VisionFund International (VFI) is the world’s largest Christian microfinance network. For more than a decade VFI has been improving the lives of children across the developing world, as it provides small loans and other financial services to families struggling in poverty.
As the microfinance subsidiary of World Vision, the world’s largest Christian relief, development and advocacy organization, VFI works in 30+ countries through its network of affiliated microfinance institutions (MFIs) located across the globe in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. VFI has an outstanding loan portfolio of nearly $535 million, serve over 1.2 million active borrowers and impact the lives of over 4 million children each year.
About the Job:
Preferred location: Monrovia, USA. Other locations to be determined by home country of successful candidate within a jurisdiction (US state or country) where VFI/WVI is registered to operate.
The VisionFund network of microfinance institutions is part of World Vision. The position of Faith & Development (F&D) Director must “promote the World Vision Way”. This will be achieved by seeking to integrate VFI's Christian faith and identity throughout VisionFund’s work with boldness and humility.
Tasks and Responsibilities:
Guiding the network in the process of affirming and communicating VFI's Christian identity, vision, mission and core values with appropriate boldness and sensitivity in various faith/cultural contexts, staff life and operational processes institutions (MFI) country offices.
Provide guidance to the network on issues related to faith and development contributing to realization of VisionFund International strategies and the operational plans of the MFIs.
Develop a VisionFund Community of Practice (CoP) or network of practitioners/coordinators among the MFIs in order to provide learning and exchange of information that empowers MFI Faith & Development Coordinators for achieving impact.
Support MFI Faith & Development Coordinators in developing assessment and monitoring indicators and tools that ensure F&D alignment and impact, and also draw on lessons learned for sharing in the network.
Provide guidance to MFI leadership to effectively represent VisionFund as the largest Christian network of microfinance institutions.
Lead, guide and initiate processes for positioning VisionFund as a distinctive Christian network of MFIs through working with World Vision and other partners:
Firstly, align VisionFund to World Vision’s church partnership strategy and provide guidance and opportunities for the development, strengthening and implementation of church partnerships strategies/action plans.
Initiate and develop new church partnerships in those countries where VF works but WV does not have a presence and also in places where the MFI is working outside of WV areas of operations.
Lead the formulation of a VisionFund strategy/action plan for collaboration with different faith-based organizations and provide guidance and opportunities for the development, strengthening and implementation of faith-based collaborations.
Develop staff capacity for F&D:
Create space for developing, sharing, celebrating and learning from successful/emerging F&D models/innovations internationally, regionally and at a country level.
Work with Global Centre and MFIs to create a pool of F&D talent and promote their continuous development in all areas related to F&D.
Provide advice for identifying and developing resources that help GC/MFIs strengthen their staff and leadership’s understanding and integration of WV’s Christian identity in their work.
Driving the culture of wise stewardship and ensuring the network is aligned to WV’s Faith & Development strategy:
Coordinate relevant faith and development projects/programs ensuring good stewardship of financial and staff resources; guide and train the VisionFund network (Global Centre and MFIs) on the same.
Lead the formulation, execution and evaluation process of the faith and development strategy/plans, ensuring continued alignment to the WV Global strategies and global trends.
Ensure MFI faith and development strategies/plans are continuously aligned to WV Global strategies and global trends.
Ensure that the legal context, security context and People & Culture practices are taken into consideration when designing F&D approaches and activities.
Manage and oversee budget for F&D.
Education at a minimum of bachelor’s degree level (ideally in Theology or Development Studies).
A proven strategic thinker who has demonstrated management capabilities.
Computer literacy; strong computer skills including Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
Excellent interpersonal skills and cross-cultural sensitivity.
Commitment and ability to develop others.
More than 10 years’ work experience including experience in a management role.
More than five years’ experience working in a church or other Christian faith community, demonstrating spiritual leadership to others, a prayerful approach to work and a commitment to own spiritual development and discernment.
Experience working in the development sector (e.g. NGO or missionary work) – with microfinance, banking or other business experience as an added advantage.
Demonstrates Christ-centered life and work attitude/approach that speaks to a deep and personal commitment to Christ.
Demonstrated ability to work sensitively and effectively with people from different church backgrounds and cultural contexts and nationalities, and also with people of different faiths or those who may profess to have no belief system.
Understanding and being sensitive to the legal frameworks in contexts where VFI operates.
Excellent training and coaching skills and ability to develop own training methods and materials.
Strong interpersonal, diplomatic and negotiating skills, ability to influence and exercise discretion.
A proven track record of building external relationships and negotiating mutually beneficial partnerships.
Fluency and excellent communications skills in both English and Spanish. Must be able to deliver training and develop training materials in both languages.
Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Experience:
Experience working as a Pastor or church leader in an international set up or interdenominational church, or in business but carrying on doing pastoral duties, will be an added advantage.
Strong understanding and application of theology, missiology and diversity of church and faith traditions.
Capacity to work with diversity of theological beliefs and proven ability to influence for a transformational change.
Advanced skills in adult learning styles, and instructional and curriculum design.
A master’s degree (e.g. MBA) will be an added advantage for proven strategic thinking.
Ability to work in French will be an added advantage (in addition to the requirement for fluency in English and Spanish).
Ecumenical vision and proven ability to work respectfully with various Christians traditions.
Preferable to have proven ability to communicate, influence and train at a senior level with leaders of businesses including Boards of Directors.
Proven outstanding coordination skills, with ability to handle multiple activities concurrently, work under pressure, and meet tight deadlines.
Proven ability to participate effectively in a virtual team while ensuring achievement of team objectives.
Experience/knowledge of microfinance.
The position requires ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 30 percent of the time, including to insecure environments sometimes.