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UNCDF recruiting Digital Financial Expert


Kathmandu, Nepal, 26 November 2014

Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P)

With support from Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (“DFAT” formerly AusAid) and by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UNCDF launched Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) in March 2012, a global thematic initiative to address the opportunities and challenges of implementing branchless banking and mobile money in challenging markets in Africa and Asia.  MM4P’s long-term mission is to help low income and rural households in LDCs increase their financial security through appropriate, affordable and secure means to receive, manage and save money through these “digital financial services” (DFS).   UNCDF’s starts by defining the different stages of a market’s development and the range of interventions needed at different levels (i.e. macro, meso, micro, client) to move it across the stages. This combines a making markets work for the poor approach with UNCDF’s traditional operational model of directly supporting the most crucial level – retail service providers. UNCDF is currently implementing this in five countries (Laos, Nepal, Liberia, Malawi and Uganda), often in partnership with other UNCDF programmes. 

In 2014, UNCDF secured a partnership with the MasterCard Foundation (MCF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the roll out MM4P activities in four additional countries.  It is also working with USAID/Nepal to expand its activities in those countries. These agreements suppose a significant increase of workload for MM4P. To address this workload, MM4P has put forward a new staffing strategy and plan which has been approved by the UNCDF Executive Secretary. This includes placing most technical positions in MM4P countries, with emphasis on the most high profile and advanced in each region.  In the case of Asia, Nepal is currently the most advanced country in UNCDF’s portfolio.

Duties and Responsibilities

UNCDF is looking for a retainer consultant, preferable based in Kathmandu, who is able to work on a daily basis with UNCDF, the NRB and its partners.  The consultant will be based with the UNCDF team in Nepal, bus is expected to spend 50% or more of his/her time on the premises of the NRB and UNCDF’s other partners. 

The consultant will report to the UNCDF Technical Specialist, Digital Finance (TS DF) based in Kathmandu (currently under recruitment) for technical matters, as well as the UNCDF National Programme Coordinator (NPC), who oversees A2F/UNNATI.  (Until the TS DF post is filled, the DF Expert will report to the MM4P Lead Technical Specialist, based in Brussels, Belgium).

The Consultant will specifically:

  • Support UNCDF in reaching its overall DF objectives in Nepal;

  • Support MM4P programme in the full implementation of its country plan for Nepal;

  • Provide high quality DF technical inputs, training and advice to all stakeholders to accelerate the development of DF ecosystem in country;

  • Develop and implement activities at country level (“ecosystem activities”) to raise stakeholders knowledge and capacity on DF;

  • Assist all stakeholders in the development of innovative ideas, plans and projects to enter or expand in the DFS (ecosystem, regulatory, customer, high volume, agent workstreams) that result in direct technical assistance and/or performance based grant agreements.  Support and/or participate in direct technical assistance projects with selected partners;

  • Coordinate and support UNCDF on reporting;

  • Perform other related tasks as required by TS DF and NPC.

The outcome of this work will be: 

  • Based on MM4P Theory of Change, help and hasten the shift of Nepal DF market from start-up stage until they are firmly in the expansion stage at end of 2019, so that 15% of the adult population in Nepal are active DF users (90 days) at end of 2019.

  • The Nepal DF market is becoming an innovative and creative ecosystem where several stakeholders are testing and implementing new ideas and innovative business models.

  • The NRB and Ministry of Finance have become supporters and enablers of responsible DF.

Key activties:

Act as primary DF technical resource for all UNCDF DF work in Nepal.

  • Support the TS DF and NPC in developing, implementing and updating the DF Country Strategy and Work Plans;

  • Manage range of technical activities implemented by the UNCDF team;

  • Become the DF technical point of contact in country for all stakeholders willing to enter or expand in the DF market;

  • Provide high quality technical input on various DF topics (regulatory, product design, agent network, etc.).

  • Challenge existing DF ideas and ways of working in order to raise the discussions between stakeholders to more impactful and innovative business models;

  • Promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country and seek all potential ways to accelerate the DF development in country;

  • Identify need for additional experts on key topics (agent network, product design, processes, technology, etc.) to support partners, draft technical TORs for the same;

  • Coordinate with UNCDF DF experts in other countries to share experience, lessons and innovative ideas between the programme.

