Senior Finance Officer
2 years 0 months
Washington, DC,United States
7/22/2020 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC
Are you a passionate advocate for education with honed technical skills? Do you want to make a difference in the lives of children in the world’s poorest countries? The Global Partnership for Education would like to hear from you. Established in 2002, the Global Partnership for Education ("GPE”) has grown and evolved to become the premier partnership focused on basic education in developing countries. Its members include 68 of the world's poorest developing countries, over 30 bilateral, regional, and multilateral agencies; development banks; the private sector; civil society groups; and teachers’ organizations. The Board of Directors is GPE's governing body, sets its policies and strategies and approves all funding.
The mission of GPE is to galvanize and coordinate a global effort to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest, the most vulnerable and those living in fragile and conflict-affected countries. To that end, GPE helps its member countries to develop and implement sound education sector plans and has allocated approximately $4.7 billion in education grants to date. The partnership in December 2015 approved an ambitious new strategic plan, “GPE 2020”, for the 2016-2020 period.
With over 100 staff, the GPE Secretariat is hosted by the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and a small but growing team in Europe; Paris and Brussels.
GPE grants are implemented by Grant Agents who use their own policies and procedures to manage the funds entrusted to them. These Grant Agents include multilateral agencies, bilateral agencies, and International NGOs. The GPE Secretariat plays an important role in understanding the fiduciary risk of its grant portfolio and how this is managed by the Grant Agent, reviewing the financial aspects of grant applications and revisions, and monitoring the portfolio, including following up on audit and progress implementation report issues, and other issues that may arise during program design or implementation requiring the input of Risk and Compliance (R&C) staff.
Given the growth in the overall grant portfolio, diversification of grant agents, and funding mechanisms, and the future strategy and operating model, the Secretariat is seeking to add an experienced Senior Financial Officer to the R&C Team reporting to the R&C Team Lead. The R&C Team is a sub-team within Finance and Grant Operations (FGO), lead by GPE’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Duties and Accountabilities
The position reports to the R&C Team Lead. The position has the following responsibilities across different elements of the grant cycle, staff and process management and other tasks:
1. Pre-grant Approval
A. Grant Agent Accreditation
Lead the process for accreditation of new GPE grant agents and/or country offices through the Institutional Capacity Assessment and Grant-level Assessment. Ensure new grant agents are accredited in agreed time period, and that quality reports are submitted on time to the GPE Board’s Finance and Risk Committee (FRC). Provide management, including contract management, to the external firm undertaking the accreditation. Liaise with other FGO staff on the Grant Agent signing of the Financial Procedures Agreement (FPA). Serve as the focal point for grant accreditation questions from within the Secretariat, ensuring early notice of prospective grant agents so that the work can be properly scheduled.
B. Fiduciary Quality Assurance of ESPIG Application
Oversee and provide input into the R&C reviews of Education Sector Program Implementation Grant (ESPIG) at Quality Assurance Review (QAR) II and QAR III and ensure that Quality Assurance (QA) guidelines are properly implemented in a timely fashion. At QAR I, provide advisory support to the development of the fiduciary elements of grant preparation, if required. Proactively provide input into revisions to the QA process such that it adequately identifies and ensures mitigation of the key fiduciary risks around program development and implementation and maximizes value for money.
C. Fiduciary Quality Assurance of ESPDG and PDG Applications
Responsible for R&C input into the Grant Application Review Committee (GARC) with regard to recommending for management approval Education Sector Plan Development Grant (ESPDG) and Program Development Grant (PDG) applications. Oversee team member responsible for providing R&C team input, focusing on mitigation of material risks and value for money. Provide feedback to Grant Operations Team Lead as to how the GARC process can be improved over time.
2. During Grant Implementation
A. Review of Audit Reports
Ensure that all audits are reviewed in a timely way and that any material issues raised are adequately addressed. Ensure that all audit reports are received on time, following up if necessary, with Grant Agents. Ensure that any significant issues are brought to the attention of the R&C Team Lead and if necessary, document inputs for inclusion in misuse of funds and other reporting.
B. Review of Progress Reports
Responsible for R&C input into grant Progress Report reviews. Oversee team members responsible for providing R&C reviews of progress reports and ensure all high-risk issues are mitigated in a timely fashion, including where necessary bringing to the attention of R&C Team Lead and ensure proper documentation for reporting purposes.
