Policy Consultant

United Nations Development Programme, Kampala, Uganda

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
6th January, 2020


Job Description

Background

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.

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. For further detail on UNCDF strategy, refer to; https://www.uncdf.org/article/4931/global-strategy-leaving-no-one-behind-in-the-digital-era

An enabling policy and regulatory environment are a key priority in Uganda to expand the digital economy. Policymakers and regulators are natural partners who share a common goal to leverage technology to enable sustainable economic development and inclusive markets. Therefore, UNCDF works closely with global and national partners (both public and private) to support government engagement with the industry so public policy and market objectives align at the local and regional level.

The policy and regulatory challenges for digital services to truly scale in Uganda are significant. There is a lack of digital payment infrastructure beyond the urban areas, especially due to poor connectivity and cash merchant networks. The central bank and other authorities have engaged with the service providers in a consistent manner to help each side (public and private) to understand the constraints they face and thus collaborate on a common agenda. This is in part driven by the limited capacity of authorities to supervise and monitor the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

UNCDF will focus on several activities to address these barriers and will continue to expand strategic instruments for the policy workstream. Particularly, data & research to leverage providers data analytics and geo-spatial to identify key gaps and priorities, stakeholders engagement by leveraging local presence, convening power and close partnership with local and global partners to drive policy and regulatory change, expert technical advice to provide capacity building and technical assistance to create legal certainty and incentives for digital innovations that help people safely access and use digital services to improve their lives

The Policy Consultant is expected to be engaged through a non-exclusive Framework Agreement formalized through an Individual Contract (IC). A Framework Agreement is known in UNCDF as an agreement that establishes the terms, conditions and prices that will govern future contract or contracts (known as “call offs”) arising from the said Agreement, which could be issued at any time within the duration of the IC.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Under the supervision of UNCDF Technical Specialist the Policy Consultant will complete the following activities and deliverables.
  • Conduct gap analysis of the following key issues to determine the enabling features of the current policy and regulatory environment for digital ecosystems:
  • Are rules for interoperability of payment channels enabling growth of the key uses cases, specifically wallet-wallet, wallet – bank account, and CICO?
  • Are current wallet limits sufficient to allow bulk payments and higher value payments, distinguishing between small business needs and seasonal agriculture?
  • Are customer protection rules appropriate for redress for customer complaints and to protect customer personal and transactional data?
  • How open are existing data systems to enable digital inclusion of under-served communities?
  • Do the policies for key development sectors prioritize role of digital solutions and do the respective regulations stipulate how the policies will be enforced? Key sectors include: agriculture, health, energy, education, finance, and refugees.

Indicative deliverables:

  • Comparative analysis of policies and regulations against public policy objectives.
  • Assessment of market needs and corresponding regulatory obstacles to large scale Digital Services, as per the activities noted in Activity #1.
  • Policy and Regulatory Architecture of existing legal frameworks (scope and purpose) for Digital Services associated with key sectors noted previously. The ‘architecture’ will comprise of a description of the scope of legal jurisdictions of the various regulators, overlapping regulations, and identification of critical gaps.
  • Define the existing capacity of policy makers and regulators in data analytics for decision making in their respective sectors.
  • Describe existing data collection, reporting and analysis process for the respective regulators
  • Define areas where improvements can be made to ensure better regulatory decisions using data making.
  • Determine which policymaking and regulatory bodies are most ready for direct capacity building.

Indicative deliverables:

  • Assessment of workflow and technical capacity of existing systems and personnel.
  • Gap analysis of capacity and training needs for market supervision and oversight, including data collection and analysis
  • Draft requirements for capacity building to improve evidence and data driven approach to building regulatory capacity building for high priority sectors and regulators. Including critical milestones and workplan to deliver assistance.
  • Support UNCDF’s private / public sector convening’s (forums) concerning policy specific issues (interoperability, wallet limits, customer protection, open data systems, agriculture, health, energy, education, finance, refugees, etc.).

Indicative deliverables:

  • Draft case studies, technical notes or briefs based on previously described activities in direct support of UNCDF programming in Uganda
  • Develop presentations to share learnings and insights based on previously described activities in direct support of UNCDF programming in Uganda.
  • Facilitate exposure (workshops / visits) for policy makers and regulators to global practices and success stories in digital for the respective sectors so that UNCDF can leverage those existing peer learning channels.

Indicative deliverables:

  • Identification of peers and markets where current regulatory or market practices could shape how Uganda undertakes the development of their digital economy development.
  • Develop learning agenda with priority regulators (based on readiness assessment in Activity #4 to enable buy in and allow for planning of exchange visits.
  • Design curriculum and training/familiarization materials specific to the knowledge exchange context, including
  • After training support.
  • The below activities have been outlined based on the some of the broader outcomes that have been outlined above and are representative and can be more than that.

ACTIVITIES

  • Conduct gap analysis of the following key issues to determine the enabling features of the current policy and regulatory environment for digital ecosystems:
  • Define the existing capacity of policy makers and regulators in data analytics for decision making in their respective sectors.
  • Support UNCDF’s private / public sector convening’s (forums) concerning policy specific issues (interoperability, wallet limits, customer protection, open data systems, agriculture, health, energy, education, finance, refugees, etc.).
  • Facilitate exposure (workshops / visits) for policy makers and regulators to global practices and success stories in digital for the respective sectors so that UNCDF can leverage those existing peer learning channels.
  • All outputs shall be subject to review and written acceptance by the Technical Specialist who shall also authorize the disbursement of payment to the individual. For key deliverables the Technical Specialist can defer to UNCDF’s Lead Policy and Regulatory Specialist for additional quality control and review.

Competencies

  • Understanding of regulatory and legal practices used by governments in emerging markets;
  • Proven ability to apply mechanisms that extract actionable insights from data to shape policy and regulation;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Strong written communication skills;
  • Focus on impact and results for clients and stakeholders;
  • Committed to team work, working with other stakeholders;
  • Remains calm and in control under pressure.

Required Skills and Experience

Education: A Master’s degree in public policy, economics, or law (competition, finance, or related legal field) is mandatory;

Experience:

  • A minimum of three (3) years’ experience working for financial service regulator or policymaking body is mandatory.
  • Functional understanding of payment systems, banking, and other retail financial services is mandatory.
  • Experience working on public sector policy or regulatory reforms in East or Southern Africa is preferred.

Language: Excellent written and oral English is mandatory.

Source:https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=89045


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