Digital Financial Services (DFS) & Innovation Policy Consultant

Location of Job: 
Lusaka, Zambia
27 Nov 2019
04 Dec 2019
About the organization: 

UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia and the Pacific, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis. It provides seed capital – grants and loans – and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments finance the capital investments – water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes – that will improve poor peoples’ lives.

About the Job: 

UNCDF is looking for a national consultant with strong expertise in policy, regulation and innovation to support the Zambian start-up ecosystem and Zambian FinTech Regulatory environment. The ultimate objective of this assignment is to create a Regulatory Playbook based on the experience of 10 fintechs to support future fintechs and regulators on creating a more transparent and easy-to-access enabling environment. The Consultant’s work will inform a system of engagement, address regulatory barriers, and emphasize the fintech sector’s need to engage regulators and vice-versa.

Under the direct supervision of the Regional Technical Specialist, the DFS & Innovation Policy Consultant will be responsible for assessing the capacity & needs of Regulators and FinTechs to develop innovative financial solutions that can drive financial inclusion.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

A. Assessing Capacity & Need of Regulators and Fintechs:

  • For the Fintechs:
    • With Start-up/Technology Incubator, select up to 10 fintechs that require support in regulatory engagement
    • Identify the products/services for each of the fintechs, and the relevant regulators that would regulate those types of products/services.
    • Assess their capacity and need to engage the relevant regulators
  • Based on activity A1ii, engage relevant regulators (likely to be BoZ, ZICTA, and CCPC) within relevant divisions:
    • Assess regulatory capacity for specific relevant divisions of regulators
    • Identify the knowledge and skill needs and requests of relevant regulators

B. Information sharing so regulators are aware of emerging models and innovations in regulatory tools available to them. This would also include helping the relevant regulators engage with each other to share a common purpose:

  • Help regulators understand common FinTech models and best practices around the world on regulation of innovation, with special emphasis on similar local models.
  • Develop coordination mechanisms between relevant regulators to identify overlapping jurisdiction and develop common understanding of the potential for innovation
  • Curate exposure visits with regional and international examples to show how other regulators are addressing similar challenges.

C.  Facilitating deep industry engagement so regulators understand their role in enabling innovation and gain comfort in the potential of local solutions:

  • Help each FinTech engage (separately and, where possible, as a group) the relevant regulators to help understand relevant products/services and solicit guidance or feedback needed on likely compliance requirements.
  • Enable communication between regulators and industry on successes/failures, encouraging feedback from regulators and enabling product iteration
  • Support regulators, especially BoZ and ZICTA, respectively to identify internal champions who can liaise directly with industry representatives and Innovation Hubs as needed.

D. Suggesting recommendations/advice on regulatory solutions and how these can be implemented locally, including the use of enhanced supervisory tool like sandboxes to relevant regulators:

  • Determine how emerging models for managing FinTech innovations and can meet the needs of BoZ/ZICTA and the unique context of Zambia
  • Solicit feedback from local providers on the demand for and expectations of regulatory monitoring that will help regulators understand how to manage the risk of new models in a sustainable manner
  • Where appropriate, provide clear actionable guidance to help relevant regulators to determine whether a sandbox, or some other enhanced monitoring tools are appropriate.
  • Support implementation of regulatory interventions to ensure they align with industry expectations and can be applied consistently.

E. Supporting the please add the missing part here:

  • Testing of selected product under the observation/supervision of regulators if possible, relevant, and needed.
  • Communication of the testing of the product to relevant stakeholders
  • Review/Summarize existing regulatory guidance, criteria and standards of practice expected for live testing of new models in the Zambian market
  • Enable lessons from implementation (activities A, B, and C) to inform future iterations of regulatory engagement and product testing.


  • Master’s degree in economics, finance, banking, international development, business management, education or related fields is mandatory.
  • Demonstrated two years of experience working in (or with) a regulatory body on the management, oversight, or regulation of new technologies and innovation is mandatory.
  • Experience within a Central Bank or Telecommunications Regulator is preferred but not mandatory.
  • At least five years working for a regulator in Zambia or Southern Africa is preferred but not mandatory.
  • Two years of proven experience and/or understanding of Regulatory Licensing, Sandboxes and other relevant regulatory tools used to supervise and regulate the financial services industry, including fintechs is mandatory.
  • Proven experience working with digital financial service providers preferably in Zambia.
  • Proven experience and minimum knowledge of Digital Financial service solutions, and tools that can be used to capture low-income people.
  • Previous work in Zambia is preferred.
  • Previous work in Southern Africa is mandatory.
  • Written and spoken fluency in English is mandatory.
  • Spoken fluency in Bemba and/or Nyanja is preferred, but not mandatory.

This assignment is intended for Zambian nationals. Non-Zambian nationals may apply for the assignment, but UNCDF shall not be obliged whatsoever to provide entitlements normally given to international consultants. Please note that UNCDF cannot guarantee residence permits or visas for consultants. Consultants are responsible for securing their work documentation. Please note that UNCDF cannot guarantee residence permits or visas for Non-Zambian consultants. Non-Zambian Consultants are responsible for securing their work documentation. Applicants that are not nationals of the duty station requested will have to prove their residence status. Please note the consultant will not be compensated for living expenses while in the duty station.

How to Apply: 

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