Cuso International Job Vacancy: Country Director - Bogota, Colombia


Location: Bogota, Colombia

Reports to: Head of Programs, Latin America and the Caribbean

Contract type: Initially, 6-month consultancy followed by an indeterminate contract upon satisfactory performance

Annual salary: Range: 63,408 to 90,000 CAD

Language requirements: Bilingualism (English & Spanish) is essential

Who can apply: This position is open to both local and international candidates (for international applicants, please note reasonable relocation benefits will be discussed & may be offered to the successful candidate)

Please note the following timelines around our recruitment process:
Application deadline
October 12, 2016, 11:59pm EST
Interviews & job exercises
To be completed within the following period of: October 17 – November 4, 2016
References & Job offer
To be completed by November 14, 2016
The successful candidate should be available to start in the role by November 30, 2016

  • Cuso International is a development organization that works to reduce poverty and inequality through the efforts of highly skilled volunteers, collaborative partnerships and compassionate donors. We envision a world where all people are able to realize their potential, develop their skills and participate fully in society. We believe in the power of people, value diversity and take responsibility for our actions and proactively demonstrate that we work with and on behalf of others. Cuso international works in developing countries across the world. We currently have programs in eighteen countries.
  • Cuso International is currently implementing two initiatives in Colombia, Sustainable Colombian Opportunities for Peacebuilding and Employment (SCOPE) and Volunteer Opportunities for International Cooperation and Empowerment (VOICE) Project, both funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.  The SCOPE Project will develop programs that provide skills training, work internships, and job placements for at-risk youth, women and victims of the conflict matched to the labour market needs of the private sector in seven major Colombian cities: Soacha-Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Buenaventura and Quibdó. The VOICE project will promote inclusive sustainable economic growth to youth and women through employment and business development opportunities as well as support economic opportunities through effective natural resource management.  
The Country Director will represent Cuso International in Colombia, providing strategic leadership to both initiatives and will be ultimately accountable for the effective and efficient achievement of overall objectives and outcomes. The Country Director will ensure Cuso International maintains a high profile in relevant networks and will seek to establish strong relationships with government, private sector and civil society ensuring strong and productive linkages with Cuso International’s North American based staff.


Program Development & Delivery: 
  • Demonstrate and maintain an in-depth understanding of the development context and key stakeholders in Colombia.
  • Lead on developing and shaping Cuso International’s strategic development plan for Colombia.
  • Ensure cross-cutting themes of gender, governance and environment are mainstreamed in programming initiatives.
  • Organize and plan resource allocations for implementation of VOICE and SCOPE, including defining activities, volunteer numbers, staff priorities and budget allocation.
  • Ensure the smooth functioning of systems and processes within the Country Program Office and with other Cuso International employees and teams in the region and in North America.
  • Work with HQ staff to ensure VOICE and SCOPE are monitored and evaluated and take lead in ensuring gender sensitive MEAL deadlines and milestones are understood and met by team, partners and volunteers.
  • Ensure the impact of Cuso International’s development interventions in Colombia and issues arising are captured and duly integrated into relevant practice and policy debates.
  • In collaboration with Country Program Office staff, local partners, volunteers and other stakeholders, foster and promote a culture of ongoing learning.
  • Ensure all Cuso International programmatic and financial deadlines are met.
  • Ensure all reporting requirements to HQ or external donors (both narrative and financial) are understood and complied with.
  • Oversee all aspects of the implementation of SCOPE and VOICE and represent Cuso International to the SCOPE Project Steering Committee.
  • Ensure strong management of partnership agreements and good working relationships with key SCOPE and VOICE stakeholders in Colombia.     
Partnership and Resource development: 
  • Take the lead in developing and implementing a funding strategy for Colombia. 
  • Seek out and actively participate in Colombia, regional and other networks, coalitions, alliances, meetings, forums, debates or any other event pertaining to the development work of Cuso International in Colombia and where possible to champion/represent Cuso International’s programs and projects with donors, other agencies, relevant government officials, partners etc.
  • Working in close collaboration with the Head of Programs and field/HQ based funding staff, identify funding and/or partnership opportunities and take a lead role in following these up in a timely manner.
  • Contribute to the development of concept notes and proposals.
  • Develop realistic program and project plans and budgets, ensuring compliance with donor requirements.
  • Actively seek to engage corporate sector in our projects and work with them to identify ways they add value to them. 
Volunteer and Placement Management: 
  • Ensure relationships and communication between Country Program staff and volunteers are cooperative and professional.
  • Ensure excellent communication channels between Country Program staff and other Cuso International staff in the Regional Office, North America offices and elsewhere, so that placement and program information is flowing between all parties and deadlines are being met by all stakeholders.
  • Be fully accountable for ensuring an emergency and risk-management plan is developed at the country level and that this is well communicated, implemented and reviewed on a regular basis, covering the safety and security of volunteers and Country Program Office staff.
  • Keep the Head of Program and HQ Security Adviser informed of any potential security threat, whether low, medium or high, at all times. 
Line Management: 
  • Foster a positive, fair, participatory and professional work culture among Country Program Office staff.
  • Ensure Colombia team is delivering on annual work plans and that all relevant Cuso and external donor policies, procedures, milestones and deadlines are met.
  • Responsible for managing staff performance, providing regular feedback to ensure priorities and challenges are being addressed and conduct yearly performance appraisals with each employee.
  • Work with each employee to develop key objectives and approve work plans that are revised quarterly.
  • Ensure Cuso International’s performance management culture is understood across the team.
  • Maintain accurate written records of work plans, supervisory meetings and performance appraisals.
  • In conjunction with each employee, identify learning and professional development needs and support the employee in getting these needs met appropriately and cost effectively. 
Administration, Budgets and Finance: 
  • Take a lead role in developing, implementing, monitoring and revising budget setting process for VOICE and SCOPE.
  • Ensure performance to budget is tracked on monthly basis and appropriate and timely action is taken to remedy any variance.
  • Ensure all Country Program Office based staff are aware of roles and responsibilities in relation to budget and finance issues and procedures and deliver accordingly.
  • Ensure all Cuso International administration, health and security, volunteer support and logistic systems are in place, understood and followed by staff, volunteers and partners.
  • Work collaboratively with regional and HQ staff to improve performance and effectiveness of systems and processes.
  • Ensure any external donor requirements are understood by staff and adhered to.
  • Actively encourage a cost effective and efficient approach to use and expenditure of Cuso International resources.
  • Ensure all staff understand and are able to use Cuso Internationals IT systems in an effective manner.
  • Oversee completion of the Annual Quality Framework exercise and seek to improve performance of team in any areas of underperformance.
  • Ensure Country Program Office compliance with record-keeping guidelines and filing of sensitive employee, volunteer, partner and donor information. 
Other duties: 
  • Participate in regional and other staff meetings, as appropriate.
  • Ensure Cuso International activities operate within the legal framework of Colombia.
  • Fulfill any other responsibilities as may be assigned from time to time by the Head of Programs and other senior managers.
  • Identify and take steps to develop own professional and personal learning.
  • Provide cover for other colleagues as necessary. 

