UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to inclusive finance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia and The Pacific, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis. It can provide seed capital both grants and loans as well as Technical Support that will improve poor peoples’ lives.
UNCDF works to enlarge peoples’ choices: it believes that poor people and communities should take decisions about their own development. UNCDF works in challenging environments – remote rural areas, countries emerging from conflict – and paves the way for others to follow. Its programmes are designed to catalyze larger investment flows from the private sector, development partners and national governments, for significant impact on the Millennium Development Goals, especially Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, and Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability.
Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP.
UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 47 least developed countries (LDCs). 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. This last mile is where available resources for development are scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where benefits from national growth tend to leave people excluded.
UNCDF’s financing models work through two channels: savings-led 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 with a focus on reaching the last mile and addressing exclusion and inequalities of access. At the same time, UNCDF deploys its capital finance mandate in line with SDG 17 on the means of implementation, to unlock public and private finance for the poor at the local level. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs and currently to 28 of 169 targets.
UNCDF hosts the Secretariat of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
The Better Than Cash Alliance is a partnership of 75 governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty, drive inclusive growth and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
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, etc. The problems with these cash payments include a lack of transparency, accountability and security, as well as inefficiency. Furthermore, the individuals who receive the cash payments are often part of the 1.7 billion excluded from the formal financial sector. 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 -who are twice as likely to be excluded from the financial system, while giving governments, the development community and the private sector a more transparent, time and cost efficient, and often safer means of disbursing payments. Digitizing payments can also contribute to women’s economic participation by providing them with more control over family finances, increasing personal security, and improving economic opportunities.
The Alliance Secretariat works with its 75 members to navigate their digitization journeys, by:
- Providing Advisory Services based on member priorities
- Sharing action-oriented research and fostering peer learning
- Conducting advocacy at national, regional and global level
The Better Than Cash Alliance Secretariat Core Values:
- Achieving together
- Striving for excellence
- Service oriented
- Results oriented
The Better Than Cash Alliance is looking to hire an International Consultant with knowledge and experience in humanitarian assistance, emergency relief, in particular in implementation of digitizing cash and voucher-interventions in the humanitarian setting. The position will be home-based and will work under the supervision of the Alliance Managing Director to increase collaboration, Coordination and harmonization amongst UN Humanitarian Agencies that are members of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
For more information on the Better Than Cash Alliance cash digitization work in the humanitarian space please visit our website
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the Managing Director and in partnership with key team members of the Alliance, the consultant will contribute the Alliance’s Cash-to-Digital work to support the leading UN humanitarian agencies which are Alliance members, and for the benefit of beneficiaries. Key responsibilities are as follows:
1. Strategy Development to increase collaboration, coordination and harmonization amongst UN Agencies.
Based on the Alliance work to-date and in partnership with the leading humanitarian UN agencies which are members of the Alliance:
- Facilitate the development of a phased strategy to increase collaboration, coordination and harmonization by UN agencies at the-country level taking into account the various the value of each actor and the types of payments made by them including:
- Humanitarian Payments: support collaboration, coordination by UN agencies delivering aid and seeking to digitize humanitarian payments as they take different approaches to common challenges such as KYC, lack of ID in the countries where they are active.
- Long-term Payments Digitization: identify opportunities to support collaboration and coordination by UN agencies as they seek to improve their operational efficiency by, for example, digitizing payroll, project or per-diem payments.
- Work with the Alliance team and focal points to ensure the strategy has proper buy-in ahead of implementation
- Develop clear KPIs agreed with all stakeholders to measure progress in the process
- Monitor and track key indicators to measure progress to feed into donor and internal reports;
2. Regional and In-country Implementation of the Strategy:
With guidance from the Alliance Regional Leads and UN agency country leads, work together to ensure the implementation of the strategy to increase collaboration, coordination and harmonization among UN agencies:
- Partner with regional leads and in-country consultants to support the implementation of the strategy in-country in two to three focus countries agreed with the UN Treasurers.
- Liaise with regional and in-country teams to ensure cross-country/regional lessons are being identified and addressed. The consultant will also assist in developing ground engagement rules in country – providing guidance to help drive decisions, by working closely with country officers of the respective agencies.
- Facilitate a reflection process with UN agency members on gender intentional cash digitization to ensure processes are inclusive and responsible.
- Deliver on implementing actions to digitize payments and improve collaboration, coordination, and harmonization, ensuring all in-country KPIs and targets are met or exceeded.
3. Research, Dissemination and Learning Opportunities:
In collaboration with the Head of the Digital Payments Innovation and Resource Hub (DPIRH) and Regional leads, the consultant will
- Identify opportunities to capture sound and responsible practices in digitizing payments in the humanitarian or development context
- Facilitate research to landscape innovative frontier technologies that can improve the effectiveness and impact of humanitarian transfers (i.e. DLT, Blockchain, crypto-assets, AI, etc.), in order to signal these developments for UN agencies and Treasures so they can have bigger, faster and more cost-effective impact
- Work with the Learning Analyst to disseminate learning products around the digitization of payments by UN agencies.
- Support the organization, in partnership with the Learning Analyst, to deliver in-person or online workshops, training, learning events around the digitization of humanitarian payments that are useful and meet member’s needs.
4. Global Partnerships, Advocacy and Representation:
With direction and guidance from the BTCA Deputy Managing Director, the consultant will contribute to advocacy and representation efforts for the Alliance including speaking at conferences, leading workshops and attending high-level meetings in the humanitarian sector.
- Work with the Managing Director and Head of the Resource and Innovation Hub in their liaison with the UN Treasurers Working Group
- Work with the Managing Director to lead a sub-group on Digitization that is part of the UN Working Group on Common Treasury Services (WGCTS) .
