Senior Economist, (Budgeting / Climate Finance advisor) – Building Resilience in Ethiopia

at Oxford Policy Management (OPM)
Location Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date Posted August 17, 2021
Category Accounting
Business Development
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB


Building Resilience in Ethiopia Technical Assistance (BRE) Programme

Building Resilience in Ethiopia (BRE) is a three year (2019-2022) technical assistance project co-funded by FCDO and USAID, being implemented by OPM. The main aim of BRE is to support Ethiopia’s drive towards becoming a middle-income country, by strengthening nationally owned and led systems that better anticipate and respond to recurrent shocks and resulting acute needs. BRE’s vision is in line with the National DRM Policy and will support the ‘Government of Ethiopia (GOE) to lead and deliver an effective, gradually self-financed and accountable response to climate and humanitarian shocks’.

The finance workstream under BRE supports the Federal Ministry of Finance in better preparing for and responding to disasters. The intended outcome of the finance workstream is to ensure that Ethiopia’s public finances are more resilient to shocks.

Background to the role

We are seeking to recruit a Senior Economist (Budgeting / Climate Finance advisor) to be embedded within the Ministry of Finance (MoF), reporting to the Channel One Programs Coordinating Directorate. This is a full-time position, based in the MoF in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Following an initial training period, where the Senior Economist will receive training from the BRE team on the technical tools and approaches, the Senior Economist will play a key role in supporting the MoF to implement a number of ongoing BRE Tasking Orders, including work on evidence-based budgeting, VFM analysis and climate finance management (see Box 1 for a brief overview). The BRE programme has already commenced technical work in these areas, but further inputs are sought in supporting Government-led implementation of the work, and building capacity of counterparts in the MOF, through a combination of formal training and on-the-job mentoring. Moreover, it is expected that the Senior Economist will reserve some of their time to respond to ad hoc requests for technical assistance from the Ministry of Finance.

Box 1: Indicative technical areas to be supported by the Senior Economist

Text Box: Evidence-based budgeting: The BRE-TA programme is working to improve capacity within Ministry of Finance to evaluate budget proposals, while also support them in improving line ministry capacity to develop well-justified and evidence-based budget proposals, with a particular focus on BRE focal ministries (EPHI, NDRMC and MoA). The intended outcome of this support is to improve allocative efficiency in the budget process and enable disaster-focused ministries to secure the necessary funds to become more resilient to shocks. Budget proposals for increasing emergency preparedness and mitigation activities are likely to have a high return on investment compared to ex-post financing, therefore Ministries need to utilise existing and/or generate new evidence, so that MoF can respond to this evidence when allocating budgets. Both the MoF and BRE focal ministries will require support in identifying and making use of this evidence, and then interpreting it, and utilising it within the budget allocation process.    Climate Finance: The MOF is poised to institutionalise a system of tagging public budgets to identify climate and disaster risk-related expenditure, to support risk-informed planning and financing strategy for the country. Recognising the increasing strategic importance of identifying climate and disaster related expenditure, the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Facility, with support from BRE-TA programme, has initiated work to identify a suitable approach to institutionalise climate and disaster budget tagging that would be applicable across all sectors, in a comprehensive manner. A methodology for identifying, classifying, weighting and marking relevant types of expenditure within the government budget system is under development, and expected to be finalised by September 2021. Thereafter a pilot process will be underway, followed by further roll out across federal and regional levels.   Ethiopian Climate PEFA Assessment: The Government has carried out a PEFA climate assessment using the pilot version of the PEFA Climate supplementary framework. This assessment examined how well PFM systems can support the implementation of government climate change policies. The main findings of the PEFA Climate assessment identifies that the Federal government's involvement in the fight against global warming appears to be more in the form of projects than in the form of changes in legislation or public financial management procedures. The legal framework, and processes associated with budget preparation and management, cash management, debt management, accounting and reporting, procurement and asset management, internal audit, external audit, financial information systems, and transparency and accountability in PFM, remain general and do not explicitly consider specificities of the climate. Federal and regional government commitment to climate change coupled with strong donor support has, nonetheless, resulted in the implementation of numerous climate-related projects. The assessment noted that Ethiopia’s involvement in fight against climate change focused more on climate adaptation than on mitigation. Although the purpose of the Climate PEFA assessment is not to provide recommendations for improvement; the MoF is expected to address gaps and weaknesses through its PFM reform agenda. Thus, the need to explicitly identify reform areas and undertake remedial measures will be critical.   Value for money analysis: Given the wide reaching social and economic aspirations in Ethiopia (laid down in GTP 1 & 2 and reiterated in the Ten Year Development Plan), coupled with the limited fiscal space, it is critical that funds are used efficiently with maximum value for money (VfM). This is similarly the case for emergency spending, where greater VfM would result in more lives saved for each birr spent. MoF proactively moved to address this in 2018 when it developed methodological approaches for the assessment of value for money in public spending. This was first applied to the health sector, with plans for further roll-out over the next five years. BRE-TA is supporting MOF in adapting and applying the methodology to the Ministry of Agriculture, where a specific focus will be on PSNP’s shock responsive element, and the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), given their role in coordinating emergency response across BRE’s focal ministries and the implementation of Humanitarian Food Assistance (HFA).

