2018 UNCDF Grants for Development of a Mobile Application for Financial Education in West Africa

Application Deadline: July 10th 2018 at 17.00 GMT

The youth employment crisis is a global development priority. In much of West Africa including countries like The Gambia, Guinea, Niger and Senegal, high youth unemployment, significant proportions of working poor in vulnerable employment, and economic disengagement run the risk of creating disaffection, driving migration, inciting social unrest, and slowing progress towards development goals.
There is an urgent need for a sustainable model to build youth resilience, in particular for young women, to successfully navigate school-to-work transitions, while adopting a capabilities approach to broaden youth employment opportunities. These approaches need to enhance youth engagement with their local economies and support their access to opportunities within t
heir immediate financial ecosystem.
Since 2010 UNCDF has been actively working to increase youths’ financial inclusion through
piloting different approaches combining financial and non-financial services. To date, through YouthStart (YS), a regional pilot in Sub-Saharan Africa, granted access to savings accounts to over 856,00 young people (of which 47 percent are young women and girls), trained over 950,000 youth in financial education; and provided loans to almost 242,000 young entrepreneurs (54 percent young women). These young clients have accumulated over US$23 million in savings while the outstanding loan portfolio to young entrepreneurs is US$39million.
Based on the recommendations from the evaluation of YS, UNCDF is now bringing its expertise in youth finance together with digital financial services to other LDC’s and deepening its intervention in the countries of the regional pilot.
UNCDF is seeking applications from qualified technical partners (e.g. The partner firm or organization will be tasked to develop a platform which meets the contextual needs of the four (4) YouthStart Expansion countries ( The Gambia, Guinea,Niger and Senegal). The application should be designed for trainers at FSPs level but also for final young clients on their own devices with the option (where applicable) to be linked to an e-wallet system of a partner financial institution. Content for the financial training modules will be provided by UNCDF and the partner financial institution.
The application:
• Should use an open sourced solution
• Provide an option for USSD compatibility is desirable
• Easy to adapt to different cultural contexts like local language
• Should be easy to use and should take into consideration low literacy and digital skills of end users
• Should be android compatible
• Compatibility with IOS desirable
  • The technical partner is expected to sign a Performance Based Financing (Grant) Agreement with UNCDF (Applicants not familiar with UNCDF agreements are encouraged to request a sample from youthstart@uncdf.org prior to submission of application).
  • The duration of the grant agreement will be 30 months.
Agreement size: Up to US$300,000 for the whole project. Applicants should provide budgets indicating the cost per stage (as depicted above) per country and how they would allocate costs to produce high quality results with their technical approach.
Minimum qualification criteria
• At least five years in operations
• Demonstrable experience developing platforms and/or data collection tools for development
organisations, particularly in developing countries
• Experience conducting similar mobile applications in sub-Saharan Africa.
• Provide written confirmation (Annex 1) that the organization has reviewed the UNCDF Grant Agreement template (available upon request), and that your organization is prepared to sign it without revision to standard language
• Submit a complete application
Other requirements and qualifications
• Any type of organization (commercial for-profit firms, educational institutions, and non
-profit organizations) is eligible to compete
• Evidence of the organization having completed similar engagements
• Previous experience building applications for vulnerable groups, particularly youth
• Previous experience in the target countries a plus (Gambia, Guinea, Niger and Senegal)
• Have confirmed human resources to cover all planned/required activities;
Submission of the Application
• Applications and any consultation about this RFA should be submitted via email at youthstart@uncdf.org
• Questions regarding this RFA will be accepted till July 5th 2018
• The subject line of the email should be: Mobile Application for Financial Education YS-E
• Applications can be submitted in either English or French
• The deadline to submit the applications is July 10th 2018 at 17.00 GMT


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