The IRC Asia Regional team oversees all IRC activities across Asia and supports country offices in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan and Thailand, and partner-led implementation in a number of other countries across Asia, including Philippines and Malaysia. The Strengthening Inclusive Disaster Risk Governance for Climate Resilience in Asia project is a SIDA-funded 4.5 year consortium program with IRC as the project lead in collaboration with two regional networks of CSO partners and one local implementing partner. The project will focus on increasing the adaptability and resilience of communities at risk of climate change and disasters across Asia by working towards three mutually-reinforcing outcomes over the life of project:
1. Strengthen two regional networks of local CSOs to become powerful advocates and to influence duty bearers at the regional and national levels to fulfil commitments on inclusive climate change and DRR actions;
2. Address the power imbalances that exacerbate climate and disaster risks facing particularly vulnerable populations with intersecting needs – particularly women and girls and excluded populations;
3. Strengthen sustainable local-level adaptative actions to mitigate the effects of climate change and to strengthen risk governance.
The Purpose of the Role
The Grants & Partnerships Manager is a key member of a 4-person Project Management Unit responsible for guiding the effective delivery of the Strengthening Inclusive Disaster Risk Governance for Climate Resilience in Asia project. The Grants & Partnerships Manager reports directly to the Project Director and is responsible for ensuring quality award management as per Sida’s donor compliance requirements and IRC’s policies and procedures. This includes the timely production of high-quality reports and other key donor deliverables, award amendments/modifications, receiving and reviewing partner deliverables in a timely manner and assuring that that partners understand the donor’s regulations. The Grants & Partnerships Manager is also responsible for ensuring effective partnership management and capacity strengthening of all project partners. S/He will be a critical support to the consortium partners and assist them in having in place strong policies, systems and procedures for the effective implementation of the program and the achievement of the project outcomes. S/he will coordinate the daily management of the partnership lifecycle in accordance with the IRC’s Partnership for Excellence and Equality System (PEERS) and collaborate with the partners to develop and oversee implementation of ambitious technical and organizational capacity strengthening and capacity-sharing plans. This will include leading close coordination across functions and with technical advisors both within the IRC and with the partners to assure relevant and high-quality support is provided to strengthen partners’ processes and systems for effective organizational growth as a key outcome of the project. Overall, successful the candidate for the Grants and Partnerships Manager will be a gifted team player, capable of operating with flexibility to support the high quality delivery of the project goals and objectives. This may at times involve taking on responsibilities outside of the area of expertise, with support and collaboration of team members, to support the overall project goals.
Awards Management and Compliance
• Closely coordinate and collaborate with project colleagues – Project Director, MEAL Manager and Finance Manager as well as with counterparts from the Thailand country team, partner organizations and Asia Regional team in a manner that promotes open communication, strong collaboration and cross-functional support based on a shared vision and outcomes.
• Together with the Project Director, MEAL and Finance Managers, build strong ways of working and clear procedures for coordination, information sharing, learning and support across consortium and implementing partners. Ensure appropriate award management throughout the Project Cycle, including:
o Reviewing the donor agreement and any modifications and highlight significant concerns to relevant project, country and regional colleagues.
o Maintaining knowledge of donor agreement language and donor regulations, serving as a knowledge resource on all aspects of donor compliance and advancing questions where needed.
o Coordinating any required agreement modifications including on programmatic commitments (amending technical narrative and other required documents) and financial commitments (budget revisions/realignments, requests for approvals above threshold limits, etc.).
o Ensuring that all required award workflows are tracked and approved in IRC’s tracking system, OTIS.
• Submit high quality narrative and financial donor reports based on effective inputs from partners on a timely basis according to IRC and donor regulations. Review and edit and highlight any non-compliance/underachievement and other potential risks to the Project Director with a particular emphasis on identifying key learnings. Ensure all required documents are included, complete, correct and approved by the respective focal points (e.g. Regional Finance Director, regional Program & Award Advisor).
• Consistently review and advise on compliance requirements and support the Project Director, PMU colleagues and partners to proactively address compliance questions and issues as they arise. Ensure sharing of compliance requirements as per the Project Cycle Meetings (PCM), especially at the Project Opening and Project Closing Meetings. Log Compliance questions and recommended actions in the Compliance Tracker within the Project Dashboard.
