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Country Finance Director

Job description

Country Finance Director

Location : Goma

Closing date: December 01st, 2013



      I.        Details


Programme: Democratic Republic of Congo, N Kivu Responsible To: Country Director (CD) Responsible For: All Provincial Finance Team Works With: Country Support Director in Goma, Financial Advisor in London, Operations Manager (N Kivu) Location: Goma, DRC with extensive travel to field sites in N Kivu Start Date: ASAP Duration: 6-8 months Salary and Benefits: £38,240 - £38,990 per annum per annum (dependant on relevant experience), inclusive of annual Cost of Living Allowance and recruitment bonus Benefits: Insurance cover, accommodation, annual leave entitlement of 24 days per annum rising to 30 days at the completion of 12 months of continuous employment with Merlin.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Due to the urgency of this position, applications will be short-listed on a regular basis and we may offer this post before the closing date.

Please note that an assessment will need to be carried out to confirm if this position can be accompanied.

    II.        Context

Merlin International Profile Merlin is an international health charity, saving lives in the world’s toughest places. Merlin responds with healthcare, when people are overwhelmed by natural disaster, conflict or disease and in need of immediate help. We focus on treating those who are beyond the reach of existing health services. After the immediate crisis, Merlin stays on to assist recovery. Using our expertise, we support health workers and strengthen existing health services. We build resilience by helping those at risk of future health disasters, to be better prepared.

We think everyone should have access to lasting healthcare. We believe good health is fundamental to transforming people’s lives, that’s why Merlin is A Force for Health As of 16 July, Merlin is joining Save the Children to create a world-class humanitarian health force for children and their families living in some of the toughest places in the world. By combining Merlin’s unique network of frontline health workers with Save the Children’s life-saving work in over 120 countries, more children affected by disaster or conflict will be reached.

Both organizations are really excited by this opportunity to dramatically increase our reach and impact for children and their families.

For those teams transferring as part of this plan, our expectation is that there will be a phased transition of Merlin’s overseas programme operations and head office teams to Save the Children, which we are aiming to complete within 18 months. During this time Merlin’s life-saving work for children and their families around the world will continue

Context and Background The Democratic Republic of Congo is the second largest country in Africa and one of the poorest. Decades of dictatorship and civil war have left much of the national infrastructure destroyed.

Merlin has been operational in DRC since 1997. Merlin teams have provided emergency medical care to the most vulnerable populations in Maniema, Kasai Oriental, North Kivu and Orientale Provinces. Activities have included emergency response, support to primary and secondary health care facilities (including supervision, supply of drugs, and the payment of incentives), reproductive health, institutional capacity building, immunization campaigns, nutrition, WASH, and the rehabilitation of health facilities.

In North Kivu Merlin currently works in Rutshuru/Binza, Kayna, and Birambizu health zones, providing essential health care services to DPs and host populations; and will provide the health component of the rapid response to movements of population (RRMP) mechanism throughout the province.

Main purpose of the role As a Country Finance Director, you will provide leadership and financial management to the multi-programme and multi-site operation in N Kivu province.

Overall Objectives (scope)• Directly manage the Provincial Finance Team to ensure effective and proactive financial leadership, support and guidance is provided to managers in the province

-        Ensure that mechanisms are in place to prepare and report field finances to head office ;

-        Ensure that budget preparation, financial reporting and amendment planning for donors is implemented in a timely manner and approved by head office before submission ;

-        Ensure appropriate systems and procedures, support and guidance for country programmes ;

-        Be a member of the Province Management Team and take the lead role on financial planning, forecasting, budgeting and developing financial management capacity throughout the country.


   III.        Responsibilities

Responsibilities Leadership Responsibilities

-        Responsible for the entire Province programmes financial matters; ensuring that sound financial practices, rigorous budgetary and financial management controls are implemented and imbedded ;

-        Ensure that Merlin's minimum standards of financial procedures, policies and guidelines are understood and adhered to throughout the Province programme, briefing and training all relevant staff as required ;

-        As part of the Province Management Team (CMT) you will influence the strategic financial direction of the whole programme. Assisting the programmes teams in developing the financial elements of their project/programme plans ;

-        Develop and implement the annual financial strategy and support cost budgets. Monitoring and reviewing its progress on a regular basis ;

-        Work in close collaboration with members of the CMT; sharing information on the assessments and proposed interventions, providing overviews of financial requirements for the development of project proposals and subsequent projects ;

-        Manage staff effectively, including appropriate and systematic delegation.


