Recrutement de 01 Economist - National Consultant: Public Policy Expert: Land-Based Revenue System for Qena & Damietta

Localité : Egypte / Caire
Domaine : Economie
Niveau : BAC + 5
Entreprise recruteur : Organisation des Nations Unies (ONU)

Recrutement de 01 Economist - National Consultant: Public Policy Expert: Land-Based Revenue System for Qena & Damietta
Niveau d'études: Bac + 5 ou plus
Expérience: 5 ans
Expire le: 06-07-2022

ONU Carrière
Cairo, Egypte
vacance de poste

Intitulé publication : Economist - National Consultant: Public Policy Expert: Land-Based Revenue System for Qena & Damietta
Département / Bureau : Programme des Nations Unies pour les établissements humains
Lieu d'affectation : CAIRO
Période de candidature : - 06 juillet 2022
No de l’appel á candidature : 22-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-184091-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A

Valeurs fondamentales de l'ONU : intégrité, professionnalisme, respect de la diversité

Result of Service
This service will ultimately result in designing a land-based revenue system that works towards improving revenue for the local authority; with minimal economic distortions and contained social unrest. It would also result in providing recommendations to overcome the institutional challenges and legal constraints identified regarding the implementation of the selected instrument(s).

Work Location
Cairo, Egypt

Expected duration
Part-time 12 months

Duties and Responsibilities
Organizational Setting:
UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. It is the focal point for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system.

Background :
UN-Habitat and the New Urban Agenda (NUA)
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

Mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1978 to address the issues of urban growth, it is a knowledgeable institution on urban development processes, and understands the aspirations of cities and their residents. For forty years, UN-Habitat has been working in human settlements throughout the world, focusing on building a brighter future for villages, towns, and cities of all sizes. Because of these four decades of extensive experience, from the highest levels of policy to a range of specific technical issues, UN-Habitat has gained a unique and a universally acknowledged expertise in all things urban. This has placed UN-Habitat in the best position to provide answers and achievable solutions to the current challenges faced by our cities. UN-Habitat is capitalizing on its experience and position to work with partners to formulate the urban vision of tomorrow. It works to ensure that cities become inclusive and affordable drivers of economic growth and social development.

In October 2016, at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III – member states signed the New Urban Agenda. This is an action-oriented document which sets global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities. Through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors, including at all levels of government as well as the private sector, UN-Habitat is applying its technical expertise, normative work and capacity development to implement the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Urbanization is a key driver of development. Hence, sustainable planning and governance of urbanization is crucial to accommodate the rapid population growth, empower cities to optimize the value of urbanization and ensure even development, inclusion and equality. Rapid urbanization presents a unique opportunity to lift millions out of poverty when managed sustainably. However, inadequate urbanization management, doubled with rapid population growth has adversely affected quality of life leading to lack of adequate housing, and increasing inequality. These conditions contribute to diseconomies (e.g., congestion, pollution, displacement) that overtime negatively affects the overall city prosperity, efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.

UN Habitat in Egypt
Established in 2005, UN-Habitat Egypt Programme has been providing technical support to national counterparts on a wide range of urban issues. Adopting an integrated approach, UN-Habitat Egypt has supported reforming and improving urban planning and management through three main sub-programmes, namely, urban planning and design; urban policies, legislation and governance; and urban basic services and mobility.

Urban Policy, Legislation and Governance Programme
The Urban Governance, Policies and Legislation Programme in Egypt works towards tackling the multi-dimensional urbanization context with a special attention to urban management, urban planning, urban economy where all stakeholders are empowered and enabled to engage and play their expected role(s).The programme is working with all stakeholders and on different levels to find new appropriate, realistic and context driven ways of making sure that the urbanization processes are providing acceptable spatial standards and services. The programme is also working towards enhancing the capacity of relevant actors in reforming the legal and institutional framework governing urban development; promoting the empowerment of local government; enhancing land tenure security; establishing processes for participating and inclusive planning process; enhancing local economic development and social entrepreneurs. The programme provides legislation enhancement and policies development support on the national level in order to replicate and scale up all of its successful interventions.

“Hayenna” – Integrated Urban Development Project
In 2018, the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, Urban Communities (MoHUUC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP), the UN-Habitat and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Cooperation (SECO) signed three different agreements (the project agreement, the separate agreement, and the contract) governing the Hayenna- Integrated Urban Development Project.

Hayenna project employs an integrated urban development approach to plan the process of urbanization in a way which optimizes and capitalizes the value of urbanization for all, through participatory and inclusive comprehensive planning. The integrated urban development approach transcends the sole focus on physical planning to consider other aspects related to economics, institutional as well as human capacities.

Hayenna project pilots the Participatory and Inclusive Land Readjustment (PILaR) approach, which is a modern methodological framework for land readjustment to developing countries contexts. The PILaR is a mechanism through which land units that have different owners and claimants are combined into a single area through a participatory and inclusive process for unified planning, re-parcelling and development. The development includes serviced urban land delivery made possible by the provision of infrastructure, public space and other urban amenities at a reasonable standard. PILaR relies on negotiated processes that allow local authorities, citizens and groups to articulate their interests, exercise their formally and socially legitimate rights, meet their obligations, and mediate their differences. The PILaR places an emphasis on participation of different stakeholders to ensure inclusive outcome aiming at efficient land management and optimal use of land, improved infrastructure and public space, enhanced local economic development, developed institutional capacity for community engagement and better land vale sharing options to help finance infrastructure.

The project follows the UN-Habitat’s three-pronged approach that combines urban planning and design, public finance management (PFM) and local economic development (LED) in an integrated framework for urban management. The project takes place in two governorates and in two sites in each governorate, Qena and Damietta. Two pilot sites were selected in Qena, al-Humydat and al-Ma’ana. While the sites selection in Damietta is currently taking place.

The underlying terms of reference fall under the second dimension of the project; the PFM. It should be clear that the PFM component in Hayeena project focuses on how to improve the financial status of the local authorities in light of what is available of revenue sources. In other words, it focuses on the efficiency of local revenue generation and local investment planning given the current fiscal structure. Under the existing legislative framework, the local authorities have two main local revenue sources away from transfers from the central government: (1) tax revenues: as percentages from taxes levied by the central authorities, of which are the different forms of land-based charges (of which is the betterment levy due in the cases of land readjustment), in addition to revenue from other local fees and charges; (2) non-tax revenues which are mainly returns on owned assets by the governorate (lands or productive projects) and special funds revenues (which are the focus of an ongoing consultancy).

The UN Habitat and its partners believe that a comprehensive vision for the role of the local governorate authorities is crucial for the sustainability of land reform and to guarantee the distribution of benefits among the citizens. The financial flexibility of local authorities is indispensable for better service provision and for enabling them to better perform their functions. The novelty of this assignment lies in the fact that it is the first time to have a public finance management, and even local economic development, perspectives being integrated into a land readjustment project.

Land-Based Revenue System
In most of the developing countries, sub-national governments rely on a combination of central government transfers, user charges and local taxes. It is widely accepted that taxes and charges related to land are underutilized. This gives a wide room for improving and mobilizing land-based taxes and charges, though they will probably constitute only part of the bundle of revenues local governments require in order to meet the burgeoning demand for services and infrastructure.

Literature defined several forms for taxes/charges that are related to land. Each country could have all of these forms or just few of them as per their legal structure. Land-based revenue instruments include: (1) recurring taxes on land and property, (2) special assessments, (3) developer exactions, (4) land value increment taxes, (5) the sale of development rights, (6) land leases and land sales and (7) transfer taxes. Egypt has several forms of land-based revenue tools, for example the real state tax which falls under recurring taxes on land and property, the betterment levy and developer exactions which are of charges type rather than taxes. Those are examples, other tools may exist also. It deserves mentioning that land based-revenue instruments could be levied either as taxes or charges. The same instrument could differ in this sense from one country to another. Egypt has forms that lie under several types of land-based taxes/charges, for example the real estate tax which falls under recurring taxes on land and property, betterment levy that falls under the land values increment tax, in addition to developer exactions and the sale of development rights.

