Cooperative Sector is considered one of the three pillars of Nepal’s economy as stated by the 2015 National Constitution of Nepal. With around 34,000 primary cooperatives working in Nepal, cooperatives contribute to around 20% in the financial sector of the country. This sector has provided employment to around 60,000 people and it contributes to 3% of Nepal’s economy. Keeping this fact in mind and acknowledging the constitutional and legal provisions and policy direction, the Government of Nepal has brought forward the idea of cooperative market network in its budget speech for fiscal year 2017/18. It expressed that the cooperative market network would be established to ensure fair prices for the commodities produced by cooperatives. In line with government plans and programmes, the Cooperative Market Development Programme (CMDP) has been implemented from Feb 2018 till Jan 2023 as a model programme jointly by the Government of Nepal and UNDP to ensure that fruits and vegetable farmers are fairly represented in the market system through cooperative market chain. This programme is being executed in 72 selected pocket areas of 18 rural/urban municipalities of six districts viz. Chitwan, Dhading, Kavre, Lalitpur, Makwanpur and Nuwakot in Bagmati Province benefitting approx. 14,000 households. This project has scope for replication in other parts of the country in future based on its experiences and lessons learnt.
CMDP aims to support the effort being made by GoN for achieving poverty reduction and food security related targets of Sustainable Development Goals by creating economic opportunities to the fruits and vegetable farmers (Goal 1) and availing quality fruits and vegetables to the consumers at the reasonable prices respectively (Goal 2).
The overall objective of the programme is to establish and operationalize cooperative market chain of fruits and vegetables of selected six districts. The ultimate objective of the programme is to increase farmers’ income and enhance other livelihood opportunities, which in turn will contribute to the poverty reduction in Nepal. As the market chain will reduce the intermediary costs of the produces, the market system will offer benefits to both the farmers and consumers. Ultimately, the project will enhance the economic opportunities as well as contribute to the nutrition security of the citizens of the country.
To meet the project objectives, CMDP has collaborated with concerned District Cooperative Unions (DCUs) at district level, Local Governments (LGs) at municipal level, Agriculture Seed Vegetable and Fruit Central Cooperative Federation Limited (NEFSCOV), and National Cooperative Federation Nepal (NCFN) at the central level. Till the end of 2020 this project has established 50 collection centers at pocket level, distributed 28 pickup vehicles and installed 37 cooling chambers in the primary cooperatives, DCUs and satellite market. Satellite market in Chabahil, Kathmandu has already been operating in partnership between NEFSCOV and primary cooperatives. Another satellite market in and satellite market in Mahalaxmisthan, Lalitpur will be operated by early May 2021. Likewise, municipal market in Ratnanagar, Chitwan and Benighat Rorang, Dhading, district markets in Kavre and Nuwakot and regional market in Bharatpur, Chitwan are in line of construction. In addition, CMDP has provided capacity building support to primary cooperatives, cooperative unions, and LGs. The programme has also conducted series of training courses such as cooperative management, financial management, business plan, value-chain, and COPOMIS along with periodic mentoring and follow-ups.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall direct supervision of the National Project Manager, and in close coordination with National Project Coordinator and National Project Director the Administration and Financial Management Specialist will be responsible for ensuring the highest efficiency in financial resources management; the provision of accurate, thoroughly reviewed and analysed and accurate financial information; the effective delivery of financial services; and transparent utilization and management of the grants through District Cooperatives Unions and other grantees. Additionally, the Administration and Financial Management Specialist will ensure that the day to day administrative and logistical service for the project are ensured for effective functioning of the project and closely work with programme team with strong collaboration and coordination with the line Ministry and the UNDP for the efficient and effective management of programme resources. The summary of key functions are as follows:
Summary of Key Functions:
- Ensure effective and accurate financial resources management and oversight, focusing on achievement of the following results;
- Ensure close monitoring of the grantee and responsible parties by the achievement of the following results; and
- Ensure efficient and effective provisions of Administrative and logistical services by the achievement of the following results
Overall Roles and responsibilities:
1. Ensure effective and accurate financial resources management and oversight, focusing on achievement of the following results:
- Ensure proper planning, internal control and safeguard measures for efficient and effective use of financial and other resources of the programme;
- Lead on preparation of budgets and periodic expenditure report, project audit, donor financial report and prepare and present financial analysis;
- Maintain complete set of book of accounts and financial records in daily basis following national and international accounting principles and National Implementation Guidelines;
- Establish and/or ensure robust financial flow procedures: e.g. receipts, payments, disbursements and bookkeeping using online accounting software (FAMOS);
- Ensure an efficient bank and cash management and monthly reconciliations;
- Oversight for all financial resources managed by the project and provision of high-quality professional advice to the National Project Manager, National Project Director, National Project Coordinator and all PMU staff members;
- Proper planning, expenditure tracking of financial resources in accordance with National Implementation Guidelines, UNDP rules and regulations, policies and procedures;
- Maintain robust internal financial management control system and value for money over all financial transactions and processes;
- Prepare monthly financial reports including funding authorization, bank reconciliation and budgetary analysis and submit it to UNDP in timely manner;
- Ensure effective information flow between finance function, National Project Manager and Programme Team in order to effectively link the programmatic results to the resources;
- Facilitate Spot Checks and Audit as assigned by UNDP Country Office in line with corporate agreements, rules and regulations, policies and procedures as specified in National Implementation Guidelines and ensure timely implementation of spot checks and audit recommendations and their reporting to UNDP and the line Ministry;
- Ensure timey provision of financial information and preparation of annual and quarterly budget for approval by the Project Executive Board;
- Develop, track and report to National Project Manager on key financial performance indicators;
- Conduct analysis of programme budget allocation and expenditure from a gender and social inclusion perspective under the guidance of the Project Manager and Gender and Social Inclusion Focal Person; and
- Ensure GESI budgeting is done in the annual work plan at project level and grantee/responsible parties level.
2. Ensure close monitoring of the grantee and responsible parties by the achievement of the following results:
- Ensure the periodic capacity assessment of grantees and responsible parties from the financial management and good governance capacities perspective, develop and support implementation of action plans to address identified capacity gaps;
- Ensure full compliance while preparing contract agreements and associated documents with responsible parties and grantees;
- Ensure timely reporting from responsible parties and grantees following the provision made in the contract agreement;
- Carry out periodic review and provide guidance and capacity building services to District Cooperative Union, Primary Cooperatives and NGO grantees on issues related to internal control, finance, budgeting, accounting, bank reconciliation and reporting;
- Ensure advance payments and direct payments to responsible parties and grantees and vendors are properly reviewed, processed recorded and retired; ensure that payment information is properly recorded into the FAMOS system on a timely basis following standard accounting principles and practices;
- Provide training and orientation to grantees on issues related to good governance, contract management, internal control system, financial and budget management, Gender budgeting, actions against fraud, corruption and misuse of funds;
- Harmonize reporting and accounting practices among grantees/responsible parties including budgeting, reporting and key financial performance indicators;
- Monitor grantees/responsible parties financial reports for accuracy of financial information; ensure adequate safeguards are in place to eliminate fraud and ineligible expenditure; ensure annual audits of grantees and responsible parties are conducted on time;
- Ensure quarterly certification and reconciliation with grantee and responsible parties are obtained, reviewed and confirmed; and
- Conduct frequent field visits for financial monitoring and supervision.
3. Ensure efficient and effective provisions of Administrative and logistical services by the achievement of the following results:
- Provide procurement, administration and logistical support required for the project;
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date personnel records of the project personnel as required;
- Draw up specifications for the equipment required for procurement in close work with programme team and UNDP as per NIM guidelines; maintain and update an inventory and ensure proper operation, maintenance and appropriate distribution of such equipment;
- Provide logistic support to conduct trainings, workshops and seminars;
- Prepare cost estimates for different activities and support services according to the needs of programme management;
- Ensure proper compliance with relevant policies and value for money of all expenditure before making payments;
- Prepare various contractual documents related to procurement of goods and services ensuring adequate protection of the interest of the programme and follow-up on the status of the contract;
- Supervise and provide support to all administrative and finance support personnel and their works (procurement, filing, record keeping of personnel management) of PMU and PIU (Field);
- Keep records of non-expendable equipment (NEE), conduct physical verification at least once a year and prepare annual physical verification report of NEE to be submitted to UNDP CO;
- Oversee the contracts with implementing partners including governmental, non-governmental, and community-based organizations as well as with service providers for the programme (individuals and companies);
- Maintain up-to-date personnel files, employment contracts systematically and periodically report to the National Project Manager on the necessary follow-up actions;
- Ensure availability, efficient deployment and regular maintenance of programme equipment, including vehicle(s), computers, and other equipment for programmatic purposes;
- Ensure that vehicle logbooks are systematically maintained by the driver, vehicles are in proper condition and office supplies are well stocked and properly accounted for; and
- Perform other administrative and financial duties related to the programme as assigned by National Project Director and National Project Manager.
Impact of Results:
Smooth administration and financial planning and management of the project; proper documentation of all payments related to programme expenses; value for money ensured; proper maintenance of financial records, personnel, procurement and inventory.
- Demonstrates high level of integrity by modelling the Government of Nepal and UN’s values and ethical standards;
- Serves and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Good inter-personal skills;
- Clear and upfront communication skills;
- Treats all people fairly without favouritism;
- Organized and good with following-up on pending issues; meets deadlines;
- Promote learning and knowledge management/sharing;
- Focuses on delivering results by taking calculated-risks and problem-solving approach;
- Fair and transparent decision making; regularly shares information with team members; and
- Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development.
- Demonstrate ability to identify and anticipate risks, bottlenecks, as well as seek guidance;
- Ability to maintain a high level of accuracy, confidentiality concerning financial and contract management;
- Ability to organize and complete assignments within deadlines;
- Knowledge of anti-corruption concepts, principles and policies and the ability to apply in strategic and/or practical situations;
- Integrity and impartiality, ability to work with external partners e.g. grantees, responsible parties, vendors, service providers;
- Ability to convey difficult issues and positions to senior officials proactively seek guidance and make clear recommendations to line managers;
- Dynamic and results-oriented;
- Strong verbal and written skills; ability provide trainings and coaching;
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
- Remains calm, in control and good humoured even under pressure;
- Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities; can do multi-task;
- Responds positively to critical feedback and differing points of view; and
- Solicits feedback from staff about the impact of his/her own behaviour highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.