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NUNV Project Associate – Administration and Finance (Sikkim)

gangtok

Background

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.

In most cultures volunteerism is deeply embedded in long-established, ancient traditions of sharing and support within the communities. In this context, UN Volunteers take part in various forms of volunteerism and play a role in development and peace together with co-workers, host agencies and local communities.

In all assignments, UN Volunteers promote volunteerism through their action and conduct. Engaging in volunteer activity can effectively and positively enrich their understanding of local and social realities, as well as create a bridge between themselves and the people in their host community. This will make the time they spend as UN Volunteers even more rewarding and productive.

Organizational Context & Project Description

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India along with UNDP has commenced a new GEF funded project: SECURE Himalaya (Securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems) in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.

The project aims to support the Government of India and State Governments to effectively promote sustainable land and forest management in alpine pastures and forests in high range Indian Himalayan ecosystems that secure sustainable livelihoods and ensures conservation of globally significant biodiversity and threatened species. It will engineer a paradigm shift from the current approach of conservation to demonstrate a new approach of landscape - based conservation. This is an integrated approach, which focuses on working with various sectors and partners in areas within and outside protected areas, to effectively reduce threats to biodiversity of local, national and global significance.

The project will build on the existing socio-economic development efforts in the region, for evolving innovative and participatory models for sustainable use of natural resources. It aims to achieve the objective of conservation by engaging local communities and collaborating with government and non-government agencies for conservation and promotion of sustainable resource use and livelihood.

The project would be implemented over a period of six years in the high altitude trans-Himalayan region and has the following major outcomes: (1) Improved management of high range Himalayan landscapes for conservation of Snow Leopard and other endangered species and their habitats and sustaining ecosystem services; (2) Improved and diversified livelihood strategies and improved capacities of community and government institutions for sustainable natural resource management and conservation; (3) Enhanced enforcement, monitoring and cooperation to reduce wildlife crime and related threats; (4) Effective knowledge management and information systems established for promotion of sustainable management practices in the High range Himalayan ecosystems.

The project falls under GEF -6 Programme 3 Global Partnership on Wildlife Conservation and Crime Prevention for Sustainable Development, comprising one global coordination project and a series of national projects. The project will be led by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and UNDP with the state governments of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.

UNDP seeks to engage the services of an Administrative and Finance Associate to support the State Government in implementation of the project. S/he will work under the direct supervision of the Nodal Officer, Sikkim Forest Environment and Wildlife Management Department, State Project Officer and work closely with Programme Manager, NRM, UNDP. S/he would be responsible for assisting the state team in overall implementation of the project in the state of Sikkim, especially on matters related to finance. The assignment will require frequent travel to the project landscapes. As this is a full–time position, the Admin and Finance Associate cannot hold any other assignments during this assignment.

Living Conditions

Gangtok is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It also is the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). It is situated in the lower Himalayas at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town lies on one side of a hill, with "The Ridge",a promenade housing the Raj Bhawan, the governor's residence, at one end and the palace, situated at an altitude of about 1,800 m (5,900 ft), at the other. Gangtok features a monsoon-influenced subtropical highland climate. Because of its elevation and sheltered environment, Gangtok enjoys a mild, temperate climate all year round. Like most Himalayan towns, Gangtok has five seasons: summer, monsoons, autumn, winter and spring. Temperatures range from an average maximum of 22 °C (72 °F) in summer to an average minimum of 4 °C (39 °F) in winter. Summers (lasting from late April to June) are mild, with maximum temperatures rarely crossing 25 °C (77 °F).

Conditions of Service

A 12-month contract; with subsequent contract extensions subject to availability of funding, operational necessity and satisfactory performance. However, there is no expectation of renewal of the assignment.

Travel to duty station (if applicable) and a Settling-In-Grant will be provided in the event duty station is not within commuting distance from the place of recruitment. A Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) of Rs. 42,473.67 (Rupees Forty Two Thousand Four Hundered Seventy Three and Paise Sixty Seven only) is provided monthly to cover housing, utilities and normal cost of living expenses. Life, health and permanent disability insurance are included (health insurance for up to 3 dependents), as well as final repatriation (if applicable) and resettlement allowance for satisfactory service.

