Digital Finance and Remittance Expert

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 26 February 2020
  • Deadline Date: Tuesday, 10 March 2020

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. 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 a number of different SDGs.

Since 2008, UNCDF has been supporting digital finance with significant success, with digital finance currently the largest part of its inclusive finance portfolio. This includes digital innovations linked to on an off-grid energy, agriculture, employment, health and transport.

UNCDF is also host to the Secretariat of the Better than Cash Alliance, a partnership of governments, companies, and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth.

With 60 professionals with strong digital finance experience across the globe and with several hundred projects in digital on-going, UNCDF is one of the leading development agencies in digital finance with a mission and expertise to reach very low-income customers in some of the world’s most difficult markets. UNCDF’s digital team and resources are currently spread across several programmes and UNCDF is in the process of consolidating its financial and technical resources to create a comprehensive team of experts in various domains to drive the new strategy “Leaving no one behind in the digital era”

Based on this experience UNCDF started in 2017 to expand the scope of its programmatic agenda to go beyond digital finance. Through the “Leaving none behind in the digital era” strategy, UNCDF is supporting, through its digital finance interventions, the emergence of inclusive digital economies. The strategy recognizes that reaching the full potential of digital financial inclusion in support of the SDGs aligns with the vision of promoting digital economies for the following reasons:

  • The value of DFS is not obvious, especially to 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 not come from traditional providers but mainly from a range of new players (entrepreneurs, start-ups in various sectors, and platforms like Facebook, Grab, WeChat, etc.).

The ‘Leaving no one behind in the digital era’ strategy, to move from DF to digital economies builds upon and constitutes a logical integration of UNCDF interventions in financial inclusion and digital, developed over many years. The legacy of UNCDF intervention programmes was built through a range of country/regional programmes and global thematic initiatives, which has established a very strong reputation for UNCDF vis-à-vis donors and peers.

Please refer to


International Remittances

The UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. The 2030 Agenda recognizes migration as a core-development consideration, marking the first time that migration is explicitly integrated into the global development agenda. It also recognizes a major relevance of international migration as a multidimensional reality of and for the development of countries of origin, as well as transit and destination, which requires coherent and comprehensive responses.

Migration is also considered key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The adoption of the SDGs and explicit references to migration in 76 of its 17 goals, mainstreamed migration into global development policy. Migration can reduce poverty (SDG 1), improve health and education outcomes (SDGs 3 and 4), gender equality outcomes (SDG 5), foster growth and innovation (SDGs 8 and 9) and reduce inequality (SDG 10).

Remittances, on the other hand, can also contribute to reaching the SDGs in a variety of ways:

  • Household level: by recognizing the positive socioeconomic impact of remittances on families and communities
  • Community level: Benefits associated at sub-national or municipal levels including reduced rural poverty, lower income inequality, increased micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) activity, and strengthen resilience to adverse effects of climate change or disaster risks
  • Government level: Benefits for public sector institutions including greater transparency, better communication with citizens, and increased private sector development and entrepreneurship as a result of access to capital and domestic credit
  • Macro level: At macro-economic level, remittances can foster much needed foreign currency exchange, stabilize BOP, reduce dependency on government aid, and re-allocate capital resources into more productive investments and other financial services – moving money from international to domestic, consumption to investment, and from urban to rural.

Guided by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and informed by the Declaration of the High-level dialogue on International Migration and Development adopted in October 2013, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration in 2018 that expresses a collective commitment to improving cooperation on international migration, leading to the focused objectives on remittances:

  • Empowering migrants to catalyze their development contribution, and to harness the benefits of migration as a source of sustainable development
  • Promoting faster, safer, and cheaper transfer of remittances by enabling competition, regulation, and innovation in the remittance market
  • Initiatives to implement these objectives will also lead to developing financial safety net and wealth stock for migrants and their families in the home countries and have the potential to facilitate dignified and sustainable return of the migrants.

