Job Identification : 14197
Locations : Beirut, Lebanon
Posting Date : 10/17/2023, 09:29 AM
Apply Before : 11/01/2023, 03:59 AM
Job Schedule : Full time
Agency : UNDP
Grade : NPSA-9
Vacancy Type : National Personnel Service Agreement
Practice Area : Effectiveness
Bureau : Regional Bureau for Arab States
Contract Duration : 1 Year
Education & Work Experience : Master’s Degree – 2 year(s) experience OR Bachelor’s Degree – 4 year(s) experience
Required Languages : Fluency in written and spoken English and Arabic.
Desired Languages : French is a plus
Mobility required/no mobility
no mobility required
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP: we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
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.
Lebanon is currently facing a severe economic and social crisis, with a dramatic drop in GDP per capita and growth, rising inflation rates, and high levels of government debt. Poverty has also increased significantly, with an estimated 75% of the population living below the poverty line. The country’s economy is surviving due to a significant increase in remittances, and there is a crisis of confidence in the management and governance of public institutions.
Restoring fiscal space in Lebanon is crucial for providing critical safety nets and public goods and services in social protection, health, education, water, electricity, and transport sectors. Improving domestic revenue mobilization efforts will be essential to creating fiscal space and addressing unsupportable levels of debt. Addressing public sector inefficiencies and corruption is also necessary to rebuild trust between the government and citizens.
The IMF has identified urgent tax policy areas that require immediate attention in Lebanon. Among the critical priorities is the need to correct the mis-valuation of customs, excise, and VAT exchange rates for imports. This has encumbered micro and smaller enterprises with significant VAT compliance requirements, eroded the progressivity of the income tax system, and led to devastating consequences in light of extreme inflation levels. Tax collection efforts have been crippled by the crisis, and compliance levels have deteriorated substantially. Moreover, property tax collections have been hampered by a lack of connectivity of the Revenue Directorate and Municipal information systems, (e.g. transferring information regarding rental contracts to inform property tax valuations). The social contract in Lebanon has frayed, and socio-economic inequities, poverty, and vulnerabilities are significant issues that must be addressed carefully to balance the revenue mandate with social protection and urgent development needs.
The government of Lebanon has requested the support of the UNDP and other development partners to improve tax collections efficiency and generate higher levels of revenue to finance service delivery. In response to this request, the UNDP Tax for SDGs Initiative will focus on supporting the core operational tax functions, building targeted technology solutions, and providing technical advisory for more strategic, short-to-medium term tax and fiscal policies to rebalance inequities and address poverty and socio-economic vulnerabilities in the country. The work will also build on UNDP Lebanon Country Office portfolios and already existing engagements with the Government of Lebanon.
Duties and Responsibilities
UNDP Lebanon is seeking a National Project Coordinator to effectively manage and support the implementation of the UNDP Tax for SDGs Initiative, oversee and coordinate the emergency restoration of core tax processes in Lebanon, and provide support to UNDP Lebanon on tax-related engagements as part of their agenda of Financing the SDGs in the country.
Strategic and Multi-Stakeholder Engagement:
- Support embedding the UNDP Tax for SDGs Initiative in UNDP’s broader SDG finance portfolio in UNDP Lebanon
- Under the guidance of UNDP’s Senior Development Economist, follow-up on implementation and multi-stakeholder engagement for the project in Lebanon including engaging with tax experts, bilateral, regional and multilateral organizations, and government actors (Ministry of Finance, Lebanon Tax Authority, as well as other secondary ministries, agencies and departments of relevance).
- Support UNDP Lebanon in building strategic alliances and partnerships with governments, think tanks and academic institutions, development partners and others to expand UNDP’s work on tax and fiscal policy.
- Ensure close coordination to promote synergy and prevent overlaps with development partners and regional and multilateral organizations (e.g., World Bank, IMF, USAID) providing support to the government on tax policy reforms and administration capacity building.
- Develop partnerships with relevant institutions, agencies and organizations domestically and globally, to support specific elements of the Country Engagement Plan (CEP).
Policy and Project Coordination:
- Lead on the implementation of the Country Engagement Plan between UNDP Lebanon and the UNDP Tax for SDGs global initiative support to the Ministry of Finance, Revenue Directorate (RD) and It Department, including coordination, technical input to, and oversight to technical assistance and capacity building.
