Programme Manager (Digital Finance), P4 UNCDF, Brussels, Belgium

Tags: Covid-19 Law finance UNDP English Environment
  • Added Date: Sunday, 24 January 2021
  • Deadline Date: Saturday, 24 April 2021

Job ID: 34905

Practice Area - Job Family: ManagementCapacity Development

Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 05/02/2021

Duty Station: Brussels, Belgium

Education & Work Experience: G-Bachelor's Level Degree - 9 year(s) experience, I-Master's Level Degree - 7 year(s) experience

Languages: English, French

Grade: P4

Vacancy Type: FTA International

Posting Type: External

Bureau: UNCDF

Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


UNDP/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/UNCDF 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.

The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the worldโ€™s 46 least developed countries (LDCs). With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers โ€œlast mileโ€ 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.

UNCDFโ€™s financing models work through three channels: (1) inclusive digital economies, which connects individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; (2) local development finance, which capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and (3) investment finance, which provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization.

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.

Inclusive Digital Economies (IDE) Practice Area:

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 worldโ€™s most difficult markets. UNCDFโ€™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 its newly-launched Digital Finance strategy โ€œLeaving no one behind in the digital eraโ€

Based on this experience UNCDF started in 2017 to expand the scope of its programmatic agenda to go beyond digital finance. Through the โ€œLeaving none behind in the digital eraโ€ 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.).

UNCDF's โ€œLeaving no one behind in the digital eraโ€ strategy intends to move its focus only digitla finance (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-ร -vis donors and peers.

Position Context:

From 2021 onwards, UNCDF will be launching a anew four-year program in Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean that contributes to the deployment of digital finance solutions at the scale and speed necessary to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate economic recovery from COVID-19, and to make economies and societies more resilient to external shocks. The program will be implemented in 4 regions (West & Central Africa, Eastern & Southern Africa, Pacific and the Caribbean) and has a strong regional and global advocacy component. The program will leverage existing teams at country, regional and global levels for the implementation and to achieve our objective.

The Programme Specialist/Manager (Digital Finance) will be responsible for ensuring the USD 17M programme is successfully implemented in accordance with the contribution agreement with the European commission. This includes coordinating all activities of the program at country, regional and global levels and consolidate the insights and learnings into strong communication and advocacy messages and activities for different audiences.

The role reports to the Global Digital Programme Manager, P5 IDE Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and works closely with all regional Digital Hub Managers and technical specialists located in all different countries and regions.

This fixed-term P-4 staff role is based in Brussels, Belgium.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions

  • Provide overall direction and coordinate all activities of the program to exceed donorโ€™s expectations and programโ€™s impact (60%)
  • Provide technical leadership and management to contribute strong insights and advocacy for the digital finance program (20%)
  • Build and maintain strategic partnerships with the EU and other potential partners, and support resource mobilization to increase UNCDF footprint on inclusive digital economies (10%)
  • Provide support to the Inclusive Digital Economies (IDE) practice (10%)

Detailed Description of Job Roles and Functions:

1. Provide overall direction and coordinate all activities of the program (60%)

  • Provide the overall direction for all activities of the program and coordinate on a regular basis with regional managers and country leads in Africa, The Pacific and Caribbean.
  • Manage operational and reputational risks and take appropriate actions to address them;
  • Ensure timely and quality delivery of Programme outputs and reports in accordance with the Special and General Conditions of the Contribution Agreement signed with the EU and the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement between the EU and the UN;
  • Prepare annual budgets and ensure that financial management and oversight are in place in accordance with UNCDFโ€™s rules and regulations
  • Prepare annual work plans, ensure their tracking and monitoring
  • Organize the Steering Committee and Technical Committee meetings and ensure follow-up and communication of the decisions to partners; and
  • Work closely with the UNCDFโ€™s and UNDPโ€™s Representation Office in Brussels to provide regular programme updates and coordinate with the other Office units and projects.
  • Provide guidance on Digital finance and inclusive digital economies to the regional and country teams
  • Regularly travel in the various countries of implementation to support country teams and support implementation
  • Closely support the country teams to build, develop and manage their portfolio of projects and activities and creates environment of excellence, collaboration and engagement
  • Support the country teams to identify and vet new projects that support the achievement of the objectives in the programme document and with donors
  • Coach regional and country leads to successfully implement the projects
  • Work closely with the Policy Lead based in Brussels to coordinate on key activities on the Policy and Regulatory workstream
  • Ensure partnersโ€™ achievement of key project indicators and make sure they are in line with targets on programme document and cost sharing agreements requirements
  • Effective management of all financial, performance and operational aspects of the program, including facilitating project implementation according to annual work plans of the project, ensuring achievement of outputs and consistent quality implementation across regions and countries
  • Develop and submit financial and performance reports to the European Commission on time and as per cost sharing agreement requirements

Outcome: An efficiently-coordinated, monitored and evaluated global programme with top talent and expertise on digital finance meeting or exceeding all targets

2. Provide technical leadership and management in building a strong insights and advocacy for the digital finance program (20%)

