Grants & Finance Senior Officer
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Geneva (Switzerland)
Grade: IICA-1, Entry Professional
Job Expired 10 Mar 2021
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Added 1 month ago
Job Description

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations. With over 8,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, where they need it. By implementing around 1,000 projects for our partners at any given time, UNOPS makes significant contributions to results on the ground, often in the most challenging environments.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOPS offices in the region, providing management and financial/programmatic oversight of Global and Country specific Portfolios, Clusters and Operations Centers including hosting services, fund management, management advisory services, implementing projects, procuring goods and services and managing human resources.
ECR ensures that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between business units and projects across the entire region


The EU Action ‘Lives in Dignity – EU Global Facility for Refugees’ is a strategic, flexible operational structure to improve responses to forced displacement and ensure early development oriented engagement in key displacement situations. The Action builds on the EU’s successful championing of a new approach to forced displacement through their engagement in the Middle East (Syrian crisis), the Horn of Africa and South Asia.

The overall objective of the action is that refugees and other displaced persons become productive members of their host communities and participate in furthering their common resilience, socio-economic growth and development.

The Facility consists of three operational components:

(1) Support to enhanced quality and use of data and evidence, notably with regard to socio-economic development impacts of forced displacement, improved national statistics relevant to forced displacement and asylum and better measurements of the quality of responses;

(2) Support to governments and key stakeholders through technical assistance, capacity-building and coordination at regional and country level;

(3) Seed funding to promote development-oriented policy approaches to new, recurrent and protracted refugee crises.

UNOPS will work with the EU and the other stakeholders on delivering operational component number 3 of the action: Seed funding to promote development-oriented policy approaches to new, recurrent and protracted refugee crises. This will be done through a tailor made Fund and Grant Management facility.

The purpose of the Fund and Grant management Facility is to efficiently and effectively channel funding to promote development oriented policy approaches to new, recurrent and protracted refugee crisis, focusing on early operational engagements with a development focus.

The grants will be of varying sizes depending on the specific issues they are responding to. UNOPS will be responsible for administering the grant and advising the EU on best practices and operational modalities for grant management. UNOPS will also be responsible for monitoring and reporting the grantees performances and deliverables.

The Project Finance Senior Officer will be part of a dedicated UNOPS Fund and Grant Management team who oversees the entire grant process. The team will be managed by a Senior Project Manager, with oversight from the Head of the UN Portfolio in Geneva and the wider UNOPS Geneva Senior Management. The team will be assisted by the wider UNOPS Geneva Support Services Team (with experts in HR, Finance/Fund Management, Procurement, Administration, Logistics etc).

The Fund and Grant Management team consists of 6 personnel: Senior Project Manager, Grant Analyst, Senior Technical Expert, Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation Senior Officer, Project Finance Senior Officer, and a Communications Consultant (retainer contract).


Under the supervision of the Senior Project Manager, the Grants & Finance Senior Officer will perform the following functions:

Financial and operational support to project management activities

  • Support in the planning of financial resources, continuous analysis and monitoring of financial progress and presentation of forecasts for the planning and management of the project;

  • Ensures full compliance with the provisions of UNOPS FRRs, IPSAS, Organization Directives, Administrative Instructions and guidance in all financial transactions, recording, reporting, etc;

  • Maintain financial oversight on the project activities in line with internal control procedures, financial and fiduciary guidelines and standards for all financial and the related transactions.

  • Contribute to the preparation of project workplan and engagement processes focusing on aspects of entering data to systems and tools ensuring compliance to agreement and ERP protocols.

  • Coordinate with project team in the preparation and consolidation of cash-flow forecast ensuring inputs are extracted from the budget, cash-flow plans, activity plans and monitoring tools;

  • Contribute to the identification of projects risks, participate in the preparation of assurance activities and support project audit activities including implementation of the recommendations;

  • Supports the monitoring and advice to project on the financial status including pending and approved budgets; contributions available for expenditure and contributions already expended;

  • Review and confirmation of appropriateness of operational transactions processed through the interpretation and determination of applicable UNOPS policies and Financial rules and regulations;

  • Keeps contact with project team, Geneva finance team, IPAS and FG to verify, correct, add and improve quality of financial activities of the project including financial reports and audits;

Budgeting, accounting, financial reporting and monitoring and control

  • Supports project team to ensure budgets are prepared in accordance with established procedures, ERP protocols and clients budgetary guidelines that meet reporting requirements;

  • Prepares interim financial statements and financial management reports for approval of the Head of Finance to donors and clients in compliance with established reporting requirements.

