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El Salvador: Project Director, El Salvador Landscape Restoration

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: Catholic Relief Services
Country: El Salvador
Closing date: 19 Jul 2017

Job Title: Director of the El Salvador Landscape Restoration Project

Department: El Salvador

Reports to: HOP El Salvador

Location: San Salvador, El Salvador


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 part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and commitment to serving those in need.

Job Summary:

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is recruiting a Director for its El Salvador Landscape Restoration Project, a 10+ year program designed to demonstrate the long-term impact of applying water-smart agricultural practices across a large landscape/territory. The project builds on previous investments in the Global Water Initiative, Blue Harvest, ProSoils, and Water Smart Agriculture.

The Director will provide the vision and overall leadership to the program team. S/he will be responsible for overseeing the overall management of the project including the quality of programmatic implementation (including monitoring, evaluation and learning) and administrative elements of the project, including the coordination of all consortium partners, and monitoring the budget. He/she is responsible for ensuring compliance with the donor contract including oversight of partner budgets, finance and administration, and donor reporting. The Project Director is responsible for ensuring that project results are achieved on time and on budget, including strategies for phase out and sustainability; and that the budget is consumed as planned.

The Director will be a senior leader from the Agriculture and/or Water development sectors and will be responsible for leading all aspects of the development, implementation and consolidation of the Landscape Restoration project, including ensuring that the project contributes to the thought leadership of the industry, and positions CRS as a leading agency in Agriculture and Water fields. The Director is also responsible for leveraging this position for future growth within this sector for the agency.

The Director will operate within the organizational structure of CRS while coordinating the roles and activities of staff from other consortium member organizations in the implementation of the program interventions. The successful candidate will also be responsible for representing the El Salvador Landscape Restoration project, to major stakeholders and key relevant ministries within the country.


The smallholder-dominated agriculture sector in El Salvador depends on efficient use of natural resources for food security and delivery of food to domestic and export markets. While market opportunities increase, the natural resource base continues eroding due to inadequate soil and crop management, absence of public investment, and inadequate public policies and services. The Government of El Salvador is demonstrating renewed interest in updating and upgrading basic training, extension and data related to land, water and soil use. There is growing recognition that natural resource losses are provoking devastating consequences for food security, access to clean water and economic development driven by agriculture.

CRS will implement the project at landscape scale (e.g. watershed, mountain range or river system) to demonstrate (showcase) the benefits of water-smart agricultural practices at a wide scale over many years. The goal would be to inform and influence strategic investments in agricultural landscapes by decision makers at local, national and regional levels. Once a territory is selected, CRS will lead a consultative process with local stakeholders to plan specific actions to restore the landscape.

The Director of the El Salvador Landscape Restoration Project (henceforth referred to as “Director”) will provide strategic vision and leadership to achieve the collective objectives of the different initiatives (and future initiatives that relate to water-smart agriculture that may arise in the future). The Director will supervise a team of experts including a Deputy Director, a Policy Director, a Finance and Compliance Manager, and a MEAL Manager as well as long and short-term expert consultants. The Director will coordinate key research, capacity building and alliance activities. The Director will lead the following areas: strategic planning, project implementation, field research, communications, monitoring, reporting, and financial management.

Primary Job Responsibilities:

  • Manage and strengthen relationships with the donor, and catalyze the interest of other potential donors in water-smart agriculture initiatives at landscape scale.
  • Supervise the project team, ensuring continuous collaboration between influence/policy and field operations.
  • Identify, develop and/or expand key relationships with relevant governmental, private sector and academic actors from Central America, the United States, Europe and other regions
  • Support the development and implementation of a policy/advocacy agenda for the promotion of water-smart agriculture water resource protection investments at scale
  • Develop and implement a sustainability strategy that identifies, creates, and strengthens local community based organizations as critical implementers and owners of this process
  • Provide overall management of and accountability for the initiatives’ strategic objectives
  • Guide and advise Country Program leadership on country-specific activities to ensure one coherent set of programs with flexibility for local differences in country projects
  • Ensure effective coordination among the regional water and agriculture initiatives as well as other regional and country-level programs

