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Institutional/Corporate Contract - Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT)

UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office, LACRO, is seeking for an institutional/corporate contractor for the following terms of reference:


On 24 December 2013, a joint communication from the Deputy Executive Directors of Management and Programmes to all Regional Directors reiterated the importance of taking forward, at all levels, further initiatives to strengthen the management of the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT).  The message also emphasised the importance of collectively ensuring full compliance with the risk-based approach to managing cash assistance provided to our implementing partners as outlined in the UNDG HACT Framework, and further informed by UNICEF policies and procedures. The organization at the global level has recognised that the continuing non-compliance with the HACT Framework continues to present significant financial and reputational risks to UNICEF, and has committed to support regions in strengthening their capacity for managing HACT. Several audit reports have also highlighted weaknesses in HACT management, including in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) offices.  Furthermore, the 2013 OIAI annual report to the Executive Board noted that the main causes for the risks identified pertained to the lack of implementing a structured approach for providing assurance that UNICEF partners have delivered activities and spent funds as intended and/or reported.

As a first step, LACRO conducted in February 2014 a preliminary survey among the 24 country offices (COs) to obtain information on the status of HACT implementation in the countries and/or offices, including information on the macro-assessments and micro-assessments; status of assurance activities, etc. The survey concluded that many offices in the LAC region have not been able to comply with the requirements of HACT due to several constraints, both internal and external. The next step is to have a more detailed analysis of the situation of HACT in each office to ensure that the LAC region is in compliance with the requirements of the HACT Framework.  


As part of the oversight role, LACRO requires an institutional/corporate contractor to provide support to COs in the region to strengthen their capacities to implement HACT and ensure compliance to the revised HACT Framework.


A detailed analysis of the status of HACT implementation in each country office and, in coordination with the COs, implement the necessary actions to ensure compliance with the HACT requirements.  The institutional/corporate contractor is expected to travel to all non-HACT compliant countries in the region (except those where the Government had rejected HACT) to assess the situation of HACT implementation onsite and, in coordination with the country offices, develop and implement a plan with a timeline of no more than 6 months for the COs to become HACT compliant.


·         Assess the status of HACT implementation in each country in LAC, including the bottlenecks and constraints in order to develop jointly with the country office the HACT action plan. 

·         Provide technical assistance to country offices in complying with HACT policies. Guide, advice and support country offices in the development of country level quality assurance plans and HACT processes, including support to coordinating micro and macro-assessments and UN inter-agency approaches to HACT application, and development of plans for implementing HACT assurance activities (programme monitoring, financial spot checks, special audits).

·         Support and facilitate country office capacity development activities for staff (and implementing partners, if required) on overall HACT compliance and including the different types of assurance activities.


The institutional/corporate contractor will work from its own office with constant communication with the LACRO in Panama City, Panama, and frequent travel to the different countries in the region. The institutional/corporate contractor will be supervised by the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Chief of Operations.


Six months – from 1 July to 31 December 2014.


·         A minimum of eight (8) years of relevant experience, at the national and international levels, in Operations Management, Financial Management, Audit Management, Risk Management and/or Programme Management – with hands on experience in planning, undertaking and reporting on financial management assurance activities related to HACT and/or similar grant management oversight systems used by donor and funding agencies – is required.

·         Specialized training in Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) as well as ERP Systems (i.e. SAP) is considered highly desirable.

·         Previous experience in training professionals in the context of HACT is considered highly desirable.

·         Fluency in English.  Working knowledge of Spanish and/or French will be an advantage. 


Please submit a technical proposal as well as the proposed budget including estimated contract fees and any other expenses the institutional/corporate contractor may incur to: Institutional/corporate applicants must indicate in their proposal a monthly contract fee under subject "Institutional/Corporate Consultancy - Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer". UNICEF will pay travel costs for days of actual travel to the countries.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


June 6 2014.



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