Individual Consultant for Horizon Mapping of Existing Digital Public Infrastructure at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves. It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. It promotes technical and investment cooperation among nations.

Headquartered in New York City, the status of UNDP is that of an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The organization operates in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Individual Consultant for Horizon Mapping of Existing Digital Public Infrastructure in Nigeria

Location: Abuja / Lagos / Kaduna / Yola – Adamawa
Additional Category: Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract: Individual Contract
Post Level: National Consultant
Duration of Initial Contract: 6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment: 6 months
Starting Date: 25-Jul-2022 (date when the selected candidate is expected to start)


  • The ‘post’ COVID-19 era has presented to countries around the world with the biggest challenge ever experienced. This era has also opened up space for envisioning and reimagining new pathways for socio-economic transformation, especially in the way in which public services are delivered to citizens. Nigeria continues to grapple with unprecedented knock-on effects of the pandemic as the country aspires to leapfrog old and emerging frontier challenges to ensure the health, safety, wellbeing, and security of its citizens.
  • As witnessed at the height of the pandemic, what began as a health issue, very quickly transformed into a social and economic crisis with far reaching implications on people’s livelihoods, the governance architecture, and economy as a whole. The secondary effects of the pandemic and containment measures had a bearing on people – changing the way populations live, work, interact, transact, and learn. It has also impacted on the way in which public goods and services are procured, delivered, and consumed.
  • The crisis also brought with it new needs and opportunities for digital transformation in the delivery of public services and an increased demand on the existing ones. Nigeria has recorded an increase in the usage of online services such as in education, agriculture, e-commerce, health tracking, crisis management and business continuity of core government functions.
  • Digital tools have also enabled enterprises and communities to mobilize, establish markets for goods and services, share ideas and perspectives and create responses to the pandemic, sometimes filling gaps left by public institutions. A robust – though fragmented – digital ecosystem continues to emerge in the country – shepherding a process that could further enable increased uptake and application.
  • Digital transformation is therefore seen as a core system need that will form a backbone for effective and sustainable recovery from the crisis.  While digital responses have provided a silver lining, the pandemic accentuated the digital divide and the need for digital applications that not only incorporate privacy and human rights by design, but that are also accessible for all, especially those left furthest behind.

Organizational Context

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as core part of the UN development system in Nigeria is supporting the country in its recovery efforts playing a critical integrator and convening role.
  • A key aspect of this support is exploring the scope for amplifying the digital transformation agenda / trajectory both in the short (in response to immediate needs emerging from the crisis) medium and long term (accelerating the path towards recovery and transformative development). This is anchored on the #FutureSmart UNDP as espoused in its 2022-2025 Strategic Plan and Digital Strategy 2022-2025.
  • UNDP Digital Strategy 2022-2025 presents the organization’s value proposition on the role that digital could play in accelerating the attainment of SDGs. It underlines digitalization as one of its key enablers towards achieving development priorities, end poverty, protect the planet and bring peace and prosperity to all.
  • One of the key strategic approaches for prioritizing digitalization to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs is leveraging Digital Public Goods (DPGs) in the development of Inclusive Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in line with UNDP’s five guiding principles for digital transformation.
  • DPGs offer an approach to unlocking the potential of digital transformation while protecting against many of the risks inherent to technologies. DPGs are open-source software, open data, open AI models, open standards, and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable best practices, following do no harm by design.
  • They can be freely adopted and adapted, increase transparency and collaboration, pave the way for new and innovative business models and economic growth, and can allow countries to maintain digital sovereignty while realizing the benefits of safe, trusted, and inclusive digital public infrastructure.
  • DPIs refers to digital solutions that enable basic functions essential for public and private service delivery, i.e., collaboration, commerce, learning, knowledge exchange and governance. Think about existing shared public infrastructure such as roads, health, identification, education, but online: that’s DPI in a nutshell.
  • DPIs also display different layers of societal infrastructure, such as digital identification, payment systems and data exchange systems and can be seen as the foundation for a functional society.
  • Many, but not all, DPI systems are built using open-source software and standards classified as DPGs. DPGs channel the shared effort of a community of contributors—past, present, and future. They also promote good practices and provide a way to rapidly share innovations around the world, as was seen in the fight against and recover from Covid-19.
  • While the first wave of DPIs in identity, payments and data exchanges have seen initial success in extending public services around the world, UNDP is also leading on catalysing the focus on similar platforms to help solve sectoral problems where current digital solutions are largely vertical and while they address niche problems, they have similar inter-operability and fragmentation concerns.
  • UNDP seeks to shepherd this new frontier of DPIs: advocating for digital transformation rooted in connectivity and interoperability that removes friction and fosters collaboration and adoption of solutions that help solve the most urgent problems of our time.
  • UNDP defines Inclusive DPIs as a holistic approach that combines local digital ecosystem with digital public infrastructure to enable a community of actors to unlock transformative solutions that are inclusive and protect human rights, based on a robust governance framework and local digital capacities.
  • This framework brings together technology and non-technology layers that together address the three systemic challenges in digital transformation in countries and across sectors and unlock the value trapped within the ecosystem.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • In this regard, UNDP Nigeria is seeking the services of a firm, digital, tech hub or company to support in undertaking a horizon scan or assessment of the opportunities in strengthening inclusive digital public infrastructure (DPIs) in Nigeria with the objective of identifying challenges and opportunities for deploying digital public goods (DPGs).
  • This assessment could also form the basis upon which entry points for enhancing robust digital solutions to old and emerging development challenges could be surfaced or scaled.

