Position: Country Director – Lebanon
Location: Beirut, Lebanon, with significant in-country travel to field offices and implementation sites
Reports to: Regional Director, Middle East
Relief International is a leading non-profit 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.
RI seeks a dynamic individual to lead a multi-sector country mission (Health, Education, Cash and Livelihoods) that comprises multiple projects from various donors and operates in many geographic areas of Lebanon. The Country Director (CD) will provide strong leadership of the RI Lebanon country mission and ensure team spirit, quality performance, and fulfillment of all agency functions. It will be essential for the CD to work simultaneously at both strategic and operational levels. S/he will be directly responsible for the overall strategic planning, program development, ensuring high level of program quality and grant management, overseeing program support operations (Finance, HR, Operations) to maintain organizational, donor and legal compliance, and represent RI for country-level external relations and interagency coordination. S/he will also manage both the growth and contraction of the country mission based on changes to the country mission portfolio, ensuring a strategic approach to change management. The CD must also ensure that all RI policies and procedures with respect to HR, safety and security, code of conduct, safeguarding, and other relevant policies and procedures are in place, implemented and adhered to. The CD will continually assess, identify and address gaps and weaknesses so as to improve overall country program performance, efficiency, and effectiveness. The CD is the primary link between the country team and Regional Support Office (RSO) (and Global Support Office (GSO) when relevant).
Position Responsibilities and Duties:
Strategy and Program Development:
· Lead the process of developing medium and long-range country strategic plans maintaining program focus in areas congruent with RI’s program objectives and core sectors, including Country Program and Operational Strategy and Program Development Strategy. The plans should address immediate needs while positioning RI for longer-term funding opportunities and accessing new donors.
· Proactively ensure effective ongoing direct communications and networking with donors, U.N. agencies, other NGOs (international and national) and government actors that produces actionable and timely business intelligence and supports pre-positioning to bolster RI’s competitiveness.
· Identify, and where appropriate, initiate and maintain program partnerships with external agencies, including negotiating with peer agencies and donors participation in relevant consortia in order to most effectively meet the needs of targeted populations and access new donors.
· In collaboration with relevant regional and country staff, lead and ensure that preparation of funding proposals are of the highest quality and closely responsive to donor requirements; as needed, personally draft and/or edit substantial parts of proposals and budgets
· In close collaboration with RSO, participate in negotiation of contracts and agreements with donors to secure new projects and/or modifications to existing agreements in alignment with the country’s strategic planning.
· Represent RI’s Lebanon country mission on a national, regional and international level to donors, partners, relevant government bodies, the media and members of the humanitarian community.
· Help shape broader sector strategies through influence and leadership within inter-agency coordination forums.
Change Management and Resource Mobilization/ De-mobilization
· Through a participatory approach with the country senior management team, and in coordination with RSO, the CD will ensure effective mobilization of new grants and demobilization of closing grants by:
o Ensuring the plan at proposal design phase is as accurate and realistic as possible in relation to the country situation, including proposed HR structure and necessary operational considerations.
o Ensuring recruitment processes for new staff is launched as timely as possible to ensure new team is on board as soon as possible in relation to project start date/ approved timelines.
o Understanding the rules and regulations for new grants at the outset so plan for needed resources and support from RSO and/or GSO can be arranged ahead of time.
o Spearheading strategic and rational approach to internal allocation of resources (human and operational) across projects, departments and geographic locations.
o Ensuring compliant and well-planned close-out of grants through a strategic and transparent approach that mitigates risks to the mission and team spirit.
Program Management and Quality
· In coordination with the Regional Program Director, ensure quality program implementation through highly interactive management of and engagement with the country-level Program Director.
· Work closely with the country senior management team to monitor and ensure that projects are on track with deliverables and targets and spending, ensuring the sufficient early identification and diagnosis of off-track projects and actively determine feasible strategies to correct such problems, while communicating closely with RSO on such projects.
· Explore innovative approaches to implement current programs and identify synergies between projects within Lebanon to improve program quality and elevate RI’s relevance and reputation.
