Strategic Development Specialist

  • Entry-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 30 December 2018

Job Description

Job Title: Strategic Development Specialist (SDS), Business Development Specialist I

Department: Mekong Sub-region

Reports To: Regional Manager, Strategy and Growth (RMSG)

Country/Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

About CRS:

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.

Job Summary:

The Strategic Development Specialist (SDS) will contribute to the acquisition of funding through engagement with country government actors, institutional donors, and non-traditional donors. The SDS will provide direct support to the RMSG throughout ongoing donor engagement initiatives, helping to develop processes and tools, and independently managing tasks, processes and/or components. The SDS will support the development of concept papers and strategic positioning and capacity development specifically for multi-national banks and bi-lateral organizations. The SDS will also provide general business development back-support for other strategic positioning as needed. It is expected that the SDS will split his/her work between focused donor engagement and general BD priorities in equal amounts over the course of the assignment, though month by month work demands will vary.

Job Responsibilities:

  • As assigned, work with RMSG and partner counterparts to develop project concept papers and supplemental components.
  • Conduct in depth research and analysis of existing sectoral strategies and portfolios for relevant governments and donors, including the development of mapping and strategic guidance documents.
  • Research new opportunities and CRS’ competitive position within the marketplace, identifying partner/client needs and support the development of CRS solutions and services in response.
  • Contribute to proposal development processes to ensure timely submission of high-quality proposals that are responsive to donor requirements, applicable regulations, and CRS’ technical and cost standards.
  • Contribute to non-technical writing on proposals and positioning documents, as well as contribute to proposal review panels. Integrate inputs from staff and partners into a responsive, coherent proposal and documentation as well as creating initial drafts of concept documentation sections for design components led by CRS.
  • Direct support to Mekong sub-region country programs in strategic intelligence gathering, analysis and support activities in line with identified business development strategies.
  • Other applicable support activities as may be needed for the Mekong sub-region.
  • Create standardized business development tools, templates and methodologies and assist in the documentation of processes, tactics and tools throughout the process to guide future efforts.

Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in international development, international relations, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum three years of international development experience, with at least two years’ experience in a developing country.
  • Very strong writer with expert command of English grammar with consistent, logical organizational approaches to writing formation.
  • Demonstrated experience with competitive proposals in programming contexts similar to CRS.
  • Ability to conduct consultancy equivalent support with adherence to partner priorities and needs as well as deliverable-based performance. Direct experience in deliverable-based contract/consultancy work an asset.
  • Experience in donor mapping, and knowledge of donor and government trends particularly in Southeast Asia.
  • Experience in Cambodia and/or Southeast Asia region with international donor community, public and/or civil society organizations an asset.
  • Knowledge of CRS programs, justice agenda and Catholic Social Teaching principles a plus.
  • Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information management systems.

Personal Skills

  • Good strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture and conduct strategic analysis.
  • Good relations management abilities. Ability to relate to people at all levels internally and externally.
  • Capacity to consult, coordinate and work with national level Asian government and donor counterparts in a supporting role.
  • Good negotiation skills.
  • Very good communications and presentation skills.
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions-oriented and results-oriented.

Required/Desired Foreign Language

  • English fluency a requirement.
  • Strong language skills or fluency in Khmer, Lao, Thai, Burmese or Vietnamese are highly valued though not required.

Travel Required (include percentage of required travel, if applicable)

  • Frequent travel of 50% may be expected, though additional travel may be required based on donor/opportunity requirements.

Key Working Relationships:


  • Sub-Regional Country Representative, Sub-Regional Head of Programs
  • Country Representatives/Managers and Country Teams for Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam
  • Asia Region Technical Advisors and CRS Senior Technical Advisors as needed.


  • Selected relationships with regional international partners.
  • Selected relationships with donors or co-financing entities.
  • Selected relationships with governments of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

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.

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship

NOTE: Applications will be accepted until this 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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