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Financial Inclusion Field Support Officer (Voluntary) - Cambodia

Good Return

ABOUT GOOD RETURN

Good Return's mission is to enable those living in poverty to achieve economic empowerment through responsible financial inclusion and capability development. We do this by engaging with partners across the Asia Pacific, where two-thirds of the world’s poor live. We help them deliver better financial services and economic opportunities to those living in poverty.

Our work focuses on promoting responsible inclusive finance, building financial capability & consumer empowerment, and providing access to credit through our micro lending platform and impact investment programming to support SMEs in the agricultural sector.

Good Return is the registered business name of World Education Australia, an Australian Aid accredited agency and member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). We hold Australia Financial Services License granted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Visit goodreturn.org.au for more information.

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

We have been working in partnership with various Financial Service Providers across the Asia Pacific Region since 2010. Our current partners are located in Cambodia, Indonesia, PNG, Nepal, Philippines, Myanmar, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, and Australia.

Our partnerships are based on a shared mission to provide responsible and inclusive financial services to people living in poverty as well as build the financial capability of consumers.

Our microfinance partners are committed to improving their social performance management systems, which include implementing the seven client protection principles.

Please visit our website for further information on our partners.

ABOUT NATIONAL BANK OF CAMBODIA

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is the national prudential regulator in Cambodia of banks and financial institutions which are legal entities licensed to carry out banking operations as their regular business (Commercial banks, Specialized Banks, Microfinance Institutions and Microfinance Deposit Taking Institutions). The NBC is also responsible for monetary policy in Cambodia. The NBC operates under the law on the organization and conduct of the National Bank of Cambodia. The main prudential functions of the NBC are to license, de-license, regulate and supervise banks and financial institutions (for more information: ​here​)

FSO PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Field Support Officer (FSO) Volunteer Program are for FSOs to:

  • Gain valuable experience living and working in a developing country as part of a professional team
  • Assist with the implementation of Good Return and partner objectives and specific programs
  • Strengthen relationships with partners by enhancing communication and coordination
  • Support Good Return’s communications and marketing

The FSO Program has enabled previous volunteers to build their careers in the international development sector, with a number now in paid roles both in Australia and overseas.

ASSIGNMENT OBJECTIVES

The assignment objectives of the Financial Inclusion FSO are to provide support to the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the government financial regulator, on a number of national financial awareness multi-media campaigns, financial literacy and research projects. Good Return has partnered with the NBC since 2015 supporting financial inclusion and financial education, including co-delivering the “Let’s Talk Money!” Consumer Awareness Campaign in 2016 and the “Let’s Talk Money: Little by Little” Campaign in 2022, the 3-2-1 Financial Literacy phone service, comic books and the NBC-Edu App, an engaging children’s financial education app.

A key focus of this role is to provide support to NBC's new loan comic project. The top complaints received by the NBC hotlines are about loans, which indicates an issue in Cambodia where consumers do not fully understand how to apply for or manage loans safely and responsibly. The objective of these comics is for consumers to have a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities when taking out loans, how to protect themselves from illegal/informal lending practices, and improve their digital financial literacy. It also aims to support the implementation of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2019-2025, so that all Cambodians have improved understanding of money management and can access financial services successfully according to their needs. So far, three stories have been written by NBC and Good Return, with two of the three stories having been graphic-designed into mini comic books. The Financial Inclusion FSO will work closely with the NBC to conduct field testing in local communities for feedback on the comics and their impact, create a distribution plan, find sponsors for turning the final story into a mini comic book, and refine and scale up the comics to videos or a larger project/campaign to reach a wider audience.

Another key focus of the role will be to support the NBC’s priority for savings mobilisation in Cambodia. A national survey on financial inclusion in 2015 indicated very low levels of formal savings in Cambodia. Only 11% of the survey respondents voluntarily save in formal institutions such as banks, cooperatives, or microfinance institutions, while 56% of Cambodians were not saving at all. NBC and Good Return are jointly pursuing funding for a research project that aims to help stakeholders and policymakers understand better the financial needs of target groups (such as women entrepreneurs) particularly their savings behaviours and preparation for financial shocks. The results of the action research would be used to inform the recommendations on improving national policies and implement other measures like general financial product features or marketing/campaigns in Cambodia, to expand access and usage of formal savings products for target groups.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

1. Financial Literacy, Consumer Protection & Training Activities (40%)

  • Support the printing, user testing, distribution, funding and scaling up of NBC and Good Return’s loan comics into a larger-scale project/campaign.
  • Collaborate on creative design of financial literacy materials that are fun and engaging to target audiences (e.g. comics, videos).
  • Participate in field testing of financial literacy activities with target users and collect communications materials, which may include events such as:
    • Microfinance Institution awareness conference conducted every 2 months (or based on availability) in Khmer language, including local authorities in those areas
    • ASEAN Saving Day
    • Financial Literacy Day
    • Other conferences or workshops for the NBC and/or Good Return
  • Work with Good Return’s partners to develop social media strategies, schedules, and content to promote financial literacy campaigns.
  • Support as needed on policy development and research related to consumer protection and financial literacy.
  • Contribute to women’s economic empowerment initiatives and activities.

