Program Officer, Budget Credibility (Ghana)
Established in 1997, the International Budget Partnership (IBP) collaborates with civil society organizations in countries around the world to use budget analysis and advocacy as a tool to improve governance and reduce poverty. In addition to its support of civil society efforts within countries to improve budget policies and implementation, IBP and its partners conduct research and advocacy at national and international levels for improvements in budget transparency, participation and accountability.
Strengthening Public Accountability for Results and Knowledge (SPARK) is a core program of IBP. The goal of SPARK is to support and leverage public engagement around service delivery issues that affect citizens’ lives as an entry point to shaping budget processes and outcomes in the directions of justice, inclusiveness and democracy. SPARK is to be implemented in seven countries in Africa and Asia, including Ghana.
The Program Officer, Budget Credibility position will support the three-year Budget Credibility project from November 2020 and through July 2023 in Ghana. The Budget Credibility project is an innovative research and public engagement effort aimed at addressing the challenges that countries face in implementing their budgets. Budget credibility is an important issue for public accountability for government budgets and understanding whether governments are upholding their commitments and explaining when they deviate from these commitments. When budgets are not implemented as planned, spending priorities can shift, deficits may exceed projections, and critical services may be compromised. Moreover, governments consistently deviating from their budgets risk an erosion of public trust. The goals of the project are to: (i) Expand our understanding of the causes and impacts of budget deviations on service delivery within target countries; (ii) Raise awareness of the problem with country governments and at the global level; and (iii) Promote reforms that remove bottlenecks and improve spending on service delivery at the country level.
The project will be jointly implemented by IBP’s Policy Team and the SPARK Country Office Teams. Within the SPARK country team, the Program Officer, Budget Credibility will have the primary responsibility for delivering on the budget credibility workplan activities, under the supervision of the SPARK Country Manager, Policy Team Senior Program Officers, and in collaboration with other SPARK country team members.
Budget research and analysis:
- Collaboratively produces papers and briefs on the findings from research and analysis that connects budget credibility challenges with service delivery issues in selected government service delivery areas and immunization spending, including the gender equity dimensions of budget credibility challenges.
- Supports the identification of relevant research topics and approaches in collaboration with the SPARK Country Manager and the Policy Team Senior Program Officers, and contributes to the tailoring of research methodologies on budget credibility to these issues and the country context.
- Identifies the necessary data for budget analysis and coordinates with other SPARK team members to ensure data access and validation of relevant budget, spending, and performance data.
- Contributes to the development of communications products and narratives about the relevance and importance of budget credibility issues for service delivery that are tailored for specific country audiences.
Government relations and engagement:
- Supports the SPARK Country Manager and other SPARK team members in identifying relevant government actors for outreach and dissemination of budget credibility research.
- Fosters constructive dialogue and regular engagement with key government actors.
- Documents feedback and lessons from engagements with government actors.
Networking and outreach with civil society and community actors:
- Supports the SPARK country office team in facilitating conversations with civil society and community actors on the impacts and relevance of budget deviations and other credibility concerns on service delivery outcomes.
- Identifies relevant data that is collected through service delivery monitoring that can be connected to budget credibility challenges, and supports efforts to strengthen data collection at the community level.
Event organizing and management:
- Coordinates regular workshops and meetings to discuss the budget credibility approach and findings with key stakeholders, including government, civil society, media, and international organizations.
- Organizes event logistics, including sending invitations, identifying dates and venues, coordinating the agenda, and producing background materials.
Project monitoring, evaluation, and learning:
- Contributes to the development and implementation of monitoring and data collection activities for the project within the SPARK Results Frameworks.
- Coordinates activities of learning consultants and global team members.
- Organizes and participates in regional learning events.
- Supports additional SPARK and Policy team initiatives as agreed with the Country Manager and Policy Senior Program Officers.
- Attends relevant SPARK coordination meetings and Policy team meetings.
- Bachelor’s in economics, social sciences, public administration, or a related field; Master’s degree in similar disciplines, strongly preferred
- Training in data analysis and public financial management is an added advantage
- At least three years of experience in research and/or advocacy in governance, budget transparency and/or accountability and a high level of familiarity with government budget documents and public finance systems
- Demonstrated ability to develop relationships and partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, including government, civil society, and the media
- Policy and budget advocacy with both technical and lay actors
Desired Skills and Attributes:
- Ability to carry out analysis of budget deviations, using software programs for quantitative analysis and data visualization
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office required
- Organized, detailed-oriented, and proactive team player
- Highly flexible and adaptable to changing environments and priorities
This is a fixed term position with an expected completion date of July 2023.
Please apply with a cover letter and resume/CV.
IBP is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.