Title: Senior Project Officers – Livelihoods

Department: Programs – Restore Africa

Report to: Project Manager II – Markets Systems Development Unit

Job Location: Hoima, Fort Portal or Tororo

Vacancies: Four (4)

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 has been working in Uganda since 1965 and has a vibrant portfolio of projects, serving over a million vulnerable Ugandans and refugees each year through the Country Program 2030 Strategy. CRS programs in Uganda currently support five strategic priority areas, including Health and Social Services Systems Strengthening, Resilient Food Systems, Emergency Preparedness and Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, and Local Leadership. CRS Uganda implements its programs through partnerships with local organizations, including international and local NGOs, Ugandan government departments and ministries, the Catholic Church, and community-based organizations for maximum impact and sustainability.

Background:

Under the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation strategic priority area, CRS aims to ‘drive uptake and scaling of nature-based solutions and novel financing mechanisms to support national and community level efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change’. Within the Program Management Unit focused on scaling nature-based solutions and novel financing mechanisms, CRS is establishing a Market System Development unit. This will oversee the FCDO-funded project entitled ‘Market Linkages for Livelihoods and Land Restoration (M4LLR)” (2024-2027). The specific objective of the M4LLR project is to establish market linkages for smallholder farmers participating in land restoration initiatives in Uganda.

The project will strive to facilitate the integration of climate-smart and sustainable land restoration practices within profitable and diversified agroforestry production systems. The M4LLR project will concentrate its efforts on 17 districts located in the Midwest, Rwenzori, and Elgon regions of Uganda, and links closely with the Climate Asset Management funded ‘Restore Africa’ Initiative. These areas present substantial opportunities to involve private sector participants and farmers in both landscape restoration and the development of sustainable and diversified production systems across a variety of value chains, leveraging and building on CRS and consortium partner activities, structures, and partnerships.

Job Summary:

Working out of the offices of one of M4LLR’s four local partners, you will facilitate the achievement of project objectives through coordinating and reporting on all project activities, as well as providing technical guidance to partners’ livelihood officers, community mobilisers, and MEAL Officers relating to M4LLR project interventions. This will include scoping of potential partnership opportunities to overcome systemic constraints in advancing land restoration within a market development approach, oversight of all activities carried out via private sector partners engaged through a market facilitation approach, contribution to business development services for groups engaged in land restoration initiatives, and oversight of group capacity building in marketing, financial management, and inclusive governance with an aim to also strengthen group capacity to manage eventual carbon finance. Your coordination and relationship management skills will ensure that the project for which you are responsible applies best practices and constantly works towards improving the impact of its benefits to those we serve.

Roles and Key Responsibilities:

  • Organize and lead the implementation of all assigned project activities as outlined in the detailed implementation plan in line with CRS program quality principles and standards, donor requirements, and good practices. This is likely to include:
    • Map formal SMEs/Financial Institutions in each target district/region to build an initial pipeline of potential SCRF grant funding and BDS support under category 1.
    • Leverage RESAf smallholder farmer and farmer groups/cooperatives engagement to facilitate linkages with interested private sector partners (off takers and input/service providers) and identify potential market actors in each target district/region for support under SCRF grant funds and BDS support under category 2 and 3.
    • Facilitate a cocreation activity with the private sector partners (e.g. coffee and spice exporters) and provide technical support to engage smallholder farmers to diversify production and integrate new (agroforestry) crops into their plots.
    • Coordinate with private sector market actors to develop business cases (Agroforestry business Model) for ‘typical’ smallholder farms in different production systems factoring in seasonal and multiyear cash flows (short-term, medium term and long-term income generation) including focus on nutrition sensitive agroforestry potential.
    • Support specialized training and capacity-building programs to enhance the groups’ competencies in financial management, business planning, and partnership cultivation, tailored to the specific needs of smallholder farmers engaged in land restoration.
    • Identify capacity and conduct gap assessment including gender sensitive self-assessment for groups who have signed Carbon Development Agreements (CDAs) to ensure that the governance frameworks are designed to actively involve women and youth.
  • Conduct routine field monitoring and support visits to assess M4LLR progress and troubleshoot.
  • Ensure learning properly accompanies project activities throughout the project cycle. Support accountability through coordinating project evaluation activities and guiding partners in their efforts to reflect on project experiences. Analyze implementation challenges and report any inconsistencies and/or gaps to inform adjustments to plans and implementation schedules. Ensure proper layering of interventions (M4LLR and Restore Africa) in all target geographies. Conduct quarterly reviews with IP field staff to discuss the layering of interventions in all target areas.
  • Coordinate and oversee field implementation, reporting and representation with all local project stakeholders and serve as the liaison between them and the project team to mobilize local actors and promote project activities and impact.
  • Supervise and perform ad-hoc inspections of various processes and resources at project sites to ensure timely project activities implementation and adherence to established process standards and procedures. Ensure proper tracking of resource use for project activities through periodic budget reviews and follow-up with and assistance to implementing partner.
  • Support and coordinate capacity building and technical support activities to ensure assigned project activities are implemented per project guidelines and standards.
  • Work with IP coordinators to ensure timely allocation of resources (logistical, administrative, and financial support) for smooth implementation of field activities by staff and partners.
  • Work with the IP Technical staff to review field reports and compile consolidated technical progress reports.
  • Ensure project documentation for assigned activities is complete with all required documents and is filed per agency and donor requirements. Assist with preparation of trends analysis reports and documentation of case studies and promising practices.

