Digital Financial Services Expert



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Banjul, GAMBIA
Application Deadline :29-Mar-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  

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 United Nations Capital Development Fund (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 three channels: inclusive digital economies, connecting individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; local development finance, that capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and investment finance, that provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization. By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to Sustainable Development Goal-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 broad diversity of SDGs. Based on this experience 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 is supporting, through its digital finance interventions, the emergence of inclusive digital economies.

UNCDF is bringing its expertise in promoting green and climate resilient communities and in financial inclusion, in support of job creation, under the “Jobs, skills and finance (JSF) for women and youth in The Gambia 2018 - 2022” programme funded by the 11th European Development Fund. This programme will contribute to stabilizing the economic, social and security situation of the country during the democratic transition by facilitating social inclusion and employment of youth and women, with a specific emphasis on promoting gender equality and addressing climate change. It will do so through two components:

  • Component 1: Job creation for the youth, women and local communities and equal access to employable skills development.
  • Component 2: Improved access to finance

The approach builds on lessons learned from UNCDF’s experience in job creation and promoting a green and climate resilient economy and youth access to finance: specifically, it will use the approach and lessons from the “Local Climate Adaptive Living” (LoCAL) facility and YouthStart programmes of UNCDF. For the access to finance component, UNCDF is using a market systems development approach and ensure all the interventions at the micro, meso and macro levels help increase access and usage of financial services in particular for women, youth and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)with the potential to create jobs for these 2 segments. It also uses digital as an accelerator of financial inclusion. The two components are broken down in different sets of activities:

  • Increased Jobs (Expected Result 1): The first set of activities aims at creating jobs. Local authorities and communities are being supported to identify needs in priority sectors and in planning investments accordingly. An emphasis is placed on ensuring investments contribute to climate resilience. Prioritized investments are delivered through cash for work (CfW) programmes for youth and women and through procurement to local SMEs so that jobs are created in the short to medium term. Workers benefiting from employment are supported in parallel with access to financial (Component 2) and non-financial services (Component 1, second set of activities) with a view to broadening their medium- to long-term economic perspectives. Climate risk and vulnerability assessments are undertaken to inform all activities.
  • Skills (Expected Result 2). The second set of activities has begun with a gender- and age-sensitive skills gap analysis in priority sectors. Based on this assessment, the programme will provide support to increase the number, quality and accessibility of vocational training schemes offered to youth and women. The vocational training schemes are directly informed by the priority needs identified with local authorities and communities (Component 1, first set of activities) and developed in conjunction with financial services providers (FSPs) (Component 2). These are accompanied by support for on the-job training wherever possible. The ITC is implementing these activities. Technical assistance and capacity building for SMEs and technical service providers are also offered by UNCDF, complementing Component 2.
  • Finance (Expected Result 3). The third set of activities aims to increase access to finance for youth, women and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The project uses a market systems development approach (micro, meso and macro) and ensures improved FSP response to the needs of women, youth and MSMEs. The first set of activities is linked with Result 1 under the Cash for Work component which is to ensure Cash for Work beneficiaries are linked with a financial service provider. Other activities at the micro-level are focused on helping de-risk both Cash for Work Beneficiaries and other vulnerable groups through the identification of other investments such as the development of crowdfunding platforms, integration of digital financial services such psychometric testing application, and the development of financial services and products for women. Other activities for the meso and macro level sector include diagnostics, training, and data availability such as Finscope studies and supporting the Central Bank of the Gambia with the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

 


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the JSF Programme Manager and with reporting lines to the Youth Finance and Empowerment Lead based in Dakar, Senegal, the Digital Financial Services (DFS) Expert will be responsible for providing technical assistance to partners including regulators, FSPs, and fintechs; identify peer to peer learning opportunities; and leading the development and dissemination of lessons learned and best practices in DFS and financial services for youth and women. The consultant will also work closely with the JSF programme team to ensure alignment in programme objectives and with the FIPA Regional team on reporting and alignment to the FIPA strategy

The Expert will be expected to be based in The Gambia for this engagement, however, they will work from home until travel is possible in line with COVID travel guidelines as dictated by UNCDF.

