UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 47 Least Developed Countries (LDC). UNCDF uses its capital mandate to support LDCs pursue inclusive growth. UNCDF promotes financial inclusion, also through digital financial services (DFS), as a key enabler of poverty reduction and inclusive growth; and it demonstrates how localizing finance outside the capital cities can accelerate growth in local economies, promote sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure development, and empower local communities. Using capital grants, loans and credit enhancements, UNCDF tests financial models in inclusive finance and local development finance; ‘de-risks’ the local investment space; and provides proofs of concept, paving the way for larger and more risk-averse investors.
With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” financing models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local development. UNCDF targets low-income and underserved populations and areas in the LDCs where resources for development are the scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where increased national economic prosperity does not reach a large part of the population. UNCDF focusses on local development finance and inclusive finance, using its capital mandate paired with strong technical and policy support to help communities and individuals save, borrow and invest.
UNCDF’s objective is to develop inclusive financial systems in which a range of financial products are available to all segments of society, at a reasonable cost, and on a sustainable basis. UNCDF supports a wide range of providers (e.g. microfinance institutions, banks, cooperatives, money transfer companies) and a variety of financial products and services (e.g. savings, credit, insurance, payments, and remittances).
Introducing Digital Finance in UNCDF
UNCDF manages several initiatives in LDCs in Asia and Africa, to develop an inclusive digital finance eco-system that offers a wide range of financial services specially 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 that benefit all market actors. By supporting the development of digital finance eco-system 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 in support of the Sustainable Development Goals 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 Sustainable Development Goals. UNCDF will apply a market development approach and continuously seek to address underlying market dysfunctions.
Introducing UNCDF's Digital Interventions in Nepal
- UNCDF launched its Digital Finance interventions in Nepal in 2013 and focused on creating an inclusive environment for inception and scale up of digital financial services. UNCDF has been supporting the digital financial service providers, banks and other stakeholders in the country to develop the eco-system.
- In 2017, Nepal Rastra Bank issued the Payment Service Provider (PSP) license to the first set of non-bank companies. This led to a growing number of registered customers using mobile wallets for a range of payment services. UNCDF worked with its partners IME Digital and Prabhu Pay to implement and scale last mile adoption of digital financial services. Considering Nepal is an agro based economy with more than 60% of population engaged in agriculture, UNCDF with its partners Prabhu Management, SunFarmer and Swift/IME Digital developed use cases around dairy value chain digitization, Pay-as-you-go for solar irrigation pumps, farm operations digitization and digital credit market place. These pilots provided in-depth learning on linking digital with agriculture to drive adoption of digital services at the last mile. In 2019, UNCDF under the larger FinLabs initiative, launched the Nepal AgriTECH challenge for pre-seed and established start-ups engaged in agri-tech sector. UNCDF is also closely engaged with Nepal Rastra Bank, central bank of the country to support in formulation of data based policies. In 2018, Nepal Rasta Bank launched the Nepal Financial Inclusion Portal with technical support from UNCDF. NFIP is a data reporting and management tool that allows NRB to map level of financial inclusion in the country.
- As UNCDF continues to engage with private sector, regulators and the government to scale up DFS eco-system in Nepal, learning consolidation and dissemination is an integral part of our approach. In this context, UNCDF plans to hire a Knowledge Management and Communication Consultant, who will be part of the existing Digital Finance team in Nepal and work closely with technical team as well as UNCDF partners to consolidate learnings, develop communication collaterals and support in wider dissemination.
- Open to work with challenging projects that required in-depth support to partners largely on operations levels;
- Experience in managing clients and partners—from early stage companies to mature organizations;
- Solution-focused and medium-agnostic, willing to step out of your core skill set or discipline to find the correct solution to a challenge;
- Fluency in the qualitative research and synthesis to ideation, prototyping, and implementation;
- Open to work in multi-cultural and diverse team of professionals;
- Results-driven, problem-solver with structuring and analytic capabilities;
- Strong ability to think and act strategically, even in situations of ambiguity, to develop both short- and long-term visions;
- Inspires others, influences and builds trust;
- Strong communicator that can serve multiple functions as needed.
Required Skills and Experience:
Education: Masters’ Degree in either economics, social or international development, finance, business administration, public policy or related field.
- At least 5 years of professional experience in digital finance, banking, microfinance, telecom preferably in Asia.
- At least 3 years of professional experience in digital financial services.
- Experience of Digital Plus projects including DFS Agri, DFS MSE or DFS Energy is plus.
- Proven experience of independently managing projects/tasks with defined KPIs and timelines.
- Experience in developing and managing business relationships with private sector, government agencies/regulators and civil society organizations.
- Experience in designing and managing qualitative or quantitative research is a plus.
- Experience in writing case study, project descriptions, work plans, budgets, research papers or other learning materials.
- Previous experience of working with UNDP or UNCDF or UNDP/UNCDF funded projects is a plus.
- Exceptional written and oral communications skills.
- Excellent written and oral English is mandatory.
- Proficiency in Nepali and/or Hindi is a plus.