UNCDF is Hiring for a Research and Insights Consultant
The selection of the best offer shall be done through a Combined Scoring method where the qualifications and methodology will be weighted a max. of 70%, and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a max of 30%.
UNCDF is Hiring for a Research and Insights Consultant
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the United Nations’ flagship catalytic financing entity for the world’s 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). With its unique capital mandate and focus on the LDCs, UNCDF works to invest and catalyze capital to support these countries in achieving ?the sustainable growth and inclusiveness envisioned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Doha Programme of Action for the least developed countries, 2022–2031.
UNCDF builds partnerships with other UN organizations, as well as private and public sector actors, to achieve greater impact in development; specifically, by unlocking additional resources and strengthening financing mechanisms and systems contributing to transformation pathways, focusing on such development themes as green economy, digitalization, urbanization, inclusive economies, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
A hybrid development finance institution and development agency, UNCDF uses a combination of capital instruments (deployment, financial & business advisory and catalyzation) and development instruments (technical assistance, capacity development, policy advice, advocacy, thought leadership, and market analysis and scoping) which are applied across five priority areas (inclusive digital economies, local transformative finance, women’s economic empowerment, climate, energy & biodiversity finance, and sustainable food systems finance).
Inclusive Digital Economies
UNCDF manages initiatives to develop inclusive digital finance ecosystems which offer a wide range of financial services especially for low-income vulnerable communities. Specifically, UNCDF provides a mix of policy, technical and financial support to a range of government and private sector actors in each country, as well as invests in research and other public goods to benefit all market actors. By supporting the development of digital finance ecosystems in these countries, UNCDF aims to increase the financial security of low income and rural households through access to appropriate, affordable and secure means to receive, manage and save money.
Recently, UNCDF has formulated its strategy ‘Leaving no one behind in the digital era’ based on over a decade of experience in digital finance in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. UNCDF recognizes that reaching the full potential of digital financial inclusion aligns with the vision of promoting digital economies that leave no one behind. The vision of UNCDF is to empower millions of people by 2024 to use services daily that leverage innovation and technology and contribute to the SDGs. UNCDF will apply a market development approach and continuously seek to address underlying market dysfunctions. For more information, please see: https://www.uncdf.org/article/4567/uncdf-launches-digital-economy-strategy-leaving-no-one-behind-in-the-digital-era
Tanzania Inclusive Digital Economies
With support from the European Union’s Digital 4 Tanzania Program, and in line with the UNCDF strategy to ensure “no one is left behind in the digital era,” UNCDF is currently implementing the Tanzania Inclusive Digital Economy (TIDE) project. Launched in September 2022, TIDE is a four-year project that aims to increase access to and usage of digital payments and digital financial services in Tanzania, while enabling the innovation ecosystem to better support entrepreneurs and further drive digital innovation. The project contributes to the development of policies and regulations that enable innovation, supports small digital financial service providers’ digitization and integration to the national payment system (TIPS); and promotes inclusive and locally-driven innovation
The TIDE project has a strong focus on research and knowledge dissemination woven throughout the activities. Over the course of the project UNCDF has committed to researching and publishing findings, insights, and lessons learned to relevant stakeholders in the financial sector and the fintech startup and innovation ecosystems. Publications/knowledge products include: 2 fintech mappings, state of the innovation ecosystem focusing on 4 fintech relevant issues, 2 publications on MFI digitalization, 2 publications on corporate/fintech partnerships, 2 publications on last mile distribution of financial products, 2 publications on effective use of data for public and private sector decision-making, 3 publications on catalyzing investment for startups and early-growth technology firms, 1 publication on effective support to hubs, 2 publications on facilitating access to markets for fintechs, 4 policy briefs for regulators. In addition to producing research and knowledge products, support is required to review and edit communications-related content (e.g., social media posts, newsletters), of which there are a minimum of 5 per month over the course of the project.
East and Southern Africa (ESA) Project Development
UNCDF’s Inclusive Digital Economy (IDE) practice has teams in six countries in East and Southern Africa (ESA): Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia). These teams vary in size and budget, all supporting their respective governments and public- and private-sector stakeholders to build inclusive digital economies that improve the quality of life for marginalized populations and decrease the digital divide.
