Job Title: Senior Project Officer – Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) and Livelihoods
Department : Homes and Communities Program
Supervisor : Community Engagement Manager – Homes and Communities
Job Type : Full Time
Grade : 8
Country/Location: Uganda/Yumbe Office
About Catholic Relief Services:
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) supporting relief and development work in over 100 countries around the world. CRS carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. CRS’ Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations; serving people on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs.
CRS has worked in Uganda since 1965, initially providing emergency assistance to Sudanese refugees living in the north. Over the years, CRS has expanded its programming to also address development needs in western, central and eastern Uganda. CRS’ projects in Uganda currently include agriculture, health, microfinance, peacebuilding and youth. CRS Uganda implements its programs through partnerships with local organizations, including the Catholic Church, other faith-based organizations and community entities for maximum impact and sustainability.
Homes & Communities is a new initiative for Catholic Relief Services that aligns with our global organizational 2030 Strategic Vision, specifically Goal 2: All People Survive and Thrive in the Face of Disaster.
In Uganda, Homes and Communities seeks to support refugee settlement to adopt a coordinated, collaborative, efficient and cost-effective area-based approach, based on community empowerment and localized, marketbased interventions for more families to attain safe and dignified homes and communities, with the aim to integrate peacefully into the host population and become fully self-reliant over the next ten years.
CRS will demonstrate the effectiveness of an integrated and contextualized platform approach through collaboration with key stakeholders to achieve collective impact and scale. Specifically, CRS will encourage owner-driven shelter construction, viable livelihood activities, community-driven protection solutions, and access to information, services and referrals at the Community Center. The platform will foster a thriving community and enabling environment to strengthen the self-reliance of each family. Moreover, CRS will influence other stakeholders (community members, government officials, local leaders, peer agencies, market actors) to adopt/integrate this area-based approach, in order to reach collective impact and scale.
Recent research from the University of Notre Dame reveals that cultivation and economic activity are prominent in one’s concept of home. The proposed livelihoods component offers an opportunity for families to focus on agricultural techniques with higher yields and viable economic prospects, fostering an enabling environment to strengthen the self-reliance of each family. The expansion of CRS’ self-help livelihood activities in Uganda acts as a critical bridge to deepening relationships with key actors like vocational training institutions, local vendors, agricultural bulkers and buyers, as well as the community members themselves.
Through this project, participants will be empowered with 1) business education and skills, 2) agricultural training and inputs through local institutions, as well as 3) access to inclusive financial services, enhancing resilience as they build safety nets or future business investments. Moreover, when families have control over their income, the access to financial capital helps restore a sense of dignity, contribution and control over their lives. With financial power, families have control over decision making, household purchases, and pursuit of new opportunities. It has been observed in Bidibidi Settlement that families use their savings in a myriad of ways: they have bought solar lamps and clothing for their children, or improved housing durability by replacing leaky roofing. Additionally, an increase in economic activity expands beyond household selfsufficiency and boosts economic resourcefulness in the community.
The Senior Project Officer – Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) and Livelihoods will be the focal point for Homes and Communities Livelihoods activities under Homes and Communities, with special focus on access to inclusive financial services. Reporting to the Community Engagement Project Manager, s/he will assist project implementation by working directly with community members, connecting livelihoods activities to the Homes and Communities Community Center, managing and training new SILC field agents as well as leading the digitization pilot of SILC Private Service Providers and groups supported in previous livelihoods programs. Her/his service and community relations skills ensure that the local partners and communities feed into and benefit from the project that consistently applies best practices and continuously works towards improving its impact. The SILC and Livelihoods Sr. Project Officer will have a high level of self-initiative and use critical thinking skills to identify, report, and fill gaps. The position requires close communication and coordination with all project staff involved in the emergency response. The 8-month Livelihoods project is expected to run from February – October 2021.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:
- Lead recruitment and training of new SILC agents and facilitate establishment of SILC groups connected with the Homes and Communities (H&C) pilot in Zone 2 of Bidibidi Refugee Settlement.
- Monitor progress of SILC groups through regular field visits, provide ongoing support to field agents who take over the facilitation of SILC groups.
- Working with interested Livelihoods Working Group members, conduct training for VSLA agents not trained by CRS on the SILC methodology and support their certification to become Private Service Providers (PSPs).
- Support Homes and Communities Program Manager to effectively develop, promote, integrate the livelihood activities with other CRS programs in Bidibidi.
- Lead the coordination and monitoring of SILC and livelihoods activities, ensuring implementation schedules are met as per the detailed activity plan, and that adherence to systems for quality project implementation are strengthened.
- Lead the recruitment of the project participants to train in business skills and livelihood
- Support the Project Manager to map out the Vocational institutions to provide business skills and agricultural livelihoods training to the project participants
- Support project partner ADRAA to deliver quality training and coach the new graduates to apply the gained skills
- Work closely with Caritas Arua staff and various community stakeholders and mobilize them to ensure full involvement of community leaders, community representatives, and local government representatives in the overall implementation and improvement of Business Skills training activities.
- Support community sensitization meetings to create awareness in all the project activities including SILC, Business Skills Training, small grant activities, and business mentorship. Where possible, link these meetings and trainings to the H&C Community Center.
- Lead the pilot of the digitization of data collection activities from existing SILC and entrepreneur groups, ensure quality verification and entry of SILC Data in the management information system (MIS) on monthly basis and share it with the Program Manager and the MEAL manager.
- Support the Program Manager in regularly compiling SILC and Livelihoods reports, as needed
- Act as the Focal Point for all SILC and Livelihoods related activities, representing the Homes and Communities platform in all appropriate meetings, forums, and events.
- Maintain a database of all trained SILC Field Agents, PSPs and entrepreneur groups.
- Document success stories and lessons learned regarding implementation of Livelihoods activities.
Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:
Education and Experience:
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, economics, international development, or a related field preferred.
- Minimum of four years of work in community mobilization and access to financial services.
- Experience with CRS’ curriculum for Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) a plus.
- Experience with digitizing access to financial service providers within extremely vulnerable populations a plus.
- Computer literacy skills.
- Good observation, active listening and analysis skills with ability to make sound decisions.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to interact effectively with diverse groups
- Highly proactive, results-oriented and service-oriented
- English fluency, including oral and written skills, required.
Required/Desired Foreign Language:
- English fluency, including excellent oral and written skills, required
- The position is based in Yumbe but may require travel to Kampala for workshops and trainings.
Key Working Relationships:
Supervision: Caritas Arua Enterprise Development Officers
Internal: Homes and Communities Project/Program staff in Yumbe.
External: OPM, UNHCR, Caritas Arua, ADRAA, Koboko Training Institute, local and international NGO staff involved in Livelihoods programs, and relevant Government Ministries
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
This job description is not an exhaustive list of skills, effort, duties and responsibilities associated with the position.
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.
CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer
NOTE: To apply, please follow these instructions exactly otherwise your application will NOT be considered:
- Email a cover letter and CV only to email@example.com by January 20th, 2021 at 5:00pm.
- Large files and/or scans of documents will lead to rejection of your application, in the subject line of the email, copy and paste – SPOSILCANDLIVELIHOODS only
- All applications that do not contain this exact subject line will be rejected and not read
ONLY SELECTED CANDIDATES THAT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS WILL BE NOTIFIED. EOE/M/F/D/V