Job Opening

Posting Title: Economic and Trade Policy Unit – Consultant for Macro-economic and Fiscal policy
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 06 December 2021 - 26 December 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-170124-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The work of the consultant will contribute to the realisation of the following outcomes of the PAGE Project:
PAGE Outcomes 1, 2, 3 implemented at country level and outcome 4 at global level: Country level activities implemented by UNEP directly.

These include country deliveries in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Morocco and Burkina Faso.

The role of the consultant will be to supervise, review and integrate the Blue Economy Model Framework and the Blue Public Finance Framework into the overall Sustainable Blue Economy Transition Framework being developed by UNEP Ecosystems Division.

Work Location

Remote

Expected duration

The consultancy for the period of 4 January to 4 October 2022. The consultant will work full-time (100%).

Duties and Responsibilities

UN Environment Programme is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use of the global environment and sustainable development. The Economy Division at UNEP plays a leading role in the Green Economy Initiative which aims to shift national economies on to a sustainable path, in which jobs and output growth are driven by increased investment in green sectors, and by a switch of consumers’ preferences towards environmentally friendly goods and services.

Located within the Economy Division, the Resources and Markets Branch examines how economics, trade, and finance interact with the environment and contribute to sustainable development at the local, national, regional and global levels. The Resources and Markets Branch support countries through analytical studies in partnerships with 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 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, energy and extractives, to agriculture and fisheries among others. It works with a range of partners including fiscal authorities such as the International Monetary Fund, development agencies such as the German Development Agency, the Organisation for Cooperation on Economic Development (OECD), academic institutions, think tanks, and national research institutes, to provide policy advice, develop knowledge products and host technical workshops on the role of fiscal policy in the transition to a green economy.

A healthy ocean is key for a sustainable future and underpins several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the feedback loops underlying the Blue Economy (BE) are currently resulting in the deterioration of the marine ecosystem, with negative impacts on economies and societies. Marine biodiversity and ecosystems continue to face multiple threats, including habitat degradation and destruction, pollution, unsustainable and unregulated fisheries, and the effects of climate change. A strong global partnership is required to reverse these trends, by mobilizing resources, enhancing capacity and sharing knowledge to help countries and regions transition to a Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE).

Transitioning to a sustainable blue economy would reframe the development of ocean economies around the sustainable management of their natural capital, integrate sustainability in macro-economic planning and key sectoral policies, and deliver environmental, social and economic benefits. Prioritizing SBE would support ecosystem-based ocean and coastal governance systems that manage, restore and safeguard marine and coastal ecosystems, thus contributing to an SBE, healthier people, and a healthier planet. The transition to an SBE could also help countries, ‘Build back better’ from the current COVID-19 pandemic, enhance their resilience to future crises, and support Agenda 2030, biodiversity commitments, and the Paris Agreement.

Within this context, UNEP is developing a SBE Transition Framework that will help countries integrate SBE considerations in their policy and planning processes, thus making the transition to a SBE practical and implementable. The SBE Transition Framework follows four phases: 1) Understanding the system; 2) Strategic Policy Development; 3) Implementation; 4) Evaluation and Adaptation

The rationale for developing these tools, and the benefits they can bring to the SBE policy landscape, are discussed below.

Blue Economy Model Framework
Developing a Blue Economy Model Framework can provide countries with holistic information about the Blue Economy and its sustainability. It can also shed light on trends and patterns (especially when data is lacking) and forecast effects of policies on the Blue Economy. The insights provided by BE modelling can enable countries to embed SBE considerations in national economic planning, facilitating decision making and development planning that considers and incorporates Blue Economy opportunities. For example, SBE modelling could facilitate the repurposing and of harmful fisheries subsidies (e.g. those which reduce the cost of inputs such as fuel, vessels and gear) to support small-scale fishers and the scaling up of nature-based practices, contributing to the delivery of SDG 14.6.

As discussed in the feasibility study conducted, there are many existing models and tools that are currently used for Green Economy (GE) assessments. However, while the BE has similarities to the GE, current GE models are not yet well suited to the BE context due to the emphasis on land-based activities, lack of spatially explicit data and a lack of BE indicators used in current models. Further, while several tools have emerged to address niche areas of the BE, few tools provide a view of the BE in its entirety (especially the social dimension), and none allow for an integrated assessment of benefits/costs of SBE strategy implementation.

Therefore, to develop a Blue Economy Model that can provide usable information to policymakers, it is important to go beyond the tools developed for the Green Economy. This involves clearly setting out the inputs, outputs, and system dynamics (stocks and flows) that are needed to accurately model blue economy policies and their impacts. To achieve this, a Blue Economy Model Framework will be developed, which a) builds upon an existing model previously developed for the Green Economy b) focuses on adding appropriate and relevant SBE indicators; c) provides a pilot simulation of the model in a country of relevance, including running sample scenarios and assessing the importance (e.g. through a cost benefit analysis) of SBE indicators and; d) documents the key system dynamics underpinning the SBE in a technical report, with a brief overview of the results from the modelling exercise.

