EMPOWER West Africa Grant Accountant and Emergency Finance Technical Advisor I

  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year

Catholic Relief Services

Job Title: EMPOWER West Africa Grant Accountant and Emergency FinanceTechnical Advisor I

Reports to: EMPOWER West Africa Coordinator (Program Manager II)

Department: West Africa Regional Office

Salary Grade: 9

PLEASE NOTE: This position is open to candidates from any location globally, with preference for those who live in any West African country.

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.

Program Background

The EMPOWER (Empowering Partner Organizations Working on Emergency Responses) project began in 2018 in the Latin American and Caribbean Region to increase and advance local leadership of humanitarian responses through institutional strengthening and direct funding of Local Humanitarian Actors (LHAs). EMPOWER expanded in 2021 to CRS’ Asia Regional Office and is being launched in CRS’ West Africa Regional Office (WARO) at the start of 2023. Leveraging lessons learned and recommendations from the preceding EMPOWER projects, EMPOWER West Africa will grow a team of emergency response technical advisers whose primary role is to strengthen the emergency response capacity of LHAs in West Africa and support them to implement high quality emergency responses. Based on local organizations’ self-assessment of their self-identified operational and technical support needs and requests for support, EMPOWER provides participating organizations with demand-driven technical resources, on-the-job support, training and accompaniment, and organizes regional workshops to facilitate shared learning and strengthening of peer networks among local humanitarian actors. EMPOWER also manages a rapid response fund, through which, participating local organizations propose and receive funding for emergency response programs to support communities impacted by crises in West Africa.

Job Summary:

The EMPOWER West Africa Emergency Grant Accountant and Emergency FinanceTechnical Advisor I (Emergency Grant and Finance TA) will provide technical advice and accompaniment to local organizations participating in the EMPOWER West Africa program on a range of program design and implementation issues in the area of emergency response resource stewardship, financial accountability and financial risk management. You will support participating organizations to strengthen their institutional capacity of financial management systems, processes, and practices to advance the delivery of high-quality programming to the poor and vulnerable. As a part of the EMPOWER team, you will help coordinate and contribute to the implementation of EMPOWER West Africa project policies and procedures in compliance with CRS’ established accounting standards, GAAP, donors’ rules and regulations, and legal requirements to support high-quality programs serving the poor and vulnerable. You will efficiently perform accounting services through documenting the EMPOWER West Africa financial transactions by compiling, analyzing, and verifying account information, preparing account entries, and delivering financial reporting services throughout the EMPOWER West Africa life cycle.


Roles and Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop and monitor sound financial accounting and reporting procedures for the LHA rapid response funding mechanism sub-recipients and participating organizations following established standards. Manage the development and maintenance of all data necessary to process financial transactions for assigned the LHA rapid response funding mechanism accounts in the financial accounting software, supporting timely, high quality disaster relief assistance to impacted communities served by participating organizations.
  • Monitor disbursement/receipt schedules for LHA rapid response funding mechanism sub-recipients, alert relevant EMPOWER West Africa project staff of due payments/liquidations and maintain appropriate communication and follow-up to facilitate timeliness of financial resource management and compliance with set deadlines.
  • Provide technical assistance and lead capacity strengthening activities for EMPOWER West Africa participating organizations on emergency financial processes. Capacity strengthening may be achieved through remote or on-site trainings, workshops, learning events, peer-to-peer exchanges, simulations, coaching, and on-the-job training.
  • Assess, evaluate and monitor participating organizations’ financial management processes and provide capacity strengthening on financial accounting and transactions, effective budget development and management, finance policies and regulations, internal controls, financial projections and reporting procedures, ensuring accuracy and consistency of financial data and safeguarding of resources.
  • Assume a direct support, management or leadership role during emergency responses via remote or on-site secondment to participating organizations, as needed/requested.
  • Review and validate a sample of supporting documentation to ensure required documents are accurate and complete and authorizations are in place.
  • Record financial transactions following appropriate authorizations. Review and analyze various accounts to detect irregularities. Advise on corrective actions and prepare correcting entries and adjustments, as necessary.
  • Prepare various periodic and ad hoc financial reports and perform variance analysis to assist EMPOWER West Africa project staff with decision-making. Assist with budget revisions as needed.
  • Perform assigned treasury EMPOWER West Africa project (cash payment/receipt, cash forecast, etc.) duties, as long as segregation of duties is ensured.


Basic Qualifications

  • B.A. degree in Accounting, Finance, Economics, Business Administration with courses in accounting, or a qualification in accounting (CPA/ACCA or equivalent), Master’s Degree preferred. A professional certification in Accounting or a related field highly preferred.
  • Minimum of three years relevant work experience with progressive responsibilities, ideally with an international NGO, with minimum of two years relevant field-based experience in complex emergencies in partnership with local humanitarian actors.
  • Knowledge of technical principles and concepts in emergency program management and operations. General knowledge of other related disciplines such as LHA capacity strengthening and market-based approaches to ensure proper cross-sectoral approach.

Required Languages– English and French oral and written language proficiency required, with excellent English writing skills and capable of conducting trainings, writing reports and proposals, holding meetings, conducting interviews and communicating with local humanitarian actors in both English and French.

Knowledge of West African languages or Portuguese a plus.

Travel– Willingness and ability to travel internationally up to 50% of time (6 months out of the year).

Willingness and ability to deploy quickly to support responses to rapid onset emergencies, when necessary, primarily within West Africa but may include opportunities to deploy to other regions as agency needs dictate.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent relationship management skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to work with individuals in diverse geographical and cultural settings
  • Excellent strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to ability to quickly adapt technical guidance to any given operating environment
  • Knowledge of capacity strengthening best practices and partnership principles.
  • Extremely flexible and able to cope with stressful situations in emergency environments
  • Very good planning, monitoring and organizational skills
  • Ethical conduct in accordance with recognized professional and organizational codes of ethics
  • Proactive, resourceful, results and service-oriented
  • Presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills including remote and online settings

Preferred Qualifications

  • Candidates from/presently based in the West Africa region are highly preferred.
  • Experienced trainer/teacher of adults and multi-cultural groups, in both in-person and virtual settings.
  • Knowledge of the relevant public donors’ regulations highly preferred.
  • Substantial budgeting, budget/expense analysis, and accounting experience.
  • Knowledge of local law in taxation and local regulatory reporting procedures.
  • Proficient in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, knowledge-sharing networks. Knowledge of Oracle financial accounting package or similar financial reporting software preferred.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship

Emergency Competencies

  • Communicates strategically under pressure.
  • Manages stress and complexity.
  • Actively promotes safety and security.
  • Manages and implements high-quality emergency programs.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Occasional temporary supervision or management roles during deployments, as needed/requested.

Key Working Relationships:

Internal: EMPOWER West Africa Coordinator and Team members, WARO Regional Team and Country Program Staff, HRD Technical Advisors

External: Program, Operations, and Management Staff from Participating Local Organizations; UN, NGO, and Cluster agencies operating in targeted countries

***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer

How to apply

To apply please visit: https://eipn.fa.us2.oraclecloud.com/hcmUI/CandidateExperience/en/sites/CX_1/job/3000411/?utm_medium=jobshare

Closing date: 17-Feb-23