Activities and deliverables expected by the DFS Expert are as follow:

  1. Provide technical assistance to project partners (50%) (micro-level activities) the expert will be responsible for providing technical assistance to Reliance Microfinance and Q-Money to ensure they reach their year objectives of providing financial services for cash for work recipients and integrating financial education and chatbots into their offerings; provide technical assistance to grantees including those developing a crowdfunding platform, FSPs developing services for women, and to selected FSPs integrating psychometric tests. The expert will be expected to support all micro-level activities including current and future projects and serve as point person to grantees. The consultant will be expected to conduct regular visits to grantees to complete their work and ensure programs are running accordingly
  2. Identify 2 new projects (meso-level activities) (40%): The expert be responsible for identifying 2 new projects/activities at the meso level. These activities should focus on supporting actors increase access to finance for youth, women and/or clean energy
  3. Support the ecosystem with knowledge sharing and best practices (10%): the Expert will help UNCDF and the JSF Team in acquiring specific insights and knowledge of the sector by sharing lessons learned and best practices with key stakeholders to position UNCDF and JSF as a key technical agency for financial inclusion.

Activity/output

Deliverables

Provide technical assistance to project partners (50%)

  • Technical assistance plans for Reliance and Q-Money to ensure integration of financial education and chatbots; to provide TA to selected FSPs to develop services for women, and to selected FSPs to integrate psychometric tests.
  • Monitoring reports on project progress
  • Mission reports of outlining findings from field visits

Identify 2 new partners (35%):

  • Market scan report outlining findings and recommendations for activities and for the selection of the partners
  • Develop all necessary documents to submit for the approval of UNCDF’s Sub-Investment Committee for each partner

Support the ecosystem with knowledge sharing and best practices (15%)

  • 2 case studies (5 pages)
  • 2 blog articles
  • 2 articles highlighting new partnerships/initiatives
  • Summary of programme progress for the annual report

 

 Timeline, Duration of Assignment, Duty Station and Expected Places of Travel

Duration: 9 months from May 3, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

Duty station: Due to restrictions from COVID-19, the consultant will be expected to travel to The Gambia, only when travel measures are lifted and in line with approval channels of UNCDF.

 Quality, Monitoring and Progress Controls

Under the supervision of the JSF Programme Manager with reporting lines to the Youth Finance and Empowerment Lead and working very closely with the Financial Inclusion Technical Specialist, the consultant will manage the tasks as described above. The monitoring of the project will be carried out based on the activities of the firm or the consultant as well as the performance of the other stakeholders in the project.

The consultant will organize periodic follow-up meetings with UNCDF to discuss the preparation of its mission. Final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant.

Payments: Payment will be made upon satisfactorily achieved deliverables. All payments are subject to the clearance and approval of the direct supervisor. 

 Output No.

% of total contract price

Timeline

DELIVERABLE 1

 

 

Output 1

  • Technical assistance plans for reach grantee working under the micro-level activities: including but not limited to the cash for work workstream, chatbot integration; financial education; crowdfunding; psychometric solution; women’s product development; and clean energy solution

 

 

10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2021

Output 2

  • Market scan for meso level activities
  • Develop plan for activity/partner 1
  • Develop Request for Application for activity/partner 1

 

Output 3

  • Development of Blog 1

DELIVERABLE 2

 

 

Output 1

 

  • Monitoring report on project progress
  • Mission reports outlining findings from field visits

10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2021

Output 2

  • Market scan for activity/partner 2
  • Development of Request for Application for activity/partner 2

 

Output 3

  • Dissemination of Blog 1
  • Draft of Case study 1

DELIVERABLE 3

 

 

Output 1

  • Monitoring report on project progress
  • Mission reports of outlining findings from field visits

 

10%

June 2021

Output 2

  • Evaluation report on meso-level activities

 

 

Output 3

  • Final draft of case study 1

DELIVERABLE 4

 

 

Output 1

  • Monitoring report on project progress
  • Mission reports outlining findings from field visits

 

10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2021

Output 2

  • Evaluation report activity/partner 2
  • Project document activity/partner 1

 

Output 3

  • Dissemination case study 1
  • Blog 2 draft

DELIVERABLE 5

 

 

Output 1

  • Monitoring report on project progress
  • Mission reports of outlining findings from field visits

 

 

15%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2021

Output 2

  • Project document partner 2
  • PBA partner 1 and submission to ISC

 

Output 3

  • Final blog 2

DELIVERABLE 6

 

 

Output 1

  • Monitoring report on project progress
  • Mission reports of outlining findings from field visits

 

15%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2021

Output 2

  • PBA partner 2/activity concept note and submission to ISC

 

Output 3

  • Draft Case study 2

DELIVERABLE 7

 

 

Output 1

  • Monitoring report on project progress
  • Mission reports outlining findings from field visits

 

15%

October 2021

Output 2

  • Signed PBA partner 1

 

Output 3

  • Final Case study 2
  • Draft annual report

DELIVERABLE 8

 

 

Output 1

  • Monitoring report on project progress
  • Mission reports outlining findings from field visits

 

10%

December 2021

Output 2

  • Signed PBA partner 2

 

Output 3

  • Final annual report

Final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant.


