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Senior Finance Manager - The Gambia and Senegal

Concern Universal
Location: The Gambia and Senegal
Last Date: August 29, 2011
Email: (Reference:

Reporting to:
Country Director

Banjul, the Gambia

Concern Universal (CU) requires a skilled and experienced Financial Manager to lead the Core team of staff covering functions of Finance and Administration. The CU Programme has experienced rapid growth for a number of years followed by a more challenging funding environment for the last couple of years. Income secured in each of the last two years has been in the region of £600,000 with almost 50% success rate on proposals. The goal of the core team is to provide a solid and seamless support environment for our work with national partners in reducing poverty and addressing key development issues in poor and disadvantaged n communities.

CU Mission:
Concern Universal’s vision is a world where justice, dignity and respect for all prevails. The organisation works in partnership to challenge poverty and inequality. We support practical actions that enable people to improve their lives and shape their own futures. Partnership is at the heart of what CU does and is the means by which we aspire to achieve our vision of working with some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people to improve the quality of their lives in a sustainable and practical way. At the core of CU’s partnership approach is a deep sense of value and respect for the processes involved in relationship building and the partner’s development – in this sense our approach is a process oriented and relationship based one.

CU Background in The Gambia and Senegal:
CU has worked in The Gambia since 1993 providing support to Gambian organisations working in food security; livelihoods and enterprise development; disaster reduction, preparedness, prevention and response; HIV & AIDS and organisational capacity building. The country strategy has five main strategic objectives:

•Improve and enhance agricultural production and income generating activities that sustain livelihoods
•Contribute to the building of a strong, vibrant civil society and to the strengthening of local government
•Reduce disaster risk in communities and build sustainable resilience to both human-made and natural disasters
•Contribute to improved health and health seeking behaviours for people and communities at risk.
•Enhance peace and socio-economic development in Casamance

In response to issues arising out of the conflict in the neighbouring Casamance Region of Senegal (including refugee hosting and displacement, pressures upon social and material capital), CU has developed a cross-border programme between The Western (Fogny) Region of The Gambia and specific areas of Casamance. CU currently works with approximately 14 key local partners and together, we have built a highly respected profile in the region.

Several major projects are currently being implemented within two main programme areas a) Livelihoods & Learning and b) Reducing Vulnerability and Capacity Development including:1) Upper River Region Livelihood Improvement through Institutional Strengthening, Food Security & Environmental Management (URRLIFE) 2) Smallholder Irrigation for Livelihood Enhancement (SMILE) 3) Emergency Response to Large Scale Flooding in The Gambia and 4) Casamance Peace-Building Project. We also run a CU flagship social business called Gambia is Good (GIG). There are also a number of other smaller projects and initiatives in progress including plans for a Carbon Offset initiative. Donors for our work include EC, DFID, Big Lottery Fund, Oxfam America and Irish Aid.

In recent years some key improvements to admin and finance systems have been introduced. It is important that the SFM ensures that these changes become embedded in the working practice of the Admin and Finance Team.

Core Responsibilities
•To manage and take overall responsibility for all core financial and administrative functions of the CU office, through the line management of a number of positions including the following: i) Finance Team including Finance Manager, Finance Assistant and Financial Accountant (responsibility for partner capacity building); ii) Administration team including Office Manager, Program assistant and secretary; iii) drivers pool, iv) Grant coordinator;
•To closely monitor IT with the IT advisor (external consultant);
•To represent Concern Universal in external fora as requested and appropriate;
•To engage with partners and to visit field offices and activities as required maintaining knowledge of projects, Partners and communities;
•Any other duties as discussed with the Country Director.

Specific Responsibilities – Finance
1. Final review and approval of project financial reports for donors in close cooperation with project managers and Grant Coordinator;
2. Production of Core variance reports and other project financial reports and analysis as required by Director and UK office;
3. Oversee the development and regular updating of financial systems and procedures and its recording within a financial procedures manual;
4. Manage cash flow for the Gambia and Regional programmes, ensuring sufficient funds are available in country for the smooth operation of the Field Office;
5. In close liaison with Programme personnel, help in development of budgets for new proposals;
6. Manage programme income and expenditure;
7. Liaise with Region & UKO and project Donors as required on appropriate financial procedures to be implemented within the Gambia programme;
8. Assist and train project managers in developing suitable reporting format and routine monthly procedures for the financial management of projects;
9. Responsibility for the incorporation of financial systems into the overall information systems for the organisation through close liaison with the Director;
10. Responsibility for bringing to the Director’s attention all financial system matters which are unclear and require clarification;
11. To develop 1 and 3 year funding horizons and income projections for the programme by working closely with Director, Grant Coordinator and Project Managers;
12. Manage the Audit of the Country Programme and project audits as contractually needed.

Other longer term Responsibilities – Administration
•To assist in the following in close consultation with the Director;
o Local recruitment, including Local Terms and Conditions, leave, loans, staff training, staff induction
o International staffing matters including maintaining liaison with HR manager in UKO where necessary;
•To supervise the administration team and advice on procurement, HR & logistics matters when needed, and supervise the IT contractual for any IT related matters.

Person Specification:
1. Humanitarian commitment and vision.
2. Understanding of the dynamics and constraints of work with local partners.
3. Excellent communication and inter-personal skills.
4. Solid grounding in Accounting theories & principles of double entry bookkeeping with a minimum two years overseas experience with a major donor or INGO
5. Management of financial systems to ensure compliance with International Accounting Standards (inclusive of internal & external auditing).
6. Proven ability both to solve complex accounting problems (including issues in relation to multiple donor funding and co-financing) and communicate effectively on these with both financial and non-financial staff.
7. Line management experience of small-medium sized teams with strong ability to lead a diverse team.
8. Experience and familiarity in the preparation of complex financial reports.
9. Strong skills and experience with Excel, Sage line 100 or comparable spreadsheet & accounts packages.
10. Flexible and adaptable disposition and faultless attention to detail
11. Reliable and proactive approach to problem solving.
12. Commitment to work within CU’s security guidelines and procedures.

Highly Desirable
13. UK recognisable accountant qualifications and experience (qualified or part qualified to ACCA or equivalent level)
14. Willingness and ability to travel to the field to work with partners.
15. Working level French

Terms and Conditions:

Permanent Position. This is a Specialist/Technical post, with a salary range between £17,570-£23,620 GBP depending on qualifications and experience. Full international staff benefits package including accommodation,insurance, flights and local allowance. This is an unaccompanied position. The successful candidate will be expected to take up appointment early-October 2011.

All applicants must complete an application form. CVs will not be acknowledged or accepted. For an application form and other information about CU please visit our website and submit completed application forms to Kay Exton on

Deadline for receipt of completed application forms is Monday 29th August 2011. Interviews for short listed candidates will take place the week commencing 5th September 2011.

Please note, previous applicants need not apply.

CU is an equal opportunities employer.


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