Catholic Relief Services logo Senior Technical Advisor, Water & Environment

Senior Technical Advisor, Water & Environment

  • Contractor
  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Catholic Relief Services profile

  • Job applications may no longer being accepted for this opportunity.

Catholic Relief Services

NOTE: This is a 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.

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, water, microfinance and peacebuilding.

CRS Water Programming

As a large, multi-sectoral, international NGO, CRS integrates water security activities into humanitarian and development programming throughout the world. CRS implements water programming through 90 projects in 36 countries, enabling 36 million people to improve access to water and sanitation services last year. The CRS Water Security Strategy focuses on three priority areas: water in sustainable landscapes; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in humanitarian and development contexts; and water financing and governance.

Job Summary

You will serve as the CRS global lead for water security programming. You will lead water program and strategy development and provide technical leadership and advice aligned with CRS program quality standards, donor guidelines and industry best practices to technical advisors and regional and country program (CP) teams, advancing the delivery of high-quality programming to vulnerable communities. Your expertise, leadership and influence will drive effective, adaptive and innovative water security programming across the globe with an emphasis on systems strengthening and local leadership. You will ensure technical excellence through high quality project design and implementation, strategic growth, partnerships and staff development. As CRS’ primary representative for water related programming, you will foster partnerships, engage with donors and participate in international forums. You will directly manage a team of technical staff and program managers and coordinate with technical advisors and senior program staff across regional and country offices.


Roles and Key Responsibilities

  • Strategic Leadership: Lead design and use of agency-wide strategies, standards and tools in water security that effectively engage partners, donors, and governments. Ensure a cross-sectoral approach that integrates gender and safe and dignified programming.
  • Technical Assistance: Provide technical assistance to countries in project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of water security programs. Advise regions and CPs in developing water security strategies. Coordinate technical assistance in water programming to guide allocation of human resources and support learning across countries.
  • Program Quality: Lead development and application of innovative approaches and promising practices for high quality water programming, including systems strengthening, sectoral integration, and partnership principles.
  • Growth: Contribute to HQ, regional and country program efforts to position CRS for strategic growth opportunities in water security. Provide technical guidance in proposal development and project design to ensure technical excellence. Support CPs to appropriately staff project teams. Collaborate with the Institutional Donor Engagement and Advancement and Charitable Giving units to engage with public and private donors that can support CRS’ water activities.
  • Team Leadership: Coordinate the global water team, facilitate a community of practice for exchange and learning, provide technical leadership to water specialists and communicate and coordinate regularly with colleagues in the Humanitarian Response Department and regions.
  • Talent Management: Effectively manage talent and supervise team members. Provide coaching, strategically tailor development plans, and complete performance assessment for direct reports. Promote staff well-being and foster an environment of high morale and motivation. Support the Azure Project Chief of Party in managing Azure staff based across multiple countries.
  • Capacity Strengthening: Lead capacity strengthening initiatives in water programming for CRS staff and partners by supporting development of learning agendas and curricula, organizing and facilitating trainings and workshops, and mentoring and coaching staff in CRS approaches and tools. Provide mentoring and coaching to Technical Advisors, as well as CP and regional staff.
  • Representation: Represent CRS at global forums, conferences, UN convenings, U.S. Congress meetings and donor gatherings. Present CRS’ water security work to influence approaches, funding opportunities and policies. Represent CRS in alliances and consortia, such as Agenda for Change, Millennium Water Alliance and the InterAction WASH Working Group. Network with peer organizations, technical institutions, universities, government agencies, private sector firms and donors to establish strategic partnerships and increase CRS’ water security profile.
  • Knowledge Management and Learning: Lead knowledge management, learning agendas and storytelling in water security through identification, documentation, and sharing of successes, promising practices, instructive failures, lessons and evidence, including through publication.
  • Monitoring: Co-lead the customization and rollout of the mWater platform to design a harmonized system for monitoring the implementation of the CRS Water Security Strategy. This entails mapping WASH infrastructure and activities, ensuring data quality assurance, facilitating visualization and sharing relevant information internally and externally.
  • Sector Integration: Coordinate with CRS leads for other sectors to support integration of water in CRS programming such as health, agriculture, microfinance, education and social cohesion.


Basic Qualifications

  • Masters degree in water resource management, engineering, environmental studies, public health or a related field required. PhD or DrPH preferred.
  • Minimum of ten years of work experience in water security with progressive responsibilities, ideally with an international NGO, with five years overseas in multiple regions as a technical advisor and/or program manager of a water project and/or a multi-sectoral project with a water component.
  • Deep understanding and application of technical principles and concepts in water security. Good knowledge of related disciplines to ensure proper cross-sectoral approach.
  • Track record of contributing significantly to successful business development activities capturing public and/or private donor funding for water or WASH-related programming.
  • Expertise in the development and production of curricula, tools, and other products to support water security interventions and programming. Demonstrated experience to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and informal methods.
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation including development of indicators, data collection tools and methodologies, data analysis, and data presentation.
  • Demonstrated experience and skills to represent the organization at the highest levels at meetings with donors, government, international NGOs, and local faith-based and civil society partners. Understanding of partnership principles.
  • Proficient in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications and strong understanding of information and budget management systems and knowledge-sharing networks.

Required Languages – French or Spanish preferred

Travel – Must be willing and able to travel up to 20%.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent relationship management skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to work with people in diverse geographical and cultural settings
  • Excellent strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including research publications
  • Excellent presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills
  • Proactive, resourceful and results-oriented

Preferred Qualifications

  • Technical and/or academic publications are preferred but not required
  • Experience supervising technical specialists
  • Experience coordinating across teams from diverse locations and backgrounds

Agency REDI Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibilities

The position supervises the Azure Project Chief of Party, who manages a team across multiple countries, and the Technical Advisor for WASH in Institutions. The position provides coordination and technical leadership for a larger group of water specialists.

Key Working Relationships:

Internal – WASH technical advisors from the Humanitarian Response Department and regional offices, country program project teams, other sector leads, agriculture/livelihoods and health teams, Institutional Donor Engagement and Advancement, Charitable Giving

External – Agenda for Change, Millennium Water Alliance, InterAction WASH Working Group, WASH in health care facilities working group, institutional and private donors, technical partners, peer organizations, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

***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. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Disclaimer: 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 from abuse and exploitation.

EOE/M/F/D/V – CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. (For all US and International positions)

How to apply

To apply please click here.

Deadline: 31-Mar-24

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