  • Scan the priorities and strategies of the ACP Group of States and the EU in the Digital economy field and, in close collaboration with the Policy specialist, engage with their relevant departments to identify areas for policy dialogue and collaboration;
  • Identify the audience (who), determine goals and objectives (why), develop key messages (what), develop tactical plan (how) and identify measures of evaluation for the insights and advocacy of the program
  • Work closely with Results & Learnings lead and Knowledge Management Lead based in Brussels
  • Incorporated in the yearly planning and budgeting process at country, regional and global levels relevant activities for the program around insights and advocacy.
  • Manage the development and implementation of the insight agenda and advocacy for the program
  • Lead the process of identification, capturing, documentation and incorporation of lessons learned and insights in the countries of the program
  • Document lessons learned, organize preparation of case studies, events, publications, develop strong messages and advocacy activities
Organize internal and negotiate space in external information exchange events nationally, regionally and/or globally. Contribute to knowledge-sharing networks on digital finance; Contribute to knowledge management and cross-country learning at UNCDF-IDE on the finance sector through active participation in the UN agencies and other knowledge networks (CGAP, GSMA, AFI, RECs, etc.) Effectively represents UNCDF with governments and key regional and country stakeholders where appropriate, in consultation with Global Digital Lead, regional managers and policy lead.

Outcome: Government, private sectors, NGOs, Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), digital finance organizations, digital innovation hubs, academia are informed on emerging trends from this program in digital finance and data as needed

3. Build and maintain strategic partnerships with the donor of the program and other potential funders, capitalize on business opportunities and mobilize resources to increase UNCDF footprint on inclusive digital economies at country, regional and global levels (10%)

  • Represent UNCDF for the donor for all program related activities and IDE strategy of UNCDF, carry-out all reporting activities for the donor by coordinating with country and regional teams
  • Represent the Programme externally at conferences, meetings, consultations and outreach events;
  • Manage relations with the EC and the ACP Secretariatโ€™s main counterparts, and by extension, with representatives (embassies) from ACP countries based in Brussels;
  • Develop strategies to mobilize additional resources based on programme results and new opportunities.
  • Record and manage commitments, disbursements and programming of fund contributions;
  • Support country, regional and global teams to mobilize resources for inclusive digital economies related portfolio
  • Provide corporate support for resource mobilization as needed
  • Provide advice to UNCDF senior management on technical issues and business development opportunities, including inputs into corporate presentations and reports

Outcome: The programme is trusted by its funders to deliver results, complies with the agreed visibility strategy and is well-resourced and funded

4. Provide corporate support to the Inclusive Digital Economies IDE Practice Area and UNCDF Senior/Corporate Management (10%)

  • Provide input to support annual and cumulative UNCDF results analyses and substantive inputs into Unit work plan and UNCDF Business /Strategic Plan;
  • Support to the development of UNCDF programme and business strategies and to annual reviews;
  • Provide advice to UNCDF senior management on technical issues and business development opportunities, including inputs into corporate presentations and reports.
  • Provide advice on technical issues, knowledge management and business development opportunities having inter-regional and corporate relevance on Inclusive Digital Economies and/or UNCDF/UNDP programme
  • Support other countries in their IDE program implementation
  • Participation in IDE annual retreat

Outcome: An integrated organization leveraging synergies globally, regionally and at country level.


Core Competencies

  • Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Leadership: Ability to persuade others to follow
  • People Management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Communication: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Delivery: Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Functional/Technical Competencies

1. Subject Matter Expertise: Digital Finance - Possesses expert knowledge of advanced concepts in to digital & financial inclusion, a broad knowledge of related disciplines, as well as an in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures - Level 6: Integrate and Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise

2. Knowledge Management: Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge - Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

3. Project Management: Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals - Level 6: Integrate and Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise

4. Relationship Management: Ability to engage and foster strategic partnerships with other parties, Inter-Agency Coordination and forge productive working relationships - Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

5. Results Based Programming: Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into project work - Level 6: Integrate and Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Masterโ€™s degree in economics, finance, business or public administration or related field OR, a first-level University degree with two additional years of relevant experience in addition to the seven years of minimum experience required for this role.


  • A minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience managing projects or programmes is mandatory, out of which 3 yearsโ€™ experience must be with digital finance related issues is required.
  • Demonstrable work experience in progressively managerial roles in Africa, Asia, Pacific or Caribbean is considered a distinct advantage
  • Demonstrable strong technical knowledge in digital solutions, digital economies and digital financial services is considered a distinct advantage
  • Strong programme management experience with emphasis on monitoring, evaluation and incorporating lessons learned into inclusive finance projects and digital economies programmes is considered a distinct advantage.
  • Resource mobilization experience and record of success in reporting to and managing donor grants and reporting mechanisms is considered a distinct advantage.
  • Certification in project management standards such as PRINCE2 and MSP is considered a distinct advantage

Languages Requirements:

  • Fluency in both English and French languages is required, with strong and effective written, comprehension and oral communication skills in both languages.


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam warning

The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.


Recommended for you