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Regional Project Control Officer

Tbilisi (Georgia)

Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.

Regional Project Control Officer

ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT

The primary functions of project control are to complement programme management and provide support for oversight of projects including the formulation of a monitoring plan, quality assurance, and verification. Other activities of project control include: review of project agreements, project audit, monitoring that there is synchrony between financial and operational performance, participation in multi-functional monitoring activities and reviews, tracking project risk management, and supporting project closure. It is essential to maintain segregation of duties between project control and programme functions for effective accountability and oversight. Therefore, the incumbent should report directly to the same senior management level as programme, i.e. Regional Representative or Deputy Regional Representative. The incumbent may supervise national and international staff.

Project Control Officers play a very important role in maintaining harmonious and effective partnerships, and often interact with implementing partners. As a result, incumbents need to be very mindful of all dimensions of partnerships in their interaction with partners (in accordance with the Principles of Partnership, the Code of Conduct and other relevant documents).

FUNCTIONAL STATEMENT

Accountability
- Quality assurance of project agreements is provided in accordance with applicable UNHCR rules and regulations.
- A project monitoring plan is in place and implemented in collaboration with multi-functional teams (MFT).
- Assurance of project implementation and delivery of expected results within budget/resources, timeframe, and in accordance with project agreements is provided.
- Resources transferred to implementing partners are utilized for the intended purposes and in accordance with project agreements.
- Performance delivery and financial expenditure reported by implementing partners are accurate and consistent.
- Sufficient and adequate internal controls are in place for the management of projects and activities.
- Programme and senior management are promptly informed of major variances and risks in the execution of projects (budgets, finance, implementation or timeframe).
- Project audit certificates are of good quality, timely obtained, and recommendations are implemented.

Responsibility
- Participate in the region's annual assessment and planning cycle.
- Support the selection and retention processes of implementing partners in the region, in accordance with UNHCR's rules, policies and procedures.
- Perform project control functions in the absence of a dedicated project control position in a specific country.
- Formulate and implement a project monitoring plan in collaboration with the programme unit and MFT.
- Track the management of risks for projects in the region, in collaboration with the programme unit, and report major risks to senior management.
- Review, analyze and verify Financial and Performance Implementing Partner Reports (Part I-IPFR and Part II-IPR), and check accuracy and consistency between IPFR and IPR, in accordance with project agreements.
- Undertake missions within the region.
- Monitor, track and verify that expenditure for direct implementation by UNHCR is in line with the approved budget.
- Conduct reviews of the internal control systems of implementing partners and provide advice as required.
- Provide feedback and recommendations of identified variants, risks and issues to the partner and programme unit, and escalate to management of the regional office as required.
- Prepare project control reports with the current status of programme implementation and financial status.
- Inform management of cases where UNHCR may not adhere to its obligations under project agreements.
- Manage the selection and engagement process of audit providers for projects, and the execution of the audits, including obtaining reports, reviewing outcomes and following-up with recommendations.
- Carry out timely project closure in coordination with the programme unit.
- Participate in regional programme training for implementing partners and UNHCR staff as necessary, as well as brief staff and implementing partners on project control and risk management.
- Provide input to the mid- and end-year programme review process on issues related to project control and risk management in the region.
- Maintain professional relationships with implementing partners.
- Keep up-to-date with all UNHCR rules, regulations and procedures necessary to perform these duties.
- Perform other duties as required.

Authority
- Report on financial and operational performance and risks related to projects within the region, and escalate issues to senior management.
- Recommend acceptance or non-acceptance of IPRs and payment of installments within the region.
- Advise on improvements related to project management and internal controls within the region.
- Contact implementing partners for project related matters.
- Have unlimited access to financial and operational records relating to projects.

ESSENTIAL MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
- Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in Accounting, Finance, Public or Business Administration, Economics or related field or in another field combined with a professional qualification in accounting, auditing or finance (CPA/CIA or equivalent) plus minimum 6 years of previous work experience relevant to the function of which at least 2 years in an intergovernmental organization (United Nations or similar). Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master's) plus 5 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 4 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- Excellent knowledge of international auditing standards, with a minimum of two years of practical experience in auditing.
- Good understanding of project and resource management.
- Excellent computer skills, in particular in MS Office applications
- Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
- Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS & COMPETENCIES
- Professional qualification in accounting, auditing or finance (CPA/CIA or equivalent).
- Project management accreditation highly desirable.
- Risk management certification.
- Good knowledge of UNHCR systems (such as Focus and MSRP).
- Excellent knowledge of United Nations financial rules and procedures.
- Good understanding of the workflows of major Entreprise Resource Planning financial modules (such as PeopleSoft, SAP or Oracle).
- Working experience with accrual accounting (such as IPSAS or IFRS).
- Knowledge of additional UN languages.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR Regional Project Control Officer positions. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates. C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
M001L3 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X003L3 - Technological Awareness Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3 <p>The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.</p>
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See below for this postion's Operational Context
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For those people applying for High Risk Duty Stations, we strongly encourage colleagues to read the country specific security and welfare profiles which can be found on the Intranet under Support Services - Duty of Care (https://intranet.unhcr.org/en/support-services/duty-of-care.html). These profiles have been specifically designed to answer some of the key questions (on security conditions, medical provisions, staff welfare, living and working conditions) potential applicants might have before deciding to apply. Ensuring staff are better informed is part of the increased attention UNHCR is paying to Duty of Care. This project is still in the pilot phase, and as such some of the information leaflets are being produced as we speak and might not be available yet. They will be soon, so keep checking. 

