Vacancy #: 5555
Unit: Protected Areas Programme PACO Regional
Organisation: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location: West and Central Africa Regional Office in Senegal, Dakar, Senegal
Reporting to: Project Coordinator BIOPAMA – Protected Areas Management
Work percentage: 100%
Expected start date: 01 March 2021
Type of contract: Fixed-term (12 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date: 21 February 2021
The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) program aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in protected areas and surrounding communities.
It is an initiative of the ACP Group of States financed by the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF), jointly implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC).
Building on the first five years of activities financed by the 10th EDF, BIOPAMA’s second phase provides tools for data and information management, services for improving the knowledge and capacity for protected area planning and decision making, and funding opportunities for specific site-based actions
Protected Areas (PA) and the landscapes within which they are located have a central role to play in preserving the biodiversity and ecosystem services that the majority of rural communities depend on for sustainable livelihoods. However, protected areas, particularly in developing nations, are underperforming for many reasons, notably lack of resources, lack of political support, limited capacity to address conservation and development challenges, insufficient support from local communities, and insufficient up-to-date information for good policy and decision making.
The overall aim of the project is to contribute to improving the long-term conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and, natural resources in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific ACP regions in protected areas (PA) and surrounding communities.
The project will continue to build institutional and technical capacity at the regional, national and site levels for improved PA and biodiversity management with access to and application of data and information related to biodiversity and PA management and governance being used to inform and strengthen policy decisions and management actions.
These actions are structured around the work of a series of Regional Observatories (RO) for protected areas across the ACP, managed by regional institutions, and housing Regional Reference Information Systems (RRIS) with tools and services that stakeholders can use to monitor and report on the status of biodiversity and PAs.
In Central Africa, the observatory is hosted by COMIFAC and in West Africa by CSE.
The project also implements an Action Component which comprises a substantially funded and high profile grants program to support specific actions on the ground in priority conservation landscapes that are aimed at strengthening PA and natural resource management effectiveness and governance.
The Action Component involves the implementation of a comprehensive portfolio of small to medium sized grants.
The finance officer will play a fundamental role in carrying out the Action Component.
The position will have a go-to function both for the IUCN BIOPAMA II personnel and external parties.
The Administrative and Financial Officer is expected to have a solid grasp of grant-making rules, particularly those applying to the Action Component, and be part of a continuous learning process of the team. The relation with grants beneficiaries will require knowledgeability, proactive attitude, patience and creative approach.
These relations should be informed to and supported by the BIOPAMA Regional Program Coordinator.
For the project implementation purposes, the duty station will be in Dakar, Senegal.
– Ensure administrative and financial management of the project
– Ensure full compliance with IUCN and European Union rules, regulations, and policies of financial and administrative activities in the implementation of the BIOPAMA project.
– Perform office and administrative duties to assist local and regional activities using IUCN and EU administrative systems, procedures, and policies
– Maintain workflows using online ERP systems by following up on processes and procedures, and through direct and virtual contact with key national and regional IUCN staff
– In collaboration with the IUCN Administration, purchase goods and services according to IUCN and EU institutional procurement processes, including the request, review and approval of review of quotes, and the preparation of purchase orders through electronic systems;
– Assist in the preparation and review of contracts for implementing partners and consultancies, ensuring effective tracking and administrative oversight of these contracts;
– Provide assistance in terms of travel arrangements and organization of workshops, trainings and seminars;
– Maintain master contract files for donors, partners and consultants
– Oversee internal logistic operations for the Project in PACO
– Ensure prompt payment for goods, services and sub-grants contracted by the project
– Record commitment documents and financial transactions of the project in NAV;
– Prepare the financial reports as required in the project agreement and ensure collection and submission of the supporting documents to IUCN-HQ
– Request, produce and review monthly financial and administrative project reports; Monitor project budget and funds and provide analytical reports to BIOPAMA project and IUCN leaders.
– Train grantees on procedures and formats to ensure their compliance with the IUCN and EU administrative and financial rules.
