Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant for Fiscal Study on the Effects of Pesticide and Fertilizer Subsidies
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 06 February 2019 - 12 February 2019
Job Opening Number: 19-United Nations Environment Programme-111456-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The services of the consultant will result in the delivery of a global study on pesticide and fertilizer subsidies to evaluate the extent and effects of such subsidies and insights from countries’ reform experiences.

Work Location

Remote

Expected duration

The consultancy contract will start on 18 February 2019 and expire on 18 June 2019.

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the UN system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. In 2008, UN Environment launched the Green Economy Initiative (GEI) to promote investments in clean and efficient technologies, natural capital and social infrastructure as a driver for economic growth, job creation, environmental improvement, poverty eradication and social equity worldwide. The GEI is led by the Resources and Markets Branch of UN Environment's Economy Division. The Branch undertakes research activities and country-level advisory services, engaging with partners from UN agencies, intergovernmental institutions, governments, academic institutes, businesses and environmental groups to support the shift to an inclusive green economy and help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Among its areas of work, the Economic and Fiscal Policy Unit of the Branch supports global efforts on green fiscal policy reforms and advises countries on how fiscal policies can support the inclusive green economy and delivery of the SDGs across different sectors from water, extractives and energy, to agriculture and fisheries among others. The Economic and Fiscal Policy Unit is currently carrying out a joint project together with the Pollution and Health Unit of the Chemicals Branch on Environment, Health and Pollution which seeks to help countries and stakeholders step up action on pollution by providing the needed understanding, capacity and tools on the nexus between environment and health issues. Among its activities, the project will explore the role of fiscal policies in addressing pollution and associated health impacts.

Fiscal policies, such as taxes and charges, as well as government expenditures could provide incentives to discourage polluting activities or the use of polluting products in a cost-effective way. At the same time, by removing existing price distortions that generate perverse incentives for overuse such as pesticide and fertilizer subsidies, fiscal policy reforms could help reduce pollution and associated health impacts. In practice, the use of fiscal instruments in reducing pollution is limited, particularly in the developing world. There remains a knowledge gap on how to optimize the use of such instruments due to a lack of empirical evidence and assessments based on existing experiences. There is hence a need to evaluate the performance of fiscal policy instruments in managing pollution, identify good practices and share country experiences to support the further use of such instruments in preventing and addressing pollution for better human health and well-being.

To create further research and knowledge products on the extent and effects of subsidies and other perverse incentives for the use of pesticides and fertilizers in the agriculture sector, UN Environment requires support from a consultant with expertise in this area. The UN Environment, Economy Division, Resources and Markets Branch currently does not have the relevant expertise in house, to carry out the required tasks.

Objectives, output expectations and performance indicators

The objective of the consultancy is to prepare a study on pesticide and fertilizer subsidies to evaluate the extent and effect of such subsidies and elaborate insights from reform experiences from around the world.

The study will contribute to improving understanding on the extent and effects of global subsidies for fertilizers and pesticides, bridging knowledge gaps on country experiences with reforming such subsidies, and provide guidance, advice and support to governments and UN Environment on how to reform pesticide and fertilizer subsidies to reduce pollution and associated human health impacts.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: • Knowledge of the latest research art in the field of agricultural subsidies, in particular subsidies for the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
• Knowledge of organizations and research institutions producing research on pesticide and fertilizer subsidies, internationally.
• Proven professional level writing skills
Academic Qualifications: An advanced university degree in a relevant field: economics, finance, public policy, natural resource management, environment, development, international relations.
Experience: • Five years of professional experience in empirical research, data analysis and writing evidence-based reports and policy materials with practical recommendations.
• A minimum of three years of professional experience in researching and analysing subsidies and other fiscal policies is desired.
• Proven track record in producing literature reviews and analysis in the aforementioned field, particularly in relation to subsidies in the agriculture sector (in both developing and developed economies).
• Professional experience in working on projects with relevant experts in the field across different organizations, including experience in jointly drafting reports.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required.

No Fee

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.

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