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 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 number of different SDGs.
UNCDF hosts the Secretariat of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
The Better Than Cash Alliance is 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. Billions of dollars in cash payments and transfers are made daily in emerging and developing economies, including payment of salaries, social welfare and relief, payments to suppliers, remittances, etc. The problems with these cash payments include a lack of transparency, accountability and security, as well as inefficiency. Furthermore, the individuals who receive the cash payments are often part of the 1.7 billion excluded from the formal financial sector. 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 payments from cash to digital has the potential to improve the lives of low income people, particularly women -who are twice as likely to be excluded from the financial system-, while giving governments, the development community and the private sector a more transparent, time and cost efficient, and often safer means of disbursing payments. Digitizing payments can also contribute to women’s economic empowerment. Digital payments can provide women with more control over family finances, increasing personal security, and improving economic opportunities.
The Alliance Secretariat works with its 70 members to navigate their digitization journeys, 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 Better Than Cash Alliance is looking to hire a Programme Specialist, P-3 to serve as its South East Asia regional lead – working to deliver services to government and corporate members in the South-East Asia region. The position will be based in Manila, Phillipines and will work under the supervision of BTCA Programme Specialist, P4 (Asia-Pacific Regional Lead), based in New Delhi, India and in close collaboration with BTCA Coportate Partnerships Specialist, P-3 based in Dakar, Senegal, with overall guidance from BTCA Deputy Project Manager, based in New York, USA.
For more information and to apply, please click here.