Job Title: Head of Programming
Reports To: Country Representative
The CRS Nicaragua program focuses on Agriculture Livelihoods and Positive Youth Development. It has built on several decades of a stable operating environment to develop strong technical approaches and programming, particularly in Agriculture and value-chain work. Recently the program has been challenged by reduced funding opportunities and, even more recently, political conflicts within the country have created increased insecurity, temporary closure of hotels, restaurants, schools and Universities, and some uncertainty regarding short to medium term direction that the country will take. As a member of the Country Program (CP) Senior Management Team, you will provide strategic direction, leadership, and management of the CP’s programming to ensure the establishment and successful implementation of high-quality programs serving the poor and vulnerable. You will help to identify strategies to evolve the country program operating model to continue to make positive impact on the lives of the poor and vulnerable at scale, within the context of a restricted funding base. Your leadership, management and knowledge will ensure that the CP delivers high-quality programming and continuously works towards improving the impact of its programming. As part of the Senior Management Team you will proactively manage security and mitigate security risks.
- In collaboration with the Country Representative (CR) provide strategic direction for the design of the CP strategic frameworks and plans, including the development of resource mobilization strategies to optimize the impact of programming interventions in line with regional and agency strategic priorities.
- In collaboration with the CR and Regional Technical Advisors, develop key strategic relationships and test new approaches that lead to impact at scale, within the context of a restricted funding base.
- Lead high-quality project design incorporating project management standards and MEAL methods, appropriate to scope, context and technical requirements of projects. Coordinate planning of activities across various projects from different sectors to ensure integration of program interventions and efficiency in implementation.
- Effectively manage talent and supervise. Manage team dynamics and staff well-being. Provide coaching, strategically tailor individual development plans, and complete performance assessment for direct reports. Contribute to developing staffing plans for projects and to the recruitment process of senior project staff.
- 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. Promote accountability, learning and knowledge management overseeing implementation of the MEAL policy, as well as cross-sectoral and cross-department learning.
- Coordinate with CP operations leads to ensure appropriate project budgeting and efficient use and stewardship of project material sources.
- In coordination with resource mobilization staff oversee the business development cycle to ensure quality proposals per agency and donor standards.
- Oversee the identification, assessment and strengthening of appropriate partnerships and the appropriate application of partnership concepts, tools and approaches.
- Ensure technical assistance and capacity strengthening for project teams and partners in project management standards and related MEAL, business development and operational activities. Identify training opportunities, develop training curriculums and deliver trainings.
Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:
Education and Experience
- Master’s Degree in Agriculture/Agricultural Economics, International Development, International Relations or agriculture related field preferred.
- Minimum of five years of relevant field-based program management, at least three years of middle/senior management experience.
- Experience with successful business development activities capturing public and/or private donor funding.
- Experience in the development of successful proposals, reports, strategic alliances, project design, project management, and monitoring and evaluation.
- Experience in social entrepreneurship, blended financing models, impact investing, innovation platforms or other alliance-building for development approaches desirable.
- Experience in partner capacity strengthening, staff development, training, and mentoring, as well as in team building and strategic planning initiatives. Experience working with Church partners a plus.
- Experience in community development, community mobilization, or similar grassroots, self-help initiatives.
- Experience in project grants management, including project design, budget preparation, expenditure tracking, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, etc., preferably for projects funded by multiple public donors, including USAID.
- Excellent English writing skills.
- Staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment.
- Experience using MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, and knowledge sharing networks.
- Excellent strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions.
- Strong relations management abilities. Ability to relate to people at all levels internally and externally. Strategic in how you approach each relationship.
- Team leadership abilities
- Presentation and facilitation skills
- Proactive, resourceful, solutions oriented and results-oriented
Required/Desired Foreign Language English fluency required. Spanish professional proficiency required.
Travel Required (include percentage of required travel, if applicable) 25% in-country travel and additional regional travel as necessary for meetings and workshops.
Key Working Relationships:
Supervisory: Director for Knowledge Management and Learning, Director for Agribusiness, Director for Human Rights, Emergency and Risk Reduction Manager.
Internal: Country Representative, Head of Operations, Director of Finance, Human Resources Coordinator, Operations Manager
External: Local government and line ministries, local and international NGOs, UN agencies, partners; donors; affected communities; universities.
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.
- Trusting Relationships
- Professional Growth
Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
NOTE: Applications will be accepted until this position is filled.