A STUDY OF THE REGIONAL ECONOMIC COMMUNITIES OF EAC, SADC AND ECOWAS

Diakonia works for a just, equal and sustainable world free from poverty, oppression, inequality and violence. At the centre of this work is the organisation’s Strategy for Change that rests on a Rights Based Approach, which embodies Diakonia’s view of how change happens. The results achieved by Diakonia and its partners over five decades strengthen the conviction that there is no stronger driver for change than when people know their rights and organize themselves in order to claim those rights.

This belief inspires Diakonia to contribute towards challenging unfair structures that prevent people from living their lives in dignity. Through the empowerment of people living in poverty and marginalization to participate in democratic processes as actors in their own right and by challenging duty bearers, real and sustainable changes can be made. Power analysis from an intersectional approach and a focus on gender equality are crucial for obtaining sustainable results. Women and girls are specifically prioritized in all of Diakonia’s work. Diakonia seeks to employ a rights-based approach to development in all programmes, including a special focus on its three mainstreaming areas of gender, conflict, and environment, and since May 2019, operating based on Feminist principles.

Diakonia has about 350 partner organizations in 25 partner countries. There are country offices in most countries where we have partners. The regional offices are located in Bogotá, Nairobi, Jerusalem and Chiang-Mai. The head office is located in Stockholm.

In Sub-Saharan Africa Diakonia employs 100 staff at country offices in Mozambique, DRC, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Mali and Burkina Faso; and the Regional Office in Kenya. Diakonia’s Africa programme is currently funded by Sweden, Swedish individual sponsors, EU, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, UN agencies and private foundations.

1.2 Africa Economic Justice Programme

The Africa Economic Justice (AEJ) is a regional programme supporting regional civil society organizations working in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under the current strategy, the work of AEJ is divided into three thematic clusters on unfair financial flows; financial and investment regimes and economic empowerment of women.

The strategic programme offers a platform where new practices and innovative ideas on social and economic justice and economic empowerment of women are tested and developed. The programme is managed from the Diakonia Africa Regional Office since 2007. For more information please visit: https://www.diakonia.se/en/Where-we-work/Africa/Regional-programme-Afric…

1.3 Domestic Resource Mobilisation Programme

Sub-Saharan African countries need to increase their domestic resource mobilisation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. If successful, they will be able to put aid and loan dependency behind them, and allow every woman, man, boy and girl to live a life in dignity.

Inadequate domestic resource mobilisation maintains African governments’ dependency on external resources, such as foreign aid and loans. The lack of domestic resources also leads to underbalanced national budgets where public services in health, education and social welfare receive fewer resources than needed to cater for the needs of the right holders, where women and children are extra vulnerable.

Despite the fact that most African countries stepped up their policy initiatives aimed at strengthening the mobilization and effective use of domestic resources, many loopholes still exist.

It is against this background that Diakonia engaged the Embassy of Sweden in Addis Ababa to develop a programme on Promoting Domestic Resource Mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The programme aims to address some of the causes for the inability to expand and realise domestic resource mobilisation and is designed on the premise that Africa is facing challenges that can well be solved by cooperation between countries through regional integration.

The programme takes its point of departure in the Diakonia Strategy for Change and envisages results in relation to both the civil society capacity and in policy change at the regional level. It recognises policy formulation, review and implementation as a crucial strategy for development and aims to take advantage of existing regional policy frameworks to push for maximization of domestic resource mobilization. To achieve this, the partners lobby and engage key change agents at regional and national level to advocate for policies that support increased domestic resources. One of the key change agents at regional level identified by the programme are the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), particularly the East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The programme prioritizes five intervention areas linked to existing EAC, ECOWAS and SADC frameworks and policies. The intervention areas are:

  1. Harmful tax competition between member states
  2. Tax evasion and tax avoidance
  3. Public debt management
  4. Corporate transparency and accountability in the extractive sector
  5. Institutional and programmatic capacity of regional CSO partners

The baseline study for the programme noted that the programme seeks to influence norms at regional levels on DRM with the understanding that these will cascade and cause changes at national levels – in terms of legal, policy and institutional frameworks for reducing resource leakages and increasing domestic resource mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The programme targets regional actors in the RECs with capacity development efforts and evidence-based advocacy to promote development of legislative frameworks, institutional mechanisms and political commitments for accountability in the extractives sector, prudent public debt management, reduction of resource leakages through Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and harmful tax practices. For the programme to succeed therefore, implementing partners must muster substantive capacity, contacts and networks within the RECs that can be relied upon for identification and engagement of relevant policy makers who can bring about specific changes for effective DRM.

2. Description of Partners

The programme is currently being implemented by five regional organizations, who are specialists in social and economic justice issues in the continent, with a specific focus on the proposed intervention areas. The brief partner profiles are as follows:

2.1 Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA)

TJNA is a Pan-African research and advocacy organisation established in 2007 and a member of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ). Through its Nairobi Secretariat, TJNA collaborates closely with its member organisations and other civil society partners across Africa to curb illicit financial flows (IFFs) and promote progressive taxation systems. TJNA advocates for pro-poor tax policies and the strengthening of tax systems to promote domestic resource mobilisation (DRM). TJNA also plays a leading role in global coalitions committed to tackling the phenomena of global tax avoidance and evasion and achieving fundamental reforms of the current global financial architecture.

