WASH Program Manager

Kabala, Sierra Leone 🇸🇱

Job Summary:

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. CRS launched its work in Sierra Leone in 1963 supporting relief and development operations in the country. CRS Sierra Lone 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, CRS Sierra Leone has a robust portfolio built around several major programs in Health, Agriculture, and Education. CRS has its main office in Freetown and three field offices located in Kenema (East) and Kabala (North) and Makeni.

CRS’ USDA Food for Education (FFE) program serves more than 32,000 beneficiaries in 192 schools across five chiefdoms of Koinadugu District, employing more than 70 staff. The USDA program has a strong WASH component which has become increasingly relevant following the Ebola outbreak. Unsafe water, poor sanitation, and poor hygiene practices are linked to poor school attendance and performance (particularly among girls), safety and security of women and girls, and community economic and social development. A large number of schools lack toilets, clean water, and proper hygiene lessons. CRS Sierra Leone addresses school WASH by working directly with the FFE-supported school communities and further collaborations with UNICEF, and other stakeholders/donors.

The WASH Project Manager will manage, coordinate, and monitor all WASH-related activities and relationships with partners and other project stakeholders to assist the achievement of project objectives to advance Catholic Relief Services’ work serving the poor and vulnerable. Strong project management skills and knowledge of WASH programming will ensure the CP delivers high-quality programming and continuously works towards improving the impact of the WASH sector.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Lead all WASH-related technical design, sectoral assessments, budget management, monitoring and reporting activities through the whole project cycle – start-up, implementation and close-out – in line with CRS program quality principles and standards, donor requirements, and good practices.
  • Ensure learning properly accompanies project activities throughout the project cycle. Support accountability through coordinating project evaluation activities following MEAL Policy. Proactively identify issues, report them to inform adjustments to plans and implementation schedules.
  • Engage and strengthen partnerships relevant to CRS’ USDA Food for Education (FFE), applying appropriate application of partnership concepts, tools and approaches.
  • Provide coaching, strategically tailor individual development plans, contribute to the recruitment process of project staff, and complete performance management for direct reports.
    • Represent CRS with donors, INGO working groups, UN, relevant local partners and relevant local government and community actors for WASH related issues and working groups.
    • Coordinate activities required to ensure proper financial, material and human resource management for quality implementation.. Develop and manage the Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) and conduct periodic budget reviews and follow-up with partners on timely submission of financial reports to facilitate proper tracking of resource use.
    • Make frequent field visits to provide technical support to CRS field staff and partners.
      • Identify staff capacity needs and technical assistance needs of partner organizations and contribute to capacity strengthening and required interventions to support quality project implementation.
      • Assist with preparation of trends analysis reports and disseminate results. Review project documentation to ensure project file is complete with all required documentation and is filed per agency and donor requirements.

Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree required with preferably a degree in International Relations or in the field of WASH
  • Minimum of 2-3 years work experience in project management, ideally in the field of WASH and previous experience working for an INGO
  • Relevant grant management experience, preferably with USG or other public donor
  • Staff supervision and performance management experience
  • Experience working with stakeholders at various levels and strengthening community partnerships
  • Ability to contribute to the development of technical proposals.
  • Experience analyzing data and contributing to evaluation reports
  • Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)

Personal Skills

  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills with ability to make sound judgment
  • High level of flexibility and ability to work both independently and within a team setting
  • Strong relationship management skills and the ability to work effectively with local stakeholders
  • Representation abilities and various levels (meetings, workshops, presentations, etc.).
  • Proactive, results-oriented, and service-oriented
  • Attention to details, accuracy and timeliness in executing assigned responsibilities

Required/Desired Foreign Language Fluency in English (both oral and written skills)

Travel Required Position will be based in Kabala and will require frequent travel to Freetown and field locations

Key Working Relationships:

  • Supervisory: WASH team in Kabala and Construction Specialists
  • Budget Responsibility: The successful candidate will directly manage the CP’s WASH portfolio and WASH component for CRS Food for Education project

Internal: FFE Education Team, MEAL Team, Area Manager Kabala, Finance Team, Procurement Team, BD Specialist


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

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