The incumbent is required to have:  
¿ Previous experience in project management, audit, financial management and risk management, preferably in mixed (refugee and IDP) operations.
¿ Familiarity with MSRP, Hyperion and Focus applications.
¿ Demonstrated drafting skills in English, strong analytical skills
¿ Proven ability to build and maintain a variety of relationships with partners (governmental and non-governmental). The South Caucasus region is marked by protracted displacement situations as a result of ethnic conflict which erupted after the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991. Hundreds of thousands of IDPs are living in settlements, collective centres or in individual dwellings, both in cities and in rural areas. Settlements and individual housing has been partly provided by the Governments.  While UNHCR no longer is operationally involved in the search for solutions for IDPs, it offers protection services and supports Governments to provide for durable housing and livelihood opportunities. The region is also marked by the presence of a few thousand refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan,  and other countries and UNHCR has invested over the years in the building of fair and effective national asylum systems. UNHCR has moreover developed various partnerships with service providers, civil society organisations, Public Defender Offices, the private sector and refugee and IDP communities. In Azerbaijan the operational context is restricted and UNHCR cannot partner with non-governmental organisations. Azerbaijan has also a limited national asylum procedure leaving UNHCR to conduct Mandate refugee status by default and to deal with a legacy Chechen prima facie refugee caseload. In Armenia, the Government has welcomed over 15,000 Syrian refugees of ethnic Armenian descent, but some remain in a very vulnerable condition requiring continued assistance by UNHCR and partners. In Armenia UNHCR has developed a number of innovative, non-traditional partnerships notably with diaspora organisations and development agencies. The region is also host to a few thousand of stateless persons though much progress in the reduction of statelessness has been made notably in Georgia. The incumbent is assigned to the Regional Representation in Tbilisi, Georgia. Tbilisi is an A duty station. Georgia has a temperate, four season climate, and adequate infrastructure in urban environments. In higher elevations, the Caucasus Mountains present substantial challenges for the population including persons of concern to UNHCR particularly in winter.

The incumbent will operate under the direct supervision of the Regional Representative and will supervise one national staff. The incumbent is mainly responsible for coordinating project control activities under three pillars (pillars 1, 2 and 4), complementing programme in managing about 15 partnership agreements throughout the region with international and national partners and providing functional support to all three country offices in the region, one field office in Gali and one field unit in Sukhumi, Abkhazia, Georgia

Gali District in Abkhazia is a D duty station, and the incumbent will be required to undertake regular missions there. International and non-Georgian national staff need permission to enter Abkhazia.. The document: Orientation for UN Visitors to Georgia sets out further detail regarding conditions and is available at http://ungeorgia.ge/eng/. The incumbent like other staff with regional functions will be called upon to visit Yerevan and Baku on a regular basis. The overall security situation in the three countries is stable notwithstanding a history of ethnic conflict the roots of which have not been addressed, and having resulted in protracted displacement. However, various incidents along the Dividing Line in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are frequently reported. Although the rate of violent incidents in Gali District (Threat Level III) such as kidnappings for ransom, armed robberies, etc. significantly declined since 2015, in Abkhazia criminality remains high and the road traffic situation is concerning. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Tbilisi administered territory of Georgia are stable and secure. UNHCR has no access to Nagorno-Karabakh. The present requirements to meet reporting deadlines with the incumbent covering a regional portfolio will require frequent travel in the region and close collaboration with the program and protection staff in the three operations, notably to verify partner reports and expenditure levels as well as activities undertaken under direct implementation.
Knowledge of the Russian language will be an asset but the documents maintained by partners are in the respective national languages which colleagues are expected to translate for the incumbent.

Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in the Add.4 to March 2018 Compendium is Wednesday 5 Septembe 2018 (midnight Geneva time).

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: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Tbilisi (Georgia)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2018-09-05

What does it mean?

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