Digital Finance Expert Consultant



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA
Application Deadline :08-Mar-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :12d 11h 15m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
05-Apr-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 months renewable up to 24 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

The UN Capital Development Fund 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: 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 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 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 address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs. 

In January 2021 UNCDF launched “Leveraging digital finance to increase resilience of ACP countries” a four-year program in Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean that contributes to the deployment of?digital finance solutions at the scale and speed necessary to?deepen financial inclusion, accelerate economic recovery?from?COVID-19, and to?make?economies and societies?more resilient?to external shocks. The program will be implemented in four regions (West & Central Africa, East & Southern Africa, Pacific and the Caribbean) and has a strong regional and global advocacy component. 

Specific Objective 2 of the programme is that digital financial services are developed and deployed by government and private sector providers, using payment services and digital solutions that are accessible, affordable, responsible, reliable, and appropriate.

To accomplish this goal UNCDF requires a Digital Finance Expert Consultant to provide technical advice to the programme team in Ethiopia and key grantees in the design of project interventions related to digital financial services during the Inception phase and phase I, Ongoing Response, this consultancy may be renewed for another 12 months based on programmatic needs good performance and availability of funds. 


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the the Regional Hub Manager for East and Southern Africa, the Digital Financial Expert Consultant will be responsible for the following activities and deliverables:

Inception phase (Indicatively 5 months):

Activities:

  • The consultant will use UNCDF’s diagnostic tools to conduct a country assessment that identifies the main market constraints of the digital finance sector in Ethiopia.This will include close collaboration with UNCDF’s teams working on policy, remittances, energy, and refugees related projects; as well as key government agencies (Bank of Ethiopia, government ministries.) private sector (Financial Service Providers, Microfinance Insitutions, Fintechs, etc.) and development institutions (UNDP, EU, Regional Economic Commissions, etc.).  
  • Using UNCDF’s Inclusive Digital Economy Score Card (IDES) methodlogy and scoping tools the consultant will also asses the inclusiveness of Ethiopia’s digital economy.
  • Based on the recommendations of the country assessment and feedback from UNCDF’s team the consultant will draft a plan for UNCDF’s next phase of technical and financial assistance in collaboration with key industry and government stakeholders. 
  • Manage innovations projects, provide technical advice to government, donor and private sector partners and produce actionable insights in terms of publications and future project ideas.

Expected outputs:

  • Country assessment including key market failures in the digital finance area, analysis of existing digital innovations /solutions in inclusive finance and their relevance to the Ethiopian ecosystem.
  • Inception report draft (based on the above outputs).
  • Field visits to selected stakeholders and interview reports.
  • Recommendations report detailing key proposed interventions.
  • Baseline assessment of Ethiopia’s digital economy score card.
  • Workshop to present results to UNCDF and key stakeholders.
  • Proposed approach for technical and financial assistance.
  • Work plan of phase I and workshop to present results with UNCDF team.

Phase I-Ongoing Response (indicatively 7 months).

Activities:

Based on the results of the inception phase and the consultant will:

  • Support UNCDF and it’s partners in implementing transformative projects by that enable the continued response to the current Covid19 emergency and accelerate economic recovery while increasing resilience by desigining Requests for Applications (RFA) for projects to improve agent networks, fiancial literacy, and pilot relevant digital innovations. Perform project appraisal of institutions’ applications and conduct a technical assessment of the partners’ business cases (Project Descriptions). Upon approval from UNCDF of projects; provide technical assistance to the grantees i.e. (Quality assuring the partner’s specifications, plans, go to market strategies, prototypes, etc.) training partners in project management, monitoring and reporting as per UNCDF standard, monitoring partner’s performance during pilot quick off, mid-term review and completion.
  • Build the capacities of national government and private sector partners to use data for decision making in policies and interventions affecting the digital finance ecosystem by supporting the Government of Ethiopia in implementing the IDES score card and launching a Digital Financial Services working group that inclues all key stakeholders.

Expected outputs:

  • Requests for Applications (RFAs) for agent networks, financial literacy, and pilot relevant digital innovations.
  • Institutional appraisals, business cases and project documents for grants and technical assistance.
  • IDES score card ready to be implemented by the government and partners.
  • DFS working group constitution and launch.

The table below outlines the list of key deliverables and due dates foreseen:

Deliverables/ Outputs

Target Due Dates starting from signature of the contract

INCEPTION PHASE

 

Report: Research plan for the country assessment.

Week 2

Report: Interim country assessment including recommendations for primary research (stakeholders, visits).

Week 5

Study: Baseline assessment of Ethiopia’s digital economy score card (IDES) including interview plan.

Week 13

 Field visits to selected stakeholders (IDES and PFD) and interview reports

Week 15

Report: Field visit results and recommendations for interventions and workshop to present findings to UNCDF programme stakeholders including curricula, agenda, and materials.

Week 18

Report: Stakeholder analysis and opportunity map of potential stakeholders and key partnerships

Week 21

Plan: Proposal for implementation work plan of phase I and workshop to present the plan. 

Week 23

PHASE I ONGOING RESPONSE

 

Report: Identifying key stakeholders, and opportunities for a technical assistance around data driven regulatory and policy work.

Week 24

Training materials: Writing DFS working group concept curricula and technical materials and workshop to launch the DFS working group including curricula, agenda and materials.

Week 27

Technical specifications document: Request for application (1) Agent networks and (2) Digital literacy.

Week 29

Technical and financial assessment: Performance Appraisal Document (PAD) of at least 2 institutions selected by UNCDF for the agent networks and digital literacy portfolios. Including institutional capacity and feasibility of the proposal.

