Job Opening

Posting Title: UCM Impact on Syrian Economy Consultant
Department/Office: Resident Coordinator System
Duty Station: DAMASCUS
Posting Period: 20 September 2022 - 03 October 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Resident Coordinator System-191323-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

To prepare a study to estimate the impact of UCMs on the Syrian economy using economic modelling techniques. Under the overall guidance of the NAFS programme manager and working closely with the ESCWA modelling division and NAFS Economic Affairs Expert.

Work Location

Home-Based

Expected duration

1 Month

Duties and Responsibilities

Background:

Syria’s crisis has entered its twelfth year without reaching a political settlement. The unfolding of events in Syria has created serious repercussions on the stability of the country and its socio-economic performance, with spillover effects on the whole region. These events have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, destroyed considerable part of country's capital assets, considerably reduced its GDP and negatively affected the Syrian society and economy.

After the start of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic in 2011, some States and regional entities began to impose unilateral coercive measures (UCMs) on the country. The latest post-2011 UCMs were led by the United States and the European Union, followed by the Arab League and Turkey, and then by Japan, Canada, Denmark, Australia, and Switzerland. These UCMs targeting the Syrian Arab Republic have been described as one of the strictest and most complex collective sanctions regimes in recent history.
Comparative and global evidence around sanctions effect detected various trends of identified intended and unintended effects on ordinary citizens. In the case of the Syrian Arab Republic, it is key to comprehend the unintended effect of unilateral measures and examine the short-term and long-term effects of such measures on various sectors, and as a result on, the conditions of the population and their livelihoods.
Various organizations, academic institutions and think tanks have been tracking and mapping the status and development of sanctions. Over the years, several studies and reports highlighted key features of the impact of UECMs in several studies and on key sectors in the Syrian Arab Republic, including as agriculture, the industrial sector, energy, telecom, water, macro-economy and society, and remittances, etc.… However, more work is needed, and broader collective efforts are required to further analyses these issues, based on a set of qualitative and quantitative data – in order to help to explore them based on an objective methodology. Considering the above, the National Agenda for the Future of Syria Programme at ESCWA’s, NAFS is leading an evidence-based forum and a broader study on the impact of unilateral measures on Syria, in particular looking at some of the unintended impacts on the socio-economic sectors. The purpose of the current consultancy work is to contribute to NAFS’s broader effort by estimating the impact of UCMs on the Syrian economy using economic modelling techniques.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The UN in Syria is seeking services of a consultant to prepare a study to estimate the impact of UCMs on the Syrian economy using economic modelling techniques. Under the overall guidance of the NAFS programme manager and working closely with the ESCWA modelling division and NAFS economic Affairs Expert, the consultant shall be performing the following assigned duties:

- Utilizes the Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Model developed for estimating the benefits of peace in Syria on neighboring countries to assess the impact of UCMs on the Syrian economy between 2010-2021 and have it singled out from the other factors affected they Syrian economy throughout the conflict. The modelling exercise needs to estimate the direct and indirect impact of UCMs on, but not limited to, the following indicators:

o The macroeconomic indicators: GDP level and growth, foreign trade, inflation, employment, public finance, foreign exchange, and the aggregate consumption and aggregate saving.
o The direct and indirect impact on the key economic sectors including extractive industry, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, finance, transport, and tourism.


- Utilizes CGE model to identify and map the transmission channels of UCMs with details on the first, second, and third layers of effects whenever possible. Include an overview/comparison of CGE in conflict situations vs traditional CGE and how the effect of conflict can be separated from the effect of sanctions in the model.

- Include 2 shock scenarios in the CGE, one where there is a partial lifting of UCMs and one where all UCMs are lifted.

- Connect the two lifting of UCMs scenarios (shock scenarios above) to key humanitarian and social aggregates (it can be by simple techniques such as partial elasticities between the major aggregates) to be really clear what happens if the international community does that.

- Include as part of exercise an indication about the potential impact of the chilling effect of UCMs and the disruption they bring to the economic system and leads to de-risking.

- Produce a report that documents the modeling process, interpret findings in the conflict context, and present possible conflict sensitive policy measure that may mitigates the unintended impact of the UCMs.

- Include a projection about the impact of UCMs in case of post-conflict scenario.

- Attend the relevant NAFS Experts’ Group Meeting (EGM) meeting to present and discuss the findings.

- Incorporates feedback received on the report from NAFS and ESCWA team and from experts in the EGM in the final version of the report.

Qualifications/special skills

Master’s degree in Economics with a strong quantitative and computational background is required. PhD is desirable.
At least 15 years of experience in economic modelling, policy analysis in development context is required.
Professional knowledge of the Syrian macroeconomic development and institutional framework Experienced in leading the development of CGE model. Prior experience developing macroeconomic modeling in the region is desirable.
Strong background in public economics and proven experience of conducting similar studies is desirable.
Advanced programming skills in GAMS are required while programming in Stata would be highly desirable.
Excellent oral and written communication skills in English with the ability to translate complex research findings into policy relevant language is desirable.
Excellent interpersonal skills required for high level engagement with government departments and other stakeholders is desirable.
Demonstrated significant experience running computable general equilibrium (CGE) models such as GTAP, Linkage with working knowledge of the strengths and drawbacks of different modeling approaches and familiarity with the GTAP data base is desirable.

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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