International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Job Description

  This is a co-terminus position fully financed with supplementary fund. Contract renewal depends on the fund availability and/or duration of the project. There is no expectation of renewal or conversion into another kind of contract.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and  advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

Post's organizational accountability

The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD's strategic direction, thematic priorities and on the technical quality of IFAD’s operations. SKD plays a critical role for operational teams, enhancing development effectiveness and generating and disseminating IFAD’s knowledge and evidence-based best practices. SKD works on strategic themes that encourage the mainstreaming of innovation and cutting-edge global expertise into IFAD investments. Support to IFAD´s country portfolios requires the tackling of complex development challenges confronting inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. SKD is composed of the (i) Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG); the (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); and the (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA).

Hosted under the PMI division, the Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR) is a multi-donor/stakeholder facility aimed at maximizing the development impact of migrants’ financial contributions and at enabling poor rural households to advance on the road to financial independence. Financed through supplementary funds, the FFR mobilizes and manages these funds to deliver its plan of work in accordance with its donors and IFAD’s strategic framework. Since 2007, this US$65 million facility, with a portfolio of over 60 projects implemented in over 50 countries fosters innovations in the remittances and diaspora impact investment markets.

Through its multi-donor / stakeholder programmes and respective operations, the FFR tests, replicates and scales-up innovative and inclusive solutions and business models with private sector entities. These aim to deepen and widen the remittance market, thereby benefiting both migrants and their remittance-receiving families in rural areas. To support these objectives, the FFR also supports public sector entities in the creation of a more conducive enabling environment that favours market innovation, payment system development and expansion.

In parallel to its inclusive remittance programmes and activities, the FFR also finances and manages specific innovative finance structures, including impact investment mechanisms that bridge diaspora resources abroad into investment opportunities back home. These mechanisms aim to create durable and productive investment, spur job creation for youth, women and migrant returnees, as well as support for micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) creation.

Based on the body of evidence generated by its programmes and portfolio of projects, the FFR actively engages with and influences global, regional and national policy trends. FFR work fosters consensus on the challenges, opportunities and measures for affecting rural areas in which remittances and diaspora investment could play a transformative role. In this regard, the FFR is also engaged in mainstreaming the opportunities within IFAD’s loans and grants portfolio while identifying, designing and supporting implementation of targeted initiatives with key national and international partners.

Under the leadership of the Lead Global Technical Specialist and FFR Manager, the Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist is an expert and knowledge-resource in the area of remittances, payment systems and diaspora investment, with deep developmental experience. The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialistworks under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance and supervision of the Lead Global Technical Specialist and FFR Manager. As an integral member of delivery teams, the STS works collaboratively with the FFR team members to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in the application of Technical Support and provision of programme development support.

The accountabilities/key results expected are:
  • Operations, senior-level technical advice
  • Country programme and development advice
  • Stakeholder and partnership consultation
  • Knowledge management and dissemination support
  • Monitoring, evaluation and reporting
The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialistprovides technical expertise and strategic guidance at the corporate level as well as all levels of the development of FFR’s programmes and projects designs, including their monitoring and evaluation. Using this expertise, the Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist contributes to the planning and implementation of the FFR’s strategy and operations. This will involve helping to develop country strategic action plans and support their implementation by liaising and coordinating day-to-day activities with programme partners, in-country FFR officers and peers under direct technical supervision.

The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist supports the FFR in the planning and implementation of its programmes and projects, and supports the design, monitoring and the implementation of remittance country strategic action plans, projects, and partnership development strategy.

Key results expected / Major functional activities

1. Senior-level technical advice

The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist provides senior level technical knowledge and analysis of current thematic conditions, emerging development challenges, and the state of rural poverty regionally and globally. The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist provides technically authoritative advice to improve IFAD’s capacity to address rural poverty through remittances, diaspora investment and inclusive finance best practices, to enhance national government policies and programmes and to ensure IFAD is regarded as a trusted and valued partner.

