The Global Growth & Opportunity (GGO) division works to catalyze sustainable transformative change in the face of inequities and market failures, to realize the potential of untapped markets, and to see the economic and social benefits of including everyone. We focus on the areas of Agricultural Development; Financial Services for the Poor; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Gender Equality. We seek solutions that are sustainable, transformative, and inclusive with an eye toward applying technology innovations as well as data evidence to drive change in the world’s developing countries.
The Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) team is focused on helping people in the world’s poorest regions improve their lives and build sustainable futures by connecting them with digitally-based financial tools and services. In just the past seven years, 700 million people worldwide have gained access to bank and mobile money accounts. This revolution in financial inclusion has the potential to offer a pathway out of poverty for millions of people, and to spur broad economic growth. Digital technology and changes in national policy are clearing away obstacles that once kept these services out of reach for many, but many more tough challenges remain.
The FSP team’s strategy for financial inclusion is to help create enabling environment and systems which can be leveraged by private and public sector providers in serving the needs of the poor. To encourage sustainable innovation and lower costs, we advocate for the development of an enabling regulatory environment (e.g., tailored licenses for new players) and the building of pro-poor shared infrastructure (e.g., payment interoperability platforms, digital identity systems). Our strategy is predicated on the belief that once an enabling regulations and infrastructure exists – both private and public players will find it financially viable and attractive to provide access to and drive usage of digital financial services for the poor.
Position Summary & Responsibilities
The goal of this role is not for the FSP team to get directly engaged in new product development, but rather to enable the ecosystem such that both private and public sector players are motivated to build products for the poor. The role seeks to accelerate large-scale usage of DFS through increased action by key private and public institutions. You will lead the team’s efforts to build and implement strategies to address policy constraints, infrastructure gaps, or other market failures that will catalyze action and investments by providers in the market. You will also be expected to develop and manage a portfolio of grants and related interventions, while partnering closely with a wide variety of players.
The SPO’s key area of work will include:
Digitization of government payments for financial inclusion (FI) and women’s economic empowerment (WEE): While governments globally are now prioritizing digitization of their payments to people (e.g. social security, subsidy payments etc.), implementation efforts are often sub-optimal and focused on efficiency gains rather than being designed for furthering financial inclusion and/or women’s economic empowerment. A key focus for this role will be to help establish global standards for digitizing government payments and enable their adoption by governments and other key implementation partners. In this effort, you will be collaborating with global development partners (e.g. the World Bank, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor [CGAP], Better Than Cash Alliance [BTCA], etc.) and various in-country government policy makers and program implementers.
Catalyze the private sector for driving digital payments usage: Within key markets, you will identify use cases, industries and specific private sector partners that have the potential to contribute to large-scale usage of DFS by the poor. You will build relationships with selected private sector providers to better understand their business models and identify policy or infrastructure gaps, and other market failures that may be hindering the providers from building payment products and services for the poor. Once identified, you will be expected to develop strategies for addressing these gaps and market failures. In this effort, you will engage with a range of private sector players – including both financial (e.g. banks, payment service banks, micro finance institutions, telecoms, etc.), and non-financial players (e.g. large technology platforms, dynamic consumer goods companies, garment factories etc.).
Evolve FSP’s usage strategy to include products beyond payments: You will conduct research and analysis to inform FSP’s strategy and investment portfolio for interventions beyond payments (e.g. digital credit, savings and insurance). In this effort, you may also engage with other teams across the foundation (e.g. Agriculture Development and teams within the Global Health division) for driving various sector specific DFS usages like agriculture credit, health care payments or health insurance.
In all these efforts, you are expected to collaborate with FSP country program officers in evaluating market failures/gaps and in the development and implementation of new solutions/strategies for driving increased usage in our focus markets.
Leadership & Culture
We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do extraordinary things.
Core Knowledge & Skills:
We are looking for people who enjoy the opportunity of working on complex problems and collectively building solutions that have the potential for transformative change in the lives of people around the world. We seek a creative and curious leader who has an excellent track record of achievement and leadership in roles of growing responsibility. You should be prepared to work across a diverse set of disciplines, bridging a wide range of expertise all the while being a teammate, with a proven ability to work with flexibility, efficiency and diplomacy in an exciting, challenging environment. Additionally, we seek:
10+ years of DFS/Financial Inclusion practitioner experience - on the ground, consumer product and service provider experience – in emerging markets (preferable within Sub Saharan Africa or South/SE Asia).
Preference for a mix of both private and public sector work experience.
Strong critical thinking and analytical skillset with proven ability for driving strategic changes in large organizations.
Experience in engaging with and influencing senior leadership at a variety of organizations.
Demonstrated skillset in relationship building and collaboration.
Empathy for the poor consumers and their financial needs and constraints.
Excellent communication skills.
Experience guiding and managing large and complex projects, including working with a diverse range of stakeholders.
Ability to travel up to 30% of time; both domestically and internationally.
A minimum of a bachelor’s degree; preference for an advanced degree.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.
All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to:
From poverty to health, to education, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation focuses on improving the lives of billions of people worldwide. There are four problem areas the organization focuses on; the Global Development Division, Global Health Division, United States Division, and Global Policy & Advocacy Division. In developing countries the foundation focuses on improving the health and wellness of people as well as helping children and families escape from extreme hunger and poverty. In the United States, the foundation focuses on low-income families and makes sure that everyone has opportunities to receive an education that will help them succeed. The foundation works with numerous organizations around the world to tackle critical problems and addresses challenging inequalities. The headquarters of this organization is based in Seattle, Washington, one of the most proactive global health and non-profit cities in the world.
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