2. Monitoring, Evaluation & Research (30%)

  • Work with Good Return’s partners to monitor and evaluate financial literacy activities, including contributing to the evaluation of the loan comic project, which may include fieldwork, data analysis, and report writing.
  • Contributing to the desk research, design, and fieldwork research implementation (surveys and focus group discussions or key informant interviews) of the Savings Mobilisation Research or other research as prioritised by NBC.

3. Marketing & Fundraising (20%)

  • Research and assist in writing funding proposals for financial education and economic empowerment activities.
  • Attend meetings with potential donors and partners together with the Cambodia Country Coordinator and expand Good Return and NBC’s funding networks.

4. Other Activities (10%)

  • Other activities may arise with the partner organisation during the course of the FSO assignment and responsibilities will be agreed in accordance with the needs of the partnership.

CITIZENSHIP

You must be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency to apply for this position. Applicants not meeting this requirement will not be considered.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

  • A degree in International Development, Education, Arts/Communications, Economics, Finance/Business or similar
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • IT skills, particularly Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Strong research, analysis and report-writing skills
  • At least 1 year of relevant work experience, such as in public communication campaigns/marketing, teaching/training, curriculum development, finance/banking, policy regulation, research

DESIRABLE SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Experience working in a cross-cultural context
  • Independent living or travel experience, preferably in the Asia Pacific region
  • Social media experience
  • Experience in developing training and assessment programs
  • Experience in monitoring and evaluation
  • Interest in gender equality and women’s economic empowerment

ESSENTIAL PERSONAL QUALITIES

  • Independence and resilience
  • Cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Patience, tolerance and open-mindedness
  • Responsible (for own actions, upholding integrity)
  • Initiative and ability to adapt to limited resources
  • A sense of humour!

ALLOWANCES AND SUPPORT

Pre-departure:

  • Induction training
  • Health check and vaccination expenses
  • Visa expenses
  • International airfares at the commencement and conclusion of the assignment

Settling in:

  • Support to find and book initial accommodation; it is the responsibility of the FSO to secure long-term accommodation
  • First 2 monthly allowance payments paid in advance to assist with set-up costs in-country
  • Orientation support (negotiating lease agreements, shopping options, etc.)

During assignment:

  • Support, monitoring, and security guidance from the Supervisor and Good Return regional & Sydney offices
  • Monthly allowance (to cover living and accommodation expenses)
  • Language allowance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Debrief following the conclusion of the placement

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The placement will commence in-country from May 2024 to October 2026 (18 months from the date of arrival in-country). Periods of less than 18 months will not be considered. A later commencement date of June 2024 may be considered, although May 2024 is preferred.

Good Return will provide international airfares at the commencement and conclusion of the assignment, certain pre-departure medical costs, visa expenses, insurance, and a monthly living allowance (intended to cover accommodation and other daily expenses).

How to apply:

Applications can be submitted by selecting the 'I'm interested' link below.

Applicants should provide a CV and a cover letter that addresses the selection criteria listed in the full position description, along with your phone and Skype contact details. Cover letters can be included in the messages section or uploaded together with a CV file.

We would love to hear how you heard about the position.

Enquiries can be directed via the Good Return website goodreturn.org.au/contact.

Length of assignment: 18 months

Level of effort: Full-time, 38 hours per week plus occasional weekend activities

ADDITIONAL NOTES

  • Good Return is an inclusive organisation. We strive to build a team that truly represents our diverse society and those of the Asia-Pacific communities we operate in. We actively encourage all applicants, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, disability, and sexuality, to apply. If you require adjustments to the recruitment or interview process to accommodate your specific needs, let us know and we will try to provide them.
  • Good Return is a child-safe organisation. Our recruitment processes reflect our commitment to the protection of children from abuse; successful candidates will need to comply with our Child Protection Policy and undergo pre-employment checks.
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Applications for this role will take you to the employer’s site.

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Apply now

Applications for this role will take you to the employer's site.

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