
  • Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Shows strong corporate commitment.

Functional Competencies:

Professional

  • Project management lifecycle
  • Ensures the full implementation of a project to obtain results;
  • Conceptualizes more effective approaches to programme development and implementation and to mobilizing and using resources;
  • Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives;
  • Makes effective use of UNCDF’s and other Better Than Cash Alliance member resources and comparative advantage to strengthen partnerships;
  • Creates networks and promotes initiatives with partner organizations;
  • Creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking;

Technical:

  • Solid skills in strategy development, digital transformation, stakeholder engagement and management.
  • Understanding of key issues and international good practice relating to financial inclusion and digital payments
  • Excellent presentation and representation skills in multicultural contexts
  • Ability to translate complex technical ideas to a non-technical audience in both verbally and in writing


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • A Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience.
  • Additional training related to digital financial services & project management highly desirable

Experience:

  • A minimum of seven (7) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments is required
  • Practical experience in formulating and implementing strategies in the area of digital payments/finance at public or private sector level required.
  • Practical experience in implementing and managing complex projects involving multiple stakeholders and across different sectors is required.
  • Knowledge of current developments including innovative payment frontier issues (e.g. mobile financial services, cards, QR Codes, digital currency, sandboxes, regtech etc.) critical.
  • Knowledge of Ethiopia’s payments landscape, including ongoing sector reforms and digital payments regulatory environment and financial inclusion initiatives essential,
  • At least five (5) years’ experience of working with central banks, government ministries and private sector players preferably in the African region.
  • In depth understanding of international practices related to digital financial inclusion and digital transformation.

Languages:

  • Written and oral fluency in English and Amharic.

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:

  • Cover letter with a summary statement of competencies and motivation rationalizing how the applicant meets the qualifications and can deliver the requirements of the Terms of Reference (TOR);
  • Earliest availability for the consultancy;
  • Complete and signed P11, Personal History Form with names and current contacts of 3 referees (available from 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.). Template for this is 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 materials. 

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

  • Preliminary Evaluation - Step I: Screening & Longlisting
  • Technical Evaluation Weight - 70% x (Step II: 30 Points + Step III: 70 Points = 100 Points);
  • Financial Evaluation Weight - 30% = Step IV.

Step I: Screening & Longlisting

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

  • A Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience.
  • A minimum of seven (7) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments is required
  • At least five (5) years’ experience of working with central banks, government ministries and private sector players preferably in the African region.
  • Fluency in English and Amharic

Step II: Shortlisting by Desk Review – 30 Points

  • 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:

  • 20% - Education/ Qualification
  • 50% - Mandatory Functional and Technical Experience
  • 30% - Preferred Functional and Technical Experience

Step III: Interview – 70 Points

As applicable, only applicants scoring 70% or more in the shortlist scoring shall be considered for an interview.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Steps II (30 points) + III (70 points) will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for the 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%.

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%.

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.

 

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