The Social Expenditure Monitor (SEM) advances knowledge and supports member States in fiscal policy and budgeting allocations toward rebalancing their social expenditure priorities. The project supports member States in analysing the equity, efficiency and effectiveness of fiscal policy and budgeting in the Arab region while improving their technical capacity to address macro-fiscal challenges and inefficiencies in social expenditure. New knowledge is produced in the field of monitoring social expenditures and analysing their efficiency and effectiveness aligned with macro-fiscal targets. Channels of enhancing and disseminating policy recommendations are formulated and partnerships are mobilized to improve the capacity of decision makers in advancing policy reforms. The project provides decision makers with analysis and tools for formulating more equitable, efficient and sustainable fiscal policies in the region.
Key partners in the project include the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office Tunisia, United Nations Resident Coordinator Office Jordan, and the International Monetary Fund Middle East Regional Technical Assistance Center.
Deliverables include fiscal policy briefs for member States, SEM country profiles for selected member States, statistical guidelines on data reporting for SEM for Jordan and Tunisia, a macroeconomic model with a focus on social expenditure and macroeconomic policy coherence, and an interactive course on SEM. The ESCWA SEM portal has also been established. This initiative also includes national and regional workshops on SEM in Jordan and Tunisia as well as other member States as the monitor expands.
This initiative is also related to several publications including:
- Social Expenditure Monitor Brochure
- Fiscal Policy and Structural Transformation in the Arab Region: What are the Pathways?
- Fiscal policy response to public debt in the Arab region (2020)
- Fiscal policy response to public debt in the Arab region (2017)
- Fiscal policy on public social spending and human development in Arab countries
- Effectiveness of fiscal policy in Jordan: Impact on growth, poverty and inequality.