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The World Bank conducted a Social Protection (SP) Assessment and Public Expenditure Review in 2016 that analyzed the total spending on SP in Ghana from 2012 to 2015. In August 2017, UNICEF commenced discussions with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to put in place a team and process for tracking budget allocation to SP programmes that will show the status of government budget allocation to the sector. The team agreed to focus on both Government of Ghana and donor funded programmes implemented by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs). Since SP programmes are implemented by different MDAs, this tracking exercise will consolidate the budget allocation for the agreed SP programmes in the absence of a specific coding for Social Protection in the national chart of accounts that can support an automatic consolidation of overall SP budget allocation.
Since the last quarter of 2017, the team from the MoF and UNICEF identified a set of SP programmes for the exercise, designed an SP budget tracker and collected data on government budgetary allocation to the identified programmes as well as the amount released by MoF to these MDAs. The data collection exercise has been completed and an analysis with dashboards on budget allocation trends as well as government budget prioritization within SP programmes. This analysis is expected to guide the MoF in making decisions on budget ceilings to various MDAs implementing SP programmes. Based on data collected using the SP budget tracker, there is the need for additional analysis of government budget allocation in relation to the resources required to cover the target populations of these SP programmes, government commitments in the medium-term development plans and the operational efficiencies of these SP programmes. It will also be useful to examine the sources of financing these allocations to the SP programmes.
Purpose of the Assignment
To effectively engage Government to improve overall budget allocation to SP and prioritize well-functioning SP programmes, it is important to provide evidence to support planning and decision making. This assignment is to assess the adequacy of government overall budget allocation to SP, identify opportunities for increasing financing to the sector and provide a basis for increasing budget allocation to better performing SP programmes. The assignment will contribute to ongoing discussions for an updated Public Expenditure Review (PER) of the SP sector and serve as a key input for developing a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for SP that reflects both the available fiscal space, government commitments to the sector and the needs of the SP programmes. The MTEF has been identified by the MoF and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) as a useful tool for fully translating government policies in SP into medium term budgets commitments.
This assignment will conduct an analysis of the adequacy and efficiency of social protection budget allocation to provide the government with guidance for improving the use of current resources that are allocated to SP programmes. The analysis will also provide government with information on its performance compared with other African or Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and highlight the opportunities for improvement.
The specific objectives of this consultancy are:
- Explore whether and how government can sustainably increase the sources and levels of financing for SP based on analysis of current government allocations and their stated commitments to SP in the medium-term development frameworks.
- Assess the adequacy of current budget allocation for SP programmes in relation to their coverage, size of the targets population and benchmarks from comparable countries using the relevant analytical tools.
- Assess the administrative efficiency of priority programmes (LEAP, School feeding, NHIS exemptions, Capitation Grant, and Labour Intensive Public Works) using suitable analytical tools.
- Support the dissemination of the analysis to the target audience i.e. Presidential advisor on the SDGs, MoF, MGCSP and Parliamentary select committees on Poverty, Gender & Social Protection target audience using the most suitable channels.
Tasks To be Completed:
Under the supervision of the UNICEF Social Protection Specialist, the selected national expert will work closely with the Social Protection team to conduct the following:
- Hold inception meetings with MoF, MGCSP, MDAs implementing SP programmes and UNICEF SP unit and review the methodology for the assignment including the analytical framework, additional data required, and the timelines for execution.
- Use the Fiscal Space Diamond to assess the relative contributions of current funding sources for SP and to identify the pathways for increasing financing for SP to meet government medium term commitments.
- Compute the size of the budget gap for the priority SP programmes based on the current coverage, target population and current benefit levels.
- Analyze government budget allocation and sources of funds to SP broad categories and programmes from 2015 to 2018 based on the SP budget tracking tool and compare to relevant benchmarks in sub-Saharan African(SSA) and lower middle-income countries (LMICs).
- Collect relevant administrative data from priority SP programmes and analyze the trends and composition of administrative efficiencies over the period 2015 to 2018
- Analyze and prepare a final analytical report that incorporates all components of the assignment with clear recommendations for government action.
- Prepare a 2-page Policy Brief and 15-20 slides Power Point presentation based on the combined analysis of the sufficiency and efficiency of SP budgets with graphs, pictures, charts and accompanying speaker notes.
- The Consultant will submit a revised detailed methodology after the inception meetings as part of the inception report. The methodology should include desk review of SP policy, government medium term development plans relating to SP, data from the SP budget tracking tool, operations manuals, and annual reports of the priority SP programmes.
- It will also include the collection of administrative data from key SP programmes, budget allocation for SP programmes missing in the SP budget tracking tool and conducting interviews with representatives from key SP programmes and the relevant MDAs.
- The consultant will be expected to identify suitable indicators for assessing the administrative efficiency of the SP programmes and adopt the analytical framework of the Fiscal Space Diamond to assess the relative contributions of current funding sources for SP and to identify the pathways.
Supervision and reporting arrangement:
- The Consultant will be expected to review all relevant existing materials, interview and gather additional data from identified SP programmes and work with the SP Unit of UNICEF to plan and agree on the methodology and detailed outline of the analytical report.
- The Consultant will be required to submit a revised detailed outline and methodology for the undertaking the assignment after initial discussion meetings with UNICEF.
- The Consultant will be required to report on the progress on each deliverable through e-mail and update meetings. Regular consultations should take place between the national expert and the SP team to review each deliverable before it is submitted.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
- Advanced degree in Social Sciences, Economics, or Public-Sector Economics or related fields.
- At least 10 years of relevant professional work experience in undertaking analysis of budgetary allocations, conducting fiscal space analysis and performance assessment of Social protection programmes working with Universities, Research Institutes, Government organizations, NGOs, or other international organizations.
- Excellent knowledge of Public Finance Management/ Public finance for children.
- A minimum of 5 years academic and professional experience with the social protection sector in Ghana.
- A track record of high quality publications or analytical reports on social protection and other poverty reduction interventions.
- Â Proven skills and experience in preparing policy briefs, and other advocacy materials for level government functionaries such as policy makers, academic institutions and CSOs.