Risk and Compliance Specialist , Plan International , Lilongwe

negotiable / YEAR Expired 6 days ago
This job has expired.



The Organisation

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan has gained vast experience since 1937 when it was established, and it works in more than 75 countries across the world. We strive for a just world, working together with children, young people, our supporters, partners and host governments. Our work supports marginalised children and youth, especially adolescent girls, to grow up physically and mentally healthy and ready to shape their future. We create an enabling environment and empower girls to be active drivers of change in realising their rights. Plan International has been working in Malawi since 1994 in 14 districts, and its current strategy aims to reach 3.5 million adolescent girls and young women between 2022-2027 through different interventions.

Role Purpose

Plan International is an independent child rights and humanitarian organisation committed to children living a life free of poverty, violence and injustice. We actively unite children, communities and other people who share our mission to make positive lasting changes in children’s and young people’s lives. We support children to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to claim their rights to a fulfilling life, today and in the future. We place a specific focus on girls and women, who are most often left behind. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 75 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries. In Malawi, Plan International has been operational since 1994.

The realisation of our global strategy 2023-2027 “All girls standing strong creating global change” requires minimisation of risks and protection of assets, ensuring accuracy of records, promoting operational efficiency, and encouraging adherence to policies, rules, regulations, and laws. This role will be central to supporting the Plan International Malawi Office in maintaining a healthy internal controls environment, and compliance to key Government of Malawi regulations and policies (i.e. taxation, registration, etc.).


Job Summary: 

The role reports to the Country Director, and may line manage one Internal Compliance staff depending on structure adjustments in accordance with the approved organisational chart of Plan International Malawi. This position has no delegated financial authority, however, the incumbent is a budget holder of approximately $30,000 annually to enable running of activities and travel.


Internal Control Framework

  • Facilitate translation and understanding of global Plan International Inc. internal controls and management standards among leadership team members
  • Support functional leaders in developing and strengthening departmental local policies, controls, and actions for their effectiveness and appropriateness
  • Support functional leaders to implement and monitor compliance to policies and controls
  • Stay abreast of external global trends and practices and advise the leadership team where necessary to continuously improve or introduce new changes to the internal control environment
  • Identify areas of business operations where there is a risk of non-compliance and facilitate processes for heads of departments to develop risk mitigation measures
  • Ensure a system and process is in place and is followed to regularly identify, analyse and manage risks
  • Support the leadership team to strengthen risk management in line with Plan International requirements, ensuring the team works through its country risk management plans of action, and updates and monitors the country risk register

Internal Control Reviews

  • Prepare an annual workplan within the first month of the fiscal year, of planned internal & external audits, and internal reviews of compliance with Plan’s management standards and controls in place across all functions and geographical locations
  • Conduct regular reviews to assess compliance of departments and individual employees to policies and controls
  • Review existing local internal procedures and processes for their effectiveness and appropriateness to achieve the organisational objectives
  • Investigate complex or sensitive incidents when directed to do so, and recommend actions in accordance with findings
  • Monitor implementation and closure of actions taken by the leadership in response to audits or internal control reviews
  • Support the audit committee in its duties of ensuring that all agreed audit actions and recommendations are accurate and implemented timely


  • Maintain complete records of compliance reviews and investigations
  • Compile and submit reports from all reviews timely, highlighting any areas of potential risk and with clear recommendations on areas of improvement, good practice for scaling up, and priority management action
  • Maintain a tracker of all actions from findings of Global Assurance and external audits, and provide analysis at least twice a year of recurring issues and lessons for the leadership team to learn from and ensure continuous improvement
  • Support the filing of key reports with regulatory agencies to demonstrate compliance with appropriate procedures
  • Support the leadership team to report any breach of regulations to the proper regulatory authority
  • Ensure an early start to mandatory global quarterly or annual reporting on risks and related controls and actions by supporting department heads complete necessary tasks within the global online system
  • Contribute to quarterly management reporting sections on audit actions and updating the country risk register

Training and Development

  • Develop communication and training programmes, and conduct training & orientation sessions to help staff and partner organisations understand their roles in compliance, particularly around fraud, corruption, bribery, and management of risks
  • Support and work in conjunction with functional heads to address specific training and development needs to fill compliance gaps in various policy areas
  • Advise the leadership team on necessary training to bring Plan International Malawi, a department, or particular staff (in Plan International or partner NGOs) up to speed on compliance standards

Audit & Legal Liaison

  • Act as the go-between of Plan International Malawi and Global Assurance, external audit firms or government departments on compliance requirements
  • The Post Holder is the focal point person for all legal issues and coordinator for all compliance requirements of Plan Malawi including internal compliances as well as external compliances to donors, registration of Plan Malawi requirements and governments laws and regulations etc.
  • Ensure all audits are carried out based on donor requirements and comprehensive annual audit plan
  • Facilitate internal (Global Assurance) and external audit missions across various Malawi locations
  • Remain abreast of changes in external audit procedures to ensure Plan International is complying
  • Communicate with relevant governmental departments or legal professionals with insights into changing regulations, standard compliance practices and other changes that may impact the merit of current policies and internal controls.

