Technical Adviser II – Food Security and Markets (Operations)

Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, United States

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
1st June, 2015

Job Description

Position Title: Technical Adviser II – Food Security and Markets (Operations)
Department/Country: HRD/Baltimore (International Telework will be considered)
Band: D
FLSA: Exempt
Reports To: Market Based Rapid Response Team Leader
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.
Recent years have witnessed a significant shift in donor and agency responses to food security and other crises. Increased donor flexibility and awareness of the role of markets in emergencies has led to a wider range of response options to meet needs, with a greater emphasis on cash-based responses and local and regional procurement (LRP). Catholic Relief Services (CRS) made a major shift in its approach to livelihood recovery following emergencies in 2000, with the development of the Seed Vouchers and Fairs (SV&F) approach. Since then, CRS has widely used market-based approaches to meet a range of emergency and recovery needs, including food, shelter materials, rent, NFI, clothes, seeds, livestock, and other livelihoods inputs. In 2012, Markets-based Rapid Response and Recovery was identified as a Strategic Investment Priority in the new agency-wide strategy.
A strong understanding of market dynamics is critical towards ensuring that programs will avoid or mitigate negative market impacts, such as undermining local markets’ capacity to respond to demand or reducing local production incentives through lowered prices. Furthermore, assistance can be structured so that it strengthens the ability of the private sector to contribute to long-term food security.
CRS is interested in further strengthening its in-house expertise in market assessment and in the design of market sensitive humanitarian responses. The below position will be part of a dynamic Food Security and Markets Team, under the Humanitarian Response Department (HRD). The team is responsible for developing guidance and delivering training on market assessment, response analysis, design and implementation of market-based projects, market monitoring, and adherence to standards; conducting market baselines in disaster-prone countries; and supporting the development and implementation of markets-based programs.
To complement the existing skill sets on the team and to meet the growing demand market based programming, this position will have a particular emphasis on supporting the start-up and implementation of market- based programs, including the management quality compliance of MBRRR programs. This position also will support capacity building around market-based approaches, and documentation of ongoing programs.
Key Responsibilities:
• Provide technical assistance to CRS CPs in the development and implementation of food security and market-based interventions.
• Conduct market assessments to determine the appropriate form of humanitarian assistance, including in-kind distributions, cash, vouchers and market chain interventions.
• Support the start-up and implementation of MBRRR programs ensuring compliance with appropriate guidance and policies.
• Lead capacity building efforts for CRS and partner staff; this includes supporting the development of a capacity building strategy; also, conducting trainings to CRS Country Program and Regional Staff on market assessment, response analysis, the design and implementation of markets-based programs, and MQ compliance.
• Ensure ongoing documentation of CRS programs
• Provide support to other members of the Humanitarian Response Department in the use of market-based approaches across sectors (NFI distributions, WASH, shelter, protection, and disaster risk reduction)
• Support the development of materials and guidance for market assessment and market-based programming in emergencies, with particular emphasis on the compliance of programming activities with CRS policies, procedures and best practices.
• Incorporate gender and protection into market tools and guidance; contribute to financial and operational guidance for market-based programming.
• Oversee and ensure the successful implementation of food security and market-based emergency programs, in adherence with international accountability standards such as the Sphere handbook, the SEEP Minimum Economic Recovery Standards (MERS), and the CaLP Minimum Requirements for Market Analysis in Emergencies.
• Lead and participate in multi-agency Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis (EMMA) assessments.
• Identify, document and share best practices and lessons learned from markets-based interventions with regions and community of practice; develop and contribute to agency knowledge databases and technical libraries
• Publish articles and/or case studies on emergency food security issues or programs, independently or in collaboration with research organizations.
• As necessary provide support in other response functions such as security, staffing, logistics, finance, IT/communications and administration.
• As necessary, lead or assist with set up and/or management of emergency field offices, teams, and relief operations, including ensuring supply chains are capable of meeting program needs.
• Participate in other HRD activities as necessary.
Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):
These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.
• Serves with Integrity
• Models Stewardship
• Cultivates Constructive Relationships
• Promotes Learning
Emergency Competencies:
Each CRS staff member working in emergencies is expected to use the following competencies to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.
• Communicates strategically under pressure
• Manages stress and complexity
• Actively promotes safety and security
• Manages and implements high-quality emergency programs
Key Working Relationships:
Internal: Humanitarian Response Department (HRD), Country Representatives, Regional Representatives, Regional Technical Advisors (RTAs) for Emergencies, S/RTA for Agriculture, Program & Management Quality staff, and Human Resources
External: The Cash Learning Partnership (CaL), Caritas Internationalis, Emergency PVO Community, UN agencies, Global Food Security (gFSC) Cluster, Donor agencies, research organizations, partners, and people affected by disasters
• Masters’ Degree or equivalent experience in agricultural economics, international development or related field.
• Minimum 5-7 years’ experience in markets and/or cash-based programming. Experience in emergency environments strongly preferred.
• Experience applying management quality compliance practices and policies to operational contexts.
• Experience with market assessment, including the Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis (EMMA) Toolkit and the Market Information and Food Insecurity Response Analysis (MIFIRA) Framework.
• Knowledge of the Sphere handbook and the SEEP Minimum Economic Recovery Standards.
• Strong proposal development and writing skills preferred.
• Experience working with and through local partner organizations.
• Basic knowledge of design requirements and regulations of major donors including the United States Government, Caritas, the EU, and UN agencies.
• Experience with and enthusiasm for coaching, mentoring and on the job training, capacity strengthening and partnership building.
• Familiarity with humanitarian codes, principles and practice.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Ability to maintain performance expectations and strong working relationships in diverse cultural contexts, psychologically & physically stressful environments.
• Strong cross cultural skills and experience working with national staff in overseas offices
• Knowledge of French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese or other languages is desirable.
Required Travel: Travel is expected be at least 50% for this position.
Work Environment: Candidates should have capacity to live and work in difficult and stressful environments, and serve wherever agency needs dictate.
Disclaimer Clause: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skills, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
Applicants for positions based in the US must be authorized to work in the U.S. at the time of application.
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

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