Digital Finance Expert

United Nations Development Programme, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
14th January, 2019

Job Description


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 finance 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.

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.

Based on the experience of reaching last mile and digital as a key driver, UNCDF under financial inclusion practice has consolidated its strategy to support last mile solutions. Under the new strategy digital is a key enabler and functions complementing other sectoral and segment based initiative.

UNCDF in Bangladesh:

UNCDF engagement in Bangladesh is spread across two interventions in market:

  • Focus on growth and competitiveness of retail merchants in the distributive trade sub-sector in rural Bangladesh through tighter vertical integration with Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) value-chains and stronger horizontal integration with financial services value chains, especially through digital payment and m-commerce platforms.
  • Technical assistance to the central bank in Bangladesh (Bangladesh Bank) in developing a sustainable and efficient agent monitoring tool

UNCDF, based on its new strategy, would like to further consolidate the position of UNCDF in Bangladesh and also prepare for the scale-up of UNCDF work in-country. UNCDF has a team on ground working on the micro-merchant project and driving the activities, and in continuation of its plan intends to hire a DFS expert who would work further strengthen the work by bringing in specific expertise in area of digital finance. Plus with the Bangladesh Bank project remains a significant area of engagement for UNCDF and the full time in-country presence would allow for delivery of this engagement in a timely manner.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Consultant will work to implement the FIPA strategy in Bangladesh specifically as it focuses on digital as a key anchor which builds on the foundation of existing engagement of UNCDF on ground. In the role, the DFS expert will primarily focus on supporting the project on DFS supervision system with Bangladesh Bank. The DFS expert will in addition work closely with the other in-country teams that include project coordinator looking after the EU funded project of UNCDF on micro-merchants.


  • Support the activities related to DF consultative group and follow-ups, that brings together various public and private sector stakeholders
  • Primarily support the work on Bangladesh Bank supervisory system by engaging with the Central Bank and working alongside other experts to assist with activities like data standardization, scoping the technical requirements of platform, implementation among others
  • Provide technical support to the micro-merchant and women enterprise partnerships of UNCDF, as required
  • Support in writing concept notes for the engagement with other development agencies
  • 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.
  • The DFS expert would work closely with other sectoral/segment experts of UNCDF within UNCDF, to maximize the cross-learning and deliver impact.

Quarter 1:

  • Support the work on supervision system specially as it relates to creating buy-in with stakeholders including Bangladesh Bank and other private sector players
  • Assist with rolling-out of the proof of concepts that is been developed by the technical team working on the product outline. Coordinate the activities of technical team with experience of working on GIS based supervision system
  • Provide technical support to existing UNCDF investment in Bangladesh in space of Digital finance – Documented through specific areas of deliverables.
  • Plan, organize and animate the quarterly progress call with UNCDF partners and with deliverables documented in form of action plan and progress report. The details also needed to be reported into the project log sheet;

Quarter 2:

  • Support identifying the vendors for implementation of the Data project and finalize with engagement of Central Bank the data templates to be used for gathering data
  • Support in the data collection process and work closely with Bangladesh Bank on creating the buy-ins at different levels and mainstreaming the system use.
  • Blog/Briefing note highlighting the learnings from the market and potential areas of engagement to drive financial inclusion
  • Develop concept note on potential intervention in Bangladesh and deepen the impact of inclusion specially women and SME
  • Support UNCDF team in engaging with other development agencies to showcase the work of UNCDF and also is writing concept notes for further submission.
  • Plan, organize and animate the quarterly progress call with UNCDF partners and with deliverables documented in form of action plan and progress report. The details also needed to be reported into the project log sheet;
  • Follow-up on consultative group meetings with the in-country stakeholders

Quarter 3:

  • Follow-up consultative group meeting with the in-country stakeholders
  • Provide technical support to existing UNCDF investment in Bangladesh in space of Digital finance and data project of Bangladesh Bank – Documented through specific areas of deliverables.
  • Plan, organize and animate the quarterly progress call with UNCDF partners and with deliverables documented in form of action plan and progress report. The details also needed to be reported into the project log sheet;
  • Support UNCDF team in developing concept note building on UNCDF work in areas of micro-merchant;
  • Support the UNCDF team and focal point on remittances/refugees to expand the work in this thematic area through identifying required partnerships and concept note preparations.

Quarter 4:

  • Support in developing, implementing and updating UNCDF Country Strategy and Work Plans for digital finance related to 2020;
  • Provide high quality technical input on various DF topics (product design, agent network, etc.).
  • Have UNCDF to 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;
  • Follow-up consultative group meeting with the in-country stakeholders.


  • 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 is mandatory;

  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in progressively more responsible positions in the financial services and/or telecommunications field is mandatory;
  • At least 3 years of hands-on experience on working with a bank or non-bank deployment for at in the area of digital financial services is mandatory;
  • Experience working with Central Bank or related to data would be a plus and would be desired;
  • Previous experience in designing and implementing projects/strategies on digital financial services and related use case drivers is mandatory;
  • At least 2 years of 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 Bangladesh or similar environment a plus.


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


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