Director, Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), P-6, UNCDF

negotiable / YEAR Expired 3 weeks ago
This job has expired.


Important Note!

Possible duty stations for this role are Brussels (Belgium) and Pretoria (South Africa).  Please note that the final duty station will be decided based on the nationality of the selected candidate.

Background and Organizational Context:

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in 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. UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: inclusive digital economies, connecting individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; local development finance, that capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and investment finance, that provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) impact and domestic resource mobilization. By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to Sustainable Development Goal-SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a broad diversity of SDGs.

The United Nations Capital Development Programme (UNCDF) is a UN organization focused on reducing poverty and achieving the SDGs in the least developed countries (“LDC”s). To support the realization of UNCDF’s Business Plan and drive the rapid expansion of the organization’s capacity to respond to LDC demand for its services and increase its geographical coverage of and average investment size in LDCs, UNCDF aims to develop a comprehensive business development strategy.  This strategy would encompass specific, but interlinked, strategies for partnerships, branding and communications, and resource mobilization, which would capitalize on specific business development opportunities.

About the Better Than Cash Alliance:
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 of digital payments include efficiency, transparency, women’s economic participation and financial inclusion, helping build economies that are digital and inclusive.

Position Purpose:

Founded in 2012, the Alliance has commitments from over 80 members including 33 countries, 21 international development organizations and 10 companies to move from cash to digital payments—and it is growing.  Its resource partner members include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, USAID, Sida, SECO and BMZ, among others. Its Secretariat hosted by UNCDF.

The Secretariat of the Alliance includes a team of thirteen staff members who each work with consulting teams: Managing Director, Deputy Directors, Head of Communications, Head of Africa Advocacy, Head of Private Sector Innovation, Regional Leads in Asia, Africa and Latin America and a Management Specialist, amongst others.  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.

The values of the Better Than Cash Alliance Secretariat are:

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

Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Provide the overall strategic, intellectual, and operational leadership of the Better Than Cash Alliance.


  • Lead the Better Than Cash Alliance – Secretariat and global membership – to build a global movement from cash to digital payments.
  • Develop the overall strategy for the Alliance, and actively evolve the strategy in response to members’ priorities and to address the economic and other major changes in global and regional economies
  • Prepare annual work plans to implement strategy and meet performance targets with budgets for Executive Committee approval. Evolve the governance and organizational structures in line with UNCDF policies, as needed to better deliver on the strategy.
  • Manage the delivery of Secretariat activities and outputs on time and to budget in line with UNCDF’s policies.
  • Prepare annual progress reports, narrative as well as financial, for the Executive Committee and in full compliance with UNDP Audit requirements.
  • Manage the team to ensure financial and performance reports are issued to development partners on time as per agreement requirements with funding partners.
  • Transparently report project achievements, delivery and other areas of accountability for regular UNCDF performance monitoring and reporting.
  • Ensure effective and efficient use of Quantum in line with project cycle, with Quantum approval authority of Project Manager, and in compliance with UNCDF Internal Control Framework.
  • Oversee preparations for project evaluations.

2. Serve as the highest representative of the Better Than Cash Alliance, representing the Alliance to the external parties. Achieve support for the Alliance mission and commitments to the Alliance, by engaging with Ministers of Finance, Central Bankers, Heads of State, CEOs and other C-Level stakeholders from public and private sectors.


  • Represent the Better Than Cash Alliance at global fora including the G20, UNGA, ASEAN, WEF Davos, WB/IMF annual meetings etc. and at high level events in member states on digitization of payments and contribute technically to the debates.
  • Provide strategic leadership to the External Relations Manager in advocating for a global movement from cash to digital payments, including engaging governments, companies at the senior corporate level and international organizations.
  • Identify potential Alliance members and develop and lead tailored strategy to gain membership.
  • Embed Better Than Cash Alliance principles into the work of the G20, ASEAN, UNGA, and CGAP and/or other similar global initiatives.
  • Build partnership with the World Bank’s Payments Systems Development Group (PSDG), CGAP, GSMA, BSR, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), and other organizations at the global level to build support for the digitization of payments and the development of inclusive digital payments ecosystems.
  • Utilize UNCDF, UNDP and Better Than Cash Alliance member country presence to support the development of inclusive digital payments ecosystems.

3. Ensure members receive the support they need through the Better Than Cash Alliance regional and functional teams to meet their goals and transition from cash to digital.


