Programme & Finance Associate 281 views

Job Summary
Grade: SB3, Associate
Employment Type: Full-time
Occupation: Programme and Project Management, Finance, Budget and Accounting
Location: Apia (Samoa)
Closing Date: 27 Dec 2019


The Spotlight Initiative (SI) is a global partnership between the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG), including harmful practices. In line with the principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Initiative will follow a human rights-based approach and take into consideration the specific needs of women and girls who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and uphold the principle of “leaving no one behind.” The thematic focus of the SI for the Pacific region is Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence (DV/IPV), which is primarily men’s physical and sexual violence against women, including psychological violence and emotional and economic abuse and controlling behaviors such as controlling when women can leave the house, access to finance and extreme jealousy.

Reporting to the ARR, Governance and Poverty Reduction, the Programme & Finance Associate is responsible for the execution of a wide range of financial services and administrative processes in the Spotlight Initiative ensuring timeliness, efficiency and transparent use of financial resources and delivery of services in accordance with organizational financial rules, regulations, policies, procedures and approved allocations. The Programme & Finance Associate promotes a client-oriented approach consistent with UN rules and regulations, standard practices and guidelines.

The Programme & Finance Associate works in close collaboration with the Spotlight Initiative as well as other GPRU programme staff in the Multi-Country Office, Global Shared Services Center (GSSC) and the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific as required for resolving programme finance-related issues and information delivery.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Implement financial strategies, and adapt processes and procedures in full compliance of UN rules, regulations, policies, and recording and reporting systems:

  • Perform duties in full compliance with UN financial regulations and rules, policies and standard operating procedures, including internal controls;
  • Review and verify financial transactions, activities, and documentation; taking corrective actions as needed and reporting any unusual activities;
  • Monitor financial exceptions reports for unusual activities or transaction, investigate anomalies and report to the supervisor conclusions and/or present recommendations for actions/decisions;
  • Collect, verify and present information and data for use in the planning of financial resources and the formulation of the Spotlight Initiate programme work plans, budgets, proposals on implementation arrangements and execution modalities;
  • Provide assistance in Annual Work Plan entry in Results Management System (RMS) as required;
  • Provide advice and recommend solutions to a wide range of financial issues;
  • Monitor the proper functioning of the financial resources management system for office and programmatic budgets and resources;
  • Implement and monitor cost saving and reduction strategies;
  • Review with Project Manager, in line with Month-end Closure Checklist, the Project Delivery Status Reports and investigate any overspend;
  • Respond to instructions from the Finance Section in relation to financial transactions. Undertake timely corrective actions as requested by Finance Section to resolve financial data issues or provide information;
  • Participate as a member of the team in the internal and external audits;
  • Follow-up on audit recommendations to monitor implementation of corrective actions;
  • Actively promote a client-oriented finance service.

2. Prepare and administer the Spotlight Initiative budgets in full compliance of UN rules, regulations, policies, and recording and reporting systems:

  • Formulate the budget, control allotments, monitor expenditures, and prepare revisions according to the needs of the Spotlight Initiative;
  • Track the appropriate and timely use of financial resources;
  • Prepare cost recovery documents or bills for the services provided by UN to other programmes or organizations;
  • Create projects in Atlas, prepare budget revisions, revise project awards and status; and determine unutilized funds;
  • Ensure the maintenance of the control mechanism for development projects through monitoring budgets preparation and modifications and budgetary status;
  • Maintain internal expenditure control system;
  • Undertake corrective actions on un-posted vouchers, including vouchers with budget check errors, match exceptions and unapproved vouchers. Frequently review and investigate payment vouchers which are in error; and respond to Spotlight Initiative requests to resolve financial data issues;
  • Prepare VAT reimbursements with adequate documentation support, as necessary;
  • Input data in Atlas and monitor status. Keep stakeholders and clients informed for timely action and/or decisions;
  • Manage petty cash fund;
  • Assist Project coordinator with budget re-phrasal as required.

