The Awards Management Unit (AMU)
Established in January 2016, the AMU is a global unit with the responsibility for identifying, securing, and handling all funding from statutory/government donors. The unit is organised into five pillars: Strategic Partnerships, Programme and Grant Support, Compliance and Policy, Programme Development, and Training.
The AMU is a bridge between donors and country programmes: providing expert technical advice to country programmes, while maintaining portfolio-level visibility to ensure consistency and compliance and manage risk. This unit ensures that donor compliance policies and procedures are implemented consistently, and supports all staff working across the grants management cycle for all restricted funding from global government sources.
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 programmes 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.
The Purpose of the Role
The Contracts & Grants Advisor, Technical Excellence supports the successful implementation and management of IRC’s European donor award requirements of grants and commercial contracts led by Technical Excellence (TE). This includes the responsibility for providing advice and support for successful award management including but not limited to: quality assurance of donor deliverables and audit reports; review of new grant and contract agreements; guidance on donor compliance rules and IRC systems including partnerships and sub-granting/sub-contracting (PEERS); review of amendments to ongoing awards; and management of assigned donor relationships.
Contracts & Grants Advisor, Technical Excellence will also support in the development of internal organization working processes, tools, systems, guidance, and training for teams, along with TE and AMU colleagues.
Scope and Authority
The post-holder provides support and advice in accordance with IRC and AMU systems and policies and facilitates multi-way communications on grant and contract implementation risks, issues, compliance, capacity building, and donor relations to enhance organisation-wide compliance.
Key Working Relationships
•Reports to Senior Contracts & Grants Manager, Technical Excellence
•Works as part of the wider AMU with close coordination with:
oSenior/Programme Development Advisors covering same portfolio
oDonor Compliance Officers
oStrategic Partnerships Advisors
oPolicy and Advocacy
oDonor focal points at FCDO, ELRHA, GIZ, and other European donors
1. Award management
•Provide effective, relevant and timely advice to Technical Excellence teams on systems and processes for managing, delivering and reporting on assigned portfolio of grants and contracts.
•Support the creation of a strong knowledge culture of sound contract and risk management practices, taking a proactive approach to mitigate against future risks.
•Review and provide substantive feedback on reports, collaborating with and ensuring input from relevant technical and financial staff before submission to the donor.
•Review new grant agreements, contracts, amendments to ensure compliance with IRC systems and shared understanding of deliverables.
•Take a proactive approach to support implementation of remedies to deliver projects (targets, logframe, timeline, budget).
•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.
•Review, provide feedback and submit project amendments including, programmatic changes, cost extension, no cost extension, and budget realignments.
•Support in the development of internal organisation working processes, tools and guidance for teams and AMU related to grants and contracts, as relevant.
•Support communication and coordination processes between the AMU Programme & Grant Support, Business Development and Compliance & Policy teams to ensure input and feedback on lessons learned at design and proposal development stages is internalized.
•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).
•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.
2. Donor management
•Manage communication and messaging with assigned donor focal points, ensuring issues and developments are escalated as required.
•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.
•Travel to IRC locations around the world to undertake capacity building, training and assessment (subject to Covid-19).
•Management of IRC’s IATI requirements for assigned portfolio.
•Update internal systems for data management; including OTIS and team trackers.
•Contribute to AMU/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 Awards Management Unit.
Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:
•Understanding and practical experience of project management principles throughout the full project lifecycle (positioning to closeout).
•Excellent communication, influencing and interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively manage a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment.
•Strong diplomatic skills, including the ability to tailor language to different audiences and needs.
•Demonstrated ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues in ‘remote’ and diverse teams.
•Strong attention to detail to ensure own work, and work of others is of a consistent high quality in a fast-paced, demanding environment.
•Solid organisational skills; detail-oriented; ability to multi-task and prioritise tasks, and to learn quickly.
•Ability to work autonomously and under remote management.
•Good IT skills (Word, Excel, Outlook).
•Ability to travel internationally.
• Demonstrable solid experience of FCDO funding, regulations and procedures. FCDO
commercial contract experience especially desirable.
•Experience of working with other European institutional donors and knowledge of their requirements, such as ECHO, ELRHA, Sida, KfW, GIZ, Irish Aid, etc.
•Contractual and financial management experience with various grant and subgrant types.
•Experience of working with and supporting technical experts in project set ups.
•Experience of managing consortia including NGOs, for profit organisations, and academic institutions – both South & North.
•Experience of supporting start up/inception phases of larger contracts and negotiations with donors.
•Experience of writing, reviewing, and editing narrative and financial reports.
•Experience of donor liaison and in providing advice and best practice on grants management, including financial management.
•Experience in building and maintaining relationships with senior staff across different teams and functions, including those based in other countries.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.