Financial Inclusion and Digital Policy Specialist

Report to: Director Knowledge Management and Communications
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
Application deadline for the position is October 25, 2021


About Us

Guided by the Karandaaz vision, we believe that every Pakistani deserves to be Financially Included and Economically Empowered. Our Mission at Karandaaz is to Foster economic growth and create jobs through financial inclusion of unbanked individuals and unserved enterprises.

Karandaaz Pakistan is a Non-profit organization, based out of Islamabad, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan under Section 42 of the Companies Act 2017. We are supported by Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Karandaaz is governed by an eminent board who set the strategy of the organization and steer it towards achievement of its objectives.

Position Summary

The Financial Inclusion and Digital Policy Specialist will be engaged in policy research and discussions with market actors – banks, fintechs, technology platforms, government ministries and relevant departments to contribute to enhancements in policies to enable digital financial inclusion of underserved market in Pakistan. The individual will need to keep abreast of all national and international conventions, policies, research, conferences, working groups and discussion forums to serve as a conduit for knowledge on best practices and their introduction into the financial inclusion and digital ecosystem of the country. The Financial Inclusion and Digital Policy Specialist will also work closely with regulators to ensure that their needs are met with respect to developing their skills, knowledge and competencies as regulators.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

The Financial Inclusion and Digital Policy Specialist will work with other Karandaaz teams engaging in issue based non-partisan research and advocacy to inform deliberations around the regulatory and policy barriers, provide technical advice or assistance in response to written invitations / requests from relevant government agencies and focus on facilitating policy development through public-private dialogue and consensus building. Specifically, the Financial Inclusion and Digital Policy Specialist will:

  • Conduct regulatory and policy research and analysis to inform deliberations around the remaining policy and regulatory barriers to digital financial inclusion and a digital finance ecosystem
  • Identify challenges specific to women gaining access to digital financial services at the household, retail, and broad market levels
  • Support market actors and other relevant organizations to identify market constraints that are connected to, or affected by policy and regulation
  • Work with other teams to design and conduct research into the policy and regulatory barriers to financial inclusion, and a critical review of successful policy and regulatory interventions in other regions that can be replicated or adopted in Pakistan
  • Develop an advocacy strategy to persuade key stakeholders (government departments, regulators and others) to undertake necessary policy change
  • Support regulators through the localization of global learning outputs produced by global learning partners
  • Support the development of regulatory decision making tools such as geo-spatial tracking systems
  • Align the agenda of policy and regulatory support work stream with the priorities of the Government
  • Organize meetings, discussions, presentations, and workshops to inform policy and regulatory deliberations
  • Author and contribute to the development of policy briefs, newspaper articles, presentations and blog posts on policy and regulatory interventions that lead to uptake and usage of digital financial services (especially amongst poor customers), policy and regulatory barriers to digital financial inclusion, and/or relevant developments from other countries
  • Leverage the Innovation & Incubation work stream to encourage regulators and market players to pilot proposed policy changes
  • Support stakeholder associations, and participate in the development of key policies in partnership with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP), PTA, Ministry of IT & Telecom and Ministry of Commerce, among others

Candidate Eligibility

  • At least 6 years’ experience in a public policy role either by working in a government or regulatory role, or a public policy role in another professional body or in the private sector
  • Master’s degree in policy, technology, business or related field from a renowned and accredited institute locally or internationally (highly preferred if coupled with a Bachelor’s degree in a technology related field)
  • Highly conversant with the field of digital financial services, with in-depth understanding of digital ecosystems including concepts of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data sharing, identity stacks, KYC facilities, taxation and pricing of digital services, digital payments systems, etc.
  • Senior leadership and project management experience in implementing policy related interventions
  • Expertise in digital financial services policy, regulation and supervision, with a strong engagement at country level; knowledge of digital financial services space will be considered a strong advantage
  • Ability to establish priorities and manage a complex workload in order to meet tight deadlines
  • Ability to build relationships with staff, government officers and key external influencers
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas and recommendations to a diverse set of stakeholders including highly technical and non-technical members
  • Ability to work independently and with considerable discretion but to seek advice as required
  • Excellent national and international networking skills
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Strong command of oral and written English, and strong working knowledge of Urdu

Culture and Values at Karandaaz

Karandaaz Culture is guided by our values of Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Equity (ICARE). These values shape our choices on what we do and how we do it, both with colleagues internally and partners externally. We also believe that we are all responsible for creating a great place to work and are constantly looking to hire individuals who bring the same level of passion and commitment to the purpose of the organization.

If you believe in Karandaaz Vision and Values and feel excited about the work we are offering, please send us your application for this position to clearly mentioning the position title in the subject line. We will be accepting submissions till 24th October 2021.

Karandaaz is an equal opportunity employer. Women and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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Non-profit company registered under Section 42 of the Companies Act, 2017