Head of Programs

Catholic Relief Services, India

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
25th October, 2017

Job Description

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 programs in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka constitute a sub-regional hub with overall leadership from the South Asia Representative based in New Delhi, India. The hub is designed to share, as appropriate, programing and operational resources and services among the countries to promote more effective and more efficient programs. A brief summary of the country programs is given below:

CRS has managed emergency and development programs across India since 1946. Currently, a CRS staff of 90, including a national Head of Programs (HoP) and four Heads of Offices, support 25 local partners to implement a variety of programs in disaster management (including emergency response, disaster preparedness and risk reduction), health, agricultural livelihoods, and women and child protection.

CRS has been providing humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh since its independence in 1971. Currently, CRS has a Country Manager (CM) and five technical staff who collaborate with Caritas Bangladesh and other partners in disaster risk reduction, agriculture, emergency response, and health.

In Nepal CRS focuses on supporting Caritas Nepal in emergency relief and recovery to families affected by disasters. In response to the devastating earthquake of 2015, CRS established a presence in Nepal and now has a full country program with a Country Representative, an HoP, and 35 staff working with partners to operate a recovery program in some of the worst affected areas of the country.

In Sri Lanka CRS responded to the December 2004 tsunami and supported return and resettlement programs following the civil war. Currently, CRS supports refugee returnees with livelihood and women and child protection programming, and supports dioceses working with tea plantation workers and prosthetics for conflict-affected populations. Sri Lanka programs are currently managed remotely with some full-time consultants in-country.

Primary Functions:

The South Asia Head of Programming (SAHoP) provides program quality leadership for the South Asia country programs. The SAHoP is responsible for providing overall direction to the Program Quality (PQ) team consisting of country HoPs, the South Asia MEAL manager, the South Asia Business Development (BD) Specialist, technical advisors and program managers and coordinators. Working closely with HoPs in India and Nepal and managers in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the SAHoP fosters leadership and innovation on program quality and facilitate synergies and learning across countries. The SAHoP works with the South Asia BD Specialist to pursue growth opportunities in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The SAHoP is responsible for connecting with regional, HRD, and headquarter technical staff to share learning and build cohesion with the agency strategy. The position requires an individual with strong demonstrated experience in programming, strategic planning, communication, facilitation and facilitation design, and team-building.

The HoP is a member of the Subregional Senior Management Team (SSMT), together with the South Asia Representative, South Asia Head of Operations, Nepal Country Representative and Country Manager for Bangladesh. The HoP will actively participate in strategic and management decisions and representation activities in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Specific Responsibilities:

Program Quality and Management

  • Provide strategic program leadership and guidance to program staff in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, promoting and applying critical and innovative thinking to program design and proposals and ensuring high quality projects in line with CRS Program Quality principles.
  • Guide program staff to incorporate innovative practices into new or existing programs when appropriate, and share out opportunities and progress with the regional and HQ teams.
  • Regularly travel to field projects in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and support programming staff to implement, monitor and evaluate projects.
  • Work with the SMT to ensure adherence of programs in South Asia to CRS program quality standards, including implementation of MEAL policy and procedures and adoption of CRS' program management standards.
  • Work with the PQ team to ensure timely quality reporting to donors by program managers in line with compliance requirements.
  • Support cross-learning between projects within and across country programs in South Asia, and consider opportunities for multi-country programming.
  • Collaborate with the ESA regional team to support learning agendas, and communicate regularly with regional and global technical advisors to foster learning.
  • Identify and plan technical support from regional and global Technical Advisors (TAs) and consultants, and provide feedback on technical support to the regional and HQ teams.
  • Support country HoPs and PMs to ensure sound project budget management, and liaise with operations staff to implement robust budget management processes.
  • Participate in development of Annual Program Plans (APPs) with the South Asia and country teams that align with the country strategies, staffing needs, and projected growth opportunities.
  • Support program staff and partners in emergency response, including assessment, analysis, design, proposal development/review, and initial response. In collaboration with the HRD regional focal point, foster learning and skills upgrading in DRR and emergencies.

