About the Digital Impact Alliance
The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) is a global alliance to enable the digital ecosystem to deliver greater scale, efficiency, and social impact as it creates more inclusive digital economies in emerging markets. Working with partners, DIAL generates evidence of what works through a series of demonstration projects, distils insights and tools to promote scale-up and replication, and provides mechanisms to encourage knowledge sharing, collaboration, and co-investment throughout the ecosystem.
DIAL is funded through a collaboration among the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and hosted within the UN Foundation in Washington, D.C.
NGOs operating in key African and Asian markets face persistent time and cost barriers when provisioning their services on mobile network operators’ (MNOs’) voice, SMS, USSD and mobile internet channels. The presence of multiple MNOs in a given market, means that NGOs needing to provide services nationally require multiple negotiations and technical integrations with MNO partners who tend to place low priority on the relatively low-revenue segments NGOs tend to serve. The many, relatively small, uncoordinated requests from individual NGO deployments also makes it difficult to arrange volume pricing from providers.
DIAL hypothesizes that there is significant opportunity in addressing the above challenges through the support of efforts to pool NGO demand of network channels, and in doing so negotiate service rates and other elements of service provision across organizations, within countries (or, where relevant, across countries). Pooled procurement, combined with innovative risk financing, has been shown to result in improved economics and scaled adoption of other development goods and services, particularly in the global health sector. Applying similar principles and economies of scale to the digital services market could lead to lower costs and faster service provisioning, and greater reach for the NGO sector, while benefiting the mobile sector with a new pipeline of untapped commercial demand.
To this end, DIAL is pursuing two related initiatives:
(1) Demand Forecasting: to develop a sophisticated demand forecasting tool that is able to size the overall size of mobile demand arising from the NGO sector by country, use case and sector;
(2) Digital Procurement Strategy: to research, develop and test collective procurement and financing strategies that will allow the NGO sector to leverage the size of the aggregate demand to negotiate with the mobile sector in a coordinated fashion, and in doing so realize improvements in cost and service provision.
DIAL is seeking a Consultant for a 1-year contract, with potential for extension, with strong quantitative as well as business / financial modelling skills to support the piece of work around Demand Forecasting for mobile channels by NGOs. S/he will work with DIAL’s chosen consultant to develop the pilot version of the model, lead the dissemination / testing of the model with key stakeholders, and drive the improvement / enhancement process thereafter. S/he will provide critical quantitative support to the Director (Digital Procurement Strategy) who will use the information to develop / test procurement strategies that will realize the potential of aggregated NGO demand.
Role can be based globally, with a strong preference for someone based in Nairobi, Washington, DC or Seattle. Consultants based in the US are eligible for full-time benefits offered through the UN Foundation.