Regional Technical Advisor - Agricultural Livelihoods, Central Africa


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.

About the Central Africa Regional Office (CARO): CARO is composed of 6 country programs and 9 countries: Benin-Togo, Rwanda-Burundi, Cameroon-Chad, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria. The Regional Technical Advisor (RTA) for Agricultural Livelihoods will be part of the CARO Regional Program Quality Team, supervised by the Deputy Regional Director, Program Quality (DRD/PQ).

Job Summary: The CRS Agricultural Livelihoods signature program area (SPA) has a 5-year strategic goal to provide a pathway to prosperity for 5 million rural households worldwide. Working through our partner network, we aim to provide poor rural farming families with the assets, skills and links to markets and services that they require to live more dignified, prosperous and resilient lives. CRS is committed to working with vulnerable families and farm workers all along the pathway to prosperity. For more information please refer to: CRS supports rural families in their bid to leave poverty, attain food security and achieve incremental gains in prosperity through three stages: Recover, Build and Grow. Each phase includes asset building, skills acquisition, risk reduction, investment planning and changes to systems and structures that support long-term resilience in the face of climate change.

To deliver on this strategy, CRS is seeking an experienced professional for its programs across Central Africa in the areas of agricultural resilience and market-based food security. The RTA for Agricultural Livelihoods will provide strategic leadership, technical guidance and support to the CARO region and its country programs.

Scope of responsibilities

· Actively engage with country programs and other CRS staff to identify, position for and respond to agriculture and livelihoods funding opportunities

· Support country program staff to design and implement high quality, innovative agriculture and livelihoods projects and programs

· Regularly visit and provide technical support to CARO country program agriculture and livelihoods staff to ensure program quality

· Build capacity of country program staff and partners to use and upgrade innovative agricultural technologies, products and services that help smallholder farmers improve productivity, revenue and dietary diversity

· Promote learning: capture and share program results, and support strategic relationships with partners to test and evaluate innovative products and services

· Scale up the delivery of agricultural programs, using CRS’ signature suite of agricultural training products and services

Specific responsibilities

Technical Guidance and Support

1- Provide punctual and relevant technical support to country programs for agricultural livelihoods strategy alignment, positioning, program design, implementation and monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability (MEAL), including for emergency response and recovery

2- Support the development of agricultural methods and approaches to deliver farmer extension products and services to farming communities in Central Africa served by CRS and its partners

3- Promote use of Climate Smart Agricultural methods that build farmer skills to increase their productivity, market access, revenue, diversity and resilience in the face of increasingly severe climate change

4- Review and provide feedback to country programs on project ideas, concept notes and proposals

5- Collaborate with and assist staff to explore cross-sectoral linkages between agricultural livelihoods programming and emergency response and recovery, conflict resolution, gender, water, nutrition and health

Capacity Strengthening

1- Play a leadership role in the region’s Community of Practice for agricultural livelihoods and resilience

2- Support the development and roll out of CRS agriculture’s core curriculum within the Central African project portfolio and farming systems

3- Continue the development and roll-out of the CRS SMART Skills Set capacity building package to CRS and partner staff (also see:

4- Facilitate (and attend) effective learning events (workshops, training, etc.) related to the sector organized by country programs, consortia and headquarters

5- Support country programs to recruit high quality technical staff in the agricultural livelihoods and food security sectors and provide mentoring to build their capacity

Program Growth, Marketing and Networking

6- Develop relationships and collaboration with donors, partners and research institutions to align goals, build alliances and increase reach

7- Analyze potential competitors and collaborators in agriculture in the region and assist country programs to identify and pre-position for funding opportunities.

8- Support country programs to leverage program results and to develop effective marketing materials and tools highlighting innovations in agricultural livelihoods and food security programming.

9- Represent CRS at conferences, learning events and workshops, preferably as a presenter of CRS work

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL)

1- In collaboration with the region’s MEAL RTA, provide guidance to country programs and partners in the design of assessments, data collection, analysis and reporting

2- Assist in the design and implementation of baseline, mid-term and final evaluations and ensure findings are used and communicated to improve program quality.

3- Initiate a system to collect core data on CARO’s agriculture and livelihood activities, using CRS data management tools and systems with country programs and partners; review and analyze data to inform CRS’ agricultural livelihoods strategy, improve the quality of programming, learning and for business development

4- Assist country programs to document learning at key points over the project cycle; support meta-analyses, impact evaluations and learning agendas that provide evidence of CRS’ strategies that help smallholder farmers and farm workers to transition from recover, to build and grow in the pathway to prosperity

5- Communicate and collaborate with peers in other regions and at headquarters to share learning.

Key Working Relationships

Internal: Reports to the CARO DRD/PQ. Interacts with CARO Regional Director and other Deputy regional directors. Collaborates with CARO’s team of RTAs. Supports Country Representatives, Heads of Program and agriculture program and project managers. Maintains close relationships with other RTAs for Agricultural Livelihoods, Senior Technical Advisors and CRS headquarters' Agricultural Livelihoods team.

External: Maintains links with partners from the public and private sector including donors (US Government agencies, foundations, etc.), research institutions, host country government ministries, UN agencies, NGOs, Caritas and other agriculture partners, as appropriate.


1- Advanced degree in agriculture; PhD preferred, but at least an MSc/MA in agronomy, agricultural extension, agro-enterprise, agricultural economics or agribusiness management or related field

2- Minimum of 5-7 years experience in agricultural or rural development programs with significant experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa

3- Strong track record in agricultural development, training and value chain development

4- Experience with ICT and agriculture desirable; capacity to learn, use and deploy new applications and programs

5- Experience in business development, project design and proposal development; strong writing skills

6- Skills in facilitation and training that apply adult education principles and practices

7- Strong analytical skills; ability to lead learning processes and develop learning products

8- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills that display sensitivity and respect

9- Collaborative team player and self-starter; ability to work effectively and achieve results as part of a remote team without day-to-day supervision

10- Willingness to travel within Central Africa Region between 30 - 50% of time, including in remote field-based offices

Language: Advanced or native fluency in written and oral English required; at least professional proficiency in French required

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.


Apply online:

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: CRS - Catholic Relief Services
  • Location: Bangui
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Closing Date: 2016-05-27

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