Switzerland: Grants Officer

Organization: The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 31 Dec 2016


Grants Officer

(Ref: 2016-15)

Organisational Context

The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) is an independent Swiss Foundation that supports local, community-level initiatives worldwide that address the local drivers of violent extremism and strengthen resilience against violent extremist agendas. It was established in Geneva, Switzerland in 2014 as a public-private partnership governed by a multi-stakeholder Board which includes representatives of countries which provide funds, countries to which funding is allocated, civil society, the private sector, research institutions and foundations.

GCERF is committed to responding to national needs. GCERF’s Core Funding Mechanism works only in countries which have requested GCERF’s support and have established a national, multi-stakeholder platform (Country Support Mechanism) to assess the unique national challenge of violent extremism. This needs assessment forms the basis for GCERF funding priorities.

Funding decisions are based on expert technical analysis and rigorous due diligence. Independent technical experts from around the world provide funding recommendations to the GCERF Governing Board. GCERF’s international multi-stakeholder Governing Board allocates pooled funds to address national preventing violent extremism priorities and fill identified funding gaps.

GCERF responds to national needs and empowers local communities. GCERF provides funding to organisations (Principal Recipients) which themselves form and lead a consortium of national and community-based organisations strongly engaged with communities to implement a comprehensive set of initiatives that address the local drivers of violent extremism and strengthen resilience against violent extremist agendas. To enhance performance, GCERF supports and promotes the development of grantee capacity and learning, and applies a robust and pragmatic performance monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure mutual accountability, transparency and learning.

GCERF is currently working in Bangladesh, Kenya, Kosovo, Mali, Myanmar and Nigeria.

Purpose of position

The Grants Officer supports the management of GCERF’s funding portfolio in designated countries, providing thematic and country expertise, guidance and support.

Organisational Setting and Reporting Relationships

The Grants Officer reports to the Chief Operating Officer. The Grants Officer works in close collaboration with colleagues in the Operations Unit; as well as in cooperation with the Finance and Compliance and External Relations Units.

Accountabilities & Responsibilities

Grant Making

In designated countries:

· Manage the grant making process, ensuring efficiency, effectiveness and adherence to GCERF’s grant making principles.

· Support the development and implementation of country engagement strategies drawing on country specific knowledge, understanding and experience.

· Contribute to the development of strong working relations with relevant government authorities, as well as community level, national and international stakeholders.

· Prepare, participate in, and follow up on country missions, such as country engagement visits, Country Support Mechanism accompaniment visits, and public information and launch visits.

· Assist in providing technical expertise and support national dialogue on the prevention and countering of violent extremism, including in the development of the national needs assessment that informs GCERF funding priorities.

· Implement with care due diligence and risk assessment procedures to inform the selection of potential grantees, including in-country visits.

· Provide technical guidance and support to potential grantees on each step of the grant making process.

· Support grant development and negotiation prior to the signing of grant agreements with grantees.

· Prepare draft grant agreements and standard project documents in adherence with GCERF grant making principles and relevant country specific awards decisions by the GCERF Governing Board.

· Draft reports on designated countries and contribute to relevant documents and presentations to support decision-making by stakeholders, including the Country Support Mechanism, the Independent Review Panel, the GCERF Governing Board and relevant subsidiary bodies.

Grant Management

In designated countries:

· Accompany grant implementation by grantees, ensuring efficiency, effectiveness and adherence to GCERF’s grant implementation principles.

· Contribute to the maintenance of strong working relations with grantees (and service providers) professionally and efficiently to ensure value for money, and to minimize the potential for fraud, inefficiency and waste.

· Support the regular monitoring of grant implementation to track milestones, compliance, timelines and deliverables including through the analysis of periodic reports and provision of feedback to grantees, and regular site visits to grantee.

· Analyze grantee fund disbursement requests in a timely manner and make recommendations.

· Prepare regular reports on grantee performance, identify any significant deviations or delays to planned grant implementation, propose recommended courses of action, and in consultation with relevant colleagues, work with grantees to meet their performance obligations.

· In collaboration with the Finance and Compliance Unit, coordinate grant budget revisions and cash flow projections, follow established risk management, due diligence and anti-corruption policies, regulations and procedures, and propose mitigation options taking into account potential fraud, operational and strategic risks.

· Prepare annual and end of grant reports, and support and facilitate the performance evaluation of grantee and national funding cycle by GCERF’s dedicated performance monitoring and evaluation staff.

· Support the management and coordination of country level grant portfolio, keeping abreast of in country developments, identifying trends that may potentially affect both grantee performance and GCERF’s wider operations.

· Nurture, strengthen, and facilitate collaboration and information exchange between grantees and other stakeholders on the prevention and countering of violent extremism. Support the provision of training and other capacity development support to grantees provided by GCERF or associated service providers.


· Prepare and submit mandatory internal operational reports such as travel reports, regular country progress reports, and other papers.

· In consultation with the Finance and Compliance Unit, contribute to the development and implementation of the work plan and operational expenses budget for designated countries.

· Contribute to work planning and operational expenses budget development of the Operations Unit.

· Participate and actively contribute to internal review and learning processes to promote continuous improvements.

· Contribute to the preparation of external updates, presentations, and reports to support external relations and resource mobilization efforts.

· Upon request, represent the Operations Unit on organisation-wide task forces, study groups, etc.

  • As requested, represent GCERF in relevant international, regional and national conferences, foster partnerships and facilitate relationship building amongst stakeholders.

· Serves as back-up to colleagues within the Operations Unit, fulfilling their duties and responsibilities as requested by the supervisor.

· Undertakes other duties as requested by the supervisor.



At least eight years of experience working with multilateral, bilateral or development organisations, NGOs, foundations, or other non-profit grant-making entities, including a minimum of four years of field-based experience in at least two countries. Additional headquarters experience an asset.

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate:

· Experience of grant-making, due diligence processes and grant management in the context of preventing/countering violent extremism, conflict mitigation and prevention, peacebuilding, development or humanitarian action.

· Knowledge and understanding of programme design and development, project cycle management, and financial budgeting and reporting.

· Experience of working alongside a wide range of grantees with skill and sensitivity, including community-based and grassroots organisations preferably in assigned region.

· In-depth understanding of the work and challenges of community-based and grassroots organisations an asset.

· Strong knowledge of the socio-political environment and civil society organisations in assigned region is an asset.

· Experience of working with Consortium funding models an asset.


Postgraduate degree in international development, international relations/affairs, social sciences, business, management, or a related field.


Fluency in English. For the Grants Officer for West Africa, fluency in French will also be essential. Working knowledge of other relevant languages will be an advantage.


· Ability to develop and maintain effective and respectful relationships with grantees, and other national and international stakeholders.

· Excellent interpersonal, presentation and oral communication skills.

· Excellent writing skills and attention to detail.

· Capacity to plan and organise one’s work effectively and collaboratively.

· Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.

· Focus and commitment to achieving quality results.

· Sensitivity in framing and presenting potential opportunities and challenges, and good judgement in reporting ideas and issues judiciously,

· Poise, maturity, and ability to represent GCERF in relevant fora.

· Flexibility and ability to stay effective and motivated in a fast changing environment.

· Commitment to continuous learning and a desire to keep abreast of new developments in relevant fields of thematic or functional expertise, and contribute to the learning of colleagues.


Ability and willingness to travel up to 30% per year to assigned countries, in blocks of between three days and two weeks.


Grade: 3

Contract Type: Open-ended.

GCERF is committed to diversity within its workforce and encourages applications from all qualified candidates.

The position is based in Geneva. GCERF offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

Application Deadline: Open until all open positions are filled.

As a part of the recruitment process, shortlisted applicants will be asked to complete a written assignment and participate in two interviews.

How to Apply: Please visit the GCERF website at http://www.gcerf.org/about-us/career-opportunities/.

How to apply:

Please visit the GCERF website at http://www.gcerf.org/about-us/career-opportunities/.

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