Implementing Partnership Management Specialist

UN Children's Fund, Lilongwe, Malawi

Skill Required:, Finance and AccountsProject/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
11th February, 2019

Job Description

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, help.

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2019-2023) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS III) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ‘all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realize their rights’. The programme focuses on: early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralized services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication. The programme is based on ‘leaving no child behind’, realizing ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.

UNICEF Malawi Country Office (MCO) adopted the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) as an approach for obtaining assurance that results have been achieved in line with resource utilization. It aims at managing risk related to cash transfers made to implementing partners in support of programme implementation, reducing partner transaction costs and allowing progressive use of national systems for management and accountability of results and resources.

How can you make a difference?

The Implementing Partnership Management Specialist is responsible for providing technical support and quality assurance to ensure quality and effective and efficient the management of implementing partnerships in the MCO in line with respective operational policies and procedures and mainstreaming of risk-based implementing partnership management at the MCO level. The Specialist ensures proactive implementation of efficient risk-based oversight of cash transferred to partners and ensures adequate capacities of UNICEF staff and partners for effective use of HACT in support of programme implementation.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:


  • Lead the development of the CO’s implementing partnership management strategy which aims to ensure that systems are in place and operational challenges addressed.
  • Undertakes analysis of micro assessment results and insurance activities to inform the office’s programme implementation strategy and capacity development activities.
  • Provide technical support to the MCO in the formalization of implementing partnerships with government, civil society organization and other implementing partners in line with relevant policies, procedures and guidelines, including the CSO Procedure and other relevant guidance.
  • Provide technical and administrative support in the implementation of HACT in line with the HACT policy and procedure and other relevant organizational policies, procedures and guidelines, including the DFAM Policy 5: Cash Disbursements Supplement 3-Cash Transfers (HACT). This includes coordinating the preparation of CO annual assessments and assurance plan, facilitating its execution and coordinating with other adopting agencies.


  • Provide technical support to ensure that the MCO has evidence-based information, as per the assurance plan, to assess whether progress reported by partners is in accordance with work plans and that resources provided by UNICEF are safeguarded.
  • Responsible the management of the 3rd party contracts for Spot Checks and Audits. Processing of LTAs, provision of spot check plans and follow up on completion and timely delivery of reports.
  • Assist programme sections to determine appropriate follow-up actions to issues and recommendations identified in spot checks and audit. Responsible for the development of the follow up plan and closure of recommendations.
  • Responsible for the 3rd party contract for the provision of accountants to districts. Oversight of work, addressing bottlenecks and monitoring of achievements and efficiencies. Focal point for partnership mapping and partner strategic planning and documentation for the officeLead for the implementation of E-tools including training of all staff, monitoring and compliance.
  • Advise senior management when special audits may be required. Provide technical support in drafting terms of reference for special audits and follow-up on findings.


  • Design and implement alternative risk management strategies and approaches for cash transfers in line with corporate policies and procedures as appropriate.
  • Design and ensure implementation of quality assurance strategies/processes to ensure that HACT assessments and assurance activities are undertaken in accordance with corporate terms of reference and guidance and that appropriate follow-up action and escalation steps are taken as needed.
  • In collaboration with the CO Internal Control Unit, contribute to the design of and implement quality assurance strategies/processes for the implementation of the CSO procedure.
  • Support risk management exercises that identify risks for oversight of resources transferred to partners in accordance with HACT, as well as other programme oversight mechanisms established in the country, considering the larger risk picture in the country
  • Participate in country office ERM exercises to ensure that risks for implementing partnership management are identified and mitigation measures put in place.


  • Analyze and monitor cash transfers at the country office level. Provide bi-monthly analysis to the MCO and follow up on all outstanding DCTs.
  • Review programme inputs for justification of DCT impairments and write offs, as necessary, and serve as link with DFAM for impairments and write offs.
  • Using appropriate corporate tools and systems including InSight and e-Tools, report on status of implementation of HACT and identify high risk areas requiring special attention and/or support from the Regional Office.
  • Prepare monthly status reports for PMT and CMT.


  • Responsible for PCARC secretariat – processing of documents, partnership agreements and uploading in E-tools.
  • Serve as the custodian of all implementing partnership documentation such as assessment and assurance reports, PCAs, SSFAs and programme documents, ensuring that they are adequately circulated in the office and properly archived.
  • In collaboration with the CO Internal Control Unit, lead on the design and implement capacity building strategy/initiatives for CO staff to ensure that CO staff are knowledgeable and comply with the HACT and CSO procedures and other relevant corporate policies, procedures and guidance that impacts on implementing partnership management.


  • Represent UNICEF at the Inter-agencies HACT task team to coordinate quality assurance activities of shared Implementing partners
  • Responsible for UN HACT oversight, ensuring coordination, joint spot-checks/audits, training and joint follow up on common partners. Lead with UN system partners on the implementation of HACT to reinforce UN/CO harmonization and coordination.
  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with government counterparts and national stakeholders through active sharing of HACT information and knowledge to facilitate/build their capacity for implementing HACT.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

  • An Advanced University Degree in Development studies, Accounting, Programme/Project Management Business Administration, Financial Management, Economics, Auditing or other relevant field is required.
  • A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in programme/project development and management or finance at the national and international level some of which with the UN and/or in a developing country is required.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate:

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The functional competencies required for this post are:

  • Formulating strategies and concepts (II)
  • Analyzing (III)
  • Relating and networking (II)
  • Deciding and Initiating action (II)
  • Applying technical expertise (III)

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


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