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Programme Specialist (Quality Assurance and Internal Controls), NOC, Lilongwe, Malawi (open to nationals of Malawi only)

Lilongwe (Malawi)

The incumbent will be responsible for the overall understanding, analysis and review of systems, risks, application of policies and procedures and the capacity building of staff as well as counterparts within the area of quality assurance and internal control.

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Purpose of the Position

Under the general guidance of the Chief Operations, the incumbent will be responsible for the overall understanding, analysis and review of systems, risks, application of policies and procedures and the capacity building of staff as well as counterparts within the area of quality assurance and internal control. These will in turn contribute to Malawi Office accomplishing its corporate and programme objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the effectiveness of its Quality Assurance and Internal Control procedures. The Programme Specialist (Quality Assurance) will lead in aspects on Enterprise Risk Management, internal control, due diligence reviews, office self-assessments, work process reviews, audits and spot checks to promote efficiency, accountability, reduce risks of asset loss, and help ensure the reliability of financial statements.

Key Accountabilities and Duties & Tasks

  • Implements activities that ensure that the Country Office systematically assesses risks, create general awareness and common understanding among staff of key strategic, programmatic, operational and financial risks. Ensures there is general sense of ownership and that risk management efforts are embedded into key country programme planning, financing and implementation processes, allowing for an adequate and timely allocation of financial, operational and programmatic resources for that purpose. Also ensure Country Office periodic monitoring of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Country Office risk mitigation measures and that corporate reporting requirements are met.
  • Responsible for office processes to proactively and systematically identify, assess and manage key risks and opportunities to facilitate the achievement of Country Office objectives and planned results. Responsible for process leading to office undertaking annual Risk and Control Self-Assessment (RCSA) as part of the annual review process, reports on the outcomes and proposed mitigating activities. Regularly monitor the status of actions defined to mitigate significant risks and update the Office Risk Profile. Updates and follows up to ensure implementation of the ERM Plan and related mitigation measures for the identified high risk areas and focal point in updating and ensuring quality Risk assessment and management information is updated under the Performance Management System (InSight) and risk ratings of partners in VISION.
  • Under the framework of UNICEF Policies, Guidelines, Standards, Country Office Management Plan, contributes to the development of office standards, new approaches and methodologies and streamlining of transaction Work Processes and Simplified Operating Procedures (SOPs) through participation in efficiency and effectiveness meetings and consultations with staff. Perform compliance tests and report on the implementation of SOPs and Work Processes.
  • Supports Chief of Operations in implementing self-assessments, business simplification projects in core areas such as Travel, Contract Review Committee (CRC), Programme Cooperation Agreement (PCA), Payments, Cash Assistance to Implementing Partners as well as in improving key business processes in operational areas. Prepares guidelines, standard operating procedures and workflow processes in consultation with various task forces established under the Efficiency & Effectiveness (E&E) initiative.
  • Conducts periodic self-assessment of procedures and processes, financial documents, information entered in VISION database, coding of VISION transactions to ensure the office's adherence to procedures, that quality information, and correct coding is applied. Coordinate Operations Inputs to office wide activities. This will entail consolidation of operations inputs, support in monitoring operations priorities. The task shall entail ensuring that high quality documentation is delivered for all resulting documents with UNICEF and office wide standards having been met.
  • In support of promoting Efficiency and Effectiveness, reviews the pace of project progress and identifies and analyses the underlying causes for unfavorable trends, delays and updates senior management.
  • Supports Country Office efforts in Audit exercise preparedness, follow-up and reporting of Implementation of Audit Recommendations Implementation Plan. This task also entails follow-up on audit recommendations to make sure that they are implemented on time and deviations previously identified by auditors are not recurring. Serves as the focal person for office management indicators.
  • Conducts special assignments, including fact-findings in the case of irregularities, as directed by the country office management and in compliance with the organizational policies and procedures. Formulates pragmatic recommendations and secures the agreement of management to improve problematic areas. Monitors and assesses adequacy of actions taken to correct reported deficiencies.
  • Within the framework of HACT, responsible for the formulation and implementation of Malawi office HACT Assurance plan which provides for a cost-effective assurance systems to ensure funds entrusted to UNICEF by donors are utilized as intended; there is transparent processes and oversight of cash transfers and capacities of national partners is strengthened for the management and accountability of cash transferred. The incumbent will contribute to the HACT activities of the Country Office; plans and ensures high quality and objective Micro Assessments of UNICEF's Implementing Partners (IPs) in accordance with the agreed work plan and/or as required by the country programme, review and follow up of the findings of assessments. Contributes towards upgrading capacity of UNICEF staff and implementing partners in the areas of HACT. Ensures the development of HACT compliant procedures, manual and guidelines for use by implementing partners. Cooperate and coordinate with other UN agency counterparts in the UN reform initiatives (including HACT capacity building of IPs, common services and premises agenda, etc.).
  • Supports the management of the Business Operation Centre as the back up to the Operations Manager (BSC) in the role of the BSC Hub as the knowledge centre but also in managing the BSC in the absence of the Operations Manager. Provides business process support to VISION End-Users through provision of technically accurate and sound recommendations on implementation of transactions processing, interpretation of operations policy and procedures, efficient transactions processing and optimal utilization of UNICEF's resources, in compliance with UNICEF rules and regulations. Ensures timely escalation of complex cases as appropriate.
  • Supports the management of the locally established transactions processing BSC Hub; Ensures completeness and soundness of transactions, their supporting documents in accordance with UNICEF rules and regulations prior to initiating the process in SAP/VISION system.
  • Reviews/updates the office roles mapping, Segregation of Duty Conflicts, Delegation Letters and manage the VISION manager service system and act as the SAP/VISION training resource person and coordinator.
  • Provides Leadership in the planning and the implementation of capacity building activities of staff and national Implementing Partners to improve budgeting and financial management capacities of Implementing Partners. Ensures that inventory of training and capacity development needs of staff and Implementing Partners is developed in the area of HACT and risk management. Plans and organize training programmes in the areas of risk management, result based programming, budgeting, financial and supply and logistics management and ethics for the purpose of capacity building, strengthened accountabilities and programme sustainability.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  • Advanced university degree (Master's) in Accounting, Business Administration, Financial Management, Economics, Auditing, International Development or a directly-related technical field(s) is required. A valid professional certification (CA; CPA; etc.) from an accredited chartered accountancy institution, in conjunction with a relevant first-level (Bachelor's) university degree in a directly-related technical field (as identified above), may be taken in lieu of an advanced university degree.
  • Knowledge of International Public Sector Accounting Standards is desirable.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience, at the national and international levels, in Internal Controls, Operations Management, Financial Management, Audit Management and/or Risk Management with hands on experience in planning, undertaking and reporting on financial management/risk management assurance activities used by donor and funding agencies – is required.
  • Previous experience in working with international accredited organizations/bilateral donors is an advantage.
  • UNICEF experience and/or familiarity with SAP is highly desirable.

Competencies of Successful Candidate

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Communication
  • Working with People
  • Drive for Results

Functional Competencies

  • Analyzing [III]
  • Applying Technical Expertise [III]  
  • Leading and Supervising [II]
  • Planning and Organizing [II]  
  • Deciding and Initiating Actions [II]
  • Following Instructions and Procedures [II]

Other required Competencies

  • Computer skills, including internet navigation, and various office applications.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment, and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization.
  • Initiative, passion and commitment to UNICEF's mission and professional values.

To view our competency framework, please click here

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Lilongwe (Malawi)
  • Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Supply Chain and Service delivery
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Closing Date: 2017-02-10

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