Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Job Title: Senior Project Officer (Accountability & Learning)
Reports to: Strategic Learning Lead
Department: Program Quality (MEAL)
Salary Grade: 8
Country / Location: Kenya / Nairobi (REF:2019/084)
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.
Background: CRS is leading a consortium of international non-governmental organizations, local implementing partners and international/ national research institutions to implement a five-year USAID Office of Food for Peace (FFP) Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) called Mfumo Imara Lishe Endelevu (MILE).
The overarching goal of this multi-sectoral activity is to sustainably reduce levels of acute malnutrition in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), focusing on Isiolo and Marsabit counties.
The activity will be implemented in two phases:
- Phase I (1.5-2 years) Research, test approaches and collaboratively design a context-sensitive, multi-sectoral activity that sustainably reduces acute malnutrition
- Phase II (3- 3.5 years): Activity Implementation and System and Institutional Strengthening
Job Summary: The Senior Project Officer (SPO) – Accountability and Learning, will support the Strategic Learning Lead (SLL) to develop and nurture a responsive learning culture across MILE, on an on-going basis, to foster timely program adaptation and strengthened results and outcomes at all levels.
S/he will also support the implementation of various accountability and learning guidelines, processes and systems for MILE, in line with CRS program quality principles and standards, donor guidelines, and industry best practices, to advance the delivery of high-quality programming to the poor and vulnerable.
S/he will work closely with the SLL to establish and actively support related processes, systems and products (especially at County levels), to help institutionalize the effective use of emerging data, information and knowledge products (evidence), to ensure that MILE delivers responsive, well informed and high-quality programming, and continuously works to improve the impact of its programming through effective, adaptive and innovative approaches to maximize the benefit to intended beneficiaries.
Roles and Key Responsibilities:
- Play a significant supporting role to establish and nurture a culture of learning across MILE actors and initiatives, especially at County levels, to help strengthen the consortium’s evidence base, responsiveness and adaptation on a sustained basis, under SLL guidance.
- In collaboration with the Strategic Learning Lead, facilitate MILE staff/ actor reflection and learning sessions (including after-action reviews, learning to action discussions, quarterly reflection sessions etc.) and learning events, for critical reflection and the documentation of achievements, challenges, good practice and lessons learned, and supporting key actors to lead and facilitate the same.
- Contribute to quality Accountability and Learning system design, budgeting and implementation, including the management of tools and methods appropriate to the scope, context, and technical requirements of MILE initiatives. Review related developments in line with donor and CRS guidance.
- Help ensure MILE actor compliance with agency and donor Accountability and Learning requirements, guided by the MILE Learning Strategy/ Agenda and the agreed MEAL Detailed Implementation Plan activities, in close liaison with project leadership.
- Provide guidance to develop, implement and support effective mechanisms for collecting and responding to feedback from communities and other project participants.
- Provide leadership, guidance, and support to MILE staff to review and refine accountability and learning practices on a periodic basis, to address gaps and challenges that arise.
- Develop, oversee and support the implementation of systems and guidelines for the documentation and dissemination of field-based perspectives and emerging findings, to foster project learning.
- Work with colleagues to ensure quality data gathering, input and management, qualitative and quantitative analysis, critical reflection and the ongoing use of MEAL data results, through appropriate management and active support to agreed processes and mechanisms.
- Support the Strategic Learning Lead to implement an effective MILE learning agenda. Includes supporting the incorporation of emerging MILE and related learning (from both research and practice) into on-going processes, practices, decision-making and planning, as appropriate.
- Foster respectful relationships and dialogue regarding ongoing project interventions, learning and results, with community members and stakeholders at all levels.
- Build the capacity of MILE, government and partner organization staff in accountability and learning to address their job requirements, including raising awareness and supporting on CRS accountability and learning policies and procedures and Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) standards.
- Advance the use of Information and Communication Technology for Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning (ICT4MEAL) within MILE, by working closely with the ICT4MEAL officer to design and effectively use new and existing information and knowledge systems to foster the delivery of quality services.
- Remain flexible and open to taking on new responsibilities as MILE unfolds and progresses, especially as requested and guided by the Strategic Learning Lead.
- Bachelor’s degree in the Social Sciences; Demography, Sociology, Statistics or another MEAL-related field. Master’s degree is a plus. Additional education may substitute for some experience.
- At least 4 years of Participatory Development or Adult Education experience.
- Minimum of 4 years of relevant work experience focused on accountability and learning, ideally with an international NGO working with county governments.
- Significant professional training and experience on accountability, protection and learning/ adult learning.
- Significant supervisory experience.
- Significant capacity development experience and achievements.
- Experience setting up and implementing accountability and learning systems.
- Experience in participatory/ action planning, community engagement or similar.
- Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information management systems, knowledge-sharing networks.
- Demonstrates solid knowledge and ability, and can apply MEAL in Design, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, Learning, Analysis and critical thinking, ICT4MEAL and MEAL in management competencies, with minimal or no guidance, in the full range of typical situations. Would require guidance to handle novel or more complex situations.
Required Languages: Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
Travel Required: Must be willing to travel up to 50% of time to Isiolo and Marsabit
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Strong team player, with significant experience working in collaboration with diverse stakeholders.
- Observation, active listening and analysis skills, with proven ability to make sound judgment.
- Strong inter-personal communication and relationship management skills, seen in the ability to work closely with local partners, county governments and community members among others.
- Attention to details, accuracy and timeliness in executing assigned responsibilities.
- Strong critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
- Demonstrable commitment to self and team learning and capacity development.
- Ability to take initiative; proactive, results-oriented and service-oriented.
- Proven leadership skills and competencies.
- Strong facilitation, presentation, training, support and mentoring skills, especially in multi-stakeholder contexts.
- Proven ability to multi-task and meet deadlines.
- Strong narrative reporting skills.
- Ability to adapt, prioritize and remain responsive to unfolding circumstances and needs.
- Experience designing, implementing and supporting accountability and learning systems for county governments is an added advantage.
- Experience and skills in partner relationship management and development project support.
- Experience using data analysis software (e.g. SPSS, STATA, EpiInfo, Nutrisurvey).
- Experience using mobile-data collection and management software (e.g. ODK, Commcare, Iform builder, Kobo).
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.
- Continuous Improvement & Innovation
- Builds Relationships
- Develops Talent
- Strategic Mindset
- Accountability & Stewardship
Oversees work of two-MILE Project Officers (A&L). Close liaison with Senior Project Officer (ICT4MEAL)
Key Working Relationships:
- Internal: Strategic Learning Lead, Other MILE MEAL and technical staff
- External: Community members, partner staff, county government staff, other local stakeholders, MEAL staff from other peer agencies.
Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.
Written applications indicating the reference number of position applied for and CV including day-time contact phone numbers, as well as names and contact information of three references should reach the below-mentioned by Close of Business Wednesday October 9, 2019.
Human Resources Manager
Catholic Relief Services – Kenya/Somalia Program
Note: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) does not charge any fees from applicants for any recruitment. Further, CRS has not retained any agent in connection with this recruitment
CRS’ recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation
CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer