Apply Job: DFS Consultant- Support the financial service providers in developing digital rails and deepening adoption drivers

DFS Consultant- Support the financial service providers in developing digital rails and deepening adoption drivers

If you are looking for a job, UNDP is looking for  DFS Consultant- Support the financial service providers in developing digital rails and deepening adoption drivers. If you are eligible for this job, You can apply from their official website.

Location: Kathmandu, NEPAL
Application Deadline : 08-Sep-17 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left : 1d 15h 57m
Additional Category : Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract : Individual Contract
Post Level : National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract : 12 Months
Expected Duration of Assignment : Renewable up to 24 months, based on funding, needs and performance



UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital.  UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia and the Pacific, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis.  It provides seed capital – grants and loans – and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments finance the capital investments – water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes – that will improve poor peoples’ lives.

UNCDF works to enlarge peoples’ choices: it believes that poor people and communities should take decisions about their own development.  Its programmes help to empower women – over 50% of the clients of UNCDF-supported microfinance institutions are women – and its expertise in microfinance and local development is shaping new responses to food insecurity, climate change and other challenges.  UNCDF works in challenging environments – remote rural areas, countries emerging from conflict – and paves the way for others to follow. Its programmes are designed to catalyze larger investment flows from the private sector, development partners and national governments, for significant impact on the Millennium Development Goals, especially Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, and Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability.

Despite the rapid growth of the microfinance industry in the past ten years, it is estimated that between two and three billion people still lack access to a broad range of financial products and services on a sustainable basis. The situation is particularly dire in the LDCs, where often more than 90 per cent of the population is denied access to financial services from the formal financial system. UNCDF focuses its strategy on Financial inclusion, which is universal access, at a reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services, provided by a variety of sound and sustainable institutions. The range of financial services includes savings, short and long-term credit, leasing and factoring, mortgages, insurance, pensions, payments, local money transfers and international remittances.

UNCDF manages a number of initiatives related to digital financial (DF).  It is in discussion to consolidate the technical assistance and research aspects of these programmes into a single team.  This team will serve UNCDF’s needs in regard to DF, particularly for two programmes:  Mobile Money for the Poor and the Better than Cash Alliance, but DF also requires support in a number of UNCDF country and global programmes.

UNCDF has been active in Nepal in the digital finance space for over a year with funds from UNCDF’s MM4P program laying the groundwork for a full-scale country interventions and programs including MM4P.  The preparatory phase of MM4P has been done in consultation with the NRB and with the permission of the Ministry of Finance, with a focus on research, awareness raising, assistance in strategy and business planning and working with the NRB.  UNCDF worked in partnership with a single consulting firm during this period to implement a range of activities.  UNCDF also received permission from the Government of Nepal (GoN) to expand MM4P activities in Nepal as a focused programme on digital finance and innovation. In addition, to MM4P programme, UNCDF also operates some other programmatic initiative viz UNNATI and Clean Start.

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.  MM4P launched in Nepal in 2013 and works closely with other UNCDF programmes, providing both funding and technical oversight for DFS interventions in Nepal.  In 2017, MM4P secured a partnership with USAID to continue its activities in Nepal through 2017-2018.  MM4P’s overall work in Nepal is managed by it Technical Specialist, Digital Finance (TS DF), based in Kathmandu.

Better Than Cash Alliance: 

The Better Than Cash Alliance is an alliance of governments, private sector and development organizations committed to accelerating the shift from cash to electronic payments. Billions of dollars in cash payments are made daily in emerging and developing economies, including payment of salaries, social welfare and relief, payments to suppliers, etc. The problems with these cash payments include a lack of transparency, accountability and security, as well as inefficiency. Furthermore, the individuals who receive the cash are excluded from the formal financial sector. There were approximately 2.5 billion people excluded from the formal financial sector in 2012. Shifting these payments from cash to electronic has the potential to improve the livelihoods of low-income people by advancing financial inclusion and enabling people to save, while giving governments, the development community and the private sector a more efficient, transparent and often safer means of disbursing payments

The Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) seeks to leverage the leadership of governments, the networks of development organizations and the expertise of the private sector in payment technologies to replace the use of cash in their programming and payment streams with electronic payments, where appropriate. It also seeks to build the financial capability of low-income clients who will benefit from electronic payments and a wider range of financial services.

