United States of America: Public Finance and Local Governance Consultant – Research and Evidence

Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: United States of America
Closing date: 30 Apr 2014

Terms of Reference

Public Finance and Local Governance Consultant – Research and Evidence

1. Background

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. Public investments oriented toward and reaching girls and boys are essential to the fulfillment of their rights, as recognized in the Article IV of the Convention for the Rights of the Child (CRC), which obligates governments to undertake measures to the maximum extent of their available resources to fulfill children’s rights.

The role of national public finance policy and management is increasingly central for achieving results for children. For UNICEF, to leverage national resources means not only supporting the development of child-friendly policies and institutions, but also tackling budget and public financial management (PFM)-related bottlenecks and barriers to ensure that inputs are translated into intended outputs and impact for children. UNICEF’s engagements in budgets and public finance issues are particularly important for addressing social exclusion. Even when overall policies are improving and budgets are increasing, inequitable and inefficient budgetary allocations, as well as issues with subnational budget planning and management, play a key role in the systematic exclusion of disadvantaged children.

Therefore, in line with UNICEF’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan, the Social Inclusion Section in UNICEF New York Headquarters will prioritize activities around two inter-related initiatives aimed at increasing the advocacy around and the support to UNICEF field offices, in order to increase the size, efficiency, equity and transparency of public investments towards achieving children’s rights. The two initiatives and expected UNICEF contributions are:

  1. Provide technical input to the development of and consultation around the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)’s General Comment on Public Spending to Realize Children’s Rights (GC);
  2. Develop an internal Strategic Guidance (SG) on Public Finance and Local Governance (PFLG) to synergize, take to scale and systemize the equity focus of sector-based and cross-cutting initiatives led or supported by UNICEF.

It is expected that the evidence and strategies identified for the SG will feed into the evidence and advocacy messages for both the GC itself and the resource handbook that will be developed and disseminated during 2016 to facilitate the GC implementation by stakeholders such as governments, parliamentarians and civil society organizations.

2. Purpose

UNICEF is seeking a consultant to provide research and evidence generation support for the UNICEF’s contribution to the GC and the development of the SG. To ensure the relevance and quality of the evidence generated from desk-based review and case studies, it is expected that the consultant will participate in and contribute to the consultation processes for the production of both the GC and the SG. In addition, the consultant is expected to liaise regularly with focal points in the Programming Division in NYHQ on sector-specific PFLG issues. Due to the tight production timelines of both initiatives and the need for frequent, timely feedback to ensure best quality of deliverables, this consultant is expected to work full time and on-site.

3. Expected Results

Under the supervision of Chief of PFLG Unit, the consultant will produce the following results:

· A literature review of evidence on effective strategies, approaches, and practices, as well as lessons learned in the area of PFLG:

o Based on secondary research and through an extensive desk review, the consultant will summarize and synthesize relevant experiences and findings from available literature, in order to generate the evidence base for identifying effective strategies, approaches and practices, as well as lessons learned. The scope of the review may include i) relevant internal publications (e.g. the global stock-take, and the multi-media case studies of UNICEF county initiatives), and ii) external publications including, but not limited to, those by the World Bank, International Budget Partnership (IBP), Decentralization and Local Governance (DeLoG), ODI Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure (CAPE), Oxfam, and other UN agencies.

o The outputs will be delivered in modules that correspond to the five categories of PFLG interventions in the SG, namely i) budget data and bottlenecks analysis, ii) policy dialogue and advocacy around budget issues identified; iii) budget monitoring and tracking with a focus on strengthening local governance, iv) budgetary impact assessments (e.g. has UNICEF’s PFLG work led to greater, more efficient, equitable public spending?), and v) cross-cutting capacity development and partnerships.

· Input to the drafting and the consultation processes of the CRC General Comment and the PFLG Strategic Guidance:based on the above, the consultant will draw out relevant supporting evidence and produce drafting and analytical input to the milestones products for the GC and SG.

4. Duration

This is a 9-month assignment expected to begin on May 19, 2014. This consultancy is required to be full time, on-site at UNICEF Headquarters in New York City, although occasional working offsite is possible subject to supervisor pre-approval.

5. Activities and Deadlines

The consultant will be responsible for delivering on the following:

Output/DeliverableDeadline Amount Payable US$Literature review of evidence on effective PFLG strategies, approaches, and practices Review methodology developed May 26, 2014 Evidence base for modules 1-2 developed June 6, 2014 Evidence base for modules 3-4 developed June 20, 2014 Evidence base for modules 5 developed June 30, 2014 Other evidence as needed for the CRC General Comment See below PFLG strategic guidance Drafting and analytical inputs to annotated outline June 30, 2014 Drafting and analytical inputs to zero draft August 30, 2014 Participation in the expert meeting* Sept 30, 2014 Participation in the consultations with reference groups Oct. 31, 2014 Drafting and analytical inputs to the final draft Dec. 31, 2014 Companion resource handbook produced Feb. 18. 2015 CRC General Comment Drafting inputs to scoping document August 31, 2014 Participation in the expert meeting* Sept. 30, 2014 Drafting input to outline Oct. 30, 2014 Drafting input to zero draft Jan. 31, 2015TOTAL

*the meeting serves two purposes.

6. Competencies and Skills Required

· Advanced university degree in Economics, Public Finance, Social Sciences, Public Policy and/or Administration, International Relations or other relevant discipline.

· Minimum of 8 years of professional work experience in public financial policy, management and budgeting. Experience in local/community-level budget monitoring and analysis strongly preferred. Familiarity with UNICEF programming is a plus. Experience in fragile states also desirable.

· Strong research and drafting skills, especially to analyze and package qualitative information.

· Proven ability to work under tight deadlines and drive for results.

· Fluency in English mandatory. Fluency in French highly desirable.

How to apply:

Qualified candidates are requested to submit a one-page cover letter summarizing relevant experience, CV and P 11 form (which can be downloaded from our website at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_53129.html) to pdconsultants@unicef.org with subject line “Public Finance and Local Governance Consultant – Research and Evidence” by 30th April 2014, 5:00pm EST.

At the end of the cover letter, please indicate: (a) acknowledgement that you are able to be located in New York City throughout the duration of this assignment; and (b) your daily rate to perform this assignment (Note: your daily rate will be paid out on a monthly basis according to the number of official UN working days each month). Applications that do not include this information will not be considered. Compensation will be commensurate to experience and guided by competitive market rates.

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