UNCDF aims to improve the functioning of the remittance market in order to improve the financial health of migrant families while strengthen economic development efforts of the origin and host countries. In doing so, UNCDF engages with public and private sector stakeholders to strengthen the capacity of the regulators to monitor and analyze the remittance transaction data towards evidence-based policy making, enable a conducive policy and regulatory environment, and deliver financial and technical assistance to a wide range of financial institutions (e.g. banks, cooperatives, microfinance institutions, money transfer operators, and mobile networks operators) to improve the digital remittance ecosystem and design migrant-centric financial products and services (e.g. savings, credit, insurance, payment services, remittances, pension, and investment).

Duties and Responsibilities

UNCDF is keen to explore how remittances can be leveraged to improve avenues for savings, investment, and credit for migrants and their families. With this goal, UNCDF is looking for a Digital Finance and Remittance Expert, who will be responsible to work closely with UNCDF partners at the country and regional level to achieve the project results by providing regular technical assistance and facilitating partnerships within the eco-system.

With demonstrated experience in remittances and digital finance, the consultant will support the team attain the following objectives: 

1.     Provide direct technical and financial support to financial institutions and payment service providers, especially money transfer operators, to test new migrant-centric financial products and remittance use-cases beyond wallet-based payments;

2.     Provide support and work with financial Institutions to assist with the launch of new financial offerings through targeted and focused pilots, as planned by the institution in a phased manner

3.     Engage with the Central Bank, Regulators, and Line Ministries to work towards conducive policy and regulatory environment

4.     Convene public-private sector dialogue on remittances at the country level

5.     Collaborate with the UNCDF Country team to implement the Country Strategy and drive the country-level outcomes


Expected Outputs and Deliverables

Migrant-centric Financial Product Development




Market Research

· Finalised market research to map country’s remittance market, its dynamics, and built business case for digital financial services linked to remittances

Month 1-2

Facilitate learning visits

· Minimum 2 Project descriptions duly completed to develop new financial services focused on the needs of migrants

Month 3-4

Set-up and work on engagements with remittance companies and banks to develop new digital financial products based on remittances

  • Facilitated regional knowledge sharing by arranged  learning and exposure visit of various regulators, policy makers and industry players
  • Reviewed relevant remittance policies and regulations and published advocacy pieces to recommend a risk-based policy and regulatory environment to facilitate the formalization and digitization of remittances.

Product Development and MVP launch

· Remittance products linked to wallets designed and developed for roll-out

Month 5 - 6

· Business Plan (Initial) documented for implementation including financial analysis

· Documented brief marketing and communication plan along with KPIs to move forward with a MVP in proposed pilot geography

· Ongoing data analysis for customer, product and channel usage analysis

· Report from review of the process after 6-8 weeks of MVP implementation Pilot plan submitted

· Progress reports on pilot submitted

Product Launch, Customer Acquisition and Marketing

· Customer acquisition and on-boarding process documented

Month 7 - 10

· Customer engagement plan documented, and marketing materials developed

· Scale-up plan for a full demonstrable pilot across one international corridor developed

· Report from an ongoing review of the process under the pilot geography through tools like customer satisfaction survey submitted

· Progress reports submitted

Business Impact Analysis for a scale-up plan across multiple international corridors

· Detailed financial analysis carried out defining the business case based on remittance inflows 

Month 11 - 12

· Customer Usage analysis report to develop the customer journey profile to assess the impact on people prepared and submitted

· One report submitted and a blog on the customer journey and product usage developed



Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to liaise with stakeholders across different sectors and hierarchies
  • Fluency in the qualitative research and synthesis to ideation, prototyping, and implementation
  • High level of thoroughness in a complex multitasking and matrix management environment;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing skills;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback
  • Ability to plan, organize, implement and report on work;
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Keen attention to detail and execution in craft
  • Experience managing multiple and competing deliverables
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards and acts in accordance with the Standards of Conduct for international civil servants;
  • Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNCDF;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism

Required Skills and Experience

Required Skills and Experience


A Master’s degree or equivalent in technology, economics, finance, public/business administration, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience.