TJNA’s work is centred on its flagship “Stop the Bleeding Campaign” which shapes its more concerted advocacy efforts. TJNA’s growing portfolio of work is structured and implemented through four thematic focus areas, organised as follows: Tax and the International Financial Architecture; Tax and Extractives; Tax and Inequality; Tax and Investments. Within the DRM programme, TJNA will especially seek to influence and campaign for the implementation of the recommendations of the African Union’s High-Level Panel Report on IFFs specifically on harmful tax incentives and tax evasion and avoidance.

2.2 African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD)

AFRODAD is a Pan-African civil society organization established in 1996 as a regional platform for lobbying and advocating for debt cancellation and addressing other debt related issues in Africa. AFRODAD’s overall goal is to influence African Governments to institute and implement policies and practices for sustainable development and eradication of poverty. To achieve this strategic objective programmatically, AFRODAD works on the following thematic areas: Debt Management, Domestic Resource Mobilisation (DRM) and International Public Finance.

The DRM portfolio’s main objective is to contribute to the development and implementation of transparent, accountable and efficient mechanisms for mobilisation and utilization of domestic resources in Africa. AFRODAD works strategically to achieve this goal through advocating for a fair and effective tax system for financing development, contributing to the extractive industries revenue management in Africa and advocating for and mobilising support for formulation and implementation of rules and regulations to tackle illicit financial flows from Africa.

AFRODAD’s goal under the Debt Management portfolio is to contribute to the development and implementation of sustainable debt policies and practices in Africa. AFRODAD’s advancement towards this goal is achieved through four strategic objectives to: improve government transparency and accountability on public borrowing; contribute to the establishment of a fair and transparent international sovereign debt restructuring mechanism; strengthen inclusive, transparent and accountable public debt borrowing and loan contraction processes; and influence the effective management of public domestic debt resources by African governments. AFRODAD uses research, advocacy, networking and capacity building as key strategies in its programme and institutional development work. Within the DRM programme, AFRODAD will especially seek to contribute to prudent public debt management.

2.3 Transparency International Kenya (TIK)

Founded in 1999 in Kenya, TI-Kenya is a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of developing a transparent and corruption free society through good governance and social justice initiatives. TI-Kenya is one of the autonomous chapters of the global Transparency International movement that is bound by a common vision of a corruption-free world. The global movement provides a platform for sharing knowledge and experience, as well as developing strategies to respond to regionally distinct patterns of corruption.

TI-Kenya has 21 year’ experience in governance work at the regional, national and county levels. These include direct engagement with the Government, the private sector, individuals and groups. TI-Kenya uses advocacy as its signature approach; this is complemented by other approaches such as partnerships development, research, capacity building and civic engagement.

TI-Kenya program work focuses on three key areas; Public Accountability: This involves supporting citizen empowerment and movement building to ensure increased engagement and accountability by citizens and leaders. This includes empowering citizens to recognize and fight corruption as well as offer free legal advice to victims and witnesses of corruption. Policy Legal and Institutional Frameworks: This involves continued support towards (re)formulation and or enforcement of appropriate accountability focused legal and regulatory frameworks. This includes assisting relevant institutions to draft/ amend key legislation based on need. Social and Economic Accountability: This involves application of social justice and economic accountability across sectors and levels. Within the DRM programme, TI-Kenya will especially seek to contribute to increased corporate transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.

2.4 Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP)

ACEP was established in 2010 and registered in 2013 in Ghana as an African energy policy think tank and an advisory based organization which works with partners around the world and especially in Africa to harness the potential of Africa’s vast energy resources (oil, gas and renewable) for the accelerated development of the continent. The centre also works on mineral policy in the efforts to help address the problems facing Africa’s mining sector.

ACEP’s core services are research, analysis, and advocacy in Power policy, Oil and Gas policy and Minerals policy. ACEP also engages in the provision of Advisory Services. Within the DRM programme, ACEP will seek to contribute to increased corporate transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.

2.5 Youth for Tax Justice (YTJN)

The Youth for Tax Justice Network (YJTN) was formed in 2017 by youth from across the continent who resolved to take a proactive role in the fight against IFFs. YTJN was formed with a vision of creating a knowledgeable and proactive generation of tax justice champions across Africa by empowering young people through informative, interactive and knowledge-based avenues that advocate for fair and progressive tax systems and policies, and the optimum management and utilization of natural resources and utilization to attain equitable and sustainable development. So far, the YTJN has presence in East and Southern Africa.

