Community Engagement Lead, RISE Project

  • Posted on 14 January 2019

Job Description

Job Title: Community Engagement Lead

Reports to: Chief of Party

Job Location: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso or Niamey, Niger

Type of Post (if applicable): accompanied

*Contingent on donor approval

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services 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. 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

This position will provide critical leadership in Community Engagement under an anticipated USAID-funded integrated health service delivery program in in Burkina Faso and Niger. This activity will improve the access and quality of high impact maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition services at the community, primary health facility, and referral facility level. Focused on strengthening health delivery systems, the activity will primarily intervene at the regional and commune level but will also engage at the community level some zones. It will engage at the national level on key policies and capacities to the extent they directly benefit resilience of the health system and sustainability of project actions in the targeted zones.

The Community Engagement Lead (CEL) will be highly experienced in a broad spectrum of community-level health system technical areas, with overall responsibility for strengthening systems for improved communications, accountability and engagement between communities and health delivery systems, leading to increased utilization and sustainability of health services. The CEL will ensure technical interventions are integrated, layered and sequenced appropriately at all levels of implementation within the activity, and USAID and RISE II investments. The CEL will work closely with CRS program teams and partner staff to develop high quality contextually appropriate approaches. S/he will also take learning needs into account and develop and conduct capacity building for all program staff, with support from the Regional Technical Advisor for Health.

Roles and Key Responsibilities

Project Implementation and Reporting

  • Plan and coordinate community engagement activities in the field in collaboration with implementing partners.
  • Monitor project implementation and ensure that quality standards are being adhered to and maintained throughout the entire implementation process.
  • Ensure that partners have the necessary information, guidelines, curricula and tools for quality technical implementation.
  • Conduct periodic technical reviews with partners (via meetings, report review, site visits, etc.) to ensure that the direction is in line with the overall project strategy.
  • Ensure that approaches are in line with the Governments of Burkina Faso and Niger strategies and priorities for the sector.
  • Participate actively in appropriate forums and platforms with government partners and UN and other donor partners.
  • Prepare technical reports according to agreement requirements.

Project Refinement and Organizational Learning

  • Provide technical input into the design and implementation of evaluations.
  • Create/adapt best practice guides, manuals and other technical resources to ensure the quality of community engagement programs in collaboration with the government and other technical partners.
  • With the M&E lead, develop data collection tools and establish feedback mechanisms on the quality of implementation on the ground.
  • Support the documentation of best practices and lessons learned and facilitate their effective use to improve program quality.
  • Support the development of a learning agenda for community engagement and coordinate its implementation across the consortium.


  • Assess the technical capacity of consortium members’ staff, and support CRS technical staff to undertake capacity building activities such as trainings and workshops, mentoring and accompaniment.
  • Build the capacity of CRS technical staff and partner staff to understand and monitor technical indicators and to evaluate technical program performance.
  • Build strategic partnerships at national and local levels with governmental and nongovernmental organizations as well as private sector to advance the project’s strategic agenda to ensure sustainability of activities.
  • Develop and coordinate strategies for ensuring integration, layering and sequencing of program activities within the HSD activity, and other USAID and RISE II investments.

Management, Finance and Donor Compliance

  • Manage program budgets, including tracking of financial and material resources and providing regular forecasts.
  • Ensure accurate and timely reporting of program finances and progress status, review actual financial performance against the budget, and explain variances on a regular basis.
  • Ensure staff compliance with all USG and CRS administrative and operational procedures and policies, as well as applicable donor regulations.
  • Approve and manage financial transactions within the approved limit.
  • Manage the recruitment of CRS staff (development of job description, interviews, selection committee, etc.)

Basic Qualifications (BQs)

Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field. Additional experience may substitute for some education.
  • Minimum of five years of relevant technical experience, including supervising and mentoring multi-sectorial teams, for humanitarian and development assistance, preferably with an international NGO.
  • Demonstrated capacity to understand and advise on critical technical and operational issues related to community engagement in health systems.
  • Strong field experience at the community level is required.
  • Experience working with large donors, USAID/FFP and/or USAID/FTF preferred.
  • In-depth understanding of gender, age and other socio-cultural factors in the context of health system programming.
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead the collection, analysis and utilization of data and information from a broad range of sources in order to ensure effective integration of nutrition concerns throughout the project’s duration. Demonstrated experience in leading participatory analytical processes and learning required.

Required Languages -

Excellent English and French language oral and written communication skills required.


Must be willing and able to travel between project countries and/or on field missions for 30-50% level of effort, as needed.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)

  • Ability to foster commitment and build capacity among activity staff and in-country actors to gender integration and empowerment.
  • Ability to self-manage and succeed in matrix management model, with demonstrated proactive and flexible nature in resolving problems and leading a productive, committed team;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with groups;
  • Detail-oriented and excellent time management skills with the ability to meet deadlines and deliver required results in a timely and quality manner.
  • Flexibility to work both in a team and independently.
  • Demonstrated personal accountability and driven to serve others.
  • Cultural sensitivity, patience, flexibility and ability to work well in a multi-sectoral and multi-cultural team and to work closely, understand and support local Church partners.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Prior experience providing technical leadership within a large health systems or similar health program with a significant community engagement component. Knowledge of successful approaches to strengthen community level engagement and linkages with the health system, particularly in West Africa.
  • Experience with providing technical training, facilitation, and capacity building through formal and informal approaches, with the capacity to empower staff and partners through opportunities for professional growth and development.
  • Knowledge of program quality standards, particularly in health systems, monitoring and evaluation standards, Catholic Social Teaching and the justice lens preferred.
  • Knowledge and experience in project management, finance and compliance.

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.

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship

Supervisory Responsibilities TBD

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. (For all US and International positions)

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.

Similar Jobs

More Jobs from this Organization

Search 39 Jobs from Catholic Relief Services (CRS)