Program Quality

  • Lead the design and implementation of the El Salvador Landscape Restoration project with an innovative program lens, designing pilot solutions to existing development issues.
  • With key program staff and stakeholders, ensure program’s strategic objectives and results are fully accomplished and meet expected technical quality standards through annual and quarterly activity planning and budget forecasts.
  • Ensure that vision and plans for the program are innovative and are in line with CRS agency and country program strategies.
  • Lead quarterly technical review of implementation plans for the project and ensure appropriate actions are taken to meet implementation timelines and commitments.
  • In collaboration with program staff, provide guidance and technical oversight to partners and other collaborating agencies to ensure that best practices and lessons learned are documented and disseminated.
  • Coordinate with M&E department to oversee the design and implementation of the program’s monitoring and evaluation system, using appropriate forms, procedures, and tools for data collection and analysis as the basis for measuring, documenting and reporting of project performance and outcomes.
  • Ensure that M&E lessons learned from results of program monitoring and evaluation are incorporated into the design and execution of program activities to meet stated objectives and needs of the beneficiary populations.
  • Integrate project interventions with other CRS programs as appropriate through linkages with other service providers.
  • Ensure that processes are anchored in CRS ProPack methodologies, Integral Human Development (IHD), the Justice Lens, the Gender Lens and CRS Partnership principles


  • Ensure staff compliance with all CRS administrative and operational procedures and policies, as well as applicable donor regulations.
  • Approve program expenditures, budget adjustments, and cost modification requests to donors.
  • Carry out quarterly financial tracking and reporting system, review the budget comparison report to ensure that spending and program implementation is aligned while analyzing the progress toward program goals and against burn rates.
  • Proactively identify and address financial issues and concerns in concert with other staff and partners to ensure adherence to financial guidelines and maintain transparent systems and records.
  • Ensure accurate and timely reporting of program finances and progress status, review actual financial performance against the budget and take corrective action to ensure that program expenses match the execution of activity plans and accurate effort reporting.

Representation and Communication

  • Seek out opportunities to represent CRS programming in international circles and highlight the innovative work under the El Salvador Landscape Restoration project.
  • Publish on program results.
  • In collaboration with CRS supervisor, act as primary program contact to other local and international stakeholders, and be responsible for addressing all program matters.
  • Represent CRS at external meetings with international and domestic stakeholders.
  • In specific instances, prepare and deliver presentations of the project ongoing activities, challenges/opportunities, and results achieved.
  • Strengthen linkages with existing and potential partner agencies.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of program communication strategies and materials, including compliance with donor’s branding and marketing requirements as well as CRS marketing and communication procedures.
  • Collaborate effectively and regularly with regional/HQ management and technical advisors, especially with regards to sharing and reviewing important communication with the donor.

Human Resources

  • Manage recruitment portfolio for the program, in collaboration with Human Resources Department and CRS country program management, orient, and support the professional development of supervisees, providing timely, respectful feedback.
  • Conduct periodic reviews of staff performance in keeping with CRS’ performance management system and mentor staff to ensure high levels of motivation, commitment, capacity, and teamwork.
  • Supervise and coach a team of CRS and consortium staff to meet program objectives.
  • Oversee the management of the relationship with partner organizations, ensure regular communication and organization of review/planning workshops.
  • With program staff, lead the identification of performance gaps and training needs of CRS and partner staff and ensure the design and delivery of high quality training, technical assistance, and administrative and financial support to all partner agencies, including the selection and coordination of consultants.