Competencies

  • Ability to engage and build consensus among actors.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design, organise and plan the activities necessary to produce results.
  • Excellent organisational skills; ability to manage competing priorities and demands
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Excellent writing and synthesis skills.
  • Excellent ability to interact in a multicultural environment and to communicate orally and in writing.
  • Ability to engage colleagues and stakeholders.
  • Ability to foster teamwork and establish effective working relationships.
  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards and acts in accordance with the Standards of Conduct for international civil servants;
  • Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNCDF;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • A Master’s Degree (or equivalent experience) is mandatory in economics, public/business administration, social sciences, microfinance or related discipline.

Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience and demonstrated increasing responsibilities in a field related to financial inclusion, digital economies, youth development, or related fields is mandatory
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in management of multi-stakeholders’ projects at international level is mandatory
  • Demonstrable experience using different knowledge management and sharing platforms such as webinars, social media etc is desirable
  • Proven track record of publications in topics related to financial inclusion, in particular youth financial inclusion is desirable
  • Excellent skills in participatory methodologies and working with diverse stakeholders is desirable
  • Experience working with international organizations, LDC in Africa and/or government is desirable.

Language requirements

  • Fluency in English (written and spoken) is mandatory

Proposal & Application Requirements

All applications must contain the following information:

  • Cover letter with a summary statement of competencies in relation to the TOR;
  • Earliest availability and proposed schedule for consultancy;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Writing sample – please be sure to submit writing samples that have been shared with the public and clearly has your name as an author
  • Completed 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 Confirmation of Interest and Financial Proposal for the assignment outlining - Total all-inclusive professional fee (including professional fees and other professional expenses such as insurance, taxes, etc.). Available at: http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=29916

Selection Criteria for the Consultant

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

  • Preliminary Evaluation - Step I: Screening
  • Technical Evaluation Weight - 70% x (Step II: 20 Points + Step III: 40 Points + Step IV: 40 Points = 100 Points);
  • Financial Evaluation Weight - 30% = Step V.

Step I: Screening

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the mandatory criteria (listed under education and experience) will progress to the pool for shortlisting.

Step II: Shortlisting – 30 points

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a longlist of candidates who meet the minimum requirements.

20%- Education/Qualification:

  • A Master’s Degree (or equivalent experience) is mandatory in economics, public/business administration, social sciences, microfinance or related discipline.

50%- Mandatory Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience and demonstrated increasing responsibilities in a field related to financial inclusion, digital economies, youth development, or related fields is mandatory
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in management of multi-stakeholders’ projects at international level is mandatory

30%- Preferred Experience:

  • Demonstrable experience using different knowledge management and sharing platforms such as webinars, social media etc. is desirable
  • Good track record of publications in topics related to financial inclusion, in particular youth financial inclusion is desirable
  • Excellent skills in participatory methodologies and working with diverse stakeholders is desirable
  • Experience working with international organizations, LDC in Africa and/or government is desirable

Step III: Interview – 70 points

A competency-based interview shall be conducted for all the candidates who passed the written test.

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 financial evaluation.

Step IV: Financial Evaluation

Consultant must send a financial proposal based on Daily Fee. Consultant shall quote an all-inclusive Daily Fee for the contract period. The term “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, communications, consumables, etc.) that could be incurred by the IC in completing the assignment are already factored into the daily fee submitted in the proposal. If applicable, travel or daily allowance cost (if any work is to be done outside the IC’s duty station) should be identified separately.

Lowest priced proposal

Price of the proposal being evaluated x 30.

Both individual consultants and individual employed by a company or institution are welcome to apply. 

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%.

 UNDP’s Individual Consultant’s General Terms and Conditions are provided here:

https://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/documents/procurement/documents/IC%20-%20General%20Conditions.pdf

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.

UNCDF 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

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