The Program Manager will support the Country Program team to ensure high-quality monitoring, evaluation and accountability practices across CRS Livelihoods and Education programming, and that learning is incorporated at all stages of the program cycle. Under the guidance of the Head of Programs and with direct reporting to the Head of Office for Herat, the PM for MEAL/PD will coordinate the overall strategic development of MEAL in particular for the CRS OFDA/FFP Early Recovery Project (CP) in line with the agency MEAL Policies and Procedures and industry standards and best practices. The PM for MEAL/PD will invest heavily in building the MEAL capacity of CRS staff specific to the project. Simultaneously, the PM will support further program development in the Livelihoods and Education portfolios.
S/he will also play a key leadership role in Program Development (PD) for the CP. Under the guidance of the Head of Programs, s/he will support other CRS Afghanistan PMs in the design and writing of high quality projects and proposals, as well as grant management, donor communications and reporting that adhere to global best practices and CRS and industry standards.
Depending on program growth and needs, the MEAL/PD PM could be also assigned project(s) to manage with technical support and guidance from the Head of Programming, other CP PMs and regional and HRD Technical Advisors.
Roles and Key Responsibilities:
Evidence-based Program Development and Reporting:
- Support Program Managers and MEAL team members in the design and implementation of assessments, gender analysis, stakeholder analysis, organizational capacity assessments, and other design related data collection and analysis.
- Lead teams and provide strategic high level input throughout the project design process incorporating lessons learned and best practices generated from previous and ongoing programs.
- Support the CP in development of new proposals and funding initiatives as needed; including concept notes and proposals writing. Contribute to the design and/or review Results Frameworks, ProFrames, M&E Plans, Analysis Plans and MEAL narrative in proposals.
- In collaboration with the Finance Manager and Head of Operations, support PMs in budget development and management.
- Assist PMs in timely and quality 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, and/or CRS EMECA or headquarters offices.
- Support the regular mapping of CRS program activities in Afghanistan – as well as regular updating as needed. Provide input to situation reports or summaries requested by HQ for fundraising or CI.
- Leverage lessons learned, best practices, program data, evaluations, and other information to generate donor communication pieces, proposal annexes, success stories, case studies, and other high-quality, evidence-based, results-oriented documentation;
MEAL Design and Implementation
- Ensure that Afghanistan Country Program MEAL systems follow CRS’ MEAL global and regional policies and procedures, standards, and strategic initiatives.
- Provide strategic direction for the utilization of MEAL teams, the development and maintenance of MEAL systems, and the roll-out of new initiatives.
- Lead project monitoring initiatives including tool design, data collection, and participatory analysis using ICT4D when and where appropriate; Ensure that MEAL and program teams regularly review and accordingly adjust MEAL plans and tools in the light of changes and needs in the field context and based on data;
- Work with the Program Managers to develop MEAL binders to ensure that they are complete, up-to-date, high quality, and contain tools, data flow maps, and analysis plans that address all information needed for good program quality and donor reporting and compliance with MEAL Policies and Procedures; Serve as focal point during MEAL audit process providing required documentation as per MEAL audit trail specifications.
- In collaboration with PMs lead learning-to-action events and reflection sessions to systematically analyze data for programmatic use, and to document and incorporate lessons learned into program design and implementation;
- Ensure that transparent high quality accountability mechanisms are in place for all programs and are regularly monitored and evaluated, including adequate capturing, addressing, analyzing, and utilization of beneficiary feedback by program teams.
Program and Projects Management:
- Manage projects, as needed, including overall budget management and donor reporting and leading the planning and implementation of program activities; ensuring high quality performance targets and adherence to technical standards, best practices and donor guidelines.
- Ensure that planned activities are implemented in time and within budget and that successful activities deliver the intended (positive) change in the lives of the people we serve
- Work with CRS/Afghanistan finance manager to review project budget and expenditure reports on a regular (at least monthly) basis. Lead his/her team to ensure alignment of activities with available budgets.
- Oversee the timely preparation of high quality donor reports, quarterly performance indicator tracking tables, baseline and final evaluation reports, as well as other reports as needed/ required by the local government, donors, the region or headquarters as per reporting schedule. This may mean taking responsibility for report preparation or reviewing draft reports for relevance, accuracy and quality.
- Minimum Master’s degree in international development or related field.
- Must have a minimum of two years overseas experience in a developing country, including 1-2 years in an emergency environment and preferably in an M&E capacity or having had direct experience working on M&E.
- Additional experience may substitute for some education.
Foreign Language Required: Professional proficiency in English required.
Travel: The position will be based in Herat, with up to 40% travel to other provinces of Afghanistan including Herat, Daykundi and Bamiyan.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Strong critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills with ability to make sound judgment.
- Strong relationship management skills and the ability to work effectively with culturally diverse groups.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills with ability to write reports
- Proactive, results-oriented, and service-oriented
- Proven proposal/report writing skills.
- Ability to work independently, but also coordinate effectively as part of a team.
- Excellent oral and written English language communication skills
- Experience with capacity strengthening and partnership building.
- Strong analytical and organizational skills.
- Strong capacity in project design and MEAL
- Proven ability to meet tight deadlines in an environment of competing priorities.
- Familiarity with policies, procedures, and priorities of USAID/OFDA, U.S. Department of State donors, UN agencies, and Caritas agencies preferred
- Strong computer skills: Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint; Microsoft Publisher preferred
- Experience in staff development and partner capacity preferred
- Knowledge of CRS’ program quality standards and SPHERE emergency guidelines preferred
- Ability and willingness to work and live in diverse, challenging, and potentially unstable environment.
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.
- Continuous Improvement & Innovation
- Builds Relationships
- Develops Talent
- Strategic Mindset
- Accountability & Stewardship
Each CRS staff member working in emergencies is expected to use the following competencies to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.
- Communicates strategically under pressure
- Manages stress and complexity
- Actively promotes safety and security
- Manages and implements high-quality emergency programs
Internal: Head of Offices for Herat and Ghor, Country Representative, Head of Programming, Head of Operations, Head of Finance, CP Program Managers, MEAL Technical Advisor, EMECA (including the Deputy Regional Director for Program Quality and Regional Advisor for MEAL) and HRD staff.
External: Other INGOs/LNGOs operating in Afghanistan, Government of Afghanistan Local Officials, UN agency representatives, Donor representatives (mainly US Government Donor Agencies).
NOTE: Applications will be accepted until this position is filled.