Position Title: Head of Programming, Benin & Togo
Country/Location: Cotonou, Benin
Region: Central Africa (Benin & Togo)
Reports To: Country Representative
Length of Assignment: Three to five years
CRS is a leading international relief and development agency with over 70 years of experience and programs in over 100 countries. CRS is committed to addressing root causes of poverty regardless of race, religion or creed and ensures our values inform our approach to programs, operations and human resource management. CRS is always looking for dedicated professionals who are values led and results driven. **
CRS has been working in Benin & Togo since 1958, with the main office in the capital Cotonou and project offices in Kandi, Parakou, Dassa and outreach office in Lomé, Togo.
Programming focuses on development, particularly in health, agricultural livelihoods and education. Current programming includes malaria response and prevention, health micro-insurance, integrated nutrition, promotion of the cashew value-chain, and integrated education with literacy, WASH and school feeding. CRS also provides technical and institutional support to the local Caritas network and other local partners. In FY 2016, total program value was nearly $10 million USD via funding from Global Fund, USDA, USAID, GiZ and CRS private funds, and touched more than 1.2 million direct beneficiaries.
CRS is seeking a Head of Programming (HoP) to strategically integrate multiple sectors for greater impact, and grow the country program to serve a greater number of people in Benin & Togo.
The Head of Programming is responsible for leading the Benin & Togo programming team and effectively supporting a team of program managers based in field offices throughout the country. He/she continually seeks out ways to build the capacity of the programming team to effectively manage and implement projects. The HOP ensures the technical quality of all CRS Benin & Togo projects, including adherence to CRS Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) policies and procedures. He/she guides the strategic programming direction of the CP, in line with CP, regional and agency strategies, and oversees the design of new projects to support this strategic direction. In coordination with the CR, the HOP builds and sustains strong donor relationships. The HOP is part of the Benin & Togo Senior Management Team, together with the CR, Head of Operations, Finance Manager and Heads of Office; and actively participates in strategic and management decisions and representational activities. While based in Cotonou, s/he will travel up to 40% of the time to other parts of Benin & Togo in order to provide technical support to CRS program teams and partners. Benin & Togo is a dynamic operating environment and requires persistence, creativity, and political acumen to navigate bureaucratic obstacles, competition for donor resources, and government relationships.
• Provide visionary leadership and creative program guidance to the programming team and staff by applying critical, innovative, problem-solving and forward-looking thinking and planning to program design and implementation of high-quality programs in line with CRS Program Quality principles and guidelines contained in ProPacks I and II.
• Ensure CRS Benin & Togo programming aligns with the country’s Strategic Vision and the agency strategy.
• Nurture a work environment that emphasizes the importance of learning, productivity, accountability, openness about challenges, and adjustment to new information and new realities.
• Participate as a member of the senior management team.
• Support the development of project budgets for the Annual Program Plan (APP) and review these budgets for quality and accuracy.
• Support the CR to target and diversify funding sources for the country program (e.g., private sector, non-traditional donors), and ensure all program staff members assume their respective business development responsibilities as per the integrated BD cycle.
• Support the programming team’s development of high-quality, responsive and evidence-based concept notes and proposals for funding. Rigorously review these concept notes and proposals prior to submission, and follow guidelines in Benin & Togo Proposal Review and Approval Procedures
• Position CRS for future donor resources by initiating assessments or studies and strategically utilizing CRS private allocation resources, and by leading public learning events to showcase CRS’ high-quality and impactful programming.
• Support the development of marketing and communication materials related to CRS/Benin & Togo programming and review these materials before publication.
• Ensure efficient and participative project startup including all relevant stakeholders (staffs and partners) in DIP, SMILER, etc.
• Ensure that CRS projects and programs reflect and adhere to agency core competencies, particularly adherence to Project Springboard standards and MEAL policies.
• Participate and assist staff in preparing training/workshops for CRS, counterpart and partner staff.
• Ensure that all projects are managed to budget and achieve the planned results on time.
• Seek out and coordinate technical assistance from the region and HQ to support CRS Benin & Togo programming.
• Coordinate with the Head of Operations (HoOps) to ensure appropriate processing of project Technical Agreements with the government and donors.
• Ensure compliance with CRS and donor policies related to project management.
• Promote the use of ProPack I for project design and PMDPro tools and ProPack II for project management.
• Maintain strong partner relations and engage in the identification of new potential partners (including universities, research institutes and private sector to promote Cross Sector Engagement, where appropriate) with whom CRS has a shared vision and strategy.
• Build CRS staff capacity in partnership, in line with the global Strength in Solidarity project. Ensure that all program staff and key partner staff are aware of CRS partnership principles.
