With the goal of eliminating poverty, the International Budget Partnership (IBP) works to ensure that all people, especially underserved communities, have the right and ability to understand and influence how public money – their money – is raised and spent. IBP is a nonprofit organization fiercely dedicated to ensuring governments use public funds to help those that need it most. In more than 120 countries, we pioneer new approaches to enable oversight of government taxation and spending. IBP is a multi-cultural environment with strong camaraderie among mission-driven people.
IBP is implementing a tax equity initiative in two pilot countries of Africa – Senegal and Nigeria – that is supporting civil society organizations to operate in the field of tax. Although there has been a dramatic growth in civil society organizations utilizing information to analyze and influence public budgets in recent years, scrutiny of government revenues, although emerging, has been slower on the uptake. With a development grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this project will promote a more political approach to increasing domestic revenue by strengthening civic actors to advocate for equitable tax policy and administration, thereby putting pressure on governments to raise revenue in a way that promotes rather than exacerbates inequality. Ultimately it will mean that lower-income groups will have a louder public voice in tax debates and limit the ability of powerful interests to disproportionately influence tax decisions, reshaping the social contract.
IBP seeks a Senior Program Officer to support the tax equity pilot in Nigeria. This newly created position will have responsibility for working with the IBP Country Manager for Nigeria, the IBP global tax team, as well as other IBP staff to implement all components of the program and be responsible for coordinating key activities with internal IBP and external resource persons.
The program will focus primarily on building civil society tax analysis and advocacy capacity in Nigeria, as well as on persuading international actors and country governments of the benefits of effectively including civil society in tax policy decision-making. This work responds to the growing global consensus of the importance of tax policy for advancing democratic governance, addressing social inequalities, and combating climate change.
This is an opportunity for a person with tax policy expertise and a passion for civil society advocacy that is motivated by the ambition to make quality contribution to a new program in the leading international civil society organization focusing on fiscal accountability. Working with the Country Manager, the global tax team, and other staff, the Senior Program Officer of this new programmatic vision, will work collaboratively to ensure that tax policy in Nigeria contributes to financial sustainability, equity, and poverty reduction.
Essential duties of the job include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Reporting directly to the IBP Country Manager for Nigeria, the SPO will work with IBP Country Manager, the IBP global tax team, as well as other IBP colleagues to further develop and refine IBP’s tax work strategy for Nigeria, in line with IBP’s overall mission and strategy
- Coordinate research, training, and advocacy projects that make up the tax equity initiative, in liaison with the Country Manager and other tax staff
- Lead outreach and communications with partner NGOs and other groups working on tax
- Monitor progress and effectively address challenges encountered during implementation of the tax initiative
- Work with the Country Manager, IBP global tax team, and Development team in securing further resources needed for IBP to expand and consolidate its tax work
- Partner with the country-level Planning Monitoring and Learning (PMEL) team, as well as the Strategy and Learning Teams in Washington DC to establish an appropriate framework to monitor progress and learn from the initiative
- Coordinate with all other IBP teams as may be required to advance the impact of the tax initiative across the organization
- Develop terms of reference for independent contractors required in the implementation of the tax equity initiative, negotiate and secure approval for these terms of reference, and recruit and manage consultants
- Oversee the implementation of all grants and awards to IBP Nigeria country office for work falling within the priorities of the tax equity initiative, and support the Country Manager with reports to funding partners
- Master's degree in economics, political science, public policy management or related fields is preferred
- Bachelor’s degree in economics, political science, public policy management or related fields may be considered where candidate shows sound and sustained practical work experience in civil society tax advocacy
- 5-7 years of experience working in the tax field, including substantial time working in civil society
- Experience in implementing and managing programs that support civil society organizations to engage and advocate for greater transparency, accountability, and participation in policy decisions
- At least five years’ experience in policy research, training, or network building, preferably in the tax field
- Exposure to country-based, regional, and/or international tax actors and networks
- Understanding of the political economy nuances of public financial management in Nigeria
- Strategic thinker focused on identifying and addressing problems
- Strong, tested managerial skills, with the capability to manage multiple projects and teams simultaneously, efficiently, and on time
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; high-level ability to communicate effectively with partners, colleagues, consultants, and representatives of government, multilateral organizations, and other donors
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to thrive in and contribute to a culture of collaboration and teamwork in a diverse work environment
- A high level of organization; a strong ability to prioritize tasks to meet multiple deadlines and to develop a new area of work
- Ability to establish, maintain and grow networks
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office package required; proficiency with other specialist software applications desirable
- Passion and deep commitment to build civil society capacity for tax policy and advocacy
- Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and passion for IBP’s mission
- Commitment to high-quality work, efficiency, and timeliness
- Flexible and able to adapt to shifting environments and works well under pressure
- Motivated to learn and willing to contribute to learning initiatives
- Duties are generally carried out in a normal business office environment – i.e., working while sitting at a desk, at a computer, for extended periods of time
- Significant local (and sometimes regional) travel required
This is a full-time position with an initial 2-year term, with an option for further extension.