Chief of Party I- STaR Project, Lake Chad Region

  • Posted on 10 December 2019

Job Description

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Job Description

Job Title: Chief of Party I- STaR Project

Job Location: Lome, Togo (but open to considering location in one of the STaR countries)

Job Type: Regular, Full Time

Reports to: Country Representative, Nigeria

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.


In April 2019, CRS was awarded a €10m, 24-month recovery and resilience project entitled Stabilization and Reconciliation in the Lake Chad Region (STaR), funded by the German Government’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW. The STaR project is intended to contribute to the stabilization and reconciliation in three key regions affected by the ongoing Lake Chad Basin Crisis: Borno and Adamawa States in Nigeria; Diffa Province in Niger; and the Lake Region in Chad. Through a package of activities involving infrastructure rehabilitation, economic revitalization and social cohesion strengthening, STaR will enable targeted communities and individuals across the three target countries to feel more secure and cohesive; to improve their livelihoods; to be more resilient in facing shocks; and to use non-violent means to address conflicts.

Job Summary:

The Chief of Party (CoP) will have overall responsibility for the ‘Stabilization and Reconciliation in the Lake Chad Region (STaR) Project’ in all three countries, ensuring strategic leadership and effective management oversight to achieve project objectives on time and within budget. The CoP will act as the primary relationship manager for the project with KfW, the Lake Chad Basin Commission and other key external stakeholders.

Specific Job Responsibilities:

Strategic guidance and leadership of STaR project

  • In collaboration with the STaR Steering Committee, comprised of the three Country Representatives (Niger, Cameroon-Chad and Nigeria); CARO/WARO regional leadership; and key country program stakeholders, provide strategic leadership to ensure on-time delivery of all deliverables and achievement of project objectives/targets.
  • In collaboration the three STaR Program Managers (Niger, Nigeria and Chad), the STaR MEAL Manager and the STaR Award Management Officer, oversee the development and iterative revision of STaR’s project management systems/tools (workplans, Detailed Implementation Plans, Indicator Performance Tracking Tables, expenditure plans, procurement plans, etc.) to ensure effective and efficient delivery of the STaR project.
  • In collaboration with the three STaR Program Managers and the MEAL Manager, be accountable and responsible for timely implementation and delivery of the STaR project, providing quality assurance in conformity with CRS technical approaches, MEAL policies and procedures and project management standards.
  • In collaboration with the STaR Award Management Officer and the three STaR Program Managers, ensure effective budget management and contract compliance such that the project achieves planned expenditure rates and performance metrics over the life of the award.
  • Promote, uphold and model a commitment to the efficient use of Agency and donor resources. Ensure compliance with KfW financial and procurement policies through effective oversight of country program and partner expenditures, procurement and administration. Ensure timeliness and accuracy of cash disbursement requests; financial reports; and budget modifications to KfW.
  • Coordinate with key country program and regional stakeholders to promote timely analysis of project risks (security, financial, procurement, protection/safeguarding, etc.) and implement pro-active risk mitigation measures to address.
  • 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. Identify performance gaps and training opportunities for CRS and partner staff and ensure the design and delivery of high-quality training and technical assistance.

Coordination and representation

  • Serve as the focal point facilitating both internal CRS Steering Committee and Project Steering Committee (including the Lake Chad Basin Commission and KfW) meetings to review project progress across the three countries; identify issues/gaps; and take strategic decisions to improve implementation.
  • Coordinate with country program leadership to lead representation of the STaR project to KfW; the Lake Chad Basin Commission; and relevant German Cooperation (e.g. German Embassy, GiZ, etc.) stakeholders in STaR countries.
  • Collaborate with STaR Program Managers to ensure STaR is implemented in coordination with other relevant CRS projects to ensure integration, layering and complementarity.
  • Participate in relevant working groups and forums, as needed, which may include representation related to the overall Lake Chad Basin region.

Staff Management and other responsibilities

  • Oversee the development of staffing plans and the recruitment process of senior staff. Coordinate with STaR PMs and country program leadership to ensure staff vacancies are filled in a timely fashion.
  • Provide coaching and mentoring to STaR PMs, Award Management Officer and MEAL Manager. Strategically tailor individual development plans and complete performance assessments for direct reports.
  • Routinely review staffing structures for each location to improve performance, accountability and delivery

Key Working Relationships:

Supervisory: STaR Award Management Officer, STaR MEAL Manager, STaR Program Managers for Nigeria and Chad (direct) and Niger (dotted line)

Internal: Country Representatives Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon-Chad, CARO/WARO Deputy Regional Directors (Operations and Programming); CARO/WARO Deputy Finance Managers; Head of Office (Chad); Head of Programs (Niger); Deputy Country Representative, Northeast Nigeria

External: KfW (donor); Lake Chad Basin Commission; German Cooperation stakeholders (Nigeria, Niger and Chad), international NGOs,

Agency Wide Competences (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 Accountability and Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning
  • Committed to Continuous Improvement and Innovation
  • Has a Strategic Mindset

Qualifications and Skills:

Education and Experience

  • Proficiency in English (at least ILR Level 4 – Full professional) and French (at least ILR Level 3 – Professional working proficiency) is mandatory and will be tested.
  • Masters’ degree in international development, management, agriculture, economics or another relevant field.
  • At least 7 years of international project management experience on projects of similar size / nature (multi-country; multi-year; multi-sectoral - livelihoods, agricultural development, resilience, market-based approaches to economic development, gender, conflict and social cohesion).
  • Experience managing infrastructure rehabilitation and/or construction programming, as well as managing complex procurement/supply chain processes, a plus.
  • 5 years of staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment. Experience with in-person and remote coaching and management of senior program staff.
  • Experience in sub-Saharan Africa; particularly living and working in hardship areas for at least 2 years is mandatory. Prior experience in Niger/Chad/Nigeria desirable.
  • Experience with major donors’ (USAID, Government of Germany, DFID, EU etc.) rules, regulations and requirements. Specific experience with managing contract mechanisms and/or KfW rules and regulations, a plus..
  • Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.

Personal Skills

  • Proven leadership and ability to build and motivate diverse and talented teams
  • Proven experience in building and maintaining institutional linkages
  • Ability to work to meet deadlines in multiple tasking environments
  • Excellent organization, planning and analytical skills; detail oriented
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with demonstrated strength in relationship management
  • Commitment to gender sensitive programming and management

Required/Desired Foreign Language: Proficiency in English (at least ILR Level 4 – Full professional) and French (at least ILR Level 3 – Professional working proficiency) is mandatory and will be tested.

Travel Required 30% to field locations in Nigeria, Niger and Chad

What we offer

CRS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, life insurance, vision, generous retirement savings plan and the opportunity to work in a collaborative, mission-driven culture that is committed to improving the lives of the poor throughout the world.

***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Disclaimer: 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.

EOE/M/F/D/V - CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

About the Organization

CRS staff, alongside our partners and the people we serve, work daily to bring our mission and guiding principles to life. We share our stories of hope, compassion and solidarity to inspire others to join us in creating a more just and prosperous world for all.

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