Senior Program Manager (SPM) in Abuja, Nigeria

at Catholic Relief Services

NGO/Community Services & Dev
Minimum Qualification
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
3 - 5 years
Employment Type
Full Time
Male or Female
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Job Description

Job Description

  • The OD SPM will be the primary developer and driver of the CRS Nigeria Capacity Strengthening program.
  • The successful candidate will also manage ongoing projects while building a results focused and impact oriented team of capacity strengthening professionals to provide strategic support to CRS’ current and potential partners through participatory assessment of their needs; development and implementation of appropriate interventions that will strengthen their institutional, program management; financial and administrative capacities.
  • The OD SPM will closely collaborate with the CRS Baltimore Partnership and Capacity Strengthening Unit (P-CS) to develop and continuously improve an agency wide standard for the methodology, measurement, and implementation of partner capacity strengthening.
  • Additionally, the utilization of the empirical evidence gleaned from this initiative will be ultimately used as a platform to demonstrate CRS’ approach and success in developing local CSO/NGO capacity to donor entities, peer organizations, local governments and civil society.
  • Four main objectives will measure the success of the Nigeria Partner Capacity Strengthening (PCS) Unit:
  • Development and implementation of CRS Nigeria Capacity Strengthening Strategy in line with CRS’ agency strategy in PCS.
  • Develop and implement a system for measuring CRS’ strengths and weaknesses in partner capacity strengthening initiatives based on Gateway.
  • Improve CRS’ methodology to provide impactful partner capacity strengthening through a systematic progression; evaluated against predetermined benchmarks.
  • Analyze how the proven increase in partner Programmatic (SRPMA) and Financial (SRFM) capacity correlates to CRS’ cost efficiency in the provision of higher quality services to beneficiaries.

Key Responsibilities
Strategy Development & Partnership Representation:

  • Develop a partnership capacity strengthening and graduation strategy across a two, five and ten year timeline - harmonized with the CRS Nigeria’s Country Program strategy and the CRS HQ P-CS unit.
  • In collaboration with the DCR/Programs and the Country Representative, spearhead capacity development planning with target faith based and secular partner directors
  • Implement the partnership feedback evaluation through the use of the CRS’s Partnership Scorecard platform. Work with respective CRS Program and Operations teams to enhance partnership skills through feedback and mentoring.

Programmatic and Financial Capacity Strengthening:

  • Continue in the development of a system for measuring impact of CRS’ partner capacity strengthening through a standardized methodology.
  • Establish target partners organizational capacity baseline through the use of the HOCAI.
  • Conduct the HOCAI Plus assessment and develop partner specific capacity action plans in collaboration with partner teams
  • Establish target partners organizational capacity baseline through the use of the SRFM Assessment Tool.
  • Manage the SRFM assessment and monitoring calendar.
  • Follow up with the appropriate Finance and Program staff to ensure that the country program is in full compliance on SRFM.
  • Support partners in implementing their respective corrective action plans targeted at achieving the predetermined benchmarks for assessment topics where gaps were determined.
  • Sources and/or designs and administers technical trainings specific to each partner’s capacity needs
  • Remains up-to-date with latest methodologies, best practices, and donor requirements within the field of capacity strengthening and organizational development.
  • Supports country program technical staff in the development of comprehensive plans and materials for the incorporation of local capacity strengthening in each development sector and theme.
  • Networks with institutions and experts in capacity strengthening within CRS, among peer agencies, and professional circles.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning:

  • Develop rigorous, results based and impact focused programmatic monitoring systems based in the HOCAI Sub-recipient programmatic monitoring framework, linked to the Sub-recipient financial monitoring policy.
  • In collaboration with CRS HQ P-CS Unit and HQ MEAL Unit, document standardized approaches and best practices in local partner capacity strengthening.
  • Develop and disseminate knowledge assets in support of capacity strengthening, including: guidelines, tools, case studies, and e-learning. Coordinates with colleagues globally to share and incorporate lessons learned from other CRS CPs.

Programmatic and Financial Management:

  • Develop, manage and implement program workplans in accordance with CRS and donor requirements.
  • Liaise with country program project managers and multi-country project program managers to ensure the successful and collaborative implementation of project objectives.
  • Complete timely programmatic reports across all projects managed.
  • Ensure projects are consistently on track to meet quarterly and annual targets.
  • Manage program budgets, including tracking of financial and material resources as well as quarterly and annual forecasting.
  • Ensure accurate and timely reporting of program finances and progress status; review actual financial performance against the budget, and explain variances on a regular basis.
  • Approve program expenditures, budget adjustments, and cost modification requests to donors.
  • Develop and produce proposals (narrative and budget) for various potential donors to expand the depth of the CS department.

Agency-wide Competencies :

  • 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

Key Working Relationships:

  • Internal: Country Representative, Deputy Country Representative, Deputy Head of Programs, Regional Technical Advisors, CRS Nigeria Programs Team members, HQ PCS team, and multi-country project program management staff.
  • External: Partners, CCFN, various local church partners, dioceses and partners, academic institutions, capacity strengthening institutions.


  • Master’s degree in organizational and/or international development, or equivalent degree with proven capacity strengthening experience
  • Five to seven years of progressive responsibility building institutional capacity in relief and development programs in partnership with local organizations, preferably in an international organization
  • Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through participatory adult training, mentoring, distance education and other formal and non-formal methods.
  • Strong design and facilitation skills:
  • Strong research, adult learning methodology design and facilitation skills 
  • Demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Must demonstrate a good understanding of contemporary management best practices
  • Demonstrate high level of initiative , diplomacy and tact
  • Excellent knowledge of computer software - MS Office (Word, PowerPoint and Excel especially)
  • Must be flexible and be able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Willingness and ability to travel 50 percent within Nigeria.



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