Digital Payments Expert-Cocoa value Chain (BTCA)

UNCDF - United Nations Capital Development Fund

Open positions at UNCDF
Logo of UNCDF
Open application form

Application deadline in 3 days: Thursday 22 Apr 2021

Contract

This is a International Consultant contract. More about International Consultant contracts.

Background

United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to inclusive finance and investment capital. Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP.

Based in UNCDF, the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) is a partnership of 70 governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to advance the Sustainable Development Goals by:

  • Advocating for the transition from cash to digital payments in a way that advances financial inclusion and promotes responsible digital finance;
  • Catalyzing the development of inclusive digital payments ecosystems in member countries to reduce costs, increase transparency, advance financial inclusion-- particularly for women-- and drive inclusive growth; and
  • Conducting research and sharing the knowledge and experiences of our members to inform strategies for making the transition.

Billions of dollars in cash payments and transfers are made daily in emerging and developing economies, including payment of salaries, social welfare and relief, payments to suppliers, remittances, etc. The problems with these cash payments include a lack of transparency, accountability and security, as well as inefficiency. Individuals who receive cash payments are often part of the 1.7 billion excluded from the formal financial sector. This means they are excluded from access to a range of appropriate and affordable financial services to help them save safely take advantage of economic opportunities and reduce their vulnerability to risk.

Shifting these payments from cash to digital has the potential to improve the lives of low-income people, particularly women, while giving governments, the development community and the private sector a more transparent, time and cost efficient, and often-safer means of disbursing payments.

The Better Than Cash Alliance Team’s Core Values are the following:

  • Achieving together
  • Striving for excellence
  • Service oriented
  • Results orientedFor more information on BTCA, please visit the website: http://www.betterthancash.org/

Payments completed in agribusiness value chains represent some of the most significant payment flows of national economies and play an important role in building inclusive digital payments ecosystems. As part of catalyzing the global movement from cash to digital with the private sector, the Better Than Cash Alliance is committed to supporting digitization of payment flows in different business sectors including the cocoa sector in Ghana with both the Government and private sector companies.

Recent research (The Hidden Costs of Cash to Ghana’s Cocoa Sector) developed between the Better Than Cash Alliance and the World Cocoa Foundation, estimates for example that cash is the primary payment method used to purchase cocoa in Ghana, with over 90% of farmer-level transactions (more than GHS 7 billion, or USD 1.26 billion) conducted using cash every year. In most cases, farmers are not using formal savings accounts and micro-credit to manage seasonal cash flow or finance farm input such as the purchase of fertilizer. Lack of access to formal financial services and lack of credit history emanating from cash-based transactions are serious obstacles to improving farmer livelihoods. In addition, farmers encounter unpredictable delays between cocoa delivery and payment. Financial costs for cocoa companies include the cost of cash management and transport (including security and banking fees) and potential fraud and loss of cash as it flows through the cocoa supply chain.

Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod)

Cocobod is the Government’s main institution tasked with oversight of the cocoa industry. It is the statutory board responsible for Ghana’s cocoa sector and has the administrative powers to formulate appropriate policies to facilitate the production, processing and marketing of cocoa, coffee and shea in the country. The functions of Cocobod include production, research, extension, internal and external marketing and quality control of cocoa. With funding from Africa Development Bank, (AfDB), Cocobod has embarked on a digitization transformation drive with the launch of the Cocoa Management System (CMS) in 2020 to collate and leverage data on cocoa farmers across the country for the purpose of transparency and efficiency in service delivery to farmers. The CMS, which has already been piloted in selected cocoa-growing communities, will see Cocobod carry out a comprehensive data gathering exercise which will generate and centralize data such as the actual number of cocoa farmers and families in Ghana, the size, as well as the characteristics and output of their cocoa farms, all in an attempt to digitize, and improve transparency in the cocoa sector as well as make all payments in the cocoa sector cashless.

