Project Finance Officer (Analyst) (NPSA8)

JOB DESCRIPTION

Job Description

Background
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

The Strengthening Capacity and Effectiveness of the People’s Assemblies System in Laos Project, or STEPS, is a 5-year initiative, supported by USAID, to strengthen the Assemblies’ and their Members’ ability to represent better their constituents, in particular women and vulnerable groups, to hold the government to account and to explore an expanded role in the budgeting and law-making.

The Project Finance Officer works in a UNDP project team of international and national professional and support staff. S/he will provide project management support to the Project Manager in the effective implementation of operational, administrative, procurement and financial processes.  S/he is expected to exercise full compliance with UNDP programming, financial, procurement and administrative rules, regulations, policies and strategies, as well as implementation of the effective internal control systems.  An important area of responsibility is liaising with staff of the Provincial People’s Assemblies (PPAs) on financial and operational matters and capacity building activities.

The Project Finance Officer works in close collaboration with the project technical team, MEL Specialist and Project Manager and maintains effective working relationships with project Implementing Partners (IPs), donors and other partners such as UN agencies.

The position will be based in in the UNDP Lao PDR Country Office in Vientiane, with occasional travel to any of the PPAs.

UNDP Laos is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.  Persons with disabilities, persons from ethnic groups and people from other diverse groups are encouraged to apply.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Project Associate will work under direct supervision of the STEPS Project Manager.

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Provide project management support
  • Management and monitoring of project finances
  • Provision of technical support and institutional strengthening to project partner organisations, particularly in financial and operational management

Provide project management support:

  • Ensure compliance with procedures frameworks, including by learning and applying UNDP’s Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP), and USAID financial and administrative requirements.
  • Assist formulation and design of the programme and preparation and revision of project Annual Work Plans (AWPs), including preparation of budget estimates and budget revisions.
  • Ensure timely updating of UNDP´s results-management systems including the ATLAS project management module.
  • Provide regular analysis on project’s operational performance including activity issues/risks, budget resources and expenditures, procurement, assets, and recruitment.  Identify operational issues and proposes innovative solutions.

Management and monitoring of project finances:

  • Ongoing monitoring of project resource balances, expenditures and accurate use of funds, including ensuring income is allocated to the project and fully budgeted, and forthcoming expenditure can be met by available resources.
  • Facilitate audit and spot check exercises, including by preparing documentation, liaising with auditors, providing clarification and ensuring the implementation of audit recommendations.
  • Support preparation of regular analysis based on project financial reports to inform project management of any potential risks and support decision-making on financial issues.
  • Prepare inputs for reporting, including donor reporting.
  • Follow up on the internal expenditure control system including timely corrective actions on un-posted vouchers, including the vouchers with budget check errors, match exceptions, unapproved vouchers.

Provision of technical support and institutional strengthening to project partner organisations, particularly in financial and operational management:

  • Review partner organisations’ financial submissions, provides feedback for improvement; facilitate UNDP’s disbursements of financial support; monitor resource balances/expenditures.
  • Support project implementing partners to improve their financial and operational management by conducting training and supporting preparation for audits and spot checks.
  • Act as focal point for project partners’ financial and operational issues.  Oversee advances and liquidations through the HACT system, monitoring aging advances and taking action where necessary.
  • Record findings from audits and spot checks of implementing partners, monitoring and updating action taken on the findings.
  • Advising the Project Manager of any concerns regarding implementing partners’ financial and operational management.
Competencies

Core competencies:

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making
  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Business Direction & Strategy

  • Effective Decision Making; Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources

Business Management

  • Project Management; Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals

Administration & Operations

  • Events Management (including retreats, trainings, and meetings); Ability to manage events, including venue identification, accommodation, logistics, catering, transportation, and cash disbursements, etc.

Procurement

  • Financial Analysis; Knowledge of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets, and other finance related transactions to determine their performance and suitability.
Required Skills and Experience
Education:
  • Master’s degree in Accountancy, Business or Public Administration or related fields. Or Bachelor’s degree in relevant fields with two (2) years of experience in lieu of Master’s degree
  • Longlisted candidates may be required to take the UNDP Advanced Accountancy and Finance Test (AAFT) in case they are not in a possession of accounting qualification.
Experience:
  • If Bachelor’s degree, a minimum of two (2) years of professional experience in administration and financial support for projects or programmes.
  • Highly competent in using computers and office software packages.
  • Experience in project management assistance by supporting administrative, operational and logistical processes.
  • Experience with web-based management systems.
  • Expertise in UNDP ERP, ATLAS and SharePoint is an advantage.
  • Experience in managing grants for development programmes/projects that are funded by multiple fund sources.
  • Experience working in the UN or other international development organization is an asset

Required Language(s);

  • Fluency in English and Lao essential

Professional Certificates:

  • An accounting qualification is desirable

NOTE: This position is open for Laos nationals only

Disclaimer
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
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