available languages: english July 8, 2019

Position title:                              Expert in Fiscal Decentralisation

Assignment:                                Contributing to two high-level workshops on Lebanon’s fiscal decentralisation framework

Form of employment:             Short-term consultancy

Assignment Time Frame:      October 2019

Closing date:                                31 August 2019, 12:00 PM local time (Beirut, Lebanon)

Background:

Democracy Reporting International gGmbH (DRI) is a nonpartisan, independent, not-for-profit international organisation registered in Berlin, Germany and operating in different parts of the world. It is implanted in Lebanon since October 2016.

In the framework of its Lebanon Project “Setting an Agenda for Decentralisation in Lebanon – Phase II”, DRI is working with Lebanese civil society organisations and public officials to promote decentralisation and a public debate on local governance in line with good governance principles. To do this, DRI Lebanon has conducted three large-scale surveys, in 2017 and 2018, assessing the role of the three tiers of government (municipalities, unions of municipalities and national government authorities) in public service delivery. This was in order to understand their needs and challenges and develop concrete policy recommendations to improve the decentralisation process. However, crucial research on the design of fiscal decentralisation to ensure the sustainability of local government bodies is still missing.

DRI Lebanon is conducting a study examining how financial and fiscal decentralisation should be designed given the Decentralisation Bill is currently being discussed in Parliament. The study, which is planned for publication in December 2019, shall include recommendations to derive a specific financial and fiscal framework in the event of a “regional decentralised unit”, and recommendations for fiscal amendments in the existing legal framework.

In further support of this process, DRI Lebanon will be organising two thematic high-level workshops in October 2019 with Lebanese MPs, municipal officials, academics and practitioners on how to design a successful fiscal decentralisation reform. The activities are to present the preliminary conclusions of DRI’s larger study and lay the groundwork for sustainable decentralised finances in front of a political audience. The feedback collected during the workshops will be integrated into the study.

DRI Lebanon is looking for an expert with significant comparative knowledge of fiscal decentralisation to provide input on the preliminary conclusions of DRI’s larger study and provide a comparative perspective during the debates of both workshops.

The first workshop is designed as a half-day working session that primarily targets Lebanese lawmakers and municipal officials while the second consists in a full-day conference that is primarily addressed to municipal officials and scholars. In those workshops, the expert is expected to deliver a 30-minute presentation on fiscal decentralisation models in comparative perspective.  Given that the strategic objective of reforming decentralisation in Lebanon is to create decentralised authorities that are empowered to conduct a wide range of developmental tasks and provide quality public services, the thematic workshops (and hence the expert’s presentation) should help answering the following three questions:

  1. How to design a decentralised framework where decentralised authorities are sustainable and financially viable?
  2. What are the strategic guidelines for developing a policy that incentivises municipal mergers? What should be the core criteria for the creation of municipalities?
  3. How should inter-governmental transfer systems and equalisation payments be designed and managed?
  4. What crucial factors should be considered regarding the estimated financial impact of such reforms on (a) the national treasury and (b) the taxpayers?

The outcome of these workshops and the study findings will feed into DRI’s publication on fiscal decentralisation reform and will be presented at DRI Lebanon’s Annual Conference, scheduled for November 2019.

Your duties and responsibilities:

Under the supervision of DRI’s Country Representative in Lebanon, the expert shall:

  1. Develop a workshop methodology for comparing and discussing different models of fiscal decentralisation and how they could be applied in the Lebanese context;
  1. Develop a presentation, handouts and a compilation of relevant literature (articles, studies, reports) to share with DRI Lebanon and the workshop participants;
  2. Deliver the presentation during both scheduled workshops in October 2019.
  3. Provide a mission report one week after the workshops that includes: (1) a summary description of the tasks performed, (2) the approach and methodology, (3) a workshop evaluation (an assessment of the workshops’ outcomes), and (4) lessons learnt and recommendations to DRI. The report should not exceed 1,500 words.

The total number of expert days for this assignment is five (two for preparation, two for attendance and delivery, one for reporting). Travel, accommodation expenses and meals for the expert shall be covered by DRI.

Qualifications we require:

  • A university degree in Economics, Political Science, Law, Public Administration, Social Science or equivalent;
  • Minimum 5 years of practitioner’s experience in the field of fiscal decentralisation and local governance reform in compared perspective;
  • Significant experience in delivering workshops/lectures on fiscal decentralisation and local governance reform;
  • Knowledge of decentralisation frameworks in MENA contexts is a strong asset;
  • A proven track record of publications on fiscal decentralisation;
  • Excellent writing and communication skills and demonstrated research experience;
  • Fluency in English is a requirement. Knowledge if Arabic is an asset.

 

Interested candidates should send their applications, consisting of (1) a cover letter, (2) their CV, incl. references, and (3) publication samples to mena@democracy-reporting.org. Please mention “Fiscal Decentralisation Expert – Lebanon” in the subject line and refer to the source where you have found this opportunity.

Closing date for applications is 31 August 2019, 12:00 PM local time (Beirut, Lebanon). The assignment may start before the end of the deadline so early proposals are encouraged. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

 

Organisation responsible for this vacancy:

Democracy Reporting International gGmbH

Prinzessinnenstraße 30

10969 Berlin, Germany

Tel +49 30 27877300

Fax +49 30 27877300-10

 

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