National Expert on Health Tax


Location : YEREVAN, ARMENIA
Application Deadline :25-Dec-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :09 January 2023 – 30 June 2023 (90 working days)

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the knowledge frontier organization for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy and programme work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office (CO) levels forms a contiguous spectrum of deep, local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. Within this context, UNDP invests in a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

The Tax for Sustainable Development Goals Initiative, or Tax for SDGs, supports developing countries in augmenting domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Initiative sees taxation as both a tool for revenue collection and a policy instrument to encourage sustainable growth strategies and influence behaviour of economic actors towards desired outcomes related to climate, nature, wellbeing, and governance.

Leveraging UNDP’s role as an enabler, integrator, and catalyst at the country level, Tax for SDGs works to expand people’s choices for a fairer, sustainable future with planet and people in balance, and achieve the World as envisioned by the 2030 Agenda. Tax for SDGs is implemented by UNDP, funded by the Government of Finland and the Government of Norway. It works with Ministries of Finance, National Tax Administrations, and other stakeholders worldwide.

Taxation stands at the core of public development financing and is integral to achieving the SDGs. Recognizing the integrated nature of these goals, Tax for SDGs focuses on practical actions for capacity building, institutional and societal change in tax systems to support the financing and achievement of the SDGs.

Health, as the 3rd Sustainable Development Goal, is a key component of human capital, an enabler to continued economic growth and an essential part of SDG finance. It is a key driver of development and well-being. Non-communicable diseases, or NCDs, are the fastest growing cause of mortality worldwide. Health taxes were specified in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development for their potential to reduce the health burden and associated costs of NCDs while generating significant revenues for countries to finance their development priorities. Increasing or introducing excise taxes on tobacco products and sugar sweetened beverages are one of the most cost-effective and proven health and development interventions. However, perceived incentive conflicts amongst government sectors, particularly between the health and economic sectors, remain a barrier to their implementation. The ability of governments – especially ministries of health – to make a compelling, evidence-informed advocacy case for action on NCDs is crucial for reversing the trend of more and younger people falling ill, living with chronic and debilitating conditions, being unable to participate in labour markets, and dying of conditions stemming from these diseases and their associated risk factors.

In Armenia, where NCDs are the principal burden of disease, excise duties rates on tobacco products are set to be open to revision under new draft legislation expected in mid-2023, and this represents a significant opportunity to promote the increase of these. Furthermore, there is an opening to analyse the introduction of a Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax in 2023-2024. To support its work on the intersection of tax and sustainable development in Armenia, UNDP Armenia is willing to hire a National Health Tax expert. The role will have principally an analytical focus, driving the estimation of fiscal impacts of increasing excise taxes of tobacco and introducing excise taxes on SSBs, but also a quantitative, political side, carrying out qualitative work as part of an Instituational Context Analysis on health taxes (ICA), supporting the Ministry of Finance in engaging with different stakeholders, and providing guidance on the expected opposition to these fiscal policy reforms in the country and ways to overcome it.


Duties and Responsibilities

UNDP in Armenia is seeking a National Health Tax expert to effectively support the work on Tax and Health within the UNDP Tax for SDGs Initiative and provide support to UNDP Armenia on guiding the increase of excise taxes on health-harming products. Under the direct supervision of the “Tax for SDGs Armenia” project coordinator and in close coordination with the Technical Specialist on Health Taxation and Financing, the National Health Tax expert will be responsible for:

a) Tobacco Tax Revenue Modelling

  • Supporting the Technical Specialist and the Lead Economist in the HIV, Health and Development team in the application of the Tobacco Tax Revenue Model of UNDP. This will include adjusting the methodology to meet country needs and context, while striving for adherence to the existing modelling done in other countries;
  • Ensure national data collection is complemented by relevant regional and international proxy data where no national data is available;
  • Ensure input from and consent of national government counterparts on the input data used for the modeling.

b) Policy Design (in cooperation with the Project Coordinator)

  • Analysis of relevant tax policies in place currently and the outcomes they lead to;
  • Design of new tobacco taxation policies that will promote public health and increase the revenues collected while accounting for the local context (in collaboration with the Technical Specialist in the HIV, Health and Development team)

c) Tobacco Tax Advocacy Strategy and Institutional Context Analysis

  • As part of the support in producing quantitative expectations of tax revenue as a result of tobacco tax increases, the consultant will support the development of an advocacy strategy for the Ministry of Finance to use, which will include:
  • An institutional and context analysis (ICA), developed in collaboration with regional and global experts from the Tax and SDGs Initiative and the HIV, Health and Development team, covering the political implications of a proposed tax increase, gathered mainly from qualitative interviews with key stakeholders;
  • Contribute to the production of a set of talking points, responding to the principal standard arguments employed by the tobacco industry in opposition to tax increases on tobacco products.

