Support NGO to Revise Financial Policies and Systems

Activity/project background

Partner: Star for Life Namibia (International NGO)

The Star for Life project was born out of the belief that the future of the Southern African region lies in its youth. The program is based on the conviction that when we support young people to develop a healthy level of self-esteem and belief in their future, they will be inspired to perform well in several areas of life. Specifically, they will realize the importance of taking responsibility for their sexuality and become active participants in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. As Star for Life continues to grow and expand its operations to reach even more communities and individuals, the importance of a robust financial management system becomes increasingly necessary.

Star for Life is requesting the support of a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to strengthen staff capacity to improve the organization’s financial reporting to donors and increase accountability. The VSPP will collaborate with the Human Resource and Payroll officer, who is also our primary financial accountability officer.

The NGO has previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Review of current financial tools, manuals, and processes to understand the current Star for Life financial systems setup. Review SWOT analysis that will help determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the current system
• Co-train staff in designing and improving financial policies and procedures, ensuring they align with best practices
• Establish processes that will assist with adherence to financial compliance guidance
• Assist with generating financial reports

This engagement is expected to take approximately 27 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week, although this engagement anticipates a commitment of 5-10 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours between 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Namibia time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have to work with Zoom (or any other virtual platform), WhatsApp and email for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting or financial management

• 2 years of experience working with NGO financial systems
• Experience with USAID (or NGO) financial regulations
• Experience with international contracting
• Good analytical and problem-solving skills

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in accounting or financial management

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Online training and facilitation skills
• Skills in financial software systems

Experience: 5 years’ experience with NGO finance

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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