The firm, digital tech hub or company will undertake work across six key areas:

  • Undertake a review of challenges and opportunities of Digital Public Infrastructure in Nigeria – foundational DPIs and sectoral DPIs in key priority sectors relevant to Nigeria, for example climate, education, commerce, justice etc., selecting up to three priority sectors in addition to the foundational DPIs.
  • Undertake a review of the governance and regulatory environment, aligned to UNDP’s approach of a human-rights based approach to support access, usage, privacy and other safeguards required in population scale open, interoperable DPIs
  • Identify opportunities and challenges of deploying digital public goods in DPIs including in sectors.
  • Establish communities of sustained learning around inclusive DPIs and digital public goods that will also serve as vehicles for domesticating UNDP’s 2022-2025 Digital Strategy. These communities ought to be issue / thematic-based – with a specific one on women leveraging digital for social impact and economic transformation
  • Define roadmaps and prioritization options for inclusive DPIs in Nigeria in frontier sectors (e.g., Governance, Crisis Management, public finance, Fin tech, education, health, identity, mobility etc) including identify capacity building needs
  • Put together 5-page scope for at least 3 projects linked to the findings of this research in support of Nigeria’s development national goals and in line with UNDP’s approach to building inclusive digital public infrastructure through a whole of society digital transformation.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables
Content – Timing:

  • Assessment Report of Nigeria’s Digital Public Infrastructure – 30 days after signing the contract
  • Landscape map of Nigeria’s Digitalisation Policy and Regulatory space – 60 days after signing the contract
  • Map of Nigeria’s Digital Ecosystem (across geo-political zones) and Economic Sectors – 90 days after signing the contract
  • Community of practice across frontier sectors and themes leveraging digital public infrastructures to advance social and economic transformation – Monthly reports

Coordination and Supervision:

  • The individual contractor will deliver services in close collaboration with the Nigeria Accelerator Lab under the supervision of the Crisis Prevention and Recovery Advisor / Innovation Lead. Engagements will also be explored for synergies with core programme areas within UNDP.

Required Skills and Experience
Criteria for Selection of the best offer:

Criteria – Score

  • Members of the team within the firm, tech hub or company with relevant education – minimum of a Degree in Business Administration, Information Technology, Innovation, International Development, Talent Management or related disciplines – (15 Score)

Relevant experience:

  • Minimum of 4 years of relevant experience in the digital space, development programming/operations context including finance, budgeting, and souring of digital products and services – (20 – Score)
  • Experience of working with and support private or public sector on Digital Transformation/Digital Government/Public Service Delivery systems/projects, preferably in a developing country context – (15 – Score)
  • Demonstrated understanding of ethics, privacy and human rights issues related to digital technology, with experience of working on these issues preferred – (20 Score)
  • Experience of building cross-sector partnerships and cross-culture understandings – (10 – Score)
  • Excellent administrative and computer skills, including Microsoft Office, and knowledge of spreadsheet, database packages and ERP system – (10 – Score)
  • Vast experience working in Nigeria within the tech, digital and innovation ecosystem – (10 Score)

Total – 100 (Score)

  • How much the offeror understands the nature of the work and conforms to the Terms of Reference? – (10 Score)
  • Does the offeror’s portfolio demonstrate experience in the development and elaboration of products similar to those described in the Terms of Reference? – (20 Score)
  • Is the methodology adequate to achieve the products defined for the consultancy? – (30 Score)
  • Desk review – (40 Score)

Total – (100 Score)

Economic proposal – Score – %:

  • The highest score (30%) will be awarded to the most economical offer and the inverse proportional to the other offers. (100 Score) 30 %
  • Only the technical proposal that meet the technical phase with a minimum score of 49/70 or more, will continue to the review of economic proposal, which will weight a maximum of 30%

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in English (written and spoken) required.
  • Additional local Nigerian languages an asset

Technical / Functional Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness, by modelling the UN/UNDP’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional / Technical:

  • Demonstrated ability to work with private sector / governments / stakeholders on digital transformation
  • Demonstrated ability in researching latest trends in digital transformation / innovation
  • Proven ability to engage, partner and develop partnerships in a government/Public Private Partnership/digital platform setting
  • Proven experience in the developing country context and working in different cultural settings
  • Ability to challenge, convince and manage multiple stakeholders
  • Ability to effectively drive business, culture, and technology change in a dynamic and complex operating environment
  • Strong conceptual thinking to develop new strategies and innovative projects.

Payment Modalities and Specifications

  • An individual contract will be issued by UNDP. The financial proposal must be expressed through a lumpsum (all inclusive). Payments will be linked to deliverables. The contract price is fixed regardless of changes in the cost components.

Recommended Presentation of Offer
The following documents are requested:

  • Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP.
  • Personal CV indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology on how he/she will approach and complete the assignment.
  • Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided.


  • The consultant must maintain strict confidentiality about the information accessed in the framework of this consultancy.

Application Closing Date
11th July, 2022. (Midnight New York, USA)

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click Here To Download the Offeror’s Letter Here

Click here for more information

Application Instruction

  • Individual consultants interested in applying for this position must complete their application using the Template for Offeror’s Letter to UNDP confirming interest and availability for the Individual Contractor (IC) assignment.
  • The methodology, other documents and the Financial Proposal files MUST BE COMPLETELY SEPARATE (but submitted together as a zip file) If unable to submit zip file, kindly submit CV with Technical Proposal only.
  • The financial proposal (Offeror’s Letter to UNDP confirming interest and availability for the Individual Contractor (IC) assignment) shall be encrypted with different passwords and clearly labelled. Financial Proposal without password will be disqualified.
  • The password for opening the Financial Proposal should be provided only upon request of UNDP. UNDP will request password only from bidders whose Technical Proposal has been found to be technically responsive. Failure to provide correct password may result in the proposal being rejected.

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