Deputy Director for Cross Border

Apply by 23 May 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 24 April 2018

Job Description

Requisition ID: req1722
Job Title: Deputy Director for Cross Border
Sector: Program Administration
Employment Category: Fixed Term
Employment Type: Full-Time
Location: Iraq

Job Description

The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 6.3 million people are internally displaced and 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.5 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 5.1 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.

IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis. With an annual budget in excess of $140 million and a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 3,000 staff and workers in the region, IRC is undertaking programs in Syria and the neighboring countries of Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan in the fields of health, child protection, women’s protection and empowerment, NFI and food distribution, protection and rule of law cash assistance, and livelihood programming. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding and coordination.

The Deputy Director, Iraq-Syria Cross-Border leads IRC’s program in North East Syria, overseeing and providing strategic leadership for a dynamic, expanding, multi-sector program across Northeast Syria covering Hasakeh, Raqqa and parts of Deir-ez-Zour governorates. S/he will report to the Iraq Country Director and work in close coordination with other members of the country senior management team. This position is based in Dohuk, Iraq, but with a large portion of time spent in northeast Syria.


Leadership and Representation
* Provide leadership and supervisory management for cross-border programs in North East Syria including mobilization and stewardship of resources, program quality and accountability, and performance management.
* Participate actively in country program management and strategy meetings with other members of the senior management team.
* Actively engage with donors, partner agencies, and the humanitarian community in Syria to ensure IRC is strongly represented in coordination and advocacy efforts.
* Actively liaise with IRC programs in the Middle East Region and the regional team to maximize synergies and application of best practice across the region.

Strategic Direction, Program Quality and Growth
* Provide cohesive leadership to Syria cross-border programming, ensuring that priorities and opportunities identified are in line with and contribute to achievement of IRC North East Syria’s Strategy Action Plan.
* Work with colleagues in country program, region and HQ to identify funding opportunities and develop competitive, responsive proposals that meet internal standards, apply IRC Outcomes and Evidence Framework principles, and are donor compliant; meet with donors to discuss current and potential funding.
* Work closely with field management and operational support departments to ensure systems are fit for purpose to support ongoing programmatic goals and strategic growth opportunities.
* Remain abreast of ongoing humanitarian response and funding trends in the region, and provide regular updates on these trends and analysis of how they may affect IRC programming.
* Work with the Director of Public Affairs to develop clear advocacy messages, contribute to policy analysis, and produce program-related information materials.
* Ensure active participation in sector coordination groups to ensure IRC’s involvement in and contribution to the wider Syria response.

Staff Performance Management and Development
* Coach, train, supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting quarterly performance objectives, providing regular and timely positive and constructive performance feedback, and providing documented semi-annual performance reviews.
* Hold high-quality meetings with each direct report on a regular and predictable basis, at least bi-weekly.
* Provide a measurable development plan including on-the-job learning with the aim of strengthening technical capacity, exchanging knowledge within the team and providing guidance on career paths.
* Promote and monitor staff care, well-being and self-care; approve and manage all time, attendance and leave requests to ensure adequate departmental coverage.
* Look for opportunities to support staff in their career growth, where appropriate. Offer leadership support for successful adherence by staff to IRC’s country and Global HR Operating Policies and Procedures.
* As part of succession plan and nationalization goals, support teams to identify, train and develop capability and capacity of a national staff to successfully transition role and responsibilities within an agreed open timeframe per position.
* Maintain open and professional relations with team members, promoting a strong team spirit and providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform in their positions.
* Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff.
* Work with regional HR staff to identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies.

Grant Monitoring & Partner Management
* Working with the Senior Program Coordinator, ensure appropriate and timely grant spending to achieve program goals, including procurement, use and distribution of supplies and resources.
* Support the Senior Program Coordinator to develop, adapt and implement appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems; analyzing results to ensure and enhance program effectiveness and quality
* Work to identify (including through civil society mapping) and cultivate strategic partnerships with Syrian NGOs.
* Support the Senior Program Coordinator and team in submission of timely, accurate and well written donor reports and other reporting requirements.

Risk and Security Management
* Ensure security procedures are in place and being followed. Maintain close coordination and communication with the CD, Safety, Security and Humanitarian Access Coordinator, and the Regional Safety and Security Advisor on safety and security concerns and evolving issues that could adversely affect IRC staff or operations.
* Ensure business continuity through an integrated risk management approach, including security, financial, operational and reputation risks by developing contingency plans and scenarios; and take ownership of the action plans.
* Support the Humanitarian Access Management team to develop and maintain ongoing relationships with community leaders and stakeholders within the operations area. Work to ensure that the mission and work of IRC is known and accepted. Work to encourage stakeholders to work with the IRC in ensuring that staff and programs are safe and allowed to continue humanitarian activities.
* Develop and/or identify and implement optimal practices to minimize the diversion of aid and assistance in Syria.

