Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

Job Posting with Catholic Relief Services

Education Program Manager II, Herat, Afghanistan
Catholic Relief Services
Herat, Afghanistan
31 October 2018


Job Summary:

CRS began supporting development efforts in Afghanistan in 1998 as a member of the Caritas Network and launched direct program operations in Afghanistan in 2002. CRS currently works in Bamiyan, Daykundi, Ghor, Herat and Kabul Provinces.

CRS' 2016-2020 strategic plan for Afghanistan focuses on poverty and risk reduction and human development in western and central Afghanistan. CRS, with a focus on sustainability and scalability, works to: increase and diversify agricultural livelihood security and improve the quality of and children and youth's access to basic education while developing and strengthening local capacities and facilitating men and women's meaningful participation.


CRS Education Program Summary

Education is highly valued in Afghanistan and since 2001 school enrollment has increased from 900,000 to more than 7.3 million children in 2011. Despite these gains, approximately 5 million school-aged children are still out of school, nearly 70% of whom are girls. In addition, only 26% of the population is estimated to be literate--which drops to 10% for women and girls in rural areas. In 2005, CRS Afghanistan initiated a long-term strategy for rural education based on the Community Based Education model (CBE) in western and central Afghanistan. CBE classes have brought hundreds of thousands of children into the education system in areas where villages are too far from a government school.

The CRS/Afghanistan education program is currently implementing several multi-year community based education grants with various components of innovation: the DFID-funded/Girls Education Challenge, Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)-led Steps Toward Afghan Girls' Educational Success (STAGES) II program. STAGES II is a four year (2017-2021) follow on program supporting community based primary and lower secondary education across Bamiyan, Ghor, Daykundi and Herat Provinces. The Canadian Government (GAC) funded Community Based Education Enrichment Program (CBEEP), a five-year education program (2014-2019) implementing CBE in 110 communities across Bamiyan, Ghor, Daykundi and Herat provinces of Afghanistan.

The Caritas and CRS private funded Opportunities for Community Based Education and Livelihoods (EXCEL) project, a three-year program (2015-2018) that implements CBE in 24 classes in Ghor Province with additional focus on Islamic religious messaging and Livelihoods/WASH/NRM-focused student learning modules to complement co-located agriculture livelihoods training. EXCEL is being replicated in the Bamiyan Province beginning in 2018. Since 2016, CRS private funds are supporting over 50 additional CBE classes across CRS' four provinces of implementation.

In addition to current programs, CRS is pursuing additional public and private funding for community based education, including alternate models such as multi-grade classrooms; teacher training in improved primary curriculum and innovations for MoE certification; and is considering need and opportunity for accelerated secondary education and early childhood development.


Primary Role:

The primary role of the Education Program Manager II is to oversee and guide the quality management, implementation, and strategic direction of the CRS education portfolio in Afghanistan.

The Education Program Manager will supervise the Bamyan, Daykundi, Ghor, Herat and Kabul education programs, providing strategic and technical support to teams and linkages with and between the programming teams, Afghanistan Ministry of Education at various levels, donors and other non-governmental actors and stakeholders. The Education Program Manager will also guide the development of new partnerships and alliances and support proposal development and CP growth in education.


Program Quality:

  • Remain abreast of national education policies, donor strategies and discussions among stakeholders in education, sharing back with CP leadership and programming staff to inform implementation strategies and future direction of education programming.
  • Ensure mapping of education programming across provinces is maintained and up-to-date; review with Education PMs and HoP regularly to inform strategy and prioritize fundraising efforts.
  • Ensure that best practices, lessons learned, and constraints are consistently captured and shared across the country program and develop strategies for addressing constraints and strengthening program quality.
  • Identify technical gaps and capacity development needs of education teams and help coordinate/source appropriate support, training and development opportunities.
  • Coordinate regular program planning and coordination meetings with senior education program staff to ensure that programming is coordinated and consistent throughout the Country Program.
  • Ensure that programming is consistent with donor requirements, CRS program quality standards and relevant international standards.
  • Ensure provision of timely and accurate reports to program donors. Support and guide Education PMs in building their writing and reporting skills.

Management Quality:

Work closely with education PMs and finance to ensure that budgets are well developed and managed in accordance with CRS and donor regulations, and that financial reports are timely and accurate.

