Head of Controllership / Senior Finance Officer

  • Added Date: Friday, 08 February 2019
  • Deadline Date: Sunday, 10 February 2019

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Vacancy Announcement Number1722
Date of Issue15/01/2019
Deadline for Applications10/02/2019
Organizational UnitAccounting & Controller's Div.
Duty StationROME
Duration of Assignment2 years

Organizational context

he International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation.

The Accounting and Controller's Division (ACD) is located in the Financial Operations Department (FOD). ACD supports the mission of IFAD by ensuring stakeholder confidence and protecting the clean external audit opinion on IFAD finances, ensuring sound financial practices and internal control at IFAD and providing innovative finance solutions to solve problems and improve decision making. ACD is also responsible for the integrity, transparency and control of the management of IFAD's resources. IFAD is transforming its financial architecture and putting in place risk and control functions. ACD has recently created an Controllership Unit to focus on operational risk and internal controls for all activities in IFAD, with a head of unit as its manager.

The role includes heading the Controllership Unit to implement the second line Controllership function and Operational Risk mitigation at IFAD on all resource streams including Supplementary Funds, as well as providing finance innovation and support to automation/digitisation on all resource streams. The Head of the Controllership Unit and Senior Finance Officer, would work under the direct supervision of the IFAD Controller and Director, ACD.

Post's organizational accountability

The Head of the Controllership Unit/Senior Finance Officer is experienced professional with sound understanding of financial principles and financial market practices, applicable regulations, as well as of IFAD’s financial architecture, structure, processes and related policies. His/Her accountabilities include the following in the categories of:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Policy Development and Advice
  • Financial Resources Management
  • Finance Business Partner, and
  • Agent of Change and Managerial Function

The above will support as a robust second line of defence at IFAD to effect the transformation of IFAD's financial architecture and protect IFAD in its enhanced decentralisation. Transforming FOD/ACD's functions to fully automated processes will enhance internal controls and support client service delivery to our decentralised offices and hubs. Supporting innovation and monitoring of Hosted Entities including internal controls aspects relating to IFAD’s Supplementary Funds (including APO’s and Complimentary Contributions), validating for effective planning, management and supervision of functions carried out in these areas.

Key results expected / Major functional activities

The Head of the Controllership Unit/Senior Finance Officer contributes to activities and priorities set forth by the strategic development and work plan for the Division. S/He develops specific work plans for the unit s/he manages in line with best practice and prevailing institutional, departmental and divisional strategic priorities.


  • Develop a Unit Charter, Internal Control Framework for operations including taxonomy and risk appetite that will be used as a key framework document of internal controls and serve to mitigate operational risk at IFAD
  • Develop policies on Anti-money laundering (AML), Know your customer (KYC) processes, sanctions and Politically exposed persons (PEP)
  • Develop procedures for due diligence, sanctions screening, PEP screening in consultation with key stakeholders
  • Develop a system repository, system tools/modules to implement the above, fraud software and links to best practice use databases that other IFIs use
  • Implement second line of defence review and monitoring Key Risk Indicators (KRIs)
  • Develop Reporting mechanism for incidents, sanctions linked to the risk dashboard)
  • Implement training and awareness as well as control risk champions
  • Develop Reporting mechanism for incidents, sanctions linked to the risk dashboard)


  • Provide leadership on all matters concerning Internal Control, operational risk and manage Unit resources effectively
  • Implement second line of defence review and monitoring Key Risk Indicators (KRIs)
  • Provide overall leadership and real-time decision making in identifying, assigning internal control risk, measuring and mitigating operational risks to ensure that all departments/divisions/ICOs operate within IFAD's Internal Control Framework which should be created and implemented including early-warning assessments of problems to safeguard IFAD's reputation and minimize losses. Supervise the design and preparation of periodic reports on operational risks and internal controls and methodologies.
  • Provide strategic and technical leadership in operational risk management and internal controls to support transformation of IFAD into a fully-fledged IFI and support to a credit rating.
  • Provide advice to the Controller and Director, ACD on various IFAD-wide issues such as operational risk strategy, internal controls, and mitigation, operational risk mitigation measures/instruments, guidelines and models, working closely with the FOD Chief of Risk.
  • Lead the reforms, development, planning, implementation and supervision of the newly created Controllership Unit’s goals, strategies and policies to ensure sound financial resources management in IFAD's operations and compliance with IFAD's strategy and policies.
  • Ensure the technical competency, professionalism and high ethical standards for all operational risk and internal control staff members and contribute to enhance the IFAD wide internal control and risk culture.
  • Liaise with counterparts at other institutions, particularly MDB’s/IFIs and UN Partner agencies, to exchange ideas on internal control and operational risk policies and methodologies, and support/provide advice in explaining internal control policies to the financial community as well as other stakeholders including rating agencies;
  • Cooperate with relevant Divisions on comprehensive quarterly, semi-annual and/or annual portfolio report to the stakeholders highlighting key shifts, trends and migrations and other weaknesses in terms of operational risk and internal controls that should be brought to the attention of the Controller and Senior Management.
  • Ensure the technical competency, professionalism and high ethical standards for all staff members.
  • Cooperate with FOD and other Divisions to develop capacity building programs for different stakeholders
  • Implement training and awareness as well as control risk champions.

