Job Title: Agriculture Program Manager

Region:                 East and Southern Asia

Reports to:         Country Manager/CRS Timor-Leste

Band:                    I

Based in:              Dili, Timor-Leste with up to 70% time in Districts National position



CRS Timor-Leste began operations in in 1979 to respond to serious famine during Indonesian occupation. It currently has offices in Dili and Baucau and works in four main sectors: health; justice and peace- building; disaster risk management/climate change adaptation and agriculture.

Through its agriculture and livelihoods program, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Timor-Leste empowers communities to better meet their own needs through innovative interventions and participatory field-based training. As the vast majority of the rural population engages in subsistence farming as their main livelihood activity, CRS and its local partners target vulnerable households to improve food security and nutrition, generate income and increase the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate related risks and shocks.

Primary Function

The CRS Timor-Leste Agriculture Advisor will provide strategic leadership and technical guidance and support to the Country Program, with a particular focus on agriculture and nutrition in relation to building resilience of the most vulnerable populations. The position will assist CRS-TL in strategy development, monitoring and standardizing program quality, identify and rolling out new opportunities, assist in proposal development and representation; and promote/capture learning and innovation.  The Agriculture Advisor would be fully responsible for agriculture activities in the MAHON project in Liquica as well as general project management.  The Advisor will spend significant time providing technical support to the Community Driven Nutrition Improvement Project.


Key Responsibilities:

Technical Assistance:

1-     Provide technical support to the country program for strategic planning, program design, and monitoring and evaluation in conjunction with relevant regional and country program level parties.

2-     Coordinate the development of and/or support the use/adoption of Regional and Agency standards and guiding principles for Agriculture, including the CRS Agriculture and Environment strategy.

3-     Support Timor-Leste in the development of programs with strong linkages between agriculture production and nutritional improvement and build capacity of CP staff to design/implement such programs.

4-     Collaborate with the INGO community, ESA Region, government and other appropriate stakeholders to promote sharing of learning and identify relevant innovations.

5-     Provide technical support for Agriculture & Emergency, including support for seed system and seed security assessments and application of best practices in emergency response/recovery for both seed and vegitatively propagated seed systems.

6-     Lead Timor-Leste in strengthening the capacity of country program and partner staff in Agro-enterprise using  e-learning tools and through promotion of the CRS’ 5-skill set approach to farmer groups.

7-     Support country programs in the recruitment and capacity-building of high quality technical staff in the agriculture, nutrition and livelihoods sectors.

8-     Lead Country Programs and partners in promoting integration of agriculture and nutrition in other program sectors, such as peacebuilding and WASH

9-     Provide guidance and mentoring to build the capacity of country program staff and partners, in line with Agency Partnership Principles. Facilitate relevant sectoral workshops and trainings for country program and partner staff.

Program Growth:

1-     Initiate and maintain collegial relationships and collaboration with relevant international donors and research institutions and attend government, INGO and UN meetings relevant to the Country Program strategy related to agriculture, food security and nutrition and resiliency.  Disseminate relevant information from meetings and workshops to Country Program.

2-     Ensure Region and Country Program staff are cognizant of new developments related to key donors, including USAID, DFAT and World Bank.

3-     Coordinate with the Business Development Advisor, DRD/PQ and Country Program staff to support development of high quality proposals and to position Timor-Leste for future funding opportunities.

4-     Assist in development of a program growth strategy for Agriculture and Nutrition and play a lead role in identifying sources of public and private funding to achieve this strategy.

Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning (MEAL)

1-     In coordination with the MEAL RTA and MEAL Project Manager provide guidance to country program and partners in the design and/or enhancement of participatory MEAL tools and protocols to strengthen data collection, analysis and reporting.

2-     Assist in the design and implementation of baseline, mid-term and final evaluations and ensure follow-up of findings/recommendations to improve program quality of programs. Ensure that relevant reports are disseminated within the Region and Agency.

3-     Ensure that Timor-Leste is documenting learning related to agriculture and resiliency and are making appropriate changes in project implementation.

4-     Organize learning events for CRS-TL staff in learning and problem solving related to agriculture

Project Management and Supervision

1-      Supervise MAHON project and provide support in managing project including budget management, quality implementation and monitoring and evaluation and learning

2-      Strengthen MAHON CRS staff in supervision, project design and project management

3-      Work with MAHON CRS staff to strengthen partner capacity


Key Working Relationships:


ESA Agriculture Technical Advisors, DRDPQ, MEAL RTA, MEAL Project Manager, CRS Timor-Leste Country Manager, CRS Timor-Leste Agriculture and Nutrition staff


External donors, research institutions, Caritas partners, beneficiary groups (including farmers groups, cooperatives, care groups and traders)


1-     Master’s required in agronomy, crop/soil/animal science, agricultural economics, or related field.

2-     Minimum of 5-7 years working on development issues in agriculture, food security, nutrition and resiliency in Timor-Leste.

3-                 Demonstrable experience (including experience training others on best practices) in the following areas within Timor-Leste:

  • Maize production best practices
  • Vegetable crop production (experience with keyhole and/or raised bed or kitchen gardens preferred)
  • Improved seed and grain storage systems
  • Agricultural disaster risk reduction or mitigation strategies for farming communities including around water shortages and irrigation
  • Legume production
  • Agroenterprise experience

4-     Previous experience working in advisory role leading to positive impacts for country programs highly desired

5-     Significant experience in small-holder farming systems, agro enterprise, sustainable agriculture, rural micro-finance, micro-nutrient promotion and behavior change communication.

6-     Experience in project design and proposal development. Strong English language writing skills preferred.

7-     Strong cross-cultural & interpersonal skills. Experience in facilitating the capacity building of diverse groups of colleagues, including partners.

8-     Ability to work effectively and achieve results as part of a remote team without day to day supervision.

9-     Excellent written and oral communication in English and Tetum.

10-  Willingness to travel within Timor-Leste up to 70% of the time.

Foreign Language Requirement:

Fluency in English and Tetum required



Suitable qualified female candidates are especially encouraged to apply.


Sent a cover letter, current CV and professional references by email to or

Delivery by hand at CRS Dili Office at Rua Dom Alexio Corte Real, Mandarin, Dili or

CRS Baucau Office at Rua Samadigar Buibau, Baucau

For further information and full job description please email the address above.

Deadline:  29 February 2016

Only Short Listed Applicants will be contacted