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Home-based consultancies (2 positions) to work as a team to develop (based on existing materials) and implement a remote training on public finance for children for UNICEF staff in Central Asia
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Grade: Unspecified
Job Expired 16 Jun 2021
Expired
Added 1 week ago
Job Description

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, results

There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens will not only give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but will also lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. Particularly in middle-income countries, one key objective of UNICEF’s work is to support Governments to effectively implement social and budget policies in a way that reduces child poverty and deprivation and provides services of sufficient coverage and quality to address the development needs of child, adolescent, and youth populations. This work requires an in-depth understanding of the political economy, the fiscal situation, the investments needed, and the budget allocation and expenditures in key sectors that matter for children.

The role of public finance in securing the well-being of children is more important than ever in the context of COVID-19. The crisis and associated lockdowns have led to substantial declines in the economic well-being of individuals and countries across the globe. Government spending on stimulus packages has provided a critical safeguard in the first year of the crisis. However, lessons from past crises point to a growing threat of austerity measures in the months and years to come, with the potential for devastating and irreversible impacts on children and their families. UNICEF views partnerships with national and local governments, development partners, and private sector actors on an expanded public finance agenda as an essential step to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on critical spending for children and promote an equitable and sustainable recovery.

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Public Financing for Children (PF4C) describes UNICEF’s efforts to influence the transparency, quality and size of public investments in children. By undertaking this work, UNICEF is better able to address equity gaps in public funding, which routinely disadvantage the poorest and most marginalised children. Key goals of PF4C include influencing government decisions about spending on children and social services versus other areas, reducing investment disparities among different geographic areas and population groups, and applying value-for-money approaches so that children benefit optimally from funds intended to enhance their well-being, among others. As a programme stream, PF4C brings together sector-based and cross-cutting initiatives to influence budgetary frameworks (how the budget is put together) and public financial management (PFM) processes (how funds are transformed into public goods and services) for the benefit of children. Given the high degree of decentralization in many ECAR countries, PF4C work in the region inherently incorporates a local governance lens.

How can you make a difference?

In the Europe and Central Asia region (ECAR), UNICEF is increasingly engaged in providing analytical and technical support to Governments in public financial management (PFM) in order to leverage domestic public financial resources for greater, more equitable, and more sustainable results for children. This work is by nature cross-sectoral, requiring leadership and engagement by teams in, for example, social policy, health, education, child protection, ECD and country office management. In order to facilitate an expansion of UNICEF’s work on public finance in ECAR, UNICEF is implementing a training and capacity development programme for UNICEF staff, to increase their familiarity and comfort with key public finance for children concepts and tools.
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We are seeking two consultants to undertake this work. Building on existing learning materials and approaches that UNICEF will make available, including a version of this course developed for implementation in the Western Balkans, the objective of this assignment is to develop/refine and deliver an Orientation Course on PF4C for the programme staff from five UNICEF Central Asia country offices (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) to enhance understanding, knowledge, and expertise on public financial management issues as they relate to investments in children. This includes helping teams to:

  • Strengthen their "budget literacy" (knowledge of basic PFM literature, a conceptual framework for PF4C, budget and PFM reform processes focusing on concrete examples and cases from the country/regional realities, etc.);
  • Improve their ability to understand, select, develop, and apply appropriate PF4C tools, including budget briefs, Public Expenditure Reviews (PERs), Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS), value for money analyses, fiscal space analyses, etc.;
  • Improve their capacity to engage in strategic policy dialogues on PF4C and effectively advocate for more transparent, effective and adequate investments in children; and
  • Understand how to develop, with expert guidance, a draft PF4C strategy for their area of work, including a concrete one-year work plan.
 
Rather than being passive recipients of knowledge, the training is expected to encourage participants to brainstorm and identify key PFM bottlenecks and responses in order to move the PF4C agenda forward in their countries and the region. This training is by design hands-on and should involve guided exercises to apply key PFM concepts.
 

Under the supervision of ECARO Social Policy section, the consultants’ key responsibilities are to:

  1. Review existing literature on PFM reforms and PF4C practices in participating countries to understand the budget and public finance context and bottlenecks as well as major social and economic challenges faced by children.
  2. Review existing training materials produced for the UNICEF Global PF4C training and the Western Balkans PF4C training and, based on this review, knowledge of Central Asia, and a preparatory meeting with Central Asia social policy colleagues, adapt the training materials to the context and interest of the participants.
  3. Design and conduct a brief assessment of the participants, capturing e.g. their sectors of work, experience with and understanding of PF4C, and expectations from the course.
  4. Develop at least one case study from Central Asia to use as part of the learning materials.
  5. Finalize the training materials, dates, and structure. The training will be delivered online and is suggested to be organized around a 5-day programme spread over 2-3 weeks, approximately 3-4 hours per day maximum.
  6. Conduct the training course for UNICEF staff working in participating country offices. The training should balance lectures, discussions, individual work, group activities, etc. and provide ample opportunity for case studies and practical exercises.
  7. Produce a workshop report (5 pages) that contains a concise analysis of the workshop evaluations as well recommendations on identifying additional opportunities for learning.

Note on existing materials:

Materials from the Western Balkans course are structured around:

  • Part I: The Impact of COVID-19
  • Part II: PFM Systems in the Western Balkans
  • Part III(a): Budget Analysis and PERs
  • Part III(b): PETS and QSDS
  • Part III(c): VfM Analysis
  • Part III(d): Equity
  • Part IV(a): Cooperation
  • Part IV(b): PF4C Strategies

The Global Course contains modules on:

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  • Fiscal Space
  • PFM and the Budget Cycle
  • Moving from Policy to Budget
  • Budget Execution and Reporting
  • Politics of the Budget
  • Fiscal Decentralization and Financing at the Subnational Level
  • Financing for Social Sectors
  • VfM Analysis
  • Equity

The consultant(s) will not be expected to focus on all of the aspects outlined above during the training. The specific content and focus for the Central Asia course will be determined based on discussions with the social policy leads (Task 2) and review of participants’ experience and expectations (Task 3).

Conditions of contract: 

  • Duration: Each consultant will be expected to be available for 18 days between July and November 2021. 
  • Duty Station: Both consultants will be home-based 
  • Payment: The consultants will be paid in two installments, based on timely and satisfactory delivery of outputs. The payments will be as follows:
    • 50% upon delivery of the adenda and training package and
    • 50 upon delivery of the workshop report.
  • Supervisor: the consultants will report to the Regional Advisor for Social Policy
  • Travel: No travels are expected.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Degree in  Finance, Economics, Business Administration and / or related field
  • Proven track record on successful delivery of high-level expert advice, technical support and capacity development to Governments, UN agencies, or other partners CSOs on PFM and/ or broader sustainable development financing issues.
  • Specific experience in child-related social sectors will be considered an asset;
  • Prior demonstrable experience providing support to governments on public finance reforms, preferably in the Central Asia context;
  • Proven ability to develop, deliver and / or facilitate staff training for development organizations on the topic of PFM in social sectors;
  • Good knowledge of the PFM architecture in Central Asia context required;
  • Fluency in English required. Fluency in Russian is a strong asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

To apply:

Interested candidates are invited to submit:

  1. Letter of interest, including your approach to the assignment and proposed fees (daily) to undertake the above TOR. Please note that applications without a proposed fee will not be accepted.
  2. A CV and/or Personal history form (downloadable from http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/P11.doc). Alternatively, if a candidate profile in the UNICEF e-Recruitment System is available, you may download it and submit it as part of application.

Remarks:

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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