The Global Growth & Opportunity (GGO) division works to catalyze sustainable transformative change in the face of inequities and market failures, to realize the potential of untapped markets, and to see the economic and social benefits of including everyone. We focus on the areas of Agricultural Development; Financial Services for the Poor; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Gender Equality. We seek solutions that are sustainable, transformative, and inclusive with an eye toward applying technology innovations as well as data evidence to drive change in the world’s developing countries.
The Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) team is focused on helping people in the world’s poorest regions improve their lives and build sustainable futures by connecting them with digitally-based financial tools and services. In just the past seven years, 700 million people worldwide have gained access to bank and mobile money accounts. This revolution in financial inclusion has the potential to offer a pathway out of poverty for millions of people, and to spur broad economic growth. Digital technology and changes in national policy are clearing away obstacles that once kept these services out of reach for many, but many more tough challenges remain.
Our strategy for financial inclusion is to help create enabling environment and systems which can be used by private and public sector providers in serving the needs of the poor. To encourage sustainable innovation and lower costs, we advocate for the development of an enabling regulatory environment (e.g., tailored licenses for new players) and the building of pro-poor shared infrastructure (e.g., payment interoperability platforms, digital identity systems). Our strategy is predicated on the belief that once enabling regulations and infrastructure exists – both private and public players will find it financially viable and attractive to provide access to and drive usage of digital financial services for the poor.
India is poised to become a global demonstration model for improving governance through payment connectivity. One critical enabler for this transformation is a 21st century identity and payments architecture called “the India Stack.” This architecture includes several pieces of shared technology infrastructure, including the Aadhaar biometric identification system, electronic Know-Your-Customer (KYC), electronic signatures, the Immediate Payments Service (IMPS), the Aadhaar Payments Bridge (ABP), and an electronic consent system. The India Stack has the potential to enable banks to digitally onboard poor customers, cut operational costs for each provider, trigger competition among financial service providers at the application (rather than infrastructure) level, provide a central data repository to inform credit scoring algorithms, and enable the conversion of paper-based social welfare programs into digital, direct benefit transfer (DBT) systems. The Government of India has expressed commitment to achieving this shift to digital payments and the FSP team is working actively to support government-led initiatives at central and state levels, focusing on key social sectors like health and nutrition, education, agriculture and sanitation, among others.
Position Summary & Responsibilities
In this role, you will oversee a portfolio of grants and related interventions to expand the reach of digital financial services among excluded populations, including low-income women. Your efforts will be particularly focused on developing and scaling public sector-led social welfare solutions which leverage India’s digital identity and payments infrastructure, as well as how to best economically empower poor women through digital payment channels
Acting as a “philanthropic venture capitalist”, you will:
Conduct research and analysis to inform the government’s DBT strategy and implementation.
Partner with central and state government departments to:
Structure India’s DBT flows in ways that improve household welfare. This will likely involve combining unconditional cash transfers (UCTs), conditional cash transfers (CCT)s, behavioral nudges, and graduation models.
Support the migration of cash and paper-based social welfare payment systems into digital DBT payment systems.
Testing the impacts of digital financial payment streams and tools on women’s economic empowerment and identifying how they can best be designed and delivered to increase adoption and usage by poor women.
Identifying and supporting digital financial innovations that augment the delivery of health, agriculture, and sanitation services to poor households.
Improving government fuel, fertilizer, and food subsidy programs using digital payment technologies.
Based in our India Country Office (ICO) in New Delhi, you will be a member of the FSP Emerging Technologies and India team and will be responsible to:
Work closely with the India FSP lead to shape and refine FSP’s India strategy.
Work with the ICO Gender Equality colleagues and the FSP Gender Lead FSP’s Women’s Economic Empowerment DFS workstream in India.
Develop and manage grants, contracts, and other interventions to advance the FSP team’s goals in India and globally partner with other ICO teams (e.g. Agricultural Development, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WSH), Gender Equality, Nutrition, and the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar health delivery teams) to develop joint strategies which maximize the collective impact of the foundation’s innovations. This also includes responsibility for producing high quality written proposals and investment documents that provide investment rationale in a concise, articulate manner.
Write and produce analyses which advance understanding of how to build a 21st century digital identity and payments architecture and how to leverage this architecture to improve public service delivery and expand digital financial inclusion.
Publicly represent the foundation among key partners, including governments, regulators, grantees, donor organizations, universities, think tanks, international standard setting bodies, and commercial organizations.
Create and implement monitoring and evaluation systems for grants in collaboration with the ICO Measurement Learning and Evaluation team.
Consult with grantees and other partners to maximize impact of projects and ensure optimal learning. This may include: site visits, providing operational guidance, and convening meetings of key stakeholders.
Prepare for and host visits from foundation leadership.
Provide ongoing input into the refinement of FSP’s global, regional, and country strategies.
Leadership & Culture
We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do extraordinary things.
Core Knowledge & Skills:
We are looking for people who enjoy solving complex problems using a hypothesis- and data-driven approach and have experience delivering innovative solutions in challenging environments. We seek:
10-15 years relevant work experience; preferably with information and communication technologies (ICT) project management.
Background in ICT, government payment systems, financial services, telecoms, and/or mobile financial services strongly preferred.
Knowledge of gender equality mainstreaming in ICT, financial services, telecoms and and/or mobile financial services a plus.
Innovative, out-of-the box thinker who is hands-on and willing to go as deep or broad as necessary to achieve outcomes.
Fluent in English with excellent written and oral communication skills; oral skills in Hindi / other regional India languages preferred.
Proven results orientation combined with strong relationship management skills.
Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic, and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.
Experience leading and working with a range of clients, colleagues, consultants, and others with a broad exposure to multi-sector stakeholders.
Team player who can operate independently coupled with a proven ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy in a fast-paced environment.
Ability to question and challenge colleagues, including managers, in a constructive manner
Ability to travel up to 30-35% of time as necessary.
Undergraduate degree in a technical, business, finance, or economics discipline. Master’s/MBA strongly preferred.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.
All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to:
From poverty to health, to education, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation focuses on improving the lives of billions of people worldwide. There are four problem areas the organization focuses on; the Global Development Division, Global Health Division, United States Division, and Global Policy & Advocacy Division. In developing countries the foundation focuses on improving the health and wellness of people as well as helping children and families escape from extreme hunger and poverty. In the United States, the foundation focuses on low-income families and makes sure that everyone has opportunities to receive an education that will help them succeed. The foundation works with numerous organizations around the world to tackle critical problems and addresses challenging inequalities. The headquarters of this organization is based in Seattle, Washington, one of the most proactive global health and non-profit cities in the world.