Village Savings and Loan Officer at Oxfam Nigeria
Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations (affiliates) committed to creating a just world without poverty. In Nigeria Oxfam works in the areas of Economic Justice/Sustainable Livelihoods, Humanitarian Programming to save lives, Advancing Gender Justice and Good Governance, adopting a right based approach.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Village Savings and Loan Officer
Requisition ID 8061
Internal Job Grade: D1 (Village Savings and Loan Officer)
Contract type: 1 year
Reporting to: Resilience and Private Sector Engagement Program Manager
Staff reporting directly to this post: None
Roles and Responsibilities
Oxfam Nigeria is the leading international practitioner organisation working with Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) mainly in the north of the country, with over 200,000 individuals organized into more than 10,000 groups. Most of Oxfam Nigeria’s entire livelihoods and rural development strategy is built on the VSLA foundation, as an entry-level financial service that becomes a platform for a range of other development interventions. VSLAs are particularly well-suited to take on this role because, more than almost any other development intervention, they have proven to be enthusiastically embraced by host communities and have proven highly successful in terms of sustainability and self-management.
Oxfam has experienced very rapid programme growth in the last 5 years. This growth is based not only on VSLAs, but federations of VSLAs, that are a second-tier institutions, comprised of 5-10 VSLAs that federate in order to maximise their commercial and negotiating power, while offering savings and loan services to constituent VSLAs that are seeking additional capital to expand. Oxfam Nigeria’s programme is highly successful and has attracted the attention of donors and government, but this growth now needs to be consolidated, and, while there will remain a strong focus on programme expansion, Oxfam feels the need to ensure that the very highest possible standards of field operations, reporting and supervision, to consolidate its gains.
Oxfam is therefore seeking to recruit a full-time VSLA Officer whose principal duties fall into three areas:
- Formalisation of programme quality support to partner agencies that work with Oxfam to create VSLAs and VSLFs. This will involve:
- Setting up formal planning and supervision protocols with partner agencies on a state-by-state basis
- Ensuring that partners work to an operational and quality plan, through the strengthening of internal supervisory structures and systems
- Ensuring that partner reporting through the SAVIX MIS in which:
- Reports are substantially based on project logical framework indicators
- Reporting is done monthly
- Reports are internally audited for accuracy
- Reports are the foundation for regular partner planning
- Facilitation of partner-agency introduction of other sectoral initiatives. This will involve
- Development of operational plans
- Specification of methodologies and sources of technical support
- Development of the necessary administrative, budgeting, and reporting systems
- Facilitating the design of new projects, as Oxfam’s VSLA-based programme expands. This will be done in concert with partners and the detailed development of funding proposals.
- Development of a linkage strategy that focuses on:
- Research into linkage interventions (both internal and external to Oxfam to identify risks and benefits of potential linkages between VSLAs, VSLFs, and external financial service providers
- Development of a strategy for the potential integration of VSLFs with the formal financial sector, through identification of investments, the safe storage of excess liquidity, and the cautious mobilising of additional credit to both VSLFs and VSLAs of additional capital for which there is a proven demand
- Maximising cooperative relationships with appropriate government agencies on a state-by-state basis
- Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in any relevant field
- Master’s will be an added advantage.
- Minimum of 5 years of progressive working experience in designing and facilitating linking and learning activities
- A strong track record of working with VSLAs, with a deep understanding of how they work and whom they benefit. This experience should be at both the field operations level and in a managerial role
- A strong experience of community development and clear evidence of cultural sensitivity
- A good track record of creating good working relationships with partner agencies
- A good track record of managing operational staff, both in terms of strong planning skills, maintenance of productive relationships and data-based performance analysis
- A bachelor’s degree, preferably in a technical area that requires analytical and data-driven decision-making
- Computer literacy in standard Office programs and familiarity with the SAVIX MIS, preferably in the role of Project administrator or MIS administrator
- Physically fit and willing to spend at least 50% of their time in the field, often in physically challenging circumstances
Key Behavioral Competencies:
- Decisiveness: We are comfortable to make transparent decisions and to adapt decision making modes to the context and needs.
- Influencing: We have the ability to engage with diverse stakeholders in a way that leads to increased impact for the organization We spot opportunities to influence effectively and where there are no opportunities we have the ability to create them in a respectful and impactful manner.
- Humility: We put ‘we’ before ‘me’ and place an emphasis on the power of the collective, nurture the team, and play to the strengths of each individual. We are not concerned with hierarchical power, and we engage with, trust and value the knowledge and expertise of others across all levels of the organization.
- Relationship Building: We understand the importance of building a relationship, within and outside the organization. We have the ability to engage with traditional and non-traditional stakeholders in ways that lead to increased impact for the organization.
- Listening: We are good listeners who can see where deeper levels of thoughts and tacit assumptions differ. Our messages to others are clear and consider different preferences.
- Mutual Accountability: We can explain our decisions and how we have taken them based on our organizational values. We are ready to be held to account for what we do and how we behave, as we are also holding others to account in a consistent manner.
- Agility, Complexity, and Ambiguity: We scan the environment, anticipate changes, are comfortable with a lack of clarity, and deal with a large number of elements interacting in diverse and unpredictable ways.
- Systems Thinking: We view problems as parts of an overall system and in their relation to the whole system, rather than reacting to a specific part, outcome, or event in isolation. We focus on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect. By consistently practicing systems thinking we are aware of and manage well-unintended consequences of organizational decisions and actions.
- Strategic Thinking and Judgment: We use judgment, weighing risk against the imperative to act. We make decisions consistent with organizational strategies and values.
- Vision Setting: We have the ability to identify and lead visionary initiatives that are beneficial for our organization and we set high-level direction through a visioning process that engages the organization and diverse external stakeholders.
- Self-Awareness: We are able to develop a high degree of self-awareness around our own strengths and weaknesses and our impact on others. Our self-awareness enables us to moderate and self-regulate our behaviors to control and channel our impulses for good purposes.
- Enabling: We all work to effectively empower and enable others to deliver the organization’s goals through creating conditions of success. We passionately invest in others by developing their careers, not only their skills for the job. We provide freedom; demonstrate belief and trust provide appropriate support