Digital Payments Cocoa Value Chain Consultant



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Abidjan, COTE d'IVOIRE
Application Deadline :12-Apr-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English   French  
Duration of Initial Contract :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

ABOUT UNCDF

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.

About the Better Than Cash Alliance

Hosted by UNCDF, the Better Than Cash Alliance’s mission is to catalyze a global movement from cash to digital payments to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.Specific benefits include efficiency, transparency, women’s economic participation and financial inclusion, helping build economies that are digital and inclusive.

The Alliance has 75 members, including national governments from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, companies and international organizations which have committed to digitizing payments.

The Secretariat works with the Alliance members on their journey to digitize payments by:

  • Providing advisory services based on member priorities.
  • Sharing action-oriented research and fostering peer learning.
  • Conducting advocacy at national, regional and global level.

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. 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, the majority of whom are women. 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

From a private sector perspective, payments completed in the value chain of businesses represent some of the most significant payment flows of national economies. As highlighted in the Alliance’s report on The Future of Supply Chains: Why Companies are Digitizing Payments,”companies in different business sectors have benefited from the transition to  digital payments in their supply chains and have thus played an important role in building an inclusive digital payments ecosystem. As part of catalyzing the global movement from cash to digital with the private sector, the Better Than Cash Alliance is committed to supporting digitization of companies’ payment flows in different business sectors across the corporate payment grid: Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-People (B2P), and People-to-Business (P2B).

BTCA is looking to hire a Digital Payments consultant with expertise in the cocoa value chain based Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. For more information on BTCA, please visit the website: http://www.betterthancash.org/

Cocoa is a valuable crop that is essential to the livelihoods of 40-50 million people in the developed and developing world. Furthermore, 80% to 90% of cocoa comes from small, family-run farms and the vast majority comes from West and Central Africa. Cocoa farmers conduct their economic activities in cash, including their production and sale of cocoa. Recent research (The Hidden Costs of Cash to Ghana’s Cocoa Sector) developed between the Better Than Cash Alliance and the World Cocoa Foundation, estimates for example that cash is the primary payment method used to purchase cocoa, with over 90% of farmer-level transactions (more than GHS 7 billion, or USD 1.26 billion) conducted using cash every year. In most cases, farmers are not using formal savings accounts and micro-credit to manage seasonal cash flow or finance farm input such as the purchase of fertilizer. Lack of access to formal financial services and lack of credit history emanating from cash-based transactions are serious obstacles to improving farmer livelihoods. In addition, farmers encounter unpredictable delays between cocoa delivery and payment. Financial costs for cocoa companies include the cost of cash management and transport (including security and banking fees) and potential fraud and loss of cash as it flows through the cocoa supply chain.

Recognizing how digital payments can be a game-changer for farmers, the World Cocoa Foundation and the Better Than Cash Alliance are working in partnership to support the growth of digital payments in the cocoa value chain to promote inclusive growth, boost productivity and improve the livelihoods of smallholder cocoa farmers, especially women. WCF is a member of the Better Than Cash Alliance.

The work is also rooted in WCF’s vision of a thriving and sustainable cocoa sector, where farmers prosper, communities are empowered, and the planet is healthy. Digital payments advance WCF’s goal of prosperous farmers through helping farmers become more professional by eliminating the risks of relying on cash and providing greater access to financial services, while helping farmer organizations operate more effectively and efficiently.


Duties and Responsibilities

As part of the greater goal of promoting engagement and implementation efforts of large cocoa buyers and their agribusiness intermediaries, this project is looking to explore the digital payments landscape in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa sector, the world’s largest producer of cocoa in the worlds. This position will be under the supervision and direction of the Better Than Cash Alliance Regional Lead, Better Than Cash Alliance Head of Private Sector Digital Payment Innovation and World Cocoa Foundation project lead in Ivory Coast. The study in Côte d’Ivoire should focus on the following activities:

Develop a Landscape Document

a) Map and evaluate past and current payment digitization initiatives completed by large cocoa buyers, financial service providers (FSPs), Le Conseil du Café-Cacao and other government and non-government bodies:

  • Identify and evaluate past and current digital payment initiatives and pilots, as well as the number of smallholder cocoa farmers reached through existing digital platforms, if any;
  • Highlight lessons learned, strengths & barriers to scale of past and existing projects on digital payments and financial services for cacao sector; and
  • Document current payment process in cash and define appropriate digital payments value proposition for companies;
  • Develop value proposition for each player in the value chain (for example cocoa buyers, intermediaries, smallholders, FSPs), adapting from other ecosystem assessments done in Africa.

