Programme Assistant (SD3C&Sahel)
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 Programme Management Department (PMD), under the leadership of an Associate Vice-President, is responsible for the overall programme of loans and grants of the Fund and is composed of five (5) regional divisions and the Operational Policy and Results Division.
The West and Central Africa Division, under the leadership of the Regional Director, oversees all IFAD operations and activities in the region including, but not limited, to the 24 country programmes: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Beyond country programmes and national projects, IFAD has recently engaged in lending funds to regional programmes, and the 1Sahel Initiative in the region is a key regional engagement. It is composed of three pillars: (i) the Joint Sahel Programme in response to the challenges of COVID-19, conflicts and climate change (SD3C Programme); (ii) the Africa Climate Risk Financing Programme (AICRM), focused on building the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change impacts in Africa; and (iii) GCF’s Inclusive Green Financing Programme (IGREENFIN) Phase 1.
The SD3C Programme is currently active in 6 countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal) and is implemented through governments, the G5 Sahel Secretariat, the 3 Rome Based agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP), as well as Regional and National Farmers Organizations. Several co-financiers are joining this 6 year- operation aiming to benefit 1 million people in the Sahel Region. In IFAD, this programme falls under the overall responsibility and oversight of the West and Central Africa (WCA) Regional Division Director.
AICRM is supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). It will enter into force during the last trimester of 2022 and be active in 7 countries (those of SD3C + Gambia). IGREENFIN Phase 1 is also funded by GCF and will enter into force in 2023 and be initially active in 5 countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana). AICRM and IGREENFIN are expected to complement and deepen the impact of the SD3C in and beyond the Sahel region. The overall management, implementation and consultations for these programmes fall under the responsibility of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG) in IFAD’s Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD).
The Programme Assistant of SD3C and Sahel initiative will be located in the Dakar MCO, and will reports directly to the Programme Manager SD3C Sahel Coordinator
The Programme Assistant is in charge of supporting the implementation of the SD3C Programme as well as the administrative assistance of the 1Sahel Initiative, including close collaboration with Country Directors of the relevant countries SKD general service staff that support the AICRM and IGREENFIN regional programmes. The Programme Assistant of SD3C and Sahel Initiative is accountable for a range of administrative and programme support functions pertaining to coordination and execution of the SD3C RLO and Sahel Initiative.
The incumbent works collaboratively with the colleagues in the Regional Team, the Country Directors involved in the SD3C, AICRM and IGREENFIN regional programmes and with the Regional Liaison Associate in HQ, to ensure consistency, cohesion and synergy in administrative and programme related matters.
Key results/major activities may include:
• Programme/Project Support (design, implementation, completion)
• Sahel initiative resource management and related office support
• Managerial Functions
Key Functions and Results
1. PROGRAMME/PROJECT SUPPORT: the Programme Assistant of SD3C and Sahel Initiative ensures the availability of timely, complete and accurate information and data to support the efficient and effective delivery of the Sahel initiative programme , on behalf of her/his assigned country teams in all programme phases (Design/Implementation/Completion) for those activities in the Region
Responsibilities may include:
• Assistance in drafting of Terms of References preparation for missions members (design, implementation support, completion) and in preparing missions for IFAD staff members and contracts/missions for consultants
• Support in liaison with the Regional Liaison Associate the preparation of documents and their alignment to IFAD standards and procedures (e.g. for project design report), monitoring to ensure timely submission to internal review processes and presentation to Governing Bodies;
• Organize in-countries meetings and workshops with internal and external project/programme stakeholders (e.g. project team meetings, negotiations, meetings with governments, country visits of senior management, learning events, etc.), including preparation and dissemination of relevant documentation and scouting for venues and related activities (e.g. maintaining data in IFAD corporate systems) ;
• Under the supervision of the Regional Liaison Associate perform data base inputing and data cleaning of new investment projects/grants/programmes related to the Sahel initiative in IFAD's Grants and Investment Projects System (GRIPS) and Operational Results Management System (ORMS) during the project life cycle as well as entering and updating data and update of Sahel existing projects in IFAD's Grants and Investment Projects System (GRIPS) and Operational Results Management System (ORMS).
• Upload and profile required documents for records management and knowledge management purposes (e.g. in the Operations Library (ODC), on xdesk, through IFAD's electronic records management system), and share of information with project partners and other stakeholders as required.
• Support the preparation of ad hoc templates for the Sahel initiative reporting and provide initial draft of specific Sahel documentation if required
• Support in monitoring the overall Sahel budget and in preparing budget proposals in line with the programme of work.
