By concurrently partnering with and strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations, CRS has learned and demonstrated that strong institutions with capable staff can design, implement, evaluate, and sustain effective development interventions. The Strength in Solidarity Project (SiS) seeks to elevate CRS to be a leading world-class agency in strengthening local institutions effectively and sustainably to address injustices and poverty. The Institute for Capacity Strengthening (ICS) is the “ecosystem” through which SiS builds CRS staff and partner capacity in partnership and capacity strengthening using online learning, face to face training, mentoring, coaching, related training, practicum opportunities, access to a technical library and references, and opportunities for shared learning and collaboration. This position develops content for and contributes to the design these learning opportunities. Equally importantly, the position focuses on development of institutional strengthening practices and advises country programs, regions, projects, and headquarters staff and partners on capacity strengthening and learning approaches. The position is one of CRS’ key spokespeople to donors, policy makers, and peer organization on CRS’ capacity strengthening approach.
CRS believes that unjust systems and structures are transformed by communities and their institutions. By concurrently partnering with and strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations, CRS has learned and demonstrated that strong institutions with capable staff can design, implement, evaluate, and sustain effective development interventions. This capacity strengthening approach is vital because people and organizations are active participants in their progress rather than passive beneficiaries. The profound impact that stronger institutions can have in creating and sustaining change has led CRS to regard principle-based capacity strengthening as fundamental to every development effort. CRS’s approach to capacity strengthening is based on its principles of partnership, notably subsidiarity, which demands that those most affected by a problem lead the response to it.
The Strength in Solidarity Project (SiS) seeks to elevate CRS to be the leading world-class agency in strengthening local institutions effectively and sustainably to address injustices and poverty at a societal level. The SiS theory of change is that by strengthening its own internal capacity (staff knowledge, skills and attitudes and organizational systems and process), CRS can most effectively and sustainably strengthen the capacity of local partners in order to significantly contribute to civil society and to provide consistent quality services to the poor and those suffering injustices.
Central to the SiS approach is its emphasis on increasing CRS staff capacity for partnership and capacity strengthening. The Institute for Capacity Strengthening (ICS) is the “ecosystem” through which the SiS Project will build CRS staff and partner capacity in partnership and capacity strengthening. ICS strategies include: online learning, face to face training, mentoring, coaching, related training, practicum opportunities, access to a technical library and references, and opportunities for shared learning and collaboration. Through these efforts, ICS will significantly contribute to the capacity of partners to implement their programs and contribute to civil society and CRS will become a recognized leader in capacity strengthening and partnership.
This position will develop content for and contribute to the design of the ICS curricula, related P/CS Unit methods for learning and for institutional strengthening in partner institutions (i.e., processes, systems, standards and procedures) that will allow for the learning to be applied.
The position will develop content for and contribute to instructor led training, e-learning, workshops, other forms of formal and informal learning modalities. Equally importantly, the position will focus on development of institutional strengthening practices that facilitate the application of individual and team learning.
* Lead partnership and capacity strengthening non-formal education needs identification.
* Lead identification, adaptation and development of technical guidance, training designs, and other non formal educational tools that support partnership and capacity strengthening. This may include face to face trainings as well as development of guides and curricula, e-learning, blended learning or other forms of learning products. This will involve working closely with members of the PIQA Partnership and Capacity Strengthening (P/CS) Unit, as well as other key stakeholders. In some cases, the STA will take the lead; in others, the STA will provide support to the appropriate subject matter expert.
* Ensure consistency and quality of all partnership and capacity strengthening non-formal education products. This will involve close work with the STA for Organizational Development, the STA for Evidence, Research and Policy, and the rest of the P/CS Unit as well as with the production and communication departments.
* Coordinate with the Human Resources Department to ensure integration of staff learning in partnership and capacity strengthening with organizational learning systems and approaches.
* Supervise and coordinate a range of consultants on various partnership and capacity strengthening, organizational development, and individual and organizational learning activities
* Develop additional materials to support the P/CS Unit and CRS.
* Ensure updating, quality and clarity of content for ICS website.
* Augment, adapt and/or curate (gathering a variety of materials into a coherent learning product) learning products (courses, blending learning opportunities) for both on the job application and the appropriate learning outcome (based on the defined KSA learning framework).
* Work with the STA for Evidence, Research and Policy to ensure full integration of P/CS knowledge products and the ICS learning framework.
* Ensure that ICS content and approaches are in line with current thinking in the field of P/CS and organizational development.
* Ensure that learning products are designed, presented and applied for effective performance support.
* Design approaches, practice and supporting tools (in collaboration with other SMEs) to strengthen or introduce, in partner organizations, new processes, standards, procedures aimed at institutionalizing the learning acquired in the capacity building initiative.
External relationships for learning and growth
* Represent CRS in external professional fora and with donor agencies in support of resource acquisition for capacity strengthening initiatives.
* Contribute to raising the profile of CRS through participation in international and domestic meetings, workshops and conferences related to partnership, capacity strengthening and organizational development.
* Identify new resources to support partnership and capacity strengthening, organizational development and learning.
* In coordination with the MEAL and P/CS directors, identify and develop partnerships with universities involving shared learning opportunities related to partnership and capacity strengthening.
* Identify and participate in external learning fora that support CRS partnership and capacity strengthening activities.
Other P/CS Unit support
* Support the P/CS Unit and its mission. This may include providing technical assistance, business development activities and other activities to support the SiS Project and all team activities.
* Assist, as negotiated, with other CRS learning efforts, including but not limited to facilitating meetings or workshops, serving on technical advisory committees, and providing feedback to other learning events.
* Serve as the lead or contributor to the development of the capacity strengthening elements in all types of funding proposals
Key Working Relationships
Internal: All members of the P/CS team and the Talent Development unit, Human Resources and other learning teams across CRS; business development and staff throughout Overseas Operations.
External: Local and international NGOs involved in partnership, capacity strengthening and organizational development, partners, donors, research institutions and private sector companies, as appropriate.
Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS staff)
These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.
* Serves with Integrity
* Models Stewardship
* Cultivates Constructive Relationships
* Promotes Learning
Professional and Personal Skills
* Excellent writing and research skills.
* Strong interpersonal skills with evidence of making a strong contribution to a team’s goals and objectives.
* Knowledge and evidence of the use of participatory techniques to transmit ideas and concepts to staff and partners.
* Strong analytical skills and ability to develop a learning agenda, that produces consistently high quality documented outputs, as an individual and as part of a broader team.
* Ability to identify short and longer-term opportunities for developing innovative products and services for our staff, partners and donors.
* Ability to transition ideas into project proposals, programming and policy documents.
* Ability to work under tight deadlines and maintain good relations with upstream and downstream partners.
* Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills.
* Master’s degree in development related field required. Doctorate preferred.
* Ten to fifteen years of relevant international experience in partnership and capacity strengthening programming, with preferably three to four years working overseas working with local civil society organizations.
* Demonstrated knowledge of best practices in partnership, capacity strengthening and organizational development.
* Deep understanding of adult learning theory and practice
* Demonstrated deep and broad experience in training and facilitation.
* Experience researching and developing learning frameworks for organizational learning.
* Experience developing training and learning content across multiple modalities, including face to face training, curriculum guidance and e-learning.
* Familiarity with current standards and guidelines for partnership and capacity strengthening and organizational development.
* Solid understanding of and ability to apply Catholic Social Teaching principles and represent CRS and its programs
* Knowledge of Catholic Church structures and dynamics, particularly at the local level.
* Ability to relate to people at all levels of the organization and with diverse partner-organization staff.
This position is open to domestic and international telecommuting.
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.
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.