The Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme builds on the Government of Bangladesh’s efforts to introduce a citizen-centric culture of innovation in civil service to improve service delivery and make services more inclusive, affordable, reliable and easier to access. This project will provide support to establish institutional mechanisms and improve accountability to accelerate SDG achievements in Bangladesh.
This project will have three components:
- Institutionalizing Public Service Innovation and Improving Accountability
- Catalyzing Digital Financial Services and Fintech Innovations
- Incubating Private Sector-enabled Public Service Innovation
- Bangladesh would require approximately USD 133 bn by 2030 to meet its SDG investment requirements. At present, 48% of the infrastructure budget is being financed through project aid, Official Development Assistance (ODA), concessional loans and non-concessional loans from the international capital market while the rest is financed from domestic sources. As Bangladesh aims to become a middle-income nation, the infrastructure budget will keep rising at 18% y-o-y, while SDG investment will keep rising at a higher rate (30% y-o-y) over the next 10 years. COVID19 pandemic and upcoming economic recession might plunge the SDG budget higher with significant allocation in – healthcare, education, communication infrastructure, stimulus package disbursement among other essential sectors. Incremental SDG investment requirements can drive the total development budget higher up to USD 207 Bn by 2030. Simultaneously, Bangladesh’s upgraded economic status will result in a decline in funding from multilateral donors while also pushing the interest rates on debts higher.
- In 2019, the formal savings by Bangladeshi citizens stood at USD 54 Bn which will rise twofold within 2030 in tandem with the growth of the economy. If these untapped resources can be partially aggregated and deployed through a digital financial value chain from 2020 onwards, a yearly flow of USD 45 Bn incremental can be generated to finance SDGs. Bangladeshi digital ecosystem which has finally come of age enabling rapid technology adoption among citizens (99% 2G internet penetration, 40 million+ on smart devices, 80 million internet users and 39 million mobile financial service accounts) has created this unprecedented opportunity to mobilize citizen micro-savings at scale. The ultimate goal of this model is to empower citizens by ensuring equitable return while also preventing loss in Forex.
- Financial instruments and mechanisms like securitization, impact bonds, micro insurance, crowdfunding can be leveraged along with digital technology in creating a digital financial value chain which can be used to aggregate microsavings at scale. The proposed platform will bridge the gap between micro savers and the government resulting in a low-cost source for long-term financing. The mechanism will ensure disintermediation, increase distribution effect, transparency and accountability. For instance, a citizen can invest in the construction of a bridge or road or healthcare or renewable energy or education facilities and later will be paid back from the earning proceeds (i.e. Shariah bond - Sukuk).
- a2i along with UNCDF is commencing implementation of citizen centric financing model in Bangladesh over a three-year period. The first phase of this project would be to engage with relevant government and private sector stakeholders, identify potential green infrastructure projects, and pilot domestic savings mobilization and investments into one of the selected infrastructure projects, capture learnings for wider dissemination and for setting up a full-scale institutional model in the next phase.
- Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme project is looking to recruit a Programme Analyst who will work closely with Programme Manager (DFS) and UNCDF team to coordinate and implement the mobilizing domestic savings for SDG Financing project.
- The project is funded by the Government of Bangladesh, UNDP and other development partners, and is implemented by ICT Division and Cabinet Division.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Under the direct supervision of the Digital Financial Service Specialist the incumbent will perform below mentioned duties and responsibilities.
- Lead and coordinate the implementation of project activities according to the plan.
- Conduct policy advocacy and other related activities to establish the model & scale up.
- Establish new strategic partnership with regulators, government entities, donors, international organization & financial service providers.
- Ensure proper knowledge management and take necessary actions to disseminate it nationally & internationally.
Duties and Responsibilities in brief:
Lead and coordinate the implementation of project activities according to the plan.
- Arrange & facilitate discussion with selected government, regulatory, private sector, think-tank, and NGO stakeholders to map out the possible green infrastructure projects that are revenue generating.
- Develop a potential list of green infrastructure projects that can be considered under this project for piloting.
- Develop a list of potential criteria to be met for above list of green infrastructure projects to be considered and identify one green infrastructure projects that can be implemented involving citizen financing under this project.
- Detail out the implementation plan, activities, timeline, partner engagement, policy issues to implement the project.
- According to the plan outlined, ensure piloting the project according to the project plan.
Conduct policy advocacy and other related activities to establish the model & scale up.
- Prepare & update the project concept note and other documents to present in front of public and private sector for this project.
- Create a list of key government and regulatory stakeholders to engage with to get the necessary buy-in for this project.
- Develop background materials as may be needed for having consultative meetings with government stakeholders on the citizen centric financing through mobilization of domestic savings
- Document the proceedings, outcomes, and action points of stakeholder meetings. Also, where required, present the concept in the meetings.
- Based on outcomes of the consultative meetings held with government agencies, develop the draft governance and management model for citizen centric financing model to be implemented in Bangladesh
- Document any policy aspects that would require further advocacy and technical assistance to bring in the changes required.
- Arrange & conduct policy advocacy meetings & discussion as required to implement the pilot and scale-up.
Establish new strategic partnership with regulators, government entities, donors, international organization & financial service providers.
- Based on the project goal & activities, prepare a list of partners to be approached and engaged with to implement the pilot, with respective roles and responsibilities outlined.
- Coordinate with these partners which may comprise of technology service providers, financial service providers, fund managers, DFIs/IFIs, government agencies, civil society, or community-based organizations to have them onboarded for pilot project implementation.
- Identify the digital use needs of these partner agencies for implementing the pilot that would enable maximum transactions and operations being undertaken through use of digital devices in a shorter timeframe.
- Ensure the engagement of the partners for pilot project implementation
Ensure proper knowledge management and take necessary actions to disseminate it nationally & internationally.
- Ensure proper documentation of the project activities and lessons from implementation.
- Develop different knowledge product based on the implementation experience at field level.
- Identify best practices around the world and arrange knowledge/exposure sharing with project key stakeholders and partners.
- Organize different national knowledge sharing event with partners & key stakeholders.
- Ensure proper dissemination of the learnings at national & international level.
- Under the direct supervision of the Digital Financial Service Specialist of a2i, the incumbent will perform above-mentioned activities and the Digital Financial Service Specialist will be responsible for service evaluation of the Programme Analyst.
- Strong writing ability with exceptional communication skills, both written and oral
- Strong computer skills with a knowledge of many desktop applications that will be useful for the position, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, e-mail, and all Internet browsers
- Prior experience with the SharePoint platform is a plus
- Strong design sensibilities
- Experience with interacting with a range of clients
Leadership and Self-Management
- Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines
- Ability to think quickly and improvise when necessary
- Creative self-starter with an ability to work independently and also as an integral part of a team to deliver results
- Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexity
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Master’s degree preferably in Business Administration/Banking/Finance/economics or any other Social Science related subject.
- Minimum 3 years professional experience in financial sector related work in Bangladesh.
- Overall 10 years experience national/international organization/ development sector.