- Work with the Deputy Managing Director to ensure coordination and liaison with OCHA, humanitarian donors such as OCHA and coalition such as CALP, ELAN and others
- Work with the Head of the Digital Payment Resource and Innovation Hub to disseminate digitization lessons to the wider UN community
Expected Outputs and Deliverables
Deliver phased strategy to increase collaboration, coordination, and harmonization by UN agencies at the-country level 20 days
Plan and Facilitate a reflection process with UN agency members on gender intentional cash digitization to ensure processes are inclusive and responsible. 20 days
Identify 3 countries with very concrete opportunities to support Long-term Payments Digitization, in collaboration and coordination by UN agencies 30 days
Implementation of the strategy to increase collaboration, coordination, and harmonization among UN agencies: 25 days
Develop clear KPIs agreed with all stakeholders to measure progress in the process Support to resource mobilization, including cross-team coordination 20 days
Facilitate a reflection process with UN agency members on gender intentional cash digitization to ensure processes are inclusive and responsible. 25 days
Submit an advocacy and representation strategy for the Alliance including speaking at conferences, leading workshops, and attending high-level meetings in the humanitarian sector. 10 days
Identify and develop a monitoring and tracking of key indicators to measure progress to feed into donor and internal reports; 15 days
Identify opportunities to landscape innovative frontier technologies that can improve the effectiveness and impact of humanitarian transfers 15 days
Follow up to support the research and landscaping 25 days
Support plans to team coordination across regional 15 days
Total # Days 220 Days
Duration of the Work
This is an assignment that will have an initial duration of up to 220 working days within 12 months period. Any extension of another one (1) year is possible depending on consultant’s performance, continued need for the services and availability of funds. The performance control/monitoring mechanism will be applied from the start date.
The duty station/location for the contract duration will be home based.
Travel to the field and other relevant locations may be required and will depend on Covid-19 restrictions being lifted. It will be compensated on reimbursable basis and following the UNDP/UNCDF rules and regulations which states that consultants shall only be paid the most direct and most economical ticket, as will be quoted by the official UN travel agency. Any amount in excess of the said quotation, such as class and airline preference of the consultant, shall be borne by the consultant and the daily living allowance will be paid in amounts not exceeding the UN established Rate.
Provision of Monitoring, Progress Controls & Payments
- The consultants will work under the supervision of the Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance, who would set the quarterly deliverables at the beginning of every quarter and will hold a weekly communication either in person, or via e-mail and/or skype for coordination and guidance purposes, ensuring consultant’s output quality and targets.
- Payments will be made monthly, and upon confirmation of UNCDF that the individual has delivered on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner based on the completed deliverables stated as ‘Scope of Services under part B above.
- Final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant.
The following supporting documents will serve as conditions for disbursement:
- submission of an invoice and Certificate of Payment (COP).
- review, approval and written acceptance of each deliverable by the UNCDF Private Sector Innovation Lead and/or his designate.
- submission of a workplan / progress report with relevant supporting documentation; and,
- an authorization of payment disbursement from a direct supervisor, the Head of Digital Payment Innovation and Resources Hub BTCA.
- Knowledge of digital payment methods (e.g., digital financial services, prepaid cards, fintech solutions, e-commerce, contactless, card alternatives, e-money, digital currencies) advantage;
- Excellent analytical and diplomatic skills
- Excellent ability to engage with governments effectively, and/or executives of business, international organizations and civil society;
- Proven capacity to Design and supports the implementation of digital financial inclusion strategies and initiatives;
- Demonstrated experience managing projects, particularly on digital finance and related issues;
- Demonstrates ethics and integrity;
- Demonstrates political acumen and calculated risk taking;
- Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
- Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced university degree (Master’s level) in international affairs, development, political science, or any other relevant field.
- A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in humanitarian affairs, emergency response, Crisis Management, development, or other related area is required. Three (3) years of experience in humanitarian affairs or related area at the international level is required.
- Experience working on digital cash or voucher assistance implementation is required
- Experience in the UN Common System or other international organization is desirable.
- Experience working on humanitarian coordination at the country level, is required. Experience working on digital cash or voucher partnership, highly desirable.
- Experience facilitating working groups and organizing/leading training sessions/workshops and finding consensus - desirable;
- Experience in managing projects and corresponding budgets - highly desirable;
- Fluency in English, both oral and written, is required. Spanish, French or Arabic are an advantage,
Recommended Presentation of Offer
Interested individuals 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).
The following documents are requested:
- Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability;
- 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 the names of at least three (3) professional references (e-mail addresses, telephone numbers);
- Brief motivation letter explaining why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the consultancy
- Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive Daily Fee price excluding travel. 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. Please use the form available at http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=29916
Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer
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 (30% desk review + 40% interview) and 30% financial.
Step I: Screening:
Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the education and professional experience will progress to the pool for shortlisting:
Step II: Shortlisting by Desk Review (100 points)
Better Than Cash Alliance / UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate candidates per the consultancy requirements.
As applicable, only the first top ranked applicants achieving minimum 70 points shall be invited for an interview.
Step III : Technical interviews
A technical interview shall be conducted with the top candidates who score the highest in Step II (minimum of 70 points). Candidates will be interviewed on the same key work areas as detailed by the TOR, in greater depth.
Criteria for Technical evaluation (100 points maximum):
- Relevant previous experience working for a minimum of seven (7) years in humanitarian affairs, emergency response, crisis management, development, or other related area (40 points)
- Three (3) years of extensive experience in humanitarian affairs or related area at the international level (40 points)
- Relevant education – 20 points.
Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Step II: Desk Review and Step III: Interview will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.
Step IV: Financial Evaluation:
The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:
Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.
Step V: Award Criteria:
The contract shall be awarded to the applicant whose offer have 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.
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.
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.
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.