Expression of Interest for Consultancy Assignment – Electronic Cash Transfers in Myanmar. Closing Date 22 Sep 2017

Options assessment for electronic cash transfer delivery, Myanmar

Background

Social protection is becoming an increasingly important component of both strategic policy development and public expenditure in Myanmar. The government’s increasing investments in social protection are underpinned by the National Social Protection Strategic Plan, approved in December 2014. That Strategic Plan has eight flagships of which four are unconditional transfers (cash transfers to pregnant women and children under 2, gradual extension of that allowance to other children, cash transfers to persons with disabilities, and social pensions) and one is conditional (public employment programme).

For the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (MSWRR), social protection is becoming the most extensive form of service it provides to the public. MSWRR is playing a central role in the extension of social protection systems but needs to make policy choices that promote greater efficiency in a context of limited fiscal and human resource capacity. Achieving sustainable delivery mechanisms for cash transfers is challenging given the relative weakness of government and social and financial institutions in Myanmar, and concerns over corruption and misuse.

Many other developing countries use electronic/digital payment systems through mobile phones, mobile fund transfers, cash cards and ATMs etc. In the past, this was not possible in Myanmar not only because of technology barriers but also the legal and regulatory environment relating to financial services. However, this situation is evolving rapidly, opening up potential opportunities for the country to take advantage of more efficient delivery mechanisms. The government would like to consider the options available. With LIFT’s support (through the Dry Zone Social Protection Project and Social Protection Policy Project), HelpAge has the opportunity to research and later pilot the most suitable options in support of MSWRR.

Purpose

The purpose of this assignment is to explore feasible means for electronic/digital delivery of social cash transfers and recommend options for piloting, and for later wide scale-up through government social protection schemes.

Time requirements and duration

The assignment is expected to start as soon as possible after selection of the consultant, and be completed by end November 2017.

Interested consultants are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for carrying out this documentation by 22 September 2017 to fon@helpageasia.org.

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