Country Director - Syria

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Syrian Arab Republic
Apply by 7 May 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 23 November 2017

Job Description

The Country Director oversees all programme and support activities in-country. Representing Medair in all issues relating to the country programme, the Country Director plays a key role in donor relations and manages the country strategy and the project implementation in conjunction with senior field managers, and ensures constructive engagement in Medair’s regional approach for the Middle East.

Project Overview

Since registration in January 2015, Medair has successfully completed projects in Rural Damascus Governorate, and rural Homs, for the rehabilitation of urban water systems, re-equipping of primary healthcare clinics, development of community-based health programmes, capacity building for health staff and community workers and the provision of shelter kits to vulnerable households. In response to the need for support for people with disabilities at household and community level, Medair has expanded interventions to this vulnerable group in addition to mainstreaming disability support across all sectors. The team in Damascus has 3 international and 22 national staff, with a further 5 national staff in Aleppo.


Field based position in Syria, Damascus. Take a look at Medair’s work in Syria.

Starting Date / Initial Contract Details

March 2018. Full time, 24 months.

Key Activity Areas

Leadership & Management

  • Update and evaluate the country strategy. Take into account community needs, donor criteria, the regional context, and an exit strategy in order to facilitate the long-term development of the projects.
  • Manage the overall programme and support functions.
  • Analyse humanitarian needs, trends and political developments in the country of operation.
  • Ensure all programme activities and support functions comply with applicable national and international laws and regulations, including in-country registration.
  • Ensure the country programme contributes constructively to Medair’s overall regional approach in the Middle East, sharing relevant information and seeking regional input for decision-making.

Donor Relations Management

  • Develop contact with the in-country representatives of relevant funding in order to secure funding for the country programme, sharing information with other country programmes in the region.
  • Present proposal cards for new projects for approval. Oversee the drafting and presentation of all proposals, operational and financial reports related to the country programme.

Coordination & Communication

  • Develop relationships with authorities, donors, media, other NGOs and embassies. The objective is to raise public awareness and identify funding opportunities and other potential partnerships.
  • Ensure that the HQ Marketing and Relations Department receives appropriate material for communication and fund-raising activities.

Financial Management

  • Support the planning of project budgets. Manage the spending within the programme.
  • Ensure sufficient and appropriate controls are in place to prevent fraud.

Security Management

  • Oversee the implementation of country security plan, guidelines and manuals.
  • Ensure security procedures and awareness are maintained and be a Security Focal Point for Syria.
  • Take the lead on decision-making and contingency planning during security incidents or threats.

Staff Management

  • Oversee all HR related issues within the programme.
  • Provide leadership, advice, support and appropriate communication to team members.

Quality Management

  • Promote operating procedures, ensuring that all standardised formats are used and guidelines followed
  • Ensure the country programme is implemented in line with donor proposals and requirements and in accordance with Medair, donor, country and international standards.
  • Ensure frequent and appropriate monitoring and evaluation of programme activities and outputs.

Team Spiritual Life

  • Reflect the values of Medair with team members, local staff, beneficiaries, and external contacts.
  • Work, live, and pray together in our Christian faith-based team settings. Fully contribute to the rich spiritual life of your team, including team devotions, prayers, and words of encouragement.
  • Encouraged to join and contribute to Medair’s international programmes and HQ prayer network.

This job description covers the main tasks that are anticipated. Other tasks may be assigned as necessary.


  • Degree in a relevant subject such as Management / Development Studies / Business Administration.
  • Post-graduate degree in the humanitarian sector. Security management and leadership training
  • Strong working knowledge of English (spoken and written).

Experience / Competencies

  • At least 3-4 years post-qualification experience in a senior management position.
  • At least 2 years post-qualification experience in a complex humanitarian emergency.
  • Experience in dealing with donors and government officials.
  • Knowledge of Humanitarian Essentials, Sphere and HAP Standards.
  • Advanced leadership and management skills. Able to oversee multiple tasks, prioritising and delegating.
  • Capacity to work under pressure and manage personal stress levels.
  • Creative, open-minded, flexible, self-learner.

Working Conditions

  • The living conditions in Damascus are modern and reasonable.
  • Movement is straightforward within the designated area for International staff (approx. 5km x 2 km area), including walking between apartment and office.
  • However movement permissions for international staff are often very limited for project sites.

Application Process

Before you apply, please ensure you are fully aware of the:

  • Medair organisational values.
  • Profiles sought for Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS).
  • Medair Relief & Recovery Orientation Course (ROC) (which forms part of the recruitment selection process for field positions).
  • Benefits Package provided for Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS)

Then to apply, go to the “Current Vacancies” page, then:

apply for this vacancy (or another position that matches your profile), or

apply for a Medair ROC (where we can try and match your competencies to our vacancy needs).


Please do not make multiple applications. We will not review email applications. Only English-language applications / CVs will be reviewed. Medair does not set closing / deadline dates for applications; recruitment is on-going until the position is filled.

About the Organization


Medair is a humanitarian organisation inspired by Christian faith to relieve human suffering in some of the world’s most remote and devastated places. We bring relief and recovery to people in crisis, regardless of race, creed or nationality. As signatories of the Red Cross Code of Conduct, we believe that aid should be given to everyone who is in need, regardless of political, social or religious viewpoint. We save lives in emergencies and then stay to help people recover from crisis with dignity—working side by side with communities to leave a lasting impact. We provide a range of emergency relief and recovery services: health care and nutrition; safe water, sanitation, and hygiene; shelter and infrastructure.

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