CARE International is a global leader within a worldwide movement dedicated to ending poverty. CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. We put women and girls in the center of our work because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. CARE has been working in Uganda since 1969 and we work across all the regions of Uganda. The goal of our 2021-2025 business plan is to reach 10 million people, through our lifesaving and gender-transformative humanitarian, development, and nexus programs. We are committed to working with the government, the private sector, and local civil society, especially women-led and women’s rights organizations. Our annual portfolio is $15 million, funded through a diverse range of donors.
The Women Economic Empowerment/Youth Savings and Loans Associations (YSLA) Specialist is responsible for developing and implementing under the My Body, My Life, My World – Empowering Young girls and women to decide over their own bodies and Ensuring universal access to comprehensive adolescent and youth friendly SRHR information and services (EYE universal SRHR) Project interventions specifically targeting adolescents and young people. S/He leads the successful delivery of the Youth and Adolescent economic empowerment processes in the EYE universal SRHR project in Kamuli and Mayuge districts.
The WEE/YSLA Specialist will be a dynamic team player with strong technical skills in youth entrepreneurship, income-generating activities (IGAs) and socio-economic empowerment. S/he has an in-depth understanding of YLSA and the socio-economic status of girls as a marginalized and vulnerable category of youth and adolescents. The specialist provides technical oversight in capacity development interventions, needs assessments, mentorships and support supervision of the girls and their groups. S/he must be familiar with the inherent gender norms that tend to marginalize adolescents, leading into a path of marginalization very early in their lives.
The Specialist should be familiar with the economic development strategic direction of Uganda, and have a passion for: adolescents/young people’s, and girls’ socio-economic empowerment; promoting gender equality and diversity, engaging men and boys, curbing GBV; and promoting adolescent sexual reproductive health rights.
The key responsibilities of the position include working closely with the Initiative Manager, other Specialists, partners staff and the district technical team, agents, and Volunteers to roll out the adolescents/young people empowerment processes and be accountable for deliverables. S/he ensures periodic reviews, documentation as well as time planning and reporting. The incumbent should have practical knowledge and capacity for layering SRHR, GBV, IGAs and other activities on the YSLA platforms within the overall objectives of the project, namely demand creation for SRHR, promotion of SRHR and GBV response and Prevention.
The Specialist will be based in Kamuli district with extensive travel and presence to support project activities in all project locations in both Kamuli and Mayuge district. The position holder may be relocated to any project location according to the project needs and CARE policies.
Specific responsibilities and tasks
Responsibility #1: Lead on Implementing YSLA+ approaches to improve access to and utilization of ASRH services (50% of time):
- Conduct participatory identification and capacity assessment of existing YSLAs and form new ones as necessary.
- Lead on the implementation of the YSLA+ model that promotes innovation and applies new technology to reduce the need to carry cash by project participants and promote digital transactions.
- Lead implementation of activities that link adolescent girls in YSLAs that are supported with menstrual hygiene management component led by SRH Specialists to entrepreneurial training and skills building.
- Design and implement activities that address barriers to ASRH services and build adolescents’ economic resilience, for girls’ and boys’ groups building on YSLA platforms as well as provide related training and related skills-based training in entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
- Implement processes that link existing VSLAs established by CARE to the YSLAs for support to adolescent out-of-school adolescents/young people and to mitigate risks in each target community, providing mentorship and opportunities for participants to later graduate to the full VSLAs.
- Work with SRH colleagues to improve the integration of ASRH and YSLA activities.
- Review, revise, and/or adapt training materials and conduct training YSLA+ methodology as necessary.
- Champion formal financial linkages and product development that suit the YSLA+ beneficiary category.
- Champion Digital access to financial services and Financial Education to address the day-to-day needs of the targeted adolescent girls and boys.
- Substantially contribute to business development by participating in program design and proposal development in the area of technical competency.
Responsibility #2: Technical support to YSLA groups and strengthening capacity on the methodology (25 % of time):
- Facilitate capacity strengthening for CARE and partner staff, adolescent girls’ and boys’ groups, partners, and other actors to implement YSLA+ deliverables.
- Mentor, coach and monitor the progress of YSLA groups, CARE, and Partner staff and ensure a high quality of work on the ground in implementing the YSLA empowerment approach while integrating ASRHR.
Responsibility #3: Coordinate and nurture relationships with partners, Local Governments, and other field Actors for synergy (10% of the time)
- Facilitate and strengthen networking between key stakeholders that underpin the socio-economic economic empowerment of adolescent girls and boys e.g. partners, government, banks, private sector, religious and cultural institutions.
- Develop and support a collaborative and transparent working relationship between CARE and stakeholders based on effective and timely communication.
- Foster linkages and networking between the VSLA and YSLA groups and partners in the private and public sectors.
- Support adolescent groups and staff to identify structural constraints that can be addressed by an advocacy intervention and bring them to the attention of the Senior Initiative Manager.
- Effectively represent the EYE Universal SRHR project at relevant fora and represent CARE in relevant events such as district coordination mechanisms aimed at harmonizing the integration of programs.
Responsibility #4: Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (10 % of the time):
- Work with the CARE MEAL team and the IP to support the design and implementation of monitoring and evaluation systems in relation YSLAs.
- Participate in the development and continuous review of the overall project M&E system.
- Contribute to the designing of effective monitoring and evaluation tools to collect relevant program impact information.