Growth and Representation

  • Work with the South Asia Representative, BD Specialist, and other team members to target and diversify funding sources for the country programs.
  • Collaborate with the South Asia BD Specialist to guide country programs in improving donor mapping and enhance intelligence gathering efforts to support strategic planning and program design.
  • Identify program development priorities and work with the South Asia BD Specialist to lead strategic growth activities and opportunity capture planning in collaboration with partners, CPs' staff, and regional/HQ technical advisors.
  • Lead relevant staff and partners in the development of high-quality, responsive and evidence-based proposals for funding.
  • Together with other senior staff, represent CRS at relevant interagency, sector coordination, donor, government, interagency, and network meetings.
  • In collaboration with other senior staff, maintain good donor relationships and CRS positioning through frequent contact and strategic networking.

Staff Mentoring, Supervision, and Recruitment

  • Directly supervise the HoP of India, the South Asia MEAL Manager, and other PQ staff as needed. Dotted line supervise the South Asia BD Specialist and other staff as needed.
  • Mentor HoPs, CMs, TAs, and Program Managers in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka with a focus on ensuring sound program quality and management.
  • Ensure a system of regular and timely feedback from countries to technical advisors and project consultants or TDYers. Make recommendations for refining or restructuring departments as necessary in order to ensure appropriate technical expertise and quality project implementation.
  • Lead or support recruitment of senior program staff, including JD development, exam development/grading, and interviews as needed.
  • Support project teams to develop and implement project staffing plans that are feasible and meet project needs.


  • Support the establishment and maintenance of effective partner relationships and engage in the identification of new potential partners with whom CRS has a shared vision and strategy.
  • In collaboration with finance and operations staff, and other partnership staff, support institutional strengthening of implementing partners, and ongoing reflections on the status of partnerships.
  • Ensure that all program staff and key partner staff are aware of CRS partnership principles.
  • Other duties: Any other duties as required to meet overall position objectives as listed in the position overview.

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

Head of Programs Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each head or programs to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  • Builds and leads effective teams
  • Supervises and develops staff
  • Focuses on quality
  • Leads growth in programs

Knowledge-able: MEAL in Management: Managing financial and human resources in a way that optimizes the quality, effectiveness, and utility of MEAL systems


Supervisory Responsibilities: India HoP. South Asia MEAL Manager. South Asia BD Specialist (dotted line). Other staff as needed.

Key Working Relationships:

  • Internal: South Asia Representative, South Asia Head of Operations, South Asia MEAL Manager, South Asia BD Specialist, India HoP, Nepal HoP, Nepal Country Representative, Bangladesh Country Manager, Program staff in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, DRD/Program Quality, ESA Technical Advisors.
  • External: Partner representatives, donor representatives, Catholic Church and local government representatives.


  • M.A. in development related field
  • Demonstrated knowledge of CRS program quality standards, guiding principles, and policies.
  • Experience in participatory program design/development and implementation (design, monitoring, evaluation & reporting), including activity and budget management
  • Strong proposal development, writing, budget development and report writing required.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with ability to facilitate and design trainings and workshops; ability to represent CRS in high-level meetings with donors, local government officials and local Church.
  • Excellent organizational, planning and analytical skills; detail-oriented, adaptable, and flexible.
  • Ability to build capacity, lead and mentor, effectively supervise and develop strong working relationships with senior national staff.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Minimum of five years of overseas work experience in developing countries.
  • Prior experience as a Head of Programming or similar position is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership in strategic planning initiatives.
  • Willingness to travel and spend a minimum of 30% of time in the field.
  • Fluency in oral and written English.


Recommend your friend

Copyrights 2017. All rights reserved | Technology Partner: Indev Consultancy Pvt. Ltd