Senior Technical Advisor, Agriculture

Guatemala City, Guatemala
Apply by 18 August 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 18 July 2018

Job Description

Job Summary:

The CRS Latin American and Caribbean Office has a long tradition of strong agricultural livelihoods programming. Current initiatives include a 5-country water smart agriculture program, with a strong focus on soil regeneration; cacao and coffee value chains projects; and initiatives promoting nutrition-sensitive agriculture. The program has also incorporated aspects of water systems development, particularly through water source protection and management to secure safe water for downstream communities. You will lead strategy development in the field of Agricultural Livelihoods in Latin America and the Caribbean to ensure strategic and operational coherence across the portfolio and impact at scale for the people we serve, including the development of a cacao and coffee value chain strategy. You will provide technical leadership and advice in line with CRS program quality principles and standards, donor guidelines, and industry best practices to Regional Technical Advisors and Regional and Country Program (CP) teams to advance the delivery of high-quality programming to the poor and vulnerable. Your expertise, leadership, and influence will be key in determining how effective, adaptive and innovative CRS’ Agriculture programming is across the globe and will help shape how other actors invest in Latin America.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Lead design and implementation of region-wide strategies, standards, tools, and best practices in Agricultural Livelihoods that effectively engage partners, donors, and governments. Ensure a cross-sectoral approach that integrates climate change adaptation, natural resource regeneration, increased market access and income generation, as well as gender, protection mainstreaming, and disaster risk reduction.
  • Lead development and advancement of region-wide standards, policies, innovative approaches, tools, and M&E in Agriculture, including application of partnership principles.
  • Contribute to regional, and country program staff efforts to pre-position CRS for strategic growth opportunities in Agricultural Livelihoods. Provide technical guidance in proposal development and project design with a focus on complex projects to ensure innovative programming solutions and technical excellence. Support CPs to appropriately staff project teams.
  • Lead capacity strengthening initiatives in Agricultural Livelihoods programming for staff and partners by ensuring development of learning agendas/curriculums, organizing and/or facilitating trainings, workshops and conferences, and mentoring and coaching staff in innovative CRS approaches and tools. Provide mentoring and coaching to TAs, as well as CP and regional staff.
  • 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.
  • Lead the regional knowledge management and learning agenda in Agricultural Livelihoods by setting conditions for collective learning that ensure the capturing, documenting, and sharing of key successes, promising practices, lessons learned, and evidence-based implementation research, internally and externally, including publications in peer reviewed journals.
  • Identify and represent CRS at key forums and/or ensure that appropriate staff represent CRS in forums of primary areas of interest: climate change adaptation, soils, conservation agriculture, coffee and cacao value chains. Ensure coherent messaging while presenting CRS’ work and research to influence technical partner approaches, future funding opportunities, and policies. Network with relevant organizations to increase CRS’ profile in Agricultural Livelihoods, influence in the global Agricultural Livelihoods community, and contribute to donor diversification.

Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in Agronomy, Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, Rural Development, Rural Finance or related field required. PhD preferred.
  • Minimum of ten years of work experience in agricultural development with progressive responsibilities, ideally with an international NGO, with five years overseas in multiple regions as a technical advisor and/or program manager of an Agricultural Livelihoods and/or multi-sectoral project with an Agricultural Livelihoods component.
  • Knowledge and experience with building platforms for water management desirable.
  • Established relationships with a wide cross-section of government, private sector and NGO actors working in the agricultural space in Central America preferred. Experience building platforms for collective action.
  • Experience in social entrepreneurship, blended financing models, impact investing, innovation platforms or other alliance-building for development approaches desirable.
  • Deep understanding and application of technical principles and concepts in conservation agriculture and agricultural value chains. Good knowledge of related disciplines to ensure proper cross-sectoral approach.
  • Track record of contributing significantly to successful business development activities capturing public and/or private donor funding in Agricultural Livelihoods
  • Expertise in the development and production of curricula, tools, and other products to support Agricultural Livelihoods interventions and programming. Demonstrated experience to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and informal methods.
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation including development of indicators, data collection tools and methodologies, data analysis, and data presentation.
  • Demonstrated experience and skills to represent the organization at the highest levels at meetings with donors, government, international NGOs, local partners – faith-based and civil society. Understanding of partnership principles.
  • Proficient in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications and strong understanding of information and budget management systems and knowledge-sharing networks.
  • Technical and/or academic publications highly desirable.

Personal Skills

  • Excellent relationship management skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to work with individuals in diverse geographical and cultural settings.
  • Excellent strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including research publications
  • Excellent presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills
  • Proactive, resourceful, innovative and results-oriented

Required/Desired Foreign Language English and Spanish fluency required. French or Haitian Creole proficiency desirable

Travel Required 50%

Key Working Relationships:

Supervisory: LACRO Agricultural livelihoods RTA, Coffee value chain project officer.

Internal: Agricultural program managers in each country; Chiefs of party for major agriculture projects; HQ agriculture technical advisors; Technical advisors for youth and education.

External: Regional agricultural research organizations; agricultural businesses and other value chain actors; technical assistance providers; financial service providers.

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

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.

Equal Opportunity Employer

About the Organization

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

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