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Re-Advertisement-National Consultant to Develop Savings &credit Sustainability plan -

Dhaka (Bangladesh)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Dhaka (Bangladesh)
  • Grade: National Consultant - Locally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Cash-Based Interventions
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-20

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Background

The Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities (LIUPC) Project (also known as National Urban Poverty Reduction Programme-NUPRP) builds on the experiences of the former DFID, UNDP and GoB funded Urban Partnership for Poverty Reduction Project-UPPR (2007-2015), one of the largest urban poverty reduction intervention in the world which established a community based approach to reduce urban poverty working with more than 2,500 Community Organizations in 19 Paurashavas (Municipalities) and City Corporations. LIUPC will be implemented over a period of five years (2018-2023) to provide support towards contributing to balanced, sustainable growth and reduction of urban poverty in Bangladesh. LIUPC will work nationwide and cover poor people living in slums and informal settlements in selected Paurashavas and all City Corporations in Bangladesh.

The programme has five Outputs: -

  • Output 1: Improve climate resilient housing and basic services for the low-income households
  • Output 2: Strengthening community organisations
  • Output 3: Skills and enterprise development for women and girls
  • Output 4: Enhancing climate adaptive capacity of the low-income community through resilient infrastructure
  • Output 5: Strengthening municipal capacity to deliver pro-poor, climate sensitive urban development.

Community led savings & credit programme:

Savings and Credit programme is one of the major components under Output-2 of the project along with other 5 thematic areas. It is a community banking system which is operated, managed, and controlled by the community itself. Savings & Credit Groups are managed by the CDC at community level. Each CDC maintains independent bank account for the transections and update their books of accounts following a set of passbooks and registers. The key role of LIUPCP is to facilitate and train the leadership of the community structures through Community Facilitators (CF) so that they can run the programme on their own. SCG is the front tier but CDC is the center to manage Savings & Credit activities. CDC cluster and Town Federation provides guidance and problem solution support in the management of this SCG fund. Usually, 15 to 20 members participate in each SCG and 150 to 300 members associated under a Community Development Committee (CDC). SCG members participate in the weekly meeting and they pay their savings and loan instalment in that meeting. Usually, each member deposits BDT 10 taka per week and in some cases, they deposit BDT 100 taka per month or more as per their group & CDC decision. The vision of S & C activities is to build primary group sustainable with solidarity , promote savings habits and build financial management skills, and provide access to financial services at a rate less than that of the micro-finance institutions. To manage this S&C fund, SCG organises weekly meeting to collect & deposit savings. CDCs collect the savings of SCGs and approve the loans as recommended by all SCG members. LIUPCP provides capacity building support to the leaders of PGs, CDCs, Clusters and Federation to manage the SCG Fund efficiently. This community led savings & credit programme has basic difference with the NGOs run Micro Credit programme. The distinct features of this programme approach are to build social cohesion, bonding, and easy access to microfinance services. Moreover, it has an objective to free the urban poor from “vicious cycle of so-called microcredit’ programme.

At present, the project has mobilised 3,40,000 SCG members under 22,200 of Savings & Credit Group. SCG members have been accumulated total £4.68m savings into 19 cities/towns, of them they disbursed total £3.15 million loan among the members. There are huge potentials of this savings & credit component to contribute LIUPC project sustainability. Some of the key strengths articulated as below:

  • Developed savings habit: Community led forums give opportunity to community members of developing savings habit.
  • Minimum operational cost: Community led savings and credit programme is being managed with very minimum cost as there is no staff and office management related cost.
  • Developed ownership of Savings & Credit activities: All members are the owner of the community led organizations which is absent in any other savings and credit scheme that helps build their confidence.
  • Profit distributed among the members: Profit is distributed among the members and community leaders in the form of dividend.
  • Easy access to financial services: Urban poor is getting collateral free easy access to micro financial services from community led savings and credit programme.
  • Enhanced social cohesion & Bonding among the urban poor: These groups work to build group solidarity & bonding among urban poor members.
  • Digitalizing Savings & Credit data: All savings & Credit data are now being digitalized with the technical support of a software firm

