Maxwell Stamp PLC (MSP) is seeking an Operations Advisor for the Expanding Social Protection Programme in Uganda. ESP is based in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD), and is being delivered with the support of the UK Department for International Development and Irish Aid (the “Development Partners” or “DPs”). MSP was the Management Agent on ESP I, and was subsequently engaged to provide a range of technical assistance and fund management services as the Social Protection Fund Manager (SPFM) for ESPII which will run until June 2020.
The programme aims to embed a national social protection system, including social assistance for the poorest and most vulnerable, as a core element of Uganda’s national planning and budgeting processes. The outputs focus on capacity of MGLSD to lead on social protection, establishing accountable cash transfer delivery systems, regular delivery of a senior citizens grant (SCG), and increased public understanding of, and demand for, an accountable social protection system.
ESP II is managed out of a Programme Management Unit (PMU) established by MGLSD. The SPFM is embedded in the PMU, with the SPFM advisors working closely with and supporting the PMU team contracted by MGLSD. The core operational aspects of the programme currently focus on delivery of the SCG. Under the Memorandum of Understanding in place, the Government of Uganda (GoU) will progressively take over funding beneficiary payments under the SCG from the DPs, and expand the number of districts covered by the programme every year. There has also been calls for national rollout of the SCG.
The Operations Advisor will be embedded within the Operations Unit (the “Unit) of the PMU responsible for delivery of the SCG. The core focus of this function will be supporting the unit coordinator on the technical and management aspects of delivery of the SCG. The position will also involve generic ‘fund management’ responsibilities on behalf of MSP. The Government of Uganda is currently discussing a potential national rollout of SCG. Therefore, in preparations for this outcome, this role will focus on facilitating and documenting strategic discussions on SCG operational processes. The role will therefore support developing effective operational plans and institutional arrangements for potential national rollout as and when requested by the GoU.
- Support and advise the Unit to ensure delivery of regular and predictable cash transfers, and provide oversight on all aspects of the SCG payment cycle.
- Advise on operations systems strengthening including key organisational policies, systems; operations manuals underpinning the implementation of the SCG operational cycle; capacity building of PMU and local government actors; and establishing standard operating procedures and minimum service standards.
- Provide guidance and support on performance management of key service providers, institutions and structures, especially the payment service provider delivering the SCG to beneficiaries; including benchmarking against other best practice in Uganda and elsewhere.
- Work with other units to support the establishment of a single registry for social protection within MGLSD, and support to identify monitoring, evaluation, and short term studies to inform operations.
- Support the Unit Coordinator in facilitating strategic discussions for enhancing effectiveness and efficiency of the SCG implementation and on any emerging implementation concerns.
- Actively focus on value for money, risk management, quality of services, and fraud prevention, and support to incorporate gender and equity issues in programme operations.
- Provide mentoring and coaching to unit staff and assist in internal review of unit and staff performance.
- Advise on decentralisation of operational systems and management functions, and support systems integration with other relevant government Uganda institutions e.g. National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Ministry of Public Service, etc.
- Internally review and quality assure unit outputs (concept notes, strategy papers, training materials, progress reports), and support on budgets, work plans, forecasts, short-term technical assistance planning.
- Prepare a quarterly report on the challenges, concerns and priorities for the unit for submission to the Team Leader and Head PMU.
The position will report jointly to the Team Leader and the Deputy Head of PMU, and is fully accountable to the Team Leader on delivery of functions. Any contractual matters are escalated to the Project Manager in London.
We are looking for a candidate who can develop and grow into this new function. Key qualities include:
- Graduate, preferably Masters level, in a relevant field such international development, social protection, economics, etc.
- Demonstrated experience in facilitating, setting up or advising on operations for cash transfer delivery systems and/or other operational delivery arrangements, including all aspects of the delivery cycle.
- Strong ability to work effectively in an advisory capacity in support of government institutions.
- Solid understanding of donor requirements, fund management concepts, and the need to balance short and long term value for money concepts, whilst ensuring integrity of the system, effective delivery, and maintaining confidence of the stakeholders.
About the Organization
Maxwell Stamp PLC (MSP) is a development consultancy firm that provides technical expertise and managerial oversight for the implementation of donor-funded development projects in both developing and transitional economies across the globe.
The central goal in all MSPs work in developing countries, is the promotion of broad based and pro-poor economic growth. Primarily our work is financed by the leading international development agencies including the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development and the European Commission.
MSP was established in 1959, since then the company has expanded into a global group and boasts experience in over 170 countries as well as offices in Dhaka, Nairobi, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh with project offices around the world.
MSP employs over 40 in-house staff, most of whom are technical consultants spread across the organisations four practice areas, which are:
- Public Sector Management (PSM)
- Human Development (HD)
- Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction (LPR)
- Economics and Finance (E&F)
- Infrastructure (in Abu Dhabi)
In addition to our technical practice areas, we also have a dedicated Project Management Unit (PMU), Project Support Unit (PSU), and Finance & Accounting Unit.