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Technical Advisor I - Cash Working Group Co-Chair, Nigeria

Maiduguri

  • Organization: CRS - Catholic Relief Services
  • Location: Maiduguri
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Cash-Based Interventions
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

About CRS:

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.

Background:

Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) has been used in response to the worsening humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria since 2013. A range of humanitarian actors, as well as national authorities and development partners, are currently implementing such programs to ensure households have access to basic needs, while also reinforcing choice, dignity, and accountability for those affected. Cash transfers are also increasingly being used to leverage the potential for addressing recovery needs and for bridging the divide between humanitarian and development programming. Partners started implementing cash-based transfers in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states in 2016, growing from 6% of total HRP-related funding and expenditure in 2016 to 43% in 2020. Over 1.8 million IDPs received assistance through cash and voucher modalities in 2020 in the BAY states[1]. Despite the various challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of cash has continued, with partners adapting and innovating to mitigate COVID-19 risks during implementation.

Formation of the Cash WG: Following a CaLP-organized workshop in November 2016, the Cash Working Group (CWG) in Abuja reviewed the Terms of Reference of the Borno CWG. It was decided that the Borno CWG would focus on operational and technical issues, while the Abuja CWG would focus on strategic and advocacy issues at the national level. Considering the significant amount of technical priorities to be addressed by the group, it was also agreed that dedicated technical capacity would be established to support the strategic level coordination responsibilities of the chair of the CWG in Northeast Nigeria, covering the three states most affected by the humanitarian crisis, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

In 2022, the Grand Bargain Caucus on Cash Coordination proposes some important changes to the international humanitarian coordination architecture through the Inter-agency Standing Committee (IASC) that formalizes cash coordination in the existing system. The main changes include a) At the country level, the IS/ICCG, under the existing chair (OCHA for IASC coordination or UNHCR for refugee coordination arrangements), is responsible for overall cash coordination. b) At the country level, establishing and/or formalizing the Cash Working Group (CWG) to report to the IS/ICCG and manage daily coordination. CWGs would have nonprogrammatic and programmatic co-chairs from local organizations and governments.

The proposed model ensures predictable and accountable mechanisms for cash coordination, which can take timely decisions as needed, leveraging on existing coordination structures to mitigate conflict of interest in performing coordination duties (through non-programmatic/ programmatic co-chairs) and provides a referral path in the country (to the IS/ICCG and subsequently to the HCT if needed) and globally.

In coordination with OCHA, CRS has co-chaired the CWG in Northeast Nigeria since 2018. The CWG brings together a diverse range of stakeholders on a variety of topics related to the cash response in Northeast Nigeria and has been active at leading priority initiatives. For example, the WG seeks to harmonize CVA approaches across actors; oversees a Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI) to inform decision-making; supports operational capacity in relation to CVA, including mapping of Financial Service Providers (FSPs); and engages with the ISCG and Sectors to strengthen the use of CVA, where appropriate, throughout the humanitarian response.

Job Summary

The CWG Technical Co-Chair will work with humanitarian actors in NE Nigeria to facilitate an active and vibrant community of practice around cash and voucher assistance and build capacity of interested parties. The co-chair will harmonize approaches, build evidence and best practice in country through sharing of experience and contribute to national and global learning.

The co-chair drives collective progress and provides technical expertise for jointly agreed priorities established by the Cash Working Group, considering their collective views and seeking to achieve consensus and collaboration by the group. In line with member expertise and interest, other agencies may be designated to lead on activities.

[1] OCHA Nigeria Humanitarian Response Plan 2022:

Nigeria: 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan | HumanitarianResponse

RESPONSIBILITIES

Roles and Key Responsibilities

  • Co-chair and facilitate regular Cash WG meetings on behalf of OCHA, promoting active participation from local, national, and international actors.
  • Support the development, and contribute to the implementation, of the Cash WG strategy, sector standards, tools and best practices in Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) that effectively engage partners, donors, and governments. Help ensure a cross-sectoral approach integrating gender, protection mainstreaming, and disaster risk reduction.
  • Support the effective coordination of cash assistance across the response, including Multi-Purpose Cash (MPC).
  • Provide technical solutions to members, remotely and on-site, for strategic planning and how to best apply standards, best practices, partnership principles, tools and M&E, helping to ensure high-quality implementation.
  • Support capacity-strengthening initiatives in CVA for Cash WG partners through helping develop learning and training strategies and agendas/curriculums. Build CWG capacity[1] through formal trainings, learning events and continued sharing/exchange of practical learning.
  • Establish regular technical exchange with CWG members with a view to promoting an inclusive and transparent decision-making process.
  • Support the development and dissemination of updates on current cash programming and support the coherent monitoring and reporting of CVA activities.
  • Develop and support, whenever possible, harmonized tools, approaches, and procedures in CVA, including the harmonization of vulnerability criteria, transfer values, modalities of payment, assessment and monitoring activities.
  • Facilitate collaboration on joint assessments, planning, targeting, and monitoring, when necessary. Provide technical support to coordinated (multi-sectoral) needs assessments and technical support and leadership to multi-sectoral response analysis.
  • Ensure community involvement, accountability, and transparency in CVA.
  • Highlight CVA interventions that are most likely to be effective in each situation, drawing upon lessons learned and examples of good practice for rapid and appropriate response.
  • Encourage collective negotiations with service providers for effective CVA programme delivery.
  • Engage with clusters and other relevant actors and advocate for the efficient and effective use of CVA, including MPC, throughout the response, supporting quality outcomes and accountability to aid recipients.
  • Identify and advocate for opportunities to link emergency cash transfer projects with longer-term support to social transfers as part of social protection strategies, potentially significantly strengthening cash preparedness at the State level.
  • Document cash-based experiences and maintain a repository of information, learning and reference resources.
  • In coordination with OCHA support the development of the Cash-Based Grant section of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and support optimum inclusion of cash (and Multi-Purpose Cash (MPC)) in the HRP based on evidence.
  • Collect and analyze program data, capture and share lessons learned and best practices for specific projects to facilitate improvements in decision-making and contribute to the cash transfer learning agenda.
  • Contribute to maintaining relationships with donors, peer organizations, research, and other institutions, and participate in forums in the area of CVA to collect and share best practices.

