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Technical Director, Bloomberg Wed Program at CARE

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary: 000


About the job

Work Location : Malawi – Lilongwe Type of Post : Accompanied – Family

Other Possible Location : Malawi – Lilongwe Funding : APPROVED

Expected Travel : up to 50% Type of Contract :

Language Requirement : English Application Deadline :

Employee Duration : Full-Time

Job Summary

CARE developed a scale-up strategy for VSLAs in 2018 and recently reviewed it based on the lessons learned from the four years of its implementation. The strategy goal is to ensure that by 2030, 62 million people (of which 50 million women and girls) are economically and socially empowered through savings groups, thus reducing poverty and increasing gender equality.

The Technical Director has overall authority, leadership, and vision for the four-year Bloomberg Program (January 2024 – December 2027) and is accountable for delivering results against the VSLA Scaling strategy. The Program is a USD $35 million project with a mission to enhance market access, entrepreneurship and social outcomes of VSLA members in 8 countries: Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Uganda, Rwanda, Vietnam and Syria. The program will directly impact 500,000 unique participants across these countries

The Technical Director will provide overall leadership, management oversight, and technical direction for the project, ensuring an integrated vision across components and stakeholders . The Technical Director will take a leadership role in coordination among the Project team, implementing partners, public and private sector partners, higher education partners, and government stakeholders, as well as directly liaise with CARE USA HQ (Foundations team and Office of the President). The Technical Director will have a firm understanding of the programmatic aspects of the project in an evolving context and contribute to a continuous adaptive management approach. The Technical Director will work with CARE USA HQ to ensure compliance with Bloomberg Philanthropies rules and regulations. The Chief of Party is accountable for the overall strategic vision and leadership of the project and is accountable for delivering results. The Technical Director will manage relationships with partners (technical partners; local implementing partners; and resource partners), stakeholders and donors, and project reporting (narrative and financial). S/he is a member of the Project Management Unit, which will coordinate interventions; develop implementation guidelines; measure project progress, performance and impact; ensure cross-sectoral integration; and manage the integration of learning and innovation. S/he will coordinate closely with the Global VSLA team on strategy, accountability, reporting, and implementation.

The Technical Director will manage a team of five international and local staff (the Monitoring and Evaluation Lead, Technical Coordinator, Finance and Grants manager, KM and Comms leads) as well as CO based technical Leads. These staff will provide overall leadership and strategic vision for the program ensuring compliance with donor rules and regulations and will be accountable for strategic and operational planning. They will also be accountable for representation with National and local Government partners as well as technical and private sectors partners in the 8 COs. The Technical Director will participate in senior-level partner and stakeholder events and meetings and translates project goals and objectives into implementable strategies and plans. S/he oversees the preparation of quarterly and annual project activity reports, M&E reports, and other deliverables, as specified in the agreement.

Given the scale and complexity of this Program, the Technical Director must have a proven track record in managing food and livelihood security programs, and knowledge of all the different technical components the program focuses on. S/he must also have a significant history of working with the highest levels of government counterparts, implementing partners, donors, and other stakeholders. The successful candidate should possess significant experience managing programming, financial and operations of large multi-year international development projects. A thorough understanding of VSLA programming and advanced knowledge of VSLA Plus approaches (entrepreneurship, market development, norms) is important. She/he must have experience with the design and oversight of the annual project cycle in accordance with donor reporting cycles. The Technical Director must have considerable experience achieving results in a team setting as well as supervising and coaching senior staff, and clearly communicating performance expectations.

As this is a “learning” program for the first year and the structure will be somewhat different than usual, requiring an intensive period of research, learning, coordination with partners and stakeholders and program refinement during the first year. This is followed by three-years of intensive and highly effective implementation. At the end of year four, and independent impact evaluation will be conducted, with an expectation that outcomes and impacts on higher level economic security indicators will fulfill or exceed expectations. The Technical Director will coordinate these efforts with key personnel and effectively leverage support from CARE International technical and operational advisors to collectively achieve these objectives.


Leadership, Strategy and Program Management

  • The Technical Director oversees the completion of all technical requirements, including project results and deliverables, in accordance with the project work plan. Design and oversee an annual project cycle in accordance with Bloomberg Philanthropies annual planning cycles. Ensure that activities, budgets, outputs and outcomes will be programed and managed through an annual planning process, with flexibility and adaptability built into program management structures and philosophy. Accountable for all the programs leaders/senior team continuously assessing and reassessing program conditions, activities, and impact, and making adjustments and course corrections to meet changing conditions on the ground. Accountable for ensuring the integration of Gender, Equity, and Diversity initiatives and values, including youth engagement and empowerment into activities as well within the program team across COs (staff and partners).
  • Collaborate closely with CARE COs particularly at project start-up, but also ongoing throughout the project. Close collaboration will also be required in order that staff learn and adapt effective approaches used in other CARE CO programs that work with VSLAs. This collaboration will continue throughout the program life. Ongoing and pro-active collaboration with key staff within each CO technical team to ensure program implementation remains on track and delivered to high quality standard.
  • Close and ongoing collaboration with the Finance and Grants manager and MEL Director, the Country Office Finance team and the CARE USA VSLA team to ensure that all financial policies are adhered to, and that both direct delivery and partner delivery are conducted in a manner to minimize disallowed costs.

