*Preferred location: London, UK. Other locations to be determined by home country of successful candidate in a jurisdiction (US state or country) where VisionFund/WVI is registered to operate.
PURPOSE OF POSITION:
World Vision (“WV”) is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. One important component of WV’s work is microfinance, providing financial services such as credit, savings and insurance to the poor, enabling them to earn increased income, build assets and provide financial security for their families. Numerous studies confirm the strong impact of microfinance on the well-being of children. Studies also show, however, that the integration of microfinance with other development activities can have an even greater impact when compared to either microfinance alone or development activities alone. WV’s microfinance operations are managed through VisionFund International (“VFI”) and its 7,000 staff.
VFI manages a network of over 30 Microfinance Institutions (“MFIs”) globally and has outstanding loans of approximately US$600 million to over 1 million clients and annual network revenues of over US$138 million. The MFIs were created to provide financial services in the areas where WV works.
Operationally, microfinance is similar to banking and requires a high level of automation to manage and deliver the product. Therefore, having the right technology platforms, processes and people to deliver the services is critical to achieving VFI’s strategic goals. Because of the highly specialised nature of the business, VFI now has its own small team of people who will be responsible for the efficient and effective use of technology and change management within the business. This change management concept is primarily focussed on banking and accounting systems, and derivative Management Information, but people and processes are equal legs in this three pronged approach to pursuing change in
VFI and the wider organisation. Thematic Programme Managers (“TPMs”) are therefore people with a strong understanding of a specific business model and processes such as Credit, Data, Fiance, Core Banking or Mobile technologies.
TPMs will have oversight of one of the global strategies (including Savings, Accounting, Core Banking Systems, Programme Management Office (“PMO”) etc.) identified by VFI, to ensure MFIs are in alignment with, deploying and managed to these global strategies. TPMs will work closely with Regional Programme Managers (“RPMs”) and MFI staff.
Support for Regional Directors (“RDs”) in global strategy development for delivering business and social goals through the use of technology platforms, people and processes.
Tight integration with capacity development and training to ensure VFI’s human capital can handle the new technology and change. Ultimately VFI’s goal is to impact more children through the development of the network.
Provide oversight in functional verticals (such as credit processes, savings, mobile technology, etc.) of each MFI to ensure MFI operations are supported adequately by its system and operational procedures in line with globally defined policies and procedures.
Support RPMs in ensuring that MFIs have the skills and competencies both within IT and business functions to use technology to maximum effect, and support them in skills training and capacity building so that they become more capable in managing technology.
Supporting RPMs and MFIs in making decisions on the selection and deployment of technology. VFI has identified global strategic platforms and standards, RPMs are responsible for local implementations and TPMs are responsible for overall strategic alignments with VFI standards and initiatives.
Responsible for the ownership, accountability and delivery of key projects within the scope of the TPMs strategic theme. Support of the RPMs with, in particular, system upgrades and implementations, to ensure that the MFI has resourced the project correctly, that appropriate contracts are in place with vendors, and that the various phases of the project are designed correctly and executed to plan. TPM oversight can include software vendors certification to monitor project progress, approve vendor resources/staffing and provide key decision-making.
TPM will work with MFIs in designing how their systems can help improve their business processes and controls. TPM is responsible to ensure the design is sound in functional verticals, addresses cross functional interdependencies and adhere to VFI strategic goals.
Supporting VFI direction by ensuring IT projects adhere to global policy and procedures, and designing policy and procedures where any are lacking.
Looking at ways in which opportunities exist to improve cross-regional efficiencies and performance global cloud network (but not excluding opportunities down at the MFI and branch level where improvements have not been implemented yet).
Support RPMs in reviewing annual plans and budgets and ensuring that adequate provision is being made so that the MFI is on a path to sustainability in its use of technology.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:
Educated to degree level, ideally in a science or technology related discipline.
Experience of leading a number of successful microfinance/banking systems implementations, ideally in developing countries.
5+ years of project management experience working to recognized Project Management (“PM”) methodologies. Qualification in a recognized PM discipline preferred.
Understanding of microfinance/retail banking operations, from a credit, financial, risk and systems perspective.
5+ years of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) experience including business analysis experience.
Project management and office tools experience (e.g. Microsoft Project, Office tools).
Service orientation with ability to lead teams, organize, prioritize, and delegate tasks while transferring knowledge and expertise.
Ability to work under pressure and on multiple tasks and projects concurrently.
Strong analytical and problem solving skills and be able to work effectively with and manage a diverse and geographically remote team of information technology professionals.
Good organizational skills as well as consulting skills to be able to analyze, judge risk, recommend solutions.
Cross-culturally sensitive and be able to work with staff from across the world and in a virtual environment.
Proficiency (both speaking and writing) in English is a must; Other languages (particularly Spanish or French) is a plus.
Demonstrated ability to write polished reports (e.g. business cases, risk management plans, project close out reports, etc.).
Requires flexibility on working hours to contact people within wide time-zone differences.
Must be able to travel internationally (minimum 40% of time).
VisionFund International aims to be diversed and inclusive organisation and candidates of all backgrounds and cultures are welcomed.
We are dedicated to all our staff development and their success. We aspire for all employees to be fulfilled through their work and their contributions to an organisation working to provide long-term sustainable solutions to the world’s most vulnerable people.