Duties and Responsibilities

As part of its advisory service, the Alliance will be collaborating with Cocobod in preparing and implementing the Cocoa Management System, in particular for aspects related to the secured Payment Platform. The CMS is an integrated IT solution comprising three main component parts: the Purchasing System (APS), the Input Distribution System (IDS) and the secured Payment Platform. These will be implemented through a process that includes:

  1. Creation of a database of farmers and their farms (Jan 2021 – Dec 2021)- GIS registration of cocoa farmers across the country
  2. Input distribution system (July 2021 – June 2022)-will facilitate distribution and monitoring of cocoa production inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides etc. to farmers
  3. Payment platform (July 2021 – June 2022)- that gives the farmer flexibility to receive payments for their produce promptly through various payment points including mobile money

Based on the above, Cocobod will partner with the Alliance, where the Alliance will provide a Digital Payments/Finance Expert to collaborate on enhancing the development of a CMS Digital Payment Framework as part of the CMS payment platform that will embed and operationalise digital payments within the cocoa value chain as part of the wider CMS implementation framework. The collaboration with the Alliance, which will be piloted in a Cocobod selected location, potentially the Western South region, will focus on component 3 of the whole CMS implementation, but will leverage data collected from component 1&2. This project will be rolled out in two phases:

Phase 1: Enhancing Supply Side Capacity (Cocobod and its FSP partners) to Deliver Digital Payments Solutions Responsibly. This is expected to run for one year focusing mainly on:

  • Enhancing the CMS Digital Payments Framework;
  • Embedding the Responsible Digital Payments Guidelines and a gender intentional agenda in the Framework and;
  • Facilitate informed engagements with FSPs and merchant payments players for the enhancement of the growing cocoa payments ecosystem.

Phase 2 (subject to successful implementation of phase 1) will focus on:? Enhancing the Demand Side to Adopt and Use Digital Payments Solutions through:

  • Farmer orientation, focusing on education and awareness of farmers on digital payment;
  • Driving adoption through partnering institutions (including private sector cocoa companies and their agribusiness intermediaries) to scale and deepen adoption of digital payments in the cocoa sector;?and
  • Documenting key lessons learnt in scaling digital payments in a multi-structured value chain set up.

SCOPE OF WORK

Phase 1: Enhancing Supply Side Capacity (Cocobod and its FSP partners) to Deliver Digital Payments Solutions Responsibly. Working with the Cocobod Implementation team, and in collaboration with the Alliance’s Advisory Service team, the Consultant will deliver on the following during phase 1 of the project:

Enhance the development of CMS Digital Payments Framework

  • Based on the CMS project documents, assess the current CMS payments platform configuration, identifying key points for generating a robust payments framework and agree on key enhancements with the Cocobod implementation team.
  • Using available secondary data and building on the ongoing farmer survey data while focusing on the selected cocoa pilot area, map the cocoa sector supply chain, identifying key players driving payments and financial services, including development partners, NGOs, financial & payments service providers and key suppliers across the cocoa sector chain. ?
  • Based on secondary data currently available on digital payments: (i) Review existing commodity related digital payment platforms or systems especially those found in the cocoa sector with the view of identifying challenges and opportunities to make the CMS platform more efficient and successful and; (ii) Identify, map and integrate into the CMS payment framework, solutions to current barriers to adoption of digital payments across cocoa farmer segments including practical solutions on easing access to financial services for women.
  • For instance, awareness creation will focus on some of the negative perceptions and views of cocoa farmers identified during the review exercise.
  • Embed in the framework, a mechanism to facilitate introduction of select value-added digital services (both financial and non-financial) for farmers:
    • Farmer subsidy payments and the subsequent repayments, working with input suppliers- this is critical in curbing leakages that have been experienced through the subsidy program which has been abused over the years.
    • Private sector led input credit system, provision of input credit by input suppliers and subsequent repayment.
    • Cocoa pension program- be able to deduct from farmers proceeds, contributions by farmers towards farmers pension.
    • Insurance- some farmers would want to purchase insurance products for their farm assets, and this should be built into the payment platform.
    • Interest earning savings products that cater for all farmers needs and lifestyles.
    • Access to credit facilities – leverage their cocoa payment history, and other bio and business data (to be captured during the farmer enrolling program) to access credit from FSPs and input suppliers.

