Work Location Kenya - Nairobi
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Job Location: can be based anywhere in the East, Central and Southern Africa region where CARE USA has a presence.

The Senior Technical Advisor, Food Justice will join a dynamic team that leads CARE’s expansion of access to financial services across the continent. The team is composed of specialists who provide holistic support services to CARE initiatives working with CARE’s trademark Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) model including supporting country office and regional scale up strategy development; co-creating programs and project designs; contributing to and/or leading proposal and fundraising efforts; providing technical support to project start up and implementation; and supporting CARE’s efforts to continually learn from and improve our initiatives; supporting connections between CARE’s work in communities and regional, national and international advocacy efforts.

As a leader in savings-led financial services, this position presents candidates with unparalleled opportunities to influence CARE’s work and the work of the broader financial inclusion sector. The role will have a particular emphasis on supporting the integration and expansion of CARE’s financial inclusion work with food and nutrition security and climate change resilience programming across CARE’s Food and Water Systems portfolio. The candidate would also work with country offices in the region to further both their advocacy and partnership work, so that CARE remains at the forefront of the donor and policy landscape in each country.

For the Senior Technical Advisor, Food Justice, we are seeking experienced, high-energy and creative candidates who can support our efforts to build on the power of VSLA to improve the agriculture-based livelihoods of most VSLA members and their households. The candidate will work with technical specialists across disciplines to advance evidence-based interventions that deliver meaningful change for low income, food insecure households.

JOB RESPONSIBILITY 1: Strategy and Programme Quality: 20 % of time

The role will support all aspects of CARE’s VSLA programming in the region, working alongside colleagues as a financial inclusion specialist to develop effective strategies for advancing women’s access to both informal and formal financial services. Within this area, CARE sees growing potential to support VSLAs to access formal financial services as well as opportunities to improve access of VSLAs and their members to agricultural finance. The candidate must be able to lead CARE’s ongoing analysis of the landscape both nationally and regionally and support CARE to build partnerships with a host of actors in the formal financial sector ranging from banks and MFIs to mobile network operators to regulators and industry associations. This responsibility will require the candidate to be able to quickly establish credibility with these actors, understand their motivations and challenges and support CARE colleagues to weigh these alongside the ambitions of CARE and our partners in order to build effective, impactful collaborations.

Specific activities under this performance area will include:

  • Serve as the lead Financial Inclusion contributor to CARE’s regional and national-level strategies focusing on food and nutrition security with VSLA as a core programming element
  • Lead regional analyses and ongoing context assessments to inform CARE’s approach to promoting formal financial inclusion for VSLAs and their members
  • Develop or adapt technical resources including guides, case studies and other learning tools to build capacity in financial inclusion, particularly as it contributes food and nutrition security
  • Collaborate across team functions to promote CARE’s approach of fostering gender equality, inclusive governance and resilience within all of our work
  • Build and maintain close relationships with relevant CARE colleagues outside of the region to facilitate a constant flow of information and learning

JOB RESPONSIBILITY 3: Technical Assistance to Specific Projects or Initiatives: 50 % of time

A large portion of the advisor’s ability to support strategy is driven by direct engagement with flagship financial inclusion initiatives in the region. At the outset, these direct engagements will represent a relatively minor proportion of the Advisor’s time. This proportion will, however, grow as new initiatives and projects are launched, specifically those conceptualized and advanced with support from the advisor.

Specific activities under this performance area will include:

  • Provide technical support and capacity building to CARE teams and partners (public, private, non-profit) to ensure projects are effectively delivered and continually improved
    • Specifically support the following programs:
      • SHOUHARDO –$100M grant to reach 155,154 HH and form 690 VSLAs
      • Malawi DFSA-  $75M grant to reach 347,007 HH and form at least 1,000 VSLAs
      • Support Southern Africa IGS to increase FI portfolios in each SAR CO; provide design/implementation support on collective action with government and private sector; support research and learning related to FI across SAR portfolio. 
  • Potentially serve as project director on select grants, coordinating planning and implementation of project activities and overseeing all aspects of program quality (programmatic, financial, administrative, personnel). 
  • Ensure that flagship initiattives embed M&E best practices and generate evidence and lessons that can inform CARE and others globallly
  • Represent CARE in discussions with current donors and ensure productive, suppotive donor relationshiops

JOB RESPONSIBILITY 3: Resource Mobilization and New Business Development: 30 % of time

Ensuring that CARE has a solid base of initiatives and a growing resource pool to achieve our goals is a top line priority for all internal stakeholders. The Advisor for Financial Inclusion will be responsible for supporting a wide range of fundraising initiatives ranging from input on concept notes to representation to leading proposals depending on the opportunity and degree to which financial inclusion is the core intervention area.

Specific activities under this performance area will include: 

  • Support new DFSA design in Niger, Mali and Zimbabwe – approximately $200M in new business over next 2 years
  • Engage with colleagues across the region, particularly regional and country-level directors and assistant directors, to conceptualize new initiatives aligned with regional and national strategies and the financial inclusion learning agenda
  • Lead and/or provide substantial input into the development of concept notes and proposals
  • Build and maintain relationships with key fundraisers across the CARE network including but not limited to CARE UK, CARE France, CARE US, CARE Canada and CARE Netherlands
  • Serve as a Subject Matter Expert for the region on issues pertaining to financial inclusion. This may include engaging with donors as a representative of CARE’s financial inclusion approach as well as speaking at public and industry events on behalf of CARE

Beyond these activity areas, the candidate will take on additional duties as may be reasonably required by a senior manager within the scope of the above. Candidates should note that this document forms part of the post holder’s contractual terms and conditions of employment. The document is not, however, an exhaustive list of core elements of the role.  This job description is a working document and may be amended from time to time by mutual agreement.

Qualifications (Know How)

Indicate the minimum required level of education, experience, and skills necessary to qualify for the position and fulfill the organization’s expectations for job performance. Also include the education, experience, and skills desired for the position.

Education / Training

E.g. high school diploma; college degree (specify major/minor); specialty (ex. Accounting). Include the following phrase when possible: 

“or equivalent combination of education and work experience.”


  • MA in development or related subject, or MBA, or equivalent expertise.
  • Native speaker of English high level of competency in written and oral communications


  • Fluency in other languages used in the region


  • Deep awareness of and proven track record in applying market facilitation concepts, practices and principles
  • In-depth understanding of key concepts in financial inclusion, experience applying these to development programmes.
  • Deep, practical understanding of villages savings and loan associations or similar savings group modalities 
  • Ability to build relationships with private sector actors and quickly establish credibility and relevance
  • Ability to build relationships with and navigate government agencies to identify and work effectively with key decisions makers
  • Knowledge of financial services ecosystem in the region
  • Knowledge of agriculture and food security programming, particularly efforts to support subsistence farmers to improve their resilience and livelihoods
  • Ability to support and advise non-specialist colleagues, communicate complex ideas clearly, and facilitate learning and reflection activities.
  • Ability to summarize and synthesize learning into plain English for a wide range of audiences
  • Strong negotiation, influencing and networking skills
  • Strong project management and budgeting skills
  • Understanding of principles of participation, gender equity and women’s empowerment
  • Understanding of quality monitoring and evaluation, basic understanding of statistics
  • Highly-effective in conceptualizing and communicating opportunities for new initiatives and leading new business development efforts to support them.
  • Experience applying development approaches that promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment
  • Industry connections and an ability to and quickly access senior decision makers at financial service providers in the region


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