United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the UN’s capital investment agency for the World’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs). It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to inclusive finance and investment capital. Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
About the Better Than Cash Alliance
Hosted by UNCDF, the Better Than Cash Alliance’s mission is to catalyze a global movement from cash to digital payments to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Specific benefits include efficiency, transparency, women’s economic participation, and financial inclusion, helping build economies that are digital and inclusive.
The Alliance has 75 members, including national governments from Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, companies, and international organizations which have committed to digitizing payments.
The Secretariat works with the Alliance members on their journey to digitize payments by:
- Providing advisory services based on member priorities.
- Sharing action-oriented research and fostering peer learning.
- Conducting advocacy at the national, regional, and global levels.
Billions of dollars in cash payments and transfers are made daily in emerging and developing economies, including payment of salaries, social welfare, relief, payments to suppliers, and remittances. The problems with these cash payments include a lack of transparency, accountability, and security, as well as inefficiency. Individuals who receive cash payments are often part of the 1.7 billion excluded from the formal financial sector, the majority of whom are women. 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 while giving governments, the development community, and the private sector a more transparent, time and cost-efficient, and often-safer means of disbursing payments.
The Better Than Cash Alliance Team’s Core Values are the following:
- Achieving together
- Striving for excellence
- Service oriented
- Results oriented
The Alliance has been widely recognized as a leading global authority on the digitization of payments, a trusted source of evidence-based and tailored policy guidance, and a forceful advocate for responsible and inclusive digital ecosystems. It is credited with having catalyzed a global movement to drive the digitization of payments. More than 100 organizations have made commitments to move away from cash to digital payments from Government, private sectors, UN agencies and many more.
The Better Than CASH Alliance has developed its strategy 2022-2025 focusing on scaling digital payments with a focus on Africa and women for COVID-19 post recovery using both advocacy and advisory services. Building on nine years of achievements, 2022-2025 Strategy will focus on scaling digital payments in emerging and developing economies with a focus on responsible practices and financial equality for women by:
- Providing advisory services to governments in payment streams with potential for scale
- Driving payment digitization with companies and apex bodies along their supply chains in key payment streams and sectors where the Alliance has the expertise and can achieve scale, incl. B2P wage digitization and B2B payments in agriculture, readymade garments, and merchants
- Brokering regional commitments for responsible digitization with a focus on Africa
The Alliance Secretariat provides demand-driven services to its members in payment streams that have the potential to scale, where the Secretariat has a unique value, and where they complement their partnership with the Alliance. During 2022-2025, the payment streams will be focusing on the following:
- Business to People (B2P) – with the focus on wages digitization, merchant digitization, and Agriculture payment digitization with the focus on the cocoa, tea, and coffee sector.
- Government to People (G2P) Digital payments were instrumental in delivering pandemic relief and wages for many of the social protection measures implemented by governments
- Humanitarian and UN payments - drive efficiency, reduce costs and improve aid by UN agencies
- People to Government (P2G) with the focus on digitizing tax payments in emerging countries as well as Heath payment digitalization
The objective of this terms of reference is to find high- quality technical experts in digital finance that are capable of providing advisory and advocacy support to help achieve the Alliance’s goal of catalyzing a movement from cash to digital payments and support members of the Alliance to adopt digital payment instrument methods
Individual Consultants are expected to provide advocacy, research, advisory services, capacity building, and technical assistance interventions in the following areas:
- Support elaboration of an informed and sound ecosystem with the focus on strengthening strategy or roadmap for responsible digital payments.
- Technical advice to support the implementation of the Alliance strategy with a focus on gender; manage activities and institutional relations for in-country projects/programs.
- Promote and accelerate the transition from cash payments towards responsible digital payments and financial inclusion.
- Conduct research on the responsible digitization of payments, drawing insights and lessons for other countries or members of the Alliance following a similar path/responsible practices.
The Expert must prove knowledge and practical experience in one or more of the following themes:
- Implementation of responsible practices in line with the ‘ UN Principles for Responsible Digital Payments’
- Digital payments
- Gender and digital payments
- Gender and digital financial inclusion
- APIs and platform/data integration
- Merchant Digitization
- Recourse mechanisms
- Consumer protection
- Data privacy
- Digitization of agriculture payments
- Digitization of humanitarian payments
- Digitization of G2P payments (i.e. social welfare payments, emergency relief transfers)
- Digitization of business payments, including B2B (supply chains), B2P (wages)
- Digitization of humanitarian assistance payments
- Digital identity
- Regulation of digital financial services
- Financial inclusion policy
- Financial literacy and training for digital payments and financial services
- Keeping money digital (digital ecosystems development)
- Climate finance
- Climate finance and gender resilience
- Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and algorithms bias in the context of digital payments
- Remittances (international and domestic)
- SCOPE OF THE SERVICES REQUIRED
Financial Inclusion experts are expected to provide technical assistance and support to Governments or companies members of the Alliance be called upon to support the Alliance activities across its three key verticals:
- Advocacy Services
- Advisory to Member services and,
- Research and Innovation
- Support elaboration of an informed and sound ecosystem strengthening strategy or roadmap for responsible digital payments.
- Provide advisory and technical advice to support the implementation of the Alliance strategy with a focus on gender; manage activities and institutional relations for in-country projects /program
- Help promote and accelerate the transition from cash payments toward responsible digital payments and financial inclusion
- Conduct deep-dive research on the responsible digitization of payments, drawing insights and lessons for other countries or members of the Alliance following a similar path/responsible practices.
- Conduct scoping missions in selected countries: As part of its programme activity, the Alliance conducts scoping missions in order to map out market trends and developments, asses institutional capacity, verify programme assumptions and identify partnership opportunities.
- Advise selected partners on project implementation: Assist partners selected by the Alliance in the design, pilot or roll-out of digital payment solutions with the inclusion of UN Digital Payment principles
- Technical Advisory services
- Institutional strategies
- International good practices and standards.
- Technical Advice in the set-up, piloting and roll-out of digital solutions with adopting the UN Responsible
- Metrics and design elements for gender-disaggregated data systems.
- Implementation plans
- Concept notes
- Regulatory assessments and diagnostic
- Gap analysis of regulations
- Comparative policy analysis
- Policy recommendations
- Research and Innovation
- Design system and training requirements.
- Research Papers
- Lessons learned reports and recommendations.
- Demand side analysis identifying key behaviours to be changed to increased uptake and usage of digital solutions. Data will be desegregated by sex, age and other relevant demographic or geographic segmentation as necessary.
- Advocacy Strategies
- Advocacy engagement
For full information on this oppotrunity please refer to the full TOR attached and link here: UNCDF Jobs - 107364- Framework agreement for the services of an Individ (undp.org)