Programme Support Consultant to Coordinate and Provide Technical Guidance on the SI Project Verification Exercise


Location : Harare, ZIMBABWE
Application Deadline :03-Jul-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :7d 10h 16m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
18-Jul-2022
Duration of Initial Contract :40 Working Days
Expected Duration of Assignment :40 Working Days


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.


Background

The Spotlight Initiative is a global partnership to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. It was launched in September 2017 by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and the European Union (EU) High Representative. It is a visible political and financial investment from the EU in the multilateral relationship with the UN and in gender equality. The Spotlight Initiative in Africa is being implemented in 8 countries (Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe). The focus for the African initiative is GBV, SRHR and Harmful Practices (HP) In Zimbabwe the SI is being implemented by six UN agencies Namely, ILO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women (RUNOs).

The overall vision of the Spotlight Initiative in Zimbabwe is that women and girls realize their full potential in a violence-free, gender-responsive and inclusive Zimbabwe. The Spotlight Initiative will directly contribute to Zimbabwe’s achievement of three of the country’s prioritized Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Goal 5 on Gender Equality, Goal 3 on good health and well-being and Goal 16 on inclusive and peaceful societies. The programme will contribute to the elimination of SGBV and HPs through the creation of a broad partnership with Government, Civil Society, Private Sector, Media, among others; and build a social movement of women, men, girls and boys as champions and agents of change at the national, subnational and community levels. A specific focus will be on reaching and including in the programme women and girls who are often marginalised and most vulnerable to SGBV and HPs due to intersecting forms of discrimination. The programme will also seek to address the SRHR needs of all women and girls using a life-cycle approach.

The Spotlight Initiative is an EU funded project which is subject to spot checks, investigations, and verifications in accordance with the procedures and rules agreed upon between the UN and the EU. The Spotlight Initiative Programme Zimbabwe is set to undergo an EU verification exercise scheduled for mid-2022. Verification missions proffer an opportunity for the EU through its representative, to acquire an understanding of, and to report on, the adequacy of the systems of accountability, in terms of accounting system, procedures, reporting, and audit mechanism in place.

It is within this background that the UNDP CO is seeking to engage a National Consultant (IC) to provide technical support to the project team in undertaking the necessary preparatory work for the verification and ensuring a smooth verification exercise. In collaboration with the project team, the IC will ensure all required documents for the verification exercise are in place, and he/she will also provide guidance and assistance during the verification exercise.

EU Verification Exercise 2022

Under the Verification Clause annexed to the Finance and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA), the European Commission (EC), its representatives and other competent bodies of the EU (such as the European Court of Auditors) may carry out checks related to operations financed by the EU. The objective of the verification mission is to acquire an understanding of the UN organisation’s system of accountability (accounting systems and procedures, internal control and procurement procedures, reporting, oversight/audit mechanisms) in place, and enable the EC to report to its own institutions on the proper use of its funds under the selected contribution agreement.

EU and UN entities have agreed on Common Terms of Reference for Verification Missions (“ToRs”) which set the objectives, scope, and methodology of the verification mission in practice. According to the ToRs the verification has a twofold scope: (i) to review of the adequacy of the system of accountability put in place by UN entity to account for, and report on, the use of the funds provided by Delegation Agreement for the Action, (ii) to check on the adequacy of the information supporting the implementation of the Delegation Agreement and the UN entity’s use of the EC funds.

It is therefore imperative for the CO to ensure that all files requested by the verifiers are in place, accurate and of high quality in terms of content of the information. The CO also has to ensure for a collaborative and smooth EU expenditure verification through providing the necessary documents in a timely manner, providing support to the auditors as per the FAFA agreement, and taking all necessary measures to facilitate the verification exercise.


Duties and Responsibilities

SCOPE OF WORK

In line with the highlighted project background, and the envisaged verification mission, the consultant is expected to coordinate and support the preparatory work for the verification exercise, and more importantly provide guidance and assistance during the verification exercise. In undertaking this work, the IC will work closely with the project team, and will be guided by: (i) Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement between the EU and the UN,ii) Terms of Reference for Verification Missions, (iii) UNDP Zimbabwe Standard Operating Procedures for European Union (EU) Project Verification, (iv) UNDP EU Verification checklist, and (v) the list of selected transactions for the verification exercise.  Specific tasks include:

Undertake Verification Preparatory work:

  • Review all UNDP SI transactions for the period ending 31 July 2022 ensuring all necessary supporting documents are in place.
  • Cross-check all expenditures for the period ending 31 July 2022 with the approved budget lines,
  • Ensure the mandatory verification support documents are on file guided by the (i) ToRs for the Verification Missions, (ii) UNDP Zimbabwe SOP for EU Project Verification, and (iii) the UNDP EU Verification checklist,
  • Engage the UNDP SI programme team for provision and verification of SI activity documents,
  • Review and ensure all supporting documentation from IPs/RPs are in place and verify for accuracy and quality,
  • Engage the IPs/RPs to sensitize them on the verification, and to provide the missing documents or the required information,
  • Document findings and recommend actions to address shortcomings identified, strengthen internal controls, and improve project internal control processes,
  • Once sampling list for the Verification Mission is provided, the consultant will prepare and put on file all the required supporting documents for submission to the verifiers.

