Vacancy for Chief of Party STaR Project, Nigeria

Job title: Chief of Party
Department: Programs
Reports to:


Country Representative Nigeria



*Contingent on donor approval

**Qualified candidates will be contacted on a rolling basis

About CRS:

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) 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 is a global leader in agricultural livelihoods programming, and promotes resilience building in impoverished, disaster-affected, and climate change-impacted areas around the world. CRS re-established presence in Nigeria in 2000 and currently works in 32 of Nigeria’s 36 states, focusing on agriculture and livelihoods, health, and emergency programming.


CRS is anticipating confirmation of a multi-million-dollar, multi-year Germany Government funded, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KFW)-managed ‘Stabilization and Reconciliation in the Lake Chad Region (STaR) Project’ in the North East of Nigeria. Through programming in agriculture & livelihoods, social cohesion, community infrastructure and local governance, the project is intended to contribute to the stabilization and reconciliation in the most affected regions of the Lake Chad Basin namely Borno and Adamawa in Nigeria, Diffa in Niger and, the Lake Region in Chad.

Job Summary:

The Chief of Party (CoP) will have overall responsibility for the ‘Stabilization and Reconciliation in the Lake Chad Region (STaR) Project’ in all three countries of implementation. Responsibilities include meeting project objectives and deliverables while providing overall leadership in technical, administrative, operational, and management aspects. The CoP will act as the primary relationship manager for the project with KFW, Government of Nigeria, partners and external stakeholders.

Specific Job Responsibilities:

(i) Strategic guidance and leadership of STaR project

  • In collaboration with the STaR Steering Committee, comprised of the three 3 Country Representatives (Niger, Chad, Nigeria) and the CARO-WARO Deputy Regional Directors, relevant departments and STaR Program Managers in each country, oversee the start-up of STaR in all three countries as per the design detailed in proposal documentation (narrative, logframe, budget and MEAL plan); donor contractual requirements, and CRS policies and standards.
  • In collaboration with relevant departments and STaR Program Managers, oversee the development and iterative revision of STaR’s performance tracking tools (workplans, Detailed Implementation Plans (DIPS), IPTT, expenditure plans, procurement plans, etc) and oversee the utilisation of these tracking tools to ensure effective and efficient delivery of the STaR project.
  • Be accountable and responsible for timely implementation and delivery of the STaR project (in collaboration with Chad and Niger PMs) providing quality assurance in conformity with CRS technical approaches, MEAL policies and procedures and project management standards.
  • Responsible for effective budget management and contract compliance, in collaboration with the Grants Managers and CP operations in Nigeria, Niger, ensuring the project meets the planned expenditure rates and performance metrics.
  • Promote, uphold and model a commitment to the efficient use of agency and donor resources. Ensure compliance with KfW grants, including financial tracking and oversight of partner budgets, finance, administration and reporting to KfW. Approve program expenditures, budget adjustments, and cost modification requests to donors.
  • Create and maintain proper conditions for learning. Establish a safe environment for sharing of ideas, solutions, and difficulties and the capacity to detect, analyze and respond quickly to deficiencies. Identify performance gaps and training opportunities for CRS and partner staff and ensure the design and delivery of high quality training and technical assistance.

(ii) Coordination and representation

  • Coordinate relationships with STaR consortium partner organizations, including organization of review/planning workshops in each country and across the 3 coutrnies. Contribute to coordination of the roles and activities of staff from other consortium member organizations in implementation in line with CRS partnership principles.
  • Working with other Programming Managers, ensure STaR is implemented in coordinated manner with other CRS projects, to ensure integration, layering and avoid duplication.
  • Participate in relevant working groups and forums, as needed, which may include representation related to the overall Lake Chad Basin areaa.

(iii) Staff Management and other responsibilities

  • Identify vacancies and work jointly with HR departments and Country Representatives to fill the vacancies ensuring adequate resourcing for each position before advertising the position (this entails developing and reviewing role profiles / job descriptions, reviewing and aligning payroll bands, advertising vacant positions, managing the interviewing processes, making appointments, overseeing orientation and probation periods)
  • Routinely review staffing structures for each location to improve performance, accountability and delivery
  • Provide coaching and mentoring. Strategically tailor individual development plans and complete performance assessments for direct reports. Oversee the development of staffing plans and the recruitment process of senior staff.
  • Manage and mitigate risk through monitoring national and regional issues that may impact staff and programming. Ensure all staff understand and adhere to CRS staff safety and security policies and plans, and ensure the updating of such plans.

Key Working Relationships:

Supervisory: Grants Manager, MEAL Adviser, Program Managers for Chad, Niger and Nigeria (dotted line)

Internal: Country Representatives Niger, Nigeria and Chad, Director of Early Recovery and Resilience (Nigeria), Deputy Country Representative Northeast Nigeria

External: KFW (donor), government ministries departments and agencies, local and international NGOs, coordination platforms and working groups, community leaders

Agency Wide Competences (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 Accountability and Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning
  • Committed to Continuous Improvement and Innovation
  • Has a Strategic Mindset

Qualifications and Skills:

Education and Experience

  • Proficiency in English (at least ILR Level 4 — Full professional) and French (at least ILR Level 3 — Professional working proficiency) is mandatory and will be tested.
  • Masters’ degree in international development, management, agriculture, economics or another relevant field. PhD preferred.
  • At least 7 years of international project management experience on projects of similar size / nature (multi-country; multi-year; multi-sectoral – livelihoods, agricultural development, resilience, market-based approaches to economic development, gender, conflict and social cohesion).
  • At least 3 years’ experience in agriculture-based and rural development.
  • 5 years of staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment. Experience coaching senior program staff.
  • Experience in sub-Saharan Africa; particularly living and working in hardship areas for at least 2 years is mandatory. Prior experience in Niger/Chad/Nigeria desirable.
  • 5 years experience managing donor funds, including multi country grants. Strong knowledge and experience in budget management.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
  • Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements.
  • Experience with major donors’ (USAID, Government of Germany, DFID, EU etc.) rules, regulations and requirements is similarly mandatory.
  • Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.

Personal Skills

  • Proven leadership and ability to build and motivate diverse and talented teams
  • Proven experience in building and maintaining institutional linkages
  • Ability to work to meet deadlines in multiple tasking environments
  • Excellent organization, planning and analytical skills; detail oriented
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with demonstrated strength in relationship management
  • Commitment to gender sensitive programming and management

Required/Desired Foreign Language: Proficiency in English (at least ILR Level 4 — Full professional) and French (at least ILR Level 3 — Professional working proficiency) is mandatory and will be tested.

Travel Required 50% to field locations in Nigeria, Niger and Chad

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.

EOE/M/F/D/V – CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer


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