• In collaboration with the HoOps, support the institutional strengthening of all CRS/Benin & Togo implementing partners through regular interaction, mentoring, and monitoring.
• In collaboration with the HoOps, support effective, appropriate partner assessments, corrective action plans and follow-up in line with Sub-Recipient Agreement policy.
Coaching and Supervision
• Oversight of PQ in general with direct supervision of MEAL Coordinator, Partnership PM, Health Coordinator, Food for Education Project Director, BeninCajù Production Lead, Gender Focal Point and technical, dotted line supervision of the DHoP based in Togo.
• Work with program staff to develop and implement progressive but realistic staff development plans and annual performance plans using the CRS Performance Management System that are in line with country and agency strategic priorities.
• Provide necessary and timely feedback to all staff being directly managed; ensure program managers follow the same process for performance management of their direct reports. Champion effective and regular coaching of staff.
• Create a supervisory environment focused on achievement of results and embodiment of CRS values-based behaviors, in which constructive feedback is welcomed and appropriately provided and a team environment prevails.
• Build the capacity of programming staff in key project management principles, tools and approaches and ensure that these new skills are utilized on the job.
• Ensure the development of high-performing national program staff to assume greater levels of responsibility.
• Establish an annual internal training calendar for program staff; ensure that external training opportunities are fairly assigned to program staff and that training opportunities are maximized for the benefit of the programming team.
• Communicate and liaise effectively with field offices as needed to ensure effective program implementation.
• Assist staff to maintain healthy relationships with government institutions and cooperating organizations through regular contacts, visits and fulfillment of program requirements.
• Make recommendations for revising procedures as necessary in order to improve information flow, services, and to address justice in the workplace issues.
• Ensure CRS is professionally and consistently represented at relevant interagency, sector coordination, donor, government, interagency, and network meetings.
• Maintain good donor relationships through frequent contact and fulfillment of donor requirements.
• Assist in strengthening local relationships, including with the local partners, peer INGOs, the UN and civil authorities.
• As an integral part of the CRS Benin & Togo Senior Management Team, ensure all other senior team members are well informed of all program highlights and challenges in a timely manner.
• Any other duties as required to meet overall position objectives as listed in the position overview.
Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)
These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.
• Serves with Integrity
• Models Stewardship
• Cultivates Constructive Relationships
• Promotes Learning
These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff working in emergencies to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.
• Communicates strategically under pressure
• Manages stress and complexity
• Actively promotes safety and security
• Manages and implements high-quality emergency programs
Head of Programming Competencies
These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each head or programs to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.
• Builds and leads effective teams
• Supervises and develops staff
• Focuses on quality
• Leads growth in programs
MEAL Coordinator, Partnership PM, Health Coordinator, Food for Education Project Director, BeninCajù Production Lead, Gender Focal Point
Key Working Relationships:
Internal: CR, HoOPs, DHoP for Togo, Finance Manager, DRD Program Quality and PIQA technical staff.
External: Local government and line ministries, local and international NGOs, UN agencies, partners; donors; affected communities; universities.
• Master’s Degree in related field required.
• Must have a minimum of five years program management experience with an international NGO.
• Demonstrated knowledge of CRS program quality standards, guiding principles, and approach. Previous experience as a Head of Programs preferred.
• Extensive experience in development settings.
• Demonstrated ability to mobilize teams and lead strategic initiatives.
• Ability to build capacity, lead and mentor, effectively supervise and develop strong working relationships with senior national staff.
• Ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a multi-cultural environment.
• Demonstrated ability to work in partnership with local communities and NGOs as appropriate.
• Ability to represent CRS at high level coordination meetings with donors, local government, UN, and other international NGOs.
• Proven ability to develop successful proposals for a variety of donors.
• Proven ability to manage projects to completion on time, within budget, and with the required results.
• Familiarity with ICT4D a plus.
• Excellent analytical, management, communication and negotiation skills.
• Ready to spend 30% of his/her time in the field.
• Must be able to prioritize multiple work demands and work effectively and efficiently with minimal supervision.
• Advanced computer literacy including proficiency in Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, etc.).
The position is based in Cotonou approximately 1 km from the coast and 20 minutes from a swimmable beach. The office and most staff housing is located in a walkable neighborhood with all amenities including restaurants, grocery stores, schools (French, British and American), golf and tennis. Transit time to the office is approximately 5 to 10 minutes. National and international travel is required - up to 30%; includes attendance at internal and external conferences and workshops, when requested. Travel within Benin & Togo includes areas with limited amenities.
Foreign Language Required:
Excellent English and French language oral and written communication skills required.
Disclaimer: 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.