Inclusive Digital Economy Consultant



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Libreville, GABON
Application Deadline :14-Apr-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :1d 7h 55m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English   French  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-May-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :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 4 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.

UNCDF requires an Inclusive Digital Economy Consultant to provide technical advice to the programme team in Gabon in the design of project interventions related to Digital financial services during the Inception phase and phase I, Ongoing Response.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the the Regional Hub Manager for Western and Central Africa, the Inclusive Digital Economy 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 to identify the main market constraints of the Digital Finance sector in Gabon. This will include close collaboration with existing UNCDF team working on poilcy, remittances, energy, and refugees related projects.
  • As part of the preliminary scoping the consultant will asses the inclusiveness of Gabon’s digital economy and support the Government of Gabon in implementing the IDES score card.
  • Based on the recommendations of the country assessment and feedback from UNCDF’s team the consultant will draft a plan for UNCDF for technical and financial assistance and provide technical inputs for the work plan of phase I.

Expected outputs:

  • Market assessment (including PEST analysis, Sector wide SWOT analysis, demand and supply side assesment).
  • Payment flow diagnosis of key bulk payment (government and private sector) stakeholders.
  • Problem trees for the inclusive digital finance area - showing key market failures. Including impact of Covid19
  • Analysis of digital existing digital innovations /solutions in inclusive finance and their relevance to the Gabonn ecosystem.
  • Itermin inception report draft (based on the above outputs).
  • Field visits to selected stakeholders.
  • Interview reports.
  • Data collection of exsiting primary reserach (government and private sector) sources.
  • Recommendations report detailing key proposed interventions.
  • Baseline assessment of Gabon’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.
  • Workshop to present results with UNCDF team.

Phase I-Ongoing Response (indicatively 7 months)

Based on the results of the inception phase and the consultant will support UNCDF in designing Requests for Applications (RFA) for digital finance projects that enable the continued response to the current emergency and accelerate economic recovery while increasing resilience.

Activities:

  • Based on the proposed approach design an intervention to build the capciaty of national government platforms on automation of financial inclusion data.
  • Based on the results of the RFAs providing technical assistance related to improving agent networks to at least 1 partner institution.
  • Based on the results of the RFAs providing technical assistance related to fiancial literacy to at least 1 partner institution.
  • Perform project appraisal of institutions selected by UNCDF.
  • Conduct a technical assessment (Project Description) of the partners’ business cases.
  • Train partners in monitoring and reporting as per UNCDF standard.
  • Validate partner’s final working solution during prototyping phase.
  • Provide technical inputs to partners’ materials during the product pilots.
  • Monitor partner’s performance during pilot quick off, mid-term review and completion.
  • Designing the curricula and technical materials for UNCDF to launch and manage a DFS working group.

Expected outputs:

  • Business case for data automation project.
  • Completed Requests for Applications (RFAs)
  • Project appraisal documents (PAD)
  • Project description completed.
  • Project steering committees established.
  • Project prototype completed.
  • Product pilot report.
  • Project reviews.
  • Writing DFS WG concept curricula and technical materials.

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

Deliverables/ Outputs

Target Submission starting from signature of the contract

INCEPTION PHASE

 

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

Week 2

Report: GAP analysis inclusive digital finance sector

Week 4

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

Week 5

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

Week 13

Report: Payment flow diagnosis (PDF) of key bulk payment (government and private sector) stakeholders 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: Approach for technical and financial assistance and provide technical inputs for the work plan of phase I. 

Week 20

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 automation.

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 2 institutions selected by UNCDF for the Agent Networks and Digital Literacy portfolios including Intervention logic, specifications, work plan, result framework, KPS and budget of the data automation project

Week 37

Training materials and workshop: TOR's, 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 4 intervention related to Digital Innovations

Week 52

Report: Project progress report and handover recommendations to UNCDF.

Week 52

Progress Controls & Payments:

The Inclusive Digital Economy 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 Submission based on signature of the contract

Review and Approvals Required

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

20%

Week 2

West and Central Africa Regional Hub Manager

Report: GAP analysis inclusive digital finance sector

15%

Week 13

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

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

Report: Payment flow diagnosis (PDF) of key bulk payment (government and private sector) stakeholders including interview plan.

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

15%

Week 23

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

Report: Approach for technical and financial assistance and provide technical inputs for the work plan of phase I. 

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. 

Report: Identifying key stakeholders, and opportunities for a technical assistance around data automation.

10%

Week 29

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.

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.

15%

Week 37

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, KPS and budget of the data automation project

Training materials and workshop: TOR's, 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

25%

Week 52

Workshop: Business case for data automation project.

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

Technical specifications document: Request for application 4 intervention related to Digital Innovations

Report: Project progress report and handover recommendations to UNCDF.

Timeline, duration, duty station:

  • Timeline: 12 months from Q2 2021 to Q2 2022

Location:

  • Libreville, Gabon.

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.


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.
  • Computer literacy, including proficient use of research and applied software such as Excel.

 


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

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

Experience:

  • A minimum of five (5) years’ experience in progressively more responsible positions in the financial services and/or telecommunications field; out of which at least three (3) years’ experience must be in the field of Digital Finance; digital innovations or skills development in the digital era is mandatory.
  • At least 3 years’ experience working in Africa is mandatory.
  • Strong programme management experience with emphasis on monitoring, evaluation and incorporating lessons learned into inclusive finance projects and digital economies programmes is considered a distinct advantage.
  • Relevant technical experience with policy makers, regulators, central and local government in developing countries an asset
  • Previous relevant work experience in digital financial services in Gabon is considered a distinct advantage.
  • Experience in managing innovation processes, bootcamps and acceleration programs is preferable.
  • Experience working with the UN system is preferred but not mandatory.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in French and English required (excellent comprehension, verbal & written communication in both languages)

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
  • Fluency in French and English
  • A minimum of five (5) years’ experience in progressively more responsible positions in the financial services and/or telecommunications field; out of which at least three (3) years’ experience must be in the field of Digital Finance; digital innovations or skills development in the digital era is mandatory
  • At least 3 years’ experience working in Central Africa.

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):

  • Master’s degree in economics, international development, or related field (15 points)
  • A minimum of five (5) years’ experience in progressively more responsible positions in the financial services and/or telecommunications field; out of which at least three (3) years’ experience must be in the field of Digital Finance; digital innovations or skills development in the digital era is mandatory (20 points)
  • 3 years’ experience working in Central Africa (15 points)
  • Relevant technical experience with policy makers, regulators, central and local government in developing countries (10 points)
  • Strong programme management experience with emphasis on monitoring, evaluation and incorporating lessons learned into inclusive finance projects and digital economies programmes (10points)
  • Previous relevant work experience in digital financial services in Gabon (5 points) 
  • Experience in managing innovation processes, bootcamps and acceleration programmes (10 points)
  • Experience working with the UN system (5 points) 
  • Fluency in French and 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 80 points or more in the shortlisting.

Step IV: 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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