b) Provide a comprehensive review of policy and regulatory related issues that have an impact on payment digitization efforts in Côte d’ivoire.

c) Complete a comprehensive mapping of payments providers and other digitally-enabled financial service providers who have the capability and track record of being active in the cocoa space, whether in digitized payments or other digital service delivery. Ensure include all digitally-enabled financial services that can offer value added to cocoa farmers in rural areas, e.g. access to credit for input, saving scheme, insurance, pension systems, access to energy or education, etc.

d) Using publicly available information as well as stakeholder interviews, develop a comparison of the cost of cash vs. digital payments. This includes broad strokes information about average cash losses per year.

Propose 3-4 recommendations and interventions, including pre-competitive collaborative actions if relevant, to scale up digital financial services for cocoa farmers and agribusiness companies in côte d’ivoire

  • Based on insights from the landscaping, the consultant should recommend at least 3 and a maximum of 4 interventions to drive digital payments in the cocoa value chain in Côte d’Ivoire. These should include details of the intended outcome, the actors in the activity/initiative, any insight into cost in terms of time and funds, and potential participants.

Based on insights from the landscaping, the consultant should recommend at least 3 and a maximum of 4 interventions to drive digital payments in the cocoa value chain in Côte d’Ivoire. These should include details of the intended outcome, the actors in the activity/initiative, any insight into cost in terms of time and funds, and potential participants.

  • Based on insights from the landscaping, the consultant should recommend at least 3 and a maximum of 4 interventions to drive digital payments in the cocoa value chain in Côte d’Ivoire. These should include details of the intended outcome, the actors in the activity/initiative, any insight into cost in terms of time and funds, and potential participants.
  • Based on insights from the landscaping, the consultant should recommend at least 3 and a maximum of 4 interventions to drive digital payments in the cocoa value chain in Côte d’Ivoire. These should include details of the intended outcome, the actors in the activity/initiative, any insight into cost in terms of time and funds, and potential participants.

Develop content for a DFS workshop to be held in Côte d’Ivoire for WCF member companies across the Supply Chain

  • Prepare an invitation list and draft agenda, including potential speakers, for a DFS workshop to be held in Côte d’Ivoire
  • Develop a PPT based on the key information in the landscape report and including the recommended DFS initiatives
  • Support invitations Facilitate moderation of discussions during half-day workshop, as requested by WCF and The Better Than Cash Alliance

Expected Outputs and Deliverables 

Deliverable 1:

Comprehensive workplan defined, including secondary research index, list of stakeholders to interview. The workplan will be uploaded in Better Than Cash Alliance project management platform, access will be provided following the consultant recruitment.

Deliverable 2 :

Comprehensive landscaping report (Microsoft Word, max 30 pages and PPT summary – template will be provided by the Better Than Cash Alliance team)

Deliverable 3:

High level outline of 3-4 potential DFS interventions in Côte d’Ivoire (PPT, max 20 slides)

Deliverable 4 :

  1. Draft agenda for DFS workshop, including list and contacts of potential speakers
  2. Draft invitation list for DFS workshop
  3. Draft presentation to be used at DFS workshop
  4. Support to sharing invitations and moderation of half-day the workshop

Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments

Payments will be made based on the percentage of contract price corresponding to the deliverables stated below, and upon confirmation of UNCDF that the individual has delivered on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner. 

Target Completion

Deliverables

Payment terms in % of total contract price

Month 1

1. Workplan approved

10%

Month 4

2. Landscaping report developed and approved by Better Than Cash Alliancein consultation with World Cocoa Foundation team

30%

Month 6

3. High level outline of 3-4 potential DFS interventions developed and approved by Better Than Cash Alliance in consultation with the World Cocoa Foundation team.

40%

Month 8

4. Event organization support provided :

  1. Draft agenda for DFS workshop, including list and contacts of potential speakers
  2. Draft invitation list for DFS workshop
  3. Draft presentation to be used at DFS workshop
  4. Effective moderation of the event (event recording link will serve as deliverable)

 

20%

TOTAL

 

100%

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 work under the supervision of the Better Than Cash Alliance’s Middle East & West Africa Lead, working closely with other key colleagues across the globe, with supervision support from the Head of Private Sector Digital Payment Innovations.

