Technical Experts on Digital Finance, Migration and Remittances (Roster)



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home based with a possibility of travel to Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific
Application Deadline :31-Mar-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :28d 9h 8m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :up to 3 years


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 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.  UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia and the Pacific, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis.  It can provide seed capital both grants and loans as well as technical support that will improve poor peoples’ lives.

UNCDF works to enlarge peoples’ choices: it believes that poor people and communities should take decisions about their own development. UNCDF works in challenging environments – remote rural areas, countries emerging from conflict – and paves the way for others to follow. Its programmes are designed to catalyze larger investment flows from the private sector, development partners and national governments, for significant impact on the SDGs. Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP.

The UN Capital Development Fund makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs). 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 pursues innovative financing solutions through: (1) financial inclusion, which expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in the local economy, while also providing differentiated products for women and men so they can climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; (2) local development finance, which shows how fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion, women’s economic empowerment, climate adaptation, and sustainable development; and (3) a least developed countries investment platform that deploys a tailored set of financial instruments to a growing pipeline of impactful projects in the “missing middle”.

Since 2008, UNCDF has been supporting digital finance with significant success which has led UNCDF to make digital finance the largest part of its inclusive finance portfolio. UNCDF is also to host the Secretariat of the Better than Cash Alliance (BTCA), 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. UNCDF also serves as the secretariat for the UN Secretary- General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs, which will consider the next wave of digitalization of finance and how the systemic changes to the financial ecosystem due to digital technologies will impact financing for the SDGs. For several years UNCDF’s work in digital finance has led it to support new digital solutions linked to finance, to further drive financial inclusion and to achieve the SDGs. This includes projects linked to on an off-grid energy, agriculture, employment, health and transport.

Based on over a decade of experience applying a market development approach in digital finance in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, UNCDF started in 2017 to expand the scope of its programmatic agenda to go beyond digital finance. Through the “Leaving no-one behind in the digital era” strategy, UNCDF shifts from focusing only on digital finance to the development of inclusive digital economies. 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.

The UNCDF digital agenda for migration and remittances falls within the organization’s broader global strategy, set forth in 2019, of “Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era.” This vision is to empower millions of people by 2024 to use services daily that leverage innovation and technology and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. Through a market development approach, UNCDF continuously seeks to address underlying market dysfunctions. The Programme contributes to, and benefits from, this overarching corporate mandate. The Programme is administered by UNCDF with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, or SDC, and Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency.

The UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. The 2030 Agenda recognizes migration as a core-development consideration, marking the first time that migration is explicitly integrated into the global development agenda. It also recognizes a major relevance of international migration as a multidimensional reality of and for the development of countries of origin, as well as transit and destination, which requires coherent and comprehensive responses.

Migrants, an estimated 281 million people, the estimated four percent of the global population who live and work outside their home countries, are among those most at risk of being left behind. They may fall outside of, or lack practical access to, the legal and social safety-net protections in both their host countries and home countries, and those without formal identification documentation face heightened financial vulnerability. Their economic activity is vitally important, however, and the remittances they send home could be a major driver of sustainable development.

Remittances — the money sent back home to loved ones by migrant breadwinners living abroad — are a significant share of the total income flowing into many developing countries and a vital income stream for many households. Remittances also contribute to reaching the SDGs in a variety of ways: 1) Household level: by recognizing the positive socioeconomic impact of remittances on families and communities; 2) Community level: Benefits associated at sub-national or municipal levels including reduced rural poverty, lower income inequality, increased micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) activity, and strengthen resilience to adverse effects of climate change or disaster risks; 3) Government level: Benefits for public sector institutions including greater transparency, better communication with citizens, and increased private sector development and entrepreneurship as a result of access to capital and domestic credit; 4) Macro level: At macro-economic level, remittances can foster much needed foreign currency exchange, stabilize Balance of Payments (BOP), reduce dependency on government aid, and re- allocate capital resources into more productive investments and other financial services – moving money from international to domestic, consumption to investment, and from urban to rural.

As new technologies have emerged in recent decades, a disconnect has grown between the remittance services on the market, the policies that govern them, and the needs and behaviors of migrant populations, which has resulted in limited adoption of digital remittance channels. The opportunity to transition migrants from cash to digital methods for sending money home that are safer, more affordable and more easily tracked, remains largely unrealized, with the COVID-19 pandemic providing potential avenues for improvement.

