Consultant on debt swap and public finance management
Application deadline 2 months ago: Saturday 2 Dec 2023 at 03:59 UTCOpen application form
This is a Consultancy contract. More about Consultancy contracts.
Result of Service
The ultimate result of the service is to produce policy-relevant substantive documents and materials; coordinate with relevant national entities; and provide advisory services to support ESCWA’s Initiatives in Tunisia and North African countries, as requested, in improving public finance management and fiscal space toward financing national development priorities in the areas of climate action and the SDGs.
Remotely from Tunis, Tunisia
Duties and Responsibilities
For most Governments in the Arab region, advancing public finance management and fiscal policies in line with national development priorities and macro-fiscal sustainability remains a challenge. Arab States are facing increasing debt and debt service burdens, which have been aggravated by protracted crises and global macroeconomic uncertainty. Public budgets struggle to cover essential expenditure on social services as well as to meet commitments on climate action. ESCWA’s debt and fiscal policy initiatives provide decision-makers with analysis, tools and policy support related to public finance and debt sustainability toward achieving national development priorities in the areas of climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to its initiatives on monitoring social expenditure and developing debt optimization strategies, ESCWA has launched the Climate/SDGs Debt Swap – Donor Nexus Initiative in the Arab region to support member States that are facing fiscal challenges of high debt service burdens and financing climate and SDGs are adversely impacted by the current global challenges including inflationary pressures and the high cost of borrowing. The Initiative is supported by the Open Society Foundation since 2023, which helps member states to develop debt swap programme proposals towards improving climate action and economic justice to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. Several member states in the region have shown their interest in operationalizing the Initiative. This consultancy aims to support ESCWA member states, such as Tunisia and other North African countries as requested, in improving public finance management and fiscal space toward financing national development priorities in the areas of climate action and the SDGs including through implementation of the climate/SDGs debt swap initiative.
The consultant will work in close cooperation with the Project Coordinator and project team at ESCWA. The main duties and responsibilities of the consultant are the following:
Technical, coordination and advisory outputs: • Produce a technical report about budgetary sustainability in a period of fiscal challenges facing financing climate action and SDGs and propose new opportunities for the government to mobilize financing for development and climate action as per national commitments. • Produce a policy brief on debt sustainability and public finance reforms in case of Tunisia and other North African countries as requested. • Gather relevant information from the entities and inter-agency taskforce for preparing analysis related to developing a national proposal on climate/SDGs debt swap. • Provide substantive inputs for the development of the climate/SDGs debt swap programme of Tunisia, including technical reports and factsheets related to debt analysis and selection and monitoring of projects. • Produce policy recommendations on improving public expenditure allocations to climate action and social sectors as per national priorities in Tunisia.
• Coordinate with the focal person in the finance ministry, as designated by the Ministry, to support the establishment of an inter-agency taskforce to operationalize the climate/SDGs debt swap initiative. • Facilitate the inter-agency taskforce meetings by explaining the processes and concepts and information needed in operationalizing the climate/SDGs debt swap initiative. • Organize, facilitate and contribute to national consultative meetings with the inter-agency taskforce and CSOs toward the development of the climate/SDGs debt swap programme proposal of Tunisia. • Provide advisory services to the inter-agency taskforce in selecting climate/SDGs projects. • Coordinate with national entities to gather data to support the development of the monitoring and evaluation strategy of climate/SDG debt swap projects. • Coordinate with the inter-agency taskforce and CSOs to solicit their feedback on the draft Monitoring & Evaluation strategy. • Coordinate with budget entity to update information on budgets for development expenditures, including the Social Expenditure Monitor dashboard, with each budget cycle. • Organize, or co-organize information days with government officials including the inter-agency taskforce on debt and public finance reforms related to financing climate action and SDGs in an environment of scarcity of financial resources. • Act as a facilitator to improve understanding of the opportunities provided by ESCWA in order to reduce the debt burden and provide new development financing instruments space toward achieving national development priorities in the areas of climate action and achieving the SDGs.
A master’s degree in economics, finance or related area is required.
All candidates must submit a copy of the required educational degree. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. A minimum of fifteen years of experience in policy relevant technical and substantive work on issues of fiscal policy, debt and public finance management is required. A minimum of ten years of work experience in advising/working with government(s) on issues related to fiscal policy, debt and public finance management reforms is desirable.
Languages English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat; and Arabic is a working language of ESCWA.
For this position, fluency in English and Arabic languages is required. Knowledge of French language is desirable.
Note: “Fluency” equals a rating of ‘fluent’ in all four areas (speak, read, write, and understand) and “Knowledge of” equals a rating of ‘confident’ in two of the four areas.
Recruitment for this position is on a local basis. The incumbent is required to have the legal right to live and work in Tunis, Tunisia.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.