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Project Auditing

 

Background and Rationale

Project Country: Lebanon
Project Title: Psychosocial support for children, adolescents and adults to stabilize

peaceful coexistence in Lebanon

Private German executing agency Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiner e.V.
Applicant/Local executing agency Just.Childhood Association
Donor Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)
Co-Funding Aktion Deutschland Hilft e.V.
Application deadline: 01.12.2022
   
Project duration: 01.04.2022-31.03.2024
Auditing Location Lebanon, Beirut

Just.Childhood has been registered as a local, non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) with the Lebanese Ministry of Interior under number 2112 since 2014. It operates in the education sector and is autonomous, as well as politically and religiously independent.  Our goal is to actively protect the childhood of socially marginalized and traumatized children in Lebanon and to support them in their right to play, learn and develop in safety. Just.Childhood sees education as one of the core issues of its development work: especially early childhood education is the foundation of any secondary education. Improving early childhood education not only has an immediate positive impact on further education, but also shows positive effects on further education and employment opportunities in the medium and long term. Counteracts possible radicalization at an early stage. For these reasons, access to quality early childhood education is one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. Just.Childhood’s educational approach is based on the methods of early childhood Waldorf education. This approach, which is new in Lebanon, challenges the traditional mindset of early childhood education in the Palestinian camps and in various refugee contexts in Lebanon. Waldorf education promotes peaceful behavior by making a clear connection between violence and the way parents and teachers educate children, and recognizes that early childhood education is a critical developmental period.

The project of Just.Childhood described here takes place in cooperation with the German association Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiner e.V. (Friends of Waldorf Education [FEW], a German NGO) and in particular with its Emergency Pedagogy department. The Emergency Pedagogy as an institution has been working in the field of psychosocial work in numerous crisis regions of the world since 2006. Emergency Pedagogy as a pedagogical concept is based on trauma pedagogy in connection with Waldorf education, Anthroposophical medicine and its extended therapies. The target groups of the Emergency Pedagogy are psycho-traumatized children and adolescents in war and disaster zones, and serves the psycho-social stabilization of those affected. They are to be supported in coping with traumatizing experiences and integrating them into their own biographies. The work of Emergency Pedagogy is neutral, impartial and independent.

Due to current developments in Lebanon such as the refugee situation (lack of return prospects and precarious living conditions for Syrian refugees, unresolved political situation with consequences for recognition, employment, and lifestyle of Palestinian refugees), COVID-19, the explosion disaster in the port of Beirut, and the absolute impoverishment and livelihood threat to Lebanese families, a strongly increasing need for psychosocial counseling services can be observed.

Within the framework of the main project of the local project executing agency, there were repeated requests from the community for psycho-social support. There is a particular need for capacity building and training of educators for child-friendly, non-violent interaction, especially with traumatized children, as well as psychoeducation seminars for parents. In the run-up to the project, Just.Childhood contacted existing structures and is part of the MHPSS task force, which is directly affiliated to the Ministry of Health.  There is contact with organizations working in the field of psychosocial support. The practical trauma education approaches are to be actively continued by the communities, governmental and non-governmental actors concerned after the end of the project period. This is done primarily through the intensive involvement of the actors involved and the community already in the project development, during the project planning phase and capacity building. In doing so, the approach is always a participatory one; this is the only way to ensure that the projects are meaningful, accepted and further developed. Just.Childhood aims to build a network of support with other stakeholders and interest groups to ensure that decision-makers further advance the conceptual safeguarding and sustainable anchoring of trauma and emergency education in the locally existing structures.

The project to be audited consists of the following three main measures, which are to be implemented within the project period, and the targeted project sub-objectives (outputs):

  1. Development of a Center for Emergency and Trauma Pedagogy and Family Counselling. Output: 1100 beneficiaries strengthened in dealing with trauma or stress-related experiences and reactions
  2. Emergency and trauma pedagogical services for children aged 3 to 12 years in the Sabra and Shatila Camp, Karantina in Beirut, and adjacent neighborhoods. Output: Children and adolescents are strengthened in their ability to act after potential traumatic events.
  3. Further training in Emergency and Trauma Pedagogy for lecturers, students and specialists in education, psychology, therapy and medicine. Output: Capacities of staff from various organizations are expanded in Emergency and Trauma Pedagogy

Scope of Work

The geographical scope of the auditing process includes the working locations Sabra and Karantina in Beirut.

Three audit reports should be issued as below:

  • January 2023, to cover the project period April 2022 – December 2022
  • January 2024, to cover the project period January 2023 – December 2023
  • April 2024, to cover the whole project period April 2022 – March 2024

The external audit should include the following auditing and control measures.

  • Verifying accounting records for correctness and completeness.
  • Verifying the financial report in which all project-related revenues and expenditure must be shown and for which it must be confirmed that receipts are provided for all revenues and ex- penditure.
  • Verifying how the provided project funds have been managed. This includes:
    • Project funds transferred to the project partner in the current budget year or during the project term
    • Interest earned in the current budget year or during the project term from project funds transferred to the project partner
    • Other revenues from the project activity
  • Verifying to what extent the funds have been used appropriately for the purpose of carrying out the planned project objectives and activities.
  • Verifying the cost-effectiveness of expenditure with regard to financial resources (to be used economically and as effectively as possible).
  • Verifying the personnel costs and social security contributions to ensure that they are in line with local standards, legal in the respective project country and, above all, that they comply with contracts and that the contributions required by law are being withheld.
  • Verifying that the cost plan is being adhered to by means of a comparison of objectives and effects (based on the most recent valid budget).
  • Verifying the economic use of project equipment.
  • Verifying the procured inventory, where it is being held and whether it has been/is being used appropriately for the purpose of carrying out the planned project objectives and activi
  • Verifying and confirming that project-relevant documentation is complete and correct.
  • Verifying that all agreements fundamental to the project are being adhered to (contracts, German private executing agency guidelines, BMZ funding requirements, BNBest-P/private ex- ecuting agencies and BMZ contract award guidelines).

