Catholic Relief Services Seeks Senior Technical Advisor –Orphans & Vulnerable Children

Catholic Relief Services seeks a Senior Technical Advisor—Orphans & Vulnerable Children to work as part of Central Africa Regional Office and Program Impact and Quality Assurance.

Job Summary:

The primary role of the Senior Technical Advisor (STA) for HIV Orphans and Vulnerable Children is to provide technical assistance to CRS’ orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) programming with particular emphasis on supporting OVC programs in Central Africa (countries include Benin, Togo, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Rwanda). The STA will ensure technical excellence through contributions made to project proposal development, project implementation and monitoring and evaluation. The STA will lead the development and implementation of learning agendas, support learning exchanges, tool development and relevant strategic initiatives. The STA will build the capacity of staff and partners as well as to promote growth with a particular focus on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) OVC programs. With PEPFAR OVC programming’s common focus on positive parenting, case management, referrals and HIV service linkages as well as social service system strengthening, the STA will liaise closely with technical advisors from other sectors to ensure seamless quality programming. Finally, the STA will ensure that organizational know-how, information, and experiences in vulnerable children programming are shared within and outside the Agency.

Job Responsibilities:

Promote agency growth in OVC programs, particularly within CRS’ Central African Regional countries

  • Support CRS country programs in pre-positioning for imminent funding opportunities, particularly PEPFAR OVC programs, by providing guidance and hands-on support in conducting assessments, advising on partnerships and strategies and drafting proposal outlines of technical content.
  • Provide technical assistance for proposal development including attendance and leadership at project design workshops; review project idea notes, concept papers and proposals.
  • Take on a technical writing role for certain portions of grant proposal submissions.
  • Liaise with technical advisors from other relevant disciplines and the CRS Business Development Team to ensure seamless and comprehensive support to country programs and regions as concerns growth opportunities.

Support project implementation, monitoring and evaluation through promotion of sound and evidence-based practices, capacity strengthening, and implementation research particularly within CRS’ Central African Regional countries.

  • Stay abreast of state-of-the-art developments in quality and innovations related to OVC programming and systematically share relevant information as appropriate.
  • Conduct site visits and/or provide virtual support to projects on technical issues related to OVC programs particularly areas related to positive parenting, case management, social service system strengthening, including workforce development, amongst other OVC programming areas.
  • Actively participate in the recruitment of country program staff with OVC programming responsibilities.
  • Mentor country program technical staff.
  • Identify and inform country programs of opportunities to share CRS experiences and contribute to the knowledge/evidence base.
  • Support OVC project implementation through communications with project staff, site visits and training workshops as necessary.
  • Support the monitoring and evaluation efforts of OVC projects by conducting on-site monitoring during field visits or participating in monitoring and evaluation teams.
  • Lead the development, validation and dissemination tools to support OVC programming, particularly with regard to case management, positive parenting, caregiver group curriculum, etc.
  • Develop training strategy for sectoral capacity building.
  • Conduct training workshops within the CARO region and elsewhere on issues pertaining to OVC programs, especially case management and positive parenting.
  • Identify learning agenda questions and promote learning agenda research.
  • Where support resources do not exist, research and conduct joint problem solving sessions to address challenges and provide support to country programs; develop technical guidance on relevant subjects.
  • Reviews OVC Program Reports regularly and follows up with support as necessary with a focus on programs within the Central African Region.

Represent CRS internally and externally

  • Actively engage as a member of a vulnerable children team within PIQA.
  •  Provide leadership for a CRS OVC Community of Practice to ensure that CRS OVC staff have a forum to share experiences and learn from each other.
  • Serve as the OVC-point person within CARO staying abreast of developments within the region’s OVC portfolio, coordinating with PIQA colleagues for technical assistance and representing OVC programming at CARO regional events.
  • Represent CRS to relevant organizations and institutions and participate in relevant advisory committees.
  • Interact with international organizations to build relationships between the Health and Social Services Unit and other organizations to share experiences, increase learning and raise the visibility of CRS’ programs among key actors.
  • Lead relevant working groups on issues relevant to OVC programs.
  • Collaborate with relevant international development, donor and research institutions through relationship building, information sharing, and representation.
  • Coordinate with CRS’ Advocacy, Publications, US Operations and other Departments on issues that concern OVC.

Agency wide Competencies:

  • Serves with Integrity
  • Models Stewardship
  • Develops Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning

Key Working Relationships:

Internal: Central African Regional Office, Program Impact and Quality Assurance Department, Business Development Team, Advocacy, Country Program staff, US Operations and other relevant departments in headquarters as necessary.

External: Social service workforce experts, parenting experts, early childhood development experts, donor representatives, vulnerable children and child protection networks, CRS partner organizations, social protection, other international development organizations, host country ministries dedicated to social welfare/service and/or public health.

Training, Experience and Skills:

  • Advanced degree in either social work, public health or a related field.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in international development programs for vulnerable children in either emergency or development contexts, preferably in Africa.
  • Preferred area of expertise in programming for children infected or affected by HIV, positive parenting interventions, early childhood development, and/or HIV service delivery.
  • Experience working with and/or managing PEPFAR OVC projects.
  • Understanding of PEPFAR OVC programming priorities, strategies and monitoring and evaluation tools and systems.
  • Track record of designing and writing successful funding proposals in public health or areas related to vulnerable children programming.
  • Technical expertise in principals, theories, concepts and techniques in the area of vulnerable children programming, including knowledge of and ability to integrate across related disciplines.
  • Knowledgeable of vulnerable children programming professionals and resources both within and outside of CRS (such as within academia, UN agencies or donor agencies).
  • Ability to build strong working relationships with colleagues at headquarters, regional office and country programs.
  • Ability to work independently and on a team.
  • Ability to manage conflict and move groups toward consensus.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent computer skills, specifically in MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Full professional proficiency in French.

Travel requirements:

The position may be based in CRS’ Global headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, USA or elsewhere. The position will require up to 40% travel, primarily within Africa, and especially to Central African countries (with additional trips to Baltimore, if based outside of CRS’ headquarters).

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skills, effort, duties and responsibilities associated with this position.

Equal Opportunity Employer