Regional Grants Advisor - East Africa

International Rescue Committee
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Dec 05

Position description

Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. 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.

The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through over 20 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.


Our European headquarters, IRC-UK, were established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with European policy-makers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC-UK has grown rapidly and is now acknowledged for its high quality project management, technical expertise in governance and rights and economic recovery, and innovative thinking on early recovery and gender based violence. The IRC also has offices in Berlin, Brussels and Geneva.

IRC-UK comprises approximately 100 staff across five departments.

The Global Awards Management Unit (AMU)

Established  in  January  2016,  the  Global  Awards  Management  Unit  (AMU)  is  a  global  unit  spanning New York, Washington DC, London, Nairobi and Amman. It has responsibility for identifying, securing and managing  all  funding  from  statutory  donors.  The  Unit  is  organized  into  five  directorates:  Donor Relations  &  Analytics;  Grants  Management  &  Frameworks;  Compliance  and  Policy;  Business Development;  and  Training  &  Curriculum  Design.

The  Global  AMU  is  a bridge  between  donors  and  the  field:  providing  expert technical  advice to the field,  while  maintaining portfolio-level  visibility to ensure consistency  and  compliance, and manage risk.  The AMU  ensures  that  donor  compliance  policies  and procedures are implemented  consistently, and  supports  all  staff  working  across  the  grants  management  cycle  for  all restricted  funding  from global government sources. The unit operates within a matrix management system across the teams in  the  US  and  the  UK,  driving  functional  integration  between  all  relevant  units  and  staff,  in collaboration with the Vice President of the Global AMU and the Senior Vice President for Europe in relation to overarching issues with European donors. The matrix management structure ensures that AMU staff support the Europe strategy and work towards the pursuit of new opportunities, while IRC-UK maintains accountability for European funding.

The Purpose of the Role

The Regional Grants Advisor (RGA) plays a vital role within a regional team that supervises a specific region. The RGA focuses primarily on the successful implementation of IRC European donor award requirements and reporting, ensuring basic compliance, accurate financial information and good quality narratives on programme outputs. The RGA must also build and ensure good and professional working relationships with donors. RGAs will work closely with the Regional Grants Directors to strengthen the capacity of field offices to manage, implement and report on Grants. RGAs will also represent IRC to policy makers, donors and other audiences. Based in London, the Regional Grants Advisor works under the supervision of a Regional Grants Director. The RGA may oversee a Regional Grants Assistant.  


Grants Management (50%) 

· Manage the European grants portfolio for a particular region and other portfolios as is relevant and necessary 

· Review and provide substantive feedback on reports; consulting with and ensuring input from relevant technical and financial staff 

· Support budget realignments and grant amendments/modifications 

· Maintain day-to-day communication with donors 

· Monitor projects to ensure progress against objectives and compliance with donor guidelines 

· In coordination with the compliance team, guide country offices in managing partnerships with local or international partners, ensuring that IRC’s sub-award management policies are being followed 

· Assist country offices with ad-hoc queries on donor compliance issues. Refer non-routine and high level compliance matters to the RGDs and Compliance team 

· Assist the compliance team in advocating with European donors for manageable and reasonable rules and regulations 

· Ensure lessons learned from finalised projects are fed into the programme development team · Stay informed about programmatic issues and security & political developments in the region and how they might affect program implementation 

· Ensure country programmes follow internal IRC policies and procedures (e.g. OTIS, SPMS) 2 · Travel to provide additional support to or cover short-term gaps for grants teams in the field. Travel decisions will be taken after consultation with line manager with due consideration given to regional priorities and workload management 

Capacity Building and Training (20%) 

· Provide best practice advice related to grant management 

· Develop training materials and carry out training of IRC field staff on donor rules, as required and in coordination with RGD and AMU Staff 

· In coordination with the RGD, develop and maintain work-processes and checklists for grant implementation and report review, as well as record lessons learned Coordination and Supervision (20%) 

· Maintain a strong relationship with the Regional Director and Deputy Regional Director and other regional staff 

· Maintain a strong relationship with the AMU Deputy VP and all AMU pillars to ensure the use of all templates, guidance, policies and procedures established by AMU 

· Maintain a strong relationship with field grants teams offering regular support 

· Liaise with support departments and other teams outside of AMU as needed in order to provide the best support to country offices 

· Supervise where relevant a Regional Grants Assistant in carrying out necessary functions as they relate to country program support and donor liaison 

· Coordinate with the Program Officers in NY and RGAs for other regions for information sharing and to establish a coherent program support and backstopping function between headquarters and the field. 

Other (10%) 

· Assist in roll-out of AMU and IPD-wide initiatives, as requested 

· Represent IRC externally at country specific meetings, and stakeholder networks

· Contribute to IRC Europe strategy

· Other duties as assigned by supervisor



Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:

  • Degree, preferably in a subject related to IRC’s work (International Relations, Refugee or Migration Studies, Development Studies, Public Policy) or equivalent experience
  • Good understanding of humanitarian aid and development programming
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a diverse team and manage a varied workload
  • Good financial management and budgeting skills
  • Ability to analyse and synthesise information
  • Solid organizational skills; detail-oriented; ability to multi-task and prioritize tasks, and to learn quickly.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: the ability to successfully and effectively liaise with people within and across departments in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Both a team player and an independent performer in a very fast paced environment
  • Flexible work attitude and a calm manner
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Good IT skills (Word, Outlook, Excel)


  • Experience with and a good understanding of European institutional donors and their requirements.
  • Experience in working at a distance and supporting field-based staff
  • Experience writing, reviewing and editing narrative and financial reports and excellent attention to detail


  • French, German or Arabic language skills desired
  • International work experience in a developing country a plus
  • Understanding of UN or U.S. donors a plus.

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.

Application instructions

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