Program Director - Urban Resilience, Sierra Leone

Catholic Relief Services
  • Location
    Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Mar 12

Position description

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.


CRS/ Sierra Leone and Program Background

Catholic Relief Service (CRS) launched its work in Sierra Leone in 1963 supporting relief and development operations in the country. CRS Sierra Leone has proudly maintained a strong reputation and relationship with partners and the communities we serve in the country implementing a multi-sector program portfolio. Today, the Country Program has a robust portfolio built around several major programs in Health, Agriculture, Nutrition, Education and Urban Resilience. CRS Sierra Leone has its main office in Freetown and northern region field office in Kabala. CRS has been implementing a Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) Project in Freetown and the Western Area Peninsula of Sierra Leone since April 2019. This is expected to develop and launch the Freetown Water Fund, a major multi-stakeholder initiative that will address water security problems in the city of Freetown. CRS implemented the START Fund emergency response to flooding in Freetown between July and September 2019. CRS is also leading a consortium of INGOs to support the Freetown City Council (FCC) to roll out a comprehensive slum regeneration program. CRS is closely collaborating with the FCC to implement a DFID-funded solid waste management project. CRS is also pursuing other urban resilience opportunities.


Job Summary:

You will manage and provide technical oversight of the development and implementation of the Country Program (CP) urban resilience programming,particularly for large and complex projects, ensuring effective systems and processes are in place that support high-quality program design and implementation advancing Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) work in serving the poor and vulnerable. Your technical and management skills and knowledge will ensure that the CP delivers high-quality programming and continuously works towards improving the impact of its urban resilience programming. This role will oversee program development and implementation in several urban resilience subsectors including waste management, slum regeneration and relocation, water security, sanitation and hygiene promotion, and disaster risk reduction. 


Roles and Key Responsibilities:

  •  Provide management, guidance, and technical oversight of all new and existing projects within the CP urban resilience throughout the project cycle to ensure project design, start-up, implementation and close-out are in line with CRS quality principles and standards, donor guidelines, and industry best practices.
  •  Effectively manage talent for urban resilience and supervise. Manage team dynamics and staff well-being. Provide coaching, strategically tailor individual development plans, and complete performance management for direct reports.
  •  Lead the development of program learning - identify opportunities for learning, research and publications in the area of urban resilience and implementation of MEAL policy. Facilitate the dissemination of promising practices and lessons learned to contribute to the agency knowledge management agenda. Ensure integration of innovations and best practices.
  •  Contribute to the proactive pursuit of opportunities for new funding to ensure growth of the CP urban resilience sector portfolio in line with agency, regional, and CP urban resilience strategic priorities. Serve as the technical lead and technical writer to ensure quality proposals in urban resilience per agency and donor standards. Contribute to budgeting and staffing plans and activities for proposals.
  •  Lead activities related to disaster risk reduction and ensure integration with emergency response and resilience programming 
  •  Lead the establishment of a Water Fund in Freetown by liaising with lead technical partner The Nature Conservancy to ensure that a robust business case is established, key stakeholders are convened, and donors contribute to the Water Fund
  •  Oversee the slum regeneration consortium led by CRS in partnership with AAH, GOAL, Concern Worldwide and CARE International. Support coordination of the consortium, donor engagement, and program development activities.
  •  Represent CRS at all platforms related to urban resilience with government, private sector and civil society engagement
  •  Produce and review documentation related to urban resilience to facilitate growth and investment in high-quality interventions to transform Freetown and other urban areas in Sierra Leone
  •  Oversee technical assistance and capacity strengthening activities in urban resilience for staff and partner organizations to enhance program quality and impact.
  •  Support the use of MEAL tools and practices in program development and implementation to ensure that projects activities, outputs and outcomes comply with the objectives and expected outputs/outcomes on an ongoing basis
  •  Oversee the identification, assessment and strengthening of partnerships relevant to urban resilience and the appropriate application of partnership concepts, tools and approaches.
  •  Ensure timely and appropriate project expenditures in line with financial plans and efficient use and stewardship of project material sources.


Basic Qualifications

  •  Master's Degree in International Development, International Relations or in the field of urban resilience required. Additional experience may substitute for some education.
  •  Minimum of 7 years' experience in relevant field-based project management experience required, with preferably at least 5 years working in the area of urban resilience
  •  Direct experience managing initiatives, programs and projects related to slum regeneration, waste management, DRR, WASH and water security
  •  Experience in managing moderately complex projects preferably with an international NGO.
  •  Experience in driving and delivering high-profile urban resilience initiatives with multiple stakeholder engagement and facilitation of investment


Required Languages -- English -- excellent spoken and written


Travel - Must be willing and able to travel up to 30% to project locations. Some international travel may be required.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  •  Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, with ability to make sound judgment and decisions and offer innovative solutions
  •  Strong relations management abilities. Ability to relate to people at all levels internally and externally. Strategic in how you approach each relationship.
  •  Good presentation and facilitation skills
  •  Proactive, resourceful, solutions-oriented and results-oriented


Preferred Qualifications

  •  Good experience in project grants management, including project design, preferably for grants from multiple public donors, including USAID.
  •  Demonstrated ability to write high quality technical proposals.
  •  Experience engaging with partner organizations
  •  MEAL skills and experience required.
  •  Staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment.
  •  Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information management systems.


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

Application instructions

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