UN Capital Development Fund (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.
UNCDF’s regional office aims to catalyze access to formal financial services to advance women’s economic empowerment and gendered financial inclusion for millions of women in the ASEAN and SAARC markets in the next four years. It does this by leveraging product innovation, data analytics, technical training and policy advocacy services at different levels to change the behavior of market players. Data crosscuts into all UNCDF activities as the shaping of inclusive financial transformations cannot be accomplished without the use of good data and research to inform and facilitate markets and address the gender research gap. UNCDF advocates evidence-based financial inclusion policies and practices that expand access and usage of financial services for women by facilitating, informing and incentivizing FSPs, regulators and governments and by stimulating collective dialogue between them.
UNCDF has been working on investing directly enhancing income, employment and overall livelihoods of low-income, women, micro and small businesses populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. At regional level it has been benefitting stakeholders and enterprises in other ASEAN and SAARC countries.
The program works through its four inter-related outputs:
- Fund Facility: Support financial service providers to develop new prototypes and bring to scale viable business models that serve low-income individuals, micro-entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses, especially women within these markets, in the ASEAN and SAARC frontier economies;
- Learning and Skills Development Portal: Support business development service providers by leveraging ICT solutions to develop and bring to scale viable e-learning models for professionals in financial institutions to improve productivity and professionalism;
- Data and Analysis Hub: Produce, analyze and communicate data and information on supply, demand and regulation in financial markets to strengthen the evidence base and investment decisions of providers, regulators and policy makers, specifically targeted towards low-income individuals, micro-entrepreneurs, and small and medium business, especially women within these markets;
- Policy and Advocacy: Influence policy makers, financial service providers and governments to enable financial markets to be more responsive to the wider development priorities of governments and its people.
Objectives of the assignment
The intern will work for the Data analytics and Research facility and support in deep-dive thematic research on digital financial inclusion with reference to specific sustainable development goals (SDGs), such as women and youth financial inclusion and empowerment, enterprise development, migration and remittances, energy finance;
Core tasks would include undertaking quantitative and qualitative data analytics and research using demand side national financial inclusion surveys (i.e. FinScope, Intermediate, Findex, Enterprise Development Surveys, financial diaries data, household based gender finance studies), and/or supply side data (e.g. on financial service providers, anonymized transaction flow data).
Duties and Responsibilities
Data analytics and research:
- Analyze, synthesize and communicate data and information on supply, demand and innovation challenge fund in financial markets to strengthen the evidence base;
- Produce, analyze and disseminate data on financial inclusion, with focus on sex-, age, rural, income- and other demographic and geographic disaggregated data analytics; Analyze trends and market segments at local, sectora , national and regional levels.
- Conduct deep-dive thematic research and analysis on (digital) financial inclusion with specific reference to gendered and youth financial inclusion, migration and remittances, energy finance, digital financial services and FinTech;
- Produce and coordinate easy-to-use data dashboards, maps, graphs, charts, info-graphics, blogs and other presentation material.
- Synthesize research outcomes and lessons learned into formats tailored to central banks and government, digital finance service providers, banks, MFIs etc.
- Experiment with Big Data Analytics on SDGs.
- Support the creation of frameworks on assessing financial inclusion impacts on SDGs, with specific reference to SDG 1 (Poverty), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG (8) Decent work and inclusive growth.
- Maintain Micro and macro-economic data sets and research such as global gender report, WDI, Mix market, FINDEX, Intermedia, FinScope etc. Maintain and utilize dashboard, conduct country and thematic deep-dive analysis (e.g. Agri, MSME, other) for SAARC & ASEAN.
- Produce evidence-based presentations, blogs and infographics, support in the editing and desk reviews, of working papers.
- Support the application of data and research for informing UNCDF programming, innovation challenge design, and more broadly product development and policy making.
- Internship can be done as part of a research internship experience contributing to a University Master thesis.
- Commitment to UNCDFs vision, mission, and strategic goals;
- Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty;
- Excellent organizational, inter-personal, communication and administrative skills;
- Able to work effectively in a team and in an international environment.
- Demonstrable skills in research, analytical thinking, and communication;
- Excellent writing and editing skills in English;
- Proven ability to manage diverse and complex tasks, with tight deadlines;
- Able to take initiative and work independently, with minimum supervision;
- Strong organizational, communication and interpersonal skills with ability to work under pressure within an international setting;
- Interest in the UN system and general knowledge of development issues is a plus;
- Ability to perform a variety of administrative tasks.
Required Skills and Experience
- Candidate must be enrolled in a degree programme in Social Sciences, Public Admnistration, Data Analytics, Data Science, Economics, Policy Relations, Finance or another related field or equivalent studies.
- Applicants to the UNCDF internship programme must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
- Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);
- Have graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation.
- Demonstrated experience, part or full-time, paid or volunteer, in economics, policy related work, finance, inclusive finance or related fields;
- Demonstrated research and analytical capacity;
- Excellent computer capabilities: Experienced in Tableau, STATA, R-Studio, Power-BI, Python, GIS Mapping software’s, Nvivo, or other similar (big) data analytic tools.
Language: Strong writing and speaking abilities in English.