Oxfam – Debt and Social Spending Consultant.

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About us

Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. Oxfam is a global community who believe poverty isn’t inevitable. It’s an injustice that can be overcome. We are shop volunteers, women’s right activists, marathon runners, aid workers, coffee farmers, street fundraisers, goat herders, policy experts, campaigners, water engineers and more. And we won’t stop until everyone can live life without poverty for good.

That means we tackle the inequality that keeps people poor. Together we save, protect and rebuild lives. When disaster strikes, we help people build better lives for themselves, and for others. We take on issues like land rights, climate change and discrimination against women. And we won’t stop until every person on the planet can enjoy life free from poverty.

We are an international confederation of 20 organizations (affiliates) working together with partners and local communities in the areas of humanitarian, development and campaigning. Oxfam works in 67 countries around the world.

Background, rationale, and purpose of the study

Kenya’s public debt has increased about five-fold from the year 2013 to 2020. At the beginning of 2013, the value of the countries public debt was about Ksh.1.7 trillion and at the end of the year 2020 public debt had risen to 7.06 trillion. This rapid rise in the country’s public debt has been attributed to the government’s heavy investment on infrastructure development which do not give immediate returns to service the debts.  The immediate effect of large public debt is huge debt servicing cost. Debt servicing can pose negative impacts on the households through introduction of new taxes and increased rates for existing taxes which reduce household consumption sets; as well as crowding out of public spending on social services. The effects of increased taxation and reduction in social spending have disproportionate effects on low-income households who largely depend on the basic public services for their wellbeing.

It is estimated that COVID-19 may push up to 500 million people into poverty globally -40 million in Sub-Saharan Africa while worsening existing inequalities that it has helped expose across the world. According to the World Bank Economic Update 2020 on Kenya, poverty rose by 4% moving an additional 2 million people into poverty, whereas unemployment has doubled to 10.4% as outlined by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Quarterly Labour Force Survey. Working hours have dropped from 50 to 38 hours per week, while one in every 3 household businesses have shut down and revenue from household businesses has dropped by 50%.

Consequently, there is a growing concern on the effects of the growing debt and specifically the impact of its servicing on the low-income households in Kenya.  It is against this background that Oxfam intends to commission a study that will provide empirical evidence on how debt servicing is impacting   low income households in two selected counties in Kenya.

The paper will provide a knowledge base for Oxfam in Kenya on the socio0economic impact of debt servicing on citizens, especially the low-income households. The knowledge is crucial to informing influencing interventions for achieving the country strategy across a range of programmatic and policy related issues.

The Role:  Specific objective of the study

The overall purpose of the proposed study is to assess the impact of public debt servicing on the social spending  and impact on social spending to the low-income households in two counties in Kenya (Nairobi City and Mombasa) The specific objectives of the study are:

  • To establish the correlation between debt servicing and social spending
  • To establish the impact of changes in social spending to low income households
  • To assess the trend in the investment on the loan-driven infrastructural development on socio-economic development in the past 5 years (2015-2020)
  • To determine the opportunity costs of debt financing to social economic prosperity of low-income citizens
  • To analyse the levels of citizens participation in debt cycle (borrowing, re-financing, and repayments

What we are looking for

At the minimum, the consultant(s) must possess the following:

  • At least a Master’s in Economics, Public Finance, Public Policy, Law or any other related discipline in Development studies.
  • Demonstrated academic qualifications or experience in economics, political science, anthropology or any other related discipline in Social Science.
  • Experience in evidence-based Policy Research and Analysis, Development Research and Policy, Public Policy Analysis and Economic Policy Analysis
  • Experience in working on Economics, Finance or Law in both public and private sector
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of the Kenyan context particularly economic and social context with practical working experience in the country
  • Experience of effective interaction with local and national institutions, both government and private sector as well as International Financial Institutions on economic and finance matters. 
  • Be Conversant with current fiscal and economic laws, policies and practice in Kenya
  • Practical application of cross cutting themes like gender mainstreaming, M&E, Advocacy.
  • Excellent analytical and report writing skills.


Our values and commitment to safeguarding

Oxfam is committed to preventing any type of unwanted behaviour at work including sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, lack of integrity and financial misconduct; and committed to promoting the welfare of children, young people, adults and beneficiaries with whom Oxfam GB engages. Oxfam expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment through our code of conduct. We place a high priority on ensuring that only those who share and demonstrate our values are recruited to work for us.

The post holder will undertake the appropriate level of training and is responsible for ensuring that they understand and work within the safeguarding policies of the organisation.

 We are committed to ensuring diversity and gender equality within our organisation and encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.


How to apply

Expression of Interest that clearly articulates the consultant(s) understanding of the terms of reference, methodology for executing the work including key deliverables and tentative budget and clearly indicating – “Debt and Social Spending” can be submitted to Kenya.Logs@oxfam.org.uk, not later than July 28th 2021.   





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