Senior Commercial Contracts Adviser
London (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.
The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its offices in New York, London, Berlin, Bonn, Brussels, Stockholm, Geneva, Nairobi, Bangkok and Amman. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through over 20 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.
The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.
IRC UK were established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with European policy makers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC-UK has grown rapidly and is now acknowledged for its high-quality project management, technical expertise in governance and rights and economic recovery, and innovative thinking on early recovery and gender-based violence. IRC UK comprises approximately 120 staff.
Technical Excellence and Grant Operations & Analytics Team
At the IRC, we define and measure our success as positive changes in people’s lives in relation to five outcome areas: health, education, economic well-being, safety and power, while helping to narrow the gender gap. To achieve these outcomes – to drive our impact – our programs must be based on the best available evidence and aligned with our theories of change; adapted to context; responsive to client needs and preferences; and continuously improved by generating evidence, measuring what we do, and acting on what we learn. The Technical Excellence team supports the delivery of this.
Established in April 2021, the Grant Operations & Analytics Team (GOAT) brought together grants, business development, finance, and analytics functions and staff from each Technical Excellence Unit to one centralized team to increase efficiency, effectiveness and quality control across Technical Excellence grants and business operations. The primary purpose of this new team is to harmonize capacity and capabilities and drive efficiencies by establishing consistent, high quality standards and best practices to the service of improved budgeting, grants & contracts management, business development, and data collection and analytics. The Grant Operations & Analytics Team strives to build a diverse and inclusive team at all levels who as individuals, and as a group, create a working environment characterized by critical reflection, power sharing, debate, and objectivity for us to achieve our aspirations as a team and deliver the best possible service to our clients.
The Purpose of the Role
As Senior Commercial Contracts Adviser you are responsible for providing support and guidance on commercial contract implementation and risk management functions, with a particular focus on supporting cost-effective commercial service delivery within our Technical Excellence unit. Operating in an advisory, capacity-building, and quality management role, the role participates in review of applicable policies, procedures, and resources to ensure they are conducive to cost-effective and responsible project delivery. This pivotal role will contribute to ensuring that Technical Excellence is ready to deliver on our ambitious strategic goals, and significantly increase the scale, reach and effectiveness of our work, whilst reducing the organisation’s risk exposure on commercial contracts.
Scope and Authority
In this role you provide support and advice autonomously but in line with parameters laid out by the Grants, Operations and Analytics Director and in accordance with IRC and AMU systems and policies.
The role facilitates two-way communications about contract implementation issues, compliance, training, donor relations to enhance organisation-wide contract readiness, and work across teams to build capacity.
Key Working Relationships
Reports to Grants, Operations and Analytics Director
Supervises Contracts Officer
Works as part of the wider Grants, Operations and Analytics (GOAT) team in Technical Excellence with close coordination with:
- Senior Contracts & Grants Advisor, Technical Excellence - AMU
- Frameworks & Global Grants Director, AMT
- GOAT Grants Managers, Officer & Coordinators
- Technical Excellence teams
- Business Development team
- Compliance & Policy team
- Finance department on matters of financial management
- Donor commercial focal points at FCDO, USAID other European donors
- Promote a strong knowledge-culture of sound contract and risk management practices aligned with organisational policies, procedures, and best practices and client regulations and expectations.
- Act as contracts implementation focal point within Technical Excellence
- In collaboration with Senior Contracts & Grants Manager, provide effective, relevant, and timely advice to Technical Excellence teams on systems and processes for managing, delivering and reporting on commercial contracts.
- In collaboration with Business Development, CRRD Regions, and Regional Grants Directors ensure sufficient support and linkages between bid development team and implementation team, to ensure commercial contracts practical implementation and risk management considerations, particularly around payment by results (PbR).
- Support Program & Grant Support staff and Technical Excellence delivery teams to identify risks at the project level, establish targeted approaches to mitigate identified risks, taking a proactive approach to mitigate against future contract risks.
- For larger contracts, support the creation of bespoke contract implementation guidance.
- Lead on creation of PbR management tool to ensure successful delivery of PbR contracts.
- Support and provide guidance to Technical Excellence and Country teams on suggested management structures for delivering specific contractual requirements.
- Review and provide substantive feedback on commercial aspects of reports, collaborating with and ensuring input from relevant technical and financial staff before submission to the donor.
- Ensure systems and structures are in place to analyse risks, strengths/weaknesses and gaps throughout the project lifecycle, with particular attention to key performance indicators (KPIs) and any PbR requirements (PbR).
- Support negotiations of contracts and subcontracts under supervision of relevant Director.
- Take a proactive approach to support implementation of remedies to deliver projects (targets, logframe, timeline, budget).
- Manage time and effort tracking and reporting for contracted personnel.
- Develop internal organisation working processes, tools and guidance for teams and AMU related to commercial contracting, as relevant.
- Ensure communication and coordination processes are in place with the AMU Business Development to provide input and feedback on lessons learned at design and proposal development stages.
- Advise and train teams on process and systems to ensure partnerships with local and international partners are aligned to internal policies (PEERS).Supports the continual improvement process for contract and risk management by developing, refining, and adapting policies, procedures, resources, and quality standards to meet evolving requirements.
- Build organisational capacity on managing consortia for implementing large, complex commercial contracts, including providing training on contractual requirements.
- Work with Project Cycle Meeting (PCM) team to ensure onboarding of PCM across contract delivery teams, amended to contracts as necessary, supported by the creation of a standardised contract kick-off workplan.
- Participate in/deliver information/training sessions for regional and Technical Excellence teams on contract implementation.
- Support with coordinating a capacity building programme for contract and risk management within Technical Excellence, through knowledge management, development and delivery of corporate trainings, dissemination of relevant information, on-the-job training, and mentorship.
- Lead on lessons learned for implementing commercial contracts within Technical Excellence, and support institutionalising lessons learned process across contracts within IRC.
- Supervise and build the technical capacity of direct reports as needed
- Travel to IRC locations to undertake capacity building, training and assessment (subject to Covid-19).
- Participate in organisation’s contract management initiatives and task groups.
- Contribute to meeting GOAT’s priorities and delivery of specific projects, as assigned.
- Liaise with other IRC departments and teams.
- Proactively disseminate the services provided by GOAT.