Technical Advisor (Water & Environment)

Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Job Description

Job Title: Technical Advisor II - Water and Environment

Internal Title: Technical Advisor II

Job Type: Full-Time

Department: Water and Environment (PIQA), supporting East Africa Regional Office (EARO) and South Africa Regional Office (SARO),

Country/Location: East Africa, Southern Africa or Telecommuting 

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.


CRS recently launched its Water Security for 2030 strategy opens a pdf file . Water security, as defined in CRS' Water Security for 2030 agency strategy, encompasses and includes all water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programming. The three priority areas of the strategy are Water in Sustainable Landscapes (e.g. Water for Ag), WASH in Humanitarian and Development contexts, Water Finance and Governance. To support high quality implementation of the strategy, CRS is seeking a technical advisor to support CRS and partners in implementing water security activities and to provide regular technical assistance to programs in the East Africa and Southern Africa regions.

Job Summary:

The Technical Advisor II -- Water and Environment (TA II) will provide technical advice, guidance, and support to a wide range of program design and implementation issues with a focus on larger projects within CRS' Water and Environment sector, guided by its strategy. All programming will adhere to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) program quality principles and standards, donor guidelines, and industry best practices to regional and Country Program (CP) teams to advance the delivery of high-quality programming to the poor and vulnerable. The TA II's technical knowledge, advice and guidance will contribute to CRS' effective, adaptive and innovative water security programming across the globe, with particular attention to the East Africa and Southern Africa regions (EARO and SARO).

Job Responsibilities:

  • Support implementation through CRS programs of the three priority areas identified in the CRS Water Security for 2030 strategy -- Water in Sustainable Landscapes (e.g. Water for Ag), WASH in Humanitarian and Development contexts, Water Finance and Governance.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of agency-wide strategies, standards, tools, and best practices in Water Security that effectively engage partners, donors and governments. Help ensure a cross-sectoral approach integrating gender, protection mainstreaming, and disaster risk reduction.
  • Provide technical solutions to water projects in East Africa and Southern Africa, as well as global and other regions, through remote and on-site support. Provide strategic planning and support in applying program design and implementation standards, best practices, partnership principles, tools, and M&E, ensuring high-quality implementation.
  • Contribute to efforts to pre-position CRS for growth opportunities in Water Security in East Africa and Southern Africa, as well as globally and in other regions. Lead or contribute to the development of the technical design for large and/or complex proposals, including defining appropriate monitoring systems and indicators. Advise project teams on integrating donor strategies, priorities and technical requirements into CRS' approach.
  • Contribute to capacity strengthening initiatives in Water Security programming for staff and partner through helping develop learning and training strategies and agendas/curriculums, conducting trainings and workshops, and mentoring and coaching to CP staff.
  • Contribute to knowledge management and learning through collecting and analyzing program data, evaluating strategic projects, assisting with measuring program impact, capturing and sharing lessons learned and best practices, and research and internal reports.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with donors, peer organizations, research and other institutions. Participate in forums in Water Security to share best practices, promote CRS' work, learn from others, and influence priorities and global practice.
  • Lead and coordinate the regional and global WASH Community of Practice
  • Support recruitment of Country Program water staff, e.g. development of job descriptions and participating on interview panels.

Background and Experience:

Education and Experience

  • Master's Degree in public health, engineering or other related field in WASH. Candidates with engineering skills will be given preference.
  • Minimum of five years relevant international working experience in an advisory or management role with progressive responsibilities, ideally with an international NGO. Minimum of three years working on programming interventions in WASH and/or water resource management.
  • Previous experience providing technical assistance and developing successful proposals for external donor funding is required.
  • Demonstrated application of technical principles and concepts in Water Security. General knowledge of other related disciplines to support multisectoral approaches.
  • Experience in business development, project design and proposal development in Water Security, including technical writing.
  • Experience in mentoring, coaching, facilitation and training applying adult learning principles and practices.
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation, including applying data collection tools and methodologies, data analysis, and data presentation.
  • Experience and skills in networking and relations with donors, peer organizations, and faith-based and civil society partners. Understanding of partnership principles.
  • Proficiency in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, knowledge-sharing networks.

Personal Skills

  • Excellent relationship management skills with ability to influence and elicit buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to 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 oral communication skills
  • Strong presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills
  • Proactive, resourceful and results-oriented

Foreign Language: French language proficiency preferred

Travel Required: Up to 60% of time

Key Working Relationships:

Supervisory: The TA II has no direct reports; however, s/he may be required to supervise consultants, as needed

Internal: Regional programming staff in EARO and SARO, including DRD/PQs and other TAs. Country Representatives, the Heads of Programming and CoPs, and country Water Program Managers. PIQA technical advisors, RTAs for Water Security in other regions, and business development staff.

External: Local partners, other PVOs; consultants working in Water Security. UN Agencies and local governments. Cultivate relationships and work with USG, other donor agencies, and professional associations.

Agency-wide Competencies

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