1.    Financial Management

-        Assist project staff in developing proposals (including budgets and activity plans) and subsequent revisions in accordance with external donor requirements ;

-        Monitor, supervise and assist in preparing all interim financial and final reports to donors, in a timely manner, to ensure compliance with contractual and legal requirements ;

-        Ensure the timely preparation and communication of monthly financial reports for the Province Director, Project Coordinators and Head Office, providing them with meaningful and accurate financial information to enable them to manage project and core budgets effectively. This should include advising on significant variances against budget, and making recommendations for corrective actions to ensure expenditure is in line with budgets ;

-        Conduct regular field trips to project sites to monitor compliance with financial procedures, review activity progress and assist managers in identifying the financial implications of changes in proposed activities and revising budget lines as required ;

-        Ensure a set of complete and accurate financial records is maintained, including all relevant supporting documentation for each project ;

-        Facilitate visits by, and meet the requirements of, external auditors ;

-        Ensure compliance with local regulations in respect of financial and other matters (e.g. Registration, Foreign Exchange, taxation, Province audits and labour laws) ;

-        Overall responsibility for managing and maintaining the Province balance sheets including salary advance accounts ;

-        Overall responsibility of treasury management for the entire Province programme ;

-        Induct and regularly advise/capacity build on finance systems and controls for finance and non finance staff ;

-        Develop the financial aspects of the programme emergency preparedness plan, in co-ordination with the CMT, and train finance staff in managing the financial aspects of in emergencies ;

-        Work with the Finance Department in London to support head office initiatives and specific requirements.


2.    Human Resource Management

Undertake expatriate staff appraisals for provincial finance team in accordance with Merlin’s Human Resources procedures

-        Maintain good team communication, engender positive team dynamics and take remedial action as soon as problems occur as advised by the Provincial HR/Admin Manager ;

-        Support team members professionally and monitor and support stress management ;

-        Provide support to in the recruitment process for provincial finance staff.


  IV.        Person Specification Essential Qualifications, experience and competences


-        Accounting qualification (Degree or professional equivalent) ;

-        Strong communication skills with written and spoken French & English ;

-        Experience of donor reporting requirements ;

-        Experience of implementing financial control systems ;

-        In depth knowledge of financial systems, financial/administrative management and reporting ;

-        Strong communication skills including strong EXCEL skills (worksheet functions, data functions, pivot tables) ;

-        Good decision making skills on financial aspects of information management ;

-        Good training/capacity building and management skills ;

-        Focussed individual with capacity to plan and manage in a multiple deadline-working environment ;

-        Pro-active financial manager with risk assessment aptitude ;

-        Willingness to work in an insecure environment ;

-        Understanding of security issues and guidelines ;

-        Ability to work on own initiative ;

-        Experience of establishing strong working relationships with colleagues from different functions and cultures ;

-        Experience of a flexible approach to managing and prioritizing a high workload and multiple tasks in a fast paced environment with tight deadlines ;

-        Experience of proactively identifying and addressing issues ;

-        An understanding of and commitment to Merlin’s mission and values.


    V.        Desirable Qualifications, experience and competences


-        Previous experience of working in field financial management ;

-        Experience of working in NGO sector organizations ;

-        Experience of field administrative/HR management ;

-        Previous experience of working in Central/West Africa.

How to apply :

To apply for this position To apply for this job, please go to and apply using our online recruitment system. In order to apply for a job with Merlin online you will need to complete a short registration process and create an account – the online recruitment system explains how to do this. Once your account has been created, you will be able to save the information that you have entered in your application and re-visit it at any time before you submit it.

If you are unable to apply online for any technical reason, please contact :

Please note that we do not accept CVs. Unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.