  • Provide strategic leadership to the Priority Country Teams and Regional Leads in services to members of the Better Than Cash Alliance including governments, companies and development organizations.
  • Oversee the Regional Team Leaders in their management of the Better Than Cash Alliance Regional leads, ensuring that services to members are efficiently-implemented, managed, monitored and evaluated, meeting or exceeding all targets.
  • Ensure both cost-effectiveness and excellence in delivery of Priority Member Services.
  • Ensure services to members build on the Advocacy and Research work of the Alliance and utilizes UNCDF/UNDP country presence as appropriate.
  • Ensure management of the Member Services Committee complies with UNCDF protocols.
  • Seek opportunities for coordinating and co-funding projects and ensure the Alliance’s complement those of other initiatives with shared focus.
  • Build partnerships with the complementary organizations at the country level in digitizing payments including the World Bank, CGAP, GSMA, AFI and more.
  • Develop monitoring and reporting requirements for members to show targets are being met.

4. Provide intellectual leadership for the cutting-edge research and thought leadership programme of the Better Than Cash Alliance in support of the Alliance’s Strategy .


  • Lead thought leadership strategy development with the Research and Knowledge Manager and Regional Leads with the input of the Editorial and Publications Committee.
  • Provide intellectual leadership in decisions about which cutting edge research to undertake to support the goals of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
  • Provide guidance and oversight to Research and Knowledge Manager to ensure that the publications are technically accurate and strategically critical.
  • Build partnerships with the strategic partners including the World Bank, CGAP, GSMA, AFI to collaborate for research and development of innovative, cutting-edge strategies and approaches to sharpen delivery of innovative payment technologies.
  • Oversee the process of convening national, regional and global stakeholders to share lessons learned.
  • Ensure management of the Editorial and Publications Committee complies with UNCDF protocols.
  • Undertake technical and quality assurance for all Better Than Cash Alliance publications.

5. Guide overall communications for the Alliance to advance the mission of the Alliance.


  • Lead strategy development on communications with the Head of Global Communications and with the input of BTCA’s funders and members.
  • Represent the Better Than Cash Alliance with global and regional news media.
  • Provide guidance and oversight to the Head of Global Communications to ensure that the communications, strategy is both technically accurate and communicates effectively.
  • Oversee development of the BTCA website and social media channels as a means to support BTCA objectives in addition to regular publications.
  • Build communication partnerships with the strategic and resource partners including the World Bank, CGAP, GSMA, Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation, MasterCard Foundation etc. to build awareness and support for digital payments.
  • Undertake technical and presentational quality assurance for all Better Than Cash Alliance publications.
  • Ensure all communication partners maintain standards of UN neutrality and Better Than Cash Alliance excellence.

6. Ensure the Better Than Cash Alliance is adequately funded and has the full support of funders.


  • Develop strategies to continue to mobilize resources to fully implement the Better Than Cash Alliance mission and its evolving strategy.
  • Effectively manage the Better Than Cash Alliance Secretariat to deliver agreed results with current resources to show value of ongoing funding.
  • Proactively manage relations with current and potential funders, ensuring the funders are informed and supportive.
  • Lead fundraising and relationship management for financial resources for the Better Than Cash Alliance.
  • Build effective and efficient partnerships at the operational level with major donor agencies to coordinate Better Than Cash Alliance related activities globally and in host countries.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities:

The Project Manager (Better Than Cash Alliance) is the highest representative of the Better Than Cash Alliance, representing the Alliance to internal and external parties. The key result expected is the successful implementation and attainment of targets of the Better Than Cash Alliance to catalyze a global movement from cash to responsible digital payments; including coordination with/reporting to all stakeholders, the Inclusive Digital Economies Practice (IDE) in UNCDF and funders.

The Project Manager will pursue the following key results of the Alliance:

  • Broad acceptance by governments, companies and international organizations that electronic/digital -payment solutions are better than cash;
  • Commitments from members to implement electronic/digital-payment solutions instead of cash;
  • Delivery of demand-driven services to governments, companies and international organizations that can uniquely be provided by the Alliance and which catalyze the digitization of payments;
  • Better Than Cash Alliance members make a significant improvement globally in the number of low-income and poor people served by innovative payment technologies, including those that were previously unbanked.
  • Original research and research by other stakeholders transformed into easily accessible knowledge products that demonstrate why responsible digital payments are important and how to implement electronic/digital-payment solutions so that:
  • electronic/digital payments to the mass market can be offered both responsibly and profitably and thus sustained basis by financial service providers (FSPs).
  • electronic/digital payments are cost-effective means for governments, development agencies, and other mass payment providers to distribute funds.
  • poor people, particularly women, benefit from increased options for financial inclusion afforded by the transition from cash to electronic/digital payment solutions.