Responsibilities include:
  • Senior technical advice and support to ensure FFR´s portfolio is viable and sustainable as well as to assist project and country strategy design teams to ensure technical innovations are integrated into early identification and design of projects and country strategies.
  • Enhance the FFR’s regional portfolio through collaborative technical studies and sharing of country-level strategic innovations in the fields of remittances, diaspora impact investment, inclusive rural finance and development.
  • Provide other FFR staff and partners with up-to-date professional advice on policy, institutional and technical issues on the remittance-related ecosystem (markets, financial inclusion opportunities, digitalisation, enabling environment and payment systems) and on diaspora impact investing (investment mechanisms, migrant and diaspora socio-economic profiles and entrepreneurship) among others.
  • Through global, regional and country forums and national processes, deepen the engagement with governments, policymakers, regulators, and key stakeholders in the remittance ecosystem, and to advance the FFR’s advocacy efforts and policy agenda related to its remittance strategy, thereby strengthening rural financial sector policy and regulations
  • Serve as the FFR´s focal point in multilateral working groups and steering committees on the issue of remittances, and to provide inputs for a conducive policy and regulatory environment that fosters reductions in remittance costs and informal transfers, and promotes market innovations leading to user-friendly remittance-linked financial products, and diaspora investment.
  • Serve as the FFR´s focal point in issues related to diaspora impact investment and related mechanisms involving SME financing schemes and linkages to SME development and entrepreneurship in rural communities in countries of origin.
  • Ensure close collaboration with UN partners on the remittances, diaspora impact investment, inclusive rural finance agendas.
2. Country programme development and partnerships 

On the basis of remittance and development expertise, the Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist serves as IFAD’s country-level operational focal point in the area of remittances and diaspora impact investment, ensuring appropriate and up-to-date authoritative technical advice to country programmes and project design, development, implementation and monitoring, to optimize positive programme results and contribute to regional programme enhancements.

Responsibilities include:
  • technical support coordination to FFR field-based specialists and ensure cross-fertilisation of knowledge across the FFR and within IFAD,
  • identification and assistance in the programming of new sources of funding in the remittances and development area to complement and diversify regional portfolios;
  • provide technical support to staff, participate in field missions and national programmes at all stages of the project cycle, including design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation inputs, and undertaking implementation support missions, including supervision; and
  • in coordination with country directors and other thematic specialists, strengthen IFAD’s country-level programmes and projects through project and country strategic definition and support.
3. Stakeholder and partnership consultation

The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist establishes and maintains a network of peer contacts inside and outside of IFAD and the FFR, as a highly competent and viable partner in the field of remittances and development to: (i) keep up-to-date on activities at national and regional levels; and (ii) to support joint advocacy and knowledge sharing.

Responsibilities include:
  • Create and support a community of practice in the field of remittances and diaspora impact investment with all relevant stakeholders from the public and private sectors, as well as the civil society, including industry associations and other development partners.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with governments’ departments of finance and other ministries related to the remittance work, UN agencies, the World Bank, G20 GPFI, AIR Africa, including industry associations and other development partners on the remittance agenda.
  • Build partnerships with technical organizations, NGOs, and specialized departments of other development agencies as potential operational and strategic partners at regional and country levels to coordinate implementation of the remittance agenda at country and regional levels.
  • Strengthen the FFR’s representation and communication in technical issues (including representing IFAD at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars, conferences and fora).
  • Undertake meetings and discussions with stakeholders and partners to strengthen delivery of FFR country remittance strategy.
  • Support the operation of a stakeholder platform for in-country project partners.
  • Support the FFR Secretariat with content development for executive presentations and reports in order to communicate and achieve buy-in for policy and regulatory recommendations in the remittance sector.
4. Knowledge management and dissemination support

The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist supports the strengthening of the development of sustainable policy and projects at FFR portfolio level and supports the FFR input through seasoned technical knowledge-sharing on remittance and diaspora impact investment-related issues. S/He will ensure country-level access to the latest sources of knowledge and innovation, strengthen the FFR team’s technical capacity and establish new knowledge and advisory partnerships in this field.

Responsibilities include:
  • Coordinate the creation and sharing of knowledge and experiences generated through activities, including analytical studies and grants with colleagues in the FFR, relevant IFAD regional hubs, as well as the division.
  • Support the knowledge management, communication and awareness campaign efforts at the regional level to expand partnerships and create new ones.
  • Support the FFR’s KM officer in writing technical and policy papers related to lessons learned and best practices related to remittances as a tool for financial inclusion and local development, and the role of diaspora investment in rural areas.
  • Develop content for executive presentations, IFAD reports in order to communicate and achieve buy-in for policy and regulatory recommendations in the remittance sector.
  • Support agenda development of FFR seminars and workshops and the development of new knowledge products and operational tools that are informed by learning from the field.
  • S/He will also serve as a PMI’s resource person for IFAD’s regional divisions on the specific thematic areas of remittances, diaspora impact investment and development.
  • Ensure the visibility of FFR and IFAD, and actively participate in relevant regional policy discussions and seminars.
  • Ensure close collaboration and coordination of other FFR colleagues that Policy Advocacy and outreach is strongly grounded in the experience and insights of the projects that the FFR supports.
5. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting

The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist contributes to managing the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of technical activities related to projects in order to enhance country level programme and funding decisions based on accurate technical data.

Responsibilities include:
  • Provide technical expertise to develop monitoring and evaluation criteria for technical components of projects.
  • Implement performance monitoring systems and new approaches to performance monitoring.
  • Prepare analytical findings and reports for FFR and country-level decision making on project viability and sustainability.
  • Liaise with FFR partners for the collection and review of ad-hoc operational and financial reports, cross-checking and supporting documentation of all final data for annual narrative and financial reports to be submitted to donors.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Assignments require the provision of seasoned technical expertise and input for the full programme/project cycle. The work goes beyond Technical Analysis and synthesis to include substantive inputs to project design, knowledge sharing to enhance cooperation among peers and counterparts, complementarity and synergy and monitoring and evaluation to measure and report on lessons learned and best practices.

The work is considered technically complex and requires in-depth technical expertise analysis and reporting on:
  • Remittance-related ecosystems, including, national and international payment systems, money transfer operations, digital payment infrastructure and business models, inclusive financial services, securitization, regulatory framework including AML/CFT and CDD, among others.
  • Diaspora impact investment mechanism and rural development, including in-depth understanding of the migrants’ socio-economic realities, diaspora investment practices and models from crowdfunding to bond issuing, transnational impact investment mechanisms, MSME development, entrepreneurship and rural development.
The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist is accountable for quality, substantive input and ability to project a competent and trusted image of the Fund to partners within IFAD and outside.

In particular, s/he is accountable for: Support to remittance country action plan development and implementation 

  • Identify key stakeholders from public and private sectors for operational engagement at country level both in the sending side of the remittance corridors (EU, US, Gulf countries, and other intracontinental migrant destinations), as well as countries of remittance reception.
  • Support the setting-up of technical exchanges through workshops, task forces, or other means.
  • Provide in-depth technical expertise in the formulation and follow-up of country strategic action plans in accordance with existing FFR guidelines and technical opportunities.
  • Provide technical expertise to develop a pipeline for remittance projects in selected countries. Remittance projects may include products and services that would lead to reduction in remittance transfer costs, linking remittances to broader financial inclusion, digitalization of services, policy and regulatory framework support to public entities in the field of remittances, and diaspora impact investment mechanisms.
  • Continuous supervision of FFR programmes and individual projects included in the FFR’s strategic framework, and action plans: (i) to maintain updated status of project deliverables; (ii) review periodic progress reports submitted by project implementors; (iii) recommend timely actions from the FFR leading to successful project completion; (iv) identify best practices for the KM Specialist of FFR to further assess and compile; and to (v) review final project reports and assess the level of achievement of outputs and outcomes.
  • Review IFAD’s proposals for small and large grants, and loans related with opportunities for mainstreaming FFR objectives on remittances and financial inclusion as required.
  • Provide technical, analytical inputs to COSOPs, project designs as well as to other policy documents related to remittances, migration and development, where relevant and requested.
  • Undertake project missions as needed.
Remittance market policies and regulations

