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Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) is a Rwandan not-for-profit organisation established to stimulate the financial sector to remove systemic barriers which hinder access to financial services by putting the poor at the centre of its interventions in Rwanda. Improving access to financial services for the rural poor and women is a particular focus for AFR.
The FinScope Rwanda 2015 survey revealed that 89 per cent of Rwandan adults are financially included – defined as using both formal and informal financial products and services. The proportion of adults using formal financial products and services stood at 68 per cent.
Savings, through formal institutions, increased and was primarily driven by savings at Umurenge SACCOs, currently totalling 416, according to the National Bank of Rwanda. There has also been an increase in formal credit consumption from 9 per cent in 2012 to 15 per cent in 2015. However, the sustainability and growth of the microfinance sector in Rwanda is still a concern. There is poor portfolio quality, high interest rate spread, and moderate influx of external funding, which challenge their profitability and relevance to their members.
To mitigate some of the challenges, AFR in its mission to catalyze the financial sector in Rwanda seeks to build the capacity of Rwandese financial institutions and financial sector consultants in designing, pilot testing, and rolling out innovative financial products and services. As a result, the users will benefit from access to customer-centric products thus resulting in improve uptake and usage of financial services, improved portfolio quality, and increased deposit mobilisation.
AFR therefore seeks to engage local consultants in a capacity building project to build their competencies in financial product development (to include research, product design, concept testing, pilot planning, and roll out) through their support to participating financial service providers.
To build local capacities of representatives of financial institutions and financial sector consultants on market assessment and end-to-end product development cycle
To fine tune the skills of market assessment and product development through design and development of responsive and client-centric products for local financial institutions using a defined approach.
To achieve the objectives of the project, representatives of financial institutions (senior executive to middle-level managers in banking operations, product design/product management or customer support) and financial sector consultants will be selected as the project consultants. The project consultants will be trained on market research and product development using a product development cycle approach. Through the acquired skills and capacities built, the project consultants will support designated financial institutions to develop responsive and client-centric products utilizing the product development cycle approach.
The project will be conducted in four phases with tasks for each phase described as follows:
|1. Training and primary research||10 days|
|2. Concept development and testing||10 days|
|3. Pilot training and planning||10 days|
|4. Pilot launch and review||15 days|
Phase 1: Training and Primary Research
The project consultants will be trained on conducting market research for product development through the market insights for innovation and design (MI4ID) approach and analysis though a variety of analytical tools to derive the key market insights. The proposed training topics include:
Phase 2: Concept Development and Testing
The project consultants will deduce insights from the data gathered and use it to develop a product concept for the designated financial institution. This will further be tested at the field to ascertain the customer preferences and choices.
Output for Phase 1 and 2: Certification in market research and product development having successfully supported designated financial institutions in the product design and concept testing process.
Phase 3: Pilot Planning
Upon completion of the concept testing and planning, the project consultants with their respective selected financial institutions will be trained on pilot planning financial services. The proposed topics of training include:
Using the pilot planning skills, the project consultants will develop a pilot implementation plan for the select financial institutions that will be involved in the pilot.
Phase 4: Pilot Launch and Review
The project consultants will support the pilot financial institutions in the launch and monitoring of the pilot. Pilot period is expected to take about six months. The project consultants will follow up the pilot with a review to assess uptake, market response the processes, challenges and key learning from the pilot. The project consultants will carry out a final refinement of the product and processes in consideration of
Output for Phase 3 and 4: Certification in pilot planning having successfully supported the designated financial institution in pilot planning and review.
AFR will select four to six applicants from this procurement process to be part of the training
The implementation of the project is expected to take about 9 months from the time of commencement with a total level of efforts of 45 days.
Interested consultants can send their application to: firstname.lastname@example.org with a clear subject line Expression of Interest to attend training and certification program on Market Research and Product Development.
Applications must be submitted by 9th April 2018 by 5.00pm. Only those shortlisted will be contacted
Proposals received after due date shall not be considered
Eligibility Criteria: You are required to meet the following criteria to be eligible to participate in the procurement exercise:
Documents Evidencing Eligibility: Consultant firms are requested to submit copies of the following documents as evidence of your eligibility and sign the declaration in the Technical Proposal Submission Sheet:
Nationality of Personnel: All personnel employed under any resulting contract shall have the nationality of an eligible country to conduct business in Rwanda.
All countries are eligible, unless as a matter of law or official regulation, the Government of Rwanda prohibits commercial relations with that country or by an act of compliance with a decision of the United Nations Security Council taken under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Government of Rwanda prohibits any import of Supplies from that country or any payments to persons or entities in that country.
The RFP and related correspondence and documents should be written in English language.
Proposals shall remain valid for a period of not less than 90 days from the proposal submission due date. AFR reserves the right to reject any proposals, which do not meet this requirement.