- Provide specific support, guidance and coordination for the work to restore core tax processes within the RD.
- Analyse local context and identify potential synergies with UNDP’s policy and development work in-country at national / sub national level and map out emerging trends and opportunities for the region.
- Provide technical analysis to support the implementation of the project and to backstop experts working under the project.
- Identify potential synergies between the UNDP Tax for SDGs Initiative work of UNDP Lebanon, the UNDP Regional Hub and UNDP Country Offices implementing similar project such as incorporating digital technology solutions in the tax administration through digital transformation, developing SDG Taxation Frameworks (STFs) and providing technical advisory on STF in three priority SDG areas.
- Engage with tax administration advisors and policymakers on tax and fiscal policy matters and further develop the role of UNDP in taxation in Lebanon.
- Coordinate the development of policy papers to promote understanding and integration of tax and fiscal policies and SDG issues.
- Support UNDP Lebanon in developing relevant analytical and policy-oriented work on tax policy and administration and providing guidance on technical tax topics.
- Draft internal UNDP briefing notes and talking points for Senior Management on UNDP Tax for SDGs Initiative.
- Closely coordinate with the IT and RD Departments in the Ministry of Finance to ensure synergy and complementarity in the support provided to the Tax administration.
- Facilitate setting up the interventions under the project as well as coordinate their implementation as per standard operating procedures, including knowledge capture from past initiatives.
- Collaborate on evidence collection and lessons-learned from other countries, including promoting best practice sharing and peer learning through case-studies.
- Collaborate on knowledge management between various stakeholders, including UNDP COs and tax experts (including through expert engagement platform).
- Develop concept notes for technical workshops/webinars/side-events for UNDP Tax for SDGs Initiative
- Collaborate on project communications, including Annual Reports and Newsletters.
- Facilitate public dialogues on topics outlined within the Country Engagement Plan (CEP)
- Coordinate the organization of events, including high-level launches of the project.
- Collaborate on lessons-learned from the project activities, including through case-studies.
- Develop resources to enhance capacities within UNDP on tax, fiscal policy issues and SDGs.
- Follow technical discussions in other form and represent UNDP in relevant meetings.
- Perform other duties, as may be required by the Supervisor.
The selected incumbent will be working under the overall guidance and under the direct supervision of the Economic Specialist and in close coordination with the OECD-UNDP Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) Secretariat team.
LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work
LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking
LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning
Adapt with Agility:
LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process
Act with Determination:
LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously
Engage and Partner:
LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships
Enable Diversity and Inclusion:
LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making
Cross- Functional & Technical Competencies :
Ability to represent UNDP and productively share UNDP knowledge and activities; advocate for UNDP, its values, mission and work with various constituencies
Ability to build and maintain partnerships, networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies
Ability to manage programmes and projects of focus and deliver demonstrable results and strong performance
Business Direction and Strategy
Negotiation and Influence
Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resolve points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiates mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and creates win-win situations
2030 Agenda: Partnerships
Public Sector Finance (Tax and domestic resource mobilization, public financial management and public expenditure)
Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication
Ability to manage communications internally and externally
Business Direction & Strategy
Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results
Required Skills and Experience
Min. Education requirements
- Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in taxation, law, economics, finance, public policy; or related field is required, or
- A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Min. years of relevant work experience
Minimum 2 years (with master’s degree) or 4 years (with bachelor’s
degree) of relevant experience in taxation, public finance management or domestic resource mobilization for a government or international organization, preferably with experience in tax or customs administration.
Strong record in advising and engaging with international institutions and/ or governments on taxation, public finance management or domestic resource mobilization with involvement in technical work such as producing tax policy proposals, auditing, conducting tax audits, computation of tax expenditures or drafting tax regulations.
Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section
- Excellent knowledge of current debates regarding taxation, fiscal policy and illicit financial flows in the Horn of Africa countries.
- Thorough understanding of tax/fiscal policy, tax administration processes, public finance reforms and management.
- Excellent writing and analytical skills, including the ability to write concept notes, outcome reporting, and other written communication.
- Experience of working in and with developing countries in the region.
- Experience of working with UNDP or UN Development System on matters related to taxation and fiscal policies.
- Experience of results-oriented based project management.
- Working knowledge of the context in Lebanon will be an advantage
- French is a plus
Fluency in written and spoken English and Arabic.
Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: 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 has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
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