Using results from the mapping and assessment of barriers, and working closely with the Alliance’s Advisory Service team, work on embedding the Responsible Digital Payments Guidelines and infusing a gender intentional agenda in the framework through:

  • Identifying opportunities to embed gender intentional and responsible digital payments practices to the digital payments’ framework.
  • Organise and facilitate internal knowledge building activities for the Cocobod implementation team and key staff, that includes but is not limited to knowledge workshops, digital finance courses, and peer learning activities where necessary, on responsible digital payments practices ensuring there is specific focus on developing gender intentional approaches to rolling out digital payments in the cocoa sector.
  • Working with the Cocobod and Alliance’s Communication teams, coordinate the announcement of Cocobod’s public commitment to drive responsible practices in the roll out of the digital payments program.

Working closely with the Cocobod implementation team, facilitate informed engagements and partnerships with financial service providers (FSPs) and merchant payments players working in the cocoa sector payments ecosystem. This will involve:

  • Refining and implementing a clear private sector engagement process plan that will extensively engage with key FSPs in the coca sector including non-traditional value-added financial service providers like insurance and pension management companies.
  • Customizing existing tools developed by the Alliance and? WCF ( Building Blocks to Digitising Payments in the Cocoa Sector), and define parameters, guidelines and service level agreements (SLAs) in the procurement of FSP services.

Working with other development partners, NGOs and FSPs in the cocoa sector, explore and implement options to enhance the payments ecosystem in the pilot location, focusing on;

  • Increasing DFS access points within the cocoa growing communities- which need to be numerous and well-located for farmers and PCs and by extension other members of the community.
  • Enhance DFS liquidity management, that ensures all farmers can access their cash if, where and when they need it. This will involve mapping the number of mobile money agents, master agents, ATMs and bank branches in the targeted cocoa growing areas.
  • Deepen DFS merchant acceptance, which includes targeted efforts to identify and digitize common farmer transactions, such as at input shops, pharmacies, grocery stores, and creates responsibly crafted awareness messages among farmers builds their confidence and trust in digital channels and instruments.

Working closely with the Alliance and the Cocobod team, evaluate the implementation of phase 1 activities to determine the next steps for deepening and scaling digital payments in the cocoa sector.

Phase 2: Enhancing Demand and Adoption of Digital Financial Services

Subject to successfully setting up a digital payments framework (phase 1) the second phase will be farmer oriented, focusing on:

  • Leveraging insights from the Building Blocks report and the Responsible Digital Payments Guidelines and working with participating FSPs, COCOBOD and private sector cocoa companies, customize? education, sensitization and awareness materials? to assist purchasing clerks, cocoa companies’ staff and farmers understand and appreciate the use of digital payments instruments of their choice, including most effective partnerships with communities and cocoa commercial players in the value chain.
  • Using the customized tools, develop and implement activities to drive adoption and closely monitor trends to timely respond to any challenges arising in the value chain:
    • Based on the farmer survey data, develop a monitoring dashboard on adoption and usage of digital payments by farmers, that includes gender disaggregated data to allow for early identification of any barriers, including gender-based, to digital payments.
    • In collaboration with FSPs and other development partners working in the cocoa sector, identify and apply sustainable incentives to encourage farmers to adopt digital financial services.

Working with Cocobod CMS implementation team and with guidance from the Alliance, identify and document key lessons learnt in scaling digital payments in the cocoa sector. ?The end of project report must include key lessons learnt in both phases that may include but not limited to:

  • Highlighting the key building blocks to scaling digital payments across the cocoa sector.
  • Role of apex bodies like Cocobod in driving digital payments in multi-structured set up, working with LBCs, purchasing clerks and farmers.
  • Lay out key strategies to driving adoption of digital payments among cocoa women farmers.
  • Note the impact of embedding responsible digital payments practices in scaling a digital payments initiative.
  • Advance practical recommendations on improving payments efficiency and keeping funds digital in the cocoa sector.

Expected Outcomes and Deliverables

Expected Duration of Assignment: Twelve (12) months

As part of this assignment the consultant will be required provide monthly reports highlighting progress towards the achievement of the deliverables below. These should include minutes of meetings conducted with key stakeholders’ month to month and reports on the various workshops undertaken.

