Operations Advisor

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - New York, NY4.3

Operations Advisor
Job ID
Practice Area - Job Family
Vacancy End Date
(Midnight New York, USA)
Time Left
10d 8h 13m
Duty Station
New York, United States
Education & Work Experience
I-Master's Level Degree - 10 year(s) experience

Vacancy Type
FTA International
Posting Type
Contract Duration
1 Year with possibility for extension

Organizational Context

General Context:
UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) is the largest regional bureau, covering 46 countries, ranging from high middle-income economies to least developed countries, as well as countries in crisis and post-crisis situations. UNDP works with its national counterparts in the Africa region to help them implement national development priorities and achieve their national development goals. Its work is guided by global and regional development and normative frameworks to which countries in Africa are signatories, including the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

Specific Post Context:
Under the direct guidance and supervision of the RBA Deputy Regional Director and in coordination with Bureau for Management Services (BMS) Unit Heads, the Operations Advisor acts as a senior advisor to the RBA Country Office Senior Management, providing strategic guidance, coordination and oversight on all managerial and operational issues related to the CO programme and operations activities and supports offices in achieving financial sustainability.

The Management Support Team (MST) is responsible for strategic planning and management of financial, human and administrative resources including efficient procurement and logistical service, information communications and technology, the effective and efficient delivery of essential operations services in RBA, continuous development and improvement in operations, policies, and methods to align with RBA and clients evolving business needs and advisory support to RBA Directorate in the formulation and implementation of the RBA overall mission, strategy and plans of actions.

The Operations Advisor / Manager reports to the Deputy Regional Director, and is responsible under the Deputy’s guidance for the management of all activities related to financial planning and accounting, operations including premises relocation issues, establishment and implementation of internal control including audit, operational performance reviews and preparation of management reports.

The Operations Manager provides policy support to the Deputy Regional Director on strategy development, and management of the implementation of the unit’s overall strategies, and fostering intra/inter unit collaboration for high performance.
Duties and Responsibilities
Functions/Key Results expected

Function 1: Budget and Fund Management

Ensure successful completion of all annual resources and budgetary needs of Hqs and the 45 country offices for submission to RBA senior management approval.
Exercises headquarters oversight role on, monitors performance of, and provides guidance to, the Operations Managers (DRR-O) in country offices in the annual and periodic resources management (core and non-core funds and related staff positions) and reporting to ensure optimum allocation and use of resources for programme and operations needs and compliance with corporate decisions.
Oversees the prioritization of country offices premises relocation demands by determining (in consultation with BOM/Security office) the relocation demands which are security-induced and those which are not, and negotiating corporate funding in support of the move.
Formulate the Bureau’s annual and biennial budgets for the consideration of management, ensuring that they meet the Corporate overall requirements and reflect decisions taken by UNDP and the bureau senior management on financial and operational matters;
Monitor the budget implementation and performance of the Hqs units and country offices and Trust Funds and Cost-sharing funds; ensure financial liquidity at all times; also ensure that the transactions against the Funds are recorded in Atlas accurately and that expenditures remain within authorized levels;
Routinely monitors financial exception report for unusual activities, transactions, and investigate anomalies or unusual transactions. Inform supervisor and other UNDP staff at Headquareters of the result of the investigation when satisfactory answers are not obtained and ensure that all financial transactions are identified, recorded and verified in compliance with IPSAS as outlined in the corporate policies and procedures,
Facilitates the provision of on-demand financial technical advisory services to COs, and knowledge sharing/capacity building of CO managers.

Expected results:
i) Sound financial resource management, effective budget utilization, and long-term financial sustainability of RBA headquarters and country offices; ii) RBA compliance with corporate resource management and reporting guidelines.
Function 2: Efficient procurement and logistical services management focusing on:
  • Ensure efficient procurement at RBA HQ level in accordance with corporate rules and regulations
  • Assist and advise units and country offices on government cost-sharing management from project document formulation to implementation and procurement.
  • Advises CO programmed and operations teams on effective business processes, including procurement services, to ensure effective delivery and CO risk management
  • Facilitates the provision of on-demand procurement technical advisory services to COs, and knowledge sharing/capacity building to CO managers.
Expected results:
(i)Improved and efficient procurement functions at RBA headquarters, (ii) assistance and advice provided to RBA regional programmes and Country Offices.

Function 3: Advisory Support and Technical Guidance:
Submit to Supervisor and/or senior management financial analysis and trends of donors' non-core (Trust funds, cost-sharing etc) contributions to RBA; contribute to development of policies and standards of agreements to facilitate resource mobilization, including cost-sharing and trust fund agreements.
Prepare financial forecasts and past and current expenditure trends and patterns for senior management review and evaluation of financial status.
Report on financial operating environment at the HQ and field office level; take action to adjust to needs. Advise and/or keep informed on the financial legal implications and risks assessments
Monitors corporate business intelligence tools to ensure problem solving and compliance by RBA units.
Work in close collaboration with the clustering of business process team of RBA and BMS through regular briefings and review of clustering plans and proposals, provision of data, reports and analysis as needed and required.

Expected results:
i) Improved and efficient financial operations at RBA headquarters and for RBA HQ managed regional projects; ii) Fast response time for queries on budget issues emanating from COs.

Function 4: financial reporting and responding to audit
Monitor the timing of year-end closure of accounts and ensure all financial balances are captured in the corporate systems (Atlas) for accuracy and compliance with UNDP accounting standards and principles.
Prepares strategic financial reports and comparative analyses for senior management including information related to programme and project financial status, analysis of income, expenditure, delivery rates, etc.
In coordination with other units, identifies weak performing country offices through composite performance assessments and/or country office scan and recommends to RBA senior management actions to improve financial performance;
Respond to internal and external audit enquiries and findings. Evaluate audit observations and/or take timely corrective actions to resolve issues/anomalies. Provide advice to Supervisor/Senior Management on issues relating to Audit;
Support and advise Country Offices on audit recommendations follow-up and timely closure.
Lead in the preparation and submission of action plans for addressing weaknesses identified in the implementation of control systems and processes including those identified in audit reports
Represents the bureau in the technical boards for ATLAS and Enterprise Risk Management;
Represents the bureau at the UNDP inter-bureau analytics task force on performance management.

Expected results:
Improvement in audit recommendations closure in RBA. Early warning system in place to track financial performance of country offices , regional service centers and RBA HQ with measures to support improvements in the areas of weakness.

Function 5: Others

i) Partnership and networking
Collaborate with internal and external partners, colleagues in other Bureaux to keep abreast of evolving trends, development and needs, share ideas for improvements and align services according to needs.
Represent RBA in corporate and external meetings/bodies dealing with finance policy setting and decision-making as appropriate;
ii) Knowledge management and capacity building

Constantly monitor and evaluate operational policies, procedures, methods, tools and associated systems, to assess its utility, applicability and efficacy in operational management. Recommend and/or draft new policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices in business operations to enhance services.
Lead/organize training events and design/set training agenda for country offices (eg, Operations Managers workshop) and Hqs. Determine and make available sufficient and expert resources for training events.

Impact of Results
The key results have an impact on the role of the Assistant Administrator and Director for ensuring the effective financial operations of the Bureau and in meeting UNDP’s goal to moving performance from good to great.
The results expected from this position will play a key role in determining the pace of improvement in financial management both at RBA Headquarters and Country Offices and bolster the Director’s efforts to improve RBA’s image.
Critical financial and related management decisions will be made in the Bureau on a regular basis based on the information and analysis produced by the incumbent; therefore any sign of avoidable errors and/or weak analysis including reporting will negatively affect the bureau’s reputation.

Functional Competencies:
Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
Level 3: Participating in the development of policies and innovative approaches and promoting their application throughout the organization
Actively seeks and promotes innovative methodologies and leads the development of supporting policies/tools to encourage learning and knowledge sharing
Develops and/or participates in the development of policies and new approaches and participates in training of staff in their application throughout the organization
Promotes UNDP as a learning/knowledge sharing organization
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
Level 3: Expert knowledge of own discipline
Possesses expert knowledge of advanced concepts in primary discipline, a broad knowledge of related disciplines, as well as an in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures;
Applies knowledge to support the unit/branch’s objectives and to further the mandate of the organization(s);
Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself personally;
Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
Demonstrates expert knowledge of the current financial guidelines and project management tools and manages the use of these regularly in work assignments.
Promoting Organizational Change and Development
Level 3: Influencing organizational change and development
 Identifies problems central to the organization’s success, assesses their impact;
 Provides change and development advice, including the design and implementation of change strategies / processes to enable staff/the organization to deal with change effectively;
 Drives process definition, simplification, and integration efforts throughout the organization.
Design and Implementation of Management Systems
Level 3: Formulating strategy for system implementation
Designs management systems based on established best practice and identified needs within UNDP
Manages complex design projects where different actors are involved at different stages of the project until completed
Provides advice on the financial structuring and designs necessary budgets for complex projects and prepare financing documentation
Formulates strategy for the implementation of systems
Advocates through internal networks the demonstrable value of existing systems to facilitate achievement of organizational goals
Review systems performance to support rigorous development of systems standards and modes of operation
Engages in active consultation with organizational units within UNDP, regarding the types of systems required by UNDP
Client Orientation
Level 3: Meeting long-term client needs
Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives
Proactively identifies, develops and discusses solutions for internal and external clients, and persuades management to undertake new projects or services
Consults with clients and ensures their needs are represented in decision-making processes
Advises and develops strategic and operational solutions with clients that add value to UNDP programmes and operations
Promoting Accountability and Results-Based Management
Level 3: Development and application of organizational standards
Ensures compliance with the organizational standards for audit, monitoring and evaluation and results-based management and promotes and monitors their application
Promotes a culture of accountability in the organization
Develops, disseminates and promotes the use of sound methodologies and tools to assist organizational units in carrying out results-based monitoring and evaluation
Analyses audit, evaluation and policy application review results, extracts key elements and prepares proposals to address areas of weakness in the organization’s performance.

Core Competencies:
Building support and political acumen;
Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation;
Building and promoting effective teams;
Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication
Creating an emotionally intelligent organization;
Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNDP & setting standards;
Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning;
Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking.
Required Skills and Experience

Advanced Degree in Business Administration, Management, Finance, Accounting, Public Administration or related disciplines.

At least 10 years of relevant experience in financial management and providing management advisory services and managing operational systems;
Excellent knowledge of all functional areas of Operations;
Solid experience in Headquarters is an asset;
Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling web based management systems and ERP systems, preferably PeopleSoft.

Language Requirements:
Fluency in English, both written and oral;
Working Knowledge in French is an asset.
Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

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.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.