Job Title: Project Director - RECOLTE, Burkina Faso
Region/Location: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (West Africa Region)
Position Type: Full-Time
Reports To: Head of Programming
Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an international non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 99 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs.
CRS began working in Burkina Faso in 1960 in humanitarian relief. Today, Key program areas include Agriculture, Education, Nutrition, Savings-Led Microfinance and Emergency interventions. Major programs include the $55 million, eight-year USAID/FFP-funded FASO Program (2010-2018) with nutrition, agriculture, group savings & lending and WASH, the $22 million four-year (2014-2018) USDA/McGovern Dole-funded Beoog Biiga program with school feeding, school health and nutrition and improving the quality of literacy instruction, and the $12 million five-year (2013-2018) USDA/Food for Progress-funded RECOLTE program, focusing on improving the organic cotton value chain.
CRS seeks a Project Director who will lead the implementation of the last two years of the 5-year Revenue through Cotton Livelihoods, Trade, and Equity (RECOLTE) program in Burkina Faso. This program aims to improve the livelihoods of 10,000 vulnerable smallholder producers, at least 30% women, who cultivate between 1-6 hectares of land, with an average of 0.6 hectares devoted to organic cotton. The Project Director will be responsible for the achievement of strategic objectives, intermediate results, and performance expectations through adherence to high standards of programmatic and management quality.
Due to the important share of the cotton industry in the country economy, the program operates in a politically complex environment with several influential stakeholders at play. RECOLTE program areas or sectors covered are seeds systems, institutional strengthening, increased access to farming implements, organic and Fairtrade certifications, microfinance, international marketing and supply-chain management. The program has introduced the use of IC4D to monitor and assess activities and plans to build a market information system as an add-on application. The construction of a cotton gin dedicated to organic cotton is another important activity, for which a feasibility study is currently underway.
CRS leads program implementation in partnership with the National Union of Burkina Faso Cotton Producers (UNPCB) and Texas A&M - AgriLife Research, and in collaboration with the Institute of Environmental and Agricultural Research (INERA).
The Project Director will provide the vision and overall leadership to the program team. S/he will be responsible for overseeing the overall quality of programmatic implementation (including monitoring, evaluation and learning) and administrative elements of the project, including the coordination with the partners and monitoring the budget. Given the complex political nature of the operating environment in Burkina Faso’s cotton sector, she/he is expected to play an important representational, staying abreast of cotton cluster meetings and building key relationships with influential stakeholders to leverage support and advocate for the project and its participants. S/he will also provide critical technical insight and leadership to coach the board of the cotton farmers’ cooperative to design and implement a comprehensive, bankable and demand-driven international marketing strategy in collaboration with branding and certification agencies. S/he will also serve as the primary point of contact to USDA as well as public, private and non-government stakeholders, and is responsible for ensuring compliance in USDA grants including oversight of partner budgets, finance and administration, and reporting to USDA. S/he will directly supervise the Deputy Project Director/Seed Systems Manager, the MEAL Manager and the Grant Manager.
Specific Job Responsibilities
Leadership and Program Quality:
1) Lead CRS and consortium member program staff and other stakeholders to ensure program’s strategic objectives and results are fully accomplished and meet expected technical quality standards through annual and quarterly activity planning and budget forecasts.
2) Provide a clear vision and plans for an innovative, integrated and comprehensive program in line with CRS agency and country program strategies.
3) Lead regular technical reviews of implementation plans to ensure best practices are integrated and appropriate actions are taken to meet implementation timelines and commitments.
4) In collaboration with program staff, provide guidance and technical oversight to partners and other collaborating agencies to ensure that lessons are documented and disseminated.
5) Ensure program activities and approaches adopt best practices in gender responsiveness, protection, governance, and participant accountability.
6) Oversee the program’s monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning system, using data analysis as the basis for measuring performance. Ensure that MEAL data/results and lessons learned are integrally linked with learning and programmatic adjustment as program plans evolve. Ensure appropriate integration of ICT4D solutions in the MEAL and Market Information Systems.
7) Ensure integration of program interventions with other CRS programs and with USG-funded programs in the geographic target areas, and ensure appropriate linkages are established to foster synergy.
8) Ensure the delivery of quality training, administrative and financial support to partners, and collaborating agencies in line with their capacity assessments.
9) Prepare all progress reports and updates on program activities for USDA, U.S. Embassy, and document lessons learned for CRS, partners and collaborating agencies to increase institutional learning.
Management and Administration:**
1) Ensure staff compliance with all CRS administrative and operational procedures and policies, as well as applicable donor regulations.
2) Approve program expenditures, budget adjustments, and cost-modification requests to donors.
3) Ensure proper management of all cash and commodity resources by developing detailed budget tracking system, authorizing all cash expenditures, carefully analyzing and monitoring spending and commitments, as well as progress toward program goals and budget burn rates.
4) Work with sub recipients and local partners to ensure proper use of program resources by providing timely support and capacity building (including thorough reviews of financial reports, supporting documentation, all contracts and sub-award agreements, etc.).
5) Proactively identify and address potential financial issues and concerns in concert with CRS staff and partners; maintain transparent systems and records.
6) Apply CRS agency standards and procedures, as well as donor requirements and USG regulations appropriately and consistently.
