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Consultancy: Consultant, Public Finance for Children - Efficiency - Social Policy, PD, NYHQ - Req # 534408

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Legal - Broad
    • Social Affairs
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2020-09-26

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UNICEF requires the support of a consultant to document approaches and tools to assess efficiency in public spending for children, to summarize potential policy and public finance reforms to address inefficiency, and to prepare a short report and compendium of case studies for country office use and for sharing with external partners.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, hope.


Consultancy Title: Public Finance for Children - Efficiency

Section/Division/Duty Station: New York

Duration: 1 Oct – 31 Dec 2020 (55 working days)



If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you. For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.


UNICEF requires the support of a consultant to document approaches and tools to assess efficiency in public spending for children, to summarize potential policy and public finance reforms to address inefficiency, and to prepare a short report and compendium of case studies for country office use and for sharing with external partners, to support greater application of these approaches as part of improving public financial management for children, particularly in the context of government responses to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNICEF’s programme framework for Public Finance for Children promotes actions to support greater adequacy, efficiency, effectiveness, equity and transparency of public spending to realize children’s rights. Within the overall framework, UNICEF’s work on efficiency of social spending offers the potential for enhanced results through better use of existing resources, enabling services to be provided to more children with the same resources; enabling quality results with the same resources; or simply ensuring that resources are spent as intended. UNICEF’s programme approach at country level, which combines work on finance and budgets with work to support service delivery improvements in health, education, social and child protection, and water and sanitation, offers great potential to identify inefficient spending, propose solutions, and support the more efficient use of resources. However, to date there is limited guidance available on this element of UNICEF’s framework, and no systematic attempt to document examples UNICEF’s work in support of greater efficiency of public social spending.

The concept of efficiency in public spending has become increasingly recognized as an important aspect of quality and value for money, as well as a means to identify “fiscal space” without increasing overall spending. For example, the IMF Social Spending strategy identifies spending efficiency as one of its objectives, and one of the reasons why the IMF may include elements of social spending within its programmes. Some of the practical issues that may lead to inefficient spending include reports of wastage, misallocation of resources and corruption; or budget execution challenges including last minute expenditures, procurement difficulties, and challenges with end of year spending. The global economic contraction triggered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic means that countries will require greater attention to efficiency in resource use from domestic and international sources, either through reallocating inefficient spending, or in many cases through reducing spending in some areas. It should be noted though, that while a focus on efficiency implies an improvement in the quality of spending, it does not imply a reduction in overall spending levels. In the majority of the countries where UNICEF has programmes, the level of social spending overall is not adequate to realize the rights of children to education, healthcare, or social protection, so the aim of efficiency improvements is to maximize the children reached, or quality of services delivered with the available funding rather than to seek savings.

Several UNICEF country offices are already working, or planning to work, on social spending efficiency, many through work in partnerships such as with the IMF, or as part of the SDG Fund. UNICEF NYHQ would like to develop a technical report that provides a short conceptual and analytical overview on the topic of spending efficiency and its relevance to UNICEF’s work; together with a compendium of examples from UNICEF work of different approaches to diagnosing and improving spending efficiency. The report is intended to inform UNICEF country offices as they engage with governments and partners, particularly around adjustments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An additional, complementary but standalone element of the assignment is to produce a short summary of international evidence relating to the inclusion of refugees within national plans and budgets from an efficiency perspective, as an input to a collaboration between UNICEF and UNHCR on refugee inclusion.

Terms of Reference / Deliverables

1.Conduct a desk review of key literature on public finance management efficiency with a focus on concepts, tools, and approaches applicable in the social sectors (health, education, social protection), and including multi-sectoral approaches such as child protection, ECD, nutrition, water and sanitation)E.g.: A System Wide Approach to Analyzing Efficiency Across Health Programmes for health)

2.Develop an inception report including review of concepts, approaches and methodologies, and potential reforms in the social sectors; a framework for the identification of UNICEF work on public finance efficiency and a research tool to identify relevant examples from country programming

3.Conduct a desk review of UNICEF public finance related reports, UNICEF annual and country programme reporting (from 2018 and 2019), covering both public finance and sector work related to finance, and identify examples of UNICEF work relating to efficiency of public spending; with examples from different sectors and from country contexts as far as possible. Include within the scope of potential examples from 2020, insofar as these have been reported through internal systems to date.

4.Hold meetings with PD sector focal points and regional offices to discuss potential examples and identify the most promising examples for further documentation

5.Contact the respective country offices to inform them of the process and request existing documentation relating to the selected examples.Prepare initial drafts of case studies based on available information provided through country office reporting and other existing sources, and share back with country offices for their inputs / validation

6.Prepare draft technical note containing conceptual outline, analytical framework, and compendium of UNICEF examples, providing recommendations on when and how UNICEF can leverage efficiency analysis for policy reform

7.Prepare final technical note incorporating comments and feedback

8.Review international literature relating to efficiency gains from refugee integration

9.Prepare a short technical brief (4 pages) summarizing global evidence on efficiency of refugee integration in social sectors

Qualifications and Experience

Advanced university degree in Economics, Public Finance, Social Sciences, Public Policy and/or Administration, International Relations or other relevant disciplines

At least eight years of relevant professional work experience, including in the design or implementation of efficiency analysis in a government or academic setting.

Research skills, including interviews and consultation

Report writing, including ability to explain complex concepts in concise and accessible language

Knowledge and application of knowledge management approaches

Knowledge of UNICEF rules, regulations and administrative procedures

Fluency in English, fluency in other UN languages an advantage

Experience of working in fragile and low income contexts an advantage


-Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials

-Financial proposal that will include:

-your daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference (can be downloaded here:

-travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.

- Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.

- Indicate your availability

-Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.

-At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.

-Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

U.S. Visa information:

With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. View our competency framework at: Here

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, appearance, socio-economic status, ability, age, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply to become a part of the organization.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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