The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: inclusive digital economies, connecting individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; local development finance, that capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and investment finance, that provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization. By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to Sustainable Development Goal-SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a broad diversity of SDGs. Based on this experience UNCDF started in 2017 to expand the scope of its programmatic agenda to go beyond digital finance. Through the “Leaving none behind in the digital era” strategy, UNCDF is supporting, through its digital finance interventions, the emergence of inclusive digital economies.
Job Title: International Expert in remittance services and financial inclusion
Under this framework, UNCDF is currently expanding its expertise in Ghana under “Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn)” programme to be funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa. This programme will contribute to addressing the root causes of irregular migration through green and climate resilient local economic development and improving future prospects of beneficiaries, by creating employment and enterprise opportunities in selected sectors and regions (Ashanti and Western). The action aims at supporting job creation in regions of departure, transit and return of Ghana, creating local financial ecosystems that facilitate the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and enabling the transition of local economies to green and climate resilient development. The programme will use the lessons learnt from UNCDF experience in (i) Performance-Based Climate Resilience Grants (PBCRGs) which support investments for green and resilient local economies across 13 countries as well as (ii) best practices to advance increase access to finance for youth and digital finance. The action will be implemented in conjunction with SNV using their model for youth entrepreneurs ‘Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) programme’, SNV’s most advanced multi-country programme thus far, which targeted 27,000 rural out of school youth in Tanzania, Rwanda and Mozambique. For more information on GrEEn, please visit https://www.uncdf.org/green.
The main results under the UNCDF-EUTF agreement are the following:
- Result 1 (R1): Local economies are stimulated through green and climate resilient investments executed through cash for work modalities and/or procurement to local SMEs and therefore creating short-term job opportunities for youth, women and returnees. The first set of activities under Results 1 will aim at informing and participatory planning to help MMDAs and communities to identify and select local resilient investments to be financed by the PBCRGs and by the diaspora through a crowdfunding platform to be developed under Results 3. MMDAs will benefit from assistance to undertake or utilise risk assessment and establish local information systems for risk informed planning, in partnership with universities and research institutes. Awareness and sensitization activities will be undertaken. Needs and capacity gaps will be assessed and addressed through targeted capacity building activities.
- Result 2 (R2): Employability of youth, women and returnees are improved through orientation support and assistance, so that they can benefit from the cash for work opportunities created in Result 1. Coordination and synergies will be ensured with the activities undertaken by UNCDF joint Programme partner SNV for broader activities under Result 2 and Result 4 “SMEs, offering decent and sustainable jobs to youth, women and returnees, are incubated and/or accelerated and contribute to green and climate resilient local economies”.
- Result 3 (R3): Increased access and usage of financial services, leveraging remittances and digital solutions, adapted to the needs of (i) youth, women and returnees benefiting from cash for work schemes and (ii) local communities and MSMEs. The third set of activities under Results 3 will facilitate access and usage of targeted beneficiaries (youth, women, returnees, MSMEs) to financial services. The action will focus on the Diaspora and will leverage it to advance financial inclusion of Ghana’s most vulnerable groups. In particular, the activities under R3 will aim to build financial capabilities of clients; support the supply-side to provide financial services adapted to the target’s needs as well as test and pilot innovative financial solutions (e.g. crowdfunding) to better channels investments at the local level.
It Will Do So Through Different Steps
Under Result 3 (access to finance), UNCDF wants to test and/or scale up innovative financial services linked to remittances. The UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. The 2030 Agenda recognizes migration as a core-development consideration, marking the first time that migration is explicitly integrated into the global development agenda. It also recognizes a major relevance of international migration as a multidimensional reality of and for the development of countries of origin, as well as transit and destination, which requires coherent and comprehensive responses. In particular under GrEEn, UNCDF will provide technical assistance to a selected group of FSPs, Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) and Fintechs to develop customer centric financial services linked to remittances. Partnerships with banks with services in Ghana and abroad will also be encouraged to increase outreach to the diaspora and channelling remittances through formal mechanisms (i.e. transfer from the senders savings account into the receiver’s savings account) and lower the costs for both the remitter and the receiver.
- Identification of partners and prototype of remittances products/services linked to remittances
- Scale up of those services in the selected regions with a data driven decision making to inform reiteration and migrant-specific services
Duties And Responsibilities
UNCDF is keen to explore how remittances can be leveraged to improve avenues for savings, investment, and credit for migrants and their families. With this goal, UNCDF is looking for an Expert in Remittances and Financial Inclusion to support the GrEEn Team at the Regional Office to make sure the Phase 1 is adequately implemented and to achieve the project results by providing regular technical assistance and facilitating partnerships within the eco-system.. Under the supervision of the Technical Specialist and the Programme Manager of GrEEn, the Expert will be in charge of:
- Assess the remittance ecosystem at country level and identify investments in this area for UNCDF
- Support the selection of grantees (financial institutions, payment providers, mobile transfer operators, etc.) and provide technical assistance to prototype and test services that are linked to remittances and remittance use-cases beyond wallet-based payments
- Support the ecosystem partners with knowledge sharing and best practices (public-private dialogue, knowledge generation, etc.)
The Expert will be based in Accra, Ghana and will work in collaboration with the GrEEn team as well as the Regional Team based in Dakar, Senegal and the UNCDF support services team.
DETAILED ACTIVITIES AND DELIVERABLES
Activities and deliverables expected by the Junior Expert are as follow:
- Assess the remittance ecosystem at country level and identify investments in this area for UNCDF: the expert will conduct an in-depth assessment of the sector (gap analysis, recommendation), identify potential partners both in-country and from sender countries active in the remittance sector, identify existing programmes/initiative that are complementary to GrEEn and will inform and advise the GrEEn Team on the best operational plan to reach the objectives of the Programme. The areas of assessment will also need to include the demand side and investigate the reasons how targeted beneficiaries (e.g. youth, women and returnees) use such services and the challenges they face.
- Support the selection of grantees and provide technical assistance to prototype services that are linked to remittances: in collaboration with the GrEEn Team, the Expert will identify the best way to support the most innovative players of the sector (e.g. Request for Application, Challenge Fund, etc.) and engage with them to prototype product and services that are linked to remittances. These could be specific savings products, insurance, loan products, pension products, and housing mortgage linked to the cash-flow received from the remittance. Frequent meetings, Technical Assistance plans, recommendations and follow up activities are expected to make sure partners deliver on a timely and high quality manner. A specific focus on data driven evidence will be required to assist partners in developing their products through data analysis
- Support the ecosystem with knowledge sharing and best practices: the Expert will help UNCDF and the GrEEn Team in acquiring specific insights and knowledge of the sector and in sharing lessons learned and best practices with key stakeholders to position UNCDF and GrEEn as a key technical agency for remittances and financial inclusion. Example of such activities could be: workshops, webinar, case studies, blogs, and other knowledge products depending on the results of the above activities.
Number of Days
Assess the remittance ecosystem at country level and identify investments in this area for UNCDF (30%)
- Mapping of partners and stakeholder of the remittance market
- In-depth analysis of the remittance sector in Ghana (outline and validated report)
- In-depth analysis of challenges faced by vulnerable groups vis à vis of remittances (outline and validated report)
- Recommendations plan to inform UNCDF on the best investment strategy to achieve GrEEn objectives