In order to realize UNCDF’s mission and vision for the region, all country operations need to grow. This involves growth in country-specific and multi-country programming into our focal sectors (i.e. fintech and financial health, MSME digitalization and financing, ag-tech and rural economies, digital transformation policy, digital skills, climate & green-tech), expanding the development finance tools we use to support ecosystems (i.e. convening, advocacy, grants, technical assistance, concessional loans, guarantees), and expanding to segments of importance (low skilled, women, MSMEs, technology start-ups, forcibly displaced people, small holder farmers).
The region has several concepts and ideas for this programming growth but needs support refining and editing existing concept notes and pitching them to relevant internal and external stakeholders, including donors and potential partners.
Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of Work
UNCDF seeks to engage a consultant to develop and implement a research and knowledge management strategy and generates insights to:
- Increase international visibility of Tanzania’s fintech and innovation ecosystems, and UNCDF’s role in growing an inclusive digital economy;
- Support UNCDF to better-understand and share lessons learned about the effectiveness of TIDE activities;
- Increase UNCDF partners’ capacity to leverage data for financial and digital inclusion in Tanzania;
- Position UNCDF as a technical thought leader in the digital economy space;
- Develop new and refine existing concept notes for new IDE programming in the ESA region
Specifically, the scope of work can thus be understood as falling in four categories:
- Design and implementation of a research and knowledge management agenda for the TIDE project
- Deepen technical knowledge of and overall familiarity with TIDE project activities, including their objectives, contribution to the project theory of change, data, and key partners/stakeholders
- Collaborate with project managers to conceptualize value-added research and knowledge management products; lead writing and manage production of publications in a diverse range of formats, e.g., research papers, technical notes, learning briefs, and blogs that leverage primary and secondary data
- Work with results measurement (RM) colleagues to ensure research insights are captured in donor and HQ reporting; co-lead reflection sessions to ensure project managers apply lessons learned to refine project implementation and create a culture of continuous learning
- Engage with local, regional, and global partners and colleagues to promote and disseminate results and learnings in various formats, e.g. stakeholder dialogues, webinars, and/or workshops
- Communications support
- Consolidate, review, and finalize donor reports for the TIDE project and UNCDF’s activities under the UN Kigoma Joint Program.
- Project management
- Manage ongoing activities for the project “Data Driven and Gender-Smart Product Design to Increase Access to Finance and Digital Inclusion for Women in Tanzania.” This includes managing the RFA and RFP processes and overseeing implementation to ensure deliverables are completed on-time and in-line with the project workbook (PWB), grant agreements, etc.
- Work with partners and other relevant colleagues to document and share lessons learned, in line with the research and knowledge management agenda
- Concept note development
- Provide ad-hoc support to UNCDF IDE Tanzania on the design and development of concept notes and program proposals, leveraging research insights to support fundraising efforts as opportunities present themselves
- Support ESA Regional Manager and relevant regional colleagues to draft new and refine existing concept notes
- Attend meetings, as needed to inform concept notes, with relevant stakeholders including potential partners and donor.
The consultant will mainstream gender equality and women’s economic empowerment (GE-WEE) throughout his/her work. The consultant will have experience in the design and implementation of research projects focused on financial and digital inclusion and GE-WEE in Tanzania and East Africa.
The consultant will work under the supervision of the IDE Country Lead for Tanzania for TIDE-related projects and the ESA Regional Manager for concept note development and fundraising-related work. The consultant will have weekly calls with the IDE Country Lead for Tanzania to provide progress updates and exchange feedback on draft reports and other deliverables.
Duration of the Work
The assignment is expected to commence 13 November 2023, with engagement ongoing for approximately 24 months.
The assignment is home-based. The assignment could require travel to Tanzania and/or other countries in the ESA region for the purpose of gathering primary data for research and meeting project partners in-person.
Payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging, and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel. The UNCDF travel policies relevant to individual consultant shall apply.
UNCDF cannot guarantee residence permits or visas for consultants. Consultants are responsible for securing work documentation
- Master’s degree in public administration/public policy, economics, social sciences, or related discipline
- At least 5 years of experience working in international development, either with the UN, NGOs, or private sector organizations with a focus on financial inclusion, digital/innovation, and/or women’s economic empowerment
- At least 2 years of experience working in the private sector – financial services industry
- At least 3 years of experience designing and implementing different types of research on financial inclusion in Tanzania
- At least 1 article published by the UN