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­Christian Reformed Church in North America (crcna)

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­Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA)

World Renew

Position Description

Position Title: Program Advisor

Department: Asia Ministry Team (AMT)

Reports to: Country Consultant

Status: 100% FTE, exempt

Salary Level: 10


This position will be located in Laos and work under the supervision of and be supported by the World Renew Laos Country Representative who will provide coaching and mentoring input. As the advisor to either the Xieng Khouang or Phongsaly integrated rural community development projects, the incumbent will also function as the supervisor to about 20 Lao staff, including the project manager. The focus of the position will be building the capacity of village development committees, support communities to advance health (e.g. nutrition training, health and hygiene promotion, training of village health volunteers and so forth) initiatives and assist with education and agriculture objectives such as diversification of income from cash crops, improved livestock production and so forth, as set by villagers.
As a Program Advisor, this position is responsible to ensure that the position priorities and the in-country strategies are in alignment with World Renew’s Long-Range Plan.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Project Responsibilities

  1. Work with World Renew program staff on an integrated project in either Xieng Khouang or Phongsaly:

  • Work as a trainer/capacity builder/coach of Lao project staff to improve the quality and quantity of outcomes and impact

  • Visit village work regularly with project staff, doing this effectively requires learning the Lao language and culture so that our work engages the community members. This also requires using motorcycles and staying overnight in remote villages for a minimum of one week per month

  • Assist in community-level project monitoring and evaluation that supports further improvements to the participatory village planning and organizing process, including integrating how communities assess their own community capacity indicators

  • Provide support as needed to develop the monitoring and evaluation, planning and reporting requirements of multiple project donors

  • Develop the process of transformational values dialogue; form and pilot test various approaches with the staff

  • Provide expertise in the area of behavior change and communication for all sectors

  • Provide leadership and expertise in one of the specific project sectors of agriculture or health or community capacity building

  • Work with the project team to identify creative solutions for working in ethnic minority villages where Lao language is limited especially among women, including deepening understanding of worldview, culture and traditional arts

Team Activities

  1. Be a resource to the entire program in one area of technical expertise

  2. Providing input including advice and trainings, to other projects when requested. This includes spending approximately 2 weeks every two months with staff at project locations

Organizational Activities

  1. Finalize plans, reports and narratives as required with a focus on doing this with the World Renew-Laos staff so that staff capacity is built-up in the areas of collecting and analyzing data and report writing

  2. Set one’s own performance goals and review one’s own progress towards those goals on a six month basis in consultation and support by one’s supervisor

  3. Facilitate visits by donor representatives and/or home office staff and constituents as needed

Resource Development

  1. Writing stories of transformation and involvement in other World Renew fund raising efforts as required

Other Activities

  1. Perform miscellaneous tasks necessary for functioning in country (e.g. vehicle and computer maintenance, keeping travel visas current and so forth)

  2. Perform other duties as assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities

While this position will not have direct decision-making responsibility over project activities, it will be responsible for contributing to improving development programs. Influence will depend on an ability to build trust cross-culturally.


  1. Mature Christian committed to serving Jesus Christ and able to maintain close faith ties with the Lord though small group Bible study-worship groups, and by personal devotions. There are not large, established Christian churches

  2. Compassionate, respectful of other cultures and emotionally stable. Having a curiosity to learn and understand very different cultures and worldviews that may be antagonistic to one’s own beliefs and values. Within this context, be a catalyst both respecting the cultural differences of others while also being able to provoke critical reflection on aspects of the others’ culture that are not in conformity with Biblical values

  3. Commitment to core development and relief concepts, models and values

  4. Proactive and able to work with minimal supervision after the goals have been discussed and agreed

  5. Demonstrated ability to implement, improve and integrate community development programs through consultation, coaching and mentoring

  6. Able and willing to work in a team setting; able to develop team skills in others in a harmonious way as this is a high value in the Lao culture

  7. Basic competence in Microsoft Word and Excel is required

Education and/or Experience

  1. A bachelor’s degree is required, specializing in health, agriculture or international development is definitely preferred

  2. At least two years of cross-cultural or community development experience

Language Skills

1. If not “language ready,” must be willing and able to develop language skills

Physical Demands

  1. Living conditions with unreliable access to water and electricity and increased exposure to illness

  2. Stress of travel in a developing country

  3. Stress of visiting and staying in remote communities for periods of time

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