The 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 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Based at UNCDF, the Better Than Cash Alliance’s mission is to catalyze a global movement from cash to digital payments to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Specific benefits include efficiency, transparency, women’s economic participation and financial inclusion, helping build economies that are digital and inclusive.
The Alliance has 75 members, including national governments from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, companies and international organizations which have committed to digitizing payments.
The Secretariat works with the Alliance members on their journey to digitize payments by:
Providing advisory services based on member priorities.
Sharing action-oriented research and fostering peer learning.
Conducting advocacy at national, regional and global level.
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. 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, the majority of whom are women. 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:
Striving for excellence
For more information about the Better Than Cash Alliance, please visit our website: www.betterthancash.org.
Duties and Responsibilities
UNCDF would like to enter into a non-exclusive Framework Agreement, also known as Long-Term Agreement (LTA), with one or more individuals that will perform the services described below on a need-basis. In UNCDF, an LTA is a framework agreement by and between UNCDF and a company or individual where the latter may, at any time within the duration of the LTA, be required to render the agreed services at the agreed and fixed unit prices for a minimum period of 12 months, with potential extension for up to two (2) additional years, depending on satisfactory performance of the company or individual.
Under an LTA, UNCDF does not guarantee that any specific quantity of services shall be purchased during the term of this agreement. The LTA does not form a financial obligation or commitment from UNCDF at the time the LTA contract is signed and that such an agreement is non-exclusive.
Where a request for service arises, UNCDF can engage the individual on LTA through a “call-off” of the LTA.
Every call-off shall have specific tasks, scope of services and outputs to be delivered within a specific period of time. For this particular work, the call-off shall be formalized through the issuance of a Purchase Order, attaching thereto the Terms of Reference (TOR), and any other document relevant to the call-off. Financial commitments will only be established each time a Purchase Order for the specific services/TOR for Individual Contractor is committed.
In the event that there will be multiple consultants qualified to perform the services on an assignment, UNCDF may conduct a secondary competition among them in order to determine who should receive the call-off. The criteria for such selection shall be limited only to the lowest priced offer among those who confirmed availability.
The LTA shall have a cumulative ceiling amount that may accrue to the individual contractor during the life of the LTA, but said amount shall remain as an upper limit, and must not and cannot be interpreted nor understood as neither a financial commitment nor guarantee of business volume. The said limit shall be inclusive of both professional fees and all other travel entitlements received by the consultant.
The objective of this consultancy is to support the Alliance who is looking for several excellent team players that provide high quality technical editing and writing services, in either English, Spanish or French, to highlight the power of digital payments to help advance the Sustainable Development Goals.
The materials which require technical editing and writing are a critical part of the work undertaken by the Better Than Cash Alliance in terms of advocacy at national, regional and global level, as well as advisory services to its members in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Key audiences include senior officials in governments, companies and international organizations.
Successful candidates to this position will be engaged on an assignment basis. These assignments may be short-term or long-term contracts which will be discussed with the candidate. He/she will be free to accept or decline the offer for each assignment.
Under the supervision of the Head of Communications, the consultant will work very collaboratively with the Alliance’s Digital Payments Resource and Innovation Hub, Regional and Country Leads, other key colleagues.
Candidates applying through their company or network should apply as individual candidates and shall indicate in the technical proposal, and in the methodological approach, possible support services (peer review, editing, formatting) that will be utilized to ensure the quality of the results/deliverables. These costs should be included in the technical-financial offer.
Scope of Work
Technical editing and re-writing:
Establish the purpose and intended readership for the material to be edited and to ensure that the writing style is appropriate for the audience.
Turn technical content into language that can easily be understood by the target audience, including but not limited to government officials, corporates, and international organizations.
Re-write, re-organize and monitor overall structure for logical flow and balance.
Revise the material to take account of comments of reviewers and additional material supplied by the author.
Review content for language accuracy, tone, and style ensuring that the text is concise and clear.
Conduct research to ensure the use of proper technical terminology.
Question possible factual errors, correct analytical reports, eliminate jargons.
Advise on the selection and effective use of tables, illustrations, text boxes, footnotes and annexes. Ensure that the presentation of similar data is consistent, check that any tables, figures and annexes are correctly cited in the text. Check that the main text correctly reflects the information given in tables and figures.
Writing and editing of communications materials:
Draft and edit a wide range of communications materials, including media comment pieces, blogs, presentations, newsletters and innovative learning products.
Craft strong headlines, titles and subtitles, when appropriate.
Conceptualize and draft innovative visual assets such as infographics and animations.
Range of Deliverables
The following lists a range of possible deliverables that the consultants may be expected to edit and/or write at any given engagement:
Technical reports, including flagship publications, case studies and diagnostic studies
Learning materials, which could range from two-pagers to power points presentations.
