Job Opportunity at UNCDF- Digital Strategy Consultant
The UN 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 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. UNCDF financing models are applied in thematic areas where addressing barriers to finance at the local level can have a transformational effect for poor and excluded people and communities.
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 28 of 169 SDGs targets.
Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era
The widespread use of digital financial services in Kenya helped lift around 1 million people out of extreme poverty between 2008 and 2014. Since 2008 and the launch of m-Pesa in Kenya, digital finance has revolutionized access to financial services for the unbanked, both individuals and enterprises. The mobile money only sector opened access of 690 million people worldwide to formal financial services. Often starting with payment as entry points (money transfer, bill payment, government payment), it has now expanded to a range of service like savings, credit, loans, insurance and remittances.
Based on 2017 Findex data and trend analysis from 2011 and 2014, it is clear that digital finance has become the primary route to financial inclusion. Inclusive financial services are transforming the lives of the unbanked by enabling them to better manage irregular resources, smooth income flows, build assets, overcome shocks, protect against risks, access social benefits more cheaply and invest in economic opportunities. Digital technology further expanded access and usage by offering lower cost of provision of services, greater convenience and ubiquity as services can be available around the clock, lower costs for user and greater range of services for the poor/low income people. In that respect inclusive digital financial services are directly contributing to reaching a number of SDGs, as described in the recent compendium developed by the Better Than Cash Alliance, UNCDF, the World Bank, and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate on Inclusive Finance for Development, Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.
With over a decade of experience in digital finance in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, UNCDF recognizes that reaching the full potential of digital financial inclusion in support to the SDGs lies with the vision of promoting digital economies for the following reasons:
The value of digital financial services is not obvious, especially for the poor and vulnerable populations, as it is not closely linked to their ability to respond to their specific constraints and needs around agriculture, education, health, energy and other key aspects of their daily lives.
New innovative services should be developed to address these unmet needs. Innovation will come from traditional providers but mainly by a range of new players (entrepreneurs, start-ups in various sectors & platforms like Facebook, WeChat, Grab, etc.)
This is the reason why the promotion of “Inclusive digital economies where everyone can thrive” is an integral part, and the ultimate vision of UNCDF’s new strategy on Digital Finance.
UNCDF in Tanzania
UNCDF vision for Tanzania is to enable “Tanzanian incremental participation in an increasingly interconnected digital world.” UNCDF aims to accomplish this by accelerating the development of services leveraging digital finance and innovation through providing the right balance of technical expertise and financial support to government, private and non-profit sectors as well as academia.
Digital solutions are already demonstrating their transformative impact in mobile money, mobile lending, mobile insurance, agency banking, and international remittances. These services are connecting financial services to ‘real-economy’ services that are transforming the lives of Tanzanians, especially the low-income population.
Digital solutions that solve the daily needs and constraints in other sectors such as health, energy, agriculture and transportation are strengthening the use cases for the adoption and usage of digital financial services.
To understand the state of Tanzania’s digital economy, UNCDF applied the globally tested Inclusive Digital Economy Scorecard to the Tanzanian context. The scorecard rates Tanzania on four key components:
Enabling policy and regulation: working with government bodies to develop policies that support and enable the growth of the inclusive digital economy.
Open digital payment ecosystem: leveraging experience in digital finance, understanding the importance of digital payments as the basis for sustainable economically impactful digital services.
Inclusive innovation: supporting local entrepreneurs and MSMEs to build inclusive services for the local digital economy.
Empowered customers: enabling users to acquire digital and financial skills and leveraging digital services to increase their soft and hard skills.
Duties and Responsibilities
The objective of this consultancy is to engage local stakeholders in the DFS sector including FSPs, mobile network operations, fintechs, policymakers and regulators, in order to research, prioritize, categorize and inform UNCDF’s Tanzanian digital strategy built around advocacy, partnerships and appropriate solutions.
The consultant will conduct the desk review of the national digital transformation strategies, policies, and initiatives and engage with stakeholders to understand achievements, challenges and needs. The consultants will also engage with these stakeholders to understand their digital strategy plans/initiatives and “pain points” and devise possible interventions that UNCDF can support.
The consultant will work with the UNCDF Tanzania Programme Specialist to update the Tanzania digital country strategy that aligns with the global UNCDF “Leaving no one behind in the digital era” strategy and the current state of potential partners in Tanzania.
The consultant will update the strategy by undertaking the following but not limited to:
Review both the global UNCDF strategy “Leaving no one behind in the digital era” and the current draft of the Tanzania country strategy to identify areas in the country strategy that need to be developed further to ensure alignment with the objectives and focus areas proposed in the global strategy.