Work experience:

  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in banking, financial service sector, international remittances or related experience in private sector or an international organization is mandatory;
  • A minimum of two-year experience designing, conceiving, and prototyping digital finance solutions or remittance related use-case drivers is mandatory;
  • Experience working with the mass market, including rural or low-income communities, related to financial services;
  • Project management experience, including multi-tasking to lead and execute multiple time-sensitive projects in parallel;
  • Experience managing or conducting research, particularly related to product development or client demand; Experience of human centered design methods would be a plus;
  • Experience engaging diverse set of public and private sector stakeholders, government departments, industry associations would be a plus;
  • Prior experience in East Africa is preferred 


  • Written and spoken fluency in English is required
  • Additional language skills in Amharic is an advantage

Timeline, duration of assignment, duty station and expected places of travel:

  • Timeline: 12 months starting 06 April 2020 with the possibility of extension for two more years based on consultant’s satisfactory performance and project’s needs.
  • Total Number of Working Days for Assignment: up to 220 working days within 12 months period
  • Location(s): Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


  • Travel to the field and other relevant locations may be required and 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.

Please note that UNCDF cannot guarantee residence permits or visas for consultants. Consultants are responsible for securing their work documentation. In the case of national consultants, applicants that are not nationals of the duty station requested will have to prove their residence status. 

Please note that consultants residing in the duty station will not be compensated for living expenses.


Provision of Monitoring, Progress Controls & Payments:

  • Monitoring of progress shall be measured per the activities of the consultant and deliverables achieved
  • The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Lead Specialist, Migration and Remittances.
  • Payment will be made on a periodical basis in accordance with number of days worked and upon satisfactorily achieved deliverables. All payments are subject to the clearance and approval of the direct supervisor.
  • Final payment shall require a signed performance evaluation of the consultant
  • The consultant is responsible for providing his/her own laptop during the course of his/her engagement with UNCDF.

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 Lead Specialist, Migration and Remittances 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.



Recommended Presentation of Offer

The following documents are requested:

  • Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability;;
  • Personal CV indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how they will approach the assignment.
  • Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive Daily Fee price. 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. 


Failure to submit all the below mentioned documents may result in rejection of the application.

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

  • Preliminary Evaluation - Step I: Screening
  • Technical Evaluation Weight - 70% x (Step II: 20 Points + Step III: 30 Points + Step IV: 50 Points = 100 Points);
  • Financial Evaluation Weight - 30% = Step V.


Step I: Screening

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the mandatory criteria (listed under education and experience) will progress to the pool for shortlisting. 

Step II: Desk Review – 20 points

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate the candidates. Only candidates that obtained 80% of the points at this stage shall be invited for the next step.

Shortlisting scoring:

20%- Education/Qualification:

§  A Master’s degree in technology, economics, finance, public/business administration, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience.

50%- Mandatory Experience:

§  A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in banking, financial service sector, international remittances or related experience in private sector or an international organization is mandatory;

30%- Preferred Experience.

  • A minimum of two-year experience designing, conceiving, and prototyping digital finance solutions or remittance related use-case drivers is mandatory;
  • Experience working with the mass market, including rural or low-income communities, related to financial services;
  • Project management experience, including multi-tasking to lead and execute multiple time-sensitive projects in parallel;
  • Experience managing or conducting research, particularly related to product development or client demand; Experience of human centered design methods would be a plus;

Step III: Written test – 30 points

A written test will be administered to the top 5 shortlisted candidates. The test will be scored with pass/fail, the minimum score to pass being 70%.

Step IV: Interview – 50 points

A competency-based interview shall be conducted for all the candidates who passed the written test.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Steps II (20 points) + III (30 points) + IV (50 points) will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step V: Financial Evaluation

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30.

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.

This vacancy is archived.

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