Position: Country Director, Whole of Syria (WoS)
Location: Jordan - Amman, with 30 % travel to Turkey, Iraq, and Lebanon
Reports to: Regional Director- Middle East
Relief International is a leading nonprofit organization working in 18 countries to relieve poverty, ensure well-being and advance dignity. We specialize in fragile settings, responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and chronic poverty.
Relief International combines humanitarian and development approaches to provide immediate services while laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Our signature approach — which we call the RI Way—emphasizes local participation, an integration of services, strategic partnerships and a focus on civic skills. In this way, we empower communities to find, design and implement the solutions that work best for them.
Relief International includes the four corporate members of the RI Alliance: RI-US, RI-UK, MRCA/RI France and RI-Europe. Under our alliance agreement, we operate as a single, shared management structure.
ABOUT THE CONTEXT IN WOS AND RI’S ROLE:
The conflict in Syria is currently in its eight year and has resulted in substantial human suffering, loss of lives, widespread devastation of infrastructure and large-scale displacement. The prolonged crisis has resulted in increased population vulnerabilities and poverty. The 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) identified 13.1 million people in need, of whom 5.6 million are in acute need, 6.7 million are women and 5.3 million are children. The lack of access to basic services and continued conflict has created severe humanitarian needs. As a result of the crisis, the work of the Relief International (RI) and other international and national organizations has been predominantly focused on emergency response and lifesaving actions. RI’s response in Syria is coordinated through several hubs) and four sectors (Health, Wash, Livelihoods, transversal sector). RI’s response had continued inside Syria since 2012 through cross border interventions and through a hub-based approach. In 2018, RI has initiated a process of consolidating Syria response under a singly Senior Management Team based out of Amman with project implementation teams based in hubs depending on the needs.
The Country Director, (CD) is responsible for the overall management and development of Relief International’s (RI) country program
Managing a senior team of six, the CD will ensure that hub-based program implementation and support teams are fully guided and supported in strategic, technical and operational aspects and that programming meets stated objectives, is in line with RI’s philosophy and strategy and meets the needs of beneficiaries.
This involves ensuring that the grants programming meets stated objectives, that all activities are in line with RI’s philosophy and strategy, and that programming meets the needs of beneficiaries. The CD is also responsible for identifying and pursuing new program opportunities and identifying gaps in services.
The context evolution in 2019, requires creative ways to ensure service delivery to population in situation of vulnerabilities, and how RI can be positioned. Hence, looking into different operational modalities, within this fluid environment, will be key for quality and sustainable project delivery.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
- In depth analysis of humanitarian context, trends, gaps, challenges and opportunities
- Lead country strategic planning and contribute to the sustainable management of program growth, with a focus on new program development that addresses the needs of the beneficiaries to support the strategic direction of the country strategy.
- Identify and evaluate the risks and possible threats associated with cross border activities (from different hubs) and ensure appropriate coordination with country offices and respective CDs to control the risks.
- Oversee Whole of Syria (WoS) SMT structure and relevant hub-based cross border teams;
- Maintain a steady progress of WoS working groups and hold relevant SMT members accountable for achieving the agreed outcomes.
Program Planning and Development
- Develop, in cooperation with other staff, short, medium and long-range strategic plans maintaining program focus in areas congruent with RI's program objectives
- Maintain effective communications with donors by tracking trends and anticipating the likelihood of funding opportunities
- Spot and forcefully pursue new opportunities for program growth and start-up which may include conducting full-scale assessments, in coordination with regional and global Programs and Program Development Team members.
- Assess other implementing organization's activities using all available means to identify gap areas and overlap
- Identify and participate in forums and meetings for the NGO sector where a strategic benefit for the organization exists
- Negotiate contracts and agreements with donors and partners, in coordination with regional and global programs, program development as well as Grants and Contracts teams
- Maintain effective communications with RI's regional and global support departments, regarding program development, funding agreements, security, staffing and other operational issues
- Identify, and where necessary, initiate and maintain program partnerships with external agencies.
- Oversee project implementation, including allocation of resources, ensuring that appropriate controls are maintained at all levels, by working with program managers
- Ensure that team members are effective and efficient and contribute the necessary work to ensure their programs are a success. Provide feedback to staff to ensure optimal performance.