  • Advocates for the use of all forms of electronic payments where they provide a preferable payment option to cash;
  • Collaborates with program partners to mobilize available technical expertise and resources to identify and
  • Implements the most effective approach to make the transition from cash to electronic payments;  and
  • Conducts research, documents good practices and produces knowledge products to address the barriers to adoption and drive the effective shift from cash to electronic payments globally.

Nepal joined the BTCA alliance in 2015.

Duties and Responsibilities
The DFS advisor, will be responsible for supporting engagements under the eco-system approach of MM4P and would be working along with other DFS advisors in country. The advisor would be working with UNCDF team in Nepal, and would spend and operate out of partner’s premises.  The DFS advisor would be working under direct supervision of the MM4P designated DFS lead in Nepal. Some of the engagements that he/she would be supporting are:

1. Support and participate in direct technical assistance to selected partners.


  • Be responsible for some of the key UNCDF investments in Nepal and work in advisory capacity with the projects/partners, supporting them in delivery of high quality outcomes.
  • Provide high quality DFS technical inputs, training and advice to key stakeholders as identified with the MM4P team that will allow to accelerate the development of DFS ecosystem in country.
  • Build capacity and assist the project team on the topic of DFS.
  • Providing technical in outs to DFS lead in Nepal, in procuring consultants and consulting firms for DF projects at selected partners.
  • Work closely with other consultants and consulting firms working with MM4P partners. Provide the necessary programme knowledge in-order to have consultants aligned with programme objectives in country.
  • Regularly follow-up work of Partners/consultants as required.


  • Updated technical assistance Deliverable/ documents (every week).
  • Updated work plans for projects/partners supported with MM4P technical assistance (every fortnight).
  • Delivery of DFS outcome (KPIs) of the respective partner/projects allocated to the DF advisor.

2. Act as one of the DF technical resource for the digital finance work in Nepal: 


  • Support in developing, implementing and updating MM4P Country Strategy and Work Plans for digital finance related to respective projects inked to the advisor.
  • Become the DF technical point of contact in country for few partner institutions in the country either willing to enter or expand in the DF market.
  • Provide high quality technical input on various DF topics (product design, agent network, etc.).
  • Coordinate with other DF experts in Nepal and in other MM4P countries to share experience, lessons and innovative ideas between the programmes.


  • Updated/Completed partner/project work plan for 2017-2018.
  • Activity reports and minutes (every project weekly meeting).
  • Updated plan for the partner/project contributing to the DFS ecosystem development (every quarter).
  • Updated country project logs in relation to the project/partners (every project weekly meeting).

3. Assist few stakeholders in the development of innovative ideas, plans and projects to enter or expand in the DFS (ecosystem, customer, high volume, agent work streams, etc.): 


  • Build good and continuous relationship with 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.
  • Based on outcomes from workshop/training, market research and stakeholders’ contacts, establish a ranking of most promising stakeholders for direct support from UNCDF working along with other DF advisors. Update this ranking continuously based on market dynamics.
  • For most promising stakeholders, draft project descriptions and support the TS DF in assessing and appraising the projects.
  • Support the TS in all project endorsements and appraisals.


  • Minutes of the monthly calls with DF stakeholders (monthly).
  • Documents for UNCDF project endorsements and appraisals collected (for every project).

4. Coordinate and support DFS lead in Nepal on reporting at country and stakeholders level.


  • Plan, organize and animate the monthly progress call with DFS lead in UNCDF MM4P Nepal and MM4P key people. Support in preparing the agenda for the call and write meeting minutes. Develop monthly action plans.
  • Plan, organize and animate the quarterly progress call with MM4P partners.
  • Support MM4P in collect reporting information from MM4P partners on a quarterly basis.
  • Support the DFS lead to report on DF activities and developments in country.
  • Support the KM team in generating and collecting learnings from different projects so that high quality outcomes can be produced.
  • Support the RM team in relation to partner projects to gather input related to project progress.


