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Chief of Party II – Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction

Job Overview

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Department: EARO/Ethiopia/Based in Addis Ababa

Reports To: Country Representative

Length of Assignment: Three years

Position based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with about 30% travel to the field

This position is contingent on donor funding and will close January 23, 2014.

About CRS: ‘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) has worked in Ethiopia since 1958. For more than 50 years, CRS has taken the lead in responding to natural and man-made shocks affecting Ethiopia’s most vulnerable communities. Moving beyond emergency response, CRS’ disaster mitigation and recovery projects in drought and flood-prone areas have rebuilt individual and community assets through non-food aid in the form of agriculture, livestock, health, nutrition, livelihoods support and water and sanitation assistance. Recognizing the urgent challenges posed by climate change, CRS will soon begin implementing an integrated $12 million disaster risk reduction (DRR) project in Ethiopia’s most drought-prone and food insecure districts. The purpose of this project is to build the resiliency of communities and local structures to plan for and mitigate the effects of climate change.


The Chief of Party/CoP will be based at the CRS Ethiopia office in Addis Ababa. The CoP will manage all aspects of the project, including meeting the objectives of the project while providing overall leadership in technical, administrative, operational, and management of the project, with a focus on achieving the results defined in the cooperative agreement. The CoP is responsible for developing a strong, coherent vision within the project and initiating innovative strategies across various components.

The CoP will act as the key liaison between USAID/Ethiopia and all other counterparts, the Government of Ethiopia officials. The CoP is expected to lead and/or participate in strategic and high level policy forms and meetings with various actors and advocate for DRM and climate change adaptation within communities. The CoP is expected to coordinate with government and other parties involved in DRR and CCA to ensure that activities complement ongoing initiatives. The CoP is expected to ensure project activities contribute to increase resilience within communities.


Project management and oversight

  • Serve as the consortium lead for the project and ensure strong communication and coordination with and between all consortium members as a means to effectively achieving program objectives.
  • Lead the planning of project activities and set high quality performance targets ensuring adherence to technical standards, best practices and donor guidelines.
  • Use appropriate project management tools to plan, review and track progress on project implementation as well as on the utilization of project resources.
  • Ensure the establishment and implementation of a creative M&E system using CRS tools and resources (e.g. SMILER method) and including regular and iterative performance assessments (e.g. PDSA cycle) to ensure continuous quality improvement.
  • Liaise with relevant sectors and partners to support integration and maximum complementarity.
  • Design strategies, partnerships and interventions to guarantee the project is gender and ability-sensitive and that CRS and implementing partners are accountable to beneficiaries.
  • Promote good knowledge management, documentation and learning, including supporting staff to develop, pilot, and share learning on technical innovations.
  • Procure regional and global technical support as needed and carry out regular monitoring to ensure the quality of technical support.

Budgeting, financial planning and reporting

  • Ensure grant management compliance for the project with multiple donor and CRS regulations with support from the Country Program Compliance team.
  • Work closely with local implementing partners and other Sub Recipients to ensure timely and quality advance tracking and liquidation as per CRS guidelines.
  • With support from the finance and compliance teams, prepare donor finance reports.
  • Coordinate with management quality staff for purchasing and inventory control as per CRS/donor requirements.
  • In collaboration with the finance/compliance teams, review and analyze budget comparison reports and take necessary steps to ensure proper management and utilization of budgets.
  • Approve project expenditures, carry out regular budget tracking and take the lead on request for modifications as and when needed.

Coordination and communication

  • With limited direct oversight, serve as the primary point of contact and collaboration for the consortium and in-country stakeholders, including the donor, implementation partners, government partners and other key stakeholders.
  • Represent the project in key coordination bodies and at events/forums.
  • Act as internal/external spokesperson for the project within CRS, ensuring cross-country learning and maintaining strong communication with CRS colleagues and regional staff.


  • Spearhead the recruitment of CRS staff for the project and key positions for other consortium members.
  • Ensure annual performance planning and reviews of staff performance in keeping with CRS’ performance management system. Mentor staff to ensure high levels of motivation, commitment, capacity, and teamwork.
  • Ensure staff compliance with all CRS administrative and operational procedures and policies, as well as applicable donor regulations.

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

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: Key personnel (DCoP, Natural Resource Management & Climate Change Advisor, Learning & Knowledge Management/Technology Officer) that entail the project senior management team, as well as their < 10 direct reports.

KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS: This position reports to the Country Representative. Other key relationships include but are not limited to:

Internal: Head of Programs; Head of Operations; Chief of Parties DFAP & JEOP, program managers in related sectors (agriculture/NRM, health, etc.); regional technical advisors; CRS/Ethiopia administration; Deputy Regional Director for Program Quality.

External: USAID mission in Ethiopia; implementing partners; regional, zonal and district governments; humanitarian and development coordination bodies


Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in Agriculture, Resource Management, Engineering, Environmental Science, International Development or a related field.
  • Significant previous experience planning and implementing DRR and natural resource management activities.
  • At least ten (10) years or more of progressively international work experience in managing and implementing large and multi-faceted development, DRR, or humanitarian programs in drought-prone areas.
  • At least five (5) years of progressively responsible supervisory work experience including direct supervision of professional and support staff; and assembling teams working on multi-faceted international development programs.
  • Exceptional leadership, judgment and inter-personal skills and ability to build and motivate diverse and talented teams.
  • Proven experience working with Government, universities, faith-based organizations and the private sector to build and sustain coordination structures and mutually beneficial market linkages.
  • Experience with participatory methods, institutional partnerships and diplomacy in communication.
  • Proven ability to think strategically and innovatively.
  • Flexibility to work effectively both in a team and independently.
  • Cultural sensitivity, patience and flexibility.
  • Demonstrated personal accountability, driven to serve others and achieve results.
  • Excellent English language oral and written communication skills.
  • Willingness to travel to resource-poor areas at least 30%

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

Note: This position is contingent upon CRS being awarded the cooperative agreement and acceptance of candidate by USAID. Please submit cover letter, CV, as well as three work references (names and contact information only) immediately.


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