- Ensure all programs are completed within time, on budget and achieve their objectives
- Provide adequate support to each program, including but not limited to strategic vision and technical input and advice
- Serve as a link between RI and all project counterparts through sector coordination
- Ensure overall audit compliance, financial transparency though supervision and direction of financial and administrative staff.
- Ensure all program team members are trained on the PMF (RI’s program management tool), as well as project budget management
- Oversee the preparation and submission of technical and program reports as per the grant agreement; Report progress of program implementation to the donor periodically through required weekly, monthly or quarterly reports.
- Provide leadership and management of national and expatriate staff. Ensure timely and quality staff performance management of directly managed staff, making sure all program team follows best practices in this regard
- Assess international personnel requirements for all projects and programs in conjunction with regional and global support, and program managers
- Provide onboarding briefings to all incoming expatriate staff covering RI goals and objectives, country and program background, vision and future plans, policies and procedures and security or delegate these topics
- Ensure that the hiring, promotion, firing and termination of compensation levels of national staff in accordance with local laws and practice
- Ensure the continued safety of all personnel and establish and implement emergency security evacuation plans as appropriate
- In collaboration with the HR team, address disciplinary, conflict and abuse issues within the program team
- In accordance with RI’s HR policy and in-line with RI’s staff care efforts, maintain a healthy work environment, with reasonable workloads and proper leaves. Work with the RHRM to assess and prevent risks of excessive stress and burnout in the workplace
- Serve as country security focal point or designate someone for that position
- Make security policy and recommendations based on all available information
- Ensure security guidelines are up to date and fully implemented
- Regularly report to GSO regarding safety and security
Reporting and Control
- Provide program reports and regular situation reports that are timely, meet information requirements and professionally written as needed by RI and as required by donors
- Evaluate and monitor all country programs to determine the extent to which they are meeting goals and determine action needed to improve achievements
- Ensure all programs are completed within time, on budget and achieve its objectives
External Representation and Partnership
- Maintain a suitable image for RI in (the different hubs) and protect RI's interest and assets
- Assign a deputy in country who can represent in the CD’s absence
- Effectively liaise with donor governments and other lead agency representatives, as well as national government officials and counterparts within partner organizations, legal counsel, audit firms, etc
- Represent RI at high level, routine meetings, and sector meetings
- Initiate RI's response to disasters and emergencies when appropriate
- Facilitate donor visits to project sites as appropriate
- Ensure RI participation in NGO sector coordination groups (or delegate to appropriate technical leads) and identify areas for coordination and collaboration; Networking and bilateral meeting are key to success in this context.
- Work closely with Turkey CD’s to maintain and build relations with Government of Turkey and ensure the RI presence in Turkey remains on strong footing.
- Represent RI in INGOs forums
Budget and Financial Management
- Ensure budget preparation and monitoring at country level
- Ensure that the national office and sub-offices maintain complete, up-to-date and accurate financial records and that records are adequately reported and stored
- Ensure equitable allocation of shared national office operating costs to the various projects and donors as per an agreed formula
- Ensure the timely preparation and accuracy of financial reports by working with financial accounting staff as required by RI and donors
- Act as a signatory on bank accounts
- Act as the communication link between the regional and global staff and the field. Direct all communications up or down, as appropriate.
- Maintain organizational consistency through maintenance of strong, positive relations with field teams, Regional Support Office and Global Support Office.
- Undertake additional activities as required by regional and/or global staff
- Ensure regular travel to the different hubs
QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS:
This position demands a dynamic individual with a demonstrated ability to achieve results in a demanding and fast paced environment.
- Master’s degree in a relevant field or bachelor’s degree with commensurate work experience;
- Minimum of ten years professional experience in lead management implementing emergency response programs in a conflict setting;
- Previous experience with Syria context is essential
- Ability and willingness to travel as needed;
- Solid background and knowledge of USAID Rules and Regulations;
- Solid background and contacts with U.N. Agencies and other international emergency response and development actors;
- Excellent interpersonal, communication, public speaking, and strategic planning skills required;
- Excellent English-speaking skills are required, Arabic is a plus;
- Strong English writing skills required;
- Demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities, deadlines, tasks efficiently;
- Excellent time management skills and resourcefulness with strong attention to detail;
- Excellent and demonstrated skills in team management (structure, conflict, performance management and communication)
We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and operational independence. We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities. We value:
- Transparency and Accountability
- Agility and Innovation