World Vision International

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VisionFund Thematic Programme Manager (“TPM”)

Job Description

*For VisionFund/World Vision internal applicants only.

*Position location to be determined by home country of successful candidate within a jurisdiction (US state or country) where WVI/VF 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 (“VF”) and its 6,000 staff.

VF manages a network of 35 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 VF’s strategic goals. Because of the highly specialised nature of the business, VF 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 VF and the wider organisation. Thematic Programme Managers (“RPMs”) 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, PMO etc.) identified by VF, 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.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

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 VF’s human capital can handle the new technology and change. Ultimately VF’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 VF 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.

SPECIFIC AREAS OF FOCUS

VF Technical and Operational Standards Strategy:

  • Working with global management to ensure an effective VFI systems strategy is in place, focusing on the ‘standardisation’ of business processes and impact on people for specific Theme that TPM is responsible for (e.g. Front Office Solutions (Mobile Money / Tablets) or Data and Credit (Data Warehouse and Credit policy).

  • Core functionality: Develop and maintain a core set of functional requirements building on the ‘standardisation’ work, and lessons learned from MFIs around the globe.

  • Roll-out Plan: Develop a detailed plan of how the VFI systems strategy will be rolled out including core banking applications, infrastructure, support and ‘other technologies’ across the entire MFI network. Responsible for ensuring little, if any deviation occurs from agreed strategy, and if necessary approved with Global Director.

  • Communication: Communicate initial strategy and the roll out plans as well as all other on-going communication on systems that affects the MFIs;

  • Resources: Matrix responsibility in hiring, budgeting and management of local project management resources, hired as a result of project funding, which will support the implementation of this strategy, in collaboration with local line manager.

Pipeiline and Priority Management:

  • MFIs Prioritization: Recommend MFIs for strategic systems initiative and present prioritization plan.

  • Shared Services: Propose, develop and implement plans for centralization and shared services in terms of connectivity, hardware and support, plus supporting other operational shared functions, to the ESC. Work across depts. within VF and across WV at large (e.g. WV GICT). Lead those plans if/when approved.

  • Budget / Funding: Work together with RD / RPM on proposal on regional systems budgets and funding.

  • Project Management: Work with regional project managers and ensure all projects are effectively managed within globally defined and aligned PMO standards. Specifically manage local Project Management and line resources identified with local / regional / global management to support and manage a given project.

  • Functional Specs: Oversee the project manager’s work at MFI level on the gathering of shared functional specification for the region. Evaluation, clarification and correction of standards to reflect VF global standards and to ensure continued industry leading best practices. Finding a balance between enforcing current standards and developing those based on lessons learnt.

  • Selection: Oversee, influence and assist in the due diligence and software selection process for systems solutions. May involve brining in external expertise for a technology audit / review.

  • Contract Negotiations: Champion the vendor negotiations of software licenses, implementation support and on-going support for determined strategy. Lead the business requirements and analysis processes to ensure ‘right fit for job’ of chosen technology and service vendor. Work with WVI legal on the review and finalization of related contracts (e.g. License, Implementation and SLA).

  • Pre-implementations: Oversee pre-implementation plans which include data clean-up, review of change management business impact, human resources, risks etc.

  • Implementation: Oversee the implementation of all regional systems and participate in issue-resolution decisions and regular update communication to all stakeholders.

  • On-going Support: Ensure that adequate support is in place, both internally at the MFI level as well as external at the vendor level, for the on-going maintenance, issue-resolution and future customizations.

  • Post-Implementation Reviews: Oversee the assessment of a post-implementation review and lead on any findings / recommendations of the same.

Local Applications:

  • Exception Review: Review and recommend on MFI requests for an exception on regional initiative and the appointment of a resource to support / provide guidance on the local implementation.

  • On-going Support: Ensure that adequate support is in place, both internally at the MFI level as well as external at the vendor level, for the on-going maintenance, issue-resolution and future customizations; and

  • Post-Implementation Reviews: Oversee the assessment of a post-implementation review and lead on any findings / recommendations of the same.

Other Technologies:

  • Research: Conduct research on the various technologies available in the market that are suitable for microfinance operations and fit our strategic goals of reaching out to more rural areas.

  • Selection: Lead the due diligence of potential vendors who offer a particular technology that can be used in a number of our MFIs and provide a recommendation.

  • Implementation: Oversee the pre-implementation, contract negotiations and implementations of the pilot MFI implementing the proposed technology.

  • On-going Support and infrastructure: Ensure adequate training and support is in place along with the appropriate hardware / connectivity.

Personal and Staff Development:

  • Develop Others: As a Christian VFI leader, develop others encouraging excitement and growth both in their careers but also in spiritual growth. This role is all about matrix management and influencing others often without line function responsibility. This matrix management is across the entire organisation from global management through to field operations staff.

  • Other Assignments as needed: Carry out additional responsibilities and projects as assigned, including administrative and planning functions.

  • Participate in Daily Devotional Meetings: Attend and participate in weekly chapel services and daily devotional meetings whenever possible.

  • Participate in dept. meetings: Attend and participate in weekly meetings to ensure alignment of specific Theme with others within the Change scope. Interdependency of the Themes and implications across people, processes and platforms is critical to the overall success of the strategic processes.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND 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 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); and

  • Ability to balance Christian values with commercial practices.