Stewardship and Operational Management
* Manage Supply Chain function in close coordination with Regional Supply Chain Director.
* Support field management in decentralization processes while maintaining effective oversight.
* Drive operational excellence to achieve optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness in all functions and operations of cross-border programs.
* Work closely with finance colleagues to ensure systems are in place and functioning effectively for budget development, management and realignment; cash management, financial planning, cash transfers using the Hawala system, and staff effort allocation.
* Oversee the development, deployment and utilization of financial and operational policies, procedures, and systems to deliver compliance with IRC and donor requirements.
* Provide timely and effective oversight of the financial position of IRC’s cross-border operations.
* Ensure recommendations related to operations are followed and take all necessary measures to address audit findings.

Key Working Relationships

Position Reports to: Country Director

Position directly supervises: Senior Program Coordinator, Field Coordinator Amouda, Security and Humanitarian Access Coordinator, Deputy Finance Controller, Supply Chain Coordinator and HR Coordinator; supervise North East Syria Health and Protection Working Group Coordinators in close collaboration with Whole of Syria leads

Other internal and external contacts:

Internal: Deputy Regional Director, Director of Public Affairs, Regional M&E, Technical Advisors, Regional Security, IRC Middle East country program deputy directors

External: Public and private donor agencies, North East Syria NGO Forum, international and national NGOs, UN agencies, partner organizations, foreign governments


* Graduate degree in International Development/Studies, Emergency Management, Public Health, or other relevant field

Work Experience:
* 5 years of progressively responsible professional experience managing complex multi-sectoral humanitarian programming.
* Experience interacting with global communities of practice in applicable program areas.
* Previous experience in an emergency or conflict-afflicted setting is required.
* Experience living and successfully working in a remote, complex, unstable environment, while maintaining a focus on program outcomes, preserving calm and a sense of humor.

Demonstrated Technical Skills:
* Demonstrated successful leadership experience managing a multi-disciplinary team and cross-cultural dynamics.
* Conversant in best practices in humanitarian interventions across programmatic sectors. Strong familiarity with IRC’s core programming areas in Syria, including Protection, Health, and Economic Recovery and Development
* Design, implementation, and management of highly-sophisticated M&E systems.
* Demonstrated ability for rapid, accurate analysis of complex issues, strong decision-making, and translation of programmatic priorities into operational strategies.
* Proven track record of leading multi-location teams.
* Repeated, successful experience delivering appropriate levels oversight for a portfolio consisting of a variety of complex, high-value donor-funded projects.
* Superior diplomatic and coordination skills are essential, both for internal coordination and for working with key stakeholders
* Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, producing high-quality outcomes.
* A keen understanding of political complexities in the Middle East region.

Demonstrated Managerial/Leadership Competencies:
* Excellent leadership and management skills including coaching, mentoring and managing teams
* Politically astute, with well-developed diplomatic and negotiating skills.
* Superior oral and written communication skills, with ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders.
* Extensive representation and fundraising success, including prior experience with European, US and international donors.
* Established capacity to deal with ambiguity in stressful situations.
* Strong commitment to IRC’s vision, mission and core values.
* Proven ability to design and lead training engagements with staff and partners to enhance skills and adapt to changing program demands.

Languages Required/Preferred:
* Fluency in spoken and written English; working knowledge of Arabic or Kurdish preferred.

Computer/Other Tech Requirements:
* Full professional competency in Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

Ability to Travel: Up to 40% throughout region and to HQ for workshops, conferences or other meetings

Standards of Professional Conduct
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way - Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons and several others.

Gender Equality
IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Working Environment
The overall security situation is relatively stable but fluid and unpredictable. Conditions are modern and of comfortable standard in both Dohuk and Derek. Dohuk and Derek are fairly quiet, but IRC is responding to ongoing conflict in Raqqa and Deir ez Zour governorates in Syria. This position is based in Dohuk, Iraq with weekly travel to Derek, Syria and must comply with all IRC security policies and procedures applicable to international staff. Housing is shared.

Returning National Candidates: IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs. We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Middle East Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply.

About the Organization

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 27 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.

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