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Start Up Specialist, 4Children

Date Posted
9th June 2017
Consulting & Project Management, Humanitarian
Job Type
Not Disclosed

Job Summary

CRS/Haiti is seeking a Start-up Specialist to ensure timely and quality program design and startup of the 4Children program

Job Description


Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an international non-governmental agency working across multiple development sectors to assist the poor and disadvantaged in over 100 countries worldwide since 1943. CRS' mission statement calls the agency to alleviate human suffering, advance full human development, and foster charity and justice in the world.

CRS has been in Haiti for over 62 years with its first office opening in Les Cayes, and now with a central office in Port-au-Prince and sub-office Jeremie. CRS/Haiti's signature program areas are in 1. Health and social services, 2. Emergency response and recovery, and 3. Agriculture and livelihoods; additional programs include urban programming, education and youth. The CRS Haiti Health department's current efforts are divided into 2 pillars -- Hurricane Matthew Emergency Response and Regular Programming with a health systems strengthening lens. The portfolio includes projects in MNCH/nutrition, WASH, child wellbeing, immunization advocacy and institutional strengthening. The child wellbeing programs include activities focusing on child protection, domesticity, labor, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), and children and families infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Two child wellbeing projects, including a 1.5-year privately-funded pilot project, Family Care for Haitian Children, and a USAID-funded project, Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children (4Children) will be launching in 2017.

Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children (4Children) is a five-year USAID-funded project implemented by a consortium of organizations led by Catholic Relief Services with partners IntraHealth, Maestral, Pact, Plan and Westat. 4Children is designed to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by HIV and AIDS and other adversities. 4Children's work utilizes global evidence establishing that HIV and other adversities are best prevented and addressed when families and children have access to both high quality health and social welfare services. The project supports systems and structures at country and regional levels to implement evidence-based interventions that protect against risk, interrupt cycles of vulnerability, and build pathways to resilience leading to an AIDS Free Generation and contributing to overall improvements in quality of life and productivity for vulnerable children and their families.

USAID Haiti has provided funding for a two-year 4Children country program buy-in in Haiti. CRS Haiti is leading the development of this project, which expects to be in implementation by October 2017. The primary objectives of 4Children in Haiti are to increase the availability of, access to, and uptake of: specialized evidence-based services for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in four districts in Haiti (Cap Haitien, Dessalines, Saint Marc and Port-au-Prince) and increase the capacity of OVC partners to provide quality case management and OVC services in Haiti. The latter includes harmonizing case management approaches, strengthening delivery of household economic strengthening (HES) activities to OVC families, strengthening violence prevention and response services, and supporting coordination and quality improvement efforts across the PEPFAR OVC portfolio in Haiti.



CRS/Haiti is seeking a Start-up Specialist to ensure timely and quality program design and startup of the 4Children program, in close collaboration with the Head of Health, Health and Child Wellbeing Program/Project Managers, 4Children implementing consortium partners, 4Children HQ staff and other CRS staff and partners. The Specialist will also lead coordination with key stakeholders, building/maintaining strong relationships with IBESR, MAST, MSPP, USAID and local implementing partners, and strengthening the project design, capacities of project team members and partners.

The Start-up Specialist will have experience in OVC programming, HIV and PEPFAR programs or equivalent programs of size and scope. S/he will lead the start-up of program implementation in coordination with 4Children technical advisors and partners, located in Haiti, the LACRO region, CRS' headquarters in Baltimore, MD, and senior technical advisors. The Start-up Specialist will ensure representation of the project to USAID, the Government of Haiti and other stakeholders in the project implementation districts of Cap Haitien, Dessalines, Saint Marc and Port-au-Prince, and nationally. S/he is responsible for overall management of the project during startup as well as partnerships with local implementing partners, and relationships with the Child Welfare sector and the IBESR, MAST, MSPP, and other sectors relevant to OVC and HIV, including local child protection NGOs, USG Implementing partners, and district social welfare offices, district health offices, and community-based organizations in Haiti. S/he coordinates operational implementation, including adherence to program requirements, ensuring project resources are managed in accordance with CRS and USG rules and regulations.

