National Expert in Human Centric Design (HCD) and product design



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Accra, GHANA
Application Deadline :03-Jun-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :3 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 United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 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 none behind in the digital era” strategy, UNCDF is supporting, through its digital finance interventions, the emergence of inclusive digital economies.

Under this framework, UNCDF is currently expanding its expertise in Ghana under “Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn)” programme to be funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa. This programme will contribute to addressing the root causes of irregular migration through green and climate resilient local economic development and improving future prospects of beneficiaries, by creating employment and enterprise opportunities in selected sectors and regions (Ashanti and Western). The action aims at supporting job creation in regions of departure, transit and return of Ghana, creating local financial ecosystems that facilitate the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and enabling the transition of local economies to green and climate resilient development. For more information on GrEEn, please visit https://www.uncdf.org/green.

Under Result 3, UNCDF will create and strengthen local ecosystems that support youth (self-) employment and the development of MSMEs. In particular, UNCDF will work with partners to increase access and usage of financial services, leveraging digital and innovation, adapted to the needs of (i) youth, women and returnees (ii) local communities and (iii) MSMEs. Through its technical and funding Facility under the GrEEn Project, UNCDF engages with innovative financial services providers (banks, fintech, Savings and Loans, Microfinance institutions, remittance providers, MNOs, MTOs, etc.) and support them to pilot and/or scale up innovative financial services for the excluded segments and bring them to the last mile where targeted groups struggle in accessing and using formal financial services.

To achieve this objective, UNCDF has 4 main areas of intervention targeting youth, women, returning migrants and diaspora:

1. Increase financial capabilities

2. Pilot new innovative financial services

3. Leverage on remittances for remittance-linked product and services

4. Test crowdfunding and peer to peer platforms to offer alternative financing options

As part of its work, UNCDF provides technical assistance to partners to ensure that product and services respond to the needs of targeted groups. Even when demand-side research is relevant to product and policy development, it is not enough on its own; users and clients will make the shift from cash-based and informal financial services to formal channels if — and only if — it is worth their while. Thus, there is a need to apply and build human-centered design principles and mechanisms that will enable any innovations and product design to be tailored to the needs of key stakeholders.

UNCDF is seeking applications from customer research-focused expert to (i) conduct a training with key partners on HCD principles and how the approach can inform their product development; (ii) assist them in the deployment of the research making sure they apply the principles and collect the right information (iii) conduct a co-creation workshop following the findings of the research and inform their product development to design value propositions that respond to targeted needs (iv) develop a HCD toolkit on inclusive financial service innovation.

UNCDF is looking for a National Expert in human centric design approaches and product design to support the pool of UNCDF partners (up to 8 partners) to conduct a HCD research and inform their value proposition vis à vis of the needs and habits of direct stakeholders, including targeted groups as well as immediate communities and diaspora groups.

The overall objectives of the assignment are:

  • To address knowledge gaps of UNCDF partners in terms of the HCD applicable to product design and customer value proposition
  • To assist UNCDF partners in rolling out the research and make sure they have the capacity to replicate
  • To assist UNCDF partners in applying the findings in their value proposition and capacity building to further refine their product innovation through HCD approaches.
  • To inform the ecosystem on best practices in HCD and product design.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Financial Inclusion Specialist based in Accra, Ghana, the National Expert will be responsible for the following activities and deliverables:

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Activity

Deliverable

Timeline

Phase1A: Project preparation

 

The selected candidate will have a kick off meeting with UNCDF and other key stakeholder to understand the objectives of the assignment, understand the business models of the UNCDF partners and draft an operational plan

Operational plan

June 2021

 

Review of the literature and specific project needs

 

Methodology for the HCD research validated

 

Outline of workshop 1

Phase 1B: User experience and HCD research design

 

The selected candidate will conduct a workshop with key stakeholders and will train the FSP partners to conduct user experience research that include key areas around the customer journey and adoption for targeted groups (availability, accessibility, appeal, affordability, etc.). Digital channels need to be explored to better respond to country challenges in providing financial services.

Workshop material

June 2021

 

Workshop feedback report

 

Trainers guide

 

Final action plan for each partner

Phase 1C. HCD research

 

The selected candidate should help the FSP partners to conduct the HCD research in targeted regions and with targeted beneficiaries to identify key financial and non-financial needs that will inform the product development. Part of the exercise should include the analysis of qualitative and quantitative information and create personas as a means to assist providers in their efforts to segment the market. The selected candidate can propose the best approach (offsite/onsite) to support the providers in conducting the research.

Study plan and HCD tools and materials

July 2021

 

Interviews and questionnaires

 

Field research report

Phase 1D. Product development

 

The selected candidate should assist the FSP partners to generate new ideas to address uptake and usage of financial services and help them develop/adapt their offer to the target beneficiaries through HCD approaches. The expected product to be developed differ according to the provider involved.