UNCDF’s Migration and Remittances for Development Programme, or the Programme, aims at contributing to sustainable development by making remittances more accessible and affordable, while helping build resilience for migrants and their families. For both sending and receiving countries, the Programme seeks to increase the share of migrant remittances flowing through formal channels, thereby giving policymakers at both ends greater visibility into the true picture of inbound and outbound financial flows. For remittances service providers, the Programme seeks to build the capacity to understand the financial needs and preferences of migrants and their families, and to design and deliver responsive products accordingly. For migrants themselves, the Programme aims not only to lower the costs and increase the safety and convenience of sending money, but also to link remittances to a broader suite of financial services—including insurance, savings, pensions, investments, and credit—that can help them reach their goals. The Programme recognizes digitization as the key to achieving these objectives.


Duties and Responsibilities

UNCDF is building a roster of international and national payments, migration and remittance experts to support its goal of developing and expanding digital remittance channels, strengthening digital use-cases, and developing products or services that strengthen the financial resilience of migrants and their families. The experts in this roster shall be called upon to support programme activities across its four workstreams: empowered customers, inclusive innovation, enabling policy and regulation, and an open digital payment ecosystem. Subject to their availability and interest for specific missions, the consultants included in the roster may be tasked with activities such as providing technical assistance and support to Governments or implementation partners, conducting research, convening advocacy efforts, and helping the programme design and implement public policies and frameworks to support the responsible digitization of remittances.

Successful candidates to this requirement will be added to our roster of experts to be engaged on assignments on an on-call basis. These assignments may be on short-term or long-term contracts depending on the nature of the work. 

Rostered experts will be invited to confirm interest and submit a proposal with a lump sum financial offer on assignments as they come up, and any expert in the roster may decline to submit an offer.  

All proposals received from rostered experts who will confirm interest shall be subject to a Desk review and an evaluation of technical and financial proposal with a weight of 70%:30% respectively.

The experts that will be rostered are those who will be found to have proven knowledge and implementation experience in one or more of the following subjects:

Enabling Policy and Regulations

  • Regulations governing remittances and digital financial services
  • Foreign exchange monitoring and reserve management
  • Consumer protection and dispute resolution
  • Data protection and privacy

Open Digital Payment Ecosystem

  • Payment systems & infrastructure
  • Interoperability
  • Migrant registration and database creation for eKYC
  • Application Programming Interfaces and platform/data integration

Inclusive Innovation

  • Mobile and Digital Payments
  • Digitization of Remittances services
  • Design and deployment of digital wages and migrant-centric digital financial services
  • Building partnerships within the remittance ecosystem

Empowered Customers

  • Gender and digital financial inclusion, including sex-disaggregated data
  • Financial literacy and training for digital payments and remittance services
  • Migrant lifecycle mapping and needs analysis
  • Behavioral research and human-centered design

Experts with global experience working on migration and remittances or implementation experience in migration, cross-border payments and remittances, and digital finance are particularly encouraged to apply for this requirement.

Scope of Services

The scope of services will be specific to the programme requirements that will arise during their implementation and advocacy of UNCDF’s programmes/project. The indicative categories and broad scope of such services could be described as follows:

  • Support elaboration of an informed and sound ecosystem strengthening strategy or roadmap for digital remittance services;
  • technical advice to support its implementation;
  • manage activities and institutional relations for in-country projects / programmes;
  • help promote and accelerate the transition of remittances towards digital payments channels;
  • interface with migrants as customers, conduct research on the digitization of migrant flow, drawing insights and lessons for other projects, countries or programmes;
  • scale advocacy efforts towards adaptive implementation across other markets.

Contracting Arrangement 

The applicants to this roster who will obtain the minimum passing score of 80 points shall be included into the UNCDF Roster of Technical Experts on Digital Finance, Payments and Remittances for the period of up to 3 years.

The roster shall also contain the daily fee of the consultant which shall remain fixed for the entire life of the roster. 

The said daily fee must be all-inclusive and shall take into account various expense items that the expert expects to incur in the event that he/she is called off to perform services.  Such expenses include, but need not be limited to, professional fees, out-of-pocket expenses, communications cost, living allowances, insurance, risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions.

Entry into the expert roster system does not necessarily mean that a contract with UNCDF is guaranteed, nor does it imply any form of financial obligation from UNCDF.  

All confirmation of contract and financial commitment shall be made upon the successful selection of rostered expert on a secondary competition for the call-off assignment.

The secondary competition for the call-off assignment shall be undertaken in the following manner :

  • When a request for services arises, a specific Terms of Reference (TOR) describing the specific work and outlining the outputs for each assignment shall be prepared.  The outputs lined up in the TOR shall have a corresponding percentage of contract amount as payment;
  • UNCDF office shall email the TOR to at least 2-3 candidates from the Roster with the most appropriate qualifications and relevant experience. This email will seek confirmation of their availability and submission of their lump-sum financial proposal, using the standard UNCDF template for this purpose.  The lump sum proposal must be based on the fixed daily fee of the expert in the roster, and any other direct costs that the expert may wish to propose to complete the work;  
  • Upon receipt of offers on the designated deadline, a desk review and evaluation of the candidates will be completed;
  • A contract shall be awarded accordingly to highest combined score.