In addition, s/he will play a lead role in the ongoing 4Children program development, including preparation for and participation in a second scoping mission with the 4Children team in June/July, provide in country assistance to team and partners, foster relationships with local and international consortium partners, and lead 4Children program start-up activities (i.e., partner selection and contracting, internal and partner work plans, budgets, staffing up and other programmatic and operational duties). The Specialist will provide a comprehensive handover of duties to the incoming 4Children Project Director.



The Specialist primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Representation, Coordination, Partnerships:

  1. Act as primary program contact to the donor and other local and international stakeholders responsible for addressing all program matters.
  2. Oversee and support local partners in effective program implementation, including establish including budgets and workplans, developing and initiating capacity building plans and overseeing the startup of implementation activities in collaboration with consortium partners.
  3. Develop and negotiate sub recipient agreements and facilitate the sub recipient financial management policy assessment process for local implementing partners.
  4. Ensure that the program communication strategies, including compliance with 4Children and the USAID's branding and marking requirements as well as CRS marking and communication procedures are followed
  5. Forge and manage complex partnerships with government, civil society, learning institutions, UN agencies, and others as need arises.

  6. Foster positive collaboration between 4Children/HQ, CRS/LACRO and USAID/Haiti

  7. Coordinate with other health and child wellbeing program staff in CRS Haiti. For example, liaise with the Family Care project which works closely with government and church partners to support family tracing and reintegration of children in residential care facilities.

  8. Support regular communications (i.e., regular consortium meetings) and effective partnerships with MSPP, MAST, IBESR, Church, Caritas, etc.

  9. Represent 4Children at health and/or child wellbeing-related cluster/coordination meetings in Port-au-Prince as needed, and document and distribute meeting minutes to relevant staff

  10. Participate in monthly 4Children mission buy in calls.


Program Design, Implementation, Management & Quality:

  1. Coordinate and monitor 4Children program startups and ensure timely and quality accomplishment of startup activities, providing timely feedback to Head of Health and 4C HQ team on key challenges
  2. Lead development of work plans, detailed implementation plans, results frameworks, MEAL plans, etc. for 4Children and 4Children implementing partners

  3. Assist with the recruitment and hiring of project staff in coordination with 4Children HQ and CRS LACRO.

  4. With key program staff, ensure project objectives and results are being met on time and with technical quality standards met or exceeded.

  5. Ensure decisions in program direction are done in consultation with the 4Children technical advisors, 4Children consortium members, Haitian government, and USAID.

  6. Oversee the project's financial management, as per the project budget, including review and analysis of monthly budget comparison reports, preparation of quarterly forecasts, local partner grant management, and timely submission of annual expenditure analysis reports.

  7. Ensure staff and project compliance with all CRS administrative, operational, and financial procedures and policies, as well as applicable to the donor regulations.

  8. Manage onboarding of key project staff and establish key team management and work processes for 4Children.

  9. Establish, review and track relevant Scope of Works (SOWs), Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs), Project Agreements and/or Contracts, Sub-Agreements and associated budgets between CRS and partners and/or donors and ensure USAID and CRS compliance regulations, guidelines and deadlines are met

  10. Provide financial oversight and budget development and management, and budgeting support to partners, including assurance of timely partner advance and liquidations, if needed, in alignment with CRS financial and accountability procedures.

  11. Ensure that systems for the management of procurement activities are followed for any CRS and partner activities.

  12. Contribute to quality preparation of project narrative and financial reports, quarterly performance data as well as other reports needed/required for timely submission to Head of Health or HQ per donor reporting schedules.

  13. Develop close relationship with continuing and new partners and organize capacity strengthening activities as needed.

  14. Work closely with government (MSPP, MAST and IBESR) and ensure project activities are in alignment with government priorities.

  15. Conduct regular site visits to 4Children sites and submit trip reports.
  16. Ensure that program startup and execution is in line with program vision and CRS agency and country program guiding principles and strategies.


