Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant for PAGE on Fiscal Policy Reforms for Sustainable Agriculture in Guyana
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 16 December 2019 - 05 January 2020
Job Opening Number: 19-United Nations Environment Programme-128730-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 scoping study on fiscal policy reforms to support the shift to sustainable, productive and climate-resilient agriculture in Guyana. Policymakers in Guyana will be able to use the results of the study to improve their knowledge on the impacts and effects of agricultural fiscal policies and develop potential reform options to mobilize financing for sustainable agriculture and encourage the development of organic agriculture in Guyana in line with GSDS objectives.

Work Location

Remote (Guyana)

Expected duration

The consultancy contract will start on 15 January 2020 and expire on 30 June 2020. If the final deliverable under this contract is produced before 30 June 2020, the contract will be terminated sooner.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) is a joint initiative of five UN Agencies: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). PAGE responds to paragraph 66 of the Rio+20 outcome document "The Future We Want", which calls upon the UN system to support countries interested in pursuing green economy policies. The partnership supports nations and regions in reframing economic policies and practices around sustainability to advance the 2030 Agenda, to foster economic growth, create income and jobs, reduce poverty and inequality, and strengthen the ecological foundations of their economies.

PAGE began its work in Guyana in 2017 following the Government’s commitment to develop and implement the Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040 (GSDS) – its twenty-year national development policy. Through the Strategy, the Government is pursuing green economic and social growth, with core objectives focused on diversifying the economy, reducing reliance on traditional sectors and generating sustainable income and investment opportunities in high value-added and growth sectors, while promoting social equity and strengthening the economy’s ecological foundations. The GSDS builds on previous national development strategies and international commitments, such as the Low Carbon Development Strategy, the Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Climate Resilience Strategy and Action Plan; and is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Guyana’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Climate Agreement.

PAGE has established itself as an important partnership mechanism for facilitating technical expertise to support elaboration of the GSDS and its further implementation. PAGE has initiated various workstreams aimed at building capacity among key stakeholders and institutions and is advancing sectoral studies to inform policy reforms in line with the GSDS including a Green Industry and Trade Assessment, Green Economy Modelling study, and Green Jobs Assessment among others. In this context, PAGE received a request from the Ministry of Finance for support in the area of green fiscal policies and following further discussions with Government representatives, PAGE will develop a scoping study on fiscal policies to support the shift to sustainable, productive and climate-resilient agriculture in Guyana in line with GSDS objectives.

To create a technical study on this topic, UNEP requires support from a consultant with expertise in this area. The UNEP, Economy Division, Resources and Markets Branch currently does not have the relevant expertise in house, to carry out the required tasks.

This work in Guyana is funded by the European Commission project “Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Phase II” and the work of the consultant will contribute towards achieving Outcomes 1-3 of the project.

Specific tasks and responsibilities

The consultant will lead the development of a scoping study on ‘Fiscal Policy Reforms to Support Sustainable Agriculture in Guyana’. The study will cover aspects elaborated in Annex 1. Where relevant and possible, the study will build on the results of on-going initiatives in Guyana including the analysis of budget practices, public expenditures and costing exercises carried out under the GSDS ‘Volume III: M&E Framework and Cost Estimates’ (to be completed by December 2019). The results of the study will feed into proposed PAGE follow-up activities in the area of fiscal policy reform for sustainable agriculture.

The scope of the study is to assess how fiscal policies can mobilise finance and shift behaviour to support the transition to sustainable, productive and climate-resilient agriculture and value-added processing in line with GSDS objectives. The study will focus on the following aspects:
• Analysis of current fiscal policy framework affecting agricultural activities. This will include an assessment of impacts (economic, environmental, social, health), short-term trade-offs and long-term benefits including how this framework supports/hinders delivery of GSDS objectives.
• Best practices in using fiscal policies to support sustainable agriculture practices. Drawing on insights from other country experience, the study will identify best practices in using fiscal policies to encourage the adoption of resource efficient technologies, encouraging production of certified organic products and development of sustainable infrastructure among others.
• Potential fiscal policy reform options. The study will identify and undertake a preliminary assessment of potential fiscal policy reform options for the government to consider. Depending on data availability, this assessment will include the potential revenues, impacts, trade-offs, political feasibility, and options to integrate reforms in national planning/budgeting processes and strategic frameworks.

The specific tasks and responsibilities of the consultant, include, but are not restricted to, the following:
• Carry out research, review national documents and other relevant materials,
• Consult with relevant national stakeholders (in-person or virtual) to gather data under the guidance received from UNEP
• Lead the drafting of the report, collating inputs and addressing comments from national stakeholders under the guidance received from UNEP
• Participate in one mission to Guyana to solicit feedback from relevant stakeholders on the draft findings/proposed policy options and next steps under the guidance received from UNEP.
• Review and provide feedback on the draft post-2020 agriculture sector strategy being prepared by the Government under the guidance received from UNEP.
• Prepare communication materials including a summary/policy brief and PowerPoint presentation based on the main findings of the report.

The study will provide an economic analysis of agricultural fiscal policies and will draw on various sources including literature, data and stakeholder consultations. Depending on the availability and quality of data, quantitative tools (e.g. Social Accounting Matrix, partial equilibrium analysis of the incidence and distribution of price effects) could be used to assess relevant fiscal policy instruments – particularly the level of charges, public expenditure, subsidies and incentives – and their effectiveness in terms of fiscal, macro-economic, environmental, social and health impacts.

At the start of the study, the consultant will organise a series of meetings (in-person or virtual) to gather data and consult relevant national stakeholders and policymakers under the guidance received from UNEP. A final mission will be organised in conjunction with PAGE trainings/stakeholder meetings in Guyana to solicit feedback from relevant stakeholders on the draft findings/proposed policy options and next steps under the guidance received from UNEP.

The study will be coordinated by UNEP under PAGE, in collaboration with PAGE’s partner agencies. The production of the report will be developed in close consultation with national stakeholders and experts including government, particularly the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and the Guyana Revenue Authority, experts from academia and national research institutes, international technical experts and partners of existing network/initiatives such as the Green Fiscal Policy Network, UN REDD+, and TEEB, to ensure a participatory approach and country-ownership/support of the process.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: • Proven capacity for conceptual, analytical, and critical thinking.
• Demonstrable communication skills, both oral and written, including the ability to write clearly and concisely on technical, socio-economic, and fiscal topics.
• Proven ability to analyze and communicate complex information at a simpler level to a wide audience.
• Demonstrated experience in undertaking research and producing economic policy analysis in Guyana and/or the Latin America and Caribbean region would be highly desirable.
• Proven organization skills, problem-solving, teamwork and coordination skills.
• Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
• Commitment to respect the values advocated by the United Nations.
Academic Qualifications: A university degree in a relevant field: economics, finance, agroeconomics, environmental economics, taxation, public policy, natural resource management, development, environment, or any other relevant field.
Experience: 3 years of proven professional experience in research, data analysis and writing reports with practical recommendations in green economy related areas, including economic policies, fiscal policies, agriculture, environmental economics at the national level.
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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