UNCDF shall endeavor to obtain at least three (3) offers from rostered experts before proceeding with the evaluation of offers.  An expert invited by UNCDF reserves the right to decline the submission of an offer.  However, an expert that declines UNCDF invitation for a consecutive frequency of three (3) times without an acceptable explanation for the decline shall be removed from the roster. 

Travel

National or international business travel may be anticipated in which case it will be included under the assignment contract and agreed with supervisor.  UNCDF will pay separately travel expenses of approved travel (economy airfare, terminal expenses and per diems which include hotel and food expenses) according to standard UN rates Consultants who will be made to work in the country of their specified location shall not be entitled to any travel expenses.

Payments

Payments will be made to the consultant based upon the payment terms indicated in the TOR for the call-off assignment.  Such payment shall ALWAYS be made only upon completion of outputs, and in the corresponding percentage of the total contract amount.  


Competencies

Technical

  • Demonstrated expertise on cross-border payments and remittances;
  • Demonstrated experience on migrants and diaspora, remittances and financial inclusion;
  • Experience on policy considerations related to migration and development;
  • Demonstrated experience on larger economic, financial and trade/commerce policy linkages to remittances;
  • Prior experience on migrants and financial inclusion is a plus;
  • Robust expertise in one or more priority use cases identified by the UNCDF for its digitization of remittances and migrant-centric product development efforts (digital remittances, payments, savings, credit, insurance, pension) and related issues (linkages between digital identification, digitization and resource mobilization, diaspora finance products, among others as listed above);
  • Excellent ability to engage with governments effectively, and/or executives of business, international organizations and civil society;
  • Experience in designing and drafting of regulatory frameworks for national governments;
  • Proven capacity to design and supports the implementation of digital financial inclusion strategies and initiatives;
  • Demonstrated experience managing projects, particularly on migration, remittances, digital finance and related issues;
  • Experience conducting research on migration, remittances, and digital financial services at a global and national level;
  • Experience working directly with national administrations including ministries of finance, ministries of commerce, national treasuries, central banks and/or other ministries relevant to the digitization of payments and remittances, Social Development, Gender, Migration and other senior leaders and their staff in specific topic areas such as payments infrastructure, public financial management, resource mobilization, digital identification, financial inclusion policy, economic aspects of migration, ICT, innovation 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.

Experience

  • Minimum of 7-10 years of professional experience in either government, international organizations, corporate or academia working on cross-border payments and remittances, digital payments and financial services, migration, financial inclusion or a relevant related field;
  • Demonstrated expertise in the implementation of digitization of remittances for migrants and expanding financial inclusion;
  • Proven knowledge of policy and technical implementation issues of digital remittances and financial inclusion at a global level and/or in the above listed countries;
  • Expertise in policy, legal or regulatory issues related to inclusive payments systems;
  • Expert knowledge in topics related to Migration, ICT4D, Digital Identity, Last Mile Delivery, Gender Aspects of Digital Financial Inclusion, Emerging Technologies, FinTech 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. 

Language Requirements

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in French, Arabic or Spanish, an asset.
  • Proficiency in other languages an advantage   

Evaluation Process

Step I: Initial 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.
  • Experience: Minimum of 7 years of professional experience in either government, international organizations, corporate or academia working on digital payments, digital 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 publications.

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 and included into the Roster.

Criteria for Technical evaluation (100 points maximum):

  • Relevant previous experience working directly with academia, private sector, international organizations or 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, in specific topic areas such as P2G, G2P, B2B, B2P and B2G payments, remittance policies, migration and diaspora policies, tax collection, digital identification, financial inclusion policy, ICT, innovation, payments infrastructure, public financial management or other related fields. - 40 points;
  • Extensive experience implementing or researching remittances frameworks, policies and products, migration and development policies, payments digitization initiatives and expanding financial inclusion, especially in emerging and developing markets – 40 points;
  • Relevant education – 20 points.

Application Procedure

Interested individuals must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

  • Detailed and up-to-date CV with a list of publications;
  • Completed Financial proposal form indicating the all-inclusive daily fee (i.e. including, but need not be limited to, professional fees, out-of-pocket expenses, communications cost, living allowances, insurance, risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions).

Available at: http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=29916.

Please note that UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application document.  Applicants are encouraged to merge all your documents into one single file for a one-time uploading.

 

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