Process Coordination and Policy Officer

Job Summary

This job encompasses the development and maintenance of financial and administrative policies and procedures that affect all aspects of IDRC operations at head office as well as in regional offices.

The job bridges functional areas and management information systems. It constitutes a key lever for the Director to influence how the corporate finance functions in IDRC (i.e. the finance function across IDRC as opposed to the function only in the Division).

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Policy Development and Maintenance

The incumbent is responsible for maintaining all finance and administration policies in the Management Policy Manuals. All policies under the Division’s responsibilities must be regularly reviewed to ensure their continued relevance. The incumbent must also keep up-to-date amounts and thresholds contained in the policies as well as directives derived from the policies - where such directives are under the purview of a person specified in the policies, the incumbent must prompt the person in question to bring the policy up-to-date.

When a policy requires updating, the applicable level of management will provide the incumbent with operational and other relevant information; the incumbent will provide Division management with information on current trends and the results of research. Together they will develop the parameters for the policy work that needs to be done.

The incumbent is responsible for developing new policies where and when they are needed. When a new policy is needed, the incumbent carries out the necessary research, benchmarking against other organizations, internal consultations and drafting required to move towards a final policy. Critical to the process is the very close liaison with Divisional managers, the Director, the Vice-President Resources, counterparts in other Resources Branch divisions and with other parts of the organization, whenever required. Such liaison aims to ensure that the operational aspects and requirements are taken into account.

After policies are approved (whether new or revised), the incumbent must ensure their translation and publication, ensuring proper version control and archiving of obsolete policies. The incumbent also coordinates any of the related transitional measures in the context of the overall change management effort (see below). While Divisional managers are responsible for the interpretation and application of policies, the incumbent remains available to assist with interpretation.

Business Process Coordination and Change Management

The incumbent is responsible for coordinating the review, assessment and, where warranted, redesign of business processes associated with the activities of the Division. One of the principal goals of the review is always to seek economy, efficiency and effectiveness of processes. In this role, the incumbent is expected to liaise with the Director and all divisional managers and chiefs (supervisors reporting directly to the managers) to: 

  • compile, at the appropriate level, and maintain up-to-date the inventory of business processes followed by divisional staff in the discharge of their responsibilities;
  • assess the soundness, efficiency and effectiveness of business processes under review and to identify areas for improvement — this requires considerable knowledge of both manual and computerized control processes as well as a high level of understanding of computerized financial systems; and
  • carry out project management duties in support of policy changes, process changes or any other significant divisional initiative identified by divisional management.

As many of the processes are corporate in nature, the incumbent shall also liaise with regional controllers, regional office senior accountants and regional office administrators as needed.

The incumbent is responsible for documenting all key business processes and the corresponding procedures, which must also be linked to existing financial and administrative policies. Procedures and business processes are documented in the Finance and Administration Procedures Manual maintained on the Intranet. The incumbent must see to the translation, publication, versioning and archiving of obsolete procedures. He is responsible for the organization of the manual that contains all finance and administration procedures.

How this is achieved 

  • The incumbent uses a number of techniques to map business processes — interviews, documentary reviews, narrative descriptions, flowcharting, etc.
  • He must clearly identify, amongst other things, the main steps, the individuals involved, the deliverables and the control points (both manual and system-driven) associated with the process.
  • In order to suggest alternatives to the existing process, the incumbent is required to remain current with industry practices and trends.

Changes in procedures can vary significantly in scope. Bigger changes are handled as projects, complete with a communication and change management strategy. The incumbent will work closely with Divisional managers to define the scope of projects, to confirm the resource requirements (internal and external) and to provide the necessary support to ensure that the project or initiative is completed in a timely and successful manner. In the discharge of his duties, the incumbent must demonstrate sound judgement and apply state-of-the-art principles embodied in the PMBoK (Project Management Body of Knowledge).

Project management work may involve securing external resources to supplement IDRC staff in conducting the project activities. Such work would include but not be limited to the preparation of a statement of work, the administration of a competitive process with the Procurement and Material Management unit of the Division and, eventually, the management of the supplier contract.

Together with the appropriate divisional Manager, the incumbent will organize the necessary training sessions with a view to adequately informing staff of policy or procedure changes needed and have the tools to incorporate said changes to their day-to-day activities. Prepares and issues change management communiqués to IDRC staff as appropriate.

Travel to regional offices may be needed in connection with any aspect of the above.

Division Management

The incumbent is part of the Division management team. He or she liaises with the Director while coordinating the update of the Division’s work plan by all managers.

The incumbent works closely with the Director and the extended management team of the Division to define the performance objectives, retrieve actual performance metrics, summarize the data for interpretation and report on the findings at least annually. He assists Divisional managers in improving their reporting capacities and in continuously improving the quality and suitability of the reported information.

The incumbent maintains up to date the functional analysis of locally engaged staff positions in regional offices, ensuring an update is available annually prior to the budget call issued by the Chief Financial Officer through the Manager, Budget and Financial Management.

The incumbent coordinates the actions of the Division committed in the context of the Management response to internal audit reports. Often, the follow-up comprises updates to policies, changes in procedures or other change management or communication initiative.

The incumbent is also responsible for coordinating and organizing on-the-job training activities within the Division. Likewise, he coordinates subject matter expert meetings with the regional offices when they take place and participates, as needed, in the annual Resources Branch Management and Regional Controller meeting.

Manages the summer employment programs and internships hosted by the Division from time to time. Sees to the selection of students and interns, co-opting the collaboration of concerned managers. Supervises students and interns, orients them during their term in the Division.

Liaises with the Resources Planning and Development Officer of the Office of the Vice-president Resources on all matters concerning the Division, including the provision of briefings and briefing material to the Vice-president.

May be called to represent the Director at certain events.