· Provide program guidance and technical input and advice as needed to maintain strategic vision.
· Ensure project communication, and all requested internal and external reporting is completed with the highest quality, responsive to information requirements, and submitted on time.
· Conduct regular sub-office and field visits to enable direct staff support and observation of activities.
· Participate in multi-lateral and bi-lateral meetings with other actors to inform coordination, new approaches, and adherence to evolving sector priorities and government strategies.
· Support country team’s use of internal resources and reporting mechanisms to enhance program management, streamline processes, and participate in harmonization of management approaches among country missions across RI (for example PMF, PQI, Portfolio report, etc).
· In coordination with the Regional Security Manager, ensure optimal safety and security management procedures and practices are in place, internal documentation and reporting requirements are followed, and continually monitor the safety and security situation, adapting staff safety and security procedures accordingly in collaboration and cooperation with all relevant staff.
· In coordination with the Regional Operations Manager, oversee effective and compliant functioning of operations department and systems to procure, store and distribute stock, supplies and services for the timely and quality delivery of program and operational needs.
· In coordination with the Regional Finance Manager, oversee budget planning, stay on top of project spending, ensure cash needs are met in country, coordinate banking arrangements, and ensure full legal compliance and reporting to the government related to finance.
· In coordination with Regional HR Manager, ensure that all HR policies are followed and strategic objectives to enhance the role and functioning of the country HR department are addressed.
· Ensure archiving and documentation for all departments is in place and regularly/ correctly updated.
· Ensure positive outcomes of external audits by ensuring ongoing compliance throughout implementation and preparedness for each audit.
· Ensure full legal compliance with national laws/ regulations of both Lebanon and countries/agencies from which RI receives grants, and keep the Regional Director informed of any challenges in this domain in order to mitigate any negative impact to the mission over the short and/or long-term.
· Ensure proper coordination and communication flow among departments.
· Directly supervise members of the senior management team, comprised of heads of departments (Program, Finance, HR, and Operations).
· Ensure effective engagement in and roll out of all key policies related to Code of Conduct, PSEA, safeguarding, security, etc, and ensure staff, partners and beneficiaries are oriented on reporting misconduct mechanisms.
· Ensure that RI’s performance management system is adhered to for all staff, and goals and capacity building plans are in place to support staff having effective contribution towards the country mission, while developing their competencies and promoting staff engagement.
· Ensure adherence to the self-care policy and focus on supporting the well-being of all staff through a multi-faceted approach (ie, respecting HR policies and guidelines, monitoring staff workload appropriateness and devising plans to mitigate high risk areas, supporting staff leaves, leading by example, being transparent with staff regarding contract status, etc.).
Skills, Experience, Knowledge:
· This position demands a dynamic individual with a demonstrated ability to achieve results in a demanding, fast paced and often insecure environment.
· Experience working within a leadership and/or senior management role within a complex country program. Previous experience of managing program teams focus on multiple sectors is a must.
· Demonstrated strong project cycle management skills, inclusive of work plan/timeline/deliverables/and budget tracking and course correction.
· Knowledge and experience in the following sectors: Health, Education, Cash, Livelihoods.
· Strong understanding of UN and humanitarian coordination mechanisms in Lebanon is essential.
· Proven expertise in fundraising, seeking and securing donors, successful proposal writing and reporting.
· Fluent written and verbal English. Arabic is an asset. Excellent English language skills.
· Evidence of understanding the challenges of donor and grant/contract management and the implications for program management.
· Multi-donor and multi-donor portfolios, and experience working with the following donors is a plus: PRM, OFDA, RDPP, OCHA-LHF, UNHCR and AFD.
· Experience in the financial management of budgets, including preparing financial projections, general financial management and reporting.
· Strong proposal and report writing skills and experience.
· Experience with external representation with key stakeholders, coordination with government and U.N., and other NGOs.
· Experience leading and/or implementing MEAL and beneficiary accountability systems in large and complex programs.
· Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy
· Commitment to the aims and principles of Relief International. In particular, a good understanding of the humanitarian mandate and principles.
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