Workshop 2 (material and trainers guide)

 

August 2021

HCD report with personas and recommendations for product design

 

Prototype of financial services and value proposition

HCD toolkit for dissemination

 


Competencies

  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills complemented by sound interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multicultural environment.
  • Ability to act independently and exercise sound judgment
  • Proficient in MS Office Software applications, data analysis and technical presentations.  
  • Fluency in the qualitative research and synthesis to ideation, prototyping, and implementation
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback
  • Ability to plan, organize, implement and report on work.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Keen attention to detail and execution in craft
  • Experience managing multiple and competing deliverables
  • 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 is required in economics, public/business administration, marketing, communication, sociology, social sciences, microfinance or related discipline. Undergraduate degree with additional 2 years of relevant experience is also accepted.

Experience:

  • At least three years of demonstrated experience in conducting HCD researches for in the domain of inclusion and innovation with low-income customers and users
  • At least three years of experience in the industry in conducting and managing customer research projects on digital products and services
  • A minimum of two-year experience designing, conceiving, and prototyping solutions related use-case drivers (market research, prototype development) is mandatory
  • Project management experience, including multi-tasking to lead and execute multiple time-sensitive projects in parallel is mandatory
  • Good knowledge/Exposure/Experience in financial innovation is preferable
  • Good knowledge/Exposure/Experience in knowledge management for financial inclusion is preferable
  • Good knowledge/Exposure/Experience of the financial sector in Ghana is preferable

Language requirements:

  • Written and spoken proficiency in English is mandatory.

Timeline, total number of working days, duty station:

  • Duration : part-time from June to September 30, 2021.
  • Duty station : Accra, Ghana.
  • Expected places of travel : Ashanti and Western Regions of Ghana. Focus on 10 MMDAs (Adansi South, Offinso North,  Ejura Sekyeredumase, Sekyere Afram Plains, Ahanta West,  Wassa Amenfi East,  Offinso Municipal, Nzema East, Jomoro, Sekyere Kumawu)

Progress Controls & Payments:

  • The Expert will report to the  Financial Inclusion Specialist
  • The consultant is responsible for providing his/her own laptop during his/her engagement with UNCDF
  • Payments: Payment will be made on periodical basis in accordance with number of days worked and upon satisfactorily achieved deliverables. All payments are subject to the clearance and approval of the direct supervisor.
  • The deliverables stated above will serve as conditions for disbursement: (i) submission of an invoice and Certificate of Payment (COP); (ii) review, approval and written acceptance of each deliverable by the UNCDF; and an authorization of payment disbursement from a direct supervisor.

Schedule of Payments:

 Deliverables

% of total contract price

Timeline (tentative)

Review and approval required

Phase A:

Operational plan

Review of the literature and specific project needs

Methodology for the HCD research validated

Outline of workshop 1

25%

Week 2

Financial inclusion specialist or delegate

Phase B

Workshop material

Workshop feedback report

Trainers guide

Final action plan for each partner

25%

Week 5

Phase C

Study plan and HCD tools and materials

Interviews and questionnaires

Field report

25%

Week 7

Phase D

Workshop 2 (material and trainers guide)

Prototype of financial services and value proposition

HCD report with personas and recommendations for product design

HCD toolkit for dissemination

25%

Week 10

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

Application process:

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 or 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);

Evaluation: 

Step I: Screening & Longlisting: 

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

  • A Master’s Degree is required in economics, public/business administration, marketing, communication, sociology, social sciences, microfinance or related discipline. Undergraduate degree with additional 2 years of relevant experience is also accepted
  • At least three years of demonstrated experience in conducting HCD research for in the domain of inclusion and innovation with low-income customers and users
  • At least three years of experience in the industry in conducting and managing customer research projects on digital products and services
  • A minimum of two-year experience designing, conceiving, and prototyping solutions related use-case drivers (market research, prototype development) is mandatory

Step II: Shortlisting (20%)

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

  • At least three years of demonstrated experience in conducting HCD research for in the domain of inclusion and innovation with low-income customers and users
  • At least five years of experience in the industry in conducting and managing customer research projects on digital products and services
  • A minimum of two-year experience designing, conceiving, and prototyping solutions related use-case drivers (market research, prototype development) is mandatory
  • Project management experience, including multi-tasking to lead and execute multiple time-sensitive projects in parallel is mandatory
  • Good knowledge/Exposure/Experience in financial innovation is preferable
  • Good knowledge/Exposure/Experience in knowledge management for financial inclusion is preferable
  • Good knowledge/Exposure/Experience of the financial sector in Ghana is preferable

As applicable, only applicants scoring 70 points or more shall be considered for an interview.

Step IV: Interview (80%): 

An interview shall be conducted with the top 3 candidates based on the review of CVs and summary statement of competencies.

Step V: Financial Evaluation:

Only candidates with scores above 70% of the technical evaluation (70 Points or above) will be considered. 

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 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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