Education and knowledge: 
  • University degree in a field relevant to the position and/or a relevant combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent understanding of the Project Management Cycle, its tools and phases.
  • Excellent analytical and practical understanding of the social, political and economic context of Colombia.
  • Good knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the volunteering, as a contribution to international development.
  • Knowledge and experience related to Cuso International’s program in Colombia, in particular in relation to inclusive sustainable economic development.  
  • At least ten (10) years’ experience developing planning, resourcing, managing, monitoring and implementing development projects, including proven experience supporting, managing and building large project teams.
  • At least five (5) years’ experience working with development programs, at the community level.
  • Experience and understanding the challenges of donor and contract management and the implications for project management, ideally experience of managing GAC funded programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, manage and monitor budgets, including budget forecasting and projections as well as creating financial reports.
  • Recognized for working successfully in a leadership role, supervising and coaching staff and leading them towards common objectives.
  • Proven track record of developing high quality funding proposals, that successfully win funding from a variety of funding sources, including from the private sector. 
Abilities, Skills and Competencies: 
  • Ability to think, plan and work strategically and creatively as well as excellent planning, prioritizing and time management skills. 
  • Proven commitment to mainstreaming gender and equality issues within work.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, both written and verbal and the ability to use different communication media effectively, including email, telephone, Skype and written correspondence.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Spanish.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to negotiate, persuade coach, mobilize and develop positive relationships with others internally and externally.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in cross – cultural contexts and team settings, including in teams where members may be geographically dispersed.
  • Self-motivated and able to work with minimum supervision and guidance.
  • Excellent problem-solving abilities, finding innovative solutions to difficult, complex and unpredictable challenges.
  • Computer and internet proficiency (all Microsoft Office tools, databases, we research, web-based tools and transactions, etc.).
  • Willingness and ability to travel and to spend up to 8 weeks away from home both within the country and on international trips.
  • Willingness to work irregular hours of work and overtime, in order to successfully meet deliverables.
  • Valid driver’s license and clear driving record. 
  • Experience of being a volunteering; working with or managing volunteers. 
Your application must be forwarded to, with the competition number: Country Director, Colombia, 2016-35 clearly marked as the subject number. Applications must be received by Wednesday, October 12th, 2016, 11:59 pm Eastern Time. No late applications will be considered. Your c.v. must not be longer than 4 pages in length and the covering letter, one page.  Your application must be submitted in English.  Failure to do so will result in your application not being considered.  Please note the interview and written assessments will be conducted in English only.

To be considered, your résumé and cover letter should demonstrate that all of the essential qualifications are met. Applications that do not meet the above requirements will not be considered.