The Alliance for Financial Inclusion
The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) is the world’s leading organization on financial inclusion policy and regulation. Currently, nearly 100 member institutions make up the AFI network including central banks, ministries of finance and other financial policymaking or regulatory institutions from over 85 developing countries and emerging markets. AFI empowers policymakers to increase the access and usage of quality financial services for the underserved through sustainable and inclusive policies and an effective use of digital technologies.
Policies developed and implemented by the members of the Alliance contribute to a range of the Sustainable Development Goals. by Setting their own agenda, AFI members harness the power of peer learning to develop practical and tested policy reforms that enhance financial inclusion with strategic support from both public and private sector partners.
AFI has 7 Working Groups (WGs): Consumer Empowerment and Market Conduct Working Group (CEMCWG), Digital Financial Services Working Group (DFSWG), Financial Inclusion Data Working Group (FIDWG), Financial Inclusion Strategy Peer Learning Group (FISPLG), Global Standards Proportionality Working Group (GSPWG), Inclusive Green Finance Working Group (IGFWG) and SME Finance Working Group (SMEFWG).
As the key source of policy developments and trends in financial inclusion and as the primary mechanism for generating and incubating technical content in the network, the Working Groups serve as “communities of practice”. Providing a platform for knowledge exchange and peer learning among policymakers to share, deliberate and deepen their understanding, the working groups offer leadership and expertise in their respective policy fields and support the network to monitor new developments in emerging fields. The WGs are supported by a full range of capacity-building courses and events and in-country implementation projects.
The working groups receive strategic guidance and insight from the High-Level Global Standards & Policy Committee, while the Gender Inclusive Finance Committee, supports WGs in integrating gender considerations into all aspects of their work and support members in fulfilling their Denarau Action Plan (2016) commitment to promote women’s financial inclusion.
AFI members have made further commitments in a range of other accords which can be read here.
The AFI’s five regional initiatives support policy implementation in Africa (AfPI), Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC), the Pacific Islands (PIRI), Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECAPI) and the Arab Region (FIARI).
2. Introduction and Context
The Superintendency of Popular and Solidarity Economy (SEPS), as well as international organizations like the Andean Development Corporation -CAF and the World Bank, have established evidence of a considerable gender gap in financial inclusion in Ecuador. There is evidence of a significant (18 percent) gender gap in financial inclusion in Ecuador that has been identified by SEPS, as well as by international organizations such as Andean Development Corporation -CAF and the World Bank.
A recent study and survey conducted by CAF in May 2021 revealed that there is a gender gap in women’s representation as members of financial cooperatives (only 41% are women), and only 33% of Savings and Credit Cooperatives SACCOs have a woman in the position of Manager. The study also identified a gender gap in access to credit products.
In this regard, there is a need for enhanced coordination and implementation of policies to advance women’s financial inclusion and to reduce gender gaps in Ecuador. SEPS should generate the necessary strategies and alliances for this purpose for improving the inclusion of women and reducing women’s barriers to access financial products and services; to ensure future generations of Ecuadorian women do not continue to experience barriers to access appropriate and affordable financial products and services.
The project is focused on reviewing regulations related to the topic of women’s financial inclusion, defining the scope and content of a Gender Inclusive Financial Roadmap, proposing alternatives towards reducing women’s barriers to access financial products and services, developing digital and financial education programs and stating strategies for and effective inclusion of women in the Popular and Solidarity Economy.
The overarching objective of the assignment is to develop an evidence-based roadmap for closing the gender gap in financial inclusion in Ecuador.
The objective of the assignment is two-fold. The first is to undertake a Gender Financial Inclusion Diagnostic and Regulatory Assessment to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current gender gap in financial inclusion, as well as key demand-side and supply-side constraints, regulatory and infrastructure impediments, and social barriers. The second is to develop an evidence-based roadmap and action plan to primarily guide SEPS to implement the measures (short-term, medium-term, and long-term) to close the gender gap in financial inclusion, as well as an action plan for various stakeholders, particularly supply-side actors.
