UNDP tuyển Tư vấn

UNDP cần tuyển Tư vấn. Hạn chót nộp hồ sơ: 04/03/2008. Thông tin chi tiết như sau:

Terms of Reference for an International Development Economist for a Study of Food Price Policy in Viet Nam

1. Project background
UNDP and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID) have entered into a Strategic Partnership Initiative (SPI) to streamline existing arrangements between the two agencies and to capitalize on the respective comparative advantage of each agency. As part of this partnership initiative, DFID has provided funds to UNDP to support policy research and other new initiatives. One of the areas of policy research identified is the relationship between globalization and poverty in Viet Nam, as well as the relationship between globalization and inequality.

Viet Nam has enjoyed an extended period of food price stability largely stemming from the decline in global grain prices following the 1998 El Nino. For nearly a decade, Vietnamese consumers faced a benign international environment, which rice producers benefited from the liberalization of the trade regime. The gradual liberalization culminated in the removal of rice export quotas in May 2001. This was accompanied by the removal fertilizer import quotas so that international prices for inputs and outputs would align with international trends.

International rice prices rose to near El Nino levels in 2005 and continued to rice in 2006 and 2007. The price rise is partly attributable to increases in energy (and therefore fertilizer) prices, but also to competition for land across the Asian region between rice farms and other uses, primarily residential and industrial. Most observers therefore expect rice prices to hold onto their recent gains.

Higher rice prices hurt Vietnamese consumers and help producers, but only to the extent that input costs (labour, fertilizers, seeds and water) are rising more slowly that output prices. The impact of higher prices on inequality is not known. Some observers argue that higher prices help poor farmer, and are therefore pro-poor. Others counter that rice farmers are now make up a small and declining proportion of the population of poor households. Since most poor households are net buyers of rice, higher prices hurt the poor more than rich (who spend less of their total income on food.

2 Surprisingly, researchers have not addressed these issues since the mid-1990s, when a number of studies were conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Bank and the International Rice Research Institute. The time has come to revisit the issue, updating this earlier work, and evaluating of the impact of recent grain price increases on the poor and the wider economy. This analysis is needed to inform rice trade and food price policy in Viet Nam, and to provide input into UNDP/UN policy research products including the Human Development Report.

2. Objectives
The objective of the current study is to analyze the impact of higher rice prices on poverty and inequality in Viet Nam, and to propose trade and food price policies to minimize the negative impact on the poor.

3. Outputs
The output of the project output will consist of one UNDP Policy Dialogue Paper tentatively entitled, ?Rising Rice Prices: Who Benefits?? The paper will be made publicly available through the normal distribution channels, and distributed to national and international agencies. UNDP also actively encourages the researchers to publish the paper in other outlets, including scholarly journals and institutional websites as long as the support of DFID and UNDP are explicitly acknowledged in these publications.

4. Timing, duration and location
Research will commence in March 2008 and conclude in June 2008. It is estimated that a maximum of 60 person-days of international expertise is needed to complete the research paper. A minimum of 30 of these days will be spent in Viet Nam to collect and check data, conduct interviews with policy makers and other informed observers and to consult with the UNDP Economics Advisor. UNDP will arrange for round trip travel to Viet Nam for the international expert.

5. Reporting lines and administrative support
The international development economic will report to the Economics Advisor, UNDP Viet Nam. He or she will also work closely with the UNDP National Economist and UNDP Development Economist. UNDP will provide administrative support for research and international and local travel, if required.

6. Tasks and qualifications
1. Review existing sources of time series data for domestic rice prices, and based on these data compile an accurate urban and rural rice price index;
2. Compile an index of domestic and international fertilizer prices;
3. Calculate the incidence of net buying and selling of rice among poor households using the 2006 Viet Nam Household Living Standard Survey;
4. Review existing food price policies and rice and fertilizer trade policies, and analyze the impact of recent changes (since the mid-1990s);
5. Collaborate with the CEU in drafting a UNDP Policy Dialogue Paper on the impact of higher rice prices on poverty and inequality in Viet Nam.

Qualifications and experience:
Masters degree in development economics or related discipline;
At least five years experience conducting applied research relating to poverty analysis in developing countries;
Strong quantitative skills and ability to use standard statistical software packages;
Good English language composition skills;
Familiarity with UNDP poverty analysis tools would be an advantage.