Regional Technical Advisor, Business Development

Catholic Relief Services
Apply by 15 December 2012
Mid-level , Field assignment
Posted on 12 December 2012

Job Description

Background: South Africa Regional Office (SARO) country programs make approximately 50 submissions per year to external donors. In 2011 the combined value of these submissions was $74 million, in livelihoods, nutrition, health, HIV and AIDS, and peace and justice. While the US Government is and will likely remain the largest source of public funds in the region, other public donors, UN bodies and foundations represent a significant proportion of business-development effort.

Regional support for business-development and growth initiatives has been provided by an RTA for Business Development and Growth over the past two-and-a-half years. In an increasingly competitive funding environment, SARO has assessed the support needs and concluded that additional resources are required that will build regional capacity in all three phases of the Business Development Cycle: I. Pre-positioning and intelligence gathering, II. Pursuit of Opportunities, and III. Leveraging of Results. The newly-created position of RTA/Proposal Development Specialist will focus on Phase II, while the RTA for Business Development and Growth will be primarily responsible for the other two phases, with both positions reinforcing the efforts of the other.

The Proposal Development Specialist will therefore have the opportunity to spearhead a number of improvements the quality of capture planning and proposal development in the region. These include improved forecasting and positioning of CRS in the marketplace, increasing the number and diversity of actors that CRS brings to the table in solving development issues (Cross-Sector Engagement), and the introduction of new tools and best practices in proposal presentation, all while continuing to promote the highest possible quality of program design.

Primary Function:

Working closely with the RTA for Business Development and Growth, the Proposal Development Specialist will take the lead on supporting all activities associated with the Pursuit of Opportunities phase of the BD cycle, from the identification and tracking of opportunities through the capture-planning stages and into final production. The emphasis will be on ensuring the production of high-quality proposals for the right opportunities, shepherding resources to support both technical quality and streamlined, effective proposal development. This includes providing surge capacity for technical and non-technical writing and other proposal-production needs. The Proposal Development Specialist will build capacity of country-program and partner staff, as appropriate, in proposal production and the introduction of new tools and best practices in coordination with agency-wide efforts from the Business Development community of practice.

Job Responsibility:

Pursuit of Opportunities:

  • In close coordination with technical RTAs, ensure high technical quality of project design and incorporation of technical input.
  • Coordinate SARO involvement in the Proposal Development and Review process, including coordination of reviews, BD (non-financial) review of project budgets, and coordination of HQ support and TDYs as needed
  • Lead integration of Shipley tools and other best practices for proposals and the proposal-development process e.g. storyboarding, color-team reviews as appropriate
  • As appropriate, ensure mainstreaming of gender, Most Vulnerable Children (MVC) and other SARO priorities during proposal design and development
  • Assist proposal-development teams to improve proposal competitiveness through CSE
  • Provide input to proposal teams and review from a Business-Development perspective, including overall responsiveness to donor requirements, incorporation of cost-effectiveness considerations, and other aspects that may affect CRS’ competitiveness
  • Assist with proposal writing and other proposal-development needs as appropriate
  • Pre-produce (in collaboration with BDT) and manage a library of proposal graphics

Prepositioning and Intelligence Gathering:

  • Actively gather intelligence about and seek out new funding opportunities, analyze them, and share with CPs and RTAs as appropriate
  • Maintain SARO opportunity tracking and act as the main SARO point of contact for the win/loss database
  • Assist country-program teams with capture planning for selected opportunities
  • Support BD RTA and country programs to improve their forecasting capacities and practices, including the forecasting of expected proposal-development needs
  • Provide support to CP and SARO growth strategies as regards trends in donor solicitations and requirements

Agency learning:

  • Share learning around pursuit of opportunities with BD community of practice
  • Build CP and partner staff capacity in TAG-, CAG- and capture planning-related skills, through training and ongoing accompaniment
  • Identify professional development opportunities for country-program staff, especially dedicated growth staff, including TDYs within SARO and elsewhere

Key Working Relationships:

Internal: RTA for Business Development and Growth, Regional Finance Officer, HQ Business Development and Food Security Teams, SARO CP-level business-development staff, SARO Heads of Programming, SARO Regional Advisors (health, agriculture/livelihoods, and peacebuilding)

External: Representatives from peer INGOs, local-partner organizations


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.

  • Serves with Integrity
  • Models Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning


  • Master’s degree and three years’ relevant experience, or five years’ relevant experience required.
  • Demonstrated experience with proposal development, at least some of which was in a leading or coordinating capacity
  • Experience with Title II proposal development
  • Experience of proposal development in more than one country
  • Familiarity with one or more of the following programming areas: agriculture/livelihoods, health, nutrition, HIV and AIDS, peace and justice, MVC
  • Familiarity with procedures, policies and formats of one or more donors such as USG, UN, or other public donors
  • Demonstrated experience of capacity building or training using adult-learning principles

Personal/Professional skills

  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team; excellent interpersonal, diplomacy and negotiating skills
  • Ability to work independently, make sound decisions, and work effectively under pressure
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple workstreams, coordinate between competing priorities, meet deadlines and mobilize others to do the same
  • Excellent English writing skills required
  • Functional ability in French and/or Portuguese is an advantage
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally at least 35% of the time

This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.


For immediate consideration, please apply online at

Reference Requisition Number 796

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