Head of Programming

Catholic Relief Services, Cameroon

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
25th July, 2019

Job Description

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.

Job Summary

CRS has been working in Cameroon since 1961, with the main office in the capital Yaoundé and four field offices in East Cameroon (Batouri), Far North (Maroua and Kousseri) and the Northwest (Bamenda). The current portfolio is largely health-oriented - with a large OVC program funded by USAID in the Littoral, Northwest and Central regions - and Emergency Response and Recovery programming that focuses on livelihood recovery, protection, emergency food and non-food items assistance to conflicted-affected households in the Northwest, Far North and the East. CRS Cameroon actively collaborates with other CRS and partner programs in the greater Lake Chad Basin, and in neighboring Central African Republic to design and implement relevant cross-border programs and services. CRS Cameroon also works closely with church and other local partners to implement these projects and build organizational capacity of partner organizations.

CRS has been supporting activities in Chad since 1985, and opened a program office in 2002. Livelihoods and social cohesion comprise over 52% of Chad programming with projects funded by external donors and CRS discretionary resources. These programs assist households with agricultural inputs and financial education through CRS SILC approach to rebuild their livelihoods and strengthen cohesion among Lake Chad Basin area and the South. CRS supports child community protection programs in the southern Chad region, primarily funded by UNICEF. The main CRS Chad office is in the capital city of N'Djamena, and a base office in the Lac Region.

Primary Responsibilities:

In line with the Agency's strategy, the Head of Programs (HOP) leads the Cameroon program team, providing oversight of programming interventions and ensuring that the necessary staff and systems are in place to develop and implement high-quality programs. S/he continually seeks ways to build the capacity of the program team. In ensuring the technical quality of all CRS Cameroon projects, the HoP ensures adherence to CRS Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) policies and procedures. S/he guides the strategic programming direction of the CP, in line with regional and agency strategies, and oversees the design of new business development opportunities to support the CP strategic direction. The HoP is part of the Senior Management Team (SMT) and actively participates in strategic, managerial, and representational activities.

Specific Responsibilities and Competencies:

Job Responsibilities:

  • In collaboration with the Country Representative (CR) provide strategic direction for the design of the CP strategic frameworks and plans, including the development of resource mobilization strategies to optimize the impact of programming interventions in line with regional and agency strategic priorities.
  • Lead high-quality project design incorporating project management standards and MEAL methods, appropriate to scope, context and technical requirements of projects. Coordinate planning of activities across various projects from different sectors to ensure integration of program interventions and efficiency in implementation.
  • Effectively manage talent and supervise. Manage team dynamics and staff well-being. Provide coaching, strategically tailor individual development plans, and complete performance assessment for direct reports. Contribute to developing staffing plans for projects and to the recruitment process of senior project staff.
  • Create and maintain proper conditions for learning. Establish a safe environment for sharing of ideas, solutions, and difficulties and the capacity to detect, analyze and respond quickly to deficiencies. Promote accountability, learning and knowledge management overseeing implementation of the MEAL policy, as well as cross-sectoral and cross-department learning.
  • Coordinate with CP operations leads to ensure appropriate project budgeting and efficient use and stewardship of project material sources.
  • In coordination with resource mobilization staff oversee the business development cycle to ensure quality proposals per agency and donor standards.
  • Oversee the identification, assessment and strengthening of appropriate partnerships and the appropriate application of partnership concepts, tools and approaches.
  • Ensure technical assistance and capacity strengthening for project teams and partners in project management standards and related MEAL, business development and operational activities. Identify training opportunities, develop training curriculums and deliver trainings.
  • Represent CRS in meetings with Church and Caritas officials, NGOs, Government Ministries, donor representatives and diplomatic missions, and other external fora.
  • With the Country Representative, explore new partnership opportunities and develop new programming and funding streams.

Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience:

  • Master's Degree in International Development, International Relations or relevant field.
  • Minimum of five years of relevant field-based program management, at least three years of middle/senior management experience.
  • Experience in the development of successful proposals, reports, strategic alliances, project design, project management, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Experience in partner capacity strengthening, staff development, training, and mentoring, as well as in team building and strategic planning initiatives. Experience working with Church partners a plus
  • Experience in community development, community mobilization, or similar grassroots, self-help initiatives.
  • Experience in project grants management, including project design, budget preparation, expenditure tracking, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, etc., preferably for projects funded by multiple public donors, including USAID.
  • Experience with successful business development activities capturing public and/or private donor funding.
  • Excellent English writing skills.
  • Staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment.
  • Experience and abilities in capacity strengthening - developing curricula and facilitating trainings.
  • Experience using MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, and knowledge sharing networks.

Personal Skills:

  • Excellent strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions.
  • Able and willing to network with external stakeholders and represent CRS with partners and donors
  • Strong relations management abilities. Ability to relate to people at all levels internally and externally. Strategic in how you approach each relationship.
  • Team leadership abilities
  • Presentation and facilitation skills
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions oriented and results-oriented


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