Project Officer- Access to Finance and Off Farm Opportunities – Catholic Relief Services – CRS

Category:  Agriculture, Business Development, Sales and Marketing
Location:  Dire Dawa
Career Level:  Mid Level ( 2+ – 5 years experience)
Employment Type:  Full time

Job Description


Internal/External Job Announcement

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.

For nearly 60 years, CRS has taken the lead in responding to natural and man-made disasters affecting Ethiopia’s most vulnerable communities. Moving beyond emergency response, CRS’ disaster mitigation and recovery projects in drought and flood-prone areas have rebuilt individual and community assets through non-food aid in the form of agriculture, livestock, health, nutrition, and water and sanitation assistance. CRS’s humanitarian work in Ethiopia also provides livelihoods support to farmers and entrepreneurs, promotes gender equality, mobilizes for immunization and mitigates the impact of HIV.

As part of CRS family, you will join the more than 5000 strong and vibrant individuals working globally to accomplish the mission of CRS. CRS/Ethiopia invites you, the qualified candidate, to apply for the following position.

Position Title:

Project Officer- Access to Finance and Off Farm Opportunities

Duty Station:

Dire Dawa

Employment Term:

Indefinite Term contingent upon funding of the RFSA program

Reports to:

Technical Advisor (TA) I – Access to Finance and Off Farm Opportunities

Application Deadline:

November 01, 2021

Job Summary:

As a member of the Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA)/Ifaa project team, you will support, monitor and report on project activities, specifically around access to formal and informal finance as well as off farm opportunities, in support of Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) work serving the poor and vulnerable. The overarching goal of this multi-sectoral activity is Improved food security of vulnerable households in targeted PSNP communities, contributing to a sustained reduction in rural poverty in Oromia. Your thorough and service-oriented approach will ensure that the project consistently applies best practices and constantly works towards improving the impact of its benefits to those we serve.


Job Responsibilities:

·         Support the coordination and implementation of all assigned RFSA project activities as outlined in the detailed implementation plan in line with CRS program quality principles and standards, donor and Government of Ethiopia requirements, and good practices.

·         Provide technical support for the establishment and functionality of SILC groups, off farm livelihoods pathway selection, business plan development and links between PSNP clients and formal financial services providers to access larger loan to ensure value chain financing.

·         Provide technical leadership on CRS SILC, access to finance for the poor and off farm livelihoods pathway to diversify their livelihoods. Collaborate with CRS implementing partners in supporting off farm livelihoods pathway selection and promote livelihoods diversification.

·         Help ensure that activities have a strong private sector orientation so that all income generation activities make progress towards becoming market-oriented and financially sustainable.

·         Work with informal (Saving and Internal Lending Communities/SILC) and formal financial service providers (MFIs, SACCO Unions and RuSACCOs) to improve the design and delivery of products and services (credit, savings, insurance) so that larger numbers of the poor are supported with on-farm and off-farm activities.

·         Work with partners to expand existing FSPs to new geographical areas and design alternative financing (value-chain financing) considering existing value-chain financing actors (multi-purpose cooperatives, agro-dealers, etc.).

·         Monitor and report any challenges and/or gaps identified to inform adjustments to plans and implementation schedules. Assist partners in their efforts to reflect on project experiences.

·         Support accountability through coordinating project evaluation activities and assisting partners in their efforts to collect and analyze project data per specified mechanisms and tools. Collaborate with local partner(s) to prepare reports per established reporting schedule.

·         Collect information on staff capacity needs and technical assistance needs of partners and monitor capacity building and technical support activities to ensure effective impact.

·         Support development of training curricula on access to finance, off farm, business and marketing.

·         Complete project documentation for assigned activities. Assist with identifying information for case studies and reports on promising practices.



Job Requirements

Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience

·         Bachelor’s degree preferred in a relevant field including international development, agriculture, agricultural economics, business, marketing, Cooperative development and/or food security.

·         Minimum of 2 years of work experience in project support. Experience in the field of formal and informal finance and off farm opportunities and for an NGO would be a plus.

·         Experience in participatory action planning and community engagement

·         Experience monitoring projects and collecting relevant data preferred

·         Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).


Personal Skills

·         Observation, active listening and analysis skills with ability to make sound judgment

·         Good relationship management skills and the ability to work closely with local partners and community members

  • Attention to details, accuracy and timeliness in executing assigned responsibilities
  • Proactive, results-oriented and service-oriented

Required/Desired Foreign Language

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Afaan Oromo
  • Written and verbal communication skills in Amharic a plus


Travel Required: Field travel to and within East Hararghe

Key Working Relationships:

Supervisory: None

Internal: Ifaa/RFSA Chief of Party, DCOP for Gender and Youth/ Gender, Youth and Social Dynamics Lead/, SBC lead, DCOP for Programming, RFSA/Ifaa Economic Livelihoods PM, RFSA/Ifaa Economic Livelihoods TA, Ifaa team technical and operation teams, all Country Program staff, Regional and Headquarters SBC technical advisors.

External:  Ifaa Consortium members, local government stakeholders and communities and, representatives from for-profit and other non-profit organizations, private sectors and peer organizations operating in Ifaa woredas.


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

How to Apply

You should fill the application form through this link: before the application

Deadline: November 01, 2021.

You will be contacted only if selected for written exam/interview. Phone solicitations will not be accepted. These job opportunities are open to Ethiopian nationals only.

CRS requires its staff to treat all people with dignity and respect and to actively prevent harassment, abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking. 

** Qualified women are highly encouraged to apply**