Present Capacity Gaps of Savings & Credit Programme:

The project has observed that the urban poor communities at different places demonstrated capacity gaps to manage savings & credit activities effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, there is also lacking setting up of an appropriate management mechanism since the beginning of the project. Lessons learnt from former similar nature project revealed that there was a gap of building institutional process at SCG/CDC level, which requires timely strategy not only to build community cohesiveness through savings mobilization and financing at household level, but also to pursue a vision of developing long term viability of community led savings and credit programme. Besides, due to lack of capacity of CDC office bearers in a few areas e.g., portfolio management, fund management and accounts management etc. many of the CDCs became weaker.  Some significant capacity gaps and challenges articulated here to draw an appropriate sustainable plan for the Savings & Credit Component and provide capacity development support to the urban poor accordingly.

  • Community Leaders are not well-equipped to operate Savings & Credit activities effectively and in most of the cases they tend to depend on Community Facilitators (CF). Limited education and low level of understanding are barriers for community leaders to operate financial services programme effectively.
  •  Front liners (CFs) are insufficient in number and in proportionate to facilitate savings and credit programme
  • Community leaders have weak understanding of present savings and credit reporting, for this they are mostly depended on CFs to support to operate it.
  • Community leaders and frontline staff have weak knowledge & skills to analyses portfolio data, which leads to poor management of revolving loan funds.
  • All books and registers at groups level are not updated regularly, and collection of savings and loans are not deposited to banks on a regular basis which results in cash in hand at CDC level.
  • Loans are not repaid as per schedule which leads to increases of default rate. High default rate and cash in hand amount are main obstacles of making community led savings and credit programme viable and sustainable.
  • Very weak accountability mechanism exists between the community structures (Clusters, CDCs)
  • Non-compliance of savings & credit regulations, policy and procedure exists.
  • Some borrowers are migrated without paying installments. Consequently, loan default amount has been increasing.
  • Community organizations is having liquidity crisis. As a result, existing fund is too small in amount to meet the loan demand of the SCG members.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

This consultancy will focus on develop an appropriate sustainable plan for Savings & Credit programme. Therefore, LIUPCP can prepare appropriate roll out plan following the sustainability plan. He/she will assess the present strengths, weakness of the component and reviewing the good practices nationally & internally to design appropriate solutions to make it sustainable.

Under the guidance of the Project Manager and with the day-to-day support from the Savings & Credit Coordinator or Component lead and coordination with other output coordinators, the consultant will be responsible to carry out the following, but not limited to these duties:

  1. Prepare an inception report with details procedures and outline to complete the assignment.
  2. Review relevant documents- Savings & Credit management guideline, Accounting & Auditing guideline, Savings & Credit SWOT analysis report, Draft Savings & credit strategy, various study conducted by other firms, Implementation guideline of Output-2, business case of DFID and approved project documents of NUPRP etc.
  3. Conduct FGD and KII with different stakeholders & groups (Staff, COs/CFs, LGI officials, CDCs/Clusters/Federation Leaders, SCG members etc.) to assess current capacity of the savings and credit programme and develop appropriate framework mechanism for community led savings & credit programme management.
  4. Conduct consultation meeting with key Microfinance Institutes (MFIs) to extract good practices and opportunities for the LIUPCP’s Saving& Credit Component
  5. Review current institutional development and accountability framework of the savings and credit programme and redesign accordingly.
  6. Review the strategic & technical guidance and programme management support for the community organisations (SCGs, CDCs, CDC Clusters & Town Federation)
  7. Review the needs of legal requirements to run community led financial services.
  8. Review the current internal control systems/mechanisms in place and adopt appropriate strategy to make it stronger.
  9. Review scope of tapping external financial resources(formal/informal) to access to loan support to the members of the community led organizations.
  10. Review the present ‘financial governance mechanism’ for making savings &credit programme more transparent and leaders accountable.
  11. Review present reporting mechanism of savings & credit component and re-design the reporting mechanism considering the capacity level of the community organisations.
  12. Develop a “pro poor” and “sustainable” savings & credit plan for the urban poor.
  13. Keep updates of every progress described above to the project manager and other project coordinators.
  14. Prepare completion report of the assigned task.

Expected Results and Deliverables

The main expected results of this consultancy are to design & development an appropriate saving & credit sustainable plan including roll out plan for the project & towns..

 The main deliverables will be:

  1. An inception report (final) with approach, qualitative tools, analysis, and framework; and timeline. (hard and soft copy) for developing savings &credit sustainable plan.
  2. Reports of consultation with project staff, community leaders and various stakeholders and MFIs
  3. Tools of FGD and KII for different target audience to assess the present strengths, gaps, and future opportunities & threats
  4. Draft concepts note on Savings & Credit Sustainability Plan and duly approved by the Project Management.
  5. Furnished Savings & Credit sustainability plan including roll out plan for the project.
  6. Assignment completion report

Expected Outputs and Deliverables

Deliverables/Outputs

Estimated Duration to Complete

Target Due Dates

Inception Report

02

02 working days after signing the contract

Review of necessary documents (Internal & external) on savings & credit and consult with staff, stakeholders, MFIs

05

07 working days after signing the contract

Develop the Draft Concept note on Savings & Credit Sustainability model

03

10 working days after signing the contract

Consult the Draft Savings & Credit Sustainability concept note with project management & FCDO

02

12 working days after signing the contract

Develop the Draft Savings & Credit Sustainability Plan including roll out mapping/plan

06

18 working days after signing the contract

Consult the Draft Savings & Credit Sustainability plan with FCDO, UNDP and Project management

03

21 working days after signing the contract

Furnished Savings & Credit Sustainability Plan including implementation plan

03

24 working days after signing the contract

Assignment Completion report

01

25 working Days after signing the contract

Institutional Arrangement

The Contract Administrator will be the Project Manager and with the regular support from the Savings & Credit Programme Coordinator and Social Mobilization & Community Capacity Building Coordinator of LIUPCP-NUPRP.

Duration of the Work

This assignment will last for over two months and will require 25 working days to complete the assignment. Tentative ontract start date 01 October 2021..

Duty Station

The consultancy will be Dhaka base with few field visit to interact with key stakeholders of the project.Due to Covid-19, may be 30%-50% works from Home-based and emaining tasks will be Office base

Travel and DSA:

No DSA will be paid at the duty station. If unforeseen travel outside the duty station not required by the Terms of Reference is requested by UNDP, and upon prior agreement/approval, such travel shall be at UNDP’s expenses and the individual contractor shall receive a per-diem not to exceed United Nations daily subsistence allowance rate in such other location(s).

Methodology

The Consultancy will undertake the following tasks to achieve the objective of this assignment:

  • Desk review: This review will focus on Savings & Credit management guideline, Accounting & Auditing guideline, Savings & Credit SWOT analysis report, Draft Savings & credit strategy, various study conducted by other firms, Implementation guideline of Output-2, business case of FCDO and approved project documents of NUPRP. Moreover, to identify the best practices of community led savings &credit programme globally and nationally and review those good practices critically to adopt best things that suit with the urban context of Bangladesh.
  • Consultation and Interviews: The consultant should undertake different consultations and interviews with project team, community leaders, key stakeholders (GoB, city authorities, relevant experts), MFIs during the consultancy.
  • Concepts note for the sustainability plan: A brief concept note (not more than 4 pages) including outline will be prepared for the details Savings &Credit Sustainability plan.
  • Interim, Draft and Final Savings & Credit Sustainability Plan: At first, prepare draft concept note on the Savings &Credit Sustainability Model, then it will be presented before project management for endorsement. Once the draft version is endorsed, prepare the details Savings & Credit Sustainability Plan including roll out map. The furnished version of the saving and credit sustainability plan will submit to LIUPCP-NUPRP HQ as hard and soft copies in standard (UK’s tone) English Language.