– Assist in the preparation of internal and external financial audits;
– Ensure proper implementation and follow-up of audit recommendations; effective internal controls, functioning of a client-oriented financial resources management system;
– Provision of inputs to preparation of work plans, financial plans and budget revisions;
– Administration and monitoring of budgets on the project portal and in NAV;
– Calculation and preparation of requests of pre-financing to IUCN-HQ GPAP;
– Assist the regional coordinator in preparing forecast budget;
– Works closely with the Project Finance team in HQ, ensuring a total availability during the annual expenditure verification;
Under the Action Component, the financial assistant will:
a) Assist in the preparation of the Calls for Proposals documents
– Advise the AC Secretariat in preparing the Guidelines and templates for the Calls for Proposals by contributing with the regional specific requirements of PACO.
– Acquire thorough knowledge of the financial rules for grants applicants, templates and forms in the Call for Proposals
– Advise the BIOPAMA AC Officer for the development of the BIOPAMA Action Component Portal as required
b) Calls for Proposals and Proposals Preparation
– Provide advice and support to the applicants during the budget preparation stage.
– Participate in the Regional webinar for potential applicants and address the applicants’ queries.
– Play an active role in FAQ compilation and regular update.
c) Proposals evaluation, selection and awards
– Perform primary review of the due diligence questionnaire and supporting documents submitted by the applicants and ensure the follow up with IUCN’s headquarter.
– Interact with the applicants to ensure the completeness of the due diligence questionnaire and its consistency with the supporting documents.
– Ensure the final financial risk rating is correctly included in the ranking of the applications for the AC Validating Committee.
– Provide active support in the finalization of the awards’ budgets
– Play active role in the validation of the budgets where the methodology of Simplified Costs Option is selected.
d) Monitoring projects under implementation
– Assist, with financial monitoring, the Regional Focal Point in monthly monitoring of the projects under implementation: timely flag up potential financial issues (level of expenditure, respect of procurement rules, ..) and bring to the attention of the RFP and AC Secretariat.
– Support the Grantees by providing advice and guidance on financial issues.
– Participate in and contribute to the technical/financial reporting webinars organized for the projects in the regions.
– Perform financial spot checks and field visits scheduled for the projects with medium/high risk ratings.
– As part of the field visits advise the AC Secretariat on the status of projects financial implementation, weaknesses or critical failings in internal controls, as well as make recommendations on the improvement of financial project management.
e) Grants financial reports and audits
– Set up and maintain a regional tracking table for projects reporting deadlines, send reminder to grantee.
– Review periodic interim and final financial project reports, support the grantees in correcting the reported data in close interaction with the Regional Focal Point and AC Secretariat.
– Make sure the financial reports are supported by appropriate supporting documents for follow up with headquarters.
– Follow up with the grantees on the auditors’ queries
– Check the supporting documentation uploaded by the grantees and assist the grantees in resolving eventual issues.
– Maintain clear and consistent records of projects audit related exchanges and documentation.
– Support the AC Secretariat in preparing the annual consolidated audit : legal commitments and eligible expenditures of the grants.
– Assist in providing the relevant information to any ROM review or any Mid-term Evaluation in the region as required.
– Contribute to the capitalization document with “lessons learned” related to the financial implementation of funded projects.
– Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time.
Please Note: The above TORs contain the main responsibilities and duties of this position.
However, in an ever-evolving organization such as IUCN, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular TORs.
Where any task becomes a regular part of staff member’s responsibilities, the TORs should be changed in consultation between the manager, the staff member and the HR Unit.
Any one of the three may initiate the consultation.
• Master degree in accounting, finance and administration;
• At least 5 years of relevant experience in administrative, accounting and financial management of projects at national and/or international level is required;
• Experience in the usage of computers, office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and accounting software;
• Experience of working with ERP systems is strong asset;
• Experience in dealing with European Union financial rules and regulations is mandatory and experience in managing small grants is a strong asset;
• Experience in working with civil society and community based organization is an asset;
• Practical experience in procurement is a strong asset.
• Fluency in French, good command of English