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Regional Payment Digitization Specialist - WAEMU - IPSA-10 - Multiple locations (Cotonou, Benin OR Dakar, Senegal OR  Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)

New York City

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Mid level - IPSA-10, International Personnel Services Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Human Resources
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: Closed
Job Duty stations:  Cotonou, Benin OR  Dakar, Senegal OR  Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


About the United Nations Capital Development Fund

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 46 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.


About the Better Than Cash Alliance

Hosted by UNCDF, the Better Than Cash Alliance’s missionis to catalyze a global movement from cash to digital payments to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Specific benefits include efficiency, transparency, women’seconomic participation, and financial inclusion, helping build economies that are digital and inclusive.


The Alliance has 80 members, including national governments from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, companies and international organizations that have all committed to digitizing their payments.

The Secretariat works with the Alliance memberson their journeyto digitize paymentsby:

  • Providing advisory servicesbased on member- priorities.
  • Sharing action-oriented researchand 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, includingpayment of salaries, social welfare and relief, paymentsto 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 paymentsfrom cash to digital has the potential to improve the lives of low-income people,particularly women, whilegiving governments, the development community, and the private sectora more transparent, time and cost efficient, and often-safer meansof disbursing payments.

The BetterThan Cash AllianceTeam’s Core Valuesare the following:

  • Achieving together
  • Striving for excellence
  • Service oriented
  • Results oriented.


In the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) region, the Alliance collaborates with diverse stakeholders including a) the public sector (policymakers, regulators and regional institutions) b) the private sector and c) international development organizations. The Alliance focus in the region is on advancing responsible payments digitization across 3 specific payments streams:

  • Merchant payments digitization
  • Health payments digitization
  • Coordinating mechanisms for advancing payment digitization to serve the overall economy
  • Institutional Arrangement

The successful candidate will be office-based in Cotonou (Benin),in Dakar (Senegal) or Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and work under the supervision of the Regional Lead for Francophone Africa and the Middle East of the Better Than Cash Alliance.

Duties and Responsibilities


Under the supervision of the Regional Lead for Francophone Africa and the Middle East, the Specialist will support the implementation of the regional strategy initiatives in the 8 country members of WAEMU (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Bissau Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo) which includes the following duties:

  1. Members advisory portfolio and in-country project management support(50%-time allocation)
    • Under the supervision of the Regional Lead for Francophone Africa and the Middle East, drive the implementation and document progress and learnings of selected in-country digitization initiatives in Alliance’s members across WAEMU.
    • Ensure liaison and drive cooperation with Alliance’s members, partners
    • Draft and develop project concept notes and seek input from relevant team members, partners and industry business experts, as needed.
    • Drive successful project management in full compliance of all UNCDF/UNDP rules and regulations in close partnership with the operations and procurement teams to ensure delivery of project milestones.
    • Provide administrative support to project implementation including workplans and recording project milestones, using internal tools: Asana, MSTeams, Sharepoint etc.
    •  Provide research, content and operational support for country missions, o-creation processes, meetings scheduling, conference calls, mission preparation. Accompany the Regional Lead for Francophone Africa and the Middle East and/or other members of the team for in-country missions as needed.
    • Monitor key indicators and performance of overall WAEMU initiatives and strategy, in support of the Regional Lead for Francophone Africa and the Middle East, M&Eand regional teams to feed into donor and internal reports.
    • Take ownership in partnership with the Regional Lead of drafting and development of strategy briefings, presentations and communication documents of the WAEMU strategy and


delivery during internal and external meetings, including for Members Services Committee, Editorial and Publication Committee, Executive Committee and Team Meetings.

  • Draft notes, presentations and terms of references for missions, meetings and/or conferences, workshops on the digitization of payments in support of Regional Lead for Francophone Africa and the Middle East, and other colleagues when needed.