Program Quality and Technical Oversight

  • The Technical Director leads the quality implementation of VSLA linkages to formal financial services while contributing towards quality digital solution integration. This program will inform the VSLA Scaling strategy and inform the ongoing approach to reach 62m people by 2030. Develop or adapt technical resources, including guides, case studies, and other learning tools, to build capacity for financial inclusion, Agrifund and collective investment, particularly contributing to the overall socio-economic empowerment of women and driving food and nutrition security. Contribute to private sector engagement for increased access and usage of financial support as well as agribusiness in order to support the development of win-win solutions that have the potential to transform business practices and open up opportunities to create increased access, use, and control of financial services, employment, income, food and nutrition security, and advance gender equality and women empowerment the project
  • Provide capacity-building and training to country teams and programs in understanding the integration, layering, and sequencing of VSLA activities and beyond and technical assistance in the form of one-on-one mentoring, and on-the-ground support for the country program.
  • Provide strategic vision on program sustainability and resilience

Drive learning and program quality throughout program integration and layering of VSLA

As part of our increasing need to multiply impact through knowledge management, partnerships and learning, the Technical Director will:

  • Support Documentation and development of publications that demonstrate impact and systems development of program integration and layering of VSLA. These will include peer reviewed Journal articles, short human interest stories, Blog articles and other documentation that shows Cares work in market systems development.
  • Support Country offices and program teams to develop and write thought pieces, experience sharing and other publications showing CARE VSLA plus work in the field.
  • Develop power-points and other pieces that aim to publicize and bring awareness of the major work in CARE VSLA program integration and layering including VSLA members’ graduation models.
  • Contribute to cross sectoral learning and innovation with other PSI programs and initiatives. Identify and capture and share innovations, best or promising practices, and lessons learned to increase technical excellence especially in conjunction with FSW.
  • Share opportunities for internal and external knowledge sharing and collaborate on communications/learning/advocacy materials (webinars, briefs, etc.)
  • Participate as appropriate in agency-wide, regional and international meetings to represent the Ag and Markets team. This includes capturing, refining and publicizing learnings through the development of communication briefs, social media posts, journal articles, webinars, conference papers and presentations

Staff Management and Leadership


This responsibility requires excellent competency and skills in areas of team building, coordination, delegation with support and accountability, problem solving, and strategic decision-making. The incumbent is responsible for:

  • Providing leadership, coaching, and supervision (technical) of project Managers and scaling VSLAs through corporates’ staff and continuous quality improvement in the context of integration and layering of the VSLA programming framework.
  • Support recruitment and staffing for positions for CO teams, including the technical leads in each of the 8 COs, supporting identification of the right caliber of people, reviewing and developing appropriate job descriptions, and ensuring that country teams and programs are able to recruit and retain high quality.
  • Direct management of the key strategic management staff (including global staff) as well as oversight of entire project staff, anticipated to be approximately 50 staff when all positions are filled.

Specific Tasks Include

  • Implement CARE’s performance management system for direct reports, including goal setting, regular feedback, mid-term reviews and annual performance appraisals. Proactively address performance issues through timely, constructive, and honest feedback and coaching.
  • Oversee performance management system for entire project (HQ and CO) team, working collaboratively with direct reports to ensure that all staff receive regular feedback, coaching, and mentoring and that performance issues are addressed promptly and equitably.
  • Accountable for ensuring the integration of CARE’s Gender, Equity, and Diversity principles are part and parcel of project team values and operating guidelines
  • Collaboratively engage with direct reports to ensure that career development and learning opportunities and succession planning strategies are in place project wide.
  • Ensure space and incentives are available to allow staff to develop and innovate for maximum project impact.
  • Oversee the recruitment, selection and orientation / on-boarding of new senior technical staff.

Alliances, Partnerships and Representation

  • Ensure the strategic and functional integration of all technical areas as well as strong collaboration with donors, government, Research institutions, agriculture private sector, and other implementing partners.
  • Externally, the Technical Director serves as primary representative with key stakeholders and fosters relationships with relevant – counterparts/departments of the government, the locally-represented multi/bi-lateral donors, foundations, international and national NGOs, private sector, CBOs, and other civil society organizations.
  • Coordinate actively with Office of the President, who maintains the formal relationship with Bloomberg Philanthropies. Foster relationships with other Bloomberg awardees in country implementing programs as part of the “Network” strategy to coordinate efforts while sharing learnings and result. Identify issues to be addressed to heighten donor and government accountability and maintain a positive image and good visibility for CARE among these groups. Support and work effectively in coalitions, networks and social movements. Facilitate cordial media relations and act as CARE spokesperson as required.


  • MA in development studies/economics/social science/microfinance or related subject, or equivalent expertise and additional enterprise and private sector engagement training
  • Deep, practical understanding of villages savings and loan associations or similar savings group modalities
  • Minimum of 10 years of progressively increasing management responsibilities in international development projects.
  • Prior experience managing multi-country programs: experience managing multi-sectoral projects using VSLAs as the platform
  • Understanding and demonstrated commitment to the importance of layering and sequencing program activities with VSLAs and within staffing and management of the program.
  • Experience with two or more of the following types of programs is an advantage: VSLA + climate change/disaster risk reduction, livelihoods (farm and/or non-farm), market development, Agri-fund, collective investment, or community resilience.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
  • Demonstrated experience in adaptive management and learning techniques is strongly desired.
  • Demonstrated experience recruiting, developing, and managing staff.
  • Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements. Experience with maintaining high levels of quality despite demanding reporting schedules and short deadlines for deliverables. Ability to review and ensure accuracy of complex budget and expenditure formats.
  • Fluency in English and ability to travel 50% to implementing COs as security allows.
  • 10+ years in program management, Technical assistance and program design
  • Demonstrated capacity to utilize and support others in utilizing a range of learning tools and approaches, both virtual and in-person years of senior management/leadership experience with international agencies
  • 10 years of experience in international programming in economic development or food and nutrition security
  • Experience in GED and geographically disbursed and multidisciplinary team management
  • Successful fundraising experience
  • Planning for and oversight of large budgets
  • Experience in research design and monitoring and evaluation

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