Work at Sonke

Sub-Awards Specialist

About Sonke  

Founded in 2006, Sonke is a women’s rights organisation that is committed to feminist principles, using a rights-based and gender transformative approach to achieve human rights and gender justice. Our vision is a poverty free world in which women, children, men and gender non-conforming individuals enjoy equitable, caring, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of gender just and democratic societies. Sonke strengthens governments, civil society and citizen’s capacity to advance gender justice and women’s rights, prevent gender-based violence, and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS, and in this way contributing to social justice and the elimination of poverty.

About the position

Sonke provides funding to external organisations as part of its project implementation activities.  The Sub-Awards Specialist will be responsible for managing the sub-award process with a focus on reducing risks to Sonke by assessing the partners’ ability to implement the project, manage funding and to work with project managers to monitor sub-recipients, as well as assist with capacity building.

Specific responsibilities

Sub-award review 

  • Review donor requirements for sub-award management and develop a plan to ensure compliance with donor requirements;
  • Review proposed sub-award budgets and programme activities to determine if budgeted amounts and timelines are appropriate.

Sub-award assessments 

  • Review and update sub-recipient pre-award assessment tools and operating procedures to ensure tools are appropriate.
  • Determine the most appropriate and cost-effective method of conducting the pre-award assessment. 
  • Conduct pre-award assessments for each sub-award and determine risk rating for each sub-award.  
  • Establish monitoring and follow-up requirements based on the results of the pre-award.
  • Conduct pre-award assessments based on donor and Sonke’s operating procedures. 
  • Determine appropriate sub-award mechanisms for contractual agreements with partners.  
  • Work with the project manager to identify where capacity building or technical assistance is required.  
  • Work with sub-recipients to address high-risk issues from the pre-award assessment.
  • Monitor, develop and implement corrective action plans for sub-recipients.
  • Conduct follow-up post-award assessments to keep assessment ratings current.

Training and capacity building 

  • Provide orientation to sub-recipients on management of funds, processing of documentation and reporting, as well as preparations for audits.  
  • Provide technical assistance and capacity building to address risk in relation to pre-award assessments and project deliverables. 
  • Provide training to Sonke staff on sub-award management procedures.

Sub-award implementation and monitoring 

  • Review financial reports from sub-recipients, ensuring accuracy and supporting documents are provided.   
  • Monitor sub-award spending against budget to ensure sub-awards are  not overspent and variances in spending are not excessive. Ensure variances are explained and documented. 
  • Monitor sub-recipients’ compliance with terms and conditions of sub-awards. 
  • Make recommendations and take action in instances of non-compliance to reduce risks to Sonke.  
  • Obtain donor authorizations for specific project issues such as procurement of equipment and travel. 

Sub-award close out 

  • Manage close-out process of sub-awards including timely submission of final reports by sub-recipients. 
  • Review final reports and ensure timely submission of final donor reports.
  • Obtain donor authorization for disposition of equipment and ensure documentation is obtained for transfer of equipment.  
  • Arrange for safe-guarding or transfer of files in possession of sub-recipients related to the sub-award. 

Filing, reporting and compliance

  • Ensure sub-award files are complete and accurate, including documents on pre- and post-award assessments, signed sub-award agreements, budgets, narrative and financial reports & audit reports;   
    • Provide timely and accurate donor reports to appropriate staff and to donors; 
    • Ensure procedures are in place to comply with donor and Sonke compliance requirements;
    • Participate in regular sub-award meetings; and
    • Maintain a sub-award schedule detailing all compliance issues.

Qualifications and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, auditing, finance or related discipline. A Postgraduate degree would be advantageous. 
  • Minimum 5 years equivalent experience in a similar capacity in grant management or sub-award management.  
  • Minimum 5 years NGO experience. 
  • Excellent computer skills, with high proficiency in Microsoft Office, Pastel Evolution, and Excel.  
  • Strong multi-tasking & problem-solving skills with the ability to work under pressure. 
  • Ability to balance multiple tasking simultaneously whilst meeting deadlines. 
  • Excellent organisational and planning skills with the ability to prioritize time and work effectively. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English skills and preferably, but not required, another SA language.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team.  
  • Pays attention to detail, displays a high level of integrity, able to multi-task, is deadline driven. 
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to work across diverse cultural backgrounds.  

Application Process

  • Interested applicants should submit their CV, a motivational letter that details your experience, the contact details of three referees, to Sonke’s Human Resource Unit at closing date 10 June 2022.
  • For non-South Africans, it is the responsibility of the applicant to attain a work permit from the Department of Home Affairs, and employment will depend on a valid work permit being in place. 
  • Sonke is committed to racial and gender transformation and encourages previously disadvantaged individuals to apply. 
  • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. If you do not hear from us by 31/07/2022, please consider your application unsuccessful. 
  • The organisation reserves the right not to make an appointment.  


Cape Town or Johannesburg


Fixed term appointment


R415 428 total cost to company per annum

Closing Date

10 June 2022