 

Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards (human rights, peace,
  • understanding between peoples and nations, tolerance, integrity, respect, and impartiality.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies:

  • Demonstrates openness to change, flexibility, and ability to manage complexities.
  • Proven strong written, analytical and communication skills.

Required Skills and Experience

Minimum Eligibility Criteria:The essential qualification of the consultant is listed below. CVs must be tailored to demonstrate competence against these requirements. Failure to demonstrate experience against these eligibility criteria will result in proposals being discarded.

Educational Qualification:

  • Masters’ Degree in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration or Economics, or Social Science or other specialized fields related to micro-finance.

Working Experience

  • At least 10 years of development experience in UN/INGOs/NGOs in programme design, management, Strategy development, conduct consultation/interview, prepare high quality analytical reports and high level of training facilitation skills in Savings & Credit focused programmes.
  • At least 5 years of progressively responsible in Micro finance management experience at senior level is required with national or international organizations.
  • Experience in developing self-sustaining business model in micro finance, internal control mechanism, financial inclusion and strengthening financial institutions are valuable assets to this position.
  • Experience in community-Managed Savings & Credit or Community Banking model and Financial governance is highly desirable
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages.
  • Experience of working in UN bi-lateral project and INGOs/NGOs with multi donor approach and familiar to work with GoB.
  • Experience of urban set-up (Paurashava/City Corporation) and excellent understanding of donor and GoB compliances of financial management.

Cumulative analysis

When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual Consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and

b) Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

  • Technical Criteria weight: 70%
  • Financial Criteria weight: 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% point in technical criteria would be considered for the Financial Evaluation

Technical Evaluation Criteria:

  • Level and relevance of education - 15 marks
  • Proposed approach, qualitative tools, analysis, and framework; and timeline -10 marks
  • Experience in design and development of strategic plan, high level of analytical skills, conduct FGD/interview, prepare high quality reports and high level of facilitation skills in Savings & Credit programme -15 marks
  • Experience in design & develop sustainable development programme for the Urban Poor, remodeling ongoing programmes activities and/or managing development projects including training programmes and capacity building initiatives for the local government and community-based organizations and in-depth knowledge on community banking, financial inclusion and community led Savings & Credit programme- 15 marks
  • Experience working with UNDP or INGOs or NGOs in Bangladesh at various development projects/programme in Micro Credit or Savings & Credit Programme at senior level in development sectors- 15 marks

All technical qualified proposals will be scored out 30 based on the formula provided below. The maximum points (30) will be assigned to the lowest financial proposal. All other proposals received points according to the following formula:

p = y (µ/z)

where:

  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated;
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal;
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal;
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated.

Price Proposal and Schedule of Payment:

Lump-sum contracts

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump-sum amount and payment terms around specific and measurable qualitative and quantitative) deliverables. Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the ToR. To assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump-sum amount as indicated in Annexure-II.

Tentative payment schedule

  • 1st payment: 20% of total contract value will be paid after submission and acceptance of Inception Report and Draft Concept note on Savings &Credit Sustainability plan.
  • 2nd payment: 50% of total contract value will be paid after submission and acceptance of Final Savings & Credit Sustainability Plan
  • 3rd and final Payment: 30% of total contract value will be paid after completed the assignment completion reports

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

Proposal

Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP; 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;

Brief description of why the individual considers him/her self as the most suitable for the assignment and Work plan, as to how they will approach and completed the assignment. Provide link for the relevant publications (at least 3);

Financial Proposal: Financial Proposal has to be submitted through a standard interest and availability template which can be downloaded from the link below:

http://www.bd.undp.org/content/dam/bangladesh/docs/Jobs/Interest%20and%20Submission%20of%20Financial%20Proposal-Template%20for%20Confirmation.docx

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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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