Financial Services Acquisition Specialist

World Food Programme, Rome, Italy

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
6th March, 2019

Job Description


Cash-based transfers (CBT) represent an increasing share of WFP’s total humanitarian assistance (31 percent in 2017), and include assistance distributed as physical banknotes, e-money, mobile money, vouchers or debit cards. In 2017, WFP transferred US$1.4 billion to 19.2 million people in 61 countries, empowering them to meet their essential needs. Food and nutrition are essential needs. Poor households spend an average of 60-70 percent of their income on food. By providing sufficient cash to meet food, water, sanitation, education, clothing, shelter and health needs, WFP aims to ensure families do not find themselves in a situation where they need to redistribute limited resources at the expense of food security.

In support of WFP’s global scale up of cash-based transfers, the Finance function through the Business Development and Cash Based Transfers Branch (RMFB) is developing corporate tools and guidance, providing day-to-day technical advice and assistance to Country Offices while also undertaking a range of staff capacity-building activities and initiatives.

As RMFB undertakes these activities, the Financial Services Acquisition Specialist will support the WFP field operations through provision of relevant technical advice aiming to strengthen regional and country offices capacity to carry out the functional assessments, selecting and negotiating with and contracting the most viable service providers and cash delivery mechanisms.


The Financial Services Acquisition Specialist will undertake the following tasks:

  • Identify and develop partnership opportunities with strategic international payment providers to enhance efficiencies and optimize operational and payment processing capabilities of WFP;
  • Identify, analyze and technically evaluate the most appropriate Financial Services Providers (FSPs) for WFP cash-based transfer operations through:
  • Assessment and evaluation of potential impacts and liabilities associated with the use of technical solutions offered by FSPs;
  • Assessment and benchmarking of FSP’s financial and operational internal control frameworks;
  • Valuation analyses of FSP’s performance using a number of techniques.
  • Provide technical assistance and advice to country offices on a wide range of CBT financial and risk management issues, application of internal risk management policies and controls;
  • Support Country Offices throughout the FSP selection and contracting process, including but not limited to:
  • negotiations and renegotiations of financial services contracts on a local, regional and/or global level;
  • review of the financial regulatory framework to enable improvements in FSP back-office processes;
  • FSP reporting procedures and integration with WFP systems.
  • Interact with Legal, Programme, Procurement divisions and Country Offices/Regional Bordeaux, as necessary, to determine the appropriate terms and conditions to be included in the contracts;
  • Support WFP Country and Regional Offices with targeted due diligence assessments of Local and Regional FSPs through identification of financial and operational weaknesses while proposing corrective action plans to mitigate or reduce WFP’s risk exposure;
  • Participate in preparation of relevant technical specifications and/or requests for technical solutions in support of centrally managed and local financial service procurement activities; assist with evaluation of technical proposals, development and review of FSP contracts;
  • Contribute to the development of relevant policies, procedures and methodologies that would set a corporate standard for managing FSPs relationships, risks and performance, and prepare relevant analytical reports and outputs;
  • Build relationships with various multi-functional teams and relevant stakeholders;
  • Perform ad-hoc and planned quality control checks to ensure compliance with contractual terms;
  • All other duties as required.



Education: BA/BSc, Master degree in Economics or Finance, Business Administration, Business Law or related fields. CFA or similar certification.



  • 3-5 years of relevant experience in any of the following fields: Banking, Digital Payment Industry, Law and Financial Consulting Companies, International Financial Institutions
  • Experience in project management, contracting, due diligence, purchasing of financial services or similar fields. Experience in working for diverse socio-economic contexts.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Procurement of Financial Services, Quality and Performance Management, Financial Analysis, Due Diligence and Financial Risk Management.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a diverse team.

Languages: Good oral and written communication in English. Knowledge of a second UN/WFP language is an advantage (French, Spanish, Arabic).


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