MSME Training and Data Analytics Expert

Lusaka, Zambia, Full Time Closes: August 17, 2022


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 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 impact and domestic resource mobilization.
SMEs play an important role in Zambia’s economy, contributing significantly to GDP, employment, and the private sector. Despite their important role, SMEs face challenges in operating and growing their businesses. SMEs therefore are an important target group for UNCDF’s activities. UNCDF is setting up a loan guarantee and technical assistance facility in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Embassy of Sweden in Zambia. The objectives of the facility are;

To scale up SME financing significantly and on a sustainable basis in Zambia. This includes financing for SMEs in sectors such as digital-first enterprises, renewable energy companies, agriculture sector, water and sanitation sector, women-owned enterprises, eco-tourism, and nature conservation.
Improve the capacity of commercial banks to better serve SMEs, particularly through digital approaches.
Support SMEs to run their businesses better and more efficiently using digital tools.
Support the SME ecosystem in Zambia, including policy makers and regulators, in improving the operating and financing environment for small businesses.

Duties and Responsibilities

The MSME Training and Data Analytics Expert will be responsible for training and delivery of technical assistance intiatives in the area of digitization, automation, and analytics to MSMEs, financial institutions, and internal UNCDF teams. S/he will work closely with the UNCDF Country Lead in delivery of their activities.

Work with SMEs, Financial Service Providers, and Technology Ecosystem Players in developing and implementing digital tools that promote access to finance for SMEs

Carry out needs assessment among SMEs, financial service providers, ecosystem players, policymakers, regulators, etc. to identify areas in their operations / activities that can benefit from digitization / automation;
Recommend, and thereafter, take the lead in development, testing, deployment, monitoring, and results management of digital / automated tools above.

Provide training and capacity building support to SMEs

Work closely with SMEs to identify areas in their businesses where there are skill/capacity gaps;
Develop programs / interventions to address and close the gaps identified;
Lead on capacity building, training and skills development of SMEs in use of innovative digital solutions developed above.

Supporting the SME finance ecosystem in Zambia in adoption and use of digital tools

Work with ecosystem players to foster collaborations within the technology ecosystem in Zambia, geared towards development of innovative digital solutions that are relevant for MSMEs.

Provide support to financial institutions benefiting from the guarantee facility in preparation and submission of portfolio reports

Prepare guarantee portfolio reporting templates;
Coordinate with financial institutions in ensuring that portfolio reporting required by UNCDF is available and aligned with the financial institution’s internal reporting systems;
Work closely with financial institutions in submission of information of guaranteed loans and other data, ensuring that it is timely, complete, consistent, and accurate.

​​​​​​​Develop and implement internal reporting and analysis tools for the guarantee facility

Develop and implement dashboards, analytical tools, and other reporting templates required by different stakeholders in management and performance monitoring of the loan guarantee facility.

Institutional Arrangement

The MSME Training and Data Analytics Expert will work under the direct supervision of the UNCDF Country Lead for Zambia.

Core Competencies

Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact.
Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems.
Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences.
Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands.
Act with Determination:  LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results.
Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration.
Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity.

Technical/Cross-functional 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: System Thinking: Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system.
Business development: Human-centered design: Ability to develop solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process.
Digital innovation: Data analysis: Ability to extract, analyze, and visualize data (including real-time data) to form meaningful insights and aid effective decision making.
Digital innovation: Digital business analysis: Ability to support digital business processes across a range of digital projects, programmes, and activities.
Digital innovation: Digital product design: Ability to design digital products which are user-centered, intuitive, functional, and achieve desired outcomes.
Digital innovation: Design thinking: Solving problems by putting people at the center, visualizing ideas and making them tangible in order to improve them through and iterative process of developing and testing. Strong empathy skills, being able to put yourself “”in someone else’s shoes””, understand needs, abilities, preferences, motivations, (everyday) experiences from different perspectives as well as their cultural, social, economic and political contexts. Ability to identify and challenge assumptions, (cognitive and social) biases and dominant mental models by generating new perspectives and frames that help redefine the problem, solution and opportunity space. Being able to work with incomplete information, ambiguity and opposing views, needs and constraints and synthesize them into solutions that are viable, technically feasible and useful.

Required Skills and Experience


Master’s degree in Technology / IT, Economics, Finance, Public / Business Administration or a related discipline.
Bachelor’s degree in the related fields with additional 2 years of relevant experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced degree.


Minimum 7 years (Master’s degree) or 9 years (Bachelor’s degree) relevant experience in designing and managing digitization projects for small businesses and financial institutions;
Demonstrable human-cantered design thinking skills;
Strong data analysis skills;
Knowledge of and relationships with key stakeholders in the technology and financial eco-system;
A self-starter with strong internal motivation, able to set up systems and procedures in a ‘start up’ environment;
Commercially astute: A high degree of business acumen, entrepreneurial spirit and willing to grow the loan guarantee activities;
Flexibility: readily adapts to change, new products, systems, methods, and products;
Demonstrated ability to meet aggressive deadlines per business demands, and ability to change work schedule to accommodate competing priorities.
Excellent communications skills (writing, verbal and presentation skills)

Language: Fluency in English.


Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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