Malawi: Deputy Chief of Party-Operations, Malawi

Organization: Catholic Relief Services
Country: Malawi
Closing date: 21 Aug 2016

Job Title: Deputy Chief of Party-Operations, UBALE DFAP
Dept/Location: SARO/Blantyre, Malawi
Band: D
FLSA: Exempt
Reports To: Chief of Party

About CRS: Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.

Background: United in Building and Advancing Life Expectations (UBALE) is a five-year, $63 million USAID/FFP-funded Development Food Assistance Project (DFAP) being managed by Catholic Relief Services in Blantyre Rural, Chikhwawa and Nsanje Districts of Southern Malawi. The implementing partners are CARE, Save the Children and the Diocese of Chikwawa, the technical partners are NCBA-CLUSA and NASFAM, and learning partners Tufts University, University of Notre Dame, LUANAR, ICRISAT, CIP and ICRAF. UBALE partners with Government of Malawi to sustainably reduce food insecurity and build resilience through reaching 250,000 vulnerable households. The program is managed through a Program Management Unit (PMU) located in Blantyre, Malawi.

Primary Responsibilities: The Deputy Chief of Party-Operations is responsible for UBALE management quality including but not limited to Grants Management, Compliance, Administration, Finance, and ICT for the UBALE and PMU Offices. S/he will be responsible for ensuring that the services in these areas are delivered efficiently and effectively in support of the UBALE consortium; providing accurate and timely operational information for quality management implementation; ensuring that operating practices in the PMU Office are consistent with CRS agency-wide operating policies and with donor requirements; planning, directing and controlling activities in support of the overall office and UBALE program operations; and mentoring national staff to enable them to eventually assume higher responsibility for operations.

Specific Responsibilities:

A. Financial/Budget Management

  • Through on the job-training, workshops and other direct support, assist in strengthening the capacity of the seven UBALE PVO consortium members to build the capacity of both Finance Managers as well as the Program Managers to link budgeting with program outputs.
  • Provide monthly analysis for the project burn-rate against the current and Board-Approved Budgets, and for the Life of Activities spending.
  • Verify Requisition for Goods and Services (RG), Payment Requests (PR) and Cash Disbursement Voucher (CD) once prepared by PMU Accountants.
  • Prepare cash forecast for the UBALE Program grants based on cash request submitted by the Consortium members and CRS/Malawi’s cash forecast. Coordinate with CRS/Finance to ensure all requirements for draw down have been met. Ensure that cash requests are consistent with agreement terms.
  • Monitor and validate advances to and liquidations from Consortium Members.
  • Serve as key liaison between UBALE Consortium Members and CRS Finance on any specific finance issue that needs to be resolved.
  • Ensure the UBALE’s financial system continues to capture financial data in a way that supports project M&E systems and assists the Senior Management Team in utilization of financial data.
  • Coordinate budget amendments with CRS/Malawi and Consortium Members.
  • Translate project budget into information required for CRS APP process. Specifically ensure that CRS/Malawi has the appropriate information to insert into the APP. Additionally must review all Board Approved APPs to ensure consistency with contractual agreement.
  • When budgets are revised/modified with USG ensure that CRS/Malawi reflects any updates through the use of budget maintenance.
  • Keep track of funds obligated-to-date by FFP and Mission.
  • Assist Consortium Members with budget revisions and the allocation of resources.

B. Grants Management

  • Lead the review and revision of the UBALE financial reporting and accounting systems within the PMU and with the Consortium Members.
  • Develop, analyze and review of grant and Sub-recipient grant agreements. Ensure receipt and maintenance of all Sub–recipient agreements and supporting documents.
  • Maintain files of required financial compliance documentation (A-133, NICRA letter etc.); review documentation for potential issues; make recommendations to the Senior Management Team for improvements and action to be taken.
  • Familiarize and support Consortium Members on financial management procedures, utilization of reporting package, timeliness of report submission, as it relates to UBALE grant implementation.
  • Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports for internal and external customers – namely the Consortium Members and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP).
  • Coordinate quarterly meetings with each Consortium Member and Finance TWG.

