Senior Program Finance Manager, Vitamin A Program

Senior Program Finance Manager, Vitamin A Program

Senior Program Finance Manager, Vitamin A Program

Senior Program Finance Manager, Vitamin A Program

March 6, 2023
Dakar, Senegal
Position type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Travel required?
Base salary (minimum)
Not specified


Helen Keller



Senior Program Finance Manager, Vitamin A Program

(Nairobi, Kenya or Dakar, Senegal strongly preferred;

other locations will be considered)


Guided by the remarkable legacy of its co-founder, Helen Keller, Helen Keller Intl partners with communities striving to overcome longstanding cycles of poverty.  By delivering the essential building blocks of good health, sound nutrition and clear vision, we help millions of people create lasting change in their own lives.  Working in more than 20 countries – across Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States – and together with a global community of supporters, we are ensuring every person has the opportunity – as Helen did – to reach their true potential.


We are seeking a Senior Program Finance Manager to join the project management team of a growing multi-country portfolio of Vitamin A programming which is primarily composed of awards from philanthropic donors. This position will assume responsibility for the overall financial management of the portfolio.



Helen Keller Intl launched programs to deliver vitamin A supplementation to children in the 1970’s. We have pioneered this important work worldwide. Vitamin A provides young children with a critical nutrient to build healthy immune systems and strong vision. Research shows that providing doses of vitamin A twice a year to children from six months to five years of age can reduce child mortality by almost a quarter. We now deliver vitamin A to millions of vulnerable children annually in thirteen countries in West, Central, and East Africa.


While the programs are implemented by project teams in our country offices, a central team provides leadership, management, and a variety of programmatic and operational technical support to maximize our impact.


Functional Relationships

The Senior Program Finance Manager reports directly to the Regional Program Manager for Vitamin A Programs and is a member of the multi-country Project Management Team (PMT).  To ensure congruity and consistency of financial policies and procedures, the Senior Program Finance Manager will also be a member of the global Finance department with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Director, Program Finance.


The Senior Manager works closely with the Regional Program Manager and colleagues on the PMT, and supervises professional level staff, who in turn provide guidance to country office teams.  Together, they liase with members of Country Management Teams, including Country Directors, Finance Managers and Project Managers to facilitate the integration between finance and program work with the common goal of ensuring that project objectives are met.  This position may liaise with donors, representing Helen Keller at donor and project partner meetings on an as needed basis.


Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both local line management and and the accountability and oversight duties of remote subject matter experts, such as members of the Vitamin A Program Management Team. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork are essential to make this structure thrive.

Scope of the Position

The position’s main responsibilities include reviewing award budgets, ensuring compliance with Helen Keller financial standards, reviewing financial reports, analyzing financial data, monitoring expenditures, forecasting revenue, and ensuring the accuracy of financial information, and the development and continual improvement of financial management tools to provide insight for effective project management of Vitamin A activities.


Specific Responsibilities


Overall Management and Leadership

  • As a member of the PMT, participate in strategic planning and direction setting and growth strategy for the multi-country portfolio of programs, lending your unique perspective and expertise to the process.
  • Lead the portofolio’s central finance team in a collaborative effort with program managers to ensure high-quality financial planning, management, reporting and auditing of all programs, including thorough budget preparation and oversight.
  • Provide monthly financial information to the PMT. Analyze financial reporting and results of individual activities and country office programs in the context of the whole portfolio and make recommendations to the PMT based on that analysis.
  • Identify operational challenges that affect the integrity of resource management.
  • Participate in international work groups assigned to develop global policies and/or optimize systems and procedures.
  • Review and assess status of the portfolio management policies, tools, procedures and workflows, identify gaps or outdated policies and prioritize improvements.
  • Make proposals for best practices in financial operations.


Budget and Grants Management & Analysis

  • Maintain a complete financial knowledge of the portfolio of awards across all the country offices.
  • Engage in the continuous development and improvement of tools, templates, metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs) and processes to facilitate and strengthen the financial management of this growing portfolio, and to analyze cost-effectiveness.
  • Analyze accruals, forecasts and other financial deliverables for awards.
  • Review and analyze monthly project expenditures, fund execution rates, and donor funds received, and provide appropriate information to the PMT and relevant country office colleagues on a monthly basis.
    • Ensure the relevant accounting team is notified of any incorrect expenses/

charges and follow up on any necessary reclassifications.

  • Conduct monthly monitoring of project implementation rates and share variance analysis reports with relevant stakeholders.
  • Ensure the preparation of timely and accurate invoices, internal and external financial reports, such as budget vs. actuals, donor reports and other financial deliverables for awards. Provide support and guidance as needed to ensure high quality results.
  • Provide technical support and supervision to two Program Finance Managers for the portfolio, who work with country offices to produce reports and budgets.
    • Review all budgets and budget amendments prepared by Vitamin A staff before submission to global finance, ensuring they conform with the work plan; cover the personnel and operating costs; reflect the narrative and are reviewed for accuracy, reasonableness and compliance with donor and Helen Keller regulations.
    • Ensure budgets and other financial information are correctly represented in financial and project management systems and that hard and electronic files are maintained for each Vitamin A
  • Prepare budget narratives for grant proposal budgets and annual project budgets.
  • Review work plan budgets to determine how they impact the monthly projected burn rates.
  • Use existing tools and develop new methods, as needed, to collaborate with country teams to effectively analyze:
    • variations in expenditures between similar activities across countries and project phases;
    • optimal Human Resources structures and budgeting
    • possible standardization of costing per “ingredient” needed for each activity
    • effective ratios between subawards and direct activities
  • Consult with and advise country office management on reports and special studies regarding the progress of financial plans, funds requirements, and opportunities to effect savings, and brainstorm solutions to challenges encountered.

Training and Site Visits

  • Provide expertise, advice, and training to colleagues to build their understanding of financial terms, conditions, and standards to ensure that programs are delivered with minimized compliance risk; and work collaboratively with global management colleagues to train and build skills and knowledge of local national staff.
  • Travel to train and support colleagues, monitor financial management of the project(s), and conduct site visits to project locations and sub-recipient offices.


Human Resources Management

  • Model collaboration for your matrixed team: effectively consult and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing and integrate guidance and direction from subject matter experts in your office and elsewhere in the global organization to maximize performance.
  • Build a highly effective Finance team, recruiting, supervising, mentoring, and evaluating staff, and engaging in frequent performance conversations with team members.
  • Delegate authority, consult with, and guide staff to achieve goals and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
  • Ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.
  • Participate in the recruitment process of other staff as requested by management.


Required Qualifications/Competencies

  • Master’s Degree in business administration, public administration, finance, accounting, or related field with 8-10 years directly related prior work experience including at least five years managing complex portfolios preferably for a UN agency or international NGO; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with financial analysis, grants management and budgeting. General understanding of or willingness to learn generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
  • Interest in international development and public health programs as well as an understanding of the synergy between the programmatic, operational, and financial components in project design and implementation.
  • Ability to negotiate/support negotiations effectively with donors, troubleshoot issues, and take proactive approaches to improving financial and budget management processes.
  • Evidence of strong analytical skills, time management, organizational and customer service skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including an ability to effectively lead a team, communicate a vision, make timely and transparent decisions, and manage conflict.
  • Demonstrated experience in Management and supervision of professional level staff such as Finance Managers or Grants Managers.
  • Proven ability to create and maintain effective systems for managing information, and tools for making information accessible and understandable to a broad audience.
  • Highly computer literate, including knowledge of Microsoft office suite (Word; PowerPoint; Outlook), and strong Excel skills, including pivot tables.
  • Ability to:
    • perform duties that require close attention to detail;
    • prioritize workload, assume responsibility for work, and follow through to completion.
    • Maintain balance when under stress.
    • work in a decentralized organizational structure with a highly collaborative approach.
  • Must be flexible and work well in a demanding, dynamic environment.
  • Strong oral and written English language skills required. French language skills a strong plus.
  • Ability to prioritize workload, assume responsibility for work, and follow through to completion.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience working effectively in teams and cross-cultural settings
  • Ability to prioritize workload, assume responsibility for work, and follow through to completion.
  • Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented.
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards
  • Commitment to Helen Keller Intl’s work and mission
  • Ability and willingness to:
    • flex work hours to accommodate multiple time zones; and
    • undertake international travel (approximately 5-8 weeks of travel per year).

PLEASE NOTE: that all staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel internationally.


To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to noting the job title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


While this is an international posting nationals of our preferred locations – Kenya and Senegal - are strongly encouraged to apply.


In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity in all its forms is fully valued.


We are an Equal Opportunity Employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.


We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.  If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need to request an accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact us at the email above or call: +1 646-356-1789

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