Basic qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required. Degree in Agricultural economics, Agribusiness, or related studies with specialized study in Market Systems Development or relevant field.
  • Minimum of 4 years of work experience in project support, in the field of livelihoods, business development support, agriculture or agroforestry.
  • Experience working with an NGO is a significant advantage.
  • Additional experience may substitute for some education.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working with partners, participatory action planning and community engagement.
  • Staff supervision experience a plus.
  • Experience monitoring projects and collecting relevant data.
  • Prior experience in business development services and/or in financial services is a plus.
  • Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Analysis and problem-solving skills with ability to make sound judgment.
  • Good relationship management skills and the ability to work closely with local partners.
  • Proactive, results-oriented, and service-oriented
  • Attention to details, accuracy, and timeliness in executing assigned responsibilities.
  • Deep commitment to land restoration.

Required Languages: English fluency, including excellent oral and written skills, required. Fluent in local Ugandan dialect spoken in the following regions: Mt. Elgon, Tororo, Rwenzori, and/or mid-West.

Travel: Must be willing and able to travel up to 50 %.

Key Working Relationships

  • Supervisory: Livelihood Officer
  • Internal: Restore Africa project staff and other CRS MEAL staff.
  • External: Works closely with Partner staff, and other peer agencies.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)

Agency competencies clarify expected behaviors and attitudes for all staff. When demonstrated, they create an engaging workplace, help staff achieve their best, and help CRS achieve agency goals. 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.

  • Personal Accountability – Consistently takes responsibility for one’s own actions.
  • Acts with Integrity – Consistently models values aligned with CRS Guiding Principles and mission. Is considered honest.
  • Builds and Maintains Trust – Shows consistency between words and actions.
  • Collaborates with Others – Works effectively in intercultural and diverse teams.
  • Open to Learn – Seeks out experiences that may change perspective or provide an opportunity to learn new things.

Agency Leadership Competencies:

  • Lead Change – Continually looks for ways to improve the agency through a culture of agility, openness, and innovation.
  • Develops and Recognizes Others – Builds the capacity of staff to reach their full potential and enhance team and agency performance.
  • Strategic Mindset – Understands role in translating, communicating, and implementing agency strategy and team priorities.

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

CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

By applying to this job, I understand and acknowledge that CRS requires its staff to treat all people with dignity and respect and to actively prevent harassment, abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking. Further, I understand that if I am a successful candidate, I will be subject to a comprehensive background check, and my personal/professional references will be asked to evaluate my behaviors related to the above safeguarding related topics.

How to apply

All candidates who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply by following the provided instructions.

  • This position is for Uganda Nationals only.
  • The deadline for submitting applications is June 28, 2024, no later than 5:00pm.
  • Applications are received electronically through this link https://form.jotform.com/241644718472562 only.
  • Kindly be aware that this position is contingent on proposal. Its availability is subject to CRS successfully obtaining funding from the donor.

ONLY SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES WILL BE CONTACTED.



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