Blue Public Finance Framework
Making a strong, influential case for Sustainable Blue Economy action requires analysis that anchors SBE in fiscal and economic policies. The Blue Public Finance Framework will examine how government policies support or hinder the achievement of Sustainable Blue Economy goals, thus helping countries integrate sustainability into their Blue Economy (BE) policies and choice of implementation instruments. For example, the Blue Public Finance Framework could help a country determine that their public financial support for fossil fuel leads to harmful offshore oil exploration, prompting the re-allocation of that support to natural capital projects that sequester carbon, protect against flooding and create jobs.

As part of the feasibility study, seven dimensions have been identified for inclusion in the Blue Public Finance Framework’s assessments, coupled with a catalogue of questions, tools and sources that can be used to assess these dimensions. In this second phase, the dimensions and corresponding assessment questions will be adjusted and aligned with the Transition Framework’s phases and associated activities. The Framework will be finalized so that it can be operationalized as part of the SBE Transition Framework in 2022.


The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) is a multi-year interagency programme implemented jointly by UN Environment, 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 is currently supporting 20 countries and UN Environment has activities in all 20 PAGE countries.

UNEP directly supports The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) by hosting its Secretariat and managing the PAGE Trust Fund. Launched in 2013, PAGE brings together five UN agencies – UN Environment, International Labour Organization, UN Development Programme, UN Industrial Development Organization, and UN Institute for Training and Research – to support countries in the transition to an inclusive green economy and in achieving and monitoring the SDGs. Most PAGE research work on green economy indicators, measurement frameworks, and trade, is coordinated by UN Environment. At the national level, UN Environment's extensive experience in providing technical assistance and informing national decision making through green economy assessments and macroeconomic modelling contributes to PAGE activities.


To create further knowledge products, contribute to international discussions, initiate consultations with relevant institutions and respond to requests for guidance from governments in the area of green fiscal policy, as well as to create the SBE tools and approaches, and to assist the Ecosystem Division colleagues in establishing a SBE Transition framework, 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.

Specific tasks and responsibilities:

The consultant’s responsibilities will include supporting

the development of a Public Finance Framework for Sustainable Oceans as part of the SIDA funded project on Sustainable Blue Economy and the realisation of the following outcomes of the PAGE Project:
PAGE Outcomes 1, 2, 3 implemented at country level and outcome 4 at global level: Country level activities implemented by UNEP directly.

These include country deliveries in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Morocco and Burkina Faso.

The main duties and responsibilities of the consultant, include, but are not restricted to, the following

(1) Green Fiscal Policy for Sustainable Oceans
• A fully integrated SBE Transition Framework module containing framework and guidance on blue economy public finance framework for sustainable oceans. This entails coordinating with colleagues in the ecosystem division and external partners, controlling the quality of the commissioned paper, reviewing as well as editing the study and promoting the study at relevant global forums.
• A fully integrated SBE Transition Framework module containing SBE model framework with guidance.
• A policy brief on a public finance framework for sustainable oceans;
• An expert seminar on a public finance framework for sustainable oceans. This entails engaging with technical experts, country representatives and external partners and organising a virtual seminar to present and discuss the framework;
• A pilot county study on sustainable blue economy. This entails coordinating with colleagues in the ecosystem division, the PAGE country team and external partners, commissioning a paper, reviewing as well as editing the study, coordinating a national stakeholder consultation and promoting the study at relevant global forums
(2) Country deliveries and Global Activity for PAGE
• Podcast on Global Green Recovery
• A technical study and a policy brief on ‘reforming energy subsidies to support renewable energy development in Mongolia;
• A technical study and a policy brief for scaling up finance for nature-based solutions and climate smart agriculture policy in Mauritius;
• An updated technical report on ‘Fiscal incentives for stimulating low carbon development of Kazakhstan’ with modelling analysis in Russian and English; inputs on the energy sector of updating Green Economy Strategy in Kazakhstan;
• A technical study on fiscal incentives for sustainable tourism in Burkina Faso.
• This entails drafting ToRs, commissioning a paper, reviewing and editing the study, coordinating with UNEP and PAGE national focal points as well as PAGE partners and external experts and promoting the study through PAGE related meetings and workshops.

( 3) Other tasks as requested by the programme officer in charge

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: Communication
• Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors’ language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Academic Qualifications: • Master’s or higher degree in economics, public policy, environment policy or a related field.
Experience: • At least three years of accumulated work experience in public policy with a focus on macro-economic policy or fiscal policy/public finance. Knowledge on green fiscal policy (e.g. environmentally harmful subsidies, carbon taxes, green budging) is an advantage;
• Professional experience in producing economic/fiscal policy analysis both at global, national and sectoral levels and providing policy advice to national governments;
• Experience of working with governments and the UN system on the theme related to fiscal policy/public finance and sustainable development is an advantage.
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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