Main responsibilities

The Senior Economist (Budget and Climate Finance Adviser) will based in Addis Ababa, working closely with BRE team members based in Addis Ababa and the UK. S/he will perform tasks and undertake responsibilities as follows:

o    Work with the Budget Preparation and Administration Directorate and the IFMIS Project Office in the MOF over the course of the next year to improve capacity to evaluate budget proposals, while also support them to build BRE focal line ministries including MoA, MoH/EPHI, and NDRMC capacity to development evidence-based budget submissions. This will include, but not be limited to:

·         Working with the Budget Preparation and Administration Directorate to understand existing capacity challenges in evaluating budget proposals in BRE-focal institutions.

·         Gather information on what the MoF is expecting from budget proposals, and how this contrasts with what they receive.

·         Compile evidence on international best practice on evidence-based programme budget formats and guidelines.

·         Introduce and embed the concept of evidence-based budgeting as one of the key tools for evaluating program budget proposals (this may include, for example, revising budget guidelines and standard training formats).

·         Develop and implement workable on the job-training plans to improve the capacity in the Budget Directorate to evaluate budget proposals and subsequently allocate budget.

·         Identify and document existing weaknesses in budget proposals submitted by key BRE ministries.

·         Support the MOF in the provision of training to line ministries on developing budget submissions.

·         Provide targeted support BRE focal ministries to incorporate evidence into budget submissions.

·         Coordinate with the Budget Directorate on the proposed climate and disaster budget codes, and contribute to training materials for the budgeting officers and ministry staff during the piloting of the new tagging system for climate and disaster risk

o    Work with the Fiscal Policy and Budget Directorates to support the rollout of the VFM assessment methodologies to the two new institutions (MOA, NDRMC). Indicatively, this could include:

·         Following up on the implementation of recommendations from the health VFM study, and drawing learning for the new phase.

·         Supporting trainings on the methodology with MOF, MOA, and NDRMC, working with the service provider (Fiscus).

·         Support in identifying and scrutinising data.

·         Support to MOF in applying the methodology.

·         Support in developing recommendations.

·         Support to MOF in addressing recommendations.

o    Work with the Climate Resilient Green Economy facility in MOF to support the implementation of the embedded climate and disaster budget tagging system, as well as follow up from the climate PEFA assessment. Indicatively, this could include:

·         Acting as a liaison between CRGE, Budget and IFMIS directorates to supporting the integration of the budget tagging system into IBEX and IFMIS.

·         Conceptualising and implementing follow-on reforms to further embed the budget tagging system – such as adjusting the budget circular to include tagging guidance.

·         Supporting the development of an action plan for further work around the integration of climate change into PFM systems, following the gaps and weaknesses indicated in the Climate PEFA assessment, and support implementation working alongside the CRGE Facility and the Expenditure Management Reform office.

o    Other ad-hoc technical support to the MOF, as determined by the Ministry.

o    Support capacity building efforts within the Ministry of Finance in relation to the above technical areas to ensure skill transfer. This will include playing a key role in training workshops and seminars. Material will be developed in collaboration with international experts.

o    Draft quarterly reports on progress in skill transfer to the various directorates with which the advisor is working.

o    Coordination with other development partners engaged in the supporting budgeting and the management of climate finance (FCDO, World Bank, IMF, UNDP, Fiscus/BMGF)

o    Liaise with the BRE Finance workstream to support the overall aims of the BRE programme, including monitoring, learning and evaluation (MEL), coordination and technical working groups.


Reporting arrangements

o    The senior economist will be supervised by the Channel One programs Coordinating Directorate, of the Ministry of Finance, and the BRE Disaster Risk Finance Workstream Lead.

Job Requirements



o    A postgraduate (Masters) degree in Economics or an equivalent professional training;

o    At least seven years of experience working in public financial management, or related fields;

o    Familiarity with the budgeting system in Ethiopia

o    Experience working in or on public policy issues related to economics and public finance

o    Excellent inter-personal and communication skills with a proven track record of developing and sustaining collaborative relationships with partners.

o    Fluency in English and Amharic;

o    Strong computer skills: MS Office, MS Excel in particular.


o    Previous experience working for or with the Ministry of Finance in Ethiopia.

o    experience of budgeting in other countries would be an added advantage

o    familiarity with disaster risk reduction/ disaster risk financing, and climate change finance, would be an added advantage


The role is full time based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for an initial one year period. The expected start date is September 2021.


Applying Instructions

Applicants who fulfill the minimum requirements please send your CV and a short cover note detailing your relevant experience including three professional references till 2 September 2021 stating the position in the subject line to

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