  • Monitoring expenditure against budgets, commitments, delivery and funding; review and processing budget revisions and contributing to project operational and financial closure.

  • Routine monitoring of financial exception reports for unusual activities, transactions, and investigation of anomalies or unusual transactions.

  • Supports in the monitoring of Accounts Receivables and follow up with donor contributions;

  • Reconciliation of expenditures and preparation of various financial and statistical reports and ensure timely corrective actions are taken on budget and financial reporting aspects;

  • Review of payment requests for completeness prior to processing, ensuring that documentation needed are complete and that all required procedures are fulfilled to enable the payment;

  • Ensures payment requests are properly obligated; control of supporting documentation; preparation of vouchers; pay cycle and entry of transactions and financial data in the ERP;

  • Timely corrective actions on unposted vouchers, including budget check errors, match exceptions, unapproved vouchers. Timely response to IPAS and FPG requests to resolve financial data issues;

  • Review requests for operational advances, petty cash, VAT and pre-payments ensuring complete documentations for approval, and review expenditures for settlement or replenishment;

  • Ensures timely submission of compliance reports such as advances, petty cash to IPAS and FPG;


Grant finance management support

  • Review grant budgets, and financial reports against approved budgets, to provide critical feedback to the implementing partners, programme unit, grants units, and supervisor, if necessary;

  • Monitor budgets in grant proposals and verify their consistency with prevailing market rate; assist in discussion/negotiation of costs/fees as required;

  • Verify reporting requirements are adhered to and ensure close liaison with the supervisor on any delays or other difficulties;

  • Review payment requests and ensure payments are processed based upon the grant agreement, agreed payment schedules, and fund availability;

  • Support the Senior Project Manager and Grant Analyst in budgeting and forecasting of grant related expenditures; ensure variances are communicated at an early stage;

  • Resolve operational and process issues related to grant management, and refer complex issues to the supervisor with recommendations for courses of action;

  • Coordinate the process of operational and financial closure of grants and projects;

  • Contribute to the coordination and follow up on the audits of Implementing Partners;

  • Highlight risks and delays to the supervisor and team as appropriate

  • Support the project team to update and maintain grants and contracts tools that will ensure timely review and deadlines of reports submission assigned by project and internal requirements.

Financial Capacity Assessment, Capacity Building and Knowledge Management
  • Support the project team to perform basic evaluation and periodic capacity assessment.

  • Support the project team to conduct Due Diligence Assessments (DDAs) of the IPs, and manage follow-up actions related to financial recommendations;

  • Organize and support IP capacity development and training in financial management, in coordination with the project team;

  • Provide day-to-day help and guidance to the IPs and ensure IP understanding of, and compliance with the Grant Facility’s operational guidelines, terms and conditions of the grant agreement, and UNOPS requirements;

  • Actively compile lessons learned and best practices, and share knowledge and best practices with the project team and IPs on financial management, as well as wider GVA office personnel working on grants projects


  • Monitor information related to contractual arrangements – on audits, inventories, utilization and all such elements in the contracts and grants

  • Ensure that all required records related to the area of work are collected and maintained, both hard copies and electronic copies for easy reference and retrieval

  • Support the project team to maintain a database/archive of all financial grant related information and documentation of all the IPs;

  • Keep the Supervisor updated on progress and issues, and prepare timely briefing materials and reports as requested;

  • Other duties as may be assigned by the supervisor

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

A. Education

  • Advanced University degree – (Master’s degree or equivalent) in administration, development studies, economics, project management, finance or an equivalent degree in related fields is required.

  • Bachelor degree in related discipline in combination with additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree

B. Work Experience

  • A minimum of two (2) years post master’s degree or 4 years post bachelor’s degree of relevant experience at the national or international level with responsibility for project accounting, budgeting and financial reporting or related fields;

  • Practical experience with UNOPS, or other UN agencies financial procedures in the areas of accounting, budget, reporting and other financial controls including operations of imprest account is desirable;

  • Experience working with Grants projects, including monitoring financial performance, reviewing financial reports and providing capacity building support to grantees, is highly desirable;

  • Previous experience with, and a good knowledge of the development and humanitarian sector/working with UN, Donors, NGOs is an advantage;

  • Solid computer, including proficiency in with Google Suite

C. Languages

  • Fluency in written and oral English is required. Fluency in Spanish is desirable; French would be an asset.

Contract type: ICA
Contract level: I-ICA1
Contract duration: Ongoing ICA – ‘Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.’

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

This position is based in Switzerland and the contract fee is not exempt from Swiss laws, including but not limited to laws regarding taxation, social security, accident and health insurance.

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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