RTI International is an independent nonprofit research institute
and leading development organization headquartered in Research Triangle Park,
North Carolina, USA. Since 1958, RTI has worked in over 150 countries and
designed and implemented cutting-edge solutions in the sectors of economic
growth, governance, education, and health. A cornerstone of RTI’s work is
strengthening the capacities of local partners and systems in order to increase
local ownership and ensure that host country individuals and organizations have
the skills and resources to achieve their missions and sustain their services
in the long term.
RTI is currently accepting applications for Chief of Party (COP) for a four-year USAID-funded
Local Solutions project in Laos. The goal of this project is to strengthen the
operational and managerial capacity of nonprofit associations (NPAs) and other
organizations that serve vulnerable populations in the country so that they can
be more effective and sustainable. Capacity development services will focus on
the individual, team, and organizational levels (e.g., strengthening structures,
tools, policies, procedures, and practices). Areas of capacity development
support may include financial management, project management, strategic
planning, human resources, USAID rules and regulations, institutional
governance, leadership, gender, monitoring and evaluation, and procurement, to
name a few areas. The Local Capacity for Local Solutions project will focus on
strengthening the capacity of organizations in Laos through a variety of means
– training, study tours, individual technical assistance, and coaching and
mentoring. Activities during the first year of the project will focus on
conducting research on capacity development approaches and experiences while
RTI obtains formal registration in the country.
The COP will represent RTI and the project and will create a
team dynamic among RTI’s partners and beneficiaries, stimulating broad project
buy-in and engagement with a wide variety of institutions in Laos. She/he will
be responsible for the overall implementation and management of the project so
that activities and deliverables are executed out at the highest levels of
quality. In addition to a management role, the COP will also play a major
technical role on the project, helping to design, deliver, and oversee the
quality of our capacity building activities. This position will be based in
Vientiane but travel throughout the country will be required, as needed. Nationals of Laos are strongly encouraged
The responsibilities of the COP for the Local Solutions Support project are
diverse and require an individual who is able to multi-task, work under
pressure, and manage complex relationship dynamics. Specific responsibilities
are as follows:
- Provide overall strategic direction of the project
in order to ensure that activities are carried out with stakeholder buy-in and can
achieve timely results within the constraints of the project budget.
- Prepare major deliverables required by USAID,
including the project work plan, monitoring and evaluation plan, quarterly and
annual progress reports, and other required reports or products.
- Directly contribute to the development of capacity strengthening
materials in order to ensure that there is consistency and exceptional quality
to the capacity strengthening activities that various partners are engaged in
and tasked with implementing across the region.
- Oversee the implementation of project activities at
all levels in order to ensure that they are taking place on time and within
budget. She/he should also ensure that project partners are closely coordinated
so that the team has a shared vision and understanding of goals and progress in
- Supervise and mentor staff to ensure that they are
empowered to perform their duties, collaborate as a team, and are performing at
the highest of levels.
- Serve as the project
point of contact / liaison to USAID and develop an effective and collaborative relationship
so that USAID is regularly updated and consulted at appropriate levels.
- Liaise regularly with
RTI’s home office in order to share updates, collaborate on deliverables, and consult
on approaches. The COP must ensure that all activities are performed according
to both USAID and RTI policies and procedures.
- Oversee and assume
overall responsibility for managing the project budget, including those of the
budgets of local partners, to ensure that resources are utilized efficiently
- Ensure that grants to
local partners are managed efficiently and that grantees are accountable for
results and can comply with RTI and USAID procedures.
- Continuously monitor
the results of project activities in order to gauge progress against project
targets and discuss course-corrections that may be needed in order to improve
- Succinctly and
articulately convey project results to partners, the donor, and the general
public via social media, reports, success stories, and public events,
stimulating greater interest and momentum around project activities.
The successful applicant will have extensive experience in
managing complex, multi-dimensional, and multi-year programs that focus on
strengthening the institutional and managerial capacity of organizations in
Laos. She/he will be results-driven, able to absorb and respond to information
in a timely manner and possess strong team-building and negotiating skills in
order to engage local partners / beneficiaries.
The candidate must be a strategic thinker with a proven
ability to develop innovative program approaches to strengthening local
capacity (beyond training) that can be successfully implemented and sustained.
Experience in mentoring and coaching, peer-learning, and training is highly
Excellent management, organizational, and interpersonal
skills and an ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships
with staff, partners, and the donor are essential to the role. Applicants must
be able to successfully work with a wide range of NPAs and other local
stakeholders. Applicants should possess:
- A minimum of a master’s degree in international
development, public administration, public policy, finance management, economic
policy, or related field.
- A minimum of 12 years of experience in
increasingly responsible positions implementing and managing development
- A minimum of 5 years of experience in a
senior management role within a development project of equivalent size and
- Substantial experience in working with organizations
in Laos and strengthening their institutional capacities.
- Successful experience in non-traditional
approaches to capacity development, such as peer-to-peer learning and mentoring
- A proven track record in managing staff.
- An ability to manage and track budget
expenditures to achieve outcomes with limited resources.
- Effective cross-cultural and communication
skills so that she/he is able to create a shared vision on project objectives
and activities among diverse stakeholders.
- An ability to resolve sensitive and
complicated work issues with senior high-level country counterparts, donor
representatives, and senior-level staff.
- Fluency in English and Laotian.
- Experience in managing a project by USAID
or another international donor is highly desirable.