Junior Consultant - Grants Administration 1

Junior Consultant – Grants Administration

NIRAS

TITLE: Junior Consultant – Grants Administration

LOCATION: Lilongwe, Malawi

PERSONS RESPONSIBLE: Country Manager, Grants Administrator

Consultancy support to NIRAS Malawi country team to assess identified partners’ capacities and appropriateness for engagement on the CASA program

1.0       BACKGROUND: CASA PROJECT OVERVIEW 

FCDO’s approach to economic development and agriculture relies on an increasingly commercial approach to its agricultural programming by: –

  • Boosting agri-business investment, financing agricultural infrastructure, and supporting smallholder farmer access to markets;
  • Helping farmers and their families to have opportunities and jobs outside of their farms, and supporting SMEs in rural areas;
  • Supporting subsistence farmers without other economic opportunities to avoid hunger, malnutrition, and extreme poverty; and,
  • Encouraging commercial approaches that reduce the cost of nutritious diets.

In support of this approach, FCDO launched the 5-year flagship Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme in March 2019. CASA seeks to change how investors, donors and governments view and invest in agribusinesses that work with smallholder supply chains. In doing so, CASA is working towards increasing economic opportunities for smallholders by: –

  1. Demonstrating the commercial viability of small and medium-sized (SME) agribusinesses with significant smallholder supply chains and attracting more investment into these businesses;
  2. Deepening the smallholder impact of existing investments made by Development Finance Institutions (DFIs, notably CDC), and impact investors;
  3. Enabling poor smallholder farmers to engage with and trade in commercial markets; and,
  4. Researching and communicating the case for successful engagement with smallholder-linked agribusiness.

CASA has three components, two of which (Components A and C) are managed by NIRAS-LTS in partnership with Swiss contact and CABI. Component A seeks to demonstrate high impact interventions in the three target countries of Malawi, Uganda, and Nepal, leading to: (a) mobilisation of investments for partner agri-businesses (which can include commercially minded farmer associations and cooperatives) and/or expanded outreach to smallholders; and (b) improved access to markets for smallholders. The ultimate target group for CASA is the ‘missing middle’ of ‘stepping-up’ smallholders – i.e., those that wish to engage in commercial agriculture but are largely not engaged to date (including 40% living on less than US$2/day and 50% women).

Component C is a learning and knowledge-sharing component that is, inter alia, leveraging knowledge gains from Component A interventions and other research to inform donors and investors about the merits of investing in agribusiness SMEs with significant outreach to smallholders.

For Malawi, two complementary value chains were selected, poultry and aquaculture. From March 2019, CASA carried out sector market analyses and developed Sector Market Reports and Intervention Growth Strategies for the two sectors. In addition, CASA developed specific indicative interventions based on the Inclusive Growth Strategies targeting to improve smallholder commercialization in both value chains. Subsequently, the first cohort of TEN projects were designed and their implementation is currently underway in line with Partnership Agreements that were signed with corresponding implementing partners.

2.0       JOB SUMMARY

The Junior Consultant-Grants Administration will be part of the Malawi Country Intervention Team and will support the Grants Administrator with the following tasks:

  1. The Junior Consultant will primarily assist the Grants Administrator to coordinate the monthly and quarterly consolidation and review of receipts/documentation submitted by project Implementation Partners in order to aid the Grants Administrator further analyse this information in line with submitted monthly and quarterly financial reports as a fulfilment of reporting obligations to FCDO and NIRAS.
  2. The Junior Consultant will also be actively involved throughout the Business Planning process for CASA Cohort 2 and 3, specifically supporting the Grants Administrator in coordinating with prospective partners to obtain relevant documentation and other key information required throughout the due diligence process up until the close of out of the sub-award.
  3. The Junior Consultant-Grants Administration will support the Grants Administrator in building capacity of partners through tracking progress on gaps identified by Grants Administrator at the due diligence stage and further addressing these gaps through provision of trainings and mentorship as guided by the Grants Administrator and Market Managers.
  4. The Junior Consultant will be involved in CASA subawards close out process for all Implementing Partners specifically supporting the Grants Administrator in consolidating documentation and information to ensure compliance with deliverables as per Sub-award agreement.
  5. The Junior consultant will support the Grants Administrator in coordinating external audits for CASA subgrantees and will act as a key contact person with partners in coordinating logistics and aggregating required information as requested by the Grants administrator.

3.0 DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Under the overall supervision of the Country Manager and regular management of the Grants Administrator, the Junior Consultant-Grants Administration will be responsible for supporting on the day-to-day activities related to project development, implementation and close of out.

The specifics of the assignment include;

  • Support the Grants Administrator through collaborative efforts in developing Grant management systems and proposing programme adjustments throughout the business development, implementation and close out stages. The junior consultant will specifically be responsible for coordinating with prospective partners to obtain relevant documentation and information required throughout the due diligence process until the close of out of the sub-award.
  • Support the Grants administrator in carrying out IP financial reviews and project audits processes of subgrantees to ensure compliance with donor requirements as per subaward agreement.This will involve supporting the Grants Administrator in Liaising with internal and external auditors and making follow-ups with partners on audit queries/management letters.
  • The junior consultant will be responsible for coordinating logistics during partner sight visits and aggregating required information as requested by the Grants administrator throughout the audit exercise.
  • Support the Grants Administrator in following up on accountabilities from sub-grantees by primarily coordinating the monthly and quarterly consolidation and review of receipts/documentation submitted by partners in order to aid the Grants Administrator further analyse this information in line with submitted monthly and quarterly financial reports to ensure timely fulfilment of reporting obligations to FCDO and NIRAS.
  • Support the Grants Administrator in tracking and reviewing milestone liquidation reports submitted by partners, following up with partners to ensures all queries raised by the Grants Administrator are cleared before further sub-granting by CASA.
  • Support the Grants administrator in consolidating project information and filling on NIRAS SharePoint according to relevant folder structures for easy accessibility by CASA team. The junior consultant will ensure that all receipts obtained from partners are eligible and properly filled in the relevant partner folders on SharePoint.
  • Provide support to Grant Administrator in tracking and reporting of financial performance of grants by closely working with GA in following up with partners on queries raised in financial reports as per milestone deliverables outlined in the disbursement plan and subaward agreement.
  • Work closely with the Grants Administrator to establish tools to track supervision visits to partners and provide necessary updates to technical teams.
  • The junior consultant-Grants administration will support the Grants Administrator in building capacity of partners through tracking progress on gaps identified by Grants Administrator at the due diligence stage and further addressing these gaps through provision of trainings and mentorship as guided by the Grants Administrator and Market Managers.
  • Support the Grants Administrator in conducting partner sight visits to review activities supported by the sub- award agreement and monitor the progress in the activities against expenditure.
  • Perform any other relevant job roles in line with grants administration

 Personnel requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Accounting, Management, or another relevant field.
  • Or Level 2 ACCA
  • At least two (2) years of experience in the grants management for Private Sector Firms and/or large donor-funded development programmes (FCDO desirable).
  • In-depth knowledge of accounting and procurement processes.
  • Excellent writing, computer, management and organizational skills.
  • Ability to independently plan and execute complex tasks while addressing daily management details and remaining organized and focused on long-term deadlines and strategy.
  • Possess excellent written and oral English skills and be able to communicate throughout all levels of the organization and with other donor organizations.
  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills and previous staff management experience.
  • Good numeracy skills

4.0       Payment Terms

This is a fixed-fee contract. The professional for this contract is a fixed fee of as per NIRAS International Consulting norms and mutually agreed during the signing of the contract. This fee will be subject to 20% Withholding Tax; any such tax will be the responsibility of the contractor. The consultant is required to submit a monthly timesheet after completion of every month, within 5 days of the following month.

5.0 Contract Duration and Billable Days

5.1 Duration 

Expected Start Date: 1st January 2022

Expected End Date:  31st March’2024

5.2 Assignment Days

Up to 5 man-days/Month,

6.0 MODE of APPLICATION

 CASA Malawi is now inviting applications from those who meet the above specified qualifications and experience to submit a 1-page Expression of Interest (EoI) and a curriculum vitae highlighting the relevant experience by 30th November 2021 to [email protected]. Late submissions will not be entertained.