The Overseas Development Institute’s (ODI) Budget Strengthening Initiative (BSI) supports the world’s poorest, most fragile, and most conflict-affected states to develop more effective, transparent, and accountable systems for managing public finances. The project works in collaboration with a network of international development partners (including the IMF, African Development Bank, and World Bank) to provide high-level, country-tailored policy advice on budget issues, revenue administration and mobilisation, aid and debt management, and financing service delivery to governments of fragile states. The project is hosted by ODI’s Public Finance and Institutions (PFI) programme, which covers research on public finance policy and institutional reform, the role of public finance reform in driving development outcomes, and work on promoting effective resource management and mobilisation. Currently, the project operates in Liberia, Uganda, Mali and Sierra Leone. BSI has also operated in the DRC and South Sudan, provided support to the secretariat of the g7+ group of fragile states, and offered advice and assistance on the New Deal for Fragile States.
The initiative aims to build stronger financial governance in fragile states by providing flexible, demand-driven support to address bottlenecks or obstacles to progress in implementing government reform plans and fill gaps in the assistance provided by donors.
It operates according to a number of principles:
- Building relationships of trust and offering independent and confidential advice.
- Being politically informed.
- Taking into account the incentives of counterparts and other stakeholders to anticipate political and programmatic risk.
- Being responsive to the particular needs and wishes of its partner countries, avoiding pre-conceived approaches and institutional templates.
- Employing an iterative, problem-driven approach to systems and capacity development.
Full details of BSI funding, staffing, and programmes can be found at https://bsi.odi.org/en/home/.
B. About the role
The Overseas Development Institute’s Budget Strengthening Initiative is seeking applications for a resident advisor to work in the Revenue and Tax Policy Division of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in Monrovia, Liberia.
The role will involve developing partnerships and working effectively with ministers, analysts, and policymakers to strengthen the Revenue and Tax Policy Division’s (RTPD) capabilities to design and implement effective tax policies that support domestic resource mobilisation and the Government of Liberia’s (GoL) pro-poor policy agenda. The country advisor will be embedded in the MFDP, reporting directly to the Assistant Minister for Revenue and Tax Policy (AMR) and working alongside staff in the RTPD. The role combines technical assistance with on-the-job training of counterparts and collaborative working. Any support provided to the development of policy, strategy, procedures, or systems should be done in a consultative manner with those counterparts. Technical support and advice provided under BSI is provided to the partner government in confidence.
The length of the initial contract would be six months beginning early 2020, with a possible option to extend with agreement of the AMR and ODI. The post is based in Monrovia, Liberia. In addition to working with government counterparts and reporting to the AMR, the advisor will report to the BSI Country Programme Director.
C. Main duties
- Advise the RTPD on key tax policy reforms and issues and support the AMR and Senior Management with taking informed decisions on implementation of strategic documents and agreed revenue policy measures.
- Provide technical assistance in the process of drafting or amending of tax policy proposals and other documents.
- Review and advise on tax policy legislation and regulations to ensure they deliver the intended policy outcomes, including support with the amendment and consolidation the revenue code.
- Support the RTPD with tracking and management of tax expenditure under various waivers, including with legislative improvements to the tax incentives regime.
- Support the RTPD with the introduction of a Value Added Tax (VAT), improving real property tax compliance, reforms to excise taxes, and changes to the valuation of imports for customs duties.
- Support the RTPD to make better tax policies, estimate impacts of policy proposals on revenues, the economy, business and households, and conduct ex post impact assessments of tax policies by identifying and mapping data sources and developing analytical capabilities in the division.
- Support improvement of the non-tax revenue stream.
- Support the preparation of revenue forecasts for the annual budget, and in-year forecasting and revenue management.
- Support the RTPD to prepare guidance notes, handbooks, leaflets and other products to inform taxpayers of the tax system and their obligations, in collaboration with the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
- Support the AMR and RTPD with the implementation of the IMF ECF.
- Disseminate international (best) practice and build awareness for its implementation in the country specific context.
- Strengthen RTPD’s staff capacity through on-the-job training and other initiatives, including with identification of training and professional development needs and objectives, development of structured training programmes to respond to those needs, and working with partners to organise and deliver training workshops and on-the-job learning.
- Interact with other donors as necessary for utilizing their support for RTPD’s benefit.
- Liaise with the LRA and other external counterparts to support close working arrangements required for tax policy development.
- Liaise with ODI researchers on policy-relevant research and analytical work around domestic resource mobilisation.
D. Qualifications, experience, and competencies
- A Master’s degree in economics, public administration, development studies, business administration, or other relevant professional field (or undergraduate degree if combined with at least 10 years’ relevant work experience).
- At least 5 years’ experience working in a finance ministry, revenue authority, or other policy-making ministry or agency in a policy role.
- Experience working in tax policy, law, or administration.
- Experience working in developing countries is strongly preferred and experience of working in fragile states is desirable.
All candidates will need to demonstrate the following core competencies:
- Building and managing effective relationships, including the ability to navigate complex political environments.
- Supporting and coaching others to deliver change.
- Strategic planning and decision making.
- Analysis and use of evidence.
- Good written and oral communication skills.
- A creative and entrepreneurial approach to overcoming barriers and making change happen, and the ability to cope in demanding environments.
- Above all, high levels of enthusiasm, resilience, and a can-do attitude.
E. Other details
- Secondments from national and international organisations are welcomed.
- Applicants do not need to be located in London and experts from developing countries or fragile states are particularly encouraged to apply.
- PLEASE NOTE the contract offered is for the supply of consultancy services and will not constitute a contract of employment with ODI.
- Remuneration will be competitive within the international charitable sector, dependent on the experience of the successful candidate.
F. Application process
Interested candidates should submit a CV and a (maximum) 2-page covering letter outlining how your qualifications, competencies, and experience match those outlined above to Nicole Roughton (email@example.com) at the ODI.
Please use the email subject line ‘BSI Liberia – Tax Advisor Application’.
The deadline for applications is 00.00 GMT, January 12th, 2020.