UNCDF’s ‘Leaving no one behind in the digital era’ strategy intends to move its focus only digitla finance (DF) to digital economies builds upon and constitutes a logical integration of UNCDF interventions in financial inclusion and digital, developed over many years. The legacy of UNCDF intervention programmes was built through a range of country/regional programmes and global thematic initiatives, which has established a very strong reputation for UNCDF vis-à-vis donors and peers.
Position Context: In Asia, the strategy covers the following countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Nepal. In addition, with non-core resources, the strategy covers China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Other countries will be added during the implementation of the strategy.
The Regional Digital Hub Manager, Asia will be responsible for managing the programming, implementation results and learning of digital activities in Asia; but also to develop models on digital innovation that meet the needs women, youth, migrants and low income customers that can be exported to other countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
He/she will be responsible for managing the Country & Regional Technical Specialists in the Asia region. He/she will be responsible for developing the Digital Finance programme in the region, implementing annual work plans and reports, and overseeing the programme’s grant and loan fund in the region. S/he will be responsible for managing the regional level activities of Digital Programmes investment committee, consisting of its funders at regional level. The Regional Digital Hub Manager, Asia will also have responsibility for cultivating and managing a group of technical professionals (staff, consultants and firms) in the countries he/she manages. Finally, the Regional Digital Hub Manager, Asia will play a key role in identifying and securing fundraising opportunities for the strategy’s expansion in their region. He/she will report to the UNCDF Director Financial Inclusion on corporate/managerial issues while reporting to the Global Digital Manager, P-5 on technical matters related to digital strategy implementation.
This position will be based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Important: This is a re-advertisement. Candidates who applied earlier are welcome to apply again.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The Regional Digital Hub Manager, Asia will provide technical and managerial leadership for the strategy implementation “Leaving no one behind in the digital era” in the geographical area detailed above. S/he will be responsible for mobilizing funds for the implementation of the strategy, identifying key sources of financing (grants, loans, equity) in the region, identifying and developing strategic partnerships for the successful strategy implementation, achieving results and disseminating learning.
Summary of key functions:
- Lead the implementation, management and expansion of the digital strategy in the region
- Build, manage and provide technical leadership to talented team of digital finance experts in the region, providing them technical leadership and policy guidance in digital work.
- Provide regional leadership, in building and maintaining strategic partnerships, capitalize on business opportunities and enhance resource mobilization for the digital strategy in the region
- Provide technical leadership in building a strong knowledge sharing network around digital finance & innovations
- Provide corporate support to Financial Inclusion Practice Area (FIPA) and UNCDF Management
More details on candidate recruitment qualifications and competencies required for the role and detailed description of job roles & responsibilities, is in detailed job posting, available on the organization website (link below). Only online applications are accepted for this role.
About the Organization
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 two channels: financial inclusion that expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small businesses to participate in the local economy, providing them with the tools they need to climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; and by showing how localized investments — through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance — can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion and sustainable development.
By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to SDG 1 on eradicating poverty with a focus on reaching the last mile and addressing exclusion and inequalities of access. At the same time, UNCDF deploys its capital finance mandate in line with SDG 17 on the means of implementation, to unlock public and private finance for the poor at the local level. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs and currently to 28 of 169 targets.
Since 2008, UNCDF has been supporting digital finance with significant success which has led UNCDF to make digital finance the largest part of its inclusive finance portfolio. UNCDF is also host to the Secretariat of the Better than Cash Alliance (BTCA), a partnership of governments, companies, and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth. UNCDF also serves as the secretariat for the UN Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs, which will consider the next wave of digitalization of finance and how the systemic changes to the financial ecosystem due to digital technologies will impact financing for the SDGs. For several years UNCDF’s work in digital finance has led it to support new digital solutions linked to finance, to further drive financial inclusion and to achieve the SDGs. This includes projects linked to on an off-grid energy, agriculture, employment, health and transport.
With 60 professionals with strong digital finance experience across the globe and with close to several hundred projects in digital completed or on-going, UNCDF is one of the leading development agencies in digital finance with a mission and expertise to reach the poorest and most vulnerable populations in some of the world’s most difficult markets. UNCDF’s digital team and resources are currently spread across several programmes and UNCDF is in the process of consolidating its financial and technical resources to create a comprehensive team of experts in various domains to drive its new strategy “Leaving no one behind in the digital era”.
Based on over a decade of experience applying a market development approach in digital finance in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, UNCDF started in 2017 to expand the scope of its programmatic agenda to go beyond digital finance . Through the “Leaving no one behind in the digital era” strategy, UNCDF is shifting its focus from only digital finance to the development of inclusive digital economies. The strategy recognizes that reaching the full potential of digital financial inclusion in support of the SDGs aligns with the vision of promoting digital economies for the following reasons:
- The value of Digital Financial Services (DFS) becomes more obvious, especially to poor and vulnerable populations, when it is closely linked to their ability to respond to the specific constraints and needs they face to participate in agriculture, access education, health, energy and other basic services key to overcome poverty.
- New innovative services should be developed to address these unmet needs. Innovation will come from traditional providers but mainly from a range of new players (entrepreneurs, start-ups in various sectors, and platforms like Facebook, Grab, WeChat, etc.).