The International Rescue Committee, one of the world’s largest humanitarian agencies, provides relief, rehabilitation and post-conflict reconstruction support to victims of natural disaster, oppression and violent conflict in 42 countries. The IRC has worked in Sierra Leone since 1999. The IRC currently programs across three core sectors 1) Health 2) Women and Girls’ Protection and Empowerment (WGPE), and 3) Education. The IRC is committed to supporting the Government of Sierra Leone in the strengthening of the country. We seek to build upon our programming experience and introduce new programs that are adaptive, collaborative and evidence-driven, leading to a more educated, safe, healthy and empowered Sierra Leone.
SCOPE OF WORK
Building on this work over the years, the IRC in Sierra Leone has developed a new program framework, strategy and vision for 2016 – 2020. The country program has committed to ensuring that children, both in and out of school, have appropriate literacy, numeracy, social-emotional skills, and will work towards the reduction and elimination of barriers to ensure that girls are equally skilled and safe as boys. In line with this commitment, and in partnership with Concern International, Restless Development and BBC Media Action, the IRC will implement the four-year Leave No Girl behind project which targets 32,500 out-of-school girls (aged 13-17) and aims to ensure they have significantly improved learning outcomes and transition to education, training or employment. Upon completion of the learning programme, girls will receive one-on-one mentorship to develop their individual transition plans.
IRC, along with its Consortium partners bid for a funding opportunity from DFID – Saving Lives (Phase II) as the lead for the NGO Consortium. The Saving Lives programme seeks to support the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) to save women’s and children’s lives by improving the quality, availability and accessibility of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services. This will be achieved by increasing the utilization of quality RMNCAH services through a multifaceted approach that seeks to strengthen quality, expand access, and build the demand for RMNCAH services in Sierra Leone. The programme duration is October 2018 – March 2021.
The Grants and Budget Coordinator will lead the grant and budget management for the LNGB and Saving Lives consortia, working directly with the international partners on the reports, budgets and ensuring donor compliance. The position is based in Freetown with regular trips to the project districts in the country, to monitor grant progress of the international partners. S/he will report to the Consortia Deputy Director of Programs and will work collaboratively with the Consortia Coordinators and technical specialists, grants and finance teams from the Consortia international partners. S/he will manage the consortia grants unit, including the Partnership Manager, and will directly supervise the Partnership Manager.
This position is contingent on funding.
AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
- Serve as the focal point for information-sharing and guidance on LNGB and Saving Lives (SL) donor rules, grants communications for IRC and, when relevant, partners. This includes communicating all compliance and donor related information and monitoring their timely implementation/compliance in coordination with the LNGB and SL Senior Finance Managers, and liaise with the IRC UK Regional Grant Officer and Subaward and Partnership Officer on compliance questions and communication of in-country challenges to donor;
- Track contractually-binding milestones. This includes working with the Senior LNGB and Saving Lives Consortium Coordinators and M&E and Research Coordinators under both the Consortia to identify targets per organization per quarter; checks in with IRC and partner focal points mid-quarter on achievement; support the Consortium Coordinators to compile achievement of project milestones by organization;
- Run Grant Opening, Review and Closing meetings for both LNGB and Saving Lives consortia grants, as well as regular grants management meetings which include representation from each unit (finance, programs, logistics) and ensure proper follow up of issues raised;
- Monitor and support the use of grants management tools, BvAs, spending plans, forecast vs. expenditures, and activity plans amongst program teams to ensure accurate tracking of implementation and spending and timely alerts to potential challenges/obstacles for both the Consortia.
- Ensure that all consortium grants or contracts are well administered (including maintenance of comprehensive grant files) and implemented in compliance with the relevant donor regulations and IRC procedures.
- Provide oversight and coordination of Partnerships in line with the IRC SPMS (Subawards and Partnerships Management System) and ensure partners’ project progress is duly tracked, and that information is shared within the consortia to inform decisions as needed; This includes organizing, participating in and facilitating partners’ financial and technical monitoring and verifications led by the IRC as determined through the partners pre-award assessment;
- Update internal IRC documentation and provide analysis of all current partnerships within the LNGB and Saving Lives Consortia;
- Review draft Partnership Agreements and related modifications as required by the IRC management, PWC and the donor;
- Work with Finance to ensure timely and accurate payments are made to partners throughout life of the partnerships;
- Ensure that any issues or weaknesses identified in the pre-award due diligence process are escalated to the LNGB and Saving Lives Consortia Coordinators or other relevant staff (e.g. IRC Finance Controller, Consortia DDP) where necessary and that recommendations are followed up with the partners.
- In conjunction with the LNGB and Saving Lives Consortia Coordinators, manage annual Consortia operating budgets: this includes carrying out quarterly budget forecasts in collaboration with the relevant Program Managers and Senior Finance Managers, solicit review and approval from Senior Consortia Coordinators and submit budgets in accordance with IRC Finance rules and timelines;
- Track Programs’ spending and analyze needs/spending patterns to recommend most effective use of funding, resolve any delays or roadblocks;
- Notify the Senior Consortia Coordinators of and provide recommendations for addressing any budget issues. Directly address issues with Finance that are of a routine nature;
- Work with finance to ensure timely and accurate payments are made to partners throughout life of the sub-grant(s).
- Take the lead in conducting budget revisions/realignments upon Programs’ needs and PWC/donor request, in accordance with budget revisions triggers and regulations as outlined by PWC LNGB Handbook or other compliance requirements.
- Ensure that the LNGB and Saving Lives Consortia are operating according to donor and IRC compliance policies. This includes conducting routine reviews of financial and compliance documentation of procedures, asset checks, field monitoring visits;
- Providing support to partners on compliance issues as needed;
- Provide training to partners and IRC staff on compliance and donor-specific compliance requirements;
- Help design and ensure the maintenance of the indicator tracking sheet to monitor partner performance, and escalate any issues or concerns to the Consortia Coordinators and Consortia DDP;
- Ensure reporting of fraud cases through appropriate reporting mechanism.
- Serve as the focal-point for review of quarterly and annual donor reports ensuring quality and accuracy of reporting. This includes compiling some sections of the reports, as well as liaising with partners, IRC field-based and Freetown Consortia teams for review, in collaboration with the Regional Grants Officer;
- Ensure timely submission of all donor reports, including financial, narrative including asset, and that all deadlines are communicated to Consortia teams in a timely manner. Proactively liaise with PWC/donor if deadlines cannot be met.
Maintaining Relationships with Donor/PWC and Communications
- Liaise with donor/PWC and other operational partners through attendance at scheduled and ad hoc meetings and consultations upon the Senior Consortium Coordinators request, and represent IRC and IRC’s interests by maintaining positive and constructive relations;
- In conjunction with the Senior Consortium Coordinators, respond to ad hoc requests from donors/PWC for compliance information and submit to donor/PWC compliance questions as needed;
- Ensure that the Programs teams and partners are aware of all relevant donor/PWC communications, changes in their regulations, and meetings or conferences;
- Facilitate and participate in PWC Education and Financial Monitoring visits and/or meetings as per the agreed timeline of visits;
- Participate in donor meetings to discuss ongoing and future programs and support the Consortium Coordinators in donor communications.
Information Management and Filing
- Act as custodian of documentation of institutional knowledge and programme activities in coordination with relevant sector supervisors and coordinators
- Maintain comprehensive electronic files for both the LNGB and Saving Lives programs, and ensure Programs teams and consortia partners have access to relevant records;
- Liaise with IRC headquarters to ensure they have complete and up-to-date documentation of all partner-related information;
- Distribute and share with all partner organizations all documentation (grant proposals, reports, budget, etc.) related to their specific programs;
- Work with the BBC Media Action Communications Manager to ensure that the consortia communication strategy developed is in line with donor requirements and regulations. Ensure partners abide by it.
- Support IRC to capture ‘lessons learned’ from the LNGB program, in collaboration with the Education Technical Advisor, on DFID’s use of Fund Managers;
- Ensure future opportunities that use fund manager mechanisms are informed by IRC experience through the LNGB program.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
- Masters level education in development studies, education or a related field
- At least 3 years relevant work experience in health or development programmes
- Excellent organisation, coordination and project management skills including budgeting and developing project management documents such as work plans with milestones
- Excellent written English including the ability to edit, synthesise information and produce high quality reports
- Experience and a good understanding of international development
- Proven ability to operate in a complex organisation, across functions and work on own initiative and collaboratively as part of diverse teams
- Ability to manage a varied workload, work under pressure, prioritise and meet deadlines
- Excellent influencing, negotiating and communication skills in English
- Excellent IT skills (Word, Outlook, Excel)
- Self-motivated, flexible and adaptable to the needs of the organisation.
- Knowledge of DFID regulations, procedures, and requirements strongly preferred
- Experience with programs managed through a Fund Manager mechanisms in general, and PWC in particular, would be an asset.