The network which has its office in Uganda, has operated largely through engaging in online advocacy and is part of platforms such as the Tax Justice Alliance Uganda where they assist in mobilizing Youth to take part in debates and discussions on Tax Justice and the Financing for Development (FfD) process. The organization is still relatively young and is now in the process of establishing a physical presence with the support of organizations such as Diakonia. Within the DRM programme, YTJN will especially seek to influence and campaign for the implementation of the recommendations of the African Union’s High-Level Panel Report on IFFs specifically on harmful tax incentives.

3.Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this assignment is to study the policy processes at the RECs through a careful mapping of policy actors and actor coalitions, policy interests and incentives, the set of institutional arrangements that enable or constrain policy and how these are linked to national policy processes, and subsequently, how the implementing partners can effectively engage and influence norms at this level.

4. Scope of the Study

The aim of the assignment will be to:

a) Analyse governance structures of the RECs with the aim of assessing how they engage with organised CSO groups at regional level such as, East Africa Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF), West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), the Southern Africa Development Community Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (SADC-CNGO) and the SADC Civil Society Forum CSOs, as well as other regional CSO networks, member states, the African Union (AU), and other relevant commissions involved in policy making on DRM.

b) Analyse RECs’ level of interest and influence on DRM issues, particularly in the thematic intervention areas prioritised by the programme.

c) Assess RECs’ capacity with respect to how they have previously engaged and continue to engage with different policy actors and processes on DRM at the regional level.

d) Identify institutional and operational CSO gaps in effectively engaging with policy processes at the RECs

e) Give realistic findings and recommendations on mechanisms through which partners can strategically establish strong contacts, collaborations and alliances with the RECs.

f) Identify and propose frameworks through which implementing partners can obtain more sustainable and institutionalised arrangements for policy space and engagement with political actors that are crucial to the success of the DRM programme.

g) Formulate a DRM-CSO policy engagement action plan, detailing tasks and strategies that need to take place to appropriately deliver efficient change in engagement approach with policy processes at the RECs.

5.Outputs and deliverables

a) An inception report.

b) The consultant is expected to suggest proposed methodologies for conducting the study that are well suited to the prevailing context.

c) As a minimum, it is expected that the consultant will review relevant literature and conduct various interviews with key stakeholders.

d) The consultant shall prepare and present the draft study report to Diakonia for review by Diakonia and partners.

e) A final report that addresses all comments.

6.Envisaged timeframe

The assignment will begin ideally from 17th August-16th October 2020. The draft report should be submitted no later than 23rd September 2020. The following plan gives an indication of the number of days required to execute the activities of the study: **

Activity

No. Of Days

1

Literature review

5 days

2

Relevant interviews

12 days

3

Data synthesis and report writing

10 days

4

Presentation of draft report

1 day

5

Report review and presentation of comments on draft report

10 days

6

Incorporation of comments and submission of final report

6 days

7

Validation

1 day

Total days

45 days

The final report should be submitted to Diakonia no later than 15th October 2020.

7. Requirements and Qualifications

The study will be conducted by consultants selected on competitive basis. The following qualifications will be considered:

  • A minimum of a Masters’ degree in Economics, Development Studies, Social Sciences or equivalent (with emphasis on research and analysis).
  • At least 7 years’ experience in the development field working with Civil Society in Sub-Saharan Africa at regional level, particularly in EAC, SADC and ECOWAS, and preferably good knowledge and experience of how the work.
  • An in-depth understanding of the social, economic and cultural context in which regional CSOs work.
  • Proven knowledge and experience of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), particularly EAC, SADC and ECOWAS, and how they work.
  • Excellent analytical, writing and communication skills
  • Fluency in English and working knowledge of French and/or any other AU language
  • Strong facilitation, interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate and work well with diverse people.
  • Possess excellent coordination abilities.
  • Be an excellent team player.
  • Ability to work on demanding deadlines
  • Proven understanding and experience of human rights-based programming, progressive theories of change, participatory approaches, feminist principles, gender and environmental mainstreaming as well as conflict sensitive approaches to development.
  • A firm with presence and/or relevant contacts in the cities where the RECs have their headquarters i.e. Arusha for EAC, Gaborone for SADC, and Abuja for ECOWAS, and that can display ability to still deliver amid present travel restrictions and social distancing measures imposed by most countries.
  • A good understanding of Diakonia’s thematic areas of social and economic justice. This includes fair distribution of wealth and access to natural resources with the following specific thematic areas:

ü Harmful tax competition between member states

ü Tax evasion and tax avoidance

ü Public debt management

ü Corporate transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.

How to apply

Applications shall be sent in soft copy on or before 24th July 2020 via the following email: [email protected] All applications should include a technical proposal (maximum 10,000 words) which should comprise:

· A brief presentation of the consultant/firm’s qualification with emphasis on previous experience with similar assignments

· A cover letter (maximum 200 words)

· Updated CV and profiles of team members to be involved in the assignment

· Understanding of the Terms of Reference and the task to be accomplished

· Draft assignment framework and plan with clear methodology and timeframes

· List of relevant past three assignments for similar work at regional level

· A financial proposal (maximum 5000 words) including all details of envisaged cost of the assignment in US dollars

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