  • Presentation materials and meeting reports for the monthly progress call (every month).
  • Presentation materials and meeting reports for the quarterly progress call (every month).
  • Completed MM4P progress reports (semi-annual).
  • Other deliverables as agreed during the weekly/monthly work-plan for the DF advisor.
  • Strong ability to communicate and function effectively in local/international/multicultural environment;
  • Strong ability and attitude of a go-getter who aims to make business work and move forward, by way of executing relationships, build partnerships, takes the way of working beyond proven methods and is willing to take risk;
  • Excellent networking with a demonstrated ability to build and maintain professional relationships;
  • High level planning, organizational and time management skills, including flexibility, attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure to meet changing deadlines;
  • Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives;
  • Ability to interact and adapt communication with various management level at our partners;
  • Proactively identifies, develops and discusses solutions for internal and external clients, and persuades management to undertake new projects or services;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities, and resolve problems.
  • Focus on impact and results for clients and stakeholders;
  • Builds trust in interactions with others, facilitates partnerships; excellent networking capabilities to link people/businesses from diverse horizons;
  • Approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude and responds positively to feedback;
  • Analytical and problem solving skills of a high order, including the ability to formulate recommendations and advice;
Required Skills and Experience

Post graduate degree in Economics, Finance, Banking, Development, Technology or related fields or equivalent experience;


  • A minimum of five years-experience in progressively more responsible positions in the financial services and/or telecommunications field is mandatory;
  • Hands-on experience on working with a bank or non-bank deployment for at least 3 Years in the area of digital financial services is mandatory;
  • Previous experience in designing and implementing projects/strategies on digital financial services and related use case drivers is mandatory;
  • Experience in working on development of products and partnership, while directly interacting in field with the customers, agents and other business partners;
  • Familiarity with the concepts of financial inclusion, a broad knowledge of related disciplines, as well as an in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures;
  • Adequate understanding of legal and regulatory issues related to digital financial services, such as know your customer, AML/CFT rules, etc.;
  • Experience working with the mass market, including rural or low income communities, preferably related to financial services;
  • Experience managing or conducting research, particularly related to product development or client demand; Experience of human centered design methods would be a plus;
  • Experience in project management;
  • Experience in writing project and programme documents or similar type of documents is preferred, but not mandatory;
  • Familiarity with best practices in training mobile money agents;
  • Previous work in Nepal or similar environment a plus.


  • Excellent written and oral English.
  • Fluency in one local language a plus.

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

  • Timeline: October 2017 – September 2018.
  • Total Number of Working Days for Assignment: 220 working days within 12 months (Max of 20 working days in a month, 8 hrs/working day).
  • Locations: Kathmandu, Nepal

For unforeseeable travel, 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 and will be reimbursed.

Please note that UNCDF cannot guarantee residence permits or visa´s 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.

Progress Controls & Payments:

Payment will be made on 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.

Application process:

Interested individuals must submit the documents mentioned below as proposals in order to demonstrate their qualifications (Note: the system does not allow multiple uploads of documents. Applicants must make sure to upload all documents in one PDF file).

All applications must contain the following information:

  • Cover letter with a summary statement of competencies in relation to the Terms of Reference (TOR);
  • Earliest availability and proposed schedule for consultancy;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Fully completed and signed Personal History Form (P11) with names and current contacts of 3 referees (available from;
  • Signed financial proposal for the full months assignment outlining:
  • Total professional fee (including professional fees, per diems in Kathmandu, Nepal (if applicable);
  • The financial proposal form is available at http://procurement

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.

Selection process: 

Step I: Screening: Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the following minimum criteria (listed under education and experience) will progress to the pool for shortlisting.

Step II: Technical Evaluation:

  • Shortlisting (20 points): UNCDF will produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate candidates as per experience requirements in the Terms of Reference. As applicable, only the first top 3 ranked applicants (shall be considered for a desk review.
  • Interview  (80 points): An intreview shall be conducted for the top 3 shortlisted candidates.

Step III: Financial Evaluation: Only candiadtes with scores above 70% of the tehnical evaluation (70 Points or above)  will be considered.

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal: lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

Award Criteria

The contact shall be awarded to the applicant whose offer have been evaluated and determined as:

Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and Having received the highest combined weight (technical scores) 70% + financial 30%= 100%.

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.