Audit Certificate

The report of the external audit must include the following:

  • Presentation of the audit assignment and scope with extensive comments on the audit findings. The auditor must also state which documents were used for the audit of appropriate use of funds and compliance within the project term.
  • Recommendations in case of complaints.
  • Comment on how audit observations from previous years were followed up on, if required
  • Budget (most recent version), with the structure used for the financial report, provided for the final report and presented like the attached template to this call (see pdf). The comparison of planned and actual expenditure is shown in the currency in which the expenditure was incurred. The audit will not convert these amounts to Euros.
  • Deviations of actual expenditure from the planned expenditure in the most recent budget that exceed 30% of individual budget items, (main items in the budget), must be explained and reasoned.
  • Deviations of actual expenditure from the planned expenditure in the current budget that exceed 30% of individual budget sub-categories, reasons must be given.
  • The final audit option in the audit certificate must state the following (minimum requirement), which is to be worded clearly by the external auditor and adapted if appropriate:

“We hereby certify that we have audited the statement of accounts of [name of project partner in developing country] regarding the financing of the project [name]. Our audit was carried out on the basis of the following requirements pertaining to the use of funding: [List of relevant contracts and documents]. To this end, we have inspected the books and receipts. Based on our audit, we confirm that:”

Following this, the audit should provide specific statements on the following questions:

  1. To what extent has all income and expenditure been properly documented by means of receipts?
  2. To what extent has documented expenditure complied with its application and project approval and to what extent is it in keeping with the appointed purpose and the most recent budget? Have any deviations from the most recent budget been explained separately?
  3. To what extent has documented income, that is accounted for as contributions made by the local project partner, the target group and/or other agencies in the project country been specified correctly and its origin explained in accordance with specifications?
  4. To what extent were the donor’s conditions that were specified in the project agreement met? What response was there to these conditions? Which of these conditions were not adhered to and were reasons given for this?
  5. Which special aspects – positive or negative – should be mentioned with regard to this project?
  • The audit certificate should draw a clear conclusion regarding adherence to the binding arrangements made in the project agreement.

The following must be adhered to in order to ensure the quality of the audit certificate:

The minimum requirements for audit certificates specified in the BMZ funding guidelines may not merely be reproduced pro forma in the auditor’s reports. As audit certificates replace receipts as proof of proper use of funds, the auditor is required (among other things) to provide information in the audit certificate about any special aspects (relating to project in question). Specific statements on the audit conducted on the project in question (i.e. which revenues and expenditure were examined, whether planned project activities were implemented) and on the individual audit findings must be made. If there were no findings, this must also be explicitly mentioned in the report.

Audit certificates can be submitted in German, English, French and Spanish. If the audit certificate is not provided in either English or German, the key findings (especially audit findings, including com- plaints and recommendations) and the final audit opinion must be translated into German. This translation can be included in the narrative report on the fund utilization report together with the required evaluation of the audit certificate. Any audit certificate in a language other than the afore- mentioned must be translated in its entirety into German or English.

Procedure for the submission of expressions of interest

  • The offers of the expert can be submitted to Just.Childhood Association, Mohammad Hassan at [email protected] until 01.12.2022 at 5 pm Lebanon time at the latest
  • Feedback will be sent to the reviewers by mid of November regarding the award of the contract
  • The contract is to be signed by no longer than end of December, 2022

Resources and available data

Once work on the external audit has commenced, all project-relevant documentation is to be made available to the auditor, e.g.:

  • Project application
  • Project agreement (including budget)
  • Any changes to the budget
  • Funding guidelines (including BNBest-P/private executing agencies and BMZ contract award guidelines)
  • Guidelines for external audits of projects.
  • All project-relevant receipts (regarding revenues, expenditure, transfer of funds, exchange, etc.)
  • All project-relevant contracts (personnel and service contracts, rental agreements, construction contracts, etc.)
  • All project-relevant contract award documentation (including notes on contracts awarded to service providers)
  • Further project-relevant documents requested in the course of the external audit.

Previous vacancies:

KG Educator (Posted on April 11th, 2022)
Applications deadline was April 18th, 2022
Status: The required two vacancies for KG Educator were fulfilled

Educator (Posted on April 20th, 2022)
Applications deadline was May 2nd, 2022
Status: The required four vacancies for KG Educator were fulfilled

Project Monitoring & Evaluation (Posted on July 12th, 2022)
Applications deadline was July 22nd, 2022
Status: The project got assigned to a consultancy company

Lecturer/Trainer/Facilitator (Posted on July 12th, 2022)
Applications deadline was August 1st, 2022
Status: The lecturer was chosen

KG Coordinator (Posted on August 5th, 2022)
Applications deadline was August 15th, 2022
Status: The required vacancy for KG Coordinator was fulfilled

Personal Assistant (Posted on September 13th, 2022)
Applications deadline was September 20th, 2022
Status: The required vacancy for Personal Assistant was fulfilled

Early Childhood Educator (Posted on September 14th, 2022)
Applications deadline was September 21st, 2022
Status: Shortlisting is is process

 

Just.Childhood is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a professional and diverse workforce.

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