Finance Specialist P3 Position at UNDP
Advanced (Masters) University Degree in Finance or Accounting, and/or a professional accounting qualification from an internationally accredited institute of accountancy. Those with professional accounting qualifications from an internationally accredited institute of accountancy will have a distinct advantage.
Finance Specialist P3 Position at UNDP
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional Hubs and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan. Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policies and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.
The 2030 Agenda for SDGs and the pledge to leave no one behind reflect the interconnectedness of health and sustainable development, including widening economic and social inequalities, the climate crisis, rapid urbanization, the continuing burden of HIV and other infectious diseases (e.g., malaria, tuberculosis), the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and the emergence of health threats. The scope and scale of delivering health and well-being for all demands innovative partnerships and financing. As affirmed in the Political Declaration of the 2019 High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and others are critical partners for delivering on the health-related goals of the 2030 Agenda. Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All outlines how a dozen multilateral health, development and humanitarian agencies, including UNDP, the Global Fund, Gavi and others will collaborate to be more efficient and effective in supporting countries to deliver UHC and achieve the health-related SDG targets.
UNDP’s partnership with the Global Fund, in line with UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2022-2025: Connecting the Dots, makes a vital contribution to UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs and the pledge to leave no one behind.
As a long-standing partner of the Global Fund, UNDP’s value proposition lies in providing an integrated package of development solutions to strengthen institutions to deliver health services. Through its contributions as an interim Principal Recipient (PR) and a provider of technical assistance to Global Fund grants in more than 53 countries since 2003, UNDP’s provision of integrated policy, implementation and capacity development support to countries has yielded significant health and development results in challenging operating environments. Proactive risk management and investing in sustainability are the cornerstones of UNDP’s portfolio management approach in supporting to countries with significant national capacity constraints to manage large-scale health programmes. UNDP has established a comprehensive risk management framework (RMF) to mitigate and manage risks, through specific implementation modalities and other targeted measures to manage risks effectively. Integral components of the Risk Management Framework (RMF) are Sub-recipient (SR) management to allow for prevention and detection of weaknesses and support to safeguarding, maintaining, accounting and reporting on GF financial resources and assets. By providing technical assistance to national counterparts in all phases of implementation, strengthening legislation, policies and regulatory frameworks, and building capacities across key functional areas, including financial management, health information systems, procurement and supply chain management, SR management and asset management, UNDP has been able to deliver results whilst sustainably transitioning health programs to national entities. UNDP’s track record as an interim PR over the last 20 years and capacity to deliver programme in challenging operating environments has been critical for strengthening its positioning as a health programme implementation support partner.
Based on demands from Country Offices, and building on the relationships, expertise, systems, partnerships, including across the UN family, and comparative advantage established through the Global Fund partnership, the GPN/BPPS/Global Fund Partnership/Health Implementation Support Team (GF/HIST) is providing support to Country Offices through three overarching modalities: 1) the Global Fund portfolio, 2) health procurement and supply chain management support (PSM), and 3) other health implementation support beyond the Global Fund, including Gavi-funded activities. The GF/HIST provides its support through a country team approach in strengthening and integrating the different functional capacities (e.g., programmatic, procurement/PSM , finance, capacity development of country offices and implementing partners, SR management and asset management), leveraging technical assistance and policy support from the HHD Group and other GPN teams and advisory services from the Office of Audit and Investigations.
Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Finance Advisor, the Finance Specialist is responsible for a provision and execution of the financial management support services to ensure effective and transparent utilization of financial resources for the GF/HIST and Country Offices managing and providing technical assistance to Global Fund grants, and other health and development programmes. S/he will support the management, oversight and monitoring of the targeted measures in the RMF to support effective risk management in the areas of finance, Sub-recipient management and asset management. The Specialist promotes a client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations, contributing to the country team approach and support to the integration of capacity building activities for Country Offices and Sub-recipients throughout the grant project implementation cycle.
Duties and Responsibilities
Provide advisory and support services, guidance and advocacy to Country Offices in the administration of budgets and monitoring of expenditure(s) focusing on financial reporting and analysis:
- Ensure full compliance with UNDP rules, regulations, and policies, financial recording/reporting system, implementation of effective internal controls, proper functioning of a client-oriented financial resources management system.
- Support Country Offices in the preparation of donor funding requests including grant budget proposals, estimating and costing of detailed budgets in accordance with UNDP’s Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP) and donor funding requirements and sharing the best practices.
