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Vacant Position of Project Officer at Catholic Relief Services

Project Officer – Multi-sectoral Nutrition Governance – Marsabit – (200000SH)


About CRS:

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) 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 is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) supporting relief and development work in over 100 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on need basis, regardless of creed, ethnicity, or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) opened operations in Kenya in 1965. For over 50 years, we have worked throughout the country to implement programs in agriculture, health, microfinance, water, sanitation, emergency relief and peacebuilding. We have built deep relationships with the Government of Kenya and the Catholic Church through ongoing collaboration and support. CRS’ projects in Kenya currently include agriculture, health, microfinance, emergency response, HIV care and treatment, and services for orphans and vulnerable children. CRS Kenya implements its programs through partnerships with local organizations, including the Catholic Church, other faith-based organizations and community entities for maximum impact and sustainability.


CRS, representing a consortium of international non-governmental organizations, local implementing partners and research institutions is leading the USAID Nutrition in ASALs Within Integrated Resilient Institutions (Nawiri) Project, a USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) funded 5-year Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) in Kenya. The overarching goal of this multi-sectoral activity is to sustainably reduce persistent levels of acute malnutrition in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), focusing on Isiolo and Marsabit counties. The activity will be implemented in two phases:

  • Phase I (1.5-2 years) Research, test approaches and collaboratively design a context-sensitive, multi-sectoral activity that sustainably reduces acute malnutrition.
  • Phase II (3- 3.5 years): Multi-sectoral Activity implementation and adaptation and Local System and Institutional Strengthening

Job Summary:

As a member of the USAID Nawiri project Systems strengthening and Institutionalization team, the Project Officer – Multi-sectoral Nutrition Governance will support USAID Nawiri efforts to strengthen the capacity of Isiolo and Marsabit county government multisectoral nutrition collaboration and coordination at county and all levels.  Working with and through the county Multisectoral Platform for Nutrition (MSP), the project officer will also develop the capacity of the Isiolo and Marsabit county government workforce to deliver comprehensive and integrated multi-sectoral interventions and services through strategic planning, capacity-building of priority multisectoral interventions and strengthening of governance, appropriate regulation and education capacities. S/he will build effective working relationships with the MSP and the county government sector departments counterparts, and local institutions. Through accompaniment, coordination and on-the-job support s/he will support efforts to build preparedness of county government and other local institutions to assume financial and technical responsibility for maintaining reductions in acute malnutrition after the USAID Nawiri project implementation period is over.

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Specific Responsibilities:

  • Support the Nawiri county Participatory Institutional Capacity Assessment (PICA) and facilitate the counties to develop action plans to ensure a multisectoral approach to nutrition.
  • Provide ongoing support and facilitation of the MSP, including continuous capacity strengthening, to ensure implementation of the capacity strengthening plans developed during PICA, as well as support the achievement of the MSP mandate to strengthen the multisectoral and inter-sectoral collaboration and coordination for synergy, and to guide the development and implementation of multisectoral approaches that aim to reduce malnutrition in Marsabit and Isiolo Counties.
  • Facilitate county governments to ensure multi-sectoral stakeholder engagement and coordination with relevant stakeholders, including the county and community-based government of Kenya (GOK) staff, community structures and institutions, private sector actors, academia and research organizations, and other local institutions.
  • Engage in technical working groups and other multi-sector platforms to enhance communication of goals and objectives, obtain buy-in, enhance awareness, and ensure collective engagement for Nawiri project goals.
  • Provide ongoing support of linkages between USAID Nawiri activities and GOK’s strategic plans at county levels (e.g. Kenya Ending Drought Emergencies Framework, County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs), County Annual Development Plans, County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP)). Incorporate strategies to address governance and systems-related drivers of acute malnutrition in the county into USAID Nawiri activity design.
  • Along with the Nawiri field M&E, Accountability and Learning and System strengthening specialist, support county government counterparts to use available nutrition and other relevant sector information for decision making, program planning, performance tracking and results monitoring.
  • Contribute inputs to transition plan from USAID Nawiri Phase 1 (Research and Collaboration) to Phase 2 (Activity Implementation).
  • Utilize tools and materials designed to effectively measure capacity improvements
  • Along with the Nawiri field M&E specialist, identify and monitor key metrics to measure institutional capacity strengthening
  • Along with System Strengthening Specialist, identify of capacity strengthening needs through ongoing capacity assessments using agreed-upon tools and procedures of county government, partner organizations, and other local stakeholders
  • Conduct a community structures mapping that may contribute to advancing Nawiri’s goal of a systems-led multisectoral approach to reducing acute malnutrition.
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Personal Skills

  • Observation, active listening, and analysis skills with ability to make a sound judgment.
  • Good relationship management skills and the ability to work closely with local partners, local government, and community members.
  • Ability to exercise dialogue, diplomacy and tact as demonstrated in previous roles that have required communication with a broad and diverse set of partners.
  • Attention to details, accuracy, and timeliness in executing assigned responsibilities.
  • Ability to work in challenging and changing environments, and to see through challenges to find solutions.
  • Proactive, results-oriented and service-oriented.

Required/Desired Foreign Language:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English; ability to draft and edit reports.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills in Kiswahili.
  • Dialects local to Isiolo and Marsabit County a plus.

Travel Required 50% of the time to the sub-counties

Key Working Relationships:

Supervisory: None

Internal: All Nawiri field team staff, and especially the county Systems Strengthening Specialist, County Head of Office, County Learning and Accountability Specialists, County Research Coordinator, County M&E Specialist

External: USAID Nawiri consortium members, County government staff especially from line departments that contribute to nutrition outcomes (Health, Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries; Water, Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Economic Planning; Trade, Industry and Enterprise Development; Culture,  Gender & Social Services;  Education, Skills Development, Youth and Sports; Public Administration, ICT and Disaster Management; County Administration, Public Service Management, Cohesion, Civic Engagement and Public Participation, Governance and Leadership (Office of Governor and Deputy Governor; County Secretary; County Public Service Board; and other related government bodies and authorities, Local Implementing partners and private sector service providers

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Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Nutrition, Public Administration, International Development or other relevant fields.
  • At least 5 years’ work experience in NGO sector and experience related to nutrition governance and/or systems strengthening.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in one or more of the following areas: policy reform, service coverage, stakeholder coordination, nutrition governance, and/or related areas of system and / or partnerships strengthening.
  • Experience in participatory action planning and local government engagement.
  • Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).

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.

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talents
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability and Stewardship

What we offer

CRS offers a comprehensive benefits package and the opportunity to work in a collaborative, mission-driven culture that is committed to improving the lives of the poor throughout the world.

***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.

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. CRS Kenya strives to be a place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come and work, stay, and do their best.

EOE/M/F/D/V – CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Closing Date: December 24, 2020



About Whispers from the North

Whispers from the North is an online platform that appreciates the ecological, cultural and socio-economic diversities of Northern Kenya. We also acknowledge that the lives of the communities of northern Kenya has been shaped by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have led to complex challenge that calls for a multifaceted approach.

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