Senior Technical Advisor (STA) for Vulnerable Children and Youth (VC/Youth)

Lusaka, Zambia
Apply by 19 June 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 22 May 2018

Job Description

Senior Technical Advisor (STA) for Vulnerable Children and Youth (VC/Youth)

Department/Country: Southern Africa Regional Office/TBD & Program Impact and Quality Assurance

Reports To: Deputy Regional Director for Program Quality SARO/Technical Director for Social Services. The position will support SARO 50% and Global OVC 50%

Job Responsibilities:

SARO’s current programming seeks to promote the Integral Human Development of vulnerable children and youth through holistic, multi-sectoral, community-based programs. These programs are designed to ensure that families are economically stable and food secure while children and youth are healthy, educated and protected. Interventions support HIV prevention, care and treatment for children and youth, access to education, job skills training and employment creation for youth, child protection, psychosocial support and social cohesion. To create an enabling environment, these programs use case management and strengthen the health and social service systems. This mirrors CRS’ global vulnerable children portfolio.

The primary role of the STA for VC/Youth is to provide technical leadership, guidance and quality assurance to support the implementation of high quality vulnerable children and youth programming. The position will ensure the development and use of relevant strategies, guidelines, approaches, and tools that support high program quality. He will liaise closely with HQ and field-based sectoral colleagues (e.g., Health, Youth, Livelihoods, Gender) to support VC/Y program quality. The STA will promote knowledge management, monitoring & evaluation, learning and exchange throughout the region and contribute to global knowledge management learning by participating in communities of practices, supporting the development of global, regional and country program learning agendas and ensuring the development and dissemination of evaluations, technical briefs, learning papers, promising/evidence-based practices and implementation science/operations research. Finally, this position will provide virtual and in-country technical assistance to support networking and alliance building with the goal of growing the VC/Youth portfolio. More specifically, the STA for SC/Youth will support country programs, especially those in SARO, with pre-positioning, partner identification, assessments, proposal design, and proposal development.


Strategic and Technical Leadership for Program Quality:

  1. Provide technical guidance, assistance, reviews and support to CRS country programs for vulnerable children and youth programming in the Southern Africa region primarily, ensuring projects align with and support agency, regional, and global strategies and standards.
  2. Provide overall quality assurance on technical design and implementation of donor funded VC/Youth focused projects, ensuring that project assistance is technically sound and appropriate, including the development and delivery of related capacity building and training support.
  3. Stay abreast of state of the art developments in quality standards and innovations in VC/Youth programming, including donor strategies and guidelines, and ensure timely circulation of information and documentation to country programs, especially SARO country programs.
  4. Coordinate with country program staff and other Technical Advisors (TAs) to ensure integration of relevant initiatives in all regional strategies.
  5. Lead SARO’s contribution to CRS programming for VC/Youth, liaise with CRS TAs at CRS headquarters (HQ) to keep informed of new opportunities and contribute to global initiatives that support VC/Youth programming.
  6. Support country programs and staff to ensure high quality partnerships with Catholic, faith-based, government, international and local civil society partners.
  7. Provide on-site strategic support for start-up, project transition/change and close out support and management.
  8. Provide thought leadership in the areas of sustainability planning, quality assurance/quality improvement, supportive supervision, select management challenges e.g., promising practices for management of grants mechanisms (e.g., UGM).
  9. Represent CRS as necessary at relevant donor and professional workshops, conferences and meetings.

