Agriculture Program Manager II

Catholic Relief Services
Congo, The Democratic Republic of
Apply by 4 February 2013
Posted on 4 January 2013

Job Description

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the most populous, vast and resource rich countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Decades of mismanagement, neglected infrastructure, corruption and conflict involving seven national armies over the course of 15 years have left the Congo with an 80% poverty rate, and an annual per capita income of just over $120, inadequate social and health services, and weak governmental institutions. The DRC ranked in the bottom ten countries in the world on a range of basic social and quality of life indicators. Land degradation and poor farming techniques have hampered crop production across the country. Over the past 15 years, food insecurity has increased significantly in the DRC. Between 1991 and 2002, the number of undernourished people tripled, from 12 to 36 million, approximately 72% of the population; during this period, daily per capita caloric intake declined from 2170 to 1610 kilocalories. In addition, the lack of infrastructures such as roads, the lack of organized farmers and producers groups and the lack of post harvesting or processing units in country have not contributed to provide good income from the sell of agricultural production. CRS/ DRC is seeking applications for a Agriculture Program Manager to provide technical and program management support to a potential project in Bandundu Province focused on Agro enterprise, support to farmers groups and conservation agriculture.

Primary Function:

Working with the Program Manager based in Idiofa and local partners, the Agricultural Program Manager will provide technical and program management oversight for all project activities.

Specific Responsibilities:

Program Quality and Management

  • Oversee and ensure the successful implementation of the project in Idiofa, Bandundu.
  • Lead ongoing planning and implementation of project activities and set high quality performance targets ensuring adherence to technical standards, best practices and donor guidelines.
  • Using existing M&E tools developed using the CRS SMILER methodology, ensure close tracking of progress on project implementation.
  • Continuously support the professional development of his/her team by providing clear orientation, feedback and learning opportunities.
  • Provide appropriate technical support especially in the areas of No Till Agriculture and Agro Enterprise.
  • Identify technical assistant needs for CRS and partners and take the lead in developing SOWs and follow up with potential TA from the Region, All Africa Agriculture Team and external as appropriate.
  • Support efforts for the appropriate integration of ICT into new or ongoing programs.
  • Maintain up to date documentation related to project approval, monitoring and implementation.
  • Promote strong linkages and exchange with other CRS DRC livelihoods and agriculture programming.

Partners Accompaniment and Capacity Building

  • Ensure the engagement of partners during all aspects of program implementation.
  • Identify and ensure quality response to any capacity building needs of the partner organization.
  • Promote regular on the job coaching and mentoring for program staff.
  • As appropriate, organize and facilitate training in NTA and AE for other CRS and partners staff.

Reporting, Sharing and Learning

  • Take the lead on the preparation of donor project narrative reports, quarterly performance indicator tracking tables, baseline and final evaluation reports, as well as other reports needed/required by the local government, donors, the region or headquarters.
  • Ensure strong focus on learning including the implementation of quality case studies in collaboration with local research institutions (INERA, etc.).
  • Identify opportunities for linkages for sharing experiences, learning and promoting the outcomes of the project to influence higher level policy initiatives.
  • Provide regular updates to government and non-government coordination bodies as requested. Provide input to CRS’ annual reporting to the Ministry of Plan.
  • Prepare short success stories and briefs on innovation/best practices.
  • Promote the use of existing CRS tools produced by the All Africa Ag Team.
  • Ensure the appropriate use of the CRS Sharepoint for the posting of key events and sharing of tools and reports.

Budgeting, Financial Planning and Reporting

  • Support the Bandundu based Program Managers in ensuring the proper financial management systems are in place and followed in coordination with the Country Program finance team.
  • Ensure grant management compliance with donor regulations with support from the Country Program Compliance team.
  • Facilitate strong coordination with management quality staff for purchasing and inventory control as per CRS/donor requirements.
  • Support the Bandundu based Program Manager and the review and analysis of budget comparison reports and take necessary steps to ensure proper management and utilization of budgets.

Coordination and Communication

  • Ensure systems are in place for the proper documentation of meetings and timely circulation of resulting information/outcomes.
  • Help with the coordination of visits of CRS, donor and partner staff as needed.
  • Work closely with relevant support teams to ensure systems are in place that will enable timely receipt and distribution of all project materials and supplies.
  • Maintain strong communication with other PQ colleagues and Regional staff and the All Africa Ag Team.
  • Represent CRS is Food Security coordination forums.

Supervisory Responsibilities: The Program Manager will supervise the PM and M&E Officer based in Idiofa, Bandundu Province.

Program Manager Competencies

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.

  • Sets clear goals and manages toward them
  • Collaborates effectively with staff and stakeholders
  • Manages financial resources with integrity
  • Applies program quality standards to project design and organizational learning

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

Key Working Relationships:

Internal: Country Representative, Head of Programming, Management Quality Team, Central Africa Regional Office (CARO) RTA for Agriculture, All Africa Agriculture Team.

External: Caritas Idiofa, Caritas Congo, INERA, Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of the DRC at the national and provincial and local levels; Congolese and international NGOs; regional and international agricultural research agencies; civil authorities; donors; and UN agencies.

Technical Qualifications:

  • Technical capacity in agriculture including no till agriculture and agro enterprise.
  • Agro-enterprise experience to address constraints along the entire value chain from seed to consumer.
  • Openness to work in a participatory manner with Congolese Provincial Government, local partners and private companies.
  • Proven ability to represent CRS/DRC agricultural interest at donor and technical meetings.
  • Experience in carrying out operations research focused on agriculture.
  • Experience in program design and monitoring and evaluation.


  • Masters degree in Agriculture or related field.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in no till agriculture and agro-enterprise.
  • At least 5 years experience in the implementation of development projects.
  • Grant management experience.
  • Demonstrated skills in training or facilitation
  • Demonstrated skills in basic financial management.
  • Ability to work closely with Government structures and local NGOs
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in partnership with various actors
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in French.
  • Ability to write proposals.
  • Proven ability to be an effective supervisor of staff of varying levels of responsibility.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership in strategic planning initiatives.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Windows and Office programs and the Internet
  • Familiarity with the DRC an advantage
  • Willingness to travel frequently (50% of time) and work in challenging environment

NOTE: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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