Project: STARS – Strengthening Accountability, Reliability and Sustainability of CSOs in Western Balkans
Terms of Reference
Project assistant (1 position for period of 1 year, with possibility of extension to 4 years)
Founded in 2004 under the Macedonian law as a “civic association” (or an NGO) the Center for Research and Policy Making- CRPM engages in policy analysis, seeking to open the policy making process to citizens, improve laws., assess institutional capacities for their implementation as well as monitor and evaluate how much these policies are creating public value or are directed towards the “Europeanization” of Macedonia.
We also deliver trainings, make evaluations of donor programs in Macedonia and the region and conduct surveys of public opinion. CRPM regularly organizes forums, roundtables, and debates offering to policy makers “just-in-time” policy recommendations that are product of comprehensive policy research, well-argued and focused on Government actions on policy issues subject to the CRPM’s research interest. The research activities and analysis of CRPM’s team are followed with advocacy efforts that are fully aligned with the communication and advocacy strategy of the organization. Some of our policy proposals are being accepted by the government, while others, although there is an intense public discussion, are not. CRPM is ranked 42 among CEE and SEE on the Think Tank Index in 2020 and has received the PASOS think tank award in 2011, best policy study award in 2013 and the Japanese Madal for Outstanding Research in Development by the Global Development Network in 2016.
Background of the project
The Project: STARS – Strengthening Accountability, Reliability and Sustainability of CSOs in Western Balkans is a 4-year regional project funded by the Norwegian development assistance. Overall objective of this project is to contribute to strengthening participatory democracies and Euro Atlantic integrations in the Western Balkans by empowering civil society organizations and CSO networks for stronger and active role in creating peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia. The project will contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
The project will build stronger, more sustainable, and vibrant CSOs in the six countries of the Western Balkans region; develop strong regional partnerships between civil society organizations from the region and with their EU counterparts and public authorities; increase effectiveness of citizen influencing change through CSOs that advances Security and Stability and Governance in the Western Balkans, as well as increase awareness of general public on importance of active participation of civil society in major development initiatives in the region.
Target groups of the project are CSOs which need stronger role in society; better connection with constituency; sustainability; informal citizens’ groups which need resources and technical support, keeping motivation of members; citizens which need peaceful and prosperous society; participative democracy; active role in society; and media outlets which need increase of audience, sustainability; Government which need to improve efficiency in work, trust and support of citizens.
Main responsibilities of the Project Assistant
The main responsibilities of the Project Assistant include, but are not limited to:
- Pro-actively contribute to day-to-day project implementation and ensure conformity to expected results and project work-plans;
- Maintain project correspondence and communication;
- Collect, register and maintain all information on project activities;
- Advise all project counterparts on applicable administrative procedures and ensures their proper implementation;
- Contribute to the preparation and implementation of progress reports;
- Prepare agendas and arrange field visits, appointments and meetings both internal and external related to the project activities and write minutes from the meetings;
- Maintain project filing system;
- Prepare routine correspondence and memoranda for Project Manager/Project director/Executive director’s signature;
- Receive, screen and distribute correspondence and attach necessary background information
- Provide support to international consultants in the implementation of their tasks for the achievement of project results (communication, contracts, agenda, visas, hotel reservations, etc.);
- Maintain records on all project personnel/national consultants and their respective status (contracts, ToRs, time and attendance – if appropriate, etc.) in accordance with accepted policies and procedures;
- Prepare and issue contracts;
- Assist in logistical organization of meetings, training and workshops;
- Draft minutes of project related meetings
Financial and procurement responsibilities
- Follow-up on timely disbursements by CRPM to STARS grantees
- Assist in the preparation of payments requests for operational expenses, salaries, insurance, etc. against project budgets and work plans;
- Assist in preparation of payment requests for grants;
- Support the preparations of project work-plans and operational and financial planning processes;
- Monitor project activities, budget and financial expenditures and maintain a proper record of approved project budgets and their revisions;
- Prepare proposals for budget revisions;
- Prepare and submit expenditure and program budget status reports;
- Prepare recurring reports as scheduled and special reports as required for budget preparations and audit;
- Assist in procurement and recruitment processes; assist the project manager in preparation of ToRs for the consultants / experts;
- In accordance with the Work Plan arrange for procurement of equipment, supplies and services;
- Arrange for equipment maintenance and insurance as required;
- Ensure that contractual processes follow the stipulated CRPM manuals
- Maintain records over equipment inventory
- Assist the program manager in drafting and production of media releases, brochures, media kits and other knowledge products and resource materials including distribution;
- Adapt the local/national communication materials, activities, processes and messages with regional ones;
- Prepare of material for the project web site and coordination of outreach activities through social media;
- Contribute to communications activities for broader CRPM work program
- Perform other duties as assigned.
Beside the general terms of employment entailed in the national legislation, the candidate should also fulfill the specific terms of employment for the positions such as:
- University degree in communications, journalism, business administration
- Specialized PR experience is an asset
- Certificates for social media marketing, or praphic design will be considered as an asset
- At least 1 year of experience in project management in the civil society sector (similar regional experience will be considered an asset)
- Excellent oral and written communicatoin in Macedonian and Serbian (knowledge in Albanian will be considered an asset)
- Excellent oral and writeten English language communition skills
- Advanced computer skills, especially MS Word, internet browsing, Ilustrator or MS Publisher and e-mail communication (knowledge of finance and money management software will be considered an asset)
- Good knowledge of financial rules and regulations and accounting principles;
- Ability to administer and execute financial and accounting processes and transaction
Accountability and Working Relationships
- Accountable to the Project Manager, Project Director CRPM Financial manager and CRPM Executive Director;
- Works closely with all members of the Grants Management Team;
- Works with members of the MEL, and CRPM research teams
- Great attention to details, precision and accuracy in performing tasks
- Proactive, creative, solution-oriented person
- Good time management skills
- Flexibility and adaptability of the work challenges
- Ability to meet deadlines, work on own initiative and consult where appropriate
- Team Work
- Availability and willingness to travel in Macedonia and Serbia and territory of the Western Balkan countries
- Strong commitment to CRPM’s mission and values
- Highly motivated self-starter
- Intercultural sensitivity and awareness is a must
Salary: Salary according to CRPM salary policy is formed based on several important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession, and etc.
Candidates can apply by submitting a two-page cover letter stating why they are interested in this position, what they would bring to the role and how they fit the person specification.
This letter should be submitted with a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight Sunday 5th December, with ‘Finance Officer’ in the subject line.
The selection process in CRPM is conducted in three phases and in multiple languages. The first is CV and cover letter assessment. The second is an assignment. The third is an interview. The selection panel is made of 5 CRPM employees and / or members of advisory board.
CRPM is an equal opportunity employer.