Week 33

Project description completed of at least two institutions selected by UNCDF for the agent networks and digital literacy portfolios including intervention logic, specifications, work plan, result framework, KPIs and budget of the data driven regulatory and policy work.

Week 37

Training materials and workshop: TORs, work plan and project management tools and kick off meetings for the project steering committee of at least 2 projects selected by UNCDF for the agent networks and digital literacy portfolios

Week 41

Workshop: Business case for data automation project.

Week 50

Project documentation: Concept note, specifications, work plan, result framework, KPS and budget of the data automation project

Week 50

Technical specifications document: Request for application four interventions related to Digital Innovations

Week 52

Report: Project progress report and handover recommendations to UNCDF.

Week 52


Competencies

  • Ability to establish strong working relationships with various stakeholders’ institutions and administrators; media, civil society, and private sector leaders; international donors; and other stakeholders.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment and being aware of political sensitivities.
  • Ability to think and act strategically.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree in economics, international development, or related field is mandatory

Experience:

  • At least 5 years of experience in managing large-scale, high-impact programme delivery projects for improving access to financial services is mandatory.
  • At least two years of experience in implementing digital solutions in inclusive digital finance, especially for the most marginalized populations particularly in low/middle income countries is mandatory.
  • Experience in managing groups of industry stakeholders (association management, conference moderation, event management) is preferred but not mandatory.
  • Experience working in Southern/Eastern Africa is mandatory and experience in Ethiopia is preferable.
  • Experience working with the UN system is preferred but not mandatory. 

Language requirements:

  • Proficiency in English is mandatory.

Timeline, total number of working days, duty station:

  • Timeline: 12 months from Q1 2021 to Q2 2022

Location:

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Standard travel costs and living expenses:

Travel: Travel, as deemed relevant by UNCDF, will be approved and arranged by UNCDF, following UNDP/UNCDF Travel Policy.

Progress Controls & Payments:

The Digital Finance Expert Consultant must send a financial proposal based on a lump sum amount. Contract prices will be fixed and “all-inclusive” based in the contractor’s financial proposal; payments will be divided into lump sum amounts according to the schedule of payments below.

Payment will be made against satisfactorily completion of each deliverable. All payments shall be disbursed only upon written confirmation of acceptance of the outputs which and authorization for payment by UNCDF ESA Regional Hub Manager. Disbursement of the final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant.

Deliverables/ Outputs

Payment in % of total contract price

Target Due Dates based on signature of the contract

Review and Approvals Required

Report: Market level assessment and research plan for the inception phase.

20%

Week 2

Review:

National officer Ethiopia. Approval: 

ESA Regional Hub Manager

Report: Interim country assessment including recommendations for primary research (stakeholders, visits).

 

Study: Baseline assessment of Ethiopia’s digital economy score card (IDES) including interview plan.

15%

Week 13

 Report: Field visits to selected stakeholders (IDES and PFD) and interview reports

 

Report: Stakeholder analysis and opportunity map of potential stakeholders and key partnerships

 

Plan: Proposal for implementation work plan of phase I and workshop to present the plan. 

15%

Week 23

Training materials: Writing DFS working group concept curricula and technical materials and workshop to launch the DFS working group including curricula, agenda, and materials.

 

Technical specifications document: Request for application (1) Agent networks and (2) Digital literacy.

10%

Week 29

Technical and financial assessment: Performance Appraisal Document (PAD) of at least 2 institutions selected by UNCDF for the Agent Networks and Digital Literacy portfolios. Including institutional capacity and feasibility of the proposal.

 

Project description completed of at least 2 institutions selected by UNCDF for the Agent Networks and Digital Literacy portfolios including Intervention logic, specifications, work plan, result framework, KPIs and budget of the data driven regulatory and policy work.

15%

Week 37

Training materials and workshop: TORs, work plan and project management tools and kick off meetings for the Project Steering Committee of at least two projects selected by UNCDF for the agent networks and digital literacy portfolios

 

Project documentation: Concept note, specifications, work plan, result framework, KPIs and budget of the data automation project

 

Technical specifications document: Request for application four interventions related to Digital Innovations

 

Report: Project progress report and handover recommendations to UNCDF.

25%

Week 52

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 in relation to the Terms of Reference (TOR) and earliest availability information.
  • CV or completed and signed P11 (available from http://sas.undp.org/documents/p11_personal_history_form.doc), indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Signed financial proposal: that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided at: http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=29916.

Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. 

Step I: Screening.

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

  • Master’s degree in economics, international development, or related field is mandatory
  • At least 5 years of experience in in managing large-scale, high-impact programme delivery projects for improving access to financial services is mandatory.
  • Work Experience in financial inclusion in Southern/Eastern Africa is mandatory.

Step II: Shortlisting (20% of technical assessment points).

UNCDF will produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate candidates by evaluating the following criteria with corresponding points (100 points):

Education:

  • Master’s degree in economics, international development, or related field (20 points)
  • At least 5 years of experience in in managing large-scale, high-impact programme delivery schemes for improving access to financial services (20 points)
  • At least two years of experience in implementing digital solutions in inclusive digital finance, especially for the most marginalized populations particularly in in low/middle income countries (15 points)
  • Experience of working in financial inclusion in Southern/Eastern Africa (20 points)
  • Experience in managing groups of industry stakeholders (association management, conference moderation, event management) (10 points)
  • Experience working with the UN system (5 points)   
  • Written and spoken proficiency in English (10 points)

As applicable, only applicants scoring 80 points or more shall be considered for an interview.

Step III: Interview (80% of technical assessment).

An interview shall be conducted to candidates having scored above 80 points in the shortlisting.

Step V: Financial Evaluation.

Only candidates with scores above 70% of the technical evaluation will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for 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 contact shall be awarded to the best 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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