United Nations Foundation

  • Consultant, Demand Aggregation Project Support, Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)

    Job Location Other-See job description
  • Overview

    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.  


    Project Scope

    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.


    • Support the Project Director in managing the Demand Forecasting project, which has been awarded to an external consulting firm (expected to start early November 2018 and complete end February 2019), which would include:
      • Reviewing / vetting consultant deliverables through the -month delivery process
      • Ensuring that the project aligns well, and is informed by activities and outputs of other DIAL workstreams in other focus areas
      • Participate in field interviews as part of the project within Sub-Saharan Africa
      • Helping to identify potential programs and expert individuals to provide inputs into this project 
      • Review draft reports and provide feedback in a timely manner consistent with the project schedule outlined above
    • Participate as a technical specialist in a field testing / advocacy program to showcase the demand forecast tool to relevant stakeholders which would include both commercial players within the mobile space and in the development / humanitarian sector
    • Develop scoping of work for a Phase 2 enhancement to either deepen / expand the scope of the demand forecasting tool based upon results of the field testing program in (2) above
    • Drive selection and contracting process for Phase 2 enhancement project for demand forecasting
    • Project manager for DIAL for Phase 2 of the NGO mobile demand sizing project
    • Support the Director, Digital Procurement Strategy and Program Director, Mobile Network Integration in developing the strategy, feasibility assessment and stakeholder engagement for a financing / procurement mechanism to help drive access to the latent demand suggested by the demand forecasting model

    Selection Criteria

    • Minimum four years’ professional experience, with desired experience in strategy consulting, market research or investment banking in a quantitative / analyst capacity
    • Strong quantitative skills as applied to financial, business modeling, and/or valuation of markets 
    • Industry experience in telecommunication and digital products (software, mobile services and data); experience with procurement practices preferred
    • Ability to synthesize and communicate succinctly complex data insights
    • Understanding of market dynamics in low- and middle-income countries and the local entrepreneurial environment around digital products
    • Ability to identify with issues within the public, private and nonprofit sectors
    • Detail-oriented and results-driven
    • Strong ethical orientation
    • Ability to travel internationally up to 20% of the time.
    • Ascribe to DIAL’s values of Commitment, Collaboration, Empowerment, Courage and Thoughtful Action

    Other Information

    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.


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