December 28, 2020 Maxime Frijns

Operational Project Associate – Utrecht







At least 32 hours per week

Employment Type


Closing Date

10th of January


Linda Oosdijk

CFYE is an innovative and ambitious programme. We form partnerships with private sector organisations in Africa and Middle-East, striving to create, match and improve decent jobs for young women and men. Are you interested to be part of our journey? We are always looking for professionals to work with us! 

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About Palladium

Company Overview:

Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact – the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits. 

For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved – and is committed to continuing to improve – economies, societies and most importantly, people’s lives. 

Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status. 

Project Overview and Role:

Palladium are currently seeking an Operational Project Associate to join The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) programme. This is a 6-year and €114 million programme funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that aims to create a prosperous future for 200,000 young women and men in the Middle East, North Africa, Sahel & West Africa and Horn of Africa regions. The Fund will be supporting initiatives in 23 focus countries that will offer youth, in particular young women, opportunities for work that is demand-driven and productive, offering a stable income and safe working conditions, and that is contributing to their personal development and social protection.
The private sector, civil society and knowledge institutions will be invited to submit proposals geared to scalable solutions for creating more and better jobs and income-generating opportunities for youth. Solutions will in particular focus on an integrated approach that addresses the shortcomings on the demand side (jobs) and supply-side (skills) and bridging the mismatch between these two in the labour market.

Job Overview
The Operational Project Associate will be part of the Fund Management team of the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment, the team that is responsible for the operational management of the project. The specific purpose of the position is to support the management and implementation of effective and efficient operational, financial and compliance activities to deliver the project in accordance with contractual obligations, company policies, group standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines and client rules and regulations. The position periodically contributes to the development of policies, processes and procedures that align with best practices in project management.

Responsibilities and Duties

Project and Operations Management
Contribute to the preparation and maintenance of project-specific components of the project operations manual;
Contribute to periodic review on operational processes, compliance checks on processes and internal controls.
Support training of project staff on company policies, standard operating procedures, guidelines and client rules and regulations (covering risk management, planning, human resource management, monitoring, reporting, finance, procurement, logistics, IT, audit support and all other operations matters); and
Support the development and presentation of internal and external reporting (for example; quarterly internal project reviews, annual reviews, and client deliverables) and ensure these outputs are fit for purpose.
Support in managing and maintaining various Palladium’s systems. Support the roll-out of new systems when appropriate.
Assist with ad-hoc project management tasks as required.

Financial Management
In collaboration with Finance, monitor expenditure against budgets and forecasts, including staff costs, operating expenses and procurements;
Ensure company policies, standard operating procedures and guidelines for financial management are implemented and are compliant with the client’s rules and regulations;
Ensure the project financial calendar is adhered to;
Review transactions/invoices and ensure supporting documentation is complete;
Serve as a coordinator for service providers and process work orders and invoices;
Process contract action requests (for example travel, personnel additions/changes, partner, grant, budget realignment, etc.);
Support the external audit process and ensure retention of project records is compliant with company policy;
Assist in the quarterly financial review of Implementing Partners;
Monitor the status of partner budgets, invoicing and contributions; and
Assist in internal audit procedures of Implementing Partners of the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment by performing visits to the projects and performing spot checks.

Human Resource Management and Recruitment
Coordinate input and support from HR for recruitment and contracting;
Maintain project data on relevant HR systems for short-term and long-term staff and consultants; and
Support the mobilisation and demobilisation of all international staff (short-term and long-term) including contracting, travel management, payments and induction.

Procurement and Relationship Management
Support the contracting process of implementing partners and consultants;
Review and ensure the quality of procurement; ensuring compliance with company anti-corruption and due diligence processes;
Serve as a coordinator of service providers and address contractual matters as required; and
Support in monitoring and ensuring the Companies compliance requirements are maintained.

Business Development / Other
Participate in capture planning, providing inputs on operational requirements;
Provide input and support business development of the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment as required;
Participate in ensuring and monitoring the data-driven approach of the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment; and
Other duties as assigned.

Reporting Requirements
The role will directly report to the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment Finance Manager and will work closely with other members of the Challenge Fund team in Utrecht.

Required Qualifications:

Minimum Requirements
*Relevant academic qualifications in a related field, preferred higher professional education (the equivalent of the Dutch HBO).
*Relevant work experience, preferably in an administrative or project management related position.
*Project management and/or administrative support experience.
*Affinity with operations in a developing country or a similar environment.
*Available for at least 32 hours per week.
*EU citizen or eligible to work in the Netherlands.

Core Competencies
*Understanding of / expertise in Project Management.
*Financial acumen and the ability to interpret and analyse financial reports.
*Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and preferably in Dutch and French.
*High level of attention to detail and accuracy.
*Good organisational and planning skills.
*Sound problem solving and decision-making skills.
*Comfortable working with Excel and other data tools.
*Ability to work successfully as part of a team.

Interested and qualified candidates are kindly invited to submit a cover letter and resume (both in English) no later than 10 January 2021. In your cover letter please reflect on your motivation for wanting to work on the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment. Please be aware that applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. We reserve the right to close this recruitment process before the confirmed closing date.  Should you wish to apply you are kindly advised to submit your application as soon as possible.
Interviews with shortlisted candidates are scheduled to take place (online) in the week commencing 18 January 2021. An assessment may be part of the application process. Initial employment will be for a period of one year, with the possibility to extend. Remuneration will be based on background and experience.

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