Head of Programing

CRS - Catholic Relief Services - Bamako (Mali)

Reference I1712

Issue Date 11/06/2014

Type of Contract International

Duration of Contract Indéterminée

Education Bac + 5 et Plus

Work Experience Au moins 5 ans

Department: Other

Position n° 294

Logo Recruteur


About the employer / working context

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.



CRS launched its work in Mali in 1999 as an outreach program of CRS Burkina Faso, becoming a full country program in 2007. Today, CRS Mali has a robust portfolio built around three major programs: a MYAP (2008-2014) focusing Agriculture, SILC and nutrition education, a three-year (2011-2014) Food for Education (FFE) program with school feeding, school health and nutrition, as well as a Round 10 TB Global Fund 2013-2015 grant to support TB care and treatment throughout Mali. CRS Mali also receives funding for emergency agriculture projects to counter the effects of severe food insecurity in stressed areas and to support IDPs resulting from the political crisis in 2012 and 2013. A new administration and national Assembly has restored political stability to the country, and the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is providing limited security in the northern areas, supported by the Malian Military. However, the northern regions remain insecure due to continued presence of armed groups. The new 2014-2018 Agency Strategy strategic program areas of Agricultural Livelihoods, Emergency response and prevention, and health and nutrition, along with a commitment to improving education/literacy, frame CRS Mali’s work in the country. CRS/Mali employs over 115 staff and works through local partners, including three diocesan Caritas and is committed to improving partner capacity. The HOP will provide leadership and direction to programming staff, partners and the programming portfolio.

Duties and Responsibilities

Primary Function:

In line with the Agency’s 2014-2018 strategy, the primary role of the Head of Programming (HOP) is to provide leadership in the management and growth of the CRS Mali programming portfolio. This includes the oversight of and technical support to key program staff and partners, timely disbursement and tracking of funds to partners as well as donor compliance and ensuring program quality standards. The HOP will directly supervise 6 staff and oversee the implementation of the projects and activities in Education, Agricultural, Nutrition, Emergency responses, and M&E. In particular, the HOP will work with the BD Manager and staff on the development of new initiatives and help ensure substantial portfolio growth in the program while also ensuring program quality of ongoing programs.



Specific Responsibilities and Competencies:

1. Program Quality

  • Ensures detailed and realistic project implementation plans are developed with staff and partners.
  • Ensures high quality and timely reporting.
  • Ensure that all programming staff use the three Propack volumes and agency MEAL standards to ensure high quality program design and management, as well as accountability, learning and innovation in key areas of both management and program quality.
  • Promotes knowledge and risk reduction management (resources, staff, assets) as a part of all staff’s responsibilities.
  • Regularly travels to the field to visit projects and support further progress and regularly reviews progress against indicators.
  • Supports program and partner staff in designing and conducting baseline surveys, mid-term evaluations, and final evaluations as per the program's approved MEAL plan.
  • Coaches staff in the use of integral human development, the justice lens and partnership principles to strengthen participatory, innovative and holistic development approaches.


2. Supervision and Staff Development

  • Participates in orientation for new staff regarding the program portfolio, donors and partners.
  • Meets regularly with individual staff members for coaching, mentoring, and support and provides timely, constructive and meaningful feedback.
  • Mitigates risk by collaborating with the Finance Department to ensure that program staffs fully understand financial and administrative processes involved in project budget cycles, including review of partner liquidations, applicable donor regulations and contract management.
  • Completes all aspects of CRS performance management on time and effectively.
  • Liaises with regional and headquarters colleagues to further the development of technical and BD staff.


3. Budget Management

  • Responsible for ensuring that Programming staff are well-trained to properly manage project budgets.
  • Oversees program budgets and guides staff to ensure donor intent and regulations are respected;
  • Meets with program and finance staff regularly to review budget comparison reports and provide justification for variations.
  • Masters and supports CRS programming, administrative and financial procedures and systems
  • Approves release of resources (cash and/ or commodities) to partners/projects as per approved plans and agreements and reimbursement and/or liquidations of project expenditures.
  • Coordinates with Head of Finance, the preparation of the annual budget (APP) in programming department.


4. Builds and Leads effective teams

  • Organizes the programming team’s work around shared vision and goals.
  • Holds regular program team meetings, inviting GF and MYAP heads, logistics and finance staff to address issues and ensure follow up.
  • Promotes constructive integration between programming staff and the Resource Management staff.
  • Communicates regularly with staff and promotes positive conflict resolution and ongoing learning among the team(s).
  • Supports staff and local partners to build effective relationships founded on respect and trust.


5. Lead Growth in Programs

  • Identifies program development priorities and leads strategic growth activities and opportunity capture planning in collaboration with partners, CP staff, regional/HQ technical advisors and Business Development Team.
  • Assesses funding environment as well as CRS' strengths/opportunities and guides staff and partners in identifying and analyzing new opportunities.
  • Networks and identifies potential private sector and NGO partnerships and consortiums for proposals.
  • Proactively cultivates new partner and donor relationships.
  • Incorporates innovative practices into new or existing programs (when appropriate).
  • Mobilizes proposal design teams to draft and submit proposals that efficiently include value-adding input from diverse sources.


6. Representation

  • Represents CRS in various forums including meetings with church officials, other NGOs, Government ministries, US Government representatives and diplomatic missions in coordination with the Country Representative.


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


Head of Program Competencies:

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.

  • Builds and leads effective teams
  • Supervises and develops program staff
  • Focuses on quality
  • Leads Growth in programming



Key Working Relationships:

Internal: CRS Country Representative, Head of Operations, MYAP Coordinator, Emergency Coordinator, other Project staff and Team Leaders in the programming department, Finance Managers; Human Resources Manager; Administration Manager, DRDPQ, Technical Advisors as well as program quality support department staff in HQ.

External: Partner organization technical & management staff, universities, Catholic Church officials and Caritas staff, USG mission in Mali, Peace Corps, Malian Government ministries, WFP, WHO, UNICEF, among others, and all relevant local and international technical institutions.

Job Qualifications & Skills / Selection Criteria


  • Master's degree in International Development, Agriculture, Heath, Social Sciences, or related discipline, or an equivalent university degree with extensive fieldwork experience over and above listed below.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in development and emergency program management, preferably with CRS.
  • Excellent organizational, planning and analytical skills; detail-oriented, adaptable, and flexible.
  • Experience in participatory program design/development and implementation (design, monitoring, evaluation & reporting), including activity and budget management.
  • Experience in budget management, required.
  • Extensive experience in the use of participatory methodologies.
  • Knowledge of CRS policies, procedures and standards, preferred.
  • Proven in-depth knowledge of donor cash and in-kind policies and regulations, including Title II food-supported programming; USAID/ USDA commodity management and compliance regulations, preferred.
  • Excellent partnership skills and the ability to interact effectively with donors, collaborating agencies, and local partners.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership in strategic planning initiatives.
  • Native fluency in oral and written English.
  • Professional proficiency in French required.
  • Willingness to travel up to 30% of the time

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


For fastest consideration, please create an online profile to apply.

If you experience problems applying for a position, please e-mail crsrecruiting@global.crs.org

Additional Information about the position

Position Type: Temps plein

Working Hours: Horaire normal

Working Language: Anglais

Second Language: Français