Technical Advisor I – Safe and Dignified Programming & PSEA, EMPOWER

  • Anywhere
Organization: Catholic Relief Services
Closing date: 31 Jan 2024


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.

The Humanitarian Response Department (HRD) provides leadership and support to CRS emergency programming. The HRD strengthens CRS’ impact through high quality, innovative programs; improved technical and management capacity at the field level; and active engagement in global efforts to promote excellence and learning in humanitarian response. The HRD has technical staff that supports emergency program planning, rapid response, and capacity strengthening of staff and partners worldwide.

NOTE: This is a global remote position; CRS will only consider candidates who are based in countries where we have existing offices. CRS does not sponsor visas for telecommuting employees.

Country/Program Background

The EMPOWER (Empowering Partner Organizations Working on Emergency Responses) project is a joint initiative piloted in FY18 of the CRS Latin American and Caribbean Regional Office and the Humanitarian Response Department (HRD). In 2020, CRS expanded this program to Central America and Mexico and it continues to grow a team of LACRO-based emergency responders whose primary role is to support strengthening the emergency response capacity of local partners response in the Caribbean, South and Central America and Mexico and support them implementing high quality emergency responses.

Through EMPOWER, CRS staff accompany local organizations in institutional capacity self-assessments. Based on self-assessment results, as well as institutional mission, vision, and strategy, participating local organizations develop institutional strengthening plans. In response to expressed priorities and requests, CRS provides participating organizations with demand driven technical resources, support, training, and accompaniment, and organizes zonal and regional workshops to facilitate shared learning and strengthening of peer networks among local and national humanitarian response organizations.

Duration: 12-month position

Job Summary:

You will provide technical advice and support to EMPOWER partners on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)/Safeguarding as well as Safe and Dignified Programming (SDP)/protection mainstreaming in line with the EMPOWER program goals and objectives, and with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) principles and standards, donor guidelines, and industry best practices to advance the delivery of high-quality, safe programming to the poor and vulnerable. Your advice, knowledge, and support will provide capacity strengthening for partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. You will be part of the global Humanitarian Response Department (HRD), within the Safe & Dignified Programming & PSS team.

Roles and Key Responsibilities

  • Support 20 national/local partner organizations in the EMPOWER project to strengthen, integrate and improve SDP in humanitarian response programs, strengthen organizational safeguarding/PSEA policies and practices, and apply humanitarian standards.
  • Ensure timely and quality capacity strengthening and accompaniment – remote and on-site- for national/local organizations in SDP and PSEA/safeguarding by supporting them to:
    • Conduct self-assessments to identify their strength and gaps in PSEA/safeguarding and SDP.
    • Develop action plans based on self-assessments to address gaps and prioritized areas, in conjunction with EMPOWER team members.
    • Take appropriate efforts to strengthen partner capacity, as per the action plans. This will include a combination of methods, such as formal trainings, exchange visits among partners, TA accompaniment, write-shops to develop policies/SOPs (or review of existing policies), on-the-job learning, simulation exercises, etc.;
    • Regularly assess and monitor partners’ progress toward capacity strengthening goals and work with teams to adjust/improve approaches as needed to address identified shortfalls in SDP and PSEA/safeguarding.
  • Support partners to develop and operationalize PSEA/safeguarding policies and Codes of Conduct and support the development of systems and practices to ensure effective application of PSEA policies and procedures.
  • Lead the development of SDP and PSEA/safeguarding technical content for capacity strengthening efforts with participating local organizations and review partner-developed training materials, tools, processes and procedures to ensure that standards are met for safeguarding and SDP.
  • Support capacity strengthening initiatives in PSEA/safeguarding and SDP across EMPOWER partners through helping develop learning and training strategies and agendas/curriculums, conducting workshops, coaching, and accompaniment.
  • Help ensure a cross-sectoral approach integrating gender, SDP, and disaster risk reduction.
  • Work with CRS EMPOWER team to ensure coordinated, SDP, PSEA and safeguarding messaging and practices are integrated in relevant program quality and operations capacity strengthening.
  • Establish and maintain regular communication channels with EMPOWER team members to share learning, challenges, successes, and tools among the team.
  • Ensure quality partnerships between CRS and target partners in line with CRS and Caritas Internationalis (CI) partnership principles.
  • Develop contacts with other humanitarian organizations (local and international) working on SDP and PSEA/safeguarding to facilitate new learning, sharing of practices, and collaboration.
  • Document and promote the sharing of learning, best practices and experience on supporting partners’ SDP and PSEA/safeguarding application within CRS as well as with Partner staff, the Caritas Internationalis Safeguarding Task Force, IASC AAP PSEA Taskforce, and the CHS Alliance.
  • As required, represent HRD in CRS Protection working groups, and other internal and external groups working on PSEA and SDP.
  • 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 PSEA/Safeguarding learning agenda.
  • Contribute to maintaining relationships with donors, peer organizations, research and other institutions, participate in forums in the area of PSEA/Safeguarding to collect and share best practices and promote CRS’ work.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Extremely flexible and able to cope with stressful situations in emergency environments.
  • Excellent relationship management skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and work with individuals in diverse geographical and cultural settings
  • Strong strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills with ability to write reports
  • Proactive, resourceful, results and service-oriented
  • Presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Candidates from/presently based in the LAC region are highly preferred.
  • Experienced trainer/teacher of adults and multi-cultural groups, in both in-person and virtual settings.
  • Experienced in establishing and implementing community-based feedback, complaints and response mechanisms is an asset.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and ability to navigate the humanitarian coordination system.

Required Languages – Oral and written language proficiency; capable of conducting trainings, writing reports and proposals, holding meetings, conducting interviews and communicate with partners in English and Spanish is a requirement.

Knowledge of Portuguese, French or Haitian Kreyol are a plus.


  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally 50% of time (i.e., 6 months out of the year)
  • Willingness and ability to deploy as soon as possible when disasters strike, primarily within Latin American and the Caribbean; may include deployments to other regions, as needed.

Supervisory Responsibilities: None

Key Working Relationships

Internal: HRD Safe & Dignified Programming & MHPSS Team Members; EMPOWER Project Team Members; CRS Safeguarding Unit; relevant LACRO DRDs & Regional Technical Advisors; PIQA Senior Technical Advisors; Partnership Capacity Strengthening Unit.

External: All partner staff targeted on the projects, IASC AAP/PSEA Task Team, Local PSEA or Protection Networks in the projects target countries, other PSEA actors in target countries (INGOs, NGOs, UN Agencies, Donors), Caritas Internationalis Safeguarding Task Force, Caritas members in target countries.


Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Social Sciences, International Development or another related field 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 PSEA/safeguarding SDP/protection mainstreaming approaches in humanitarian response contexts.
  • Knowledge of technical principles, concepts and international standards in safeguarding/PSEA and SDP in humanitarian response. General knowledge of other related disciplines to ensure proper cross-sectoral approach.
  • Experience in project design and proposal development and review. Experience in writing content for—and reviewing—proposals.
  • Knowledge of capacity strengthening best practices and partnership building principles.
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation and analysis.
  • Experience and skills in networking and relations with donors, peer organizations, and faith-based and civil society organizations.
  • Proficient in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Teams), web conferencing applications, information and budget management systems, knowledge-sharing networks.

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.

Emergency Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff working in emergencies to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  • Communicates strategically under pressure.
  • Manages stress and complexity.
  • Actively promotes safety and security.
  • Manages and implements high-quality emergency programs.

***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 remote worker, 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

How to apply

To apply please click here.


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