  • Work closely with the Head of Programs and Head of Operations to streamline best management practices and efficiencies within the Education Program.
  • Support/guide PMs in timely and efficient procurement of education materials for start of new school year.
  • Support implementation of child protection policies and procedures in all education programming as well as compliance monitoring.
  • Staff Supervision and Management:
  • Provide strong supervision, coaching, capacity building and learning opportunities for direct reports and adherence to CRS Performance Management Cycle.
  • Support Education Program Managers (level I) in talent management and the professional development of their teams; help source/coordinate appropriate technical and capacity development opportunities.
  • Support Education Program Managers in carrying out CRS performance management responsibilities.
  • Review and revise education staffing structure in coordination with Program Managers, Head of Programs and senior management team as appropriate, ensuring use of talent, efficiencies and that staffing that is ultimately responsive to programming needs.
  • Develop JDs and lead/support recruitment efforts for staffing gaps in education.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning:
  • Co-lead the design of Proframes and MEAL plans for education programs, helping to ensure appropriate feedback loops for learning.
  • Utilize quality M&E practices to guide programmatic recommendations and decisions, and support and guide the M&E Officers and Education Project Managers to do the same.
  • Help ensure appropriate MEAL systems in place for accurate and timely data collection around MEAL indicators.
  • Help coordinate and implement new program-wide ICT4D MEAL collection system, in collaboration with Country Program IT and MEAL managers.
  • Ensure appropriate beneficiary protection and accountability mechanisms in place for all education programs.
  • Lead the CP in the development of a well informed and ambitious learning agenda for education that distinguishes CRS as sector leader in education in Afghanistan

Program Growth and Proposal Development:

  • Continuously provide CP and education staff strategic direction in education that is responsible and in line with CRS Program Quality and partnership principles.
  • Contribute to program growth through meetings/capture planning with donors, partners and stakeholders.
  • Lead new growth efforts, including proposal and budget development, planning and conducting project development workshops with staff and stakeholders as needed.
  • Maintain up-to-date marketing materials for education and help in the creation of new and impactful materials/mediums such as hand-outs, videos, human interest stories and other.


  • Manage and monitor sub-grant to partner(s), assisting partner(S) in meeting programmatic and financial obligations to beneficiaries and CRS.
  • Support continuous capacity development of ANAD and its staff.


  • Represent CRS Afghanistan education programs to government, NGO community and donors in Afghanistan, the region and in the US as needed.
  • Actively contribute to and participate in consortium/partner meetings and specific working groups as needed.
  • Represent CRS Afghanistan education programs at relevant CRS meetings.

Core Competencies:

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)

These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results:

  • Serves with Integrity
  • Models Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning

Program Manager Competencies:

These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each program manager to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results:

  • Sets clear goals and manages toward them
  • Collaborates effectively with staff and stakeholders
  • Manages financial resources with integrity
  • Applies program quality standards to project design and organizational learning

Key Working Relationships:

INTERNAL: Country Representative; Head of Programming; Provincial Education Program Managers; MEAL Coordinator, Deputy Program Manager and Officers; Education Project Officers; Heads of Offices; Head of Operations; Finance Manager; Finance Officers; Administration Departments; Procurement Departments.


EXTERNAL: National and Local government ministries, STAGES consortium members, peer agencies working in education, bilateral donors (GAC, DFID, USAID), Community Development Councils (CDC) and community shuras and UN agencies.

Personal Skills:

1. Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal, and proven ability to lead a dynamic and diverse group of people.

2. Strong teamwork, coordination and strategic planning skills.

3. Ability to deal effectively with deadlines.

4. Ability to respond practically and operate successfully in difficult field conditions. Willingness to travel to and work in remote areas for extended periods.

5. Willingness to live in shared housing with a diverse group of international staff.

6. Ability to be flexible, persistent, and diplomatic and to gain respect among staff, local community leaders as well as local government ministries and donor organizations.



1. Master's degree in education or a related field. Additional experience may substitute for some education.

2. Professional experience and academic training in education.

3. At least five years of experience in program management in developing countries.

4. Experience working with international non-governmental organizations.

5. Excellent writing skills.

6. Strong project management experience: supervision, budget management, program planning, monitoring and evaluation.

7. Knowledge of CRS PQ and MQ policies and principles.


Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.


Interested candidates are encouraged to apply via the Career Page on the Catholic Relief Services' website. See link below: