WACSOF, deepening regional integration and fostering stability and development in West Africa


Democratic Governance in West Africa (DEGOWA) Programme

A Study on Fiscal Policies in Three West African Countries

Terms of Reference (ToR) for Consultant

The present Terms of Reference is a draft for the Democratic Governance in West Africa (DEGOWA) Programme study of fiscal policies in 3 West African Countries. The consultant will be tasked with elaborating the methodology alongside the programme team once he/she has been selected.


Section A | Introduction and context

The Democratic Governance in West Africa (DEGOWA) programme is focused on influencing the effective implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on Democracy and Good Governance by member states. In general, the protocol is an attempt by member states to promote a deepening of democracy and deal with threats to democratic consolidation including poverty, inequality and discrimination within the West Africa sub-region. After about 15 years of the adoption of the protocol, though efforts have been made towards achieving its objectives, the level of poverty and inequality in West Africa is still high and increasing.  In addition to being among the poorest regions in the world, West Africa is also part of the world’s second most inequitable region after Latin America and the most unequal in respect of gender. The inequality in West Africa is further worsened by rising costs of basic goods and services and the states’ failure to manage national resources transparently and equitably.

Section B | Focus of the Study  

The study will focus on disparities in public policy priorities of the governments and how that impacts on inequalities in the primary distribution of income through public expenditure - revenue mobilization, including the taxation system and allocation of public spending to various sectors of the economy. It will take the form of an overview of the economies of Ghana, Senegal and Sierra Leone with particular focus on fiscal policies. It will map out inflows and outflows of public revenues in each of these countries over the last three years (i.e. 2013 - 2015) and assess the progressivity of the tax systems broadly.

The consultant is required to do a comparative analysis of the sources of revenue to governments in these countries and the areas of spending in relation to poverty elimination, inequality reduction and inclusive development. It is required that appropriate indexes or variables are applied to the patterns of government fiscal policies in these countries and how that is impacting on poverty elimination and inequality reduction.

Section C | Audience

The primary audience will be Civil Society (CS) actors, policy makers at national and sub-regional (ECOWAS) levels. The findings will be used for stakeholder dialogue to advocate for policies that reduce poverty and inequality, including gender inequality, in the three focus countries. While it is a technical report, the findings will also be used for a broader citizens’ awareness raising on equitable economic redistribution in order to contribute to active citizenship in the target countries.

Section D | Objective of the Study

The present TOR is primarily related to the two specific objectives of the DEGOWA programme on active citizenship and equitable economic redistribution. This process is aimed at building the evidence necessary for CSOs to engage national and sub regional duty bearers on policy options that have the potential of reducing poverty and inequality in three countries in West Africa. Specifically, it is the object of the study to:

1.     Produce a high quality report that presents analytical trends of revenue inflows and public spending of three ECOWAS member states and how that relates to equality within and across the countries.

2.     Provide a performance index of the three countries on poverty and inequality reduction based on standard criteria and drawing from existing published data.

3.     Establish the evidence required for informed policy dialogue with duty bearers at national and sub regional levels towards attainment of poverty elimination and equality.

Section E | Time line

The study is planned to take place between April and June 2016. Thus, the incumbent consultant should have a work schedule that allows her/him to complete this study by end of June 2016.

Section F | Research plan and methodology

The consultant shall submit research plan and methodology he/she intends to use to IBIS for review before it is finalised. At this point, specific deadlines for various parts of the research and reporting shall be agreed. This will also include a list of key actors to consult.

Section G | Deliverables

$1·         A detailed work plan and methodology will be elaborated prior to beginning the research. This will be maximum 5 page document.

$1·         At the end of the consultancy, a high quality report in English of 30 pages will be submitted. This will include an executive summary of maximum 4 pages which summarizes the key results, findings and recommendations.

$1·         The consultant will be expected to present the project both before and after finalization with IBIS/Oxfam and Civil Society partners in agreed upon formats.

Section H | Qualifications and experiences of consultant

The consultant must be an experienced economist with knowledge on government fiscal policies and how they impact on poverty and inequality. Knowledge of the ECOWAS sub region and demonstrable understanding of the aim of this study is an asset.

In addition, the Consultant must be excellent in spoken and written English and have working knowledge of French. Though the report will be written in English, one of the focus countries is francophone and therefore the consultant must be able to research and interact with French materials.

Section I | Submission of expression of interest

Submission of expression of interest should be made by email to the address indicated below, the proposals should include:

·         CV of consultant

·         Motivation letter – including interest, understanding of the assignment and relevant past experiences.

Proposals should be submitted in English by 6th May 2016 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Mohammed Mahamud at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  Ghana, Sierra Leone and either Senegal or Burkina Faso 


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