- Provide support to Country Offices in setting up initial budget and subsequent budget revisions for the donor funded programmes in UNDP’s ERP system and Hyperion Planning and budgeting System;
- Review and ensure integrity and consistency of the Global Fund project information in UNDP’s ERP system and Hyperion by building and maintaining the business analytics tools for regular monitoring of expenditures against approved budgets and grant delivery figures to ensure timely proactive measures to prevent over-expenditure and material budget deviations from the approved budgets.
- Support Country Offices to project grant delivery and revenue during the annual Institutional Budget preparation exercise by helping to solve report generation needs.
Provide financial advisory and support services in monitoring and oversight on during the project implementation in revenue, expense and asset management of donor funds to Country Offices focusing on the achievement of the following results:
- Support the Finance Advisor on the timely preparation of grant agreements, and Sub-recipient agreements and processing of Annual Funding Decisions and cash transfers by the Global Fund and the prompt and accurate application of Global Fund disbursements.
- Ensure donor grant agreements and disbursements are recorded accurately to correct projects in timely manner by following up with the donors when contribution income is delayed and support global tracking of Global Fund disbursements in line with funding decisions.
- Provide timely, analytical support to Country Offices regarding financial queries from donors.
- Design and provide oversight reports to ensure that financial transactions are correctly recorded according to the approved budgets and workplans in accordance with UNDP financial rules and regulations.
- Support Country offices in asset management in financial recognition, recording and donor reporting.
- Support Country offices in grant closings by reviewing the final reports, final refunds and asset transfers.
- Prepare financial analytical reports and co-ordinate with Country Offices to verify outstanding financial and/or administrative issues that require reconciliations.
- Analyze and prepare financial oversight and exception reports for Global Fund resources managed by the Country Offices and at the Sub-recipient level.
- Prepare and design business analytics tools to eliminate quarterly, bi-annual and ad-hoc reports at the Country Office and corporate levels to track delivery of all Global Fund projects and other health projects for the management and programme teams to assist informed decisions for Country Office and HQ managers on Global, Regional, Country portfolio, grant status.
Provide support to Country Offices for accurate and timely financial reporting to donors, and risk management focusing on SR management and audit and assurances:
- Support the Finance Adviser in advising Country Offices on procedures for reporting to the Global Fund, including but not limited to quarterly reports and disbursement requests, cash balance requests, annual reports, grant renewal applications, concept notes, Sub-recipient financial management and asset management reports through desk support and missions, as needed in coordination with GF/HIST Country Team.
- In coordination with Finance Advisor, support Country Offices throughout the audit process ensuring effective planning, including timely follow up on audit recommendations and findings from the Office of Audit and Investigations (OAI), the Global Fund’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), and Sub-recipient audit reports including, financial management, Sub-recipient management and asset management.
- Support Country Office in the analysis of audit and investigation recommendations and findings (OAI, OIG, Sub-recipient audits) with the development of action plans to address recurring issues in the areas of financial management, Sub-recipient management and asset management, including through innovative approaches, developing policies, procedures, guidance materials, and trainings in coordination with Finance Advisor and Country Team.
- Support the Country Team in recovery actions in coordination with Country Offices, OAI, Regional and Central Bureaus, and the Global Fund.
- Support Country Offices on the operational and financial year-end closures and closure for completed projects within the mandated period in order to meet the reporting requirements of donors and UNDP procedures.
- Support the Finance Advisor to oversee the transparency of the financial processes at the Country Office and Sub-recipient level to ensure compliance with Global Fund and UNDP financial guidelines.
Ensure capacity building and knowledge building and sharing for effective financial management of donor funded health programmes and partnership and resource mobilization efforts, focusing on development of operational policies and guidelines:
- Support the Finance Advisor in the timely development and updating of financial management, Sub-recipient management, enhancement of Atlas and Hyperion reports, and asset management related tools, guidance, SOPs and manuals used by Country Offices and Sub-recipients.
- Support the identification and perform knowledge extraction, codification of results/lessons learned in the financial management of donor funded programmes, Sub-recipient management and asset management and verify that knowledge sharing, and content management is in line with corporate guidance and tools.
- Synthesis of lessons learned and sharing of best practices in financial management, Sub-recipient management and asset management support creating strong evidence base of results and impact through conducting survey, research, case studies, crowd sourcing through online portals and training activities.
- Capacity building of Sub-recipients and other national partners on overall financial management, Sub-recipient management and asset management in coordination with the Country Team, through trainings, webinars, etc; and
- Support the Finance Advisor, in the focal point role on financial management, Sub-recipient management and asset management for Global Fund, and other partners, including (e.g., PAHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP, WHO) and resource mobilization efforts.
Other related duties:
- Any other activity as assigned by the Finance Advisor, in support of the followings but not limited to:
- Ensure integrity of Hyperion data/design and maintenance to ensure the latest accurate detailed grant budgets and the latest financial data on revenue, expenses and advances in Hyperion.
- Support the Finance Advisor in the development, management and monitoring of Long-Term Agreements for Sub-Recipients audits.
- Update the Information Note with TOR for Sub-recipient audits and the templates for SR audit plans following release of the OAI Call for HACT and Global Fund Sub-Recipient Audit plans;
- Coordinate the Sub-recipients Audit process, supporting Country Offices with preparation of audit plans, secondary bidding with Sub-recipients Audit Long Term Agreements holders, issues during the SR audit process, ensuring timely completion and submission of Sub-Recipients audit reports in CARDS and escalate any issues to the Finance Advisor.
- Maintain a database on information and data on Sub-recipients’ audits and provide to management on completion of Sub-recipient’s audit process;
- Identify recurring financial resource management issues on time and seek/establish risk mitigation measures to prevent future occurrence; and
- Develop/update “focused” guidelines/SOPs on financial management for the programme portfolio in main UN languages.
- The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.
- Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
- Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
- Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
Adapt with Agility:
- Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
Act with Determination:
- Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
Engage and Partner:
- Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
Enable Diversity and Inclusion:
- Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity
Cross-Functional & Technical:
Business Direction and Strategy – System Thinking:
- Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
Business Management – Portfolio Management:
- Ability to select, prioritize and control the organizations programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment.
Business Management – Risk Management:
- Ability to identify and organise action around mitigating and proactively managing risks.
Finance – Accounting (General):
- Knowledge of accounting concepts, principles, frameworks, standards, regulations, policies and trends, and ability to apply this to strategic and/or practical situations
Finance – Finance business partnering:
- Able to support business units and add value by innovating and providing solutions to financial issues/queries, including through FAQs, financial tools, advisory, etc.
- Influences and appropriately challenges non-finance colleagues for whom the service is being provided. Understands the operations, opportunities, and challenges of the organization. Holds a commercial outlook, demonstrating accountability towards organizational goals.
Finance – Financial planning and budgeting:
- Ability to create and manage processes to achieve UNDP’s long and short-term financial goals, including through planning, budgeting, forecasting, analyzing, reporting
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced (Masters) University Degree in Finance or Accounting, and/or a professional accounting qualification from an internationally accredited institute of accountancy. Those with professional accounting qualifications from an internationally accredited institute of accountancy will have a distinct advantage.
- First level university degree will also be considered with an additional two years of relevant work experience.
- Candidates with no professional accountancy qualifications, but with degrees that major in accountancy and/or finance must complete the Finance Training and Certification Programme (FTCP), if recruited.
- Candidates satisfying the two above criteria are exempted from undertaking the UNDP Advanced Accountancy and Finance Test (AAFT).
- Candidates with MBA or master’s in finance with no accountancy qualification but with relevant experience must successfully undertake the UNDP Advanced Accountancy and Finance Test (AAFT) to be eligible for shortlisting.
- A minimum of 5 years (with master’s degree) or 7 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of progressive relevant experience in the area of resource management of projects and financial reporting in an UN agency or an International organization is required.
- Hands-on proficiency with SQL and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) preferred.
- Strong understanding of the financial policies and accounting standards of UN and/or UNDP is an asset.
- Relevant experience with Business Intelligence (BI) environments to include i data mapping, documenting requirements, designing and conducting data quality tests, and creating financial management reports and dashboards is an advantage.
- Demonstrated experience and strong knowledge of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications, such as Peoplesoft, Oracle, Hyperion is an asset.
- Demonstrated experience in the capacity building activities of national partners in the area of financial management is an asset.
- Demonstrated experience in the development of donor funding requests including grant budgets in accordance with donor requirements, is an asset.
- Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
- Fluency in English both oral and written is required.
- Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset.