Cuso International

Senior Technical Advisor (Market Systems Development and Value Chains)

Cuso International

Job Description

Job Title: Senior Technical Advisor, Market Systems Development and Value Chains

Reports to: DRD PQ SARO

Department: SARO

Band: 11

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.

As part of the CRS Agency Strategy (‘Vision 2030’) CRS is seeking to catalyze humanitarian and development outcomes at scale through transformational change. To achieve this ambition, CRS has established six Strategic Change Platforms (SCPs), including Livelihoods and Landscapes Strategic Change Platform (SCP3). The SCP3 aims to scale the adoption of people-centered land restoration approaches on 1.6 million hectares to increase 1 million rural farm families' productivity (up to 40%), resilience and adaptation to climate change through collaboration with peers, governments and multi-stakeholder platforms. Nature based market systems development offers a unique entry point for CRS to achieve these ambitions – if a nature base market system is inclusive and efficient then it can deliver productive Agriculture Systems at scale for the most vulnerable and disaster-prone families.

CRS and partners will collaborate with cross-sector networks in multiple geographies to generate valuable evidence and learning on the interdependence of sustainable economic development and agricultural land restoration and rehabilitation and will demonstrate how a nature base market system approach can increase the market incentives for sustaining and scaling restorative agricultural land management. The goal is to support rural communities to achieve climate resilient food security and livelihoods through the restoration of ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, including carbon sequestration and water cycle regulation, underpinned by market-based service provision and incentives that increase profitability and income.

Through a portfolio of market based programming, CRS works closely with a network of national and international agricultural companies to broaden value chain approaches and support diversified agroforestry and other Sustainable Land Management practices with legumes, grains, horticultural products as well as other high-value fruits and spices such as vanilla and black pepper. Through the nature-based MSD approach, CRS will build on established relationships with key private sector companies and public-sector partners to leverage local and international co-investment in the target geographies. CRS recognizes that this is a long-term process that requires a joint and integrated vision for scaling and systems change across stakeholders. In practice, this means contributing to enabling conditions and strengthening of local capacities of stakeholders collaborate and overcome current and future development challenges effectively.

Job Summary:

As part of the SARO team, the STA will provide technical advice, guidance, and support to a wide range of Program Design and implementation issues in the area of Nature based Market Systems Development and private sector engagement in line with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) program quality principles and standards, donor guidelines, and industry best practices to SARO targeted Country Program (CP) teams to advance the delivery of high-quality programming to the poor and vulnerable. Your technical knowledge, advice and guidance will contribute to effective, adaptive and innovative landscape and market systems programming.

You will be responsible for setting the strategic direction of nature based market systems development linked to sustainable land management work and regenerative agriculture; ensuring harmonization and consistency; developing technical guidance and tools; documenting learning; building capacity of country and regional teams and providing technical accompaniment to pilot Country Programs as they conduct landscape and market systems Analysis, strategy design, intervention start-up, negotiation and management of partnerships, including private sector and measure/capture results and learning.


Roles and Key Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of agency-wide, regional, and country program (CP) strategies, standards, tools, and best practices in PSE and market-based approaches in humanitarian and development programming.
  • Support regional and CP efforts to pre-position CRS for growth opportunities in nature based market system development approaches and private sector engagement, especially by contributing to the technical design for large or complex proposals, defining appropriate monitoring systems and indicators, and advising teams on integrating donor and private sector priorities and technical requirements into CRS’ approaches.
  • Adapt and deliver trainings and workshops nature based market system development approaches and private sector engagement to staff and partners, while providing ongoing mentoring and coaching to colleagues.
  • Support knowledge management and learning (KML) through collecting and analyzing regional and CP program data, evaluating projects, capturing and sharing lessons learned and best practices, and preparing research, case studies, and internal reports.
  • Help regional and CP teams to cultivate and manage strategic relationships with peer organizations, aligned private sector actors, business development service providers by leading or supporting landscape and market assessments, Mapping exercises, and relationship management processes.
  • Support teams to conduct appropriate levels of due diligence according to the type(s) of proposed private sector engagement or partnership(s).
  • Support teams to identify financial mechanisms that can support communities and small holders to manage land restoration activities and to invest in value chain activities. This can include traditional approaches in exploring post-SILC Access to Finance but can also include development of climate financing strategies
  • Establish and maintain relationships with donors, peer organizations, private sector, research and other institutions. Participate in forums in the areas of landscape and market systems development to collect and share best practices and promote CRS’ work
  • Identify regional and CP strengthening opportunities and advise accordingly with existing resources/tools or engage the Business Development Services (BDS) Specialist.


Basic Qualifications

  • Master's Degree in International Development or related fields, with a focus on business, market-based approaches and/or finance required.
  • Minimum of ten years relevant work experience with progressive responsibilities, ideally with an international NGO, with minimum of three years relevant field-based experience in private sector engagement or nature-based market system development approaches to development.
  • Knowledge of technical principles and concepts in private sector engagement, market-based approaches to development, impact investing and/or environment financing. General knowledge of other related disciplines to ensure proper cross-sectoral approach.
  • Experience in project design and proposal development. Experience in writing content for proposals.
  • Knowledge of capacity strengthening best practices.
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation and analysis.
  • Experience in advising and applying adult learning principles and practices.
  • Experience and skills in networking and building relationships with peer organizations, and faith-based and civil society partners. Understanding of partnership principles.

Required Languages– Fluency in English is required, knowledge of French preferred

Travel– Must be willing and able to travel up to 30%

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Strong relationship management skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to work with individuals from diverse geographical and cultural settings.
  • Good strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment
  • Proactive, resourceful and results-oriented; self-starter with ability to prioritize and identify tangible steps to implement new approaches
  • Excellent technical writing skills
  • Presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills
  • Proficient in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget Management Systems, knowledge-sharing networks and budget management systems.

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.

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship

Supervisory Responsibilities – None

Key Working Relationships:

Internal –Country Program and Regional Staff, HQ Technical and Business Development Teams, Impact Investing and Private Sector Engagement Team,

External – Small and Medium Enterprises,Impact Investors,CRS Partners,Donors

***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.

CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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