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Manager, Grant Administration

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.
The incumbent is a full member of the Division’s management team and participates in key strategic and operational discussions and decisions on grant administration issues, priorities, systems, processes, performance indicators, human resources. The Manager provides strategic direction, contributes to the development of policies, and initiates projects in support of IDRC’s strategic goals. This includes developing workplans to guide the work of the team of grant administration professionals and administrative staff.
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 CSC 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.

Management Responsibilities

• Participate as a member of the Grant Administration Division’s management team in the development of the Division’s policies, procedures, guidelines, standards, and strategies to guide senior management at Head Office and in the Regions in conducting communications activities at their level;
• Work with the Director GAD and the other GAD Managers to develop objectives, set priorities, and participate in planning for the Division;
• Manage a team of grant administration professionals and administrative staff including all aspects of human resources: hiring, orientation, professional development, planning work and priorities, monitoring progress, as well as assessing and managing performance.
• Ensure 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. 



Up to four Administration Officers (who are themselves supervisors of up to a total of 8 Grant Administrators).  (Indeterminate)
Casual help  (Term)


Grant Administrators under the responsibilities of Grant Administrator Officers

Job Scope

The responsibilities of this position are Corporate-wide in scope. The Manager has the responsibility to oversee the grant administration and financial management functions for the largest portion of IDRC’s expenditures (>100M). In fact, more than 65% of IDRC’s expenses are channelled through project or program spending for which the Manager plays an active role in both the initial design and the on-going monitoring of project/program activities.  In the discharge of its duties, the Manager significantly contributes to the achievements of the strategic and operational goals of IDRC.
The incumbent of the position is an active member of the GAD management team.  As part of this function, the incumbent actively participates in the establishment of priorities for the Division and in the development and implementation of the strategic direction of the division. This includes establishing priorities for his/her team, determining the allocation of human resources, performance management, etc. In regards to human resources management, the incumbent has full authorities delegated to managers of the Centre as per the Human Resources Authority Matrix, and is responsible for developing job descriptions, selecting suitable candidates, making hiring decisions, confirming completion of probation or making effective recommendations of rejection of an employee during the probationary period. The Manager sets work objectives and manages employee performance, including issuing verbal and written disciplinary measures.
In this role, the Manager is a key senior advisor in best practices for appropriate project design, implementation, administration and monitoring in alignment with corporate policies and procedures. The Manager provides advice to Program staff, senior managers and grant administration staff (in Ottawa and the regions), while ensuring stewardship of resources. The advice provided by the Manager covers in many fields, i.e., grant administration, risk and financial management, procurement, legal, travel and human resources.
The Manager monitors the general adherence to the established policies and procedures with a view of identifying issues which s/he needs to address or which need to be raised with the appropriate management level.  In doing so, the Manager must collaborate with other divisions to ensure an appropriate balance between service delivery and stewardship of resources.
The Manager ensures proper contractual compliance prior to approving all disbursements charged to individual projects/EFP (if greater than >75,000) while ensuring consistency with the appropriate policies and procedures.
The Manager is self-sufficient, exercises independent judgment and makes decisions based not only on established policies but also on the interpretation of current corporate policies and priorities, both program and operational.
The Manager acts on behalf of the Director in his/her absence.