Technical Assistance (TA)

  1. Act as liaison to Technical Advisors in areas of assessing TA, trainings and capacity development needs of project staff and local partners, contributing to SOWs and/or ensuring TA needs are met through collaboration with HQ support, and coordinating relevant training and capacity building programs
  2. Facilitate the design of project activities and development of partnerships for HIV/AIDS, OVC and AGYW components of 4Children, including capacity strengthening activities for PEPFAR OVC partners implementing case management in coordination with the 4C Senior Technical Advisor and Program Specialist.
  3. Identify and assess key strategic local partners for 4Children.
  4. Coordinate second scoping mission with the 4Children and USAID team in June/July, including scheduling meetings with key stakeholders and providing necessary logistical support.
  5. Provide limited technical guidance during the design and rollout of a nation-wide mapping of Catholic RCCs in Haiti in collaboration with Family Care project staff and MEAL staff.

  6. The Family Care project will work closely with government and church partners to support family tracing and reintegration of children in residential care facilities, and will be first piloted in two Catholic residential care centers (RCCs). Residential care services for children will be transitioned to provide family- and community-based services. The Start-up Specialist will not be responsible for management of this project, but will provide limited technical guidance and support.


Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning (MEAL) / Research:

  1. Ensure the development, integration and strengthening of the program MEAL activities using CRS/MEAL tools to plan, track and review indicators of progress
  2. Develop key indicators for the project and manage effective reporting on project indicators as needed
  3. Identify learning from other countries and organizations that can be adopted, adapted or replicated in the CP, including other 4C countries, especially those implementing DREAMS-like approaches
  4. Actively encourage innovation and use of ICT4D and explore possibilities of these being scaled up and/or replicated in 4Children project
  5. Support development of key indicators and data collection processes with local implementing partners and PEPFAR OVC partners in response to reporting requirements or CRS proposal/project development, as needed
  6. Support development of project MEAL Plans including planning for the implementation of baseline and financial evaluations, operations research and other assessments



Internal: Head of Health Program, 4Children STAs, MEAL, Operations and Programming units at CRS HQ, Health and Child Wellbeing Program/Project Managers; Health and Child Wellbeing Consultants; Health MEAL Officer; Head of Programs; Country Representative; and Operations Team.

External: 4C Consortium and Implementing Partners; USG/PEPFAR Implementing Partners; Family Care Residential Care Centers; Diocesan Caritas; IBESR/MAST; MSPP; USAID mission; Other Partners, Donors, Government, iNGOs, Church, Caritas, etc.

**Supervisory Responsibility***:* There are no supervisory requirements for this position but there may be onboarding of new staff with temporary supervision.



  • Masters degree in social sciences/development, social work, child wellbeing/protection, public health, international development or a relevant technical field;
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in programs focused on child wellbeing and/or child protection, OVC, AGYW and/or HIV/AIDS in developing context;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and technical capacity in adolescents or youth programming and HIV programming; Experience with family strengthening programs, case management and referral systems approaches, gender-sensitive approaches, and social service systems strengthening strongly preferred;

  • Oral and written fluency in English; professional proficiency in French and/or Haitian Creole.

  • Familiarity with USG rules and regulations and experience managing USAID projects including minimum 5 years managing significant USG-funded or programs of similar complexity required; knowledge of key USG regulations

  • Proven ability to establish and maintain collaborative partnerships for effective program implementation.

  • Proven experience in building and maintaining institutional linkages required. Advocacy skills and facilitation skills are a plus.

  • Excellent interpersonal, coordination and partnership skills and ability to represent CRS to donors, partners, government, church and other actors;

  • Excellent administrative, planning, budgeting and financial management skills, including the ability to prepare and analyze work plans and budgets.
  • Excellent analytical, decision making and organizational skills and strong initiative without direct supervision;
  • Ability to travel national and internationally, up to 40%;
  • Excellent computer literacy (Web, MS Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.); and

  • Strong experience in project grants management, including project design, budget preparation, expenditure tracking, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, etc., preferably for projects funded by multiple public donors, including USAID.

  • Knowledge of local health and child wellbeing context in Haiti including key stakeholders such as government, strong relationship with IBESR/MAST is a plus;

  • Experience engaging partners and strengthening partnerships. Experience working with Church partners strongly preferred

  • Experience with successful project development activities with USG funding

  • Experience using MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, and knowledge sharing networks.

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



The Specialist will work out of the CRS Head Office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Moderate to high travel to project sites within Port-au-Prince and other areas of Haiti will be required.



This Job Description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties and responsibilities associated with the position.

CRS' talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults for abuse and exploitation.

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