Senior Specialist - Humanitarian Programs Portfolio

  • Posted on 3 February 2020

Job Description


The Senior Specialist will serve as the primary focal point for Response Teams and will provide leadership and active engagement on awards for their assigned responses. The Senior Specialist will manage the full life cycle of their assigned awards ensuring adherence to donor rule and regulations and supporting Country Offices to meet key deliverables.

This role will be instrumental in ensuring donor compliance and successful implementation of the Department of Humanitarian Response (DHR)’s country-specific humanitarian portfolio of awards funded by institutional donors. This position is accountable for meeting new raise targets and metrics for the caseload of awards and for building skills and resources necessary to perform their functions effectively. This position will liaise with relevant stakeholders, particularly with the humanitarian finance unit. This role will problem- solve to instill overall health of awards and escalate issues to leadership as needed. This person’s contributions to continuous improvement will be key in determining and implementing process improvements.

In coordination with the Director, Humanitarian Programs, the Senior Specialist will play a role in internal and external representation for responses within their geographic portfolio. This includes representing SCUS at internal and external meetings, providing strategic and operational inputs and analysis to SC priority responses, and leading initiatives for internal and external information sharing and discussions around response related initiatives, challenges and support.

What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)

Leadership on Set of Prioritized Responses and Key Institutional Account (20%)

  • Serve as SCUS lead on select prioritized responses, participating in response calls, and acting as point person on the response, working closely with the Director, Humanitarian Programs and the Senior Director, Humanitarian Strategy; responsibilities on prioritized responses include:
    • Represent SCUS on member calls;
    • Review response strategy and provide feedback aligned to SCUS priorities;
    • Ensure proper coordination on CEF and appeal allocations.
  • Serve as the operational focal point person for one of DHR’s key institutional donors; responsibilities as the focal point include:
    • Develop tools and systems for training Country Offices on institutional donor priorities, compliance and engagement;
    • Lead on quarterly reviews for the assigned institutional donor;
    • Support the Director, Humanitarian Partnerships in developing donor strategies;
    • Identify trends, best practices and challenges with this donor;
    • Propose solutions and ways forward to advance engagement with this donor on the operational and strategic levels.
  • Lead the development of certain DHR portfolio review tools, e.g. portfolio analysis, Level of Effort (LoE) analysis, and recommends improved processes for monitoring the portfolio.
  • Play a key role in continuous improvement efforts including Response Award Management project solutions, taking the lead on specific improvements.

Management of Country Specific Awards (60%)

  • Lead on engagement with Country Offices (COs), other SC members, and relevant partners and sub-grantees to ensure high quality, timely and compliant program implementation.
  • Monitor risk, work with CO leadership to agree on risk mitigation strategies; develop plans to address these risks and escalate issues as appropriate.
  • Oversee donor communications, requests, amendments, etc. are communicated effectively and oversee completion of resulting actions; coordinate response to donor queries as needed.
  • Produce high quality and timely narrative donor reports generated by CO and circulate for additional input as necessary; ensure submission of reports to donor and share any feedback with COs and Technical Assistants.
  • Collaborate with DHR Finance and Compliance unit for training on donor compliance, LOE budgeting guidelines, key reporting deadlines and respond to internal SCUS reporting requests (KPIs, overspend, budget projections).
  • Manage sub-award agreements to Save the Children Member countries or partners as needed.
  • Donor compliance responsibilities including working with the DHR Finance and Compliance Unit monitor award implementation, reporting and procurements to ensure compliance with donor requirements and provide needed compliance support to country offices
  • Project start-up responsibilities including planning and leading startup call/meeting with CO is planned and executed – review project timeline, deliverables and donor requirements in detail.
  • Project close-out responsibilities including supporting completion of the SCI and SCUS Closeout Checklists to help the Finance and Compliance Unit ensure that awards in AMS and Agresso are closed/deactivated as required.

New Business Development (20%)

  • Lead prepositioning and planning with COs in portfolio, proactively engaging them to reach out to in-country donors and identify opportunities. Lead the go-no-go process from the SCUS side. Secure all needed approvals prior to submission.
  • Manage the process of developing and submitting high quality and compliant concept notes and proposals that are aligned with SC’s response strategy and donor priorities. Provide feedback as needed. Support country-specific proposal development as needed.
  • Work closely with country office, the DHR Finance and Compliance unit and technical teams to coordinate proposal timelines and roles and responsibilities.
  • Support the department to maintain knowledge management systems around resource development (ensuring documents are posted on AMS as applicable, maintaining proposal libraries, documenting lessons learned, etc.)

Travel: International and Domestic travel up to 20%

  • Travel to Save the Children country offices to conduct award reviews as part of the responsibilities described above, provide operations support and build CO capacity on SCUS systems and donor requirements.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelors degree or equivalent relevant experience
  • You have a minimum of 5-7 years’ experience that includes international humanitarian (emergency) response at field and/or home office-level
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience working with USG and UN agencies as donors and partners
  • Demonstrated success working across the full cycle of project/award management, including strong experience in program design and proposal development
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively collaborate across teams to deliver results; ability to manage by influence internally and to work in a matrixed structure
  • Ability to think and act strategically, including the ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing
  • Must have attention to detail, ability to multi-task and able to make independent decisions
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally (and domestically) up to 20% of time, as required, to support high priority humanitarian responses, strategic initiatives and project implementation
  • Excellent written English and computer skills, advanced proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and ability to master SharePoint systems

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ability to speak a second, relevant language (French)
  • Experience working with and raising funds from OFDA, BPRM, WFP and UNHCR strongly preferred
  • Experience implementing high value, high risk USG and UN projects strongly preferred
  • Experience leading portfolio review and analysis processes to ensure oversight and management of risk for awards in portfolio

Why you should join the Save the Children Team

Save the Children US offers outstanding benefits that include health, dental, vision and life insurances, pet insurance, short-term and long-term disability coverage, an Employee Assistance Program, 403(b), generous vacation, personal sick leave, family leave, parental/adoption leave, commuter benefits, dress for your day, and much more.

Click here to learn more about how Save the Children US will invest in YOU!

About the Organization

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom Save the Children is in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation. Any violations of this policy will be treated as a serious issue.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.

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