Administrative and Finance Assistant,


Location : Minsk, BELARUS
Application Deadline :21-Feb-16 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Service Contract
Post Level :SB-3
Languages Required :
English   Russian  
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year with further extension based on performance evaluation
Expected Duration of Assignment :Project duration period is 3 years.

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

In its National Sustainable Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2030 adopted in February 2015, the Government of Belarus prioritizes ensuring transparency and openness of the public administration and the development of the public administration system in the interest of sustainable development. At the same time, it intends to expand the practice of participation of civil society and the private sector in the development of public regulatory measures through constructive dialogue between the government, society and business community.

However, citizen participation in planning, monitoring and other stages of the local programmes and budgetary processes in Belarus is virtually absent largely because these processes traditionally have been vertically driven. Local Councils and Executive Committees often have little access to the everyday experiences and realities of a large majority of citizens and civil servants have limited incentives and capacity to look for innovative forms of citizen and communities engagement in policy formulation or service provision, as they do not have the skills and necessary instruments to do so. Additionally, there is no requirement to involve citizens in planning or redesign service provision based on the received feedback. This makes it difficult to monitor the implementation of state policies and programs, and to evaluate their results. In addition to civil servants, a wide range of other public sector employees come into contact with citizens in service delivery and need to be part of the feedback loops.

 

In the conditions of tight budgetary restrictions and increased citizens’ demand for effective and efficient local governance, including first and foremost customer-oriented public service provision, the challenge that local governments in Belarus face is the need to strengthen their capacity, experience and institutional mechanisms in order to engage citizens, private businesses and civil society organizations in the local development process, including the planning, implementation and evaluation of public service delivery.

In addressing these issues, the project will target two main objectives:

  1. Improving the system of local civil servants’ selection, training and performance assessment based on international experience;
  2. Developing mechanisms to ensure inclusive participation of citizens in local governance processes and programs, in particular, in the planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of public service delivery at the local level.

The projects aims to achieve this objective through the following strategy:

(1) to set up a system of training for civil servants and public sector workers, especially for those working at the regional and district levels and who are in contact with citizens through their functions, to develop their capacity for practicing more inclusive and participatory approaches to designing, planning, implementing and monitoring development programs, including public service delivery; and

(2) to assist the local governance and self-governance bodies in setting up and institutionalizing efficient, sustainable and inclusive mechanisms for engaging local citizens, NGOs, private businesses and other local actors towards improving the design and implementation of public policies and the quality of public services. The project will be based on the initiatives of the Academy of Public Administration, National Centre of Legislation and Legal Research and Human Resources Department of the Administration of the President, and will provide international expertise to improve planning and feedback mechanisms, align methodology of civil service training with international standards and enhance participation of citizens and non-governmental organizations in the design, implementation and monitoring of public service delivery.

The project is nationally executed with the Academy of Public Administration and selected pilot rayons as an Implementing Partners. The project is a response to the needs of the Administration of the President and Academy of Public Administration, as well as local governance and local-self-governance bodies identified through joint meetings and discussions. The Implementing Partners are leading in project implementation and have ownership of project results. UNDP in Belarus will provide technical advice and will assist in monitoring and evaluation of the project in accordance with UNDP rules and procedures. UNDP is also responsible for financial and program reporting to the donors and for ensuring coherence with the objectives of this project document.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Project Manager, the Administrative and Finance Assistant provides execution of administrative and financial services for the successful implementation of project activities and the achievement of planned project results. He/she is responsible for all accounting (disbursements, record-keeping, cash management) matters under the project.

He/she promotes a client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations and works in close collaboration with the national partners and other key project partners, including international organizations and NGOs, for resolving complex finance-related issues and information delivery.

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Accounting and administrative support; 
  • Provide financial monitoring and reporting.

Accounting and administrative support focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Provide support in administrative and personnel issues to ensure the effective running of the project management unit;
  • Assist Project Manager in drafting project correspondence and documents; prepare correspondence of administrative nature;
  • Prepare draft job descriptions, vacancy announcements, compiling matrixes in consultation with Project Manager for UNDP HR approval;
  • Assist in collection, preparation and submission of support documents for IC recruitment using UNDP recruitment system;
  • Provide maintenance and monitoring of staff monthly and annual attendance records for CO review;
  • Under Project Manager’s coordination  provide services for performance evaluation review of project personnel;
  • Assist Project Manager in responding to telephone inquiries, fax, post and e-mail transmissions, and co-ordinate appointments;
  • Provide proper accounting to the project by controlling the supporting documents for payments and reviewing financial reports sub-contractors and sub-recipients;
  • Prepare submission of payment requests with proper support documentation to UNDP CO;
  • Prepare and submit travel documents to UNDP CO in accordance with UNDP requirements;
  • Provide necessary financial and logistical support to visits of foreign experts and delegations (visa support, transportation, hotel accommodation etc.);
  • Collect and keep files of project documents, expert reports and ensure general circulation of documents;
  • Provide English translation as required;

Provide financial monitoring and reporting focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Provide financial support to ensure an effective running of the project management unit in compliance with UNDP rules, regulations and policies of financial activities, financial recording/reporting system;
  • Provide follow-up on audit recommendations;
  • Implement effective internal controls and ensure proper functioning of a client-oriented financial resources management system;
  • Contribute to preparation of periodic financial reports required by relevant national and/or donor procedures for project, donors, government and other parties involved in implementation and funding of activities;
  • Ensure timely submission and verification of correctness of reports;
  • Provide advice to the international organizations in proper planning, handling and reporting to UNDP with regard to disbursed resources and in accordance with UNDP rules.
  • Interact with UNDP CO to request funds transfer, verify financial reports, budget revisions;
  • Provide financial monitoring over project commitments and expenditures, and assist the PM in assuring proper project delivery;
  • Control the usage of non-expendable equipment (record keeping, drawing up regular inventories);
  • Draft project correspondence and documents and finalize correspondence of financial nature;
  • Edit reports and other documents for correctness of form and content in financial issues;

Other:

Perform any other administrative and financial duties as requested by the Project Manager.


Competencies

  • Demonstrates corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
  • Self-development, initiative-taking;
  • Job knowledge and technical expertise:  analytical, organizational and administrative skills; excellent finance and budgeting skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and in good disposition even under pressure;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills.


Required Skills and Experience

  • University degree in economics, finance, administration or management;
  • At least 2 years of relevant finance experience;
  • Working knowledge of UNDP rules and regulations is an asset;
  • Previous experience in administering UNDP projects is an asset;
  • 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;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Russian is mandatory, including the ability to draft, edit and finalize documents in English and in Russian.



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