d) Sugar Sweetened Beverage-tax modelling

  • Supporting the Technical Specialist and the Lead Economist in the HIV, Health and Development team in the application of the Sugar-sweetened Beverage Tax Revenue Model of UNDP.
  • Ensure national data collection is complemented by relevant regional and international proxy data where no national data is available;
  • Ensure input from and consent of national government counterparts on the default data used for the modeling.

e) Policy Implementation Design (in cooperation with the Project Coordinator)

  • Analysis of existing excise tax policies in place, and collection processes;
  • Design of the SSB taxation policies that would maximize the expected decrease in consumption of SSBs, while also yielding significant tax revenues.
  • Mapping of additional processes and capacities required for SSB excise taxes to be paid by product (analysis of presence of sugare in beverages, measuring sugar content in beverages, sampling for inspection, and others).

f) SSB Tax Advocacy Strategy and Institutional Context Analysis

As part of the support in producing expected additional tax revenue as a result of introducing an SSB Tax, the consultant will support the development of an advocacy strategy for the Ministry of Finance to use, which will include:

  • An institutional and context analysis (ICA), developed in collaboration with regional and global experts from the Tax and SDGs Initiative and the HIV, Health and Development team, covering the political implications of the introduction of the tax, gathered mainly from qualitative interviews with key stakeholders;
  • Creation of a guide for the introduction of an SSB tax, drawing from the experience of other countries, noting the political challenges posed by this, as well as the practical requirements for tax administrations for effective communication and collection of this excise tax.
  • Contribute to the production of a set of talking points, responding to the principal standard arguments employed by the beverage and sugar industry in opposition to taxes on SSBs.

g) Stakeholder engagement and outreach

  • Contribute to the development of support materials (issue briefs, ppt presentations) and key input documents to be used as part of briefings of findings of projected excise tax increases on tobacco and SSBs, for different audiences (MoF and tax authorities, health sector representatives, members of parliament, civil society).
  • Lead or contribute to the presentation of both lines of health tax modelling and their findings during the handover of the work to the government, and in other advocacy and awareness-raising events, on behalf of UNDP.
  • Follow technical discussions on changes to taxation on health harming products in other fora.

Expected Outputs and deliverables

 #

Deliverables/ Outputs

Due Dates

Paymnt, %

1

Effectiveness of excise duties currently in place in terms of revenues collected and public health outcomes assessed;

Research on international best practices of using excise duties for reduction of tobacco consumption and improving revenue collection conducted

Dec 2022

10%

2

Results of tobacco tax model produced, in a report and powerpoint presentation

Jan 2022

20%

3

Final policy recommendation(s) on taxation of tobacco products developed, including Tobacco Tax Strategy

Feb 2023

20%

4

All data collection for SSB tax model completed

Mar 2023

10%

5

Results of SSB tax model produced, in a report and powerpoint presentation

May 2023

20%

6

SSB tax strategy developed, including ICA and implementation requirements report

Jun 2023

20%


Competencies

  • Strong record in advising and engaging with international institutions and/or governments on fiscal policy, financing public health or domestic resource mobilization, with involvement in technical work such as public revenue or expenditure projections, economic evaluation and impact assessments
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills, including the ability to write concept notes, outcome reporting, and other written communication.
  • Experience of working with UNDP or UN Development System on matters related to development finance and fiscal policies.
  • Strong record in advising and engaging with international institutions and/or governments on fiscal policy, financing public health or domestic resource mobilization, with involvement in technical work such as public revenue or expenditure projections, economic evaluation and impact assessments


Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Masters’ degree in economics, finance, public policy (public health) or a closely related field.

Experience

  • Five years of progressively responsible experience of working in quantitative modelling within taxation, domestic resource mobilization.
  • Experience of working on health economics for a government or an international organization.
  • Experience of working in international development assistance is an asset.
  • Excellent knowledge of current situation and policies regarding tobacco taxation, with good understanding of non-communicable disease, public sector financing and national legislative calendar.
  • Thorough understanding of tax/fiscal policy, tax administration processes, public finance reforms and management.

Languages

  • Fluency in English and Armenian. Knowledge of Russian is an asset.

 

CANDIDATES WILL BE EVALUATED BASED ON THE FOLLOWING METHODOLOGY:

Candidates will be evaluated using a cumulative analysis method taking into consideration the combination of the applicants' technical qualifications, experience and financial proposal.The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer has been evaluated and determined as technically responsive/compliant/acceptable to the requirements of the ToR and received the highest cumulative (technical and financial) score out of below defined technical and financial criteria.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points in the technical evaluation would be considered for financial evaluation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation - max. 70 points

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation - max. 30 points.

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION.

  • Financial Proposal and Availability formOFFEROR’S LETTER TO UNDP (A total lump sum  option is applicable for this assignment)
  • CV shall include Education/Qualification, Processional Certification, Employment Records /Experience

General Conditions of Contract is available here: GENERAL CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT

Note: Please note you can upload only one document to this application (scan all documents that should be included in the application in one single PDF file and upload it).



If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact the eRecruit Helpdesk.

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme