In August, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a new allocation of $650 billion worth of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the largest issuance to date. Iraq received the equivalent value of US$2.27bn in Special Drawing Rights, which initially are held by the Central Bank. As of November 30 2021, Iraq converted almost 96% of its SDR allocation to hard currency, which means that the Government is intending to spend it.
SDRs are unconditional funds – they are not paid back and there are no limitations on how they should be spent, or indeed saved in reserves and unspent. Oxfam, globally, is working to advance the inequality agenda when it comes to the IMF and has been actively advocating for the use of SDRs to tackle inequalities while calling for a voice for civil society in determining how these allocations are spent.
Project background and a brief rationale
This project aims to strengthen the capacities of civil society to find its voice with a variety of stakeholders when it comes to engaging in debates over governance, increase knowledge among Iraqi civil society of the role of international financial institutions (IFIs), directly influence the Government of Iraq’s approach to spending its share of the recent IMF Special Drawing Rights allocation, and to increase the space for civil society to engage in future debates about the use of SDRs as well as influence future support provided by IFIs, specifically the IMF, to Iraq.
Oxfam has already held several conversations with existing CSO partners and other civil society organisations to introduce this issue and to ensure that work is not being duplicated / there is no Iraqi civil society organization already leading work in this area.
The project focuses on conducting a series of civil society dialogue meetings across Iraq (including the Kurdistan region) to discuss this SDR allocation. The workshops will include information on the IMF, its mandate, as well as its role especially during the pandemic. It will also provide information on what SDRs are, and their purpose as well as foster a discussion among CSOs on how they could be used and how they might expect the Government of Iraq to use them, combined with supporting the advocacy efforts towards key stakeholders in Iraq, including the Government, the IMF and the international diplomatic community. A short position paper would be developed as an outcome of the workshops and to support advocacy activities.
This would complement other activities including the development of an “open letter” or media statement from civil society calling for transparent discussion as to how the SDRs can or should be used in Iraq, the development of social media materials for civil society actors to use to raise awareness among the public of SDRs and to increase public engagement in the discussion; and advocacy/outreach meetings with elements of government (dependent on the post-election scenario) and the international community in Iraq including the IMF and identified diplomatic missions.
Objectives of the consultancy:
The constantly aims to contribute to the following objectives:
- Iraqi civil society feels empowered to engage in discussions on SDR use in Iraq and has a consensus position on which to advocate
- Iraqi civil society is more aware of IMF engagement with Iraq and civic space is increased for their involvement in determining how IFI allocations are used
Scope of Consultancy and Methodology:
The consultant is expected to work closely with Oxfam in Iraq, with the support of Oxfam International’s DC office, to engage the Iraqi civil society to both enhance their knowledge of SDRs and to lead discussions about how the Government of Iraq should use these windfall funds, as well as to get a better understanding of the role of the IMF.
Activities will include:
- In coordination with Oxfam, designing a workshop agenda to introduce the role of IMF, and SDRs and provide a space for dialogue around how should the Iraqi Government use SDRs to tackle the most urgent priorities of people in Iraq such as inequality and to develop a set of recommendations and demands on the use of SDRs to be used in the position paper and open letter.
- In coordination with Oxfam, agree on locations for workshops and put together an agreed budget to deliver them. The workshops should cover Iraq, including the Kurdistan region, the consultant is expected to identify the number of workshops, but will be agreed on it with Oxfam team.
- Leading the implementation workshops across Iraq – and ensuring Oxfam’s safeguarding procedures are followed. This will include preparing the training materials, tools, and agenda.
- Writing up a one-page summary of each workshop to ensure Oxfam is aware of the focus of discussion and any positive developments or challenges in conversations with civil society
- Production of a position paper outlining Iraqi civil society priorities for SDR use – based on discussions from workshops. The position paper development process should include power mapping to the relevant stakeholders.
- A one-page summary of each implemented workshop (in Arabic).
- Position paper for civil society (in Arabic).
The consultancy is expected to be carried out through January-February 2022 for 20 working days. The timeline and number of working days will be refined based on the work plan submitted by the consultant, in agreement with Oxfam team, and it won’t go beyond February 2022.
A full financial plan should be submitted by the consultant for their fees. Oxfam will be responsible to cover the following costs:
- Transportation & accommodation for the consultant.
- Workshops, including venue, melas and other needs.
Roles and responsibilities:
In addition to the activities and identified deliverables stated above, the consultant will be responsible for the following:
- In coordination with Oxfam, map and identify civil society actors who will be part of the workshops relevant CSOs across Iraq to participate in the workshops.
- Contact, coordinate and invite the identified civil society actors for each workshop.
- Identify the needed logistics for each workshop
In addition to the provision of technical support, Oxfam will be responsible for the following activities:
- Provide needed logistic support for the implementation of the workshop. This will include securing venues and needed stationeries.
Knowledge and Experience
The following key technical requirements will be taken into consideration when assessing consultants’ technical competencies:
- University degree in economics, development studies, sociology, or other relevant fields.
- The consultant is expected to have knowledge of IMF, SDRs and/or relevant topics.
- Strong understanding of the Iraqi context, with strong knowledge of the Iraqi civil society.
- Conducted similar previous activities with the Iraqi civil society.
- Knowledge in Policy analysis and production of policy products.
- Strong knowledge and understanding of inequality and its impact within the context of Iraq.
- Address Ankawa USD Month
- How to apply Interested consultants, with relevant experience and skills based on the ToR, can submit their Expression of Interest (EOI), including the following: 1. Cover letter of no more than 1 page introducing the consultant and intention to deliver the assignment. The cover letter should also indicate the consultants’ availability for the proposed period. 2. The technical proposal should provide details on proposed methodology responding to the ToR and the deliverables; capacity in line with the competencies required for the assignment, including references to experience with similar assignments; CVs of the consulting team, if any, directly involved in the assignment, including their specific roles; and three professional referees, and an initial outline of the content and materials that will be used in the workshops. A technical proposal should not be longer than 10 pages, excluding annexes. 3. The financial proposal includes a one-page budget of the offer, covering all major anticipated costs. 4. Statement on the willingness to follow Oxfam’s Code of Conduct and guidance regarding safe programming. Please submit the EOI and other documents by 12:00 am Iraq time by 18th January 2022 to [email protected] with Special Drawing Rights in Iraq in the subject line. No EOIs will be accepted after the deadline. Any questions or clarifications of a technical nature can be sent to: [email protected] no later than 16th January 2022, 5 pm. This invitation to tender has been issued for the sole purpose of obtaining offers for the provision of the services requested against the TOR. Oxfam reserves the right not to enter in or award a contract as a result of this invitation to tender. Oxfam also reserves the right to terminate any contract issued as a result of this invitation to tender as set out in the contract terms and conditions.
- Job Reference INT8169 - Special Drawing Rights in Iraq -TOR