4. Scope of Work
The assignment is expected to be completed in two phases with the following particular scope or work.
Phase -1: Gender Financial Inclusion Diagnostic & Regulatory Assessment
Define Analysis Framework
- Develop an analysis framework for conducting the Diagnostic and Regulatory Assessment. The analysis framework should outline the key pillars of the diagnostic and regulatory assessment, provide a detailed technical approach and the analytical process for identifying opportunities, constraints (demand-side and supply-side constraints, regulatory and infrastructure impediments, and social barriers), and developing recommendations. It will be important to frame this analysis in alignment with the country’s gender equality regulations and commitment to the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.
Conduct desk research to identify the data points and develop a preliminary understanding of opportunities and challenges (demand-side, supply-side and regulatory) in gender financial inclusion in Ecuador.
Identification of key stakeholders who should participate in interviews/surveys to be done by SEPS with input from consultant.
Identification of the regulatory policies/guidelines/regulations/laws for financial inclusion, including women’s financial inclusion, to be done jointly with SEPS.
Develop questionnaires for conducting survey/interviews/ focus group with regulatory institutions, financial services providers, associations, economy and solidary entities, associates, customers, etc.
Conduct interviews/ focus group with the stakeholders (at least 4 financial services providers, 2 regulators, 3 asociations or organizations, 4 associates )
Analysis and report writing
Provide a comprehensive understanding of the current status of financial inclusion in Ecuador.
Provide a comprehensive understanding of the current gender gap in financial inclusion, as well as key demand-side and supply-side constraints, regulatory and infrastructure impediments, and social barriers.
Showcase the existing financial inclusion regulatory landscape, country policy profile and provide a comprehensive understanding of various policy responses implemented in Ecuador for financial inclusion.
Highlight the gaps in the country policy profile from the perspectives of financial inclusion and women’s financial inclusion.
Provide evidence-based policy recommendations to close the gender gap in financial inclusion in Ecuador. The recommendations should also include the needed measures to overcome demand-side, supply-side and social barriers
Phase -2: Roadmap to the Sustainable and Responsible Financial Inclusion of Women
- Define Analysis Framework
Develop an analysis framework for the Roadmap. The analysis framework should be based on the recommendations of the diagnostic and regulatory assessment to identify the key clusters and the process through which analysis will be conducted to develop action plans for the implementation of each cluster. The framework should also include a detailed plan for developing the Roadmap.
- Identification of stakeholders who should participate in one-on-one consultation meetings and those to be done jointly with SEPS.
- Develop sets of questionnaires for conducting consultation meetings with at least 2 regulatory institutions, 4 financial services providers, 3 associations, 4 associates, etc
- Conduct one-to-one stakeholder consultation meetings with each stakeholder previously defined. The key recommendations identified in the diagnostic and regulatory assessment should be validated in the consultation meeting. The one-to-one interviews will be conducted virtually.
- Conduct a stakeholder consultation workshop to garner feedback on the draft roadmap. The consultant(s) is expected to travel to Ecuador to conduct the workshop.
Development of Roadmap
In collaboration with SEPS and AFI, develop the initial draft of the Roadmap. The Roadmap should clearly outline the key clusters, as well as recommendations for each cluster (the clusters might include but not limited to National Strategies and Regulation, Financial Infrastructure, Customer Onboarding, Digital Financial Products and Services, Consumer Protection, Financial Literacy, Digital Financial Literacy, Economic Participation, etc.. The consultant is expected to do the analysis to identify and define the clusters for the roadmap), an implementation plan, and a complete monitoring and assessment plan. The implementation plan should be clustered under short-term, medium-term, and long-term timelines, along with the responsible institution, and the recommendations should be prioritized in order of relevance and importance.
Develop the second draft of the Roadmap incorporating feedback from the stakeholder consultation as well as comments from relevant regulatory authorities in Ecuador and AFI.
Development of a tool for SEPS to monitor and assess the progress of the Roadmap implementation.
Conduct a workshop to present the Roadmap to the key regulatory stakeholders
Conduct capacity building workshop increase SEPS’ capability on the implementation of Roadmap and tool for monitoring and assessment.
Phase -1: Gender Financial Inclusion Diagnostic & Regulatory Assessment (in spanish and in English)
- Analysis framework and report outline
- Desk research report
- Interview/survey instruments
- First draft of the Diagnostic and Regulatory Assessment report
- Second draft of the Diagnostic and Regulatory Assessment report
- Final draft of the Diagnostic and Regulatory Assessment report
- Powerpoint presentation with a summary of the report
- Present the analysis and recommendations
Phase -2: Roadmap to the Sustainable and Responsible Financial Inclusion of Women (in spanish and in English)
- Analysis framework and report outline
- Interview instruments
- Stakeholder interview reports
- Stakeholder consultation workshop report
- First draft of the Roadmap
- Second draft of the Roadmap
- Final draft of the Roadmap
- First draft of Monitoring and Assessment Tool
- Second draft of Monitoring and Assessment Tool
- Final draft of Monitoring and Assessment Tool
- Powerpoint presentation with a summary of the Roadmap
- Present the Roadmap to key regulatory stakeholders
- Conduct a capacity-building workshop
Work is proposed to be completed within 140 days over a period of seven months, starting from the onboarding of the consultant. The key timelines are summarized in the table below:
Activities and Deliverables
Gender Financial Inclusion Diagnostic & Regulatory Assessment
Roadmap to the Sustainable and Responsible Financial Inclusion of Women
Travel is require/not? Travel is required in Phase-2 of the assignment
Air Travel Policy: Air travels are to be arranged by the Consultant. All air travel expenses shall be approved by AFI’s Travel & Sponsorship Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) before booking, for the expense to qualify for reimbursement. AFI shall reimburse travel expenses for economy class only by the most direct and economical routing. The Consultant is free to reroute or upgrade, where possible, at his or her own expense.
7. Consultant Experience
SEPS and AFI are seeking a consultancy firm with the following qualifications:
- Advanced degree in the field related to Finance, Economics, Public Policy, International Development, or another comparable discipline is a must.
- The team leader should have a minimum of ten years of professional expertise in broad financial regulatory and policy initiatives, gender-related issues, public policy, financial inclusion, and international development.
- Any other team members should have at least seven years of experience in conducting research, regulatory assessment in the areas of financial inclusion and digital financial services in the LAC region.
- Profound subject matter expertise in DFS, consumer protection and Gender Financial Inclusion.
- In-depth knowledge of the enabling environment for Gender Financial Inclusion in the LAC region.
- Strong experience in developing Gender Financial Inclusion Roadmaps/Strategies.
- Significant experience in conducting stakeholder consultation workshop in the financial sector.
- Strong experience in developing monitoring and assessment tools.
- Fluency in English and Spanish (oral and written) is mandatory.
- Extensive experience with quality report writing (sample of reports authored by the proposed lead consultant(s) to be provided)
The consultant/consulting team lead will be reporting to the Head of the Latin America/Caribbean Office, primariliy, and the Head of Gender Inclusive Finance as a secondary contact.
9. Criteria of Evaluation
The proposals submitted will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
1. Academic Qualification; 10%
2. Experience and technical competence of the key staff for the assignment; 60%
- Adequacy for the assignment (Relevant experience) 40%
- Regional/Global experience 20%
3. Adequacy of the proposed work plan and methodology in responding to the Terms of Reference; 20%
- Technical approach and Methodology 10%
- Workplan 10%
4. Sample work – Relevance to Assignment and demonstrated experience in writing 10%
How to apply:
Interested applicants are expected to submit a proposal with an updated CV and using the template given (Download the RFP document here) by email to AFI’s Procurement & Contracts Office at email@example.com by 19th January 2022.
The final decision on the selection of a consultant/consulting firm for this project rests with AFI management team and with the Inquiry. Only shortlisted and successful consultants will be contacted.