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Regional Operations Officer

Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire)

  • Organization: IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Location: Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-28

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Organizational Setting

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and  advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Corporate Services Department provides IFAD with the human resources, administrative services, safety and security and information technology resources required to allow IFAD to meet its objectives of enabling rural people overcome poverty. 

The Field Support Unit (FSU) is fully integrated within the Corporate Services Department (CSD), servicing colleagues in the field, with the ambition of being a strategic, business oriented and fully trusted professional partner with IFAD managers and staff serving in IFAD country and liaisons offices. The unit provides a dedicated partnership to IFAD clients to ensure the efficient delivery of corporate initiatives related to its field activities as well UN Reform initiatives – directly linked to CSD mandate, namely Business Operations Strategy (BOS), Common Back Office (CBO) and Common Premises (CP). To achieve this, FSU is mandated to manage field operations and provide coordination and advisory services aimed at strengthening the functionality of IFAD Country Offices and IFAD Liaison Offices. This includes functions of field related general administration, budget monitoring and analysis for the portion is centrally managed by the Unit, coordination of outsourced services with local UN entities or later through UN Reform initiatives (BOS and CBO), service level agreements with host agencies, host country agreements, and accreditation and privileges.

The incumbent works under the guidance of Chief of the Unit, and direct supervision of the Senior Operations Specialist and has a dual reporting line to the respective Regional Director.

Job Role

The Operations Officer will cover all aspects of management of IFAD offices in the region and operations in line with the Delegation Authority and in full alignment and consultation with the respective authorities and main business owners. This includes but not imitated to coordination of financial and human resources management related activities, facilitating efficient procurement and logistical services, ensuring ICT and common services consistent with IFAD rules and regulations. The main role is to facilitate all the administrative related actions, ensuring smooth functioning of the IFAD Regional Office as well as other Offices within the region, consistent services delivery and constant evaluation and readjustment of the operations to take into account changes in the operating environment as and when needed. 

Operations Officers at this level are professionals reflecting complete understanding of general administration and service provision in the context of the Fund's mandate, work programme and enhanced decentralization. They may additionally perform a wider range of additional administration related occupations supporting Proramme Management Department (PMD) and other technical department regarding their increased delegation of authority. Within their areas of responsibility, the Operations Officers exercise a high degree of independence and due diligence in providing reliable administration and operations related services, aiming at replicating  the logic and the spirit of CSD at HQ being close to clients to better identify and address their needs through providing customized yet corporate solutions. The Operations Officers are expected either to perform certain service lines independently or to deliver the expected results through strong coordination with internal and external stakeholders (e.g. CSD divisions and UN entities on the ground).  The Chief of Unit and/or immediate supervisor are consulted in the analysis of complex and/or precedent setting cases to ensure consistency in the interpretation and application of regulations and rules and to document such decisions. 

The Operations Officer provides guidance in the relevant areas to the administration pool based in the Regional Office and respective country offices in the region and fosters collaboration within the team and with other UN Agencies and a client-oriented approach. The Operations Officer works in close collaboration with main business owners within CSD in HQs, operations staff in other UN Agencies in particular the ones in respective local hosting agency, IFAD RO and ICO staff and Government officials to successfully deliver operations services.

Key Functions and Results

COORDINATION SUPPORT OF OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES: The Operations Officer, The position is in charge of coordination of operations activities in ROs/MCOs/ICOs within the region, facilitate the strategic direction of administration aspects of the field operation focusing on achievement of the following results:

•    Contribute to the decentralized structure through providing substantive support in the establishment of new IFAD Regional Office and/or enhancement or IFAD Country Offices within his/her assigned region, through close follow-ups with respective internal and external stakeholders on all administrative related aspects.
•    Ensure full compliance of operations with IFAD rules, regulations and policies, implementation of corporate operational strategies, monitoring of achievement of results;
•    Establish and update internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and business processes mapping for regional and local Finance, Human Resources Management, Procurement, Logistical and ICT services in consultation with FSU HQ and Regional Team;
•    Constant monitoring and analysis of the operating environment, service provision and timely readjustment of the operations, advice on risk assessment;
•    Contribute to knowledge building and sharing concerning management and operations of CSD related matters in the offices in the region, organization of the Admin staff trainings, synthesis of lessons learnt/best practices, and sound contributions to IFAD Administrative Toolkit for the field.

PARTNERSHIP BUILDING:  The Operations Officer ensures IFAD Regional and Country Offices within the region are in receipt of high quality of common service lines through establishment of strong partnerships with other UN Agencies, providing such services, with focusing on achievement of the following results:

•    Being an active member of Operations Management Team (OMT) at regional and country level, contribute to the establishment of common services, maintenance of coordinating machinery to ensure integrated activities on common services and implementation of the UN reform.
•    Develop and maintain a Client relationship Management system for appropriate operational partnership arrangements, to ensure establishment of collaborate arrangements with potential internal and external partners;
•    Elaboration of the strategic approach for implementation of common services in line with the latest developments in common services and the best practices at regional and country level and ensure IFAD’s needs are properly addressed in all six (and beyond) common service lines.
•    Proper planning and tracking of common services related budget (charged to FSU budget) and of IFAD’s contributions to the common services also supporting the future budget forecast and planning. 

ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT ACTIVITIES: The Operations Officer  

(a) contributes to effective and accurate financial resources and budget management within FSU and support Regional and Country Directors in managing their budget triggered by their enhanced delegation of authority, focusing on achievement of the following results: In close collaboration with FSU Budget Manager ensures proper planning, expenditure tracking and audit of financial resources in accordance with IFAD rules and regulations:

•    Through working closely with the Regional Director and his/her team, organize and oversight of Regional and Country Offices annual petty cash management processes, including timely accounting and reconciliation of all transactions, security for cash assets on site;
•    In close collaboration with FCD and FSU Budget Manager, monitoring of financial exception reports for unusual activities, transactions and investigation of anomalies or unusual transactions with regard to rent and common services. Provision of information to supervisors and other IFAD staff at HQ of the results of the investigation when satisfactory answers are not obtained;

(b)  ensures provision of efficient procurement and logistical services focusing on achievement of the following results:

•    Within the assigned region, Regional and Country Offices compliance with corporate rules and regulations in the field and elaboration of the Regional and Country Offices procurement strategies including sourcing strategy, supplier selection and evaluation, quality management, customer relationship management and introduction, performance measurement;
•    Elaboration of the Regional and Country Offices contract strategy including tendering processes and evaluation, managing the contract and contractor, legal implications. Oversight of procurement processes and logistical services in accordance with IFAD rules and regulations, Delegation of Authority and other processes.
•    Proper management of IFAD assets, facilities and logistical services, including full compliance with policies in place as well as efficient utilization and disposal of the Regional / Country Offices’ assets.

(c)  ensures forward-looking information and communication support and acting as ICT’s entry point in Regional and Country Offices, focusing on achievement of the following results:

•    In close collaboration with ICT, identification of challenges and opportunities and ways of advocating the utilization of existing systems or converting local business and SOP processes into web-based systems to address the issues of efficiency and full accountability;
•    In close collaboration with ICT, ensures and maintains secure, reliable environment for ICT and adequate planning for disasters and recoveries;

(d) ensures strong support to regional and country teams in certain areas of Administration, Human Resources and Security and acting as entry point in Regional and Country Offices without HRD presence, focusing on achievement of the following results:

•    IFAD RO and ICOs compliance with corporate human resources policies and strategies.
•    Ensures IFAD new staff are provided with on boarding briefings by local hosting agency and UNDSS Security Advisor in the duty station. 
•    Provide Regional and Country Directors with substantive support in managing the accreditation processes at country     
level and in line with the Delegation of Authority. 

MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Operations Officer is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources.

Key Performance Indicators

The work requires close coordination with main business owners, the interpretation and application of relevant policies, rules and regulations to a broad range of simple or complex casework. Operations Officers at this level analyse proposals and requests received from clients and staff and after having internally consulted within FSU and or CSD make recommendations or take technical sound actions. The key results have an impact on the overall economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of Regional and Country Offices operations as it relates to the use of corporate resources in the areas of financial services, human resources, procurement and logistical services, ICT but last but not least common services and the implementation of the UN agenda on common services.

Working Relationships

Internally, Operations Officers are required to explain, clarify and achieve consensus for decisions taken or procedural changes planned. These contacts are with Chief, supervisor, budget manager and other Operations Officers within the Field Support Unit. External work relationships for Operations Officers at this level are normally required to obtain information and exchange views with a range of outside sources (i.e. main business owners within CSD or FOD in particular FCD) dealing with such to ensure actions are properly taken. Both internally and externally, Operations Officers establish and maintain effective, collaborative relationships and project the image of a credible/reliable partner. Internal contact can reach the Director`s level within IFAD and external contact can reach to another UN entity Representative (i.e. UNDP Representative or UN Resident Coordinator) to clarify specific situation in relation to their job role and key functions and results.

Job Profile Requirements

Organizational Competencies:

Level 1:

  • Building relationships and partnerships - Builds and maintains effective working relationships
  • Communicating and negotiating - Communicates effectively; creates understanding between self and others
  • Demonstrating leadership - Personal leadership and attitude to change
  • Focusing on clients - Focuses on clients
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating - Continuously seeks to learn, shares knowledge & innovates
  • Managing performance and developing staff -
  • Managing time, resources and information - Manages own time, information and resources effectively
  • Problem-solving and decision-making - Demonstrates sound problem-solving and decision-making ability
  • Strategic thinking and organizational development - Personal influence
  • Team working - Contributes effectively to the team

Education:

  • Advanced university degree in any of the following disciplines: Public Administration or Business Administration, Economics, Management or other related fields.

Experience:

  • At least five years of relevant work experience. Experience in preparation and management of contracts and assets, including familiarity with complex Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Proven experience in managing one, or more, of the following areas of specialization: Accommodation, Assets (physical equipment), Facilities, Fleet, Protocol, and Privileges, Travel.

Languages:

  • Excellent English and working knowledge of French 

Skills:

  • Topical expertise - Administration: Expertise relevant to the specific role (e.g. For ethics office assistant, procedures outlined in the Code of Conduct, Discipline and Anti-harassment provisions of applicable rules and guidelines)
  • Written communication: Ability to use written communication as a main tool in profession, including for speech writing; clear, succinct and convincing written communication; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language
  • IFAD partners: Knowledge of IFAD's partners' functioning and mandate , such as the public sector (e.g. governments and policy, institutions and system), non-state actors (NGOs, CSOs, Foundations, etc.) and private sector actors
  • Change management: Role modelling, anticipation of key risks & conflicts and formulation of contingency plans/solutions, action-oriented
  • Collaboration: Successfully work toward a common goal with others by communicating clearly, actively listening to others, taking responsibility for mistakes, and respecting different perspectives of stakeholders.
  • Problem solving: Strong systemic and structured thinking, ability to identify and dissect problems into components and formulate a comprehensive set of creative viable and sustainable solutions and strategies
  • Verbal communication: Clear, succinct and convincing verbal communication; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language

Other Information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. In accordance with IFAD's Human Resources Policy, staff members are subject to the authority of the President who can decide to assign them to any of the activities of the Fund. All International Professional staff members are required to be geographically mobile and positions in the professional category are subject to changes in location at any time in line with strategic priorities and reform initiatives in IFAD. 

In the interest of making most cost-effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful.

Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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