Technical Advisor II – Emergency Operations

Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, United States

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Email for CV Submission: 
Closing Date for Applications: 
17th May, 2015

Job Description

Position Title: Technical Advisor II – Emergency Operations

Reports to: Humanitarian Response Officer, HRD

Location: Domestic - Baltimore

Band: D

FLSA: Exempt


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 Background/Summary:

Catholic Relief Services was founded as an emergency relief organization and emergency related work still represents nearly one-third of the agency’s expenses. CRS is recognized by public and private donors in the US as one of the prime American emergency responders. CRS’ ability to respond effectively in the early stages of an emergency is crucial to the survival and well-being of hundreds of thousands of disaster-affected people. CRS’ holistic approach to emergency response and recovery, combined with its early presence on the ground to address immediate needs, enables CRS to accompany disaster-affected households and communities in resuming productive and dignified lives as soon as possible while building their capacity to better withstand future disasters.


With staff in more than 50 countries, established partners in more than 100, CRS is able to establish operations within days of a disaster in almost any corner of the globe. CRS is recognized for a range of flexible, innovative interventions that provide cost-effective solutions to local needs and priorities. In the most disaster-prone locations, CRS works with communities, partners, governments and other actors to mitigate risk and strengthen response capacity ahead of potential disasters.


The Humanitarian Response Department (HRD) provides leadership and support to CRS emergency programming. The HRD strengthens CRS’ impact through high quality, innovative programs; improved technical and management capacity at the field level; and active engagement in global efforts to promote excellence and learning in humanitarian response. The HRD has technical staff that support emergency program planning, rapid response, and capacity strengthening of staff and partners worldwide.


The Technical Advisor II (TAII) for Emergency Operations primary role is to provide the HRD with additional rapid deployment capabilities for breaking and ongoing humanitarian responses. He/she will be responsible for setting up field operations/offices, logistics, supply chain management (including procurement) and other management quality systems. The Technical Advisor will facilitate a high standard of field operations management in emergencies; advise on best practices and support capacity building in field office start up, emergency supply chain management and field operations in general for CRS country programs and partners.


The exact responsibilities during deployments will vary depending on the local context, ranging from providing direct management of relief operations, setting up and managing relief delivery systems, providing technical assistance and mentoring of CRS Partners and Country Programs staff.



Specific Responsibilities:

1.     Provide immediate in-country guidance and support in logistics, emergency supply chain management, including procurement, warehousing, and transportation during an emergency response. Also provide support in other operations functions such as office and guesthouse set up, security, human resources, finance, telecommunications, fleet management, IT/communications and administration, as needed. If mandated, assume a direct operations management or leadership role within the Country Program response team.

2.     Work collaboratively with country program staff and provide on-the-job training to country program and partner staff during an emergency response.

3.     Work in collaboration with HRD Operation Team and HQ departments, specifically Operations Excellence and System Integration and the Purchasing and Finance departments to keep up-to-date on the latest policies and procedures and to define and disseminate best practices and standards for supply chain management and field operations in emergencies.

4.     Work with the HRD Operations Team to manage the Emergency Field Operations Manual (EFOM) by updating with best practices, new tools and policy procedures relevant to improving the speed and effectiveness of CRS’ humanitarian responses.

5.     Work with HRD Operations Team to design, develop and adapt training modules in humanitarian relief logistics and field operations for CRS and partner emergency program staff in collaboration with relevant HQ departments and HRD Technical Advisors. Training should ensure staff ability to establish quality emergency response programs that include cross-cutting themes and strengthen core competencies (such as partnership/governance and use of technology), meet donor requirements and achieve excellent general program management standards.

6.     Liaise with other organizations regarding state-of-the-art best practices in logistics of humanitarian supplies, fleet and supply chain management, and emergency field operations in general.

7.     Work with the HRD Operations team to support the adaptation of existing/development of new CRS operations policies, procedures and guidance to cover both general and sectoral emergency program needs (for example, market based responses and pre-positioned debit cards).

8.     Represent the HRD and CRS as requested in relevant forums including the Logistics Cluster (global and in country when on deployment) and the World Food Program (WFP) managed Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD).


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.




Personal/Professional Skills:

·       Strong interpersonal skills, cultural sensitivity, good judgment and ability to work in teams

·       Able to navigate in stressful and demanding environments

·       Flexibility and adaptability

·       Commitment to Agency’s mission


Key Working Relationships:

Internal: All members of HRD; Regional Deputy Directors for Management Quality, Country Program Country Representatives and Heads of Operations; OPEX and Risk Management Security and Safety (RMSS) staff; Overseas Finance Dept.;

External: UNHRD, Logistics Cluster, and Operations staff from other INGOs/Caritas agencies.


Require Qualifications and Experience:

·       Masters degree in relief/development or related field preferred or Bachelors degree with equivalent experience.

·       Five years of experience in management/implementation of humanitarian relief operations.

·       Demonstrated knowledge of best practices in all aspects of emergency operational procedures including supply chain management, finance management, admistration, communications and human resource.

·       Familiarity with current standards and guidelines for humanitarian emergency response, in particular Sphere.

·       An ability to identify, seek, and develop solutions for routine to moderately complex technical problems, using both standard and creative sources of information.

·       Demonstrated qualities of oral and written communication skills.

·       Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge through formal and informal training.

·       Experience in the management of human and other resources.

·       Familiarity with humanitarian codes, principles and practice.

·       Ability to maintain performance expectations and strong working relationships in diverse cultural contexts, as well as in psychologically & physically stressful environments.11. Proficient in security protocols & management of emergency programs in insecure environments.


Required Foreign Language: Fluency in English; professional proficiency in French, Spanish, Arabic or Portuguese preferred.


Required Travel: The TA Emergency Operations will be required to travel at least 50% of time often at very short notice (within 48 hours) and for an average of four weeks (with a maximum of two consecutive months under exceptional circumstances).


Physical Requirements/Environment: Willingness to travel and work in often physically demanding environments.


Disclaimer Clause: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties and responsibilities associated with the position.


CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.



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