3. Provide finance support to the Programme and Operations teams:

  • Administrative support to the Governance and Poverty Reduction unit;
  • Review accounts receivables for Spotlight Initiative projects and follow-up with project manager, project coordinator and finance section at regional office and/or headquarters on contributions, deposits creation in Atlas and their application to AR pending items;
  • Prepare PO and non-PO vouchers for development projects;
  • Prepare General Ledger journal entries (GLJEs) from proper supporting documents authorized by the project manager;
  • Review transactions in Atlas, ensure payroll, travel claims, MPOs, and other entitlements are processed;
  • Monitor the setup of budgets in ATLAS to ensure they are in accordance with budgets agreed with donors and are input into ATLAS at the detailed Activity ID level;
  • Monitor each month over-expenditure of budgets and follow up with Budget Owner;
  • Monitor regularly transactions posted to projects ensuring actual expenditure has been recorded against correct budget category and activity, take timely corrective actions as required;
  • Maintain proper follow up of advances to implementing partners;
  • Monitor the financial status and implement control mechanisms for management/development projects;
  • Monitor and proper follow up of all the financial items in Month-end and Year-end closure instructions status and under the guidance of the ARR Governance and Poverty Reduction, take correction actions as required;
  • Keep stakeholders and clients informed for timely actions/decisions and review status reports for quality control;
  • Provide information inputs to financial reports;
  • Finalize mandated financial reports to donors and other clients and stakeholders;
  • Associate revenue and expenditure in commitment control for non-core projects;
  • Provide inputs and take necessary actions to facilitate timely financial project closure;
  • Support financial donor reporting by providing timely information and taking necessary actions as required by UN Virtual Global Service Centre for financial donor reporting;
  • Assist with preparation for Audit of Projects and Partners by third party audit firm. Follow-up and/or take action on audit recommendations to ensure implementation of corrective actions. Assist in reviewing the audit reports on CSO executed projects.

4. Provide administrative support to Resource Mobilization:

  • Compile and process information from donors, CO, and programme team, as inputs to various databases and documents;
  • Prepare drafts for cost sharing agreements including conditions of contributions within resource mobilization efforts, adhering to standard agreements where possible. Follow up on contributions within the Spotlight Initiative resource mobilization efforts.

5. Facilitate knowledge building and knowledge sharing:

  • Conduct training and/or helping organize training events and activities;
  • Collect and compile lessons learned and best practices in financial management and services. Disseminate to clients and stakeholders as appropriate to build capacity and knowledge;
  • Contribute to financial business operational practices and management innovations;
  • Supervise and guide staff and personnel under responsibility, as applicable, provide technical guidance and monitor performance to ensure delivery of results according to plans and standards of accountability and performance;
  • Undertake all trainings in relation to financial management provided, including webinars from headquarters.

Core Competencies:


  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.


  • Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.


  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.

Technical/Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management

  • Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.


  • Ability to examine and verify accounts and records.

Accounting (General)

  • Knowledge of accounting concepts, principles, regulations and policies and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Financial Management

  • Ability to create a process to achieve financial goals.

Financial Planning and Budgeting

  • Ability to create and manage processes to achieve UNDP’s long term and short term financial goals.

Financial Reporting and Analysis

  • Ability to evaluate financial data, derive relevant findings and present them in a meaningful manner.

IT Security Management

  • Knowledge of IT Security management concepts, processes and innovations and the ability to apply to strategic and/ or practical situations.

Results-based Management

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results.
Required Skills and Experience


  • Secondary Education;
  • University Degree in Finance, Business or Public Administration desirable, but it is not a requirement.


  • Secondary education with at least 6 years of progressively responsible finance and accounting experience is required at the national or international level; OR,
  • Bachelor’s degree with 3 years’ experience in above areas;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web- based management systems;
  • Experience with ERP financials, preferably PeopleSoft.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and Samoan both written and verbal.


  • This vacancy is open to Samoan nationals only;
  • Women candidates are encouraged to apply.

Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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.

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