Background / General Description
The World Bank Group (WBG) is the world’s largest source of funding and knowledge for development solutions. It uses its financial resources and extensive experience to help client countries reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life. It is governed by 189 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with over 16,000 staff globally.
The WBG Finance & Accounting (WFA) Vice Presidential Unit is responsible for all aspects of the financial reporting and internal control framework for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the extensive Trust Fund/Partnership portfolio of these entities. WFA also leads the client shared service function for the WBG corporate expenses and WBG trust funds, and ensures fiduciary responsibility for all disbursements related to Bank operations
WBG Trust Fund and Loan Operations Department (WFATL) in World Bank Group Finance and Accounting (WFA) provides a number of financial operation activities, notably financial services, compliance, disbursements, accounting, and analytics for IBRD/IDA loans and Trust Funds
The WFA for Trust Funds and Loans Operations (WFATL) manages loan and trust fund operations and was recently reorganized to better serve client needs, accommodate for new Bank priorities, and achieve further efficiencies and consistency in service delivery.
Because of the reorganization, WFATL consists of two divisions, each managed by one manager. The first division is devoted to providing “front-end” client services and related operations to business and external clients, and is organized along business lines serving the regions and global practices. The Services within the area of WFATL responsibilities fall under three categories: regional coordination, country focal point assistance, and project-level fiduciary and portfolio management. The second division is focused on supporting the transactional activities associated with the implementation and closure of loans or trust funds, including account maintenance, disbursement transactions, help desk and trust funds and loans accounting and reporting. These two divisions work closely and collaboratively with one another.
WFATL is seeking a highly-motivated Extended Term Consultant (ETC) to be integral and active member of its client service team to be based in Chennai, India.
Duties and Accountabilities
The Extended Term Consultant’s (ETC’s) primary responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following activities:
- Act as the country focal point for assigned countries in collaboration with the country Finance Officer (FO), at country level.
- Collaborate with the FOs in the following components of the work program pertaining to client support and technical assistance: Country Portfolio Performance Review (CPPR); Country Partnership Strategy (CPS); Participation in project launches; and providing input to the Implementation Status Reports (ISRs).
- Prepare level two (level one at FO direction) loan restructuring packages and clear in the Operations (Ops) portal.
- Carry out the disbursement risk assessment of projects, including providing input to FOs on Withdrawal Application Quality Risk (WAQR).
- Provide advice during project implementation to address fiduciary and fund-flow related issues based on risk assurance framework
- Provide loan information and analyses to assist in decision-making.
- Evaluate the results of both the reviews of transactions and the portfolio management work to identify areas where borrowers have capacity constraints and to assist in decision-making on the type of capacity-building that should be provided to clients.
- Provide monthly inputs to CRM Dashboard (managed by corporate services, reporting) on the status of disbursements and the performance of the portfolio for each Country Management Units (CMUs).
- Provide capacity building and technical support to clients on the Bank's disbursement policies and procedures through face-to-face workshops, video conferences, e-mails and ad-hoc discussions resulting from reviews of transactions, missions etc.
- Utilize the available online tools and experts in the community of expertise (COE) to build knowledge through discussion groups, posting of aide memoires, leave and mission plans, training materials and guidance notes.
- Work on Special Projects including system related projects, projects requiring analysis of disbursement and other data, preparation of disbursement related training materials and others as assigned by Team Lead and/or WFATL Management
- Monitor inactive Project Designated Accounts (DAs) and liaise with clients to ensure that DA balances are promptly documented or refunded.
- Implement actions to ensure that loans are closed promptly on the due dates.
- Process the logging and resolution of ineligible expenditures in the system, including following up with clients to ensure ineligible expenditures are duly refunded.
- Manage e-disbursement account setup and the related queries from clients. Guide and provide technical support to the Bank’s borrowers in the setting up of their e-Disbursement / Client Connection user accounts.
- Setting-up and Update loan data in the system for information such as: Master Data Setup; category overdraw; clearance of sanctioned and debarred firms; changes to Designated Account ceilings; fulfilment of Loan Effectiveness Conditions; loan Closing Date extensions; reallocation of category amounts; etc.
