Financial Inclusiveness Consultant

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UNESCWA - Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

Open positions at UNESCWA / Open positions at UN

Application deadline 2 months ago: Sunday 13 Nov 2022 at 23:59 UTC

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Result of Service The purpose of this consultancy is to produce a global report on Financial Inclusiveness using ESCWA’s newly launched Financial Inclusiveness Index. However, for this exercise: 1. the index should be considered as one of the tools to be used to carry the assessment and the information used to assess the situation should go beyond the index and its KPIs; 2. field experiment and case studies should be systematically included (starting point, goals, programs and actions carried, end results, lessons leant, policy recommendations in context); 3. documenting lessons learnt and best practices with a view to provide detailed and actionable policy recommendations per income groups/level of development and for the most in need Arab countries, should be the focus of the report

The report should cover the following - What the situation in terms of financial inclusiveness and how it affects socio-economic gaps including gender gaps, rural-urban divide, and so forth? - What are the challenges on the supply side and on the demand side of financial services use and provision and how to move from exclusion to access, then to usage? - What are the potential impacts and challenges to building digital financial services to improve inclusiveness and fight poverty, including in remote areas? - What are the policy options including governmental reforms, private sector actions and innovations, or new technologies such as Fintech, among others? - What are the structural limits to such an assessment from the lack of data to a critic of existing indices and databases, methodologies and approaches, and so forth (should be included a critic of the methodology of ESCWA’s Index which should be comprehensive and included in an Annex with actionable recommendations for improvement)? - How the Covid-19 and the current situation affect prospects for further financial inclusiveness (an approach differentiating countries based on their income level may be appropriated here)? - What are the policies recommended for Arab countries taking into account their level of development, fiscal gap and other specificities, on one side, lessons learnt and best practices from the experience of the 150+ countries covered by the index, on the other? All the above should be treated at the regional level and the gender dimension must be systematically emphasized.

Additionally, the consultant is expected to produce 2-pagers per country providing - concise summary of FII situation in the country with clear link(s) to the KPIs included in the FII but not restricted to them, showing the actions carried that were successful and the ones that were not, key issues, and gender dimension, rural/urban using ESCWA’s Financial Inclusiveness Index but - policy recommendations for the country context, again showing the link(s) to the KPIs included in the FII but not restricted to them, and any other relevant info or insights discovered during the report development.

Work Location Remotely

Expected duration 2 Months

Duties and Responsibilities Under the general supervision of the Cluster Leader of ICTS, and the direct supervision and guidance of the task leader, the consultant will prepare a report assessing Financial Inclusiveness at the global level. The analysis will use all new available data and indices, in particular ESCWA’s Financial Inclusiveness Index. Policy recommendations will be formulated for each dimension and KPIs included in the calculation of the index that will reflect countries’ specific situation/income group. Simulation will be carried using ESCWA’S simulator and other analytical tools available on the ISPAR platform (node analysis, correlation analysis and so forth) to showcase the potential impact of the recommended policies and their economic and human outcomes. The consultant will have to present his findings during at least one workshop and is expected to travel and attend the meeting(s) in-person (travel and accommodation cost will be covered by ESCWA).

Responsibilities include producing: 1. the Financial Inclusiveness Global Report, 2. a database of policy recommendations by pillar and KPIs per income level/group of countries with proper references 3. for each pillar and KPIs a summary of most important policy recommendations to be published on the ISPAR platform 4. a 2 pagers summary of most important policy recommendations for each Arab country to be included under the simulator after the user has carried his own simulation.

Qualifications/special skills A PhD in economics and/or international finance is required. A minimum of 10 years of professional work experience in the field of finance, financial inclusiveness and economic development, preferably in Arab countries, particularly, on conducting policy research work and drafting policy recommendations is required. Strong analytical and writing skills proven through publications in referred journals and edited books would be an advantage.

Languages English and French are the official languages of the UN. For this assignment, fluency in English is required; and knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.

Note: “Fluency” equals a rating of ‘fluent’ in all four areas (speak, read, write, and understand) and “Knowledge of” equals a rating of ‘confident’ in two of the four areas.


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