  1. Research, learning and dissemination (20%-time allocation)
    • Conduct in-depth research on topics related to digital payments, digital financial services, financial inclusion, digital public infrastructure with a focus on specific markets to inform the regional strategy and the drafting of concept notes for in-country initiatives.
    • Review and contribute to Alliance’s research and advocacy documents and publications, as developed with Governments and other partners to inform the learning agenda of the Alliance on digitization of payments in WAEMU in particular, and in Africa in general.
    • Pro-actively work with the whole Africa team, and the Communications team to ensure lessons and achievements from digitization initiatives are regularly distilled and documented from all in-country initiatives and initiatives done by partners.
    • Conduct continuous desk research and stakeholders' engagement to collect data on recent advancements on digital financial services ecosystem to support/reinforce the Alliance’s unique value proposition in the WAEMU.
  2. Regional advocacy, liaison with members(15%-time allocation)
    • Maintain and grow relationship with Alliance’s members and partners in WAEMU. Support engagement, development and execution of regional and in-country workplans, new advocacy and advisory initiatives aiming at driving responsible digitization of payments in WAEMU
    • Ensure liaison and successful project management with Alliance’s members, partners, Alliance’s management, and procurement teams to ensure delivery of project milestones
    • Work with the country members and partners of the Alliance to develop commitments, key messages and sharing of learnings opportunities to scale responsible digitization of payments in WAEMU


  1. Communications and events: (15%-time allocation)
    • Work closely with the Regional Lead for Francophone Africa and the Middle East, other regional and country teams, including communications colleagues, monitor, identify and seize advocacy and communication opportunities for the Alliance, including conferences, UN, regional and national events;
    • Collaborate closely with the Regional Lead for Francophone Africa and the Middle East, other regional and country teams, including communications colleagues, for the organization of events, webinars, conferences and specialized workshops;
    • Draft comment pieces, share news and stories from Alliance members on social media and other communications channels, as appropriate.
    • Other activities, as requested


  1. This position involves 30% travel outside of the duty station.

Travel for work outside the country of duty station shall always be on economy class for IPSA holders, regardless of travel time. Travel arrangements shall follow the regular procedures as established for corporate travel, and DSA is paid regularly during travel for work outside the country of the duty station as per the corporate travel policy.




Achieve Results:

LEVEL3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting


Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideasto solve complexproblems  
Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Createand act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences  
Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands  
Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Thinkbeyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results  
Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex

landscape,champion inter-agency collaboration

Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverseworkforce and champion inclusivity  
Thematic Area Name Definition
Project management Project management

Capacity to manage projects using methodologies and approaches such as agile deployment or waterfall development. PMP and Prince2 certification or equivalent are

considered a bonus

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirements
  • A first-level university degree(Bachelor’s degree) in any social sciences in combination with 2 additional years of qualifying experience,will be givendue consideration in lieu of Master’s degree.
Min. yearsof relevant work experience
  • At least five (5) yearsof progressive relevant and diversified professional experience with Masters degree (or 7 years of experience with Bachelors degree may be given consideration) acquired in:
    • Management of projects (national and regional scope) involving cross-functional teams is mandatory
    • Minimum of 3 years of experience workingwithin the public sector OR in working within the private sector/development agencies/international consulting firms on projects related to/in partnership with the public sector
    • Experience in managing projects in emerging economies is desirable
    • Experience living and working in Francophone Africa is mandatory (no” fly in and fly out”experience of the region

will be considered)

Required skillsand competencies
  • Knowledge of digital payments/digital financial inclusion and public administration is essential,
  • Excellent writing, editing and communications skills in French and English to an international standard including correspondence (to senior officials), reports, talking points and briefing material is essential.
  • Demonstrated experience in project management and/or multi- stakeholder engagement for project implementation is mandatory;
  • Computer literacy, including advanced knowledge of Excel spread sheetsand power pointpresentations are essential.
  • Excellent analytical skillsis mandatory.


Desired skillsin addition to the competencies covered in the

Competencies section

  • Experience in event management and supporting the organization of high-level meetings is desirable.
  • Excellent presentation, experience in engaging with senior executives  and  officials  from  the  public,  private  and
  • international development sectorsis highly desirable.
  • Experience in conducting research on digital payments, digital financial services, financial inclusion, digital economy and knowledge of the main research sources and development partners working on digitalpayments, financial inclusion, digital economy is desirable.
Required Language(s)
  • Excellent French, bothoral and written, is mandatory
  • Fluency in English, bothoral and written, is mandatory


Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 

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