Head of Finance

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Applications have closed

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a multilateral financial entity of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was established to contribute to the collective efforts of the international community to combat climate change. The GCF aims to fund transformational approaches toward climate resilience and green economies, prioritizing a balanced approach between climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The GCF Board has approved the UNDP initiative, “Scaling Up the Use of Modernized Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Malawi”, referred to as M-CLIMES, which will be implemented in partnership with the Government of Malawi (GoM). The project will support the Government of Malawi (GoM) to take steps to save lives and enhance livelihoods at risk from climate-related disasters. It will address technical, financial, capacity, and access barriers related to weather and climate information (CI) by investing in enhancing hydro-meteorological capacity for early warnings and forecasting, including the development and dissemination of tailored products for smallholder farmers and fishers, and strengthening capacities of communities to respond to climate-related disasters based on access to early warnings and climate information. The objective of the project is to reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts on lives and livelihoods, particularly of women, from extreme weather events and climate change. The expected key GCF Fund level impact is increased resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable people communities and regions in Malawi.

The project comprises three inter-linked areas of support that will (i) address gaps in Malawi’s existing meteorological and hydrological observation network to ensure spatial coverage and accuracy covering vulnerable and service delivery areas; (ii) develop and disseminate tailored, demand-based climate information/products/services to support urgent responsive action and adaptation planning for vulnerable populations, including farming and fishing communities; and (iii) empower communities to prepare and respond to climate related disasters through participatory and decentralized early warning systems and capacities to implement disaster risk reduction measures.

Since project approval, preparatory activities have been undertaken to ready the project for implementation. These included finalization of capacity assessments for the implementing partners, preparation of project documents for UNDP and GoM signature agreements, and preparation of detailed budget and procurement plans. The project will be implemented following UNDP’s National Implementation Modality (NIM), according to the Standard Basic Assistance Agreement between UNDP and the Government of Malawi, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) Action Plan for Malawi (see http://www.mw.one.un.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/UNDAF-Action-Plan-2012-2016.pdf), and policies and procedures outlined in the UNDP POPP (see https://info.undp.org/global/popp/ppm/Pages/Defining-a-Project.aspx).

The Implementing Partner for this project is the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) in the Office of the Vice-President of the Government of Malawi. DoDMA is accountable to UNDP for managing the project, including the monitoring and evaluation of project interventions, achieving project outcomes, and for the effective use of UNDP resources. The following parties will enter agreements with DoDMA to assist in successfully delivery of project outcomes and are directly accountable to DoDMA as responsible parties (RPs) for the project: Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS), Department of Water Resources (DWR), Department of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES), Department of Fisheries (DoF), and the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM).

As part of the implementation phase the project and the importance of managing fiduciary requirements as per UNDP standards, services of a Head of Finance are being sought to support the project in ensuring compliance to UNDP-GCF fiduciary requirements. S/He will support the IP by ensuring that the work plans for the project are within the capacity of the project to deliver, will work with the Finance and Administration Focal points from UNDP, the IP and RPs, and will be responsible for adherence to quality standards in finance and administration. The Head will be supported by and will supervise a Finance and Administration Assistant.

Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of Work:
The Head of Finance will lead the Finance and Administrative arm of the project and will ensure effective and transparent utilization of financial resources and integrity of financial services. S/He will promote a client-oriented approach consistent with UNDP rules and regulations. He/she will analyze and interpret the financial rules and regulations and provides solutions to a wide spectrum of complex financial issues. The Head of Finance will work in close collaboration with the Chief Accountant of the Implementing Partner, the Deputy Resident Representative for Operations at UNDP Malawi Country Office, the Project Resource Management Unit, the Finance and Administrative Assistant of the project as well as the Finance Focal points in the Responsible Parties.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables:

The Head of Finance’s primary responsibility is to provide day to day operational and administrative support to DODMA and its project partners in the overall management of finance and administrative arm of the project to ensure compliance to UNDP standards in finance and administration, including;

Implementation of operational strategies

• Full compliance with UN/UNDP rules, regulations, and policies of financial activities, financial recording/reporting system and follow-up on audit recommendations; implementation of effective internal controls, proper functioning of a client-oriented financial resources management system.
• Project business processes mapping and elaboration of the content of internal Standard Operating Procedures in Finance.
• Continuous analysis and monitoring of the financial situation, presentation of forecasts for the project to the board and technical committees, monitoring of financial exception reports for unusual activities, transactions.

Management of the project budget

• Elaboration of proposals for planning of financial resources of the Project, preparation of reports containing analysis of the financial situation.
• Preparation and monitoring of budgets; regular analysis and reporting on the budget approvals and the delivery situation.
• Establishment of the projects’ budgets preparation/modification monitoring system, control of budgetary status versus authorized spending limits and budgets delivery levels.
• Implementation of the control mechanism for the projects through monitoring budgets preparation and modifications, budgetary status versus ASL, follow up the implementing Partner and Responsible Parties, maintenance of the Project Ledger.

Project Cash management

• Analysis and elaboration of proposals for the internal expenditures’ control system which ensures that vouchers processed are matched and completed, transactions are correctly recorded and filed;
• Control of accounts closure.
• Timely corrective actions on spot check findings and audit recommendations.

Control of Project account (s)

• In collaboration with the Project Manager, ensure timely preparation of work plans to secure timely issuance of authorized spending limits to ensure timely disbursement of funds to the responsible parties.
• Timely identification and recording of receipts for income application.
• Timely preparation of monthly cash flow forecast for use by the project.

Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing within the IP and RPs

• Organization and conduct of training for the Finance Focal Points in the IP and RPs staff on Finance.
• Synthesis of lessons learned and best practices in Finance during project implementation.
• Prepare a minimum package for all project partners on the minimum requirements on finance; including timely opening and reconciliation pf project accounts, setting of appropriate signatories to the project accounts, and following up on spot-check recommendations and audit findings.
• Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

• Integrity and fairness
• Embodies UN values, and promotes the well-being of all individuals regardless of gender, religion, race, nationality, or age.
• Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
• Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
• Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.

Cultural sensitivity and adaptability

• Communicates effectively with and relates to people of significant contributions to corporate priorities or initiatives led by other UNDP offices and bureaus.
• Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies

• Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example
• Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills
• Good knowledge of accounting
• Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage contributions and investments, manage transactions, conduct financial analysis and reporting
• Ability to implement new systems and affect staff behavioural/ attitudinal change
• Excellent IT skills, knowledge of Enterprise Resource Planning


• Ability to build strong relationships with external actors – cultivate productive relationships with donors, partners and other important institutions and individuals.
• Ability to anticipate and understand client needs, formulate clear strategic plans, prioritize interventions, and allocate resources per priorities.
• Ability to develop innovative solutions – encourages and contributes creative solutions to address challenging situations.
• Ability to lead operations and implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects.
• Ability to manage for results: translates strategic aims into achievable plans, with established priorities, monitors them, making periodic adjustments as required.


• Ability to establish effective working relations in a multicultural team environment.
• Resourcefulness, initiative, and maturity of judgment.
• Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure.
• Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills.
• Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure.

Required Skills and Experience


• Master’s Degree or equivalent in Finance.
• Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting plus ACCA AND CIMA with 5 years’ experience will also be considered.


• Proven record of achievement over 5 years of relevant experience at the national or international level in providing financial management services and/or managing staff and operational systems.
• 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.
• Appropriate accounting certification will be preferred, and chartered Accountants will have an added advantage.


Fluency in English essential;
Other UN official languages an asset.

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