Manage the development and the implementation of policy and regulatory issues, working with policy makers and regulators knowledge and capacity on DF.

  • Support TS DF and NPC to set-up and animate a DFS working group gathering key DF stakeholders (Central Bank, Government, Banks, MFIs, Telecom Operators, donors, etc.), providing technical input and support, so that it may act as the key coordination body on all DF aspects and promote communication between all stakeholders;

  • Through regular contact and training, build a strong relationship with the Central Bank and raise all departments’ knowledge and capacity.  Provide training on key issues in DF. Promote open and innovative DF ecosystem and continuous communication between public and private sectors;

  • Work with the NRB to animate its internal DF working group, to assist this group in becoming a decision-making and planning body within NRB;

  • With support from policy and regulatory expert consultants, support NRB to draft policies and regulation in regard to DF (e-money, agents, proportional know your customer rules, consumer protection, etc.), helping to implement recommendations from consultants and other donor agencies;

  • Work with Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) to support their interest in efforts in digitizing payments to the mass market, including social welfare payments. Help these ministries and other private sector and other donor agencies.

Manage the development and implementation of ecosystem activities, including conducting/organizing trainings and workshops, providing high quality technical advice to key stakeholders and building partnerships for better product and service delivery.

  • Based on the work plan, take lead role in implementing ecosystem activities. Based on the country strategy and work plan, plan, organize, animate and participate in various workshops/trainings on DF topics open to all stakeholders to raise their knowledge (strategy, agent, customers experience, product development, partnerships, etc.);

  • Based on the work plan, participate and coordinate market research activities (customer experience, customer demand, agent network diagnosis, agent network challenges, payment flows diagnosis, data analytics, etc.) in order to gather the necessary information and market knowledge to reach MM4P objectives in country;

  • Involve key stakeholders during market research work to raise their field knowledge.  Furthermore, work with these stakeholders to improve their DF services based on lessons learned from the market researches;

  • Based on workshops, trainings and research, write briefing notes, research highlights and knowledge documents tailored responding to specific expectations and challenges of the Nepal DF market;

  • Disseminate key information to all stakeholders to raise their DF capacities.

  • Organize regular informal exchange sessions with key stakeholders to share information within the market.

Assist all stakeholders in the development of innovative ideas, plans and projects to enter or expand in the DFS (ecosystem, regulatory, customer, high volume, agent work streams) to develop a pipeline of projects.

  • Take the technical lead in identifying, vetting, and developing DF projects and monitor their progress;

  • Build good and continuous relationship with all existing and potential DF stakeholders and have regular contact (at least monthly) to be aware of all DF market dynamics;

  • Assist specific stakeholders individually on DF related topics according to their needs;

  • Challenge stakeholders about their DF businesses and strategies in order to raise the level of innovation and creativity in country;

  • Foster partnerships between stakeholders to develop new business models and innovative ideas;

  • Based on outcomes from workshop/training, market research and stakeholders’ contacts, establish a ranking of most promising. stakeholders for direct support from UNCDF.  Update this ranking continuously based on market dynamics;

  • For most promising stakeholders, develop project descriptions and support the TS DF in assessing and appraising the projects;

  • Collect necessary documents for UNCDF project endorsements and appraisals.

Support and participate in direct technical assistance to selected partners (providers work stream).

  • Support DF TS in procuring consultants and consulting firms for DF projects at selected partners, by drafting TORs, defining outputs and timelines;

  • Work closely with other consultants and consulting firms working with MM4P partners to provide background and context. Provide the necessary programme knowledge in order to have consultants aligned with programme objectives in country;

  • Coordinate and regularly follow-up work of consultants.  Assist DF TS in quality assurance of consultant outputs;

  • For some selected partners, provide direct technical assistance to support project implementation.

Coordinate and support TS DF on reporting at country and stakeholders level.

  • Plan, organize and animate the monthly progress call with TS FD.  Prepare agenda for the call and write meeting minutes.  Develop monthly action plans;

  • Plan, organize and animate the quarterly progress call with MM4P partners in Nepal;

  • Support MM4P in collect reporting information from MM4P partners on a quarterly basis;

  • Support MM4P in collecting information from Central bank;

  • Support the TS DF to report on DF activities and developments in country.

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