Democracy International (DI) is seeking to hire up to six (6) short-term technical experts (Consultants) as a part of the USAID-funded Parliamentary Support Program being implemented in Malawi. This Consultancy will be based in Lilongwe, Malawi. This consultancy is open to Malawian citizens only.
This short-term assignment will take place, in person, in Lilongwe, Malawi, with a start date on/or around February 1, 2023. The level of effort is expected to be approximately the duration of the Budget Session of Parliament, with anticipated end date by April 5, 2023, for a maximum of 40 consultancy days.
To apply, interested candidates meeting the criteria should send: an expression of interest with a CV and a Technical Proposal, that contains a work plan, methodology and links to the past works that relate to this assignment; a financial offer including a proposed daily rate, and a writing sample in English. This call applies to individuals, team of experts or consulting companies/organizations.
The Parliamentary Support Program aims to contribute to Malawi’s democratic governance by supporting the Parliament of Malawi to better fulfill its legislative, oversight, and representative functions. It provides technical support to selected committees and caucuses, besides providing cross-institutional coordination between Parliament and Statutory oversight institutions. It also facilitates collaboration and coordination between the Parliament, Civil Society Organizations (CSO), and the media, around public integrity issues and legislative and oversight matters; and integrates Social and Behavioral Science (SBS) research and insights to identify key behaviors and psychological, social, and situational barriers that prevent stakeholders from leading reform. The Program has three purpose areas, under which key interventions are framed:
Purpose 1: Improve the legislative and oversight roles of Parliament;
Purpose 2: Strengthen the institutional coordination for public integrity management; and,
Purpose 3: Improve civic engagement in policy and oversight processes.
The Consultant(s) will primarily support and provide technical assistance to select Parliamentary Committees in the analysis and scrutiny of the proposed Malawi Budget (2023-2024), during the Budgetary Session of Parliament in February 2023. This support will entail the analysis of the Executive Budget Proposal (the Budget Speech, the Annual Report, Financial Statement, Output/Program-Based and Detailed Budget Estimates) for the Fiscal Year 2023-2024, while putting under a spotlight the immediate previous budget performance trends and recommendations.
The analysis will also unpack both the budget’s technical and allocative efficiency trends, translating them into an understandable and user-friendly format for the Members of the Budget Committee to better follow and exercise their budget scrutiny and oversight function. The analysis and scrutiny aim at identifying areas that the Committee can focus on and be able to critically question, to add value and help inform the ideals of what goes into the budget and its passing into a policy-responsive budget that addresses issues and challenges around budget revenues and expenditures, as well as budget performance ideals and expected service delivery outcomes.
Parliament is central and plays a pivotal role in the approval of the government’s budget; and the budget is the foundation for government’s policy direction and implementation. With the new Public Finance Management Act of 2022, the Budget and Finance Committee has also accrued new powers, that it is yet to fully exercise and implement through the provisions of the Act. This analysis will therefore assist in improving the scrutiny and oversight of government revenue generation and expenditure. The Consultant/s should be able to therefore align the Budget process and analysis to the long-term objectives, mission, and vision of the Parliament of Malawi.
Purpose of the Assignment:
In 2019, the Parliamentary Budget Office was established to assist Members of Parliament in the Budget process, and the Parliamentary Budget office has, since its establishment, worked together with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, in supplementing efforts in lieu of its limited human resources. The purpose for this budget analysis and scrutiny technical assistance is to enable a deeper understanding and appreciation of the budget by the Budget Committees as they lead in the discharge of the budget scrutiny and oversight function of Parliament. As members are diverse, with different backgrounds, it is very important that this support is provided for the Members of Parliament to be able to understand the budget processes and transact the budget scrutiny and oversight as is expected. Committees have relied heavily on other stakeholders, including civil society organizations and private sector players to support them in the budget process, largely in an adhoc and not as structured manner, because of the varying levels of financial constraints, skills, and expertise
It is against this backdrop that, for the FY2023-2024, the Parliamentary Support Program would like to complement these efforts availed to Parliamentary Budget Committees in the past, by leveraging with the short-term expert Consultants, who will work with select Committees and the Parliamentary Budget Office during the Budget Session. The analysis and scrutiny will be done to fulfill the aspirations of Parliament in enhancing the oversight and visibility of the Budget and a better understanding of the Budgets and Parliament’s drive toward greater autonomy.
Specific Tasks and Responsibilities:
The specific tasks and responsibilities expected of the consultancy will include the following:
- Review the key budget documents of the approved and revised Executive Budget Proposals for the previous Fiscal Year, 2022-2023
- Analyzing revenue proposals and their implementation; expenditures and their implementation.
- Analyzing overall revenue and expenditure credibility for FY2021/23 and FY2022/23 against any public expenditure assessments and ascertained overperformance and/or underperformance.
- Carry out sector-level analysis of budget disbursements to key selected sectors (Health, education, and agriculture), identifying areas of focus and gaps in the budgets and budget implementation/performance.
- Analyze key reasons behind and impact of any over/underperformance on both revenues and expenditures, and how government is responding- i.e., either increasing or decreasing deficits, etc.
- Conduct any interviews with key stakeholders pertaining to the critical technical and allocative efficiency and performance issues above and generating evidence for further alternative uptake.
- Prepare a comprehensive report and budget infographics for use as evidence to engage in budget scrutiny and oversight by the Budget Committee and Parliamentarians:
- underscoring linkages between revenue proposals, the PFM act provisions, and the revenues collected.
- underscoring the approved/revised budgets and the budget disbursements made to social and productive sectors and deliverables made/reported.
- Produce policy briefs clearly highlighting policy action to be taken to address any budget credibility issues highlighted in the report.
- Work directly with Committee providing strategic expertise to enable the Committee to understand the budget in a more simplified, but well-articulated for ease of follow-up and critiquing during debates.
- Should be able to transfer skills and increase the capacity of Parliamentary Budget Office staff and Parliamentary staff, in general, in terms of the budgetary work with Committees, providing analysis and research, and scrutiny of budgets.
- Be able to present findings of the analysis and assist in formulating questions emanating from the budget documents that will assist the Committees in its budget tracking.
- Short inception report spelling out the Consultant’s understanding of the scope of the assignment.
- Draft Budget Analysis narrative report, along with the budget infographics.
- Draft PowerPoint presentation on the analysis and budget infographics to the Committees, during Cluster Committees to enable Committees report back to the House.
- Final report following comments and Policy briefs.
- Final PowerPoint presentation of the summarized final report.
Required Qualifications, Skills, & Experience:
- Advanced Degree (or equivalent) in Social Sciences, Economics, Accountants and/or Development Management.
- A minimum of 12 years’ relevant work experience in policy and budgetary processes, analysis, scrutiny and planning systems of the government of Malawi.
- Demonstrated understanding of the Committee system of Parliament and the needs during Cluster meetings.
- Proven track record of effective interactions with all levels of staff, policy makers, senior political and civic leaders, and government personnel.
- Fluency in written and spoken English.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to establish effective working relationships.
- Exceptional analytical skills and ability to apply analysis to programmatic activities.
Preferred Qualifications, Skills, & Experience:
Demonstrated knowledge and experience of the Malawi government budgetary system and the policy planning and implementation process.
This position reports to the Chief of Party.
Interested applicants should submit their CV and a cover letter indicating their area of expertise. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. DI will only contact candidates of interest