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Production of a policy brief: An analysis of percentage share of social spending in the 2021 budget: Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD)
Deadline: 7 May 2021 (1pm)
Introduction and background
The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) is seeking a qualified economic and/or financial analyst(s) to produce a policy brief on Percentage Share of Social Spending in Government Expenditure in the 2021 National Budget. This policy brief is a ZIMCODD’s research and advocacy initiative aimed at influencing transparency and accountability in the country’s fiscal policies, with a particular focus on the 2021 budget. A key tool that is used in fiscal policy implementation is the budget, which details the expenditure and revenue positions of a government. This policy brief will be informed by the national budget allocations in the 2021 national budget.
ZIMCODD believes that the financing of the social service sector goes a long way in the achievement of sustainable development goals, fight against poverty and hunger and the realisation of social and economic rights of citizens. Social security is a human right and citizens must be guaranteed some basic social protection. Failure to finance the social service sector, on the other hand perpetuates inequalities and entrenched poverty among citizens.
Over the years, a lion’s share of government expenditure has been channeled towards recurrent expenditures, which were necessitated by a growing wage bill. However, since 2016, there has been a remarkable transformation of the budget structure, with the wage bill declining from 80% to 26% of aggregate government expenditure in 2020, (Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), 2020). Capital expenditures increased from 8% in 2016 to 36% of total spending in 2020. Though the fiscal consolidation measures are commendable, it should however be noted that the significant decline in the wage bill has its negative consequences on service delivery, particularly in labour driven service delivery sectors such as health and education. The government 2020 budget has prioritized spending on health and education which saw increased budget allocations to these two sectors.
An analysis of the 2020 Budget shows that there is generally a rising trend in aggregate spending. From the US$1.9 billion budgeted for 2019, the 2020 total budget increased by 36% in real terms, (MoFED, 2020). In terms of specific spending trends, there has been a nominal increase in expenditures in 2020, on social protection and health expenditure, necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak, increases in subsidies for basic commodities (roller meal in particular) and transport, (ZUPCO scheme) among others. An analysis of percentage share of social spending in government expenditure in the last two years (2019 & 2020) have however revealed that social protection for the vulnerable and marginalized people and households is not a top priority for the government, as evidenced by its resource allocation during the outbreak of the coronavirus. As such, expert analysis of fiscal policies remain indispensable in enhancing transparency and accountability in public finance management. Against this background, ZIMCODD seeks to engage an expert to conduct an analysis of Percentage Share of Social Spending in government expenditure reflecting on the 2021 national budget and produce an independent, fact-based policy brief which will serve as evidence to lobby parliamentarians and the executive towards a people-centered budget and people-centered government expenditures. The policy brief will be disseminated to Parliament, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, other government agencies, and citizens for them to demand prioritization of the poor and vulnerable by the government in public finance management.
The purpose of this policy brief is to analyze the budget vote for social protection of the poor and vulnerable and proffer recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of national budget allocation in the context of poverty alleviation, tax justice, resource availability, allocation, administration and utilization.
The Policy Brief on Annual Social Spending in Government in the 2021 Budget should satisfy the following objectives: Unpack social spending and establish historical trends in fiscal allocation towards social spending; Critically analyze Zimbabwe’s social spending model- in terms of allocations, distribution channels and patterns, intended impact and overall impact achieved; Based on internationally agreed benchmarks on social expenditure as a percentage of national budget, draw lessons from other countries for Zimbabwe to learn from; Proffer alternative funding models for social spending for the Zimbabwean government; Proffer recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of national budget allocation in the context of poverty alleviation, tax justice, resource availability, allocation, administration and utilization.
Roles and Responsibilities
The consultant will be responsible for: Preparation of a work plan and methodology; Data collection; Submitting the draft and final Policy Briefs within stipulated time frames; Presenting the Policy Brief to different platforms as communicated by ZIMCODD.
The consultant (s) MUST conduct scientific research and produce a well-researched and written Policy Brief that will be used by ZIMCODD to engage policy makers.
The timeline for the assignment is 14 days from the date of awarding of contract.
Terms of Payment
Payment will be done according to agreed terms and budget with the successful applicant(s).
The consultant will report to the ZIMCODD Programmes Manager for this assignment.
ZIMCODD is looking for a Development Economist or Financial Analyst with relevant experience, education and expertise in Public Finance Management or Public Policy Analysis. Applications MUST include: Proposed methodology and budget (2 pages); Detailed CVs of the aspiring consultant(s) demonstrating their work profile and past experience in similar assignments; Three (3) contactable professional references. The consultant/team will be selected through a competitive process based upon thorough and fair scrutiny of the proposals of the applicants.
All applications must be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Copy email@example.com