Interested candidates should submit their applications at http://www.in.undp.org/content/india/en/home/operations/careers/.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Nodal Officer, Forest Department, State Project Officer, UNDP and in close coordination with the Programme Manager, UNDP, the NUNV will perform the following tasks:

  • Assistance in preparation of documents, guidelines, presentation and follow up on finance related matters with the state government, state forest department, UNDP and MoEFCC.
  • Maintain financial records, petty cash and monitor systems to record and reconcile expenditures, balances, payments, statements and other data for day-to day transactions and reports.
  • Draft reports and other routine correspondence, collation, compilation and organization of data and information.
  • Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual expenditure statement, FACE form, Utilization certificate as per General Financial Rules 2017, bank reconciliation certificate and other financial reports as and when required.
  • Assist in preparation of legal documents for contracting and procurement of goods and services, including maintenance and physical verification of assets.
  • Regularly monitor and provide updates to the supervisor on utilization of funds under various activities as per the Annual Work Plan.
  • Maintain office archives and other documentation, including proper maintenance and update of leave records, stationery stock etc.
  • Assist State Nodal Officer and State Project Officer in all financial reporting functions to the National Project Steering Committee (NPSC), Technical Committee and the State Project Steering Committee (SPSC)
  • Provide support for periodic audits of the state and landscape management units.
  • Coordinate with banks, other vendors and other government departments/ institutions on financial information;
  • Maintain a roster of files on project activities, project reports, vehicle log book, project assets, etc.;
  • Ensure timely payments of vendors, travel and other claims for the Landscape Level Project Management Unit (LLPMU).
  • Assist the State Project Officer and the LLPMU in the budget component of the annual work plan for the following year, as well as quarterly plans;
  • Uploading important documents like BTORs, minutes etc. in PIMS;
  • Assist in convening meetings, preparation of agenda notes, minutes of the meeting and follow-up action on the decisions taken with the concerned agencies for effective implementation.
  • Provide back-up support for all project related activities.
  • Logistic and administrative support for organizing events, meetings, workshops, team visits etc.
  • Updating the existing data and information in the online contact database
  • Documentation, internet search, formatting documents/printing
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the Supervisor

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are required to:

  • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day);
  • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
  • Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;
  • Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
  • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers;
  • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

Results/Expected Outputs

  • Strengthened  State Project Management Unit with added coherence to finance processes and various activities being undertaken in the Project.
  • Strengthened coordination with project partners including the MoEFCC, relevant departments in the Government of Sikkim, Community based organisations and UNDP.
  • Monthly, Quarterly and Annual financial reports for the state are submitted.
  • All important documents, especially those relevant to finance for the state project management unit are uploaded on PIMS
  • Online contact database is updated and available for all project management units to access.
  • The development of capacity through coaching, mentoring and formal on-the-job training, when working with (including supervising) national staff or (non-) governmental counterparts, including Implementing Partners (IPs);
  • Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective is systematically applied, integrated and documented in all activities throughout the assignment
  • A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for peace and development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed

Competencies

Integrity and professionalism: demonstrated expertise in area of specialty and ability to apply good judgment; high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures in a politically sensitive environment, while exercising discretion, impartiality and neutrality; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented.

Accountability: mature and responsible; ability to operate in compliance with organizational rules and regulations.

Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.

Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.

Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender;

Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; ability to maintain composure and remain helpful towards the staff, but objective, without showing personal interest; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;

Flexibility, adaptability, and ability and willingness to operate independently in austere, remote and potentially hazardous environments for protracted periods, involving physical hardship and little comfort, and including possible extensive travel within the area of operations; willingness to transfer to other duty stations within area of operations as may be necessary;

Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards the UN core values.

Required Skills and Experience

Bachelors’ degree (B.Sc, B.A, B.Com) from a recognized institution in economics/finance/ Sustainable Development or any other related field

At-least 3 years of relevant experience in Admin and Finance procedures.

Experience of working with state government on Administration and Finance related matters will be an added advantage. Retired government officials having held similar positions/ ranks are also encouraged to apply.

Area of Expertise: Economics, finance, administration and human resources 

Additional Requirements for Area of Expertise: Demonstrated experience in working on Biodiversity and Natural Reource Management based projects will be an added advantage.

Disclaimer

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme which welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture.

United Nations Volunteers reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this opening for other openings with United Nations Volunteers with similar assignment description, experience and educational requirements.

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: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: gangtok
  • Grade: National UN Volunteer - Locally recruited Volunteer
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Banking and Finance
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-05

What does it mean?

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