Name: Programme of Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Financial  Systems  Audit
Year: 2010
Client: DFID
Country: Zimbabwe
Background: The PoS was launched in 2006 following Cabinet approval. Parallel to this, donors started to contribute to a pooled funding mechanism. DFID NZAid, SIDA, Germany, AusAid and the EC have since contributed to the programme creating a pooled fund of around US$ 75 Million to date. DFID is the largest contributor to the pooled fund with a commitment of £23 million over 4 years.

The most recent annual review of the PoS found that the “continued delays in disbursement, even after dollarization of the economy, and problems that remain with communication between partners and the UNICEF finance teams call for a independent review of the whole disbursement chain from UNICEF to the sub-grantee right up to the child”.

Objectives: The overall purpose of the work was to understand the bottlenecks which seem to persist in getting resources to partners in a timely manner. For this purpose an independent review of disbursement chain from UNICEF to the sub-grantee right up to the child was needed. This would inform a professional judgement on whether UNICEF should continue to play a grant making role in any subsequent programme.

The process included:

  • Carrying out an audit trail of the current process of disbursements of funds from UNICEF to various implementing partners.
  • Identifying areas and causes of delays in the disbursement chain and make recommendations on how these delays can be improved.
  • Carrying out an assessment of the financial management capacity of recipient NGOs in producing timely and accurate financial reports, expenditure forecasts and requests for funds from UNICEF.
  • Assessment of the performance of the UNICEF HACT system – is it efficient useful and adequate to the job on hand and for a possible future more scaled up programme;
  • Assessment and examination of the capacity and ability of UNICEF’s financial systems to adjust to Zimbabwe’s changing economic and socio-political situation (weak reform, strong reform and rapid decline)
  • Assessment of the resources and capacity of the finance team at UNICEF to manage the scale of funding required and their preparedness for any future scaling up.
Activities: Activities conducted by JIMAT consultants included: literature review and individual interviews with recipients of PoS funds including children.
Special Recognition: