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Sierra Leone: Head of Operations

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: Catholic Relief Services
Country: Sierra Leone
Closing date: 15 Jul 2017

Job Responsibilities:

  • Effectively manage talent. Ensure that direct reports have updated job-descriptions. Provide coaching, strategically tailor individual development plans, and complete performance management for direct reports. Monitor and assess performance to ensure adequate capacity for successful support of high quality programming. Contribute to staffing plans and recruitment process of senior staff.
  • Contribute to the CP strategic planning and programming by providing input on needed investments in operations capacity -- systems, processes and staffing -- that meet CRS' standards, donor requirements, and local regulations and support high-quality programming. Collaborate with programming leads to ensure appropriate project expenditures in line with financial plans and proper stewardship of material sources.
  • Plan, coordinate, and monitor day-to-day operations to ensure all support services are delivered with high-quality in an efficient manner. Anticipate, identify and address challenges that affect the proper stewardship and optimal utilization of program assets and resources (financial, human, and material).

  • Ensure that supply chain systems follow policies and donor regulations and are well-coordinated with programing/operational teams to achieve country program objectives and programmatic goals.

  • Work with the Senior Management Team to identify risks and be proactive in developing concrete actions/strategies that lower risk levels and mitigate fraud/corruption.

  • With the Country Representative oversee the preparation of annual budget plans and grant/project budgets to ensure they reflect maximum operational efficiency and budgetary compliance and mitigate risks. Set and provide technical oversight of internal processes for approving expenses, monitoring spending, and making budget adjustments in line with operational and programmatic needs and with donor requirements.

  • Ensure the program is adequately staffed to meet CP needs and HR systems, policies and practices support a high-performance culture, staff development and retention. Assure quality personnel administration and a work environment that truly reflects the agency's guiding principles.

  • Oversee compliance with agency and donor requirements and local laws and regulations through periodic systems checks, review and assessment of CP's operations policies and procedures. Act as lead contact and responder to issues that emerge from internal and external audits and provide recommendations and guidance to implement improvements.

  • Create and maintain the proper conditions for learning. Establish a safe environment for the sharing of ideas, solutions, and difficulties and the capacity to detect, analyze and respond quickly to small deficiencies. Provide capacity strengthening guidance for project teams and partners, which includes cross-departmental learning.


The Sierra Leone Country Program FY17 budget is 18 million USD and is positioning itself for additional growth in the health, education and agricultural sectors. CRS has been operating and implementing projects in Sierra Leone since 1963. Our programming initiatives are nationwide, with a central office in Freetown and field offices in Koinadugu, Kenema, and Tonkolili districts. With more than 200 staff and 10 partners operating throughout these districts, CRS has developed long-standing relationships with district‑level government officials in the health, nutrition, agriculture, and education sectors. CRS has long term USAID, Global Fund and USDA along with a myriad of other private donors. In FY17, CRS/Sierra Leone reached more than 3 million unique beneficiaries.

The HOOPs will play a vital role in the direction of the country program and will provide oversight over all operational functions. The HOOPs will directly supervise 5 direct reports and coordinate closely with CRS field offices. This is an accompanied post, family post.

Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience

  • Master's Degree in Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, or other relevant field highly preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years work experience in a management position with progressive responsibilities. Experience with an international NGO and experience outside country of origin preferred.
  • Understanding of financial systems, including budgeting and budget/expense analysis experience. Knowledge of SunSystems and Vision accounting software or similar financial reporting software highly preferred.
  • Knowledge of multiple public donors' regulations, including USAID, Global Fund highly preferred.
  • Staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment.
  • Knowledge of procurement and general office administration/management issues.
  • Proficient in MS Office package (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio), Web Conferencing Applications, and information and budget management systems.

Personal Skills

  • Excellent strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions.
  • Strong relations management abilities. Ability to work collaboratively
  • Team leadership abilities
  • Ethical conduct in accordance with recognized professional and organizational codes of ethics
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions-oriented and results-oriented

Travel Required (70% Freetown based; 30% travel to field offices)

Key Working Relationships:

Supervisory: Supply Chain Manager, Finance Manager, Admin Manager, ICT Manager and HR Manager

Internal: Head of Programs, Areas Managers, Deputy Head of Programs, Security Focal Points

External: Donors, Church, Government Ministries, INGO community, national partners

Agency-wide Competencies (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 Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning

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.

Equal Opportunity Employer

How to apply:

Apply online-