7) Oversee the management of monetization-origin financial resources to ensure the best interest rates are acquired and report on project incomes and secure approval for its use.
8) In line with CRS procedures and donor regulations ensure proper inventory of project materials is maintained up to date at all times.
9) Ensure accurate and timely reporting of program finances and progress status take corrective action to ensure that program expenses match the execution of activity plans and accurate effort reporting.
Management of complementary funding: donation from Columbus Foundation
1) Oversee the planning, implementation and MEAL activities of the Columbus Foundation donation.
2) Review and edit final report plan and realize a promotional video for submission to donor.
3) Authorize all expenses, monitor spending rates on cash budget, and develop transparent systems for tracking, reporting and accounting.
Representation and Communication:**
1) Provide leadership and oversight to the program, ensuring that sub-grantees accomplish their aims and fully meet their assigned scopes of work and sub-award terms, and ensuring all members of the program work cooperatively and productively to achieve project objectives.
2) Visit sub-recipient and other partners as well as field activities at least on a quarterly basis, promote joint field visits with partners and other collaborating agencies.
3) Serve as primary contact to USDA and other local and international stakeholders for the project, taking responsibility for addressing all program matters, collaborating with the CRS Country Representative on overall donor relationships.
4) Represent CRS at external meetings with local and national stakeholders, including traditional authorities, the government, Church, other donors, other national and international NGOs/IGOs, in close collaboration with the CRS Country Representative and Head of Programming.
5) Strengthen linkages with existing and potential partners and collaborating agencies, in collaboration with CRS Country Representative and Head of Programming.
6) In collaboration with CRS Country Representative and Head of Programming, manage relationships with the Government of Burkina Faso.
7) Oversee program communication strategies, in collaboration with CRS Country Representative and Head of Programming, including compliance with donor’s branding and marketing requirements as well as CRS’ marketing and communication procedures.
1) Lead, manage, and supervise a team of CRS and partners and collaborating agencies staff to meet program objectives.
2) Conduct periodic reviews of staff performance in keeping with CRS’ performance management system and mentor staff to ensure high levels of motivation, commitment, capacity, and teamwork.
3) Manage recruitment portfolio for the program, in collaboration with CRS country program management, to ensure optimum service delivery through recruitment of competent and qualified staff.
4) Oversee the management of the relationship with partner organizations, ensure regular communication and organization of review/planning workshops.
5) With program staff, lead the identification of performance gaps and training needs of CRS and partner staff and ensure the design and delivery of high quality training, technical assistance, and administrative and financial support to all partner agencies, including the selection and coordination of consultants.
Scope: Supervises the RECOLTE project team members including the Deputy Senior Program Manager, the MEAL Manager and the Grant Manager.
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.
• Serves with Integrity
• Models Stewardship
• Cultivates Constructive Relationships
• Promotes Learning
Program Manager Competencies:
• Sets clear goals and manages toward them
• Collaborates effectively with staff and stakeholders
• Manages financial resources with integrity
• Applies program quality standards to program design and organizational learning
• Critical thinking
Supervisory Responsibilities:** Both CRS and consortium staff members
Language Requirements: Native or near native English oral and written communication skills, as well as native or near native skills in oral and written French, required.
Key Working Relationships:
Internal: Country Representative, Head of Programming, Head of Operations, CMO Manager, MYAP and FFE CoPs, Finance Manager, Head of Administration, Head of Human Resources, Livelihoods Program Manager, RECOLTE program staff, CRS Regional staff, CRS/HQ/PIQA.
External: All project Partners, Government officials, cotton industry public- and private-sector stakeholders, USDA and Columbus Foundation; organic and fair trade industry experts and certifying bodies, local/international NGOs, and local and international Catholic agencies.
Qualifications and Skills:
• Minimum of a Masters in Development, Management, or a related field;
• Minimum 10 years of progressively increasing management responsibility in developing countries; including:
o previous Chief of Party or Project Director experience, preferably in value chains, food security, economic growth, or related field.
o significant experience specific to livelihoods development in a developing country context, preferably sub-Saharan Africa and/or working with smallholder farmers.
• Minimum 7 years managing commercial value chain programs with established cooperatives, with at least 3 years in the cotton industry;
• Demonstrated knowledge and experience in organic, GOTS, CMIA and FairTrade certification, and global trends;
• Demonstrated experience in implementing and/or facilitating access to financial products for the poor, and working with MFI;
• Demonstrated experience supporting development of business models and operations for farmer cooperatives;
• Demonstrated experience supporting market development in the apparel industry, value-added processing, and facilitating linkages to private sector actors;
• Prior management of significant ($15 million +) USDA or USAID funding required;
• Familiarity with and commitment to addressing gender equality in programming;
• Experience working in francophone Africa required – deep knowledge of the Sahel, and in particular Burkina Faso, preferred;
• Proven leadership and inter-personal skills and ability to build and motivate diverse teams;
• Proven experience in managing complex consortium or partnership relationships in a participatory way required;
• Representational skills required;
• Ability to work well both in a team and independently;
• Understanding of and experience with faith-based organizations, local church structures, and accompaniment and capacity-building principles in local partnerships desired;
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook;
Physical Requirements/Environment: Based in Ouagadougou requiring at least 30% travel time.
Disclaimer Clause: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties and responsibilities associated with the position.
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.