- Perform ex-ante and ex-post review of withdrawal applications, including Special Commitments, and the related supporting documentation and review/sign off the withdrawal applications, as appropriate. Promptly liaise with clients to resolve any potential issues or exceptions noted in the processing of transactions.
- Review and process cancellations, refunds, adjustments, returned payments, beneficiary registration forms (BRFs); Interim Financial Reporting (IFR) advances; and the refinancing of Project Preparation Advances (PPAs).
- Support the Finance Analysts in the processing of certain types of transactions, including manually received withdrawal applications.
- Handle transaction processing and review work of Central Services such as Refunds and Adjustments, Special Commitment, Financial Intermediary Financing Trust Funds and Carbon Trust Funds.
- Provide support to the Central WFACS-TF team on Centralized Grants implementation.
- Acting as a first point of contact for the Department’s clients (both those within and outside the Bank) on routine queries and inquiries pertaining to the loan portfolios. Respond to and guide the clients on the resolution of their queries.
- Operating the Department’s Helpdesk, including assigning and/ or resolving the tickets created in the electronic Client Relationship Management (eCRM) tool.
- Appropriately handle other tasks that may be assigned by the WFATL management.
- Serve as a solution provider for advice to internal clients (task teams, financial management specialists and procurement specialists, legal) on preparation and implementation issues in the assigned countries.
- Engage and advise external clients on the processes and procedures required in order to efficiently utilize eDisbursement system; transfer clients to help desk support for all technical support or system related queries.
The candidate should meet the following criteria:
- Minimum Education: A professional certification (fully qualified as Chartered Accountant or equivalent).
- Work Experience: At least 3 years of relevant experience in portfolio management, project operations accounting and/or auditing.
- Language skills: Ability to communicate effectively, in writing and orally, in English is required.
- Relevant knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), internal controls and financial management.
- Knowledge and application of the Bank’s Operational Policies and Procedures and how they relate to disbursements and loan portfolio management.
- Ability to exercise professional judgment and appropriately interpret and apply operational policies, as they relate to disbursements and loan portfolio management.
- Strong quantitative skills with superior attention to detail and numerical accuracy.
- Strong analytical and conceptual skills with demonstrated ability to interpret data, assess issues, develop sound conclusions and formulate remedial measures.
- Ability to manage complex tasks, deal with rapidly shifting priorities, provide professional support to senior staff and deliver against ambitious deadlines.
- Capacity to work simultaneously, effectively and efficiently on a variety of diverse issues and tasks, independently adjusting priorities and achieving results with agreed objectives and deadlines.
- Ability to operate effectively in a matrix management environment.
- Strong client focus including good interpersonal, diplomatic and team building skills required for building and maintaining collaborative relationships.
- Willingness to travel on mission and short-term assignments.
The preferred candidate must demonstrate the following competencies:
- Deliver Results for Clients: Contributes to delivery of results for client on complex issues.
- Collaborate within Teams and Across Boundaries: Keeps others fully informed to ensure integration and work consistency.
- Willingness to work in different time zones – Given that the division is co-located in multiple cities in different time zones, candidates must be willing to work in different time zones especially the US EST time zone on an ‘as-needed’ basis.
- Lead and Innovate: Brings new and different insights.
- Create, Apply, and Share Knowledge: Actively contributes to and readily applies WBG’s body of knowledge for client solutions.
- Make Smart Decisions: Leverages available data and makes timely decisions.
- Client Understanding: Looks at issues from the client’s perspective and takes action beyond normal expectations to ensure client satisfaction.
- Broad Business Thinking: Maintains an in-depth understanding of the long-term implications of decisions both for the department and the client’s business.
- Project Management: Demonstrates a practical knowledge of project management principles and techniques.
- Analytical Thinking: Interprets data and reviews for non-conformity and gathers further information in response to problems.
- Policies and Procedures: Seeks out opportunities to further the understanding / improvement of relevant policies and guidance.
- Risks and Controls: Demonstrates good understanding of risks and internal control procedures pertaining to various activities in own functional areas.
- Information Technology and Systems: Leverages information technology systems and applications to improve productivity and efficiency.
- Communication: Utilizes appropriate tools and techniques to explain technical information in plain language.