Support the verification process:

  • In liaison with the programmes team, provide the requested transaction list and supporting documents in a timely manner. Share and upload documents guided by UNDP rules,
  • Organize and participate in the verification opening meetings, engagement with IP/RPs, and the debriefing / closing meeting.  
  • Respond to requests for additional documentation, and address all queries raised by the verifiers,
  • Review the draft verification reports and address all inconsistencies. Provide draft management comments and responses for consideration by senior management,
  • Provide an end of assignment report, detailing all actions undertaken and recommendations for future verification exercises.

 EXPECTED DELIVERABLES

The expected deliverables for the consultancy are:

  • SI transactions and budget review report,
  • Mandatory verification support documents / file in place,
  • Monthly reports on work undertaken,
  • Final assignment report detailing all actions undertaken and recommendations for future verification exercises and presentation of the report to the UNDP SI Project Team.

 


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards,
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability,
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Functional Competencies:

  1. Judgement/Decision-making
  • Strong technical skills and analytical capacities, sound judgment;
  • Strong technical problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to understand and establish priorities and work by objectives.

Teamwork

  • Ability to work in a team and establish effective working relationships with people from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds;

Ability to work under stress and work overtime when required.

  • Excellent knowledge of the UN system and UN joint country programming processes (CCA/UNDAF),
  • Good knowledge and experience with the national development frameworks, especially Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) PRSP, SWAP, key legislation, etc.
  • Specialised technical knowledge, including in conducting external programme evaluations, data collection and analytical skills, mainstreaming the HRBA to programming and gender equality and women’s empowerment considerations, and transition contexts.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork and adept at working with people of diverse cultural and social backgrounds,
  • An understanding of and ability to abide by the core values of the United Nations.


Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Advanced university degree in Economics, Accounting, Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance, or related field,
  • A first level degree in combination with a certification as a Chartered Accountant or Certified Public Accountant may be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree,
  • Additional professional certifications are an added advantage.

Experience

  • At least 5 years professional experience as a professional auditor or accountant in public audit practice,
  • Experience working as a programme associate or assistant within UN agencies will be an added advantage,
  • Experience in auditing or another directly relevant area,
  • Experience coordinating and liaising with government agencies and/or donors is an asset,
  • Experience working in the UN System is an asset.

Language

  • Excellent written and spoken English,
  • Knowledge of the other UN official working language is an asset.

Application procedure:

Applicants are requested to upload copies of:

  • Latest CV highlighting the relevant experience;

  • Updated P11 Form template of which can be downloaded from this website http://www.sas.undp.org/Documents/P11_Personal_history_form.doc.

  •  A detailed technical proposal on undertaking the tasks and evidence of previous work;
  • Financial proposal (All-inclusive daily fee): Interested individuals are kindly requested to submit an all-inclusive daily consultancy fee using the template which can be downloaded from: https://www.dropbox.com/s/789q1hvdrdgwqqc/PPG_Cons_Letter%20of%20Interest%20and%20Availability.docx?dl=0

Please group all your documents (CV, P11, Technical Proposal, Financial Proposal and Certificates) into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document. Incomplete applications will not be given consideration.

Applicants must reply to the mandatory questions asked by the system when submitting the application
Please note that only applicants who are short-listed will be contacted.


Timeframe
The duration of the consultancy will be for 40 days.

Evaluation criteria:

The Consultant will be evaluated based on qualifications and the years of experience, as outlined in the qualifications/requirements section of the ToR.  In addition, the Consultant will also be evaluated on the following methodology:
 
Technical Criteria weight: 70%;
Financial Criteria weight: 30%;

The award of the contract shall be made to the Consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as: Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the Terms of Reference.

Payment Terms:

Note that all payments to the IC are dependent on the satisfactory completion of deliverables. Monthly Payment is linked to deliverables as per table below:

Verification Preparatory Work - 50%

  • Support the verification process,
  • Mandatory verification support document/filein place,
  • IP/RPs engaged and sensitized on the verification process,
  • All supported documents for the sampling lists provided in a timely manner,
  • Recommendations to strengthen the internal controls,
  • Monthly progress report developed detailing activities undertaken and planned next steps.

Technical Support during the verification exercise- 40%

  • Verification of the completeness of documents, engagement with IPs and debriefing meetings organized and attended,
  • Draft Verification reports reviewed, and comments provided,
  • Queries and requests for further information addressed in a timely and professional mannerThe duration of the consultancy will be for 3 Months.

End of consultancy reporting obligations- 10%

  • End of assignment report detailing activities undertaken and planned next steps.

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR MANAGEMENT OF THIS CONSULTANCY

The principal responsibility for managing this assignment lies with the UNDP Country Office, Zimbabwe. UNDP will contract the consultant and ensure the timely provision of reimbursable costs and remuneration. UNDP will mobilise internal technical expertise to support the consultant’s work. UNDP will support the consultant’s engagement with stakeholders, arrange for meetings, field visits and coordinate with Zimbabwe Government,

Under the overall supervision of the UNDP Programme Specialist, the consultant will be in charge of the delivery of quality work as per the TORs,

The consultant, through the coordination of UNDP will be expected to work closely with Government officials and other partners

UNDP is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staff, and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Well qualified candidates, particularly women and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

 

 



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