Head of Programming, Guinea

  • Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 26 June 2019

Job Description

Job Title: Head of Programming, Guinea

Job Type: Regular, Full Time

Reports To: Country Representative, Guinea

Job Location: Conakry, Guinea

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 of people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.

Job Summary

CRS has been operating in Guinea since 2000 supporting relief and development operations in the country. Over the past years, CRS has focused on health, governance, education and institutional capacity building for the local Caritas (Organisation pour la promotion humaine – OCPH/Caritas Guinea) and other local organizations. CRS has also developed strong relationships with government line ministries, partners and communities we serve in the country, implementing a multi-sectoral program portfolio.

CRS programs assist persons based on need, regardless of belief, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs. Therefore, strengthening and building the capacity of these partner organizations is fundamental to our approach in every country in which CRS operates.

CRS Guinea Program is largely health oriented though diversified with emergency, Peace Building and WASH; and has experienced significant programming growth over the past three-five years. Our current portfolio includes Global Fund Malaria grant and Community Health/Health System Strengthening, HIV Technical Support to the Supply Chain Management of HIV National Program, OMVS grant for the fight against Malaria and Tropical Neglected Diseases (MTN), USAID/CMM grant for Cultural Cohesion for Peace and Prosperity (2C2P) project and other small private programs in WASH and capacity strengthening.

CRS Guinea seeks to hire an experienced Head of Programs (HoP) to ensure the leadership and management of program department, to support the growth of the CP and the capacity building of partners.

  1. 1. Primary Function:

The primary role of the Head of Programs is to provide leadership in the management and growth of the CRS Guinea program portfolio. This includes the oversight of relationships with partners, timely disbursement of funds to partners, the provision of technical support for staff and partners as well as the support needed to comply with donor reporting and program quality standards. The HoP will directly supervise all program managers and the Global Fund program Director. The HoP will promote learning and knowledge management across all programs managed by CRS.

  1. 2. Specific Responsibilities:

Lead Growth in Programs:

  • In coordination with the Country Representative and respective technical resource persons, oversee the development of the CRS Guinea country specific Strategic Program Plan that is in accordance with the CRS global and regional strategies and reflects the visions of the local partners and priorities of GoG.
  • Identifies program priorities and take a lead role in developing a strategic plan to grow projects (with partners, CP staff, regional/HQ technical advisors, Business Development Team, etc).
  • Assesses environment as well as CRS’ strengths/opportunities.
  • Networks and identifies potential partnerships and consortiums for proposals.
  • Build on the identified needs of communities and develop concept notes and proposals and regularly update Guinea page on Gateway Platform.
  • Proactively cultivates new partner and donor relationships.
  • Prompts staff and partners to identify new opportunities.
  • Incorporates innovative and emerging trends into new or existing programs (when appropriate).
  • Mobilizes proposal design teams to draft and submit proposals that efficiently include value-adding input from diverse sources.
  • Regularly reviews progress against indicators.

Focus on Program Quality

  • Ensure that CRS/Guinea programs adhere to all CRS-approved Program Quality Standards within the framework of Catholic Social Teaching.
  • Support program and partner staff in designing and conducting baseline surveys, mid-term evaluations, and final evaluations as per the program’s approved MEAL plan.
  • Coaches staff in the use of integral human development (IHD), the justice lens and partnership principles to strengthen participatory, innovative and holistic development approaches.
  • Implements effective systems for financial/budget management (including budget development, effective use of e-budget, cost allocations, etc.)
  • Understands the interdependencies between PQ and MQ processes and identifies and corrects resulting issues promptly in collaboration with HoOps.
  • Promotes knowledge management and risk management as a part of all staff’s responsibilities.
  • Ensures detailed and realistic project implementation plans are developed with project staff and partners.
  • Regularly travels to the field to visit projects and support further progress.
  • Supports accountability, learning and innovation in key areas of both management and program quality.
  • Ensures high quality and timely reporting for internal and external use.
  • Take the lead in compiling and preparing the quarterly newsletter highlighting program updates.

