International Rescue Committee (IRC) – Contracts Adviser.

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Requisition ID: req27097

Job Title: Contracts Adviser

Sector: Operations

Employment Category: Regular

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: No

Job Description

Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.

Technical Excellence and Grant Operations & Analytics Team:

At the IRC, we define and measure our success as positive changes in people’s lives in relation to five outcome areas: health, education, economic well-being, safety and power, while helping to narrow the gender gap. To achieve these outcomes – to drive our impact – our programs must be based on the best available evidence and aligned with our theories of change; adapted to context; responsive to client needs and preferences; and continuously improved by generating evidence, measuring what we do, and acting on what we learn. The Technical Excellence team supports the delivery of this.

Established in April 2021, the Grant Operations & Analytics Team (GOAT) brought together grants, business development, finance, and analytics functions and staff from each Technical Excellence (TE) Unit to one centralized team to increase efficiency, effectiveness and quality control across Technical Excellence awards and business operations. The primary purpose of this new team is to harmonize capacity and capabilities and drive efficiencies by establishing consistent, high quality standards to the service of improved budgeting, grants and contracts management, business development, and data collection and analytics. GOAT strives to build a diverse and inclusive team at all levels who as individuals, and as a group, create a working environment characterized by critical reflection, power sharing, debate, and objectivity for us to achieve our aspirations as a team and deliver the best possible service to our clients.

Job Overview

The Contracts Adviser is responsible for the successful implementation of IRC’s donor award requirements of a portfolio commercial contracts led by Technical Excellence (TE). You will be responsible for providing advice and support for successful award management throughout the project cycle, along with promoting a strong knowledge-culture of sound contract and risk management practices, including but not limited to: quality assurance of donor deliverables, such as narrative, financial and audit reports; review of new contracts; guidance on donor compliance rules and IRC systems including partnerships and sub-contracting; review of amendments to ongoing awards; and management of assigned donor relationships.

Scope and Authority

The post-holder will demonstrate initiative, make decisions, and provide support and advice autonomously but in line with parameters laid out by the Grants, Operations and Analytics Director and in accordance with IRC and GOAT systems and policies.

In this role you will facilitate two-way communications about contract implementation issues, compliance, training, donor relations to enhance organisation-wide compliance.

Key Working Relationships

  • Reports to the Senior Commercial Contracts Adviser
  • Coordinates with Technical Units, the Awards Management Unit, Programme Development Advisors, the Compliance & Policy team and the Finance department


Contract management

  • Provide effective award management support to Technical Excellence teams on systems and processes for leading, delivering and reporting on assigned portfolio of commercial contracts.
  • Work with the Senior Commercial Contracts Adviser to support the creation of a strong knowledge-culture of contract and risk management practices, taking a proactive approach to mitigate against future contract risks.
  • Prepare and supervise the preparation and submission of financial and narrative donor reporting for Technical Excellence contracts, coordinating with the technical and country program staff as needed.
  • Review new contracts (and amendments) with relevant AMU colleagues to ensure compliance with IRC systems and execution of project deliverables.
  • Analyse risks, strengths/weaknesses and gaps throughout the contract lifecycle, with particular attention to key performance indicators (KPIs) and any payment by result requirements (PbR)
  • Support the Senior Business Development Coordinator, Unit technical staff and AMU colleagues in the development of proposals for new tender opportunities, including reviewing concept notes, proposals and creating budgets ensuring donor and IRC compliance.
  • Support the negotiation of contract and subcontracts with support from relevant colleagues.
  • Manage the team’s use of OTIS (Opportunity Tracking Information System) for ongoing contracts, reporting, agreements and amendments and Partnership Excellence for Equality and Results System (PEERS) for subcontract/partnership work.
  • Participate in contract opening, mid-term reviews, and end of project meetings; monthly Budget versus Actuals (BvAs) meetings and bi-weekly meetings with relevant teams on contracts and grants, as is required and appropriate
  • Review, provide feedback and submit project amendments (including, programmatic changes, cost extension, no cost extension, and budget realignments)
  • Feed into the development of internal organisation working processes, tools and guidance for teams and AMU related to commercial contracting, as relevant
  • Ensure communication and coordination processes are in place with the AMU Programme Development and Compliance & Policy teams to provide input and feedback on lessons learned at design and proposal development stages
  • Supports with coordinating a capacity building programme for contract and risk management within Technical Excellence, through knowledge management, development and delivery of corporate trainings, dissemination of relevant information, on-the-job training, and mentorship.
  • Manage time and effort tracking and reporting for contracted personnel.
  • Support queries on donor compliance issues, referring non-routine and high-level compliance matters to the line manager and Compliance & Policy team
  • Advise teams on process and systems to ensure partnerships with local and international partners are aligned to internal policies (PEERS).
  • Assist with consortia management for large, complex commercial contracts or grants, including providing training on contractual requirements
  • Ensure teams follow internal IRC policies and procedures (e.g. OTIS, PEERS)
  • Support the development of internal working processes, tools and guidance for teams and AMU as relevant

Donor management

  • Handle communication and messaging with assigned donor focal points, ensuring issues and developments are raised
  • Facilitate meetings and engagement between the donor focal point and technical staff as required, representing IRC where appropriate
  • Provide feedback to donor meetings’ agenda and support teams in preparation for the meetings
  • Collaborate with Strategic Partnerships and Policy & Advocacy teams on specific donor engagement priorities, especially DFID/FCO

Other duties

  • Travel to IRC locations around the world to undertake capacity building, training and assessment (subject to Covid-19)
  • Participation in organisation’s contract management initiatives
  • Support GOAT/Unit work plan and delivery of specific projects, as assigned
  • Collaborate closely with other IRC departments and teams
  • Participate in/deliver information/training sessions for regional and Technical Excellence workshops
  • Proactively disseminate the services provided by GOAT

Desired Qualifications:

  • Understanding and practical experience of project management principles throughout project and institutional donor award lifecycles (from positioning through to closeout)
  • Excellent communication, influencing and interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively manage a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment
  • The ability to tailor language to different audiences and needs
  • Ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues working remotely and teams with varied strengths
  • Strong attention to detail to ensure own work, and work of others is of a consistent high quality in a fast-paced, demanding environment
  • Solid organisational skills; meticulous; ability to multi-task, prioritise, and learn quickly
  • Ability to work autonomously and under remote management
  • Good IT skills (Word, Excel, Outlook)
  • Ability to travel internationally
  • Fluency in English


  • Demonstrable solid experience of FCDO (DFID) funding, regulations and procedures, particularly with regards to commercial contracts
  • Experience of working with other prominent institutional donor agreement sand knowledge of their requirements, such as USAID, ECHO, Sida, KfW, GIZ, Irish Aid, etc.
  • Contractual and financial management experience with various contract and subcontract types, including, but not limited to, cost reimbursement, time-and-materials, fixed price, framework/umbrella, and performance-based.
  • Experience working with and supporting technical experts in complex project set ups
  • Experience handling consortia including NGOs, for profit organisations, and academic institutions – both South & North.
  • Experience of supporting start-up/inception phases of larger contracts and negotiations with donors.
  • Experience of writing, reviewing, and editing narrative and financial reports and proposals
  • Experience of developing, reviewing, and/or editing technical and commercial proposals, including contributions to strategic decision making (e.g. approach, pricing)
  • Experience of donor liaison and in providing advice and standard methodology on contracts and contract management, including financial management
  • Experience in building and maintaining relationships with senior staff across different teams and functions, including those based in other countries


Values and Legal Disclaimers

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct.  These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability.  In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

The Grant Operations & Analytics Team (GOAT) within Technical Excellence, and the IRC overall, are committed to the values of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion. At the IRC, our diverse clients, partners, and staff have the power, voice, and agency to shape programs and operations. Within the IRC, we actively work to end all forms of systemic discrimination and foster an inclusive working environment where everyone feels respected, heard, valued, and supported. Our programs seek to reduce disparities in outcomes which are driven by systemic inequality.




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