- Participate in the preparation of annual and quarterly implementation plans and timely reporting.
- Participate in the preparation and documentation of stories of change, and lessons learned and organize sharing of the documented lessons.
- Participate the Country Office Program Quality and Learning Activities.
Responsibility #5: Promote Gender Equity and Diversity and Safeguarding practices All the time (5%)
- Practice a behavior that is consistent with CARE’s core values, and promotion of gender equity and diversity goals.
- Plays a champion/change agent role in identifying and implementing initiatives that enhance CARE’s commitment to gender and diversity.
- Be a champion /change agent and ensure CARE Safeguarding policies and procedures are adhered to by our partners and the staff that S/he works with both directly or indirectly.
- Where possible make appropriate recommendations to CO management on enhancing prevention strategies. This could include collecting and analyzing information on actual/potential risk factors for vulnerability to sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse and elaborating on measures to address them
Responsibility 5: Any other duties (5%)
- Provide technical inputs to CARE projects involved in YSLA methodology and economic empowerment, specifically contributing to integration and synergy between Humanitarian and Development Programming within CARE Uganda Country Office.
- Engage as appropriate in broader CARE Uganda program initiatives under gender justice, climate justice, humanitarian, and livelihood as appropriate.
- Closely work with other CARE and partner staff to implement cross-cutting activities.
Level of authority
The YSLA Specialist formally reports to the EYE Universal SRHR project Initiative Manager. S/he has the autonomy to organize day-to-day work based on agreed work plans in coordination with EYE Universal SRHR project team members. The YSLA Specialist is not a Budget Holder and has no authority for Budget Management, apart from standard accountability for expenses incurred but is responsible for resources entrusted to the position. The Specialist is also responsible for the safety and custody of organization assets in their possession. Official travel should be done and coordinated with the knowledge and authority of the Initiative Manager.
Relationship and collaboration
The YSLA Specialist works as a process-oriented support person in EYE Universal SRHR project to achieve intended ASRH outcomes. It is therefore crucial for the Specialist to nurture robust relations with EYE Universal SRHR project consortium members, key UN Agencies, Local Governments, project Staff, the IP, and Communities for effective support and functioning. This requires both sensitivity and responsiveness to the capacities and needs of the different actors. S/he will also closely work with the Initiative Manager for support based on agreed project priorities that will be specified annually in the job holder’s APAA and reviewed at least monthly. Individual initiative as well as sound teamwork are key elements of this position.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, SKILLS, AND KNOWLEDGE
- A postgraduate Qualification in business development, Economics, Adult education, Sociology or a related field is a MUST.
- Advanced knowledge and at least five years of proven practical experience technically supporting gender transformative approaches.
- At least 6 years of hands-on professional experience in community development work (including working with institutions, understanding their culture, breaking taboos in conversations, ability to discuss sensitive topics such as masculinity and sexuality in a sensitive but direct way).
- Experience working with large, cross-cultural teams with multiple deliverables is desirable.
- Strong interpersonal communication and facilitation skills; sound judgment and decision-making skills.
- Ability to network, build relationships and establish collaboration with different government institutions, development agencies, and local and national networks.
- Ability to link with community activists and social movements.
- Working knowledge of M&E, and strong report writing and documentation skills.
- Unshakable commitment to gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
- Practical experience in girls social – economic empowerment, implementing income-generating activities, and layering services over YSLA platforms.
- Experience working with large teams with multiple deliverables across countries and multiple locations.
- Strong inter-personal communication skills; teamwork, sound judgment, decision making and stress tolerance.
- Ability to network, build relationships and establish collaboration with different organizations and platforms and networks.
- Ability to link with community activists and social movements.
- Excellence: Sets high standards of performance for self and/or others; successfully completes assignments; ensures interactions and transactions are ethical and convey integrity.
- Integrity: Maintains social, ethical and organizational norms; firmly adheres to codes of conduct and ethical principles inherent to CARE.
- Communicating with Impact: Diplomatically, logically and clearly conveying information and ideas through a variety of media to individuals or groups in a manner that engages the recipient/audience and helps them understand and retain their message.
- Facilitating Change: Supports and manages the change process at CARE Uganda by developing a culture affirmative of change; encouraging others to seek and act upon opportunities for different and innovative approaches to addressing problems and opportunities; critically analyzing evolving and fluid situations; facilitating the implementation and acceptance of change within the workplace; actively engaging with resistance to change.
- Strengthening Partnership: Identifying and utilizing opportunities within and outside of CARE Uganda to develop effective strategic relationships between one’s area and other areas/departments/units or external organizations to achieve CARE’s objectives.
- Management Excellence: Makes the connection between values and performance. Influences the performance of others, and ultimately, the performance of the organization. Sets direction, coaches & develops, promotes staff wellness & safety, practices & promotes compliance, models gender equity & diversity and communicates effectively.
- Developing Teams: Using appropriate methods and a flexible interpersonal style to help build a cohesive team; facilitates the completion of team goals.
- Diversity – Promoting, valuing, respecting and fully benefiting from everyone’s unique qualities, background, race, culture, age, gender, disability, values, lifestyle, perspectives or interests; creating and maintaining a work environment that promotes diversity.
- Adaptability– Expected to well adjust with the country, the cooperating environment, and the Project team to function effectively and efficiently.
- Coaching – Ability to demonstrate to enhance skills and capacity of staff working in the field and office for them to continue to serve CARE in future program activities.