Urban Resilience Program Director

Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

Freetown, Sierra Leone 🇸🇱

Job Title:             Urban Resilience Program Director, Sierra Leone

Job Type:            Regular, Full Time

Job Location:     Freetown, Sierra Leone

Reports to:         Head of Programming

Salary Grade:     11

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.

 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 has led to the development with the Nature Conservancy of 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 has closely collaborated with the FCC to implement an FCDO-funded solid waste management project. CRS is also pursuing other urban resilience opportunities. CRS has worked with partners to respond to disasters such as flooding, mudslides and fires in the informal coastal communities, and will continue to work on disaster mitigation and preparedness.

 Job Summary:

You will provide technical oversight and lead 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, leadership, management 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 programme development and implementation in several urban resilience subsectors including urban health, slum regeneration and relocation, water security, sanitation and hygiene promotion, urban malaria, solid waste management, disaster response, preparedness and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.

 Roles and Key Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership, management, and technical guidance of all new and existing projects within the CP urban resilience portfolio 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 implementation of a Water Fund in Freetown by liaising with lead technical partner The Nature Conservancy to ensure that a robust business case is delivered, 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.
  • At least 3 years of supervisory experience, including performance evaluation, coaching and mentoring.
  • At least 5 years working in the area of urban resilience, with preferably a minimum of 7 years’ experience in relevant field-based project management experience.
  • Direct experience managing initiatives, programs and projects related to slum regeneration, waste management, DRR, WASH and water security

 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 private sector, government representatives and local organizations.
  • 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.
  • MEAL skills and experience required.
  • Budget management skills.
  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibilities: MEAL Manager, Grant Manager, Shelter Advisor, Water Fund Advisor, PrePD Manager and Urban Malaria Manager.

Key Working Relationships:

Internal – Team members as mentioned above, Communications Manager, Business Development Specialist, Partnerships Technical Advisor, and the West Africa Regional Technical Advisors.

External – Freetown City Council, consortium members (GOAL, AAH, Concern, CARE), ministries of water resources, environment, health and sanitation, and agriculture and forestry, national water resources management agency


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

***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.

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

Note:  All positions requiring residence or frequent travel outside their home country must undergo and clear a pre-employment medical examination.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to safeguarding the rights and dignity of all people – especially children and vulnerable adults – to live free from abuse and harm.

CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Primary Location: WARO-SL-Western Area (Freetown)

Job: Program Management

Organization: Catholic Relief Services

Schedule: Regular

Shift: Standard

Job Type: Full-time

 Day Job

Job Posting: Nov 5, 2021, 8:43:54 PM





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development