Collect data and analyze relevant government and key stakeholder documents (reports, plans, assessment/studies, policies, regulations) on DFS and innovation in Tanzania to draw priorities, achievements, lessons learned, challenges and potential areas in line with the UNCDF’s global strategy.
Conduct in-depth consultations with policymakers, regulators, FSPs, other national stakeholders, and local donors on national priorities in Tanzania digital economy initiatives and assess their alignment with the current version of the UNCDF Tanzania digital strategy.
Identify potential local partners that UNCDF can work with through providing technical assistance or funding support.
Validate the proposed objectives and initiatives in the current country strategy and identify new ones that align with partners’ digital strategies.
Organize and facilitate workshops to present the identified strategy objectives, key initiatives to achieve the strategic objectives and potential partners for implementation. This is to ensure stakeholder feedback is incorporated into the strategy and there is a buy-in on the strategic objectives and proposed initiatives.
Formulate an updated version of the Tanzania digital strategy that outlines UNCDF’s objectives, initiatives and specific tasks for driving the expansion of an inclusive digital economy in Tanzania within the defined timeframe 2019-2024.
At least 8 years of professional experience in: digital financial services, market system issues, policy and regulatory environment in Tanzania;
Experience facilitating FSP and MNO branchless banking and mobile financial services rollouts in Tanzania is mandatory;
At least 3 years of experience working with policymakers and regulators on DFS and innovation topics in Tanzanian and other African countries is desirable;
Broad knowledge of the main DFS and innovation issues in Tanzania and other similar developing countries to recommend strategic objectives and initiatives that would shift the digital economy landscape in Tanzania;
Excellent writing and reporting skills in English with proven track record of analyzing data and preparing analytical reports;
Experience in providing technical assistance to FSPs and MNOs and forging partnerships with stakeholders, including international development organizations, governments, civil society, and communities at systemic and institutional levels.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills in Kiswahili is highly desirable
Understanding and/or background in digital financial services;
Strong ability to communicate and function effectively in local/international/multicultural environment;
Excellent networking with a demonstrated ability to build and maintain professional relationships;
Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure;
Project management skills;
Excellent PowerPoint and Excel skills;
High-level planning, organizational and time management skills, including flexibility, attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure to meet changing deadlines;
Well-developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to liaise effectively at senior levels, including government bodies;
Analytical and problem-solving skills of a high order, including the ability to formulate recommendations and advice;
Pro-active, constructive attitude, open to feedback.
Required Skills and Experience
A Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience
Provision of Monitoring and Progress Control
The consultant will work under direct supervision of the UNCDF Programme Specialist and/or his designate, and in close collaboration with the in-country team.
The consultant will have regular communication with the supervisor via email and skype for coordination and guidance purposes, ensuring consultant’s output quality and targets.
The consultant is responsible for providing his/her own laptop during the course of his/her engagement with UNCDF.
Payment to the consultant will be made based on the actual number of days agreed with UNCDF and upon certification of satisfactory performance, and acceptance of the output by the UNCDF Programme Specialist and/or his designate.
The following supporting documents 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 Programme Specialist and/or his designate; (iii) submission of a time-sheet and expenses with relevant supporting documentation; and (iv) an authorization of payment disbursement from a direct supervisor.
Interested individuals or companies must submit the following as proposals in order to demonstrate their qualifications: (NOTE: the system does not allow multiple uploads of document. 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 TOR
Earliest availability and proposed schedule and approach for consultancy
Completed CV or P11 Personal History Form with names and current contacts of 3 referees (available from http://sas.undp.org/documents/p11_personal_history_form.doc )
Financial proposal for the full assignment outlining: Total professional fee (including professional fees. Other professional expenses (such as insurance, taxes, etc. Please use the form available at: http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=29916 )
Failure to submit all the above-mentioned documents may result in the rejection of the application. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.
Applications will be rated on both technical and financial submissions. The following selection method will be used: Highest rated proposal using the combined scoring method, which assigns the weight distribution between the technical and financial proposals. The overall combined score will be 100 points, where weight distribution shall be 70% technical (40% desk review + 30% interview) and 30% financial.
Step I: Screening
Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the following minimum criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting:
A Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience
At least 8 years of experience in progressively more responsible positions in the financial services and/or telecommunications field
At least 3 years of experience working with policymakers and regulators on DFS and innovation topics in Tanzanian and other African countries is desirable
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