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.
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 Contracts Adviser you will be responsible for the successful implementation of IRC’s donor award requirements of a portfolio commercial contracts led by Technical Excellence (TE). You will be responsible for providing advice and support for successful award management throughout the project cycle, along with promoting a strong knowledge-culture of sound contract and risk management practices, including but not limited to: quality assurance of donor deliverables, such as narrative, financial and audit reports; review of new contracts; guidance on donor compliance rules and IRC systems including partnerships and sub-contracting; review of amendments to ongoing awards; and management of assigned donor relationships.
Scope and Authority
The post-holder will demonstrate initiative, make decisions, and 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 GOAT systems and policies.
In this role you will facilitate two-way communications about contract implementation issues, compliance, training, donor relations to enhance organisation-wide compliance.
Key Working Relationships
Reports to the Senior Commercial Contracts Adviser
Works as part of the wider GOAT team with close coordination with:
- Technical Excellence Units
- AMU Program and Grant Support team
- Programme Development Advisors covering same portfolio
- Compliance & Policy teamFinance department on matters of financial management
- Provide effective, relevant and timely award management support to Technical Excellence teams on systems and processes for managing, delivering and reporting on assigned portfolio of commercial contracts.
- Working with the Senior Commercial Contracts Adviser, support the creation of a strong knowledge-culture of sound contract and risk management practices within Technical Excellence, taking a proactive approach to mitigate against future contract risks.
- Prepare and supervise the preparation and delivery of financial and narrative donor reporting for Technical Excellence contracts, coordinating with the necessary technical and country program staff as necessary.
- Review new contracts (and amendments) with relevant AMU colleagues to ensure compliance with IRC systems and shared understanding of deliverables/milestones.
- Analyse risks, strengths/weaknesses and gaps throughout the contract lifecycle, with particular attention to key performance indicators (KPIs) and any payment by result requirements (PbR)
- Support the Senior Business Development Coordinator, Unit technical staff and AMU colleagues in the development of proposals for new tender opportunities, including reviewing and contributing to concept notes, proposals and creating budgets ensuring donor and IRC compliance.
- Support the negotiation of contract and subcontracts with support from relevant colleagues.
- Manage the team’s use of OTIS (Opportunity Tracking Information System) for ongoing grants, reporting, agreements and amendments and PEERS for subgrant/partnership work.
- Participate in grants opening, mid-term reviews, and end of project meetings; monthly Budget versus Actuals (BvAs) meetings and by-weekly meetings with relevant teams on complex grants and contracts as is required and appropriate
- Review, provide feedback and submit project amendments (including, programmatic changes, cost extension, no cost extension, and budget realignments)
- Contribute to development of 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 Programme Development and Compliance & Policy teams to provide input and feedback on lessons learned at design and proposal development stages
- Supports 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.
- Manage time and effort tracking and reporting for contracted personnel.
- Support queries on donor compliance issues, referring non-routine and high-level compliance matters to the line manager and Compliance & Policy team
- Advise teams on process and systems to ensure partnerships with local and international partners are aligned to internal policies (PEERS).
- Assist with consortia management for large, complex commercial contracts or grants, including providing training on contractual requirements
- Ensure teams follow internal IRC policies and procedures (e.g. OTIS, PEERS)
- Support the development of internal working processes, tools and guidance for teams and AMU as relevant
- Manage communication and messaging with assigned donor focal points, ensuring issues and developments are escalated
- Facilitate meetings and engagement between the donor focal point and technical staff as required, representing IRC where appropriate
- Provide feedback to donor meetings’ agenda and support teams in preparation for the meetings
- Collaborate with Strategic Partnerships and Policy & Advocacy teams on specific donor engagement priorities, especially DFID/FCO
- Travel to IRC locations around the world to undertake capacity building, training and assessment (subject to Covid-19)
- Participation in organisation’s contract management initiatives
- Update internal systems for data management; including OTIS and awards trackers
- Contribute to GOAT/Unit work plan and delivery of specific projects, as assigned
- Liaise with other IRC departments and teams
- Participate in/deliver information/training sessions for regional and Technical Excellence workshops
- Proactively disseminate the services provided by GOAT