Country Director

Relief International
  • Location
    Sana’a, Yemen
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Oct 01

Position description

RI seeks a dynamic individual to lead a country program that has grown significantly over the past two years. During the first year, responsibilities include coordinating with humanitarian actors and donors and managing the scale-up of RI’s multi-sector emergency response programming, as well as the stabilization of WASH programming, with an emphasis on reinforcing RI’s operational systems, procedures, and structures.

The successful candidate will provide day-to-day operational support, mentoring and strategic direction to the Yemen country program under the guidance and supervision of the Middle East Regional Director. He/She will be responsible for identifying needs and resources and elaborating program plans and proposals in line with Relief International’s national and global priorities, donor priorities, and in line with identified gaps in the overall response at national and district levels.

It will be essential for the Yemen Country Director to work simultaneously at both strategic and operational levels. He/she will play a significant role in program and proposal development, taking the lead in representing the organization with donors, obtaining funding, and identifying and pursuing new program opportunities. He/she will also manage the mobilization and effective scale up of innovative emergency and development programs, supervise program and support staff, as well as ensure that all relevant RI policies and procedures with respect to HR, safety and security, code of conduct, equal opportunities and other relevant policies and procedures are in place, implemented and adhered to.

Position Responsibilities and Duties:

Emergency Response Planning and Resource Mobilization

  • In coordination with the country team and Regional Director, lead all aspects of emergency response, including: mobilizing initial response plans and activities; internal and external inter-agency coordination, networking with donors and authorities, overseeing emergency assessments, leading the design and drafting of proposals, and resourcing and allocation of in-country staff and assets as appropriate.
  • Recruit and provide timely and expert advice to emergency response team on implementation of various components of the emergency response programs.
  • Lead the process of developing immediate and long-term response plans, ensuring RI’s response meets immediate humanitarian needs and strategically positions RI for longer-term program funding opportunities.
  • Pro-actively ensure immediate and effective direct communications and networking with donors that produces actionable and timely business intelligence.
  • In collaboration with in-country and regional program staff, lead preparation of funding proposals and ensure they are of the highest quality and closely responsive to response needs and donors’ requirements.
  • Track funding and program trends to understand specific donor priorities and resources.
  • Initiate, establish and cultivate relationships with peers and new donors. Negotiate with peer agencies and donors of participation in relevant consortia will form a significant part of the program development responsibilities of this role.
  • Actively identify and pro-actively pursue new opportunities for program growth and start-up, especially in regards to further position RI in longer term projects, in coordination with relevant country, regional and global support office Program Development, Grants and Program staff.
  • Map peer agencies/other actors in the response and assess other humanitarian actor's activities to identify geographic or sector gaps in the Yemen response.
  • In close collaboration with regional and global support office management, participate in negotiation of contracts and agreements with donors, ensuring both programmatic and financial relevance.
  • Identify, and where appropriate, initiate and maintain program partnerships with external agencies.
  • Plan and supervise needs assessments and data collection in support of program design.

Emergency Response Program Management

  • Assume overall management and oversight of emergency response in collaboration with the country response team and Regional Director.
  • Have oversight over the development of 6/24-month response strategy and plans and corresponding master budgets for the response
  • Take overall leadership on the implementation and monitoring of program plans and budgets, in coordination and by delegation with both DCDs (Program & support) & with Area Managers, keeping relevant stakeholders informed and ensuring any necessary corrective actions are taken in order to ensure activities are delivered on time and to prevent under or overspending on agreed budgets.
  • Once secured, manage multiple grants (across multiple sectors), ensuring strict compliance of program activities with RI national and global policies and procedures and with relevant donor regulations and agreements, SPHERE guidelines and the NGO code of conduct.
  • Establish project monitoring plans and systems for identifying and tracking the indicators and develop processes/procedures and forms to support monitoring, timely implementation and inform learning.
  • In coordination with programs staff ensure the preparation of timely program and donor reports on project activities in compliance with internal RI requirements and any relevant donor requirements.
  • Ensure optimal safety and security management procedures and practices are in place for the emergency response program and continually monitor the safety and security situation, adapting staff safety and security procedures accordingly in collaboration and cooperation with any relevant security staff.
  • Oversee effective functioning of logistics systems to procure, store and distribute stock, supplies and services for the timely delivery of project objectives.
  • Ensure strong accountability to beneficiaries.

Team Management and Development

  • Plan, identify and resource appropriate and effective structure & staffing needs for entire response (including ensuring that personnel policies are in accordance with national laws).
  • Ensure proper coordination and communication flow among teams.
  • Directly supervise DCD Support, DCD Programs, Area Managers (2) and Security Manager.
  • Act as a Point of Contact for Child Protection, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Harassment, and Code of Conduct policies, and ensure staff and beneficiaries are oriented on reporting misconduct mechanisms.
  • Oversee the development & implementation of staff wellbeing (policy) and ensure appropriate staff wellbeing and R&R policy and processes in place, where applicable.
  • Ensure that capacity building plans and performance management systems are in place to develop the requisite competencies in staff to ensure ongoing sustainability and quality of response into recovery phase.
  • Coach and mentor international staff and national level counterparts and link into wider organizational talent development mechanisms.

External Representation

  • Represent RI’s emergency response 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.
  • Regularly undertake high-level representation and advocacy with governmental and non-governmental partners and officials, including UN and coordinating bodies, as well as donor representatives.

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.
  • Extensive experience (over 7 years) of working within a senior management role within a complex country program in a complex emergency response or fragile state. Previous experience of managing program teams in first phase emergency response is essential.
  • Demonstrated strong project cycle management skills, inclusive of work plan/timeline/deliverables/and budget tracking and course correction.
  • Knowledge and experience in at least two of the following sectors/program areas essential: Health, Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Food Security and Livelihoods, Education. Knowledge and experience of market-based and cash-transfer programming desirable.
  • Absolutely essential is a strong understanding of UN and humanitarian coordination mechanisms.
  • Proven expertise in fundraising, seeking and securing donors, successful proposal writing and reporting.
  • Fluent written and verbal English. Arabic is an asset.
  • Evidence of understanding the challenges of donor and grant/contract management and the implications for program management.
  • Experience of managing large and complex, multi-donor, multi-sector programs (including ECHO, DFID and OFDA/USAID/BPRM) in a first phase response.
  • Substantial experience in the financial management of budgets, including preparing financial projections, general financial management and reporting.
  • Strong report writing skills and experience.
  • Excellent English language skills.
  • Experience of int’l level representation with key stakeholders, co-ordination with government, other NGOs/UN.
  • Experience of M&E 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.

Application instructions

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