Program Leadership and Intra-departmental Coordination

  • Organizes the team’s work around shared vision and goals.
  • Hold regular program team meetings and ensures action points from team meetings are accomplished.
  • Identifies and utilizes individual talents toward program goals.
  • Coaches staff to grow and perform their jobs well.
  • Masters and supports CRS programming, administrative and financial procedures and systems.
  • Promotes constructive integration between programming staff and the Resource Management staff.
  • Works collaboratively with staff and keeps them well informed.
  • Promotes positive conflict resolution and ongoing learning among the team(s).
  • Supports staff and local partners to build effective relationships founded on respect and trust.
  • Approaches other people and their views with diplomacy, humility, and integrity.

Budget/Financial Resource Management

  • Responsible for ensuring that Programming staff are well-equipped to properly manage their budgets;
  • Overall responsible to ensure that each project budget in CRS Guinea is well managed and adheres to donor intent and regulations;
  • Approve release of resources (cash and/ or commodities) to partners/projects as per approved plans and agreements and reimbursement and/or liquidations of project expenditures.
  • Coordinate preparation of the annual budget (APP) in programming department

Supervision and Staff Development

  • Directly supervises 4 to 5 staff
  • Orients new staff to CRS values, culture, tools and processes.
  • Meets regularly with individual staff members for coaching, mentoring, and support.
  • Delegates’ opportunities to staff that are suited to their skills and further growth.
  • Promotes the ongoing development of program staff skills (in technical and non-technical topics) in areas where they lack capacity.
  • Provides timely, constructive and meaningful feedback.
  • Coaches staff on building effective partnerships.
  • Mitigates risk by ensuring staff understands financial and administrative processes (cost allocation, regulatory issues, contract management, budget management etc.).
  • Completes all aspects of CRS performance management on time and effectively.
  • Utilizes regional and headquarters resources (including regional/HQ technical advisors, Business Development Team, etc.) to further the development of staff.


  • In coordination with the Country Representative, assure representation of CRS and coordination of CRS programming at the various levels with the Guinea Government entities and other key development actors and stakeholders in the country. Serve as Acting CR in charge of the country program during the absence of Country Representative if requested.
  1. 3. Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in International Development, International Relations or relevant field.
  • Minimum of 10 years work experience in a program management position with progressive responsibilities for an international NGO, including at least three years with successful performance in a Head of Programming position.
  • Strong experience in project grants management for large and complex projects, including project design, budget preparation, expenditure tracking, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, etc., for projects funded by multiple public donors, including USAID.
  • Substantial experience with successful business development activities capturing significant public and private donor funding, including serving as a proposal coordinator for a DFAP.
  • Excellent English writing skills.
  • Experience engaging partners and strengthening partnerships. Experience working with Church partners a plus.
  • Staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment. Experience coaching and mentoring senior program staff.
  • Experience and abilities in capacity strengthening - developing curricula and facilitating trainings.
  • Experience using MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, and knowledge sharing networks.

Personal Skills

  • 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 with diverse/multi-disciplinary teams. Coaching/mentoring skills
  • Presentation and facilitation skills
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions oriented and results-oriented

Required/Desired Foreign Language: French

Preferred/Desired Requirements:

  • Experience in Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) and ICT4D
  • Experience with institutional strengthening and partnership building
  • Proven in-depth knowledge of USG and GFATM donors’ regulations
  • Excellent facilitation skills

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
  • Partnership
  • Accountability

Required/Desired Foreign Language: Excellent written and spoken French and English. Native English is advantage.

Travel Required (include percentage of required travel, if applicable): Ability and willingness to travel frequently to field up to 30% of the time.

  1. 4. Key Working Relationships:

Internal: CRS Country Representative, Head of Operations, Program Managers and Project Staff in the programming department, Field Staff, Finance Manager; Human Resources Manager; Administration Manager, Procurement Manager, WARO Technical Advisors as well as HQ departments.

External: Partner organization technical & management staff, Catholic Church officials and OCPH/Caritas staff, other Catholic Development Agencies on ground, USG mission in Guinea, donors represented in Guinea (WB, AFD, JICA, etc…), GFATM, OMVS, Government of Guinea ministries, MoH, NMCP, HIV National Program, OMVS, UN agencies such as WHO, UNICEF and WFP and all relevant local and international technical institutions.

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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