Duration of the Work

This is an assignment that will have an initial duration of maximum ten (10) months.  Any extension of another ten (10) months is possible depending on performance, continued need for the services and availability of funds. The performance control/monitoring mechanism will be applied from the start date.

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.

Duty Station

  • The duty station/location for the contract duration is Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire;
  • Ability to live and work in Côte d’Ivoire during all the assignment is necessary;
  • If there is any approved travel, UNCDF will pay separately travel expenses (economy airfare, terminal expenses and per diems which include hotel and food expenses) according to standard UN rates based on evidence of approved and actual travel.


Competencies

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrates political acumen and calculated risk taking;
  • 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; and
  • Shows strong corporate commitment.

Functional Competencies:

Professional

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

Technical:

  • Working knowledge of current developments in payment tech & platforms, including innovative payment methods (e.g., mobile financial services, pre-paid/reloadable/other cards, etc.);
  • Solid skills in agribusiness supply chain distribution, financial and logistics implementation and analysis. Specific experience in the cocoa sector a plus;
  • Good network with financial service providers and other digital financial services ecosystem. A focus on agribusiness and rural areas an added advantage.
  • Understanding of key issues and international good practice relating to financial inclusion, and digital financial services consumer protection issues;
  • Excellent presentation and representation skills in multicultural contexts; and
  • Ability to translate complex technical ideas to a non-technical audience verbally & in writing.


Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, ICT, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience; and
  • Additional training related to digital financial services is highly desirable.

Experience:

  • A minimum of five (5) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments required;
  • A minimum of two (2) years working experience in the Côte d’Ivoire payments ecosystem sector;
  • Experience in the formulation of strategies, policies & implementation procedures in digital payments at the private sector agribusiness level;
  • Experience in effectively leading or managing technical assistance to a very diverse group of clients or members and maintaining positive relationships with peers;
  • Working knowledge of agribusiness supply chain distribution, financial & logistics implementation & current developments including innovative information delivery methods (e.g. learning platforms, information exchange, etc.) and payments (e.g., mobile financial services, pre-paid cards, etc.) essential. Specific experience in the cocoa sector an added advantage;
  • Detailed and knowledgeable about the Côte d’Ivoire payments landscape, including topical issues and digital payments regulatory environment; and
  • Understanding of issues related to financial inclusion.

Languages:

  • Fluency in French  and English, both oral and written, is required;
  • Knowledge of one Ivorian local languages is an advantage..
  • Ability to translate complex technical ideas to a non-technical audience verbally & in writing.

Recommended Presentation of Offer

The following documents are requested:

  1. Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability;
  2. Personal CV or P11, 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;
  3. Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how they will approach and complete the assignment.
  4. Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive Daily Fee price. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNCDF under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNCDF.

Important: The system will not allow you to submit your financial proposal separately from the other documents, therefore, all proposers are requested to submit their financial proposals upon the request of UNCDF. Upon the completion of technical evaluation, UNCDF will reach the successful candidates requesting them to submit their financial offers

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

Consultants will be evaluated based on UNDP’s cumulative analysis method. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract shall be made to the consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable vis-à-vis the requirements of the TOR and the project operating environment; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (70%) and financial (30%) criteria.

The evaluation process will be conducted through two stages:

  • Stage 1: Technical Evaluation Weight - 70% x (Step I: 30%+ Step II: 40%);
  • Stage 2: Financial Evaluation Weight - 30% .

Stage I: Technical Evaluation (70%): it will be conducted in two steps:

Technical proposal = Review of a profile through desk review (30%) + Technical Interview (40%).

  1. Step 1: Profile Review for applications: (30% = 100 points)
  2. Step 2: Technical Interview: (40%)

Step1: Profile Review (30%)

Technical evaluation panel composed by the WFC and UNCDF Better Than Cash Alliance will conduct profile review for the applications using the criteria below, only successful candidate with minimum 70 points will be qualified for the next step, the profile review will be focusing on the following key criteria:

  • Technical expertise in digital finance, payment systems or e-payments in Côte d’Ivoire (40 points);
  • Program development and implementation management (35 points);
  • Policy and regulatory efforts in Côte d’Ivoire (10 points); and
  • Stakeholder and partner consultation (15 points).

Step 3: Technical Interview (40%):

Candidates who obtained 70 points at the desk review will be invited to the technical interview. Technical interviews will explore the same key work areas, in greater depth, with the same weighting.

Stage 2: Financial Evaluation (30%): the following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the technical proposal will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for the financial evaluation.

Notes:

  • Both individual consultants and individuals 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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