Managing People

  • Hire, develop and retain qualified people within the Risk & Compliance Unit
  • Supervise, coach, mentor, manage performance and talent, and ensure accountability of staff in the Unit
  • Develop, agree and communicate annual Risk & Compliance Unit goal, objectives, key performance indicators, and ensure team deliverables are timely and of high quality
  • Monitored, update, and ensure high standards of performance and behaviours in line with Plan International values and feminist leadership principles
  • Ensure an annual learning agenda for the staff in the Unit to improve knowledge and skills

Safeguarding, Risk Management, and Gender Equality & Inclusion

  • Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Child Protection (CPP) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

Key relationships


  • A team member of the extended country leadership team
  • An active member of the Audit Committee
  • Department and functional heads – sponsorship, finance, programmes, programme quality, programme area managers on compliance with standards and policies
  • Regional Internal Compliance staff in country offices within MEESA for mutual learning & sharing
  • Global Assurance, counter fraud unit, and risk management contact people at global hub for technical support and advice as needed


  • Other INGOs/ peer organisations for benchmarking and mutual learning
  • Legal advisor
  • Audit firms
  • Government departments responsible for INGOs regulatory procedures, e.g. NGORA
  • Donors & National Offices


Technical Expertise, Knowledge and Skills

Essential qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in management, law, accounting, auditing or certification through accreditation organizations e.g. International Association of Risk and Compliance Professionals, which offers the Certified Risk and Compliance Management Professional certification
  • 5 years of continuous progressive work experience in this function and in similar posts

Expertise and Knowledge

  • Deep understanding of the various key organisational policies, processes and procedures
  • Excellent technical knowledge of internationally accepted audit processes and procedures
  • Strong experience in conducting reviews, assessments, or investigations in Plan International or other NGOs
  • First-hand experience and knowledge of working in a counter fraud unit
  • Professional expertise and operating largely unsupervised in compliance and risk management
  • Solid experience leading the development of new internal organisational procedures and controls

Leadership and business management competencies

  • Excellent written and spoken English skills
  • Proven skills in the full range of internal controls reviews, audit and risk management
  • Skills in supporting strategic planning
  • Excellent negotiation and influencing skills in multi-cultural contexts
  • Strong facilitation skills and experience of working in participatory ways with staff, partner NGOs, and communities
  • A proven ability to support and work with staff and keep staff motivated
  • An ability to support staff and senior management team to review and challenge findings
  • Excellent analytical skills to understand the implications and complexities of different regulations
  • Good communication skills to ensure that all employees understand the importance of compliance
  • Persuasion skills to enforce policies, reduce risk, and ensure adherence to standards


  • Behaves consistently in approach to work and decision-making
  • Strongly drives performance forward together with the team
  • Balances future vision with practical delivery
  • Develops mutual trusting relationships with complex partnerships that have excellent business outcomes
  • Sets a strong learning culture in their team
  • Remains calm and positive under pressure and in difficult situations
  • Aware of impact on others and adjusts own behaviour accordingly
  • Tolerant of differences – cultural sensitivity in relation to its impact on people

Plan International’s Values in Practice

We are open and accountable

  • Promotes a culture of openness and transparency, including with sponsors and donors.
  • Holds self and others accountable to achieve the highest standards of integrity.
  • Consistent and fair in the treatment of people.
  • Open about mistakes and keen to learn from them.
  • Accountable for ensuring we are a safe organisation for all children, girls & young people

We strive for lasting impact

  • Articulates a clear purpose for staff and sets high expectations.
  • Creates a climate of continuous improvement, open to challenge and new ideas.
  • Focuses resources to drive change and maximise long-term impact, responsive to changed priorities or crises.
  • Evidence-based and evaluates effectiveness.

We work well together

  • Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate.
  • Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals.
  • Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities.
  • Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.

We are inclusive and empowering

  • We empower our staff to give their best and develop their potential
  • We respect all people, appreciate differences and challenge equality in our programs and our workplace
  • We support children, girls and young people to increase their confidence and to change their own lives.

Physical Environment

  • Typically office environment with visits to the field offices, other country offices in the region, or global meetings
  • The role may require excessive travel as outlined above

Level of contact with children

  • Low: No contact or very low frequency of interaction.

Location: Country Office, Lilongwe.

Type of Role: Fixed Term

Reports to: Country Director

Grade: Level 15

Closing Date: 9 June 2024

Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the very heart of everything that Plan International stands for.

Qualified females are encouraged to apply!

We want Plan International to reflect the diversity of the communities we work with, offering equal opportunities to everyone regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Plan International is based on a culture of inclusivity and we strive to create a workplace environment that ensures every team, in every office, in every country, is rich in diverse people, thoughts, and ideas.

We foster an organisational culture that embraces our commitment to racial justice, gender equality, girls’ rights and inclusion.

Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. This means that we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with and we must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk.

A range of pre-employment checks will be undertaken in conformity with Plan International’s Safeguarding Children and Young People policy. Plan International also participates in the Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this scheme we will request information from applicants previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms their understanding of these recruitment procedures.

Please note that Plan International will never send unsolicited emails requesting payment from candidates.

WORK HOURS: 8 Hours a Day


Lilongwe, Malawi
This job has expired.