National Consultant for Research Study on “Fiscal Decentralization and Public Financial Management” at UNDP

National Consultant for Research Study on “Fiscal Decentralization and Public Financial Management”

  • Job Type Full Time
  • Qualification MBA/MSc/MA
  • Experience 7 years
  • Location Abuja
  • Job Field Consultancy&nbsp

Type of Contract: Individual Contract
Post Level: National Consultant
Starting Date: (date when the selected candidate is expected to start)    03-Aug-2020
Duration of Initial Contract: 30 Days
Expected Duration of Assignment: 30 Days


  • Nigeria has made a commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this regard, it has undertaken several initiatives including efforts to integrating SDGs into national planning, developing baseline indicators, and domesticating the integrated SDG (iSDG) model as a tool for policy analysis. Just like in other countries financing implementation of policies and programmes to achieve SDGs has been a challenge in Nigeria. Lack of an integrated approach to financing SDGs has been a key challenge. Estimates using the iSDG model indicates a public finance gap of $100 billion in the next ten years to achieve SDGs.
  • While the government has made significant strides in strengthening public financial systems, including through tax reforms, the current state of public finance could make achieving SDGs a challenge. A high debt level means significant share of revenue (exceeding 50%) is spend on debt service payments, while being too dependent on oil revenue at a time of fluctuating oil prices in international markets. Meanwhile, private sector is yet to fully exploit opportunities from investments relating to SDGs due to a combination of factors including rigid business environment, lack of institutional back-up and coordination issues, among others. In a decentralized economy, most of these issues are fundamental problems at state level making achievement of SDGs a challenging task. It is in this background Nigeria has committed to developing an integrated national financial framework (INFF). Its first step, development finance assessment is already underway.  The INFF is a comprehensive framework that helps government and government partners (including private sector, development partners, south-south partners) have a comprehensive understanding of the full range of financing options (public and private, domestic and international) and coordinate efforts to combine them with appropriate policies and reforms to directly respond to SDG aligned national development priorities.
  • To facilitate the INFF process, it has been decided to undertake several background researches on key subject matters relating to finance. The proposed technical assistance is to undertake a comprehensive research study on fiscal decentralization and public financial management. Fiscal decentralization is well-enshrined in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. The debate on fiscal decentralization in Nigeria has been largely centered on the need to increase the funding capacity of state and local governments in view of their inadequacy in meeting up with their financial obligations of providing public services and goods to people within their jurisdictional area of responsibility.

Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of work:

  • Fiscal decentralization involves federal governments decentralizing revenue-raising powers to sub-national governments such as regional, state and local governments, or sharing of revenue enabling them to fund local services.
  • Fiscal decentralization is underpinned by assignment of expenditure, allocating revenue sources, designing intergovernmental transfers and structural sub-national borrowing. Potential benefits of appropriately designed fiscal decentralization reforms include;
    • Improved efficiency in the use of public resources. This better reflects the needs of local populations and enables competition among sub-national governments for maximizing service delivery.
    • Improved political and financial accountability. Increased authority at local levels can increase democratic accountability by giving citizens greater opportunities to participate in decision making and governance processes.
    • Improved effectiveness by enabling local governments carry out functions that meet the most pressing needs of local populations. Decentralization ultimately leads to improved innovation in service delivery.
    • This research report will review the policy, regulatory and institutional environment to examine if fiscal decentralization meets its objectives enabling States and local governments to achieve SDGs, and if the public financial management system caters to these needs and if policy changes are required to make them more efficient.

The scope of the research will focus on, but not limited to on the following:

  • Review the legal frameworks, institutional structures and coordination mechanisms to investigate if they are strong enough to ensure effective fiscal decentralization,
  • Investigate the flexibility and dynamism of the country-specific strategies to enable the government to adjust accordingly,
  • Review the robustness of the systems to ensure accountability, and bureaucratic bottlenecks in the efficient utilization of financial resources in the provision of public services,  
  • Review the government expenditure mechanism to investigate if they are managed efficiently to ensure aggregate fiscal discipline; allocative efficiency and operational efficiency
  • Provide concrete policy proposals to address gaps in the above reviews,
  • Lead technical discussions at a multi-stakeholder consultation workshop
  • Draft a research report based on the review and analyses that could provide guidance on policy planning and institutional change and regulatory reforms required to make fiscal decentralization meets its objectives.
  • Undertake missions including for inception and validation workshops and launch of the report


  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism
  • Ability to work with a multi-cultural and diverse team
  • Ability to produce high-quality work under pressure of tight schedules and timelines

Required Skills and Experience
The required skills and experience for consultants are:

Education qualifications:

  • Minimum of Master’s Degree or equivalent advanced degree in Economics, Public Finance, Public Policy and Administration, Development studies or related field.

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant professional work experience with track record of research analysis;
  • Research and data collection experience in the areas of public finance, budget review and public expenditure management (PER, PEFA, MDGs Assessments) are required;
  • Experience in public finance management, tax administration, and innovative development financing;
  • Good knowledge of economic and development cooperation issues in Nigeria, including development finance challenges, development effectiveness and related fields;
  • Knowledge of Public finance; Policy and Planning;
  • Extensive knowledge of data collection, analysis and statistics tools;
  • Advanced quantitative and econometric skills and experience with related data analysis tools are an advantage;
  • Previous work experience with UNDP, European Union and other donor agencies is an asset.


  • Excellent written and spoken English.

Method of Application


  • UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
  • UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Interested and qualified? Go to UNDP on to apply