• Keep the Project Director informed of any projected inability to meet contractual obligations, report submission, and spending rates and significant budget variances, and work with the PMU and partner staff to proactively and collaboratively identify appropriate solutions. Support the Finance Manager in monitoring a balanced spending rate in line with donor rules and requirements. Be able to proactively mitigate risks through proposing remedial solutions in consensus with Project Director, Finance Manager and MEAL Manager, and with other country and regional colleagues, as needed.
• Support the Project Director in facilitating the PCM, especially the Project Implementation Meetings, as well as maintaining the Project Dashboard in line with the PCM guidelines.
• Compile and respond to information requests from IRC’s regional and HQ teams.
• Collaborate with the MEAL Manager in creating and maintaining an effective project-wide knowledge management system, and in particular ensure all relevant award documents as well as important correspondence are filed appropriately on IRC’s online system, Box and OTIS.
• Together with the Project Director, serve as the primary focal point for project partners, and support the Project Director in establishing inclusive and collaborative rapport with project partners based on mutual accountability, respect and partnership as equals.
• Oversee and coordinate all partner management activities in line with IRC’s Partnership Excellence for Equality and Results System (PEERS) and ensure that partnership decision-making and action is driven by mutual agreement and respect, shared priorities and guided by the project outcomes and IRC’s partnership principles.
• Lead and coordinate partner due diligence processes, and facilitate collaborative partnership risk management, including through effective mitigation, monitoring and reflection and reporting processes.
• Develop draft partnership agreements and amendments with partners and facilitate internal review and approval.
• Liaise with finance to achieve timely funds transfers and proper financial follow-up and support for partners; work with finance to address any challenges in payments and raise any proposed disallowed costs to the Project Director.
• In collaboration and close engagement with the partners, develop and coordinate the implementation of partner capacity building and sharing plans to strengthen partners proceses, skills and systems, and work closely with IRC’s operational and technical teams to assure the appropriate technical support to meet partners’ needs.
• Support partners in ensuring effective sub-award management processes and procedures are in place for their small-grants facilities, including assuring strong management, accountability and compliance with SIDA forwarding of funds requirements.
• Together with the Project Director, co-lead the review of the performance of the partner, of the IRC (including on the basis of partner feedback), and of the partnership, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, fostering mutual accountability and a culture of consistent improvement for both IRC and partners. .
• Oversight of partner feedback systems, including by co-leading (with Project Director) partnership health check processes, ensuring that IRC consistently addresses partners’ concerns and recommendations in a timely manner.
• Maintain complete and organized partnership files for each partner.
• Contribute to project and Asia regional strategic priorities and initiatives, as needed.
• Travel to project sites and to visit partners, as needed/requested.
• Other duties as assigned by supervisor.
Key Working Relationships
Reports to Project Director. Works closely with all project staff including the Finance Manager and MEAL Manager, as well as with the Asia Regional team, including the Deputy Regional Director (DRD), Regional Finance Director (RFD) and Program & Award Advisor (PAA). The Grants & Partnerships Manager may also engage with other Asia country program staff and HQ teams, as needed, and will be a primary focal point for project partners.
Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications
• Minimum 5 years of program and/or grants experience with local and/or national NGOs.
• Degree, preferably in a subject related to IRC’s work (International Relations, Refugee or Migration Studies, Development Studies, Public Policy) or equivalent experience.
• Demonstrated experience in non-profit award management and/or partnership management, including donor compliance, reporting, partnership agreement development, and related areas of responsibility.
• Experience working on Sida-funded projects and/or knowledge of Sida donor rules and regulations strongly preferred.
• Proven ability to develop and maintain organized and streamlined systems for managing processes and tracking status and progress.
• Consummate team player, confident in your areas of expertise and motivated to take on additional responsibilities aligned to the priorities of the project.
• Demonstrated track record of successfully applying the partnership principles of equality, complementarity, mutuality, solidarity, results oriented, and humility in communicating, planning and collaborating with partners in a way that builds trust.
• Demonstrated experience in strengthening the technical capacity of team members or in supporting organizational growth and development of local organizations
• Excellent writing and organizational skills, including excellence in written and spoken English.
• Understanding and comfort working with budgets and finance departments
• Ability to work autonomously in scheduling and prioritizing within tight deadlines and focus on high quality work product.
• Ability to collaborate well and provide leadership, direction, partnership, and support.
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications: Word, Excel, Outlook, and project management tools.
• Comfort with web-based databases and platforms; ability to learn new systems quickly.
• Ability to travel.