Media products, such as media releases or comment pieces.
Please check the Better Than Cash Alliance to get a better understanding of the type of research and communications materials we publish: www.betterthancash.org.
Duration of Assignment, Duty Station and Expected places of travel
Job type Long-Term Agreement (LTA) as part-time based on specific assignment and deliverables. Under the LTA, a Terms of Reference (TORs) which indicate a set of clear deliverables, budget and timeline will be prepared, agreed and approved by UNCDF/BTCA prior to each assignment and/or mission. The payment will be made based on satisfactory completion of the assignment and submission of all deliverables, and within the terms of the approved ToRs.
Duration: Will be agreed for each assignment as per the Standard Operational Procedure (SOP).
Duty Station and expected places of travel: Home-based.
The schedule of any travel, if needed, will be agreed on with the incumbent according to the requirements of each assignment. Travel costs associated to the assignment will be paid following the UN rules and regulations which is economy ticket, UN Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for specific countries. DSA rates are set on a monthly basis by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), accessible from https://icsc.un.org/Home/DataDSA
Provision of Monitoring and progress Controls
A schedule of days worked, outputs produced, and costs incurred will be monitored by the Head of Communications. The consultant will work very collaboratively with the Alliance’s Digital Payments Resource and Innovation Hub, Regional and Country Leads, other key colleagues. Each Individual Contractor will be allocated maximum 200 days per year.
Payment to the Individual Contractor will be made based on the actual number of days agreed with UNCDF as reflected in the call-off (PO) and upon certification of satisfactory completion and acceptance of the output by the Head of Communications.
Supporting documents that will serve as conditions for disbursement are as follows: (i) submission of invoice and Certificate of Payment form; (ii) review, approval and written acceptance of outputs for each deliverable by the Head of Communications; (iii) submission of time sheet and expenses with relevant documentation; and (iv) authorization of payment disbursement from the Head of Communications.
Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
Demonstrates political acumen and calculated risk taking.
Impeccable diplomatic skills and knowledge of protocol.
Builds own competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation.
Creates and promotes open communication.
Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure.
Conducts fair and transparent decision making.
Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability.
Shows strong corporate commitment.
Sets high standards for quality of work and consistently achieves project goals.
Proven ability to conceptualize, plan and execute ideas.
Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives.
Makes effective use of UNCDF’s and other Better Than Cash Alliance member resources and comparative advantage to strengthen partnerships.
Creates networks and promotes initiatives with partner organizations.
Creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking.
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
Demonstrated expertise in communicating complex technical ideas to a non-technical audience, including plain and snappy language.
Excellent ability to understand, write and edit research and communications products about how digital payments and digital financial inclusion contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Demonstrates strategic thinking, creativity and innovation; positive, proactive, “can do” approach.
Ability to listen and collaborate with a wide range of colleagues, members and partners.
Negotiates effectively by exploring a range of possibilities.
Demonstrates and shares detailed technical knowledge and expertise.
Ability to juggle competing priorities, whilst maintaining attention to detail and meeting deadlines.
Required Skills and Experience
Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, economics, finance, international relations or related fields.
At least 5-8 years of professional experience in editing and writing outstanding technical research reports, policy documents and communications materials, targeting audiences including senior officials in either government, corporate or international organizations on digital payments, digital financial services, financial inclusion or related fields.
Solid understanding of how digital payments and digital financial inclusion help advance progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This includes good understanding of key actors, opportunities and challenges.
Experience working with high level government officials and international organizations.
Experience working with the United Nations and/or other multi-lateral organization is an advantage.
Experience working in a multi-cultural environment, working in different time zones as well as culturally diverse teams, is highly desirable.
Outstanding editing and writing skills in either English, Spanish or French.
Excellent oral and writing skills in English.
Documents to be included with submitting proposal (In English Language or with English translation)
Interested consultants are requested to submit the offer comprising of:
Personal profile including:
CV and P.11 including past experience in similar projects;
One-page cover letter describing why the candidate is the most suitable for the assignment;
Confirmation of availability to take up assignments for the whole period http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=29916;
Name and contact details of three referees.
The candidate must submit the following samples by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: "Samples LTA Technical Editor and Writer, Better Than Cash Alliance":
Two relevant examples of technical editing and re-writing: either research reports or policy documents, targeting senior officials in either government, corporate or international organizations on digital payments, digital financial services, financial inclusion or related fields. Please provide the Word document where your track changes and comments can be seen.
Two relevant examples of writing: communications materials on digital payments, digital financial services, financial inclusion or related fields. It could include a media comment piece, blog, Power Point presentation, newsletter or an innovative learning product.