Southern Africa Development Mentor (Zambia or South Africa)

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 12 June 2020

Job Description

Vacancy: Misean Cara Development Mentor for the Southern Africa Region

(based out of Zambia or South Africa)

Background, Role Description, Specification and Application Procedure


Misean Cara is seeking to recruit a suitable candidate for the position of Development Mentor for the Southern Africa region. The successful candidate will have demonstrated skills and experience in all aspects of project cycle management and results-based approaches, and will be adept at facilitating learning with Misean Cara’s members and their project teams in the Southern Africa region, particularly in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Full role description is available from

To apply, send your CV and a brief cover letter by email to by 5th July 2020


Misean Cara is a faith-based NGO of Irish religious and lay missionary organisations. Our movement is made up of 89 member organisations working in over 50 countries. Our current Strategy 2017-2021 sets out key goals in the four thematic areas of education, health (including clean water & sanitation), sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. Misean Cara typically supports 250-300 projects each year, with a fund of €15.5m. During 2019, we approved funding of €2.8million to projects in the 4 countries of primary focus for the Southern Africa mentorship programme, namely South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. For further information see:

Mentorship Role Description
  1. Role context

As a member of the Learning and Development team, the mentor reports primarily to Misean Cara’s Learning and Development Manager, who is based in Ireland. In addition, the mentor will report to the assigned line manager within the host organisation. Details of a locally-based host organisation, contracted by Misean Cara to host, manage and support the mentorship programme, will be confirmed during the recruitment process.

This role will be based in Pretoria, South Africa or Lusaka, Zambia.

Misean Cara has four mentors based in Africa and Latin America. Each mentor is assigned to a specific region and is available to support members and their project teams in a number of countries. The following 4 countries will be the primary focus for the Southern Africa mentor:

  • South Africa
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Malawi

Some support may also be requested (usually remotely) from members/ project teams in other countries within the Southern Africa region.

2. Purpose

Mentorship support focuses on enhancing the existing professional expertise and systems of member organisations and their project teams. Mentors accompany project personnel in their journey to plan, implement, reflect and report on their development projects. This takes account of current good practice and emerging learning within the development sector, while also remaining rooted in strengths of the missionary approach to development[1]. The purpose of the role will be driven by Misean Cara’s strategic objectives to assist member organisations and their partners in delivering and demonstrating high quality development work. This will involve a commitment to integrate into the role, the Misean Cara values of respect, integrity, compassion, justice and commitment.

3. Primary Responsibilities.

Always taking the accompaniment-style mentorship approach, the mentor works through on-site visits to project teams, with follow-up via email, telephone and Skype, and by facilitating workshops and member meetings. The primary responsibilities of the role are set out as follows, taking cognizance of the expected results to be achieved (as set out in the next section):

3.1 Capacity Development: To build the capacity of personnel delivering development projects funded by Misean Cara, by following the four step approach of the Capacity Development Policy. In particular to assist Misean Cara members and project personnel to understand and implement the Project Cycle Management (PCM) and results-focused approaches.

The Capacity Development element is expected to account for about 80% of the Mentor’s activity, with the remaining 20% divided among the following three elements.

3.2 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL): To support Misean Cara’s monitoring and evaluation programmes (including in countries where the mentor is not providing mentorship support); to assist with project report reviewing tasks; and to promote learning/ sharing of good practice and innovation.

3.3 Networking and Linkages: To encourage and facilitate networking among members and their partners in order to facilitate communication across Misean Cara’s membership. Further, to support members to develop links with other relevant stakeholders taking account of the wider institutional and policy context.

3.4 Communications: To assist Misean Cara in collecting material about successful projects in order to communicate the results achieved to the public through various media.

4. Result areas (key outcomes)

Given that the work on Capacity Development is the Mentor’s primary area of responsibility, this section sets out in more detail the specific activities to be undertaken in each of five related results areas.

4.1 Enhancing quality: support with planning, proposals and Misean Cara Quality Support Initiative 4.2 Enhancing quality: support with implementation and monitoring by members 4.3 Demonstrating Results: support with reporting on Misean Cara-funded projects 4.4 Reinforcing Sustainability: support with broader organisational strengthening 4.5 Reinforcing Sustainability: support with coherence to external institutional frameworks Person Specification

Essential skills and attributes:

1. A degree-level qualification or equivalent in a relevant development discipline;

2. At least five years’ experience in the development sector, preferably in the Southern Africa region;

3. An understanding of development issues across the region, particularly in countries of primary focus

4. Demonstrable experience in management of development projects using results-based frameworks, and promoting the engagement and participation of people/beneficiaries;

5. Knowledge and experience of the monitoring and evaluation of development projects;

6. Knowledge and experience of capacity development in the context of participatory development projects;

7. An affinity with, and respect for, the approach to development work taken by missionary organisations;

8. A high degree of self-sufficiency and initiative (self-starter), and the ability to innovate;

9. Ability to report in a timely manner on monthly mentorship deliverables;

10. The ability to work well as part of a remote team;

11. Excellent interpersonal relationship management and communication skills;

12. Excellent English language skills (writing, reading, listening, and speaking); and

13. A willingness to travel to and work in marginalised, isolated and less developed areas across a range of countries.

Desirable skills and attributes:

14. A masters-level qualification or equivalent in a relevant discipline;

15. Experience working in a capacity-development role with grassroots organisations;

16. Demonstrable knowledge of the role of the church or other faith-based organisations in international development; and

17. While not essential, competence in written and spoken languages of the region, such as Portuguese, French and widely spoken local languages, would be advantageous.


At application stage, all candidates must have the right to live and work in either South Africa or Zambia.

References and vetting will be undertaken as part of the selection process.

An attractive salary and terms will be offered, dependent upon experience. Travel and medical insurance will also be provided.

This post is offered on a 2-year contract basis. An initial probationary period may apply.

Mentors will be expected to fully participate in regular Misean Cara meetings once or twice each month via zoom/ skype. Mentors in all regions meet face-to-face twice each year, along with Misean Cara staff.

As noted earlier, the role will be based in South Africa or Zambia. Details of a locally-based host organisation, which will be contracted by Misean Cara to host, manage and support the mentorship programme, will be confirmed during the recruitment process.

How to Apply

Email to receive a copy of the full role description.

All applications including CVs must be entirely in English. Interviews will be conducted in English.

All applications must be made by email to:

Put Mentor Applicationin the title of your email.

Send your CV and a brief cover letter as email attachments. The cover letter should (a) explain your motivation, and (b) summarise your relevant experience and skills, in no more than 400 words.

The following timeline is envisaged for this recruitment process:

  • Closing date for emailed applications: 5th July 2020
  • First round interviews, via Zoom/Skype: Monday 13th and/or Tuesday 14th July 2020
  • Second round interviews, via Zoom/Skype: Friday 17th July 2020

[1] For more on the missionary approach to development see:

About the Organization

Misean Cara is an international and Irish faith-based missionary movement working with some of the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in developing countries. We are working to realise their human rights through delivery of basic services in the areas of education, health, livelihoods and income generation, as well as advocacy, networking and community mobilisation.

More information

Mentor role description (Southern Africa) - June2020 - FINAL.pdf

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