Senior Project Officer – Water Governance at Catholic Relief Services

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Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an International non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 110 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS is a global leader in agricultural livelihoods programming, and promotes resilience building in impoverished, disaster-affected, and climate change-impacted areas around the world. CRS re-established presence in Nigeria in 2000 and currently works in 32 of Nigeria’s 36 states, focusing on agriculture and livelihoods, health, and emergency programming.

CRS Nigeria has been awarded the USAID/Nigeria Water for Agriculture Program. This program seeks to develop and implement interventions that will sustainably increase water availability and management, towards increasing agricultural productivity in in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states of Nigeria. This effort will contribute to CRS’ agriculture and livelihoods signature program area and ongoing efforts to promote resilience, recovery and development within Nigeria and neighboring countries around the Lake Chad Basin.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Senior Project Officer - Water Governance

Location: Adamawa

Job Summary

  • The Water Governance Manager will support the delivery of USAID-funded Water for Agriculture project by building institutional capacity of local government agencies and communities to utilize, manage and develop water assets in an equitable and sustainable manner.
  • The goal and key performance indicator (KPI) of this position is self-financing, good governance and management of water infrastructure projects that the project will develop / rehabilitate. This will include successful institution and acceptance of water tariffs to finance operational costs, routine repair and system overhaul.
  • The post holder will be responsible for the delivery of ‘Component 2: Strengthening Capacity for Water Governance and Management’ of Water for Agriculture. S/he will be required to familiarize her/himself on the conceptualization, implementation and reporting on this component.

Roles and Key Responsibilities

  • Ensure uninterrupted water services for agricultural use and livestock water to herders and farmers in targeted communities during the project period and build communities’ and governments’ capacity to sustain such services.
  • Provide technical assistance to relevant government ministries and departmental agencies aimed at ensuring responsible governance of water infrastructure developed / rehabilitated by WFA project. The post-holder:
  • Provide technical assistance to targeted communities aimed at ensuring responsible and sustainable utilization and management of water infrastructure developed / rehabilitated by WFA project. The post holder will:
  • Work within the existing government legislation and guidelines to form / strengthen community water management committees.
  • Build technical, financial and organizational capacities of community water management committees using CRS and other INGOs’ training tools such as SMART Skills.
  • Support community water management committees to self-organize, establish democratic governance structures and obtain requisite government registrations.
  • Ensure linkages and sustained engagements between community water management committees and relevant government MDAs for purposes of oversight and support.
  • Support target communities to understand the need for, to institute and to manage water tariffs / cost-recovery fees in an equitable and transparent manner.
  • Provide training in good water governance and management practices to partner government MDAs, communities’ leadership, water assets’ management committees and members of the targeted communities.
  • Support government MDAs to carry out routine monitoring and evaluation of water assets in targeted communities.
  • Support target communities to formulate and implement fundraising and income generation strategies aimed at subsidizing the heavy cost of water assets capital investments / major system overhauls and repairs.
  • Work closely with other project staff and with Search for Common Ground (SEARCH) to build communities’ understanding of and capacity to manage competition over water resources and the resulting conflict.
  • The post holder will be required to track and report conflicts over water resources in all targeted communities / LGAs. Document case studies and share information on water governance and management best practices and lessons learned within CRS and with local partners and government MDAs.
  • Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual work plans, budgets, and technical reports on Water Governance activities as part of the overall WFA program planning and reporting cycle. Represent CRS in water forums.
  • Provide effective management, coaching and support to the Community Water Specialist. Work with MDAs to develop tools and activities to monitor performance of water infrastructure.
  • Enable MDAs to enforce legislation, policies and guidelines that encourage responsible utilization, conservation and management of water assets.
  • Build capacity, encourage inter-departmental coordination and improve organizational structure of relevant MDAs to increase effectiveness and efficiencies aimed at providing better oversight to water management entities.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • The Water Governance Manager will supervise the Community Water Specialist and liaise with Community Liaison Officer.

Key Working Relationships

  • Internal: Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party, Community Water Specialist, Community Liaison, Construction Supervisors, Hydrologist, Geo-Hydrologist.
  • External: government ministries departments and agencies, local and international NGOs, coordination platforms and working groups, Water Users Associations / Water Management Committees, Water Facility Operators and community leaders.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree in Water Engineering, Geology / Hydrogeology, Geography and Planning, Social Sciences with Water Governance and Management background, or other relevant fields. Masters degree in relevant field will be an added advantage.
  • A minimum of 5 years of International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) experience in similar position in Nigeria.
  • Demonstrated and extensive experience in development and implementing cost recovery activities related to water assets.
  • At least 5 years of experience in building governments and communities water governance and management capacity.
  • A thorough understanding of approaches and challenges to implementation of cost recovery in water projects; particularly in the northern Nigeria context.
  • Prior experience on donor-funded programs of a similar size and scope.
  • Demonstrated ability to reach under-served communities and design products for excluded population segments including young women and men.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English; knowledge of Hausa will be an added advantage.
  • Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of office applications.
  • Travel Required 50% to field locations in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
  • Required Languages - English and Hausa. Fulfulde is an asset.

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.

What We Offer

  • CRS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, life insurance, vision, generous retirement savings plan and the opportunity to work in a collaborative, mission-driven culture that is committed to improving the lives of the poor throughout the world.

Application Closing Date
29th June, 2021.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
  • All positions requiring residence or frequent travel outside their home country must undergo and clear a pre-employment medical examination.
  • CRS' talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to safeguarding the rights and dignity of all people - especially children and vulnerable adults - to live free from abuse and harm.
  • EOE/M/F/D/V - CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. (For all US and International positions)
  • 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.