Finance Director - South Sudan
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within
now, and for the future.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been present in South Sudan since 1995, and acts on behalf of people who have become displaced and disenfranchised by the ongoing conflict. With funding from a multitude of donors including the United Nations (UN), Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), UK Department for International Development (DFID), Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), and Private Foundations, Mercy Corps has been able to empower people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. In 2018-19, Mercy Corps’ interventions reached over 300,000 programme participants in South Sudan through our work focusing on the delivery of timely humanitarian interventions, improving food security and livelihood options, increasing equitable access to safe water and sanitation services, and providing access to safe and protective learning spaces. With emphasis on conflict-affected youth, women, as well as IDPs and host communities, we champion and lead state-of-the art relief and recovery approaches through gender mainstreaming, identification of root causes, adaptive management and resilience approaches.
General Position Summary
The Finance Director is a member of the senior management team and part of the Mercy Corps Finance Department, and as such is responsible for all aspects of financial management of the country programs, working collaboratively to ensure compliance with Mercy Corps internal policies and procedures as well as donor regulations. S/he works under the direction of the Country Director and is responsible for all financial functions in South Sudan, including accounting, payments and banking, payroll, budgeting, financial reporting and grant financial management and compliance. The Finance Director, in support of the Program Department, provides timely reports and assistance to the Country Director and the Program team to ensure that financial resources are used efficiently and effectively. The Finance Director will carry out regular reviews of grants and annual finance forecasts to ensure the expenditures remain within budget and acceptable limits at all times and alert the CD/SMT to take timely actions to avoid deviations from approved budgets.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy and Vision
- Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment of empowerment.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country-wide strategy development.
- Work with the Country Director and senior management team to grow the program portfolio, formulate strategies and plans.
- Consistently demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Demonstrate an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
- Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
- Interface with donor representatives to convey information about programs as appropriate.
- Communicate with our partners, as well as any sub-grantees, to verify their systems and that they understand and follow all appropriate procedures and archiving.
- Participate in sharing best practices with NGOs and governmental agencies.
- Establish high level of credibility and manage strong working relationship with external stakeholders.
- Lead and develop finance teams in the main office and field offices, building capacity of national team members.
- Create a sustainable work environment of mutual respect that attracts motivated, skilled and effective team members and enables them individually and collectively to strive to achieve excellence.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Contribute to country team-building efforts; build constructive internal relationships; help team members identify problem solving options and ensure integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
- Plan and implement effective and transparent systems for financial operations in both the main country and field offices in accordance with the Mercy Corps Field Finance Manual and donor regulations, including systems for cash flow management, budgeting, consolidation of accounting information, internal controls, financial reporting, financial record-keeping, grant management and compliance.
- Develop (and keep up to date) annual fiscal year budgets with the Country Director and develop and implement grant budgeting and forecasting systems with Program Managers/Directors.
- Ensure effective, transparent use of financial resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
- Maintain banking relations and plan and monitor country cash flow requirements to ensure the smooth implementation of Mercy Corps programs.
- Maintain appropriate local insurance coverage in coordination with the Admin. Department, to protect Mercy Corps.
- Analyze compensation packages, taxation requirements and human resource policies for local staff to ensure that Mercy Corps’ has adequately accounted for the financial impact of local staff compensation and benefits.
- Supervise monthly standard accounting submissions to Mercy Corps Headquarters, including general ledger files, account reconciliations, expenditures by cost center/project, required subgrantee reporting, as well as other financial information in a timely and accurate manner.
- Provide monthly management reports to the Country Director and Program Managers, including expenditures by cost center/project, subgrantee reporting and other financial information, in a timely and accurate manner.
- Assist internal and external audits and reviews as required to ensure compliance with Mercy Corps and donor requirements.
- Provide training of non-finance staff on financial management and processes (budgets, coding, planning, etc.)
- As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Supervisory Responsibility: All Finance Department staff in Juba and field offices.
Reports Directly To: South Sudan Country Director
Works Directly With: HQ Regional Finance Officer (with authority for technical financial matters); HQ Senior Finance Officer (responsible for all UN programs), MC Europe International Finance Officer, members of Operations (HR, procurement etc.), Heads/ Leads of field offices, Program Managers, TSU team members, and others.
Knowledge and Experience
- A BA/S or equivalent in accounting or finance required; advanced degree preferred.
- At least 4 years of progressive financial management experience, including supervisory experience required.
- At least 4 years’ experience in grants management as well as an understanding of USAID, DFID, UNICEF regulations required.
- At least 3 years’ NGO/PVO field office experience required; Mercy Corps experience is preferred.
- Demonstrated experience and skill with budget preparation and analysis, financial reporting preparation and presentation and the proven ability to translate technical financial data into informative reports.
- Strong accounting skills and experience, including management of the general ledger, journal entries, payroll, payables and balance sheet
- Prior management experience and strong organizational skills.
- Advanced computer skills in MS Office programs, particularly Excel.
- Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Previous experience in insecure environments.
The successful candidate will have an ability to interact effectively across international and national program and finance teams successfully, both in a managerial as well as training capacity. S/he will be able to support programmatic objectives with timely and meaningful financial information, have a demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. An impeccable professional standard of finance and procurement ethics and the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures is essential. The Finance Director must be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The Finance Director is based in Juba. Juba is the capital city of South Sudan with a significant international community presence. While most basic items and services are fairly available in Juba, living conditions are generally basic in Southern Sudan and staff members are still staying in tents in some of Mercy Corps field sites. The climate is very hot, humid and dusty. Medical facilities are basic, and tropical diseases including malaria are endemic. Housing is group accommodation with limited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. This position requires 30% of travel by air to field offices in insecure environments.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.