Leadership, Vision and Representation

  • Provide strategic vision and ensure technical excellence
  • Guide and engage in a water-smart agriculture influence agenda in collaboration with other CRS programs in Central America
  • Represent CRS at key international fora related to water-smart agriculture interests (conferences, seminars, etc.)- when possible make formal presentations to large audiences regarding CRS work in Central America and beyond
  • Expand, build, maintain key relationships and multi-actor/agency alliances for influence initiatives related to program objectives
  • Seek and follow through on opportunities for complementary funding and proposal development

Coordination and Communication

  • Maintain strong internal CRS communication 1) between Policy and Technical areas of the regional initiatives, 2) among project team and the Country Program leadership and management, and 3) with external technical and policy experts, national and local government representatives and 4) with the implementing partners.
  • Support the coordination of publications on scientific technical innovations and project experiences of innovative approaches to water-smart agriculture
  • Direct the development of a communications strategy to further the objectives of the restoration project, including use of social media and traditional media outreach (in coordination with the LACRO Regional Information Officer)


  • Supervise the management team including the Deputy Director, Technical, Finance & Compliance and MEAL Managers for coordination of planning, budgeting, and effective execution of the projects in four countries
  • Provide oversight and support to country-specific teams in coordination with Country Representative and Head of Programming
  • Ensure annual performance planning and reviews of regional program staff performance in keeping with CRS’ performance management system. Mentor staff to ensure high levels of motivation, commitment, capacity, and teamwork.
  • Ensure staff compliance with CRS administrative and operational procedures and policies, as well as donor procedures, policies and regulations

Knowledge, Experience, Skills and Abilities:

  • Recognized leader in Agriculture and/or Water sectors
  • Proven track record of successful program management, including management of multi-activity projects, complicated logistics and large budgets
  • Proven track record of resource acquisition
  • At least 5 years of supervisory experience, including performance evaluation, coaching and mentoring
  • Advanced degree in business management administration, economic development or international relations (with an international agricultural or economic focus) required.
  • Minimum of 10 years’ progressive experience in program management and leadership with a focus on smallholder agriculture (value chain, sustainable production systems, etc.) and environment
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with a wide range of key actors, including private sector, national government agencies, academic and research entities, other NGO peers, etc. Solid knowledge of agricultural curricula for soil management and training content for agricultural professionals
  • Excellent leadership, analytical, communication, research and technical skills, with a proven ability to prioritize multiple work demands
  • Proven ability to think and lead strategically and creatively
  • Excellent team coordination skills; strong interpersonal and supervisory skills; ability to build and motivate diverse and talented teams
  • Experience in budgeting and budget management
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; critical thinking and analysis for learning and reporting; Excellent report-writing skills
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity, patience and flexibility; ability to work with people of different perspectives, good judgment.
  • Knowledge of CRS Partnership strategy and Partner management experience an advantage
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Publisher, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook
  • Applications from Nationals of El Salvador or Central American strongly preferred.

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
  • Ability to think critically, effectively manage change and problem solve
  • Excellent communication and inter-personal skills, with demonstrated strength in relationship management
  • Ability to be flexible, persistent, and diplomatic and to gain respect among staff, local community leaders, church and secular partners, as well as local government ministries and donor organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a multi-cultural team, but be self-motivated and accountable for program implementation and work independently if needed.

Agency-Wide Competencies:

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
  • Develops Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning

Key Working Relationships:

  • *Internal:** Country Program management including CR, HoP,DHoP and HooP, Agriculture Territory and Ecosystem CP Staff including Alianza Cacao, Water Soil and Agriculture, and Blue Harvest, MEAL Technical Coordinator, and Finance Manager.
  • External: Howard G. Buffett Foundation staff, , other donors; private sector leaders in various agriculture and water-focused industries including coffee, cocoa and others; university and other researchers; government officials; multi-lateral agency and NGO leaders.

Physical Requirements/Environment:

Normal conditions for an office environment.

Travel Required:

This position will require travel in-country of up to 50% and will require some international travel of up to 10%.

Foreign Language Required:

Advanced or native fluency in written and oral English; professional proficiency in Spanish.

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skills, 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.


How to apply:

Apply online-