Political Risk and Data Scenario Analysis Consultancy

Harare | Harare

UNICEF Zimbabwe is inviting proposals from Individual Consultants for Political Risk & Data and Scenario Analysis


Informed Political Economy Analysis (PEA) of the current environment is crucial, in order for UNICEF to understand structural, cultural and institutional contexts of Zimbabwean politics and the economy. Politics can be understood in terms of contestation and bargaining between interest groups with competing claims over rights and resources. Economic processes generate wealth, and influence how political choices are made. In reality these processes are closely inter-related and part of a unified set of dynamics which influence our development outcomes. This PEA will help UNICEF develop a systematic risk analysis framework and a political risk index with regular updates, and support understanding of what is driving political behavior in Zimbabwe, how this can shape particular policies and programmes, who are the main “winners” and “losers”, and what the implications are for our development strategies and programmes.

As the 2018 elections draw near, and in the face of an economic meltdown and increased anti and pro-government mass protests, up-to date independent PEA will be key for UNICEF in its programme planning and implementation as it aims to better the lives of women and children of Zimbabwe. It will help UNICEF to situate its development interventions within an understanding of the prevailing political and economic processes in Zimbabwe – specifically, the incentives, relationships, and distribution and contestation of power between different groups and individuals.

Such an analysis can support more politically feasible and therefore more effective development strategies by setting realistic expectations of what can be achieved, over what timescale, and the risks involved. It can also contribute to better results by identifying where the main opportunities and barriers for policy reform exist and how UNICEF can use its programming and influencing tools to promote positive changes that will better the lives of not only the women and children of Zimbabwe but also the wider population. Overall the PEA should help UNICEF in improving the quality and impact of its programmes.


  1. Develop a database and indices framework of political risk and triggers in Zimbabwe.

  2. Provide insight into the political situation in Zimbabwe, and its impact on the economy and society.

  3. Provide possible recommendations, responses/reactions for UNICEF to potential scenarios.


The PEA will use a problem-driven framework. The framework should identify the types of variables that need to be included in the analysis and propose a basic set of relationships among them. It should include three dedicated, but related, phases as outlined below:

i) Problem identification

This approach focuses the analysis on a particular problem arising in the context in question. This will ensure the analysis is more relevant for operational purposes, rather than simply highlighting salient features of the political context in which UNICEFs development interventions take place. The consultant should make use of available material, including relevant outcome indicators, previous programme documentation and previous political economy or other analytical work.

ii) Problem diagnosis, which will include:

The key structural features including both features of the context that are relatively slow to change or essentially fixed characteristics, and institutional features that may be more susceptible to change over the short to medium term;

Relevant individuals and organisations, their motivations (whether financial, political, personal, ideational, etc.) and the types of relationships and balance of power between them.

Relevant analytical concepts that provide some insight into actors’ incentives and decision logics. The diagnosis should draw on relevant analytical concepts that provide some structure to the sets of relationships observed.

iii) Consideration of plausible change processes

A determination of considerations of potential ameliorative actions can take place only after a diagnosis of the underlying constraints to performance. Priorities for action can best be identified where they are a part of a theory of change consistent with the underlying diagnosis.

Expected Output

  1. 40 Weekly Indices on Liquidity and Economy

These should be near real-time and include:

  • Update on previous week’s financial/economic events at national level

  • The current situation

  • Programming issues from emerging risks

  • Donor perceptions

  • Anything else as discussed and suggested by UNICEF

  • 20 Bi- Monthly Political Economy Indices

These should include:

  • Political issues

  • Impact on economy

  • Possible risk mitigation solutions, and scenarios for UNICEF to consider in their response

  • Donor perceptions

  • Anything else as discussed and suggested by UNICEF

Major tasks and Deliverables

  1. Task: 10 Weekly liquidity and economy Indices

    Deliverable: Weekly Liquidity Indices: 6 indices per month

  2. Task: 5 Political risk indices

Deliverable: Bi-monthly Political indices: 3 indices per month

  1. Task: 10 Weekly liquidity and economy indices

    Deliverable: Weekly Liquidity Indices: 6 indices per month

  2. Task: 5 Political risk indices

    Deliverable: Bi-monthly Political indices: 3 indices per month

  3. Task: 20 Weekly liquidity and economy indices

    Deliverable: Weekly Liquidity Indices: 6 indices per month

  4. Task: 10 Political risk indices

    Deliverables: Bi-monthly Political indices: 3 indices per month

All deliverables will have to meet expected quality as assessed by the supervisor of the assignment. Should the consultant fail to deliver as per expected quality, UNICEF reserves the right to amend the payouts accordingly, or to delay them until satisfactory submission has been received.


The consultancy will begin on 24 October 2016 and end on 23 September 2017**.**

Consultancy Requirements

Education and Work Experience

  • A Masters’ degree majoring in any Social sciences, Economics, Public Finance or any other related field.
  • A minimum of 5-8 years working experience in the Economy and Political Economy Analysis field or any other related field, preferably in the development sector both at local and international levels.
  • Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural skills and ability to foster relationships with key economic and political players;
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • Strong research and writing skills;
  • Computer literacy and knowledge of standard PC software packages (MS. Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc.) is essential.


The Consultant will report to the Chief of Social Policy and Research

Application Procedure

If interested and available, please submit your application letter, CV, a technical and all-inclusive financial proposal to email address: hararevacancies@unicef.org by 18 October 2016. To quote “Political Risk and Data Scenario Analysis Consultant” as the email subject heading.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Harare | Harare
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • International Relations
    • International Relations
    • International Relations
    • International Relations
    • Gender Mainstreaming
  • Closing Date: 2016-10-18

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