C. Bespoke Assistance on Particular Grants
Provide R&C monitoring of KIX and Education Out Loud grants, and also High-Risk country grants. Through dialogue with Secretariat program manager/Country Lead and grant agent, provide review of monitoring reports and participate in monitoring missions, following up with issues as appropriate, and briefing Secretariat management on emerging issues.
D. Engagement on Misuse of Funds and SEAH
Support Team Lead by managing the Misuse of Funds and Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH) cases, identifying cases through audit report and other reviews and internal and external inputs, and providing regular reports on the cases, updating the internal database and following up with grant agents on cases, and assisting with reporting. Assist with drafting revisions to Misuse policy and SEAH policy as and when necessary.
E. Review of Revisions to ESPIGs, ESPDGs, PDGs and other GPE Grants
Responsible for R&C input into the Grant Application Review Committee (GARC) with regard to recommending for management approval the revisions to ESPIGs (depending on materiality of revision), ESPDGs, PDGs and other GPE Grants. Oversee team member responsible for providing R&C team input, focusing on mitigation of material risks and value for money.
F. Risk Management
Ensure quality assured data from the R&C team is input into the risk management dashboard in a timely manner and continue to refine the R&C related risk indicators over time. Work to build on the mitigating actions from the framework to ensure that fiduciary risks in GPE grants are sufficiently mitigated. Identify high-risk grants and support operational risk assessments and development and implementation of risk management plans.
3. Post Grant Completion
A. Review of Grant Completion Reports
Lead R&C review of grant completion reports, ensuring lessons on budget/fiduciary issues are fed back into the design process, and any non-compliance is escalated to R&C Team Lead.
B. Close out of Misuse of Funds cases
Follow-up with grant agents to ensure satisfactory conclusion to Misuse of Funds cases and update database and assist with reporting accordingly.
C. Reporting through Portfolio Review
Oversee the R&C input into the GPE Portfolio Review, including analysis and monitoring of grant agent costs.
4. Staff Management
Manage two staff members effectively and also short-term consultants as required. This includes being responsible for their overall work planning, providing clear roles and responsibilities, responding quickly to requests, providing proactive feedback and coaching, and encouraging professional development.
5. Internal Process Management
Lead process of documenting in an operational manual the main R&C policies and procedures, including those resulting from the new strategy and operating model. Ensure that these policies are understood and implemented by Secretariat teams. Ensure that R&C Statements of Operating Procedures (SOPs) are kept up to date. Be proactive in becoming aware of changes to grant agent policy and how this affects compliance with GPE policies. Provide suggested updates to FPA template as and when requested. Work closely with the other sub-teams within FGO, particularly bringing insights from R&C into the further development of the Grant Operations function.
6. Other Tasks
Support implementation of corporate priorities as and when requested including R&C input into replenishment in 2021, operational model development, participation in internal and external evaluation processes, and any new initiatives affecting the R&C team. As appropriate, arrange training for country-facing members of Secretariat, for example in fraud awareness.
• Professional accounting qualification (eg CPA, ACCA, FCA) and relevant Master’s degree.
• At least 8 years' prior relevant experience working in the field of financial management (public financial management, auditing, consulting etc.).
• At least 5 years' experience in international development, preferably with some experience in the education sector.
• Experience living and working in developing countries would be a plus.
• Experience in program analysis, review, and grant negotiation essential.
• Demonstrated experience in leading policy development.
• Familiarity with cross-cultural dynamics, strong negotiation skills.
• Proven track record working with multi-lateral and bilateral agencies, International NGOs, and developing country partner governments.
• Willingness to work in a complex environment and travel frequently to developing countries.
• Strong analytical, writing and facilitation skills.
• Ability to work independently and under pressure.
• Proficiency in English is required and good understanding of French is preferred.
• Previous work experience with the Global Partnership for Education would be a plus.
Travel commitment may be up to 10% of time.
• Lead and Innovate - Develops innovative solutions with others.
• Deliver Results for Clients - Achieves results and identifies mission-driven solutions for the client.
• Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries - Initiates collaboration across boundaries and broadly across WBG and brings differing ideas into the forefront.
• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Creates, applies and shares knowledge from across and outside WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions.
• Make Smart Decisions - Recommends and takes decisive action.
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