Livelihoods Program Director

Closing date

Durable return to areas previously occupied by ISIS in the Ninewa Plains in Iraq continues to be a challenge. Approximately 4.6 million Iraqis have returned home since 2017 with 1.4 million still living in displacement. While there has been significant investment in the Ninewa Plains to help families return and communities recover, a large number of families report uncertainty about their future and question their long-term residency in the area. Creating an enabling environment where community members can thrive is key to: 1) sustaining return that has already taken place, 2) mitigating the risk of further displacement, and 3) encouraging displaced families to return.

Since 2018, YouthBuild International has been partnering with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Caritas Iraq, and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association to implement the USAID-funded Shared Future project in five project locations in the Ninewa Plains. The goal of the initiative is to help diverse and cohesive Ninewa Plains communities attain durable returns. The project was designed as a pilot to test approaches to fostering durable return and identify promising practices that could be scaled. YBI has led the youth livelihoods training component of the project with its implementing partner IAA, which previously implemented YouthBuild programs in Basra, Iraq. To date, 300 youth have participated in the youth livelihoods training, including a two-week orientation and leadership training, 12 weeks of either work readiness or entrepreneurship training, and 12 weeks of coaching as youth start up small business enterprises or work in internships. A midterm review of Shared Future in September 2019 and a rapid needs assessment in nine locations in November 2019 validated the current program design and project assumptions. Pending availability of funding, the partners may have the opportunity to expand and extend the Shared Future initiative over the next three years.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead the youth livelihoods training component of the Shared Future initiative in line with industry best practices and USAID guidelines. Manage YouthBuild International’s partnership with CRS and IAA and supervise YBI consultant(s) based in Iraq. (CRS serves as the prime for the USAID award and manages communication and the partnership with USAID.)

  • Manage a potential $3.3 million USAID sub-award from CRS and provide oversight of YBI’s sub-agreement with IAA. Ensure timely and appropriate project expenditures in line with financial plans and efficient use and stewardship of project material sources. Ensure compliance with the USAID rules and regulations and award requirements, including financial tracking and oversight of the IAA budget.

  • Liaise with CRS and technical experts and draw upon industry best practices and evidence from Shared Future Phase I to manage revisions to the youth livelihoods curricula in work readiness and entrepreneurship and provide technical assistance for the development of the proposed Foundations training focused on youth leadership development and the community asset building.

  • Coordinate the delivery of capacity-building workshops focused on youth leadership development and community service to project partners.

  • Provide ongoing remote technical assistance/coaching to YBI and IAA staff and consultants. Maintain frequent communication with IAA. Participate in quarterly partner meetings in Erbil, Iraq, and conduct multiple site visits to the program each year.

  • Coordinate with CRS and IAA to support the adaptation and implementation of the monitoring and evaluation system and contribute to the development of project learning.

  • Prepare high-quality donor reports, including weekly, quarterly, annual, and final performance reports, for submission to CRS. Respond to donor requests for information relayed by CRS.

  • Work with IAA and CRS to ensure proper risk mitigation measures are in place, particularly related to safeguarding, protection mainstreaming, and accountability.


  1. Extensive experience (minimum 5 years) in youth livelihoods training, entrepreneurship training, and small enterprise development, preferably in the Middle East region and ideally in Iraq. Expertise in youth leadership a plus.

  2. Master’s degree in international development, livelihoods, or youth development preferred. Additional experience may substitute for some education.

  3. Experience managing USAID awards or contracts.

  4. Outstanding partnership management skills.

  5. MEAL skills and experience required.

  6. Excellent communication skills, including in writing reports for federal funders.

  7. Fluent in Arabic a plus.

  8. Pending the funding of the next stage of the project, candidates will need to participate in a vetting process required by USAID and receive approval from USAID as key personnel for this project.

How to apply

Please send a CV and cover letter to Biructait Mengesha,, Operations Manager, YouthBuild International.