Activities

Deliverables

Target Completion

Payment Terms

1

Project Plan and Mapping Report on Cocoa DFS value chain

  • Project plan outlining methodology and timelines for execution of Phase 1 of the project.
  • Draft mapping report highlighting:
    • ?DFS supply chain players,
    • Barriers to women farmers and recommended redress mechanisms to deepen digital payments and other financial services.
    • Recommended activity plan for enhancing the payments ecosystem in the selected location for a pilot.

June 2021

10% of total contract price

2

CMS Digital Payments Framework that will effectively embed digital payments as part of the CMS payment platform and drive adoption from all parties in the supply chain

  • Digital Payments Framework signed off by Cocobod
  • Final Mapping report.

August 2021

25% of total contract price

3

Embed Responsible Digital Payments Guidelines and gender intentional agenda in the Framework

  • Two internal knowledge workshops for the CMS implementation team and Cocobod senior management.
  • Staff webinar on digitizing payments initiative
  • Webinar with LBCs and cocoa sector players on Cocobod’s process on rolling out the framework and the importance of responsible practices
  • Public commitment to responsible practices in rolling out digital payments in the cocoa sector

October 2021

15% of total contract price

4

Facilitate informed engagements and partnerships with financial service providers (FSPs) and merchant payments players working in the cocoa sector payments ecosystem.

  • Customized tools, policy, procedures and guidelines on partnerships and procurement of FSPs to implement responsible digital payments [mobile money, e-zwich, cards etc.] and drive adoption by all parties in the supply chain in a responsible way.

December 2021

15% of total contract price

5

Enhance Payments Ecosystem in the pilot location.

  • Report on the enhanced ecosystem showing baseline statistics and an increase in access points, liquidity management, and merchant acceptance points in the pilot area based on set targets.

February 2022

15% of total contract price

6

Phase 1 Evaluation Report

  • Evaluation report highlighting key achievements, success factors, gaps and opportunities for refinement of approach to digitizing payments.

April 2022

20% of total contract price

Total

Institutional Arrangement

The consultant(s) will work under the direct supervision of the Africa Regional Lead and in close collaboration with Alliance’s Corporate Lead.

The consultant is responsible for providing his/her own laptop.

The Alliance shall closely monitor the performance of the consultant, and such monitoring shall include the detailed tracking of cumulative payments ensuring that they do not exceed the approved limit in the contract. If the consultant fails to meet performance requirements detailed above, (s)he will receive in first instance, a communication requesting an improvement in performance. Continued failure to meet performance requirements may result in termination and non-utilization of the contract.

Duration of the Work

The entire project is expected to run over a 24-month period. Phase 1 is expected to take 12 months.Phase 2 will take 12 months and is subject to successful implementation of phase 1.

DUTY STATION

The consultant will be based in Accra Ghana with travel to the pilot location.

STANDARD TRAVEL COSTS AND DAILY SUPPLMENTAL ALLOWANCE (DSA)

Travel: Any travel to selected project location will be pre-approved by the Africa Regional Lead or his assignee. Such travel must be scheduled as part of the project plan and approved by the Alliance. In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon in writing between the Alliance and Individual Consultant prior to travel and will be reimbursed according to UNDP/UNCDF Travel Policy.

QUA****LIFICATIONS AND LEVEL OF CONSULTANTS

The consultant must provide evidence of the technical capacity to undertake this assignment. This includes capacity to deliver the results in the timeframe provided as well as indication of prior experience (relevant research and financial inclusion/capabilities and experience, training, program development and evaluation).

Competencies

Core

  • Demonstrates ethics and integrity;
  • Team player;
  • Demonstrates political acumen and calculated risk taking;
  • Builds own and staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation;
  • Builds and promotes effective teams and partnerships;
  • Creates and promotes open communication;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humoured even under pressure;
  • Conducts fair and transparent decision making;
  • Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Shows strong corporate commitment.

Functional

  • Proven ability to manage, effectively lead , and ensures full implementation of a project to obtain results;
  • Conceptualizes more effective approaches to programme development and implementation;
  • Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives;
  • Makes effective use of Cocobod, UNCDF’s and other Better Than Cash Alliance member resources and comparative advantage to strengthen partnerships;
  • Creates networks and promotes initiatives with partner organizations; and
  • Creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking.

Technical

  • Working knowledge of current developments in payment tech & platforms, including innovative payment methods (e.g., mobile financial services, pre-paid/reloadable/other cards, QR codes etc.);
  • Solid skills in agribusiness supply chain distribution, financial and logistics implementation and analysis. Specific experience in the cocoa sector a plus;
  • Good network with financial service providers and other digital financial services ecosystem. A focus on agribusiness and rural areas an added advantage.
  • Understanding of key issues and international good practice relating to financial inclusion, and digital financial services consumer protection issues;
  • Excellent presentation and representation skills in multicultural contexts; and
  • Ability to articulate ideas clearly and coherently as well as translate complex technical ideas to a non-technical audience verbally & in writing.

Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • A Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, ICT, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience; and
  • Additional training related to digital financial services is highly desirable.

Experience

  • A minimum of five (5) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments required;
  • A minimum of three (3) years working experience in the Ghana payments ecosystem sector, with experience in the rural payments ecosystem an added advantage.
  • Experience in the formulation of strategies, policies & implementation procedures in digital payments at the private sector agribusiness level;
  • Experience in effectively leading or managing technical assistance in multi-structured and multi-stakeholder projects required;
  • Working knowledge of agribusiness supply chain distribution, financial & logistics implementation & current developments including innovative information delivery methods (e.g. learning platforms, information exchange, etc.) and payments (e.g., mobile financial services, pre-paid cards, etc.) essential. Specific experience in the cocoa sector an added advantage;
  • Detailed and knowledgeable about the Ghana payments landscape, including topical issues and digital payments regulatory environment; and
  • Understanding of issues related to financial inclusion

Language:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English is mandatory

PROPOSAL AND EVALUATION****Application:

Interested individuals must submit the documents mentioned below in order to demonstrate their qualifications (Note: the system does not allow multiple uploads of documents.)

The following documents are to be uploaded in one PDF file:

  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how they will approach the assignment.
  • Personal CV indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;

The following document is to be sent by email to financial.proposal@uncdf.org :

Incomplete applications may not be considered.

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

  • Preliminary Evaluation - Step I: Screening
  • Technical Evaluation Weight - 70% = (Step II Shortlisting)
  • Financial Evaluation Weight - 30% = (Step III)

Step I: Screening

Applications will be screened and only applicants meeting the mandatory criteria (listed under education and experience) will progress to the pool for shortlisting:

  • A Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, ICT, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience; and
  • A minimum of five (5) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments required;

?Step II: Shortlisting by Desk Review – 30% out of technical evaluation

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates and technically evaluate the candidates. Only candidates that obtained 80% of the points at this stage shall be invited for the next step.

Shortlisting scoring:

  • A minimum of five (5) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments required; (25 points)
  • A minimum of three (3) years working experience in the Ghana payments ecosystem sector, with experience in the rural payments ecosystem an added advantage. (15points)
  • Experience in the formulation of strategies, policies & implementation procedures in digital payments at the private sector agribusiness level; (20points)
  • Experience in effectively leading or managing technical assistance in multi-structured and multi-stakeholder projects required; (15points)
  • Working knowledge of agribusiness supply chain distribution, financial & logistics implementation & current developments including innovative information delivery methods (e.g. learning platforms, information exchange, etc.) and payments (e.g., mobile financial services, pre-paid cards, etc.) essential. Specific experience in the cocoa sector an added advantage; (15points)
  • Detailed and knowledgeable about the Ghana payments landscape, including topical issues and digital payments regulatory environment; (10Points)

Step III: – Interview – 70% out of technical evaluation

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the total of Steps III will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step III: Financial Evaluation

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30.

Both individual consultants and individual employed by a company or institution are welcome to apply.

Any individual employed by a company or institution who would like to submit an offer in response to a Procurement Notice for IC must do so in their individual capacity (providing a CV so that their qualifications may be judged accordingly). Women candidates or women-owned businesses are strongly encouraged to apply.

ba/ma

Added 11 days ago - Updated 7 hours ago - Source: jobs.undp.org