S/He is a credible, trusted partner to stakeholders. S/He supports the Fund’s finance strategy and plans as well as models a commitment to financial integrity by acting as a responsive and constructive service provider with a focus on results. Provides seasoned verbal and written advice and guidance to supervisors and staff on finance regulations, rules and procedures, facilitating a mutual understanding of roles and corporate fiduciary accountabilities in direct support of integrity in the management of the Fund’s financial resources.

The Senior Finance Officer understands and applies the principles of change management and proactively serves as a role model for transformation and capacity for acceptance of change. S/He uses a seasoned knowledge of results based management and budgeting, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other information technology. At this level the Senior Finance Officer manages change through consultations with inter-organizational and internal finance colleagues, IFAD senior management and outreach to client offices to build understanding of and to ensure open and regular communications pertaining to current and planned changes in the Fund’s financial standards, regulations and rules. S/He is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. S/He supervises the work of the unit’s staff to ensure the achievement of divisional objectives. through work plan development, recruitment, performance and career management, conflict resolution as well as learning management establishing learning plans and ensuring staff supervised meet their development needs while meeting the needs of IFAD. S/He also provide coaching and mentoring to teams and individuals.

Impact of Key results / Key performance indicators

Senior Officers at this level are accountable for authoritative advice and guidance in regard to the Fund’s financial policies, regulations and practices and authoritative interpretation to resolve difficult and unusual cases. They make recommendations to senior management on questions of financial policy, including those that may be the subject of inter-organizational consultations. Senior Finance Officers are also accountable for leading and ensuring the requirement for producing various reports to legislative bodies, member governments, and others interested in the activities of the Fund. S/He achieves finance programme goals and objectives through innovative program design or redesign. The work requires the development of new and/or modifications of existing policies, practices and techniques as well as the review of finance Officer and analyst work performed at lower levels, taking corrective and adaptive actions.

The key performance indicators for Senior Finance Officers at this level include leadership, both technical and team.

Representation / Work relationships

Internally Senior Finance Officers are authoritative technical advisers to the Fund’s managers, other budget holders and staff in their area of assignment and advocate for accountability and integrity in the allocation and management of the Fund’s financial resources. Contacts extend throughout the organization and include Country Office management, internal auditors and evaluation Officers. Externally work relationships require collaboration and coordination to ensure the effective implementation of financial rules and procedures, with particular reference to the use of donor funding through contacts with Borrowers and Contributing institutions. Supporting the Controller, s/he will also be in direct contact with external auditors and counterparts in other IFI and UN organizations and with senior representatives of key financial service providers and counterparties.



  • Strategic thinking and organizational development: Personal influence
  • Demonstrating Leadership: Leads by example; initiates and supports change
  • Learning, sharing knowledge and innovating: Challenges, innovates and contributes to a learning culture
  • Focusing on clients: Contributes to a client-focused culture
  • Problem solving and decision making: Solves complex problems and makes decisions that have wider corporate impact
  • Managing time, resources and information: Coordinates wider use of time, information and/or resources
  • Team Work: Fosters a cohesive team environment
  • Communicating and negotiating: Acquires and uses a wide range of communication styles and skills
  • Building relationships and partnerships: Builds and maintains strategic partnerships internally and externally
  • Managing performance and developing staff: Manages staff and teams effectively


  • Authoritative knowledge and experience of the Risk and Control
  • Ability to provide technical and administrative leadership to staff supervised and to develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies.
  • Ability to identify and analyze systemic issues, formulate opinions and make conclusions and recommendations to resolve same.
  • Analytical, organizational and supervisory skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in a diverse organization tailoring language, tone, style and format to match audience.
  • Aware of best practices in the field of information technology systems and tools.
  • Experience in developing and implementing Risk/Internal Control Frameworks, Policies and Procedures linking and consistent/complementary to the Enterprise Risk Management Framework.

Minimum recruitment qualifications


  • Advanced university Degree or its equivalent in Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Banking and other relevant areas. The advanced university Degree may be substituted by a first university degree (Bachelor or equivalent) in the above-mentioned subjects plus at least four additional years of relevant professional experience, over and above the minimum number of years of experience outlined below.
  • Professional qualification in CPA, Chartered Accountant, CIPFA designation or equivalent is mandatory.
  • Qualification in risk management, controls or audit would be an advantage.


  • At least 8 years of relevant professional experience, including work in international IFIs or financial services industry particularly in risk and control.
  • At least 3 years of experience with managing teams to ensure motivation and high performance
  • Experience in successfully managing projects/programmes using best practice project management methodology

Language requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Working knowledge of another official language (French, Spanish or Arabic) is desirable.

Other information

Applicants should note that IFAD staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the President of IFAD, and they may be assigned by him/her to any of the activities of IFAD, including field assignments and/or rotation within IFAD.

In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful

Candidates may be required to take a written test and to deliver a presentation as well as participate in interviews.

IFAD is committed to achieving gender diversity. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

This vacancy is archived.

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