  • Advanced University (Masters equivalent) degree in economics, public/business administration, social sciences, or related fields. PhD or equivalent in relevant field is an asset.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills:


  • Minimum of fifteen (15) years of experience with extensive emerging market and other international experience focused on digital financial services, digital financial inclusion or inclusive financial sector development is required.
  • Demonstrated effective representational experience is required (e.g. at Ministerial level in Government, UN system or C-suite of large corporate)
  • Relevant experience in global thought leadership – with either public or private sector is required
  • Fully conversant in current issues and trends in development, policy and practice, including digital innovation, digital financial inclusion, gender equality and climate change as well as their different regional and sectoral expressions is required.
  • Proven global project or business management experience, including demonstrated effective prudent financial management is required
  • Significant field experience in emerging markets countries is highly desirable
  • Proven fundraising experience/resource mobilization is highly desirable.
  • Effective experience as a senior spokesperson or advocate is highly desirable.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required. Knowledge of French or Spanish is highly desirable.

Expected Demonstration of Competencies

Core Competencies:  

Achieve Results:

LEVEL 4: Prioritize team workflow, mobilize resources, drive scalable results/strategic impact

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 4: Easily navigate complexity, encourage/enable radical innovation, has foresight

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 4: Create systems and processes that enable learning and development for all

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 4: Proactively initiate/lead organizational change, champion new systems/processes

Act with Determination:   

LEVEL 4: Able to make difficult decisions in challenging situations, inspire confidence

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 4: Construct strategic multi-partner alliances in high stake situations, foster co-creation

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 4: Create ethical culture, identify/address barriers to inclusion

People Management Competencies

Demonstrate Empathy and Emotional Intelligence:

  • Genuinely care about people; demonstrate empathy with joys and pains of others.
  • Enable the wellbeing of the team(s).
  • Read a group’s emotional currents and power relationships, identifying influencers, networks, and organizational dynamics; adapt leadership styles at the appropriate times.
  • See the positive in people, situations, and events.

Motivate and Direct:

  • Create and communicate a compelling vision and purpose.
  • Align people and resources with organizational vision, strategy, objectives.
  • Understand and proactively builds the team/organization culture.

Build an Enabling Workplace:

•     Create a working environment where people are engaged and want to do their best; empower and enables team members to perform and have a positive workplace experience.
•     Promote honestly, openness, trust and psychological safety and create opportunities to innovate and learn.
•     Recruit and promotes individuals based upon objective measures and meritocracy; acknowledge and utilise the talent of others Encourage collective action and integration.

Manage Performance and Ensure Accountability:

•     Ensure regular conversations with employees about functions.
•     Provide positive and constructive feedback.
•     Discuss poor performance in a timely manner.
•     Provide praise and recognition, as well as ensure accountability.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Business Direction & Strategy: Strategic Thinking    

  • Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNCDF’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities, linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions.
  • Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNCDF.

Business Direction & Strategy: Business Acumen    

  • Ability to understand and deal with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the operational frameworks in the organization and ability to make good judgments and quick decisions within such frameworks.

Business Development: Knowledge Generation    

  • Ability to research and turn information into useful knowledge, relevant for context, or responsive to a stated need.

Business Management: Results-based Management    

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus at improved performance and demonstrable results.

Business Management: Partnerships Management    

  • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies.

Business Management: Communication    

  • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.
  • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels.

Business Management: Customer Satisfaction/ Client Management    

  • Ability to respond timely and appropriately with a sense of urgency, provide consistent solutions, and deliver timely and quality results and/or solutions to fulfil and understand the real customers’ needs.
  • Provide inputs to the development of customer service strategy.
  • Look for ways to add value beyond clients’ immediate requests.
  • Ability to anticipate client’s upcoming needs and concerns.

Digital Innovation: Digital Inclusion    

  • Knowledge of how digital inclusion works, opportunities and challenges for governments and society

Digital and Innovation: Digital Thought Leadership    

  • Ongoing research into emerging technologies and digital trends and the applications, risks, and opportunities associated with digital adoption, combined with the ability to communicate this synthesis with a broad audience.

2030 Agenda – Partnerships: SDG Finance    

  • Financial Inclusion
Brussels, Belgium
This job has expired.