From a practical viewpoint, land has a number of advantages for local administration as a basis for raising a significant share of the revenues necessary to meet local needs, of which are:
- First and foremost, land has a fixed location, does not move and is visible.
- Administration of land-based revenues can be enhanced if local authorities play an active role in that administration.
- Land-based revenues are often progressive in nature as ownership is generally concentrated in upper income groups.
- Land-based financing may enable subnational governments to become more autonomous by closing the gap between own-source revenues and expenditures.

On another front, land-based revenue systems in developing nations have some drawbacks, including:
- Administration—Land-based revenue systems require strong and effective local government administration, and collaboration between multiple levels of government
- Valuation—Methods for estimating the value of property are frequently designed to be based on some concept of a property market. While there are alternative simpler approaches to valuation, the judgments and administrator discretion necessary in many valuation systems can present a challenge for local capacity.
- Taxpayer resistance—Many of these instruments are extremely visible compared to other taxes levied on or through businesses, and thus may provoke significant taxpayer resistance.
Land-Based revenue tools are considered as a promising means to leverage the financial autonomy of Egyptian Governorates given the centralized allocation for fund. This requires a well-designed land-revenue system that weighs benefits against cost for the potential tools.

Reporting Line:
The consultant will work closely with the Urban Governance, Policies and Legislation Programme and under the direct supervision of the Programme Manager to fulfill the following tasks:

Duties and Responsibilities:
The consultant will undertake the following responsibilities, for the selected governorates:

a- Reviewing international experience in implementing land-based revenue system to extract lessons learnt relevant for the Egyptian case.

b- Reviewing the legal framework and listing the existing forms of land-based revenue instruments in Egypt.

c- Designing a valuation methodology for land that would be used to assess the value of the different instrument(s).

d- Quantifying the operational outcomes of land-based revenue instrument(s) being applied in Qena and Damietta (previously identified in points b). This should include quantitative figures about applicable tax base (cases defined by law to pay charges) compared to actual figures for collected revenues and hence defining the gap for policy improvement.

e- Designing a methodology and research tools necessary to weigh costs and benefits of alternative land-finance instruments from economic, financial and social perspectives.

f- Selecting the best-suited land-finance instrument(s)- based on the results of (e). Instruments recommended should include one(s) applicable for implementation given the current legal and institutional set-up. The implementation partner on the governorate level should be defined at this stage.

g- Producing the action plan for the introduction of the selected land-finance instrument (s), this should entail; the steps in sequence, responsibilities of all relevant parties on the local and national level, timeline for implementation in addition to technical steps such as rate, base …etc.

h- Producing a procedural manual to guide the transformation and implementation requirements; which should comprise a valuation methodology for the land and criteria of instrument imposition in terms of base, rate…etc.

i- Preparing and delivering the capacity building program, this should cover; the capacity needs assessment for each stakeholder, proposed capacity building intervention for each stakeholder and development of all training materials relevant to the topic.

Qualifications/special skills
Academic Qualifications:
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics, political science, public administration or any related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

- 5 years of relevant practical experiences in public policy domain with an exposure to reform programs, development strategies preparation, instructional reform, or relevant projects is required.
- Relevant experience in urban economics and/or tax policy is required.
- Familiarity in working with public administration units and local communities is desirable.
- Experience in conducting fieldwork and capacity building is preferred.
- Previous work experience with international organizations and NGOs is an asset.
- Publications and research record is an asset.

Fluency in oral and written English and Arabic is required

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