CRS Nigeria leads the USAID-supported SMILE (Sustainable Mechanisms for Improving Livelihoods and Household Empowerment) consortium consisting of ActionAid Nigeria and Westat designed to scale-up care and support services for orphans and vulnerable children in FCT, Benue, Kogi, Edo, and Nasarawa by strengthening the capacity of government, civil society organizations (CSOs) and communities. SMILE seeks to improve the wellbeing of 600,000 OVC and 150,000 caregivers and will be implemented through an umbrella grants mechanism (UGM) whereby CSOs receive sub-grants to support capacity strengthening and program implementation at the community level. The project will also strengthen the Nigerian Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) response by strengthening the organizational systems and technical capacity of the five SMWASDs and targeted Local Government Areas (LGA).
The purpose of this position is to support the development, implementation and integration of gender-sensitive interventions and child protection approaches into the SMILE project through the provision of technical guidance to SMILE partner CSOs, community child protection committees and community volunteers. Under the direction of the Technical Director, SMILE, s/he will collaborate closely with the SMILE team to roll out and implement an integrated and holistic community based response to child protection issues and gender-based barriers to accessing services including HIV prevention, care and support, economic empowerment, education and food security.
- The Technical Advisor, Gender and Child Protection (SMILE) will be responsible for working closely with the SMILE technical team to achieve the strategic objectives of the program - focusing primarily on integrating gender-sensitive interventions and child protection strategies across the SMILE thematic areas including nutrition, HIV, household economic strengthening and food security.
- S/he will adhere to high standards of programmatic and management quality to support community stakeholders’ capacity and performance in provide access to full range of SMILE services for beneficiaries.
- S/he will provide technical guidance in terms of child protection and gender, drawing on national and global best practices, ensuring CSOs embrace quality gender-sensitive and child-sensitive approaches.
- Develop technical strategies and lead the implementation of SMILE gender integration and child protection activities
- Direct CSOs towards overall technical quality - including adherence to technical standards, best practices and donor guidelines for all gender integration and child protection activities
- Lead the development of training modules and tools, and conduct relevant trainings and workshops for SMILE and CSO staff in line with identified capacity strengthening needs.
- Keep abreast of research and trends in gender integration and child protection approaches
- Build capacity of CSOs in the strengthening of referral pathways and support services for victims of gender-based violence and child abuse or exploitation.
- Support CSOs to implement individual and community-level gender-sensitive activities addressing gender norms that propagate gender-based violence, as well as serve as barriers to accessing HIV services
- Work closely with states and Child Protection Networks on child protection activities including the Violence Against Children, the domestication of Child Rights laws and the establishment/reactivation of child-friendly judiciary systems
- Support CSO participation in state-level Child Protection activities
- Support the review of existing Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Parenting Skills resources to ensure they address gender and child protection, with particular focus on adolescent girls programming
- Analyze the social, economic, cultural, political contexts and impact of emerging issues and social policies on the protection and wellbeing of children and propose appropriate responses
- Contribute to efforts towards ensuring that project gender and child protection activities and approaches used by CSOs are in line with relevant government policies; contribute to the review and development of new policies, as appropriate.
- Prepare technical briefs and presentations on gender and child protection to communicate program results and influencing key stakeholders.
- Identify opportunities for learning, formative research, special studies and operational research on gender and child protection and work with M&E team, SMILE technical team, CRS Nigeria MEAL team and external support (if needed) to conduct research.
- Contribute to the documentation and dissemination of project efforts, achievements, lessons learned and innovations within SMILE and to the larger Nigerian and global technical community, as appropriate.
- Encourage key stakeholder reflection on key project gender and child protection issues/priorities, assumptions and themes to identify and address gaps in learning/service delivery or uptake
Supervision and Mentoring:
- Facilitate incorporation of gender and child protection activities into CSO work plans
- Facilitate capacity development for partner CSOs, community volunteers, child protection committees and other key stakeholders on gender integration and child protection
- Provide regular supportive supervision to CSO staff to ensure achievement of expected results
- Support CSOs and related GON entities to use quality improvement science and methodology to enhance the quality of SMILE gender integration and child protection interventions
- Support CSO staff professional development, including identifying capacity building needs for CSO staff, providing mentoring and training and linking staff to appropriate external opportunities to in line with project needs.
- Facilitate the use of monitoring data during quarterly participatory reflection events and other fora with partners and other stakeholders to inform project decisions.
- Facilitate the use of evaluation and review results with partners and other stakeholders to inform decision-making, identify lessons learned and best practices.
- Work with M&E to track gender and child protection performance indicators
- Monitor and evaluate program performance on gender-related goals and objectives and contribute content for internal and external reporting.
- Represent the SMILE consortium in external technical meetings, conferences and workshops related to gender and child protection
- Liaise and collaborate with implementing partners and government agencies including National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), the Federal/State Ministries of Women Affairs and Social Development, the Development Partners Gender Group, the PEPFAR Nigeria Gender TWG, UNICEF, the Violence against Children TWG, the Child Protection Systems Strengthening Learning Group, other learning institutions and civil society actors to promote synergy and exchange information relating to gender integration and child protection
- Participate in CRS agency-wide gender and child protection activities
Key Working Relationships:
- Internal: Chief of Party; Technical Director; Program Director; Organizational Development Director, M&E Director; Senior Program Managers.External: SMILE Consortium team members; SMILE CSO partners; National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), the Federal/State Ministries of Women Affairs and Social Development, the Development Partners Gender Group, the PEPFAR Nigeria Gender TWG, UNICEF, the Violence against Children TWG, the Child Protection Systems Strengthening Learning Group, other implementing partners and other stakeholders.
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.
- Serves With Integrity
- Models Stewardship
- Cultivates Constructive Relationships
- Promotes Learning
- Travel up to 40% of the time.
Qualifications and Skills
- Master's Degree or equivalent in Law, Development Studies, Gender Studies, Sociology, Anthropology or related discipline with 3-5 years working experience in gender integration and child protection
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Law, Development Studies, Gender Studies, Sociology, Anthropology or related discipline with 5-7 years working experience in gender integration and child protection
- Demonstrable expertise in gender integration and child protection in donor (PEPFAR, USAID, CDC, CIDA, DFID) funded projects
- Familiarity with PEPFAR gender strategies and reporting requirements
- Experience in the development of national and/or state policy documents on gender and child protection
- Ability to work effectively with government and civil society partners and communities as well as transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through workshops, training and meetings using participatory methods and adult learning principles.
- Good understanding of principles and practices of gender integration and child protection integration
- Familiarity with OVC programming and principles.
- Excellent English oral and written communication skills required.
- Excellent analytic, organizational and computer skills; skilled in MS Office including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.