2. OFFICE SUPPORT: The Programme Assistant of SD3C and Sahel Initiative ensures that the full range of activities pertaining to regional programme administrative operations follow established regulations, rules and procedures.
Administrative responsibilities span travel, human and financial resources, and procurement. Responsibilities may include:
• Prepare Sahel programmes related travel arrangements, including related PeopleSoft Financials Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) transactions, for staff located in IFAD's MCO, including input of mission dates in corporate system, handling of visas and logistical arrangements, and supporting staff in being compliant with UNDSS recommendations on travel;
• Logistical assistance during recruitment processes of non-staff personnel, e.g. consultants and interns, and related procurement activities, including PeopleSoft input and data maintenance
• Carry out HR and Financials ERP related transactions and initiating payment requests;
• Support the administration and execution of allocated programme related budgets and perform the first- level review of administrative expenditures, as required;
• Provide office assistance, dealing with routine document administration (including managing incoming and outgoing communications and maintaining office records and filing systems) as required;
• Provide background/supporting documentation upon request, formatting/drafting standard components of documents ensuring timely submission of appropriate documentation into IFAD’s records management system;
• Perform other administrative activities relating to the running of the office, as required and assigned by the head of the office.
3. MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Programme Assistant of SD3C and Sahel Initiative is accountable for integrity and transparency in the administration of IFAD resources. This includes providing inputs into the country office budget preparation exercises and monitoring sub-allotments issued; implementing procurement processes and assisting in contract close-out procedures; effective use of ERP functionality for improved business results; simplification of transaction and reporting processes; and improved client services, supervision of support staff, as applicable.
Key Performance Indicators
The key results have an indirect impact on the overall SD3C and Sahel initiative team in office support and success in implementation of the SD3C regional lending operation and the Sahel initiative. Accurate data entry and presentation of information enhances IFAD's position as a strong development partner. The information provided facilitates project/programme support activities and programme decision-making
The Programme Assistant of SD3C and Sahel Initiative works under supervision of the Programme Manager SD3C and 1 Sahel Coordinator in close collaboration with the Multicountry Office Head, the Regional Liaison Associate based in Rome, the Country Diretors involved in the Sahel initiative, the Dakar MCO staff especially the GSA staff, and Green Climate Fund (GCF) regional programmes team of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG) and in coordination with the Sahel initiative Programme Delvery Team and Regional team of the West and Central Africa Division. The incumbent is continually involved in enlisting the support and cooperation of administrative units.
Job Profile Requirements
- 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 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
- Level – High School certificate (e.g. A level and Baccalaureate)
- Areas of focus - accounting, business administration or related areas
- Project Management (desirable)
- At least five (5) years of progressively responsible administrative and programme support experience in UN agencies, development institutions, government service and/or other relevant organizations.
- Position-specific experience: Qualifying work experience in regional / country programme support, support to Operations, loan/grant administration, and resources and planning. Experience with International financial institutions, development cooperation agencies, etc., and knowledge of monitoring and planning tools /systems would be an asset. Must be a national of, or hold a valid working permit for, the country of assignment.
- Required French and English (4 – Excellent)
- Desirable: Spanish, or Arabic (3 – Good)
- Logistics management: Know-how in logistics support specific to position, such as Travel Management (including travel arrangements, visa administration, etc.), Event organization (e.g. organization of conferences, (virtual) meetings, retreats, trainings), etc.
- Procedure adherence: Ability to strictly adhere to established, formal guidelines, including in new situations
- Record management: Know-how in record keeping (e.g. proper handling of records and systems to preserve institutional memory, including correspondence logs, office filing and reference systems, etc.)
- Time management: Adherence to deadlines under time constraints and pressure (e.g. to deliver governing body documents on time); ability to coordinate and manage complex workflows and in-house and external teams
- Basic ICT & digital fluency: High level of digital literacy and ability to quickly get familiar with new digital tools (e.g. ability to carry out EPR data entry and extraction when budgeting; monitoring security systems, uploading content to inter/intra-net websites, etc.)
- Initiative and good judgment: High sense of proactive initiative-taking and good judgement (including on security matters)
- Interpersonal skills: Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with others (e.g. visitors, clients, callers, etc.), including senior individuals (e.g. high-level meeting participants)
- Listening: Effective and active listening to others; understanding and acting upon indirect statements
- 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
- Written communication: Clear, succinct and convincing written communication in the language needed for specific role; highly professional, balanced and diplomatic language (e.g. for drafting of position papers, briefings, etc.)
IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD. In accordance with IFAD's Human Resources Policy, the President 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.