Manager - Grant Administration Division

Job Summary

As a key resource person, the Manager is responsible to provide expert advice related to grant administration, risk and financial management throughout the life-cycle of projects/programs. The Manager oversees all activities related to project administration and control and provides guidance and approvals for exceptions/deviations to standard policies and procedures. 

In addition, the Manager reviews all donor agreements, monitors the programming results of Externally Funded Programs (EFPs) and provides advice to Program Managers/Leaders in regards to the achievement of EFPs budgets.

Finally, the Manager is also responsible to conduct institutional risk assessments for selected recipient institutions, participate in the establishment and monitoring of project expenditure targets, and continuously review policies and procedures to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency as well as proper stewardship of IDRC resources.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Senior Advisor

  • Provide expert advice and guidance with regards to the correct interpretation and application of IDRC policies and procedures related to project design, risk management, grant administration and financial management to Program and Partnership (PPB) and Corporate Strategy and Regional Management (CSRM) staff, including senior managers and to grant administration staff thereby ensuring stewardship of resources in alignment with corporate priorities;
  • Advise senior managers (VPs and Directors) with respect to the discharge of the annual program allocations, commitments and expenditures so as to meet IDRC’s project expenditure targets.

Project Administration and Control

The Manager is responsible to oversee all aspects related to project administration, i.e., from the preparation of project approval documents, legal agreements to official project closures. Activities include:

  • Assist Grant Administration Officers in the review of project approval documents to ensure compliance with IDRC policies and procedures as well as to ensure that the administrative treatment is commensurate with the recipient administrative risk;
  • Oversee the preparation and communication of legal agreements to recipient institutions and individuals, including providing advice to staff on the drafting of legal agreements;
  • Analyze, recommend changes or approve exceptions in areas such as financial monitoring, risk management, contracting and legal matters in order to ensure the outcome is aligned with the IDRC objectives, policies and procedures;
  • Approve all disbursements charged to projects (if greater than >75,000) or EFPs while ensuring consistency with the appropriate policies and procedures and adequate justification for payments;
  • Monitor the quality of the administrative and financial data in the corporate information systems, ensuring the information is timely and correct in order to generate reports, provide performance indicators and recommend actions to address any issues identified through the analysis of the data;
  • Maintain a streamlined internal control environment that will ensure economy, efficacy and efficiency in the spending of Centre program funds;
  • Coordinate program staff training with respect to financial and administrative aspects of project management including establishing a list of attendees in conjunction with PPB and CSRM management, identifying needs as well as assisting in the delivery of the training.

Management and Administration of Externally Funded Projects and Programs (EFPs)

  • Provide expert advice to Program staff on the management and administration of donor funded projects/programs in a manner that meets the requirements of the donor institution while aligning with the mandate, priorities and policies of IDRC;
  • Perform the grant administrative review of donor agreements and underlying budgets, ensuring that the donor agreements accurately reflect IDRC’s requirements (legal, financial, administrative, etc) and that the downstream grant implications are acceptable to IDRC;
  • Decide on the appropriate structure for the EFPs in consultation with Program Managers and the Chief, EFM.
  • Perform the set up all EFPs, in IDRC’s information system, for both head office and regional offices and provide specific instructions to regional offices regarding the administration of EFPs;
  • Participate in the preparation of EFPs annual budgets to ensure operational and program budgets are established according to the signed donor agreements and IDRC’s approved allocation budget;
  • Monitor the program allocations of EFPs, analyze results against budgets, and recommend corrective measures when needed.

Risk Management and Capacity Building

The Manager is responsible for assessing and managing the administrative risks involved in granting funds to the respective institutions. This includes:

  • Collaborate with Programs staff to ensure that all significant risks associated with funding research through a recipient institution is identified, documented and mitigated;
  • Provide managerial oversight of project approval documents going to the Vice-Presidents or President for signature to ensure that appropriate levels of risk are identified, mitigation strategies are in place and that the project administrative framework has built in appropriate milestones for monitoring in order to maximize likelihood of successful project execution;
  • Assess the risk level associated with partner institutions through the conduct of a risk assessment (desk or visit) based on established policies and procedures, types of institutions, timing of the project, travel constraints and other considerations;
  • Identify requirements and opportunities for capacity-building within project applicant organizations and recommend measures to allow for the creation, training and procurement of policies and systems to reduce risks and enhance financial governance of projects.

Program Expenditure Management

  • Provide advice and participate in the establishment and on-going monitoring of allocations, commitments and expenditures targets to avoid significant deviations from IDRC’s approved financial forecasting model;
  • Analyze the project expenditure results in order to identify trends and changes in spending patterns and recommend corrective action to senior management.

Continuous improvement of policies, processes, procedures and systems

  • Review policies from other divisions of IDRC to determine the impact on grant administration functions and the required procedure changes.
  • Monitor and evaluate current policies and procedures for effectiveness and identify opportunities for enhancement;
  • Contribute in the formulation of new and revised policies and procedures ensuring business processes and corporate information systems are effectively integrated;
  • Identify business opportunities and requirements to enhance the information systems including providing feedback regarding the design of enhancements and identifying resources for user testing.

Team Leadership

  • Manage a team of Grant Administration Officers and Administrators in effective and efficient delivery of  project support services ensuring the proper workload balance and training of all resources to deliver against service standards;
  • Guide and advise team in balancing the need for effective service and responsiveness while also maintaining compliance with the objectives, policies and procedures of IDRC;
  • Mentor, motivate, set priorities and monitor the performance of staff, prepare performance evaluations and recommendations for ratings, provide advice on career development;
  • Coordinate the bi-annual Grant Administration specialist meeting of grant administration staff from both head office and regional offices, including establishing an agenda, logistical arrangements, and leading sessions as needed.