C. Commodity Management

  • Ensure planning, appropriate call forwards, sale of proceeds and documentation of commodity are in accordance to USG regulations and agreed targets.
  • Support Commodity Manager to address any obstacles in commodity call forward, movement and distribution.
  • Facilitate appropriate linkages with the CRS Regional Office and Head Quarters in commodity management issues

D. Information and Communication Technology

  • Act as prime point for all ICT issues for UBALE.
  • Oversee implementation of CRS ICT strategy and work plan and supervise ICT function at PMU.

E. Audit Follow-Up

  • In collaboration with CRS Malawi’s Compliance Manager, ensure that the Consortia provide accurate and timely inputs into the program and project audits.
  • In close collaboration with CRS Head of Operations (HoOps), ensure timely closure of audit recommendations; document and ensure discussion and preparation of a plan of action.
  • Monitor implementation of action/corrective action plans relative to both internal and external audits and report back to PMU Senior Management and CRS HoOps.

F. Administration

  • Ensure that the Administrative services support the overall administrative needs of the PMU offices including the optimal utilization and maintenance of program assets and resources including computers, vehicles, furniture, supplies and other equipment, logistical arrangement for staff and visitors, and procurement of materials and equipment in a transparent and accountable manner.
  • Take an active role in inventory planning and management, accounting and recordkeeping of all properties, inventories and fixed assets.

G. Partnership, Coordination, Communication and Capacity Building

  • Coordinate and lead the UBALE Finance working group.
  • Share USG policies and guidance with UBALE partners, and lead discussions on new guidance to ensure it is adequately understood by all UBALE partners.
  • Regularly coordinate with other departments (particularly UBALE implementing PVO Program Managers) to ensure maximum communication and coordination for efficient and effective UBALE program operations and project implementation.
  • Participate in CRS staff meetings and share UBALE information within CRS.
  • Identify the need for and develop UBALE admin/finance capacity building events.

H. Staff Supervision

  • Manage relevant direct reports (Operations Manager, Commodity Manager, Senior Finance Accountant, Grants Accountant and ICT Officer), including facilitating the development of Job Descriptions, annual and monthly Work Plans, Performance Plans, on the job mentoring and coaching sessions.

Key Working Relationships:
Internal: All PMU staff, HoOps, Country Representative, RFO, DRD/MQ, Compliance Manager, HR/Admin Manager, ICT Manager and Operations Staff
External: USAID, Government of Malawi, Program and Finance Mangers of UBALE consortium organizations and other

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff): These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.
• Serves with Integrity
• Models Stewardship
• Cultivates Constructive Relationships
• Promotes Learning

Knowledge Skills and Experience:

  1. Excellent written and oral communication skills required.
  2. In depth knowledge of CRS policies and procedures as well as reporting requirements and standards.
  3. Proven in-depth knowledge of donor cash and in-kind policies and regulations, including Title II food-supported programming and commodity management and compliance regulations.
  4. Strong management and decision-making skills, self-motivated, able to work independently and proactively within matrix management structure.
  5. Experience in facilitating the capacity-strengthening efforts of diverse colleagues and local partner organizations.
  6. Demonstrated strengths in relationship management; strong cross-cultural skills.
  7. Able to work as a member of, and to lead, a team with colleagues.
  8. Excellent organization and planning skills; detail-oriented, adaptable, flexible.
  9. Experience in developing Strategic Plans for large country programs.
  10. Experience in developing long range MYAPs/DFAPs, or similar funding mechanisms.
  11. Previous experience in implementing development and emergency programming.
  12. Ability to build capacity and develop strong working relationships with senior national staff.
    Minimum Qualifications:
  13. Minimum of five years overseas work experience in one or more developing countries, managing field office financial systems, or the equivalent.
  14. Bachelor degree in relevant field, Master’s degree in business administration, or related field preferred will be an advantage
  15. Willingness to travel and spend 25% time in field offices and visiting project sites.
  16. Understanding of CRS Sun Systems and Q&A.
    Disclaimer Clause: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skills, effort, duties and responsibilities associated with the position.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Equal Opportunity Employer

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