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16 Dec 2020

Finance Officer

Job Description

Background

UNOCHA Mission Statement:
OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.
OCHA’s mission is to:

  • Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in emergencies;
  • Advocate the rights of people in need;
  • Promote preparedness and prevention;
  • Facilitate sustainable solutions.

In December 1991, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 46/182 designed to strengthen the United Nation’s response to both complex emergencies and natural disasters. In addition, it aimed at improving the overall effectiveness of the UN’s humanitarian operations in the field.

Organizational Context:

OCHA is recruiting staff necessary to run the Humanitarian Financing Unit (HFU), which acts as the managing agent of the Country Based Pooled Fund in South Sudan.

The Program Officer will be based in Juba where s/he will be a member of the Humanitarian Financing team with the role of supporting humanitarian partners (UN agencies, international and national NGOs and other stakeholders) working with the Humanitarian Pooled Fund (HPF). Under the direct supervision of the Head of Unit, with overall direction of the Head of OCHA, and working as an integral part of the organization’s team, the incumbent will ensure maximum professionalism and add capacity in supporting the implementation of OCHA South Sudan work plan.

This position is located in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sana’a with missions to OCHA hubs in Yemen. Under the overall supervision of the Fund Manager/ Head of Humanitarian Financing Unit, the Finance Officer, reports to the Finance Manager. The Finance Manager will be expected to be able to perform the following, prioritized according to operational requirements:

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Financial Review:

  • Perform a thorough review of the project proposal budgets as per fund operational guidelines and allocation strategy, and ensure cost effectiveness analysis of proposals by cross-checking of items commonly purchased under YHF;
  • Support the Finance Manager and Program Staffs in the review of budget revisions, reprogramming or No-Cost Extension requests from implementing partners;
  • Ensure on time submission of interim and final financial reports by implementing partners, review and clear the reports in due time as per CBPF Operational guidelines;
  • Support the Finance Manager on audit process including facilitation of contracting external auditing companies, support the planning, advise on the review/clearance of audit reports and ensure follow-up of critical audit findings;
  • Review the partner’s due diligence application to ensure accuracy of their banking information and documentations;
  • In line with the CBPF accountability framework, conduct the capacity assessment of partners who passed the first step of the Eligibility process (Due Diligence) to gauge their capacity and assign them with an appropriate risk profile backed up by a comprehensive report based on review of partner’s systems, practices and documentations;
  • Conduct periodic financial spot-check visits to partner offices, prepare the spot-check report and ensure visit findings are thoroughly discussed with the partner and recommendations are understood and followed

2. Financial Management:

  • Support the Finance Manager in preparing of the cost plan for the Humanitarian Financing Unit and ensure all the needs of the Unit are considered and budgeted for;
  • Liaise with Administration Unit on tracking of expenses processed by Administration Unit and regularly produce and monitor the expenditure reports to inform further decision-making related to cost plan;
  • In close coordination with Finance Manager, prepare financial analysis of the fund allocations for donor reporting, YHF annual report and the fund dashboards;
  • Conduct partner sensitization on YHF procedures and guidelines for accessing grants, working with the Grant Management System (GMS), complying with the United Nations Financial Regulations and Rules (UNFRR) and the Guidelines for Country-Based Pooled Funds (CBPF) through participation in meetings and workshops;
  • Track, collect and review financial reports, instalment requests, and projects refund on YHF financial tracking sheet from YHF partners to ensure accuracy and compliance with YHF guidelines and provides feedback to colleagues and partners as necessary;
  • Maintain the HFU petty cash, record all expenses in UMOJA and ensure reconciliation of cashbook with the physical cash on the safe;
  • Work closely with Funding Coordination Section (FCS) Finance in New York on financial reports, budget reviews, payments, and refunds;
  • Assist HFU staff and YHF stakeholders regarding queries on budget, financial reports, payments, refund and deposit-related issues;
  • Provide guidance and advice on CBPFs guidelines, internally (HFU) and externally.

3- Administration:

  • Support the Pooled Fund Manager and Head of the Unit in liaising with companies carrying out contractual services on behalf of the HFU, and provide support and information as and when required;
  • Keep up-to-date on documents/reports/guidelines that have a bearing on matters related to program budgets and the YHF in general;
  • Document and file all financial documents like spot-check reports, audit reports, refund payments and financial authorization for recording purpose and future reference;
  • Perform other duties as required

Competencies

Professionalism:

  • Proven analytical skills: ability to conduct independent research and analysis, identify issues, and recommend appropriate solutions.
  • Ability to relate humanitarian issues and perspectives, including gender to political, economic, social and human rights developments in the country.
  • Strong negotiation skills: ability to lead and gain assistance of others in a team endeavor, and to articulate coherent arguments to reach agreement.
  • Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. armed conflict, civil strife, natural disasters, human suffering and long work hours when situation demands).
  • Understanding of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to humanitarian affairs and sound knowledge of the institutions and mandates of the UN system.
  • Experience of working in international agencies is an advantage, including the field of humanitarian action.
  • Good drafting and report writing skills are required;
  • Presentation skills.

Planning and Organizing:

  • Proven ability to plan and organize, establish priorities, manage and monitor work plans, coordinate competing demands, and work to tight deadlines.

Communications:

  • Proven ability to write in a clear and concise manner and to communicate effectively, including ability to prepare reports and conduct presentations, articulating options concisely, conveying maximum information, making and defending recommendations.

Teamwork:

Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree preferably in Business Management, Accounting, Economics or related field is required.

Experience:

  • Up to 4 years of relevant experience with bachelor’s and/or 2 years with master’s degree in finance and accounting/administration, crisis/emergency program management or other related area, preferably with at least two years with a UN organization or an NGO.
  • Very good analytical and writing skills are required, as is experience with project budgeting and proposal writing.
  • Experience with auditing and/or financial spot-check of partners is an advantage.
  • Experience and knowledge of accounting system, procurement, human resources management is desirable.
  • Relevant experience in the UN Common System is desirable, but not a requirement. Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems and ERP financials.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required (Writing skills will be tested).
  • Knowledge of Arabic is desirable.

DEADLINE: 28 December 2020

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