Contracting the services of a macro-Economic / Development Economist (Caribbean)

Caribbean

Caribbean Regional Development Program, Global Affairs Canada

1. INTRODUCTION 

World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian international development organization contracted by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to implement the Field Support Services Project (FSSP) in the Caribbean. The FSSP Caribbean provides technical, procurement and logistical support to the Government of Canada’s Caribbean Regional Development Program (CRDP). 

The FSSP Caribbean (FSSP-C) is contracting the services of a macro-economic/development economist to provide critical insights into the Caribbean’s economic landscape, support policy dialogues, and offer analytical backing to Canadian development initiatives with significant economic objectives.

2. BACKGROUND

To maintain the efficacy and relevance of Canada’s assistance in addressing the developmental challenges of the Caribbean, the Caribbean Regional Development Program (CRDP) necessitates access to specialized technical expertise. This expertise must be deeply rooted in local knowledge and experience, encompassing sectoral studies and strategies, program-level monitoring, and bolstering aid effectiveness activities. To fulfill these requirements, Global Affairs Canada has initiated the Field Support Services Project (FSSP). The FSSP is designed to supply the necessary technical, administrative, procurement, financial, and logistical support services. 

Canada’s CRDP is actively engaged in programming across 13 CARICOM countries, which include a diverse array of island nations. While the programming area encompasses all these nations, the FSSP-C will concentrate its efforts on those countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA), which, as of January 2022, include Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname. The CRDP’s portfolio includes around 40 projects and is continually evolving with new programming.

The CRDP’s initiatives are firmly rooted in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), focusing on key action areas such as Environment and Climate Action, Inclusive Governance, Growth that Works for Everyone, and Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls. The programming is predominantly multi-country, aiming to foster regional harmonization and cooperation, and is complemented by country-specific investments.

Efforts to stimulate sustainable economic growth in the Caribbean are multifaceted, targeting the enhancement of public institutions and bolstering support for business development and trade. The initiatives aim to improve market access, incentivize business ventures, and equip Caribbean youth with the necessary skills for seizing opportunities. 

The CRDP’s initiatives also encompass strengthening Caribbean public institutions, often through Technical Assistance, particularly in public financial management. The management of public finances and debt has profound implications for economic stability and the well-being of citizens, especially the marginalized. The CRDP aims to create inclusive societies where decisions and resource allocations promote gender equality and human rights. This includes enhancing the capacity of national and regional institutions to manage finances effectively and building robust statistical systems for informed decision-making.

The Caribbean’s small island states share common developmental hurdles, such as limited size and resources, economic uniformity, and exposure to natural disasters, making them susceptible to external shocks. The devastation of the 2017 hurricanes underscored the limitations of existing disaster management systems. Climate change exacerbates these challenges, with side effects like sea-level rise and marine degradation impacting local economies and tourism.

The region’s high debt levels and constrained access to concessional finance hinder economic growth and disaster recovery efforts. The socio-economic aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic is expected to further strain the region’s economies. Structural vulnerabilities, such as limited export diversity, low private sector competitiveness, and constrained institutional capacities, impede rapid recovery and sustainable growth. Additionally, some CARICOM countries do not qualify for ODA due to their income status, as determined by the OECD-DAC, which periodically reviews its eligibility criteria.

Addressing inequalities and discrimination remains a critical task. In the English-speaking Caribbean, disparities in the labor market and legislature disadvantage women, while men and boys face educational challenges. Domestic violence is a pervasive issue, affecting one in three women in the region. The CRDP’s continued efforts are vital in confronting these multifaceted challenges and advancing the social and economic prosperity of the Caribbean community.

In light of these complexities and the evolving economic scenarios, GAC seeks the expertise of a macro-economic/development economist. This position aims to bridge the knowledge gap, provide critical economic insights, and bolster GAC’s efforts in fostering sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the Caribbean.

3. OBJECTIVE 

The primary objective of the macro-economic/development Economist role is designed to provide a strategic framework for comprehensive economic analysis, policy advisory, program evaluation, and financial strategy development to enhance the effectiveness of GAC’s engagement in the Caribbean region. The specific objectives are presented below:

3.1 To conduct in-depth analysis of the Caribbean’s macroeconomic environment, evaluate the efficacy of government policies, and provide strategic insights to support GAC’s policy dialogue and advocacy efforts. This includes assessing the impact of economic policies on poverty, inequality, and the integration of gender and diversity considerations into economic planning.

3.2 To serve as a technical advisor offering guidance on the design, delivery, and enhancement of economic growth strategies and public financial management capacity development projects. This involves providing recommendations for project improvements and enhancing the effectiveness of GAC-funded interventions.

3.2 To synthesize economic data and trends into actionable intelligence for GAC, including the preparation of periodic reports on economic performance and the provision of analyses on financial policies and strategies. 

4. DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED

The Macro-Economic/Development Economist’s tasks will vary based on GAC’s

identified needs with specific deliverables and priorities determined through the

development and approval of quarterly work plans. Services to be provided may include:

  1. Developing and continuously updating a comprehensive knowledge base of all GAC-supported economic development projects in the Caribbean, disseminating key lessons learned, suggesting strategic linkages, and ensuring programming coherence across initiatives.
  1. Track and evaluate the Caribbean region’s economic performance, providing GAC with timely and accurate economic data and trend analysis relevant to international development programming.
  1. Critically analyze the economic policy frameworks of Caribbean governments, assessing their effectiveness in promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty and inequality.
  1. Assess the impact of macroeconomic policies and growth trends on poverty reduction and inequality, with a particular focus on the effects on women and marginalized groups.
  1. Support Canada’s policy dialogue efforts by providing expert advice on macro-economic issues relevant to the Caribbean region including on emerging tools such as the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI).
  1. Monitor and provide technical views on the adherence to and effectiveness of various International Financial Institution programs, including those at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  1. Identify and analyze key economic priorities and challenges within the Caribbean (e.g. market access), advising on strategic interventions to address these issues.
  1. Provide comprehensive analytical support to Canadian development projects in the Caribbean, ensuring that economic objectives are met and aligned with broader development goals.
  1. Offer technical advice that facilitates the improved delivery and implementation of inclusive economic growth and macro economic capacity development projects.
  1. Identify entry points and areas for improvement in GAC’s policy dialogue strategies, particularly those aimed at strengthening result-based management (RBM) and sustainability in economic interventions.
  1. Analyze documents and interventions related to economic performance and development in the Caribbean, providing technical comments, critical analysis, and recommendations.
  1. Evaluate the capacity of Caribbean countries to access blended finance windows and provide recommendations to enhance their ability to secure such financing.
  1. Prepare and submit periodic written overviews of economic performance in the Caribbean, identifying important milestones and emerging risks, with particular attention to issues relevant to the development program.
  1. To conduct thorough analyses of key financial policies, strategies, programs, and reforms, particularly those impacting the Caribbean Development Bank and other multilateral lending institutions, and provide insights and recommendations based on these analyses.

5. MACRO-ECONOMIC/DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIST PROFILE 

The Macro-Economic/Development Economist will have the following education, experience, abilities, knowledge and skills:

Education:

  • Master’s Degree or Ph.D. from an accredited, recognized institution in a relevant discipline such as Economics, Development Economics, Development Studies, Public Policy, International Finance and Development or other related fields.

Experience: 

  • Minimum of ten (10) years professional experience working in macro-economic analysis, preferably within the Caribbean context.
  • Minimum of three (3) years of experience in international development programs and policy, preferably for a bilateral or multilateral development institution. 
  • Demonstrated experience providing high-level technical advice and analysis to development organizations (i.e., bilateral donors, NGOs, multilateral organizations) on a variety of economic issues, with attention to results-based management, results reporting, needs assessments, program and project evaluation and stakeholder coordination. 
  • Experience collecting economic and development data or reporting against economic and development indicators and analyzing project and program results.

Abilities:

  • Capacity to work both with others and independently with minimal supervision. 
  • Capacity to proactively identify priority economic and development issues relevant to the Canadian development program.
  • Capacity to plan and deliver the required outputs.
  • Capacity to research, collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data. 
  • Proven ability to analyze complex economic and development issues and results/performance frameworks.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing for a variety of audiences and purposes.
  • Ability to develop and maintain networks.
  • Ability to work in a CRDP country (valid work or permanent residence permit or citizenship certificate).

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Extensive knowledge of the Caribbean’s economic and development threats, risks and challenges, and opportunities.  
  • Knowledge of, and extensive networks with key stakeholders in, the Caribbean’s economic and development international assistance sector, including local government(s). 
  • Excellent writing skills, with the ability to analyse, compile and synthesize information in coherent and succinct formats and effectively communicate technical knowledge, advice, and results in a clear and concise manner for non-experts.  
  • A drive for results, including a proven track record of high standards/accountability for work products, meeting tight deadlines, and ability to prioritize tasks within his/her work program and strategies for working collectively with others on the team to deliver products of the highest calibre;

6. LANGUAGE OF WORK

English is the working language for this assignment. All deliverables must be provided in English and in MS Word.

7. ESTIMATED LEVEL OF EFFORT 

This assignment is a part-time position from January 2024 to December 2024, with the possibility of extension. A level of effort of up to four (4) days per month is anticipated.

8. LOCATION OF WORK AND TRAVEL

The Macro-Economic/Development Economist will work remotely from their own facilities in a CRDP country. No travel is anticipated for this assignment. 

9. APPLICATIONS

This position is open to all suitably qualified CARICOM Nationals.

If you wish to apply for this position, please send an expression of interest and curriculum vitae by February 29, 2024, to [email protected]

Please indicate “FSSP-Caribbean Macro-Economic Development Economist” as the subject line of your email.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.

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