Specific focus for FY23:

  • Capacity Building & Learning : Identify capacity building needs through ongoing engagement with CWG member organizations and build capacity in cash transfer programming through conducting at least 2 basic trainings for CTP practitioners and national NGOs.
  • Research & Advocacy: Keep an overview on market functionality and elasticity in NE Nigeria. Gather information on the impact of in-kind programming versus voucher programming versus cash-based programming. Advocate for market based programming where this is considered most appropriate based on evidence.

[1] This will be linked to the annual CWG Capacity Building Plan developed by the CWG Nigeria.

QUALIFICATIONS

Basic Qualifications

  • Master's Degree in a field related to humanitarian assistance, food security and livelihoods or other applicable area required.
  • Minimum of three years relevant work experience with progressive responsibilities, ideally with an international NGO, with minimum of two years relevant field-based experience in cash transfer programming.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Strong communication and relationship management skills with ability to network, influence, and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to work with individuals in diverse geographical and cultural settings.
  • Good strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment.
  • Good technical writing skills
  • Presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills
  • Proactive, resourceful, and results-oriented

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of technical principles and concepts in cash and voucher assistance. General knowledge of other related disciplines to ensure proper cross-sectoral approach.
  • Strong grasp of humanitarian coordination systems. Previous experience leading and coordinating a Cash Working Group or similar coordination role preferred.
  • Experience designing, implementing, and monitoring cash and voucher assistance programs for different sector objectives and/or multi-purpose cash in a protracted conflict-affected context.
  • Strong public speaking skills. Able to present information to an external audience and conduct trainings.
  • Excellent coordination skills such as ability to liaise with various agencies/individuals, organize events, prioritize work and ensure a smooth flow of information and an environment of cooperation and information sharing.
  • Experience and skills in networking and relations with donors, peer organizations, and faith-based and civil society partners. Understanding of partnership principles.
  • Experience in research; collecting and analyzing information and presenting well-written reports.
  • Excellent analytical skills with ability to influence decision-makers.
  • Ability to work independently and to work with people located in different geographic locations and in other organizations.
  • A sound understanding of the importance of gender in humanitarian work.
  • Sensitivity to cultural differences and the ability to work in a wide variety of cultural contexts.
  • Committed to Equal Opportunities (e.g. gender, race, disability).
  • Innovative and creative to find lasting solutions to rapid, timely and appropriate humanitarian response.
  • Experience and training in the Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis (EMMA) tool kit, or other market assessment methodologies, is an advantage.
  • Proficient in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, knowledge-sharing networks.
  • Knowledge of capacity strengthening best practices.
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation and analysis.
  • Diplomacy and good interpersonal skills, together with the capacity to remain calm under pressure and not lose sight of strategic priorities.

Required Languages– Excellent spoken and written communication skills in English.

Travel– Travel to Abuja for CWG meetings and coordination meetings as needed.

Supervisory Responsibilities – none

Key Working Relationships:

Internal – Program teams, Emergency Coordinator, Market TAs.

External - Sector leads, CWG members, national and international NGOS, UN agencies, government representative

Agency REDI Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

Agency competencies clarify expected behaviors and attitudes for all staff. When demonstrated, they create an engaging workplace, help staff achieve their best, and help CRS achieve agency goals. 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.

  • Personal Accountability – Consistently takes responsibility for one’s own actions.
  • Acts with Integrity - Consistently models values aligned with CRS Guiding Principles and mission. Is considered honest.
  • Builds and Maintains Trust - Shows consistency between words and actions.
  • Collaborates with Others – Works effectively in intercultural and diverse teams.
  • Open to Learn – Seeks out experiences that may change perspective or provide an opportunity to learn new things.

Agency Leadership Competencies:

  • Lead Change – Continually looks for ways to improve the agency through a culture of agility, openness, and innovation.
  • Develops and Recognizes Others – Builds the capacity of staff to reach their full potential and enhance team and agency performance.
  • Strategic Mindset – Understands role in translating, communicating, and implementing agency strategy and team priorities.

***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.

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

Note: All positions requiring residence or frequent travel outside their home country must undergo and clear a pre-employment medical examination.

CRS talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to safeguarding the rights and dignity of all people - especially children and vulnerable adults - to live free from abuse and harm.

CRS welcomes candidates from the countries and regions in which we work. In the event the successful candidate is an expatriate or global telecommuter, the anticipated duration of the assignment is informed by a term limit, based on the type and level of the job and the needs of the agency.

CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer

ABOUT THE TEAM

CRS' talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to safeguarding the rights and dignity of all people - especially children and vulnerable adults - to live free from abuse and harm.

CRS welcomes candidates from the countries and regions in which we work. In the event the successful candidate is an expatriate or global telecommuter, the anticipated duration of the assignment is informed by a term limit, based on the type and level of the job and the needs of the agency.

CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer

To apply please click here.

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