  • Deepen the engagement with governments, policymakers, regulators, and key stakeholders in the remittance ecosystem to advance the FFR’s advocacy efforts and policy agenda related to selected country remittance strategy.
  • Facilitate proper alignment of FFR activities and resources with IFAD corporate priorities and collaborate with stakeholders.
  • Serve as the IFAD focal point in local working groups on the topic of remittances and provide inputs for conducive policy and regulatory environment towards reduced remittance costs, enhanced regulatory frameworks, and higher uptake of remittance-linked financial products.

Representation / Work relationships

The work relationships of the Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist are primarily for the exchange of information related to development projects. Information-gathering and support for studies and thematic assignments may also include identifying reliable sources and establishing guidelines for obtaining information on national and sub-regional remittance markets (both on the sending and receiving side markets).  In addition, the Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist will convey methodological approaches and operational experience to support the implementation of activities undertaken on behalf of the FFR. The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist is also required to set up strategic engagement activities with diaspora communities abroad and particularly in Europe.

Work relationships are established with counterparts both inside and outside IFAD.  Exchange of information must be proactive to establish the policy, positions or practices of IFAD. The Senior Remittance and Financial Inclusion Specialist functions as a collaborative partner within IFAD to enhance partnership development, knowledge management, and FFR operations.

Competencies

Organizational

  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence (Level 1)
  • Demonstrating leadership: Personal leadership and attitude to change (Level 2)
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge and innovates (Level 2)
  • Focusing on clients: Focuses on clients (Level 2)
  • Problem Solving and decision making: Demonstrates sound problem-solving and decision-making ability (Level 2)
  • Managing time, resources and information: Manages own time, information and resources effectively (Level 1)
  • Team work: Contributes effectively to the team (Level 2)
  • Communicating and negotiating: Communicates effectively: creates understanding between self and others (Level 2)
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains effective working relationships (Level 1)
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively (Level 1)
Technical/Functional

  • Proven and strong technical and operational expertise on: -international migration and development policies -remittance market ecosystems and payment systems
  • inclusive rural finance models and products that promote inclusive digital diaspora investment schemes and mechanisms, and impact investment models
  • Deep knowledge of the Project Cycle Management and of Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Skill in the design and coordination of technical research and identification of solutions to evolving issues
  • Ability to share technical guidance/knowledge at peer level
  • Results-oriented performer: ability to deliver high-quality outputs under pressure as part of a multicultural team
  • Negotiator and communicator: works effectively with others to meet mutual goals, negotiates to align parties, builds networks, listens and communicates effectively to engage others
  • Planner and organizer: ability to set clear priorities within a boundless agenda, often with tight deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability to formulate new approaches in respect of Resource Management and outreach-related activities
  • Diplomatic communication and negotiation skills to establish and maintain trusted partnerships for achievement of objectives and to develop close and effective working relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • Ability to contribute to formulation of strategies and policies
  • Team worker: capacity to work in a diverse, multidisciplinary team environment and to establish harmonious working relationships
  • Model of integrity, trustworthy and confident

Minimum recruitment qualifications

Education:

Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) from an accredited institution in rural development, rural finance economics, business Administration, migration and development, or public policy or related studies.

Experience:

At least 8 years of increasing responsibility and experience in the development of initiatives in the field of remittances, payment systems, and migration and development-related issues. At least 6 years of leadership and “hands-on” experience in remittance and development is mandatory. This includes experience in fieldwork and international policy frameworks on inclusive finance and SME development.

Language requirements:

Excellent written and verbal communications skills in English and French. Good working knowledge of Arabic, or Spanish is desirable

Other information

In accordance with IFAD's Human Resources Policy, staff are subject to the authority of the President who can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund. All International Professional staff members are required to be geographically mobile and positions in the professional category are subject to changes in location at any time in line with strategic priorities and reform initiatives in IFAD.

In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

Apply Now