Knowledge Management, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

  1. Disseminate and assist country programs to develop pilot projects and targeted evaluations/implementation science research to test new and innovative programming and to develop evidence-based practices.
  2. Assist country programs with the development and use of appropriate monitoring tools and implementing systems.
  3. Ensure that relevant program monitoring and evaluation systems, technical reviews, and the documentation and dissemination of promising practices and lessons learned, capture timely, high quality information and utilize data to inform decisions and foster learning and innovation.
  4. Strengthen the capacity of CRS staff to monitor and evaluate program performance, use data to improve performance, report and share results.
  5. Identify strategic opportunities for learning, lead implementation science/operations research design, and assist with data collection, analysis and dissemination of findings, including developing internal and external publications.
  6. Ensure that activities are consistent with current CRS strategies, approaches and policies, including agency program quality standards.
  7. Coordinate closely with other regional and HQ-based TAs to disseminate information requests from country programs and to share with SARO lessons learned and research results.
  8. Facilitate and/or participate in select organizational learning fora, such as the OVC and OVC COP2 Communities of Practices, technical working groups, and horizontal communications in coordination with the RTA for Nutrition/Health.

Networking and Alliance Building & Growth

  1. Identify funding opportunities for country programs together with the Business Development and Growth RTA.
  2. Assist country programs in establishing and maintaining relationships with youth-serving government agencies and youth organizations, especially national, youth-led organizations.
  3. Support country program and regional business development efforts to increase access to funds supporting programming for vulnerable children and youth in the region.

Supervisory Responsibilities: This position will supervise consultants, as needed, and will be expected to coordinate requests for external consultancies.

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

Key Working Relationships:

Internal: DRD PQ,SARO RTAs/STAs from other sectors and business development, Country Representatives, Heads of Programming, PIQA Director for Social Services, S/TAs for vulnerable children, S/TAs for Youth, Health and HIV S/TAs, and other sector S/TAs and PEPFAR OVC Chiefs of Party.

External: USG, especially USAID and CDC, other Donor Agencies, Local Partners (e.g. Caritas), Host Country Government Agencies (e.g. MOH, Ministry of Women, Children and Youth, Ministry of Social Welfare), international organizations (e.g., UNICEF, WHO, GFATM), other PVOs, consultants working in youth programming, OVC, and other relevant areas; professional associations.


  1. Master’s Degree or Doctorate in public health, social work, one of the social sciences, international development/affairs, or a closely related field.
  2. 10 or more years of experience including designing, implementing and managing country-level VC/Y programs, preferably in/for low resource contexts/countries, including youth workforce development, youth entrepreneurship, or youth peacebuilding.
  3. Demonstrated capacity to provide guidance and technical assistance in one or more critical technical (e.g., case management and linkages, HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, access to education, job skills, employment creation, social cohesion, health, psycho-social wellbeing, social service system strengthening) and operational issues (sustainability, start-up, sub-granting mechanism, close-out) related to VC/Youth and PEFPAR OVC programming.
  4. Proven leadership and inter-personal skills and ability to build and motivate diverse and talented teams and maintain strategic relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  5. Experience engaging effectively with USAID, PEPFAR, and other bilateral agencies; the United Nations and other international agencies; host-county governments and counterparts; and other key stakeholders.
  6. Ability to travel extensively within the region with additional select travel to other countries and CRS HQ.
  7. Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  8. Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team, including people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, as well as strong ability to work individually.
  9. Strong representational skills, including ability to present CRS programs, research findings and policies to multiple audiences, including donors, host country Government and other key stakeholders.
  10. Fluency in English required, business level French or Portuguese a plus.

Travel Required:

The position will require extensive travel (up to 40%) throughout Southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola) and trips to countries outside the region with PEPFAR OVC projects and to CRS headquarters in Baltimore, as necessary.

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.

NOTE: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

About the Organization

Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Our mission is to assist the poor and disadvantaged, leveraging the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to alleviate human suffering, promote development of all people, and to foster charity and justice throughout the world. Working through local offices and an extensive network of partners, CRS operates on five continents and in 98 countries. We aid the poor by first providing direct assistance where needed, then encouraging people to help with their own development. Together, these approaches foster secure, productive, just communities that enable people to realize their potential. As the official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community, CRS is also committed to educating the people of the United States to fulfill their moral responsibilities toward our global brothers and sisters by helping the poor, working to remove the causes of poverty, and promoting social justice.

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