Head of Humanitarian Programming

War Child
  • Location
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jul 25

Position description

You are a dedicated and dynamic head of humanitarian programming with excellent hands-on experience in leading humanitarian responses and humanitarian functions within organisations, and working with multiple stakeholders in humanitarian affairs.

You will lead the joint humanitarian function for both War Child Holland and War Child UK and be responsible for leading the further development of War Child’s humanitarian policies, strategies and framework for humanitarian action, in consultation with War Child colleagues in country, regional and headquarters offices.

In close coordination with Country Directors, and based on assessments, you will recommend whether and how War Child should respond to humanitarian emergencies, and you will have authority to direct the nature, scale and methodologies for response within agreed overall parameters.

You will be expected to lead the first phase/scale-up of certain War Child emergency responses as necessary including leading the emergency response team on the ground. At this time, the priority focus is on leading War Child’s humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis. You will report directly to one of the Directors International Programmes in either War Child Holland or UK and will work closely within both organisations to fulfil the role.

Your Responsibilities

  • Lead the further development of War Child’s humanitarian policies, strategies and framework for humanitarian action.
  • Review and keep up to date War Child’s policies, strategies, procedures and methodologies for humanitarian action - based on: humanitarian values, principles and standards; priorities set out in War Child’s organizational strategy; as well as learning from our previous humanitarian work
  • Consult with War Child colleagues in country, regional and headquarters offices to understand perspectives on our humanitarian work
  • Engage in the external humanitarian sector to keep updated on broader sector developments and to contribute within policy forums
  • Ensure that War Child systematically learns from our experience in humanitarian work
  • Improving the speed, coverage, focus and quality of real-time humanitarian assistance (including, but not limited to emergency management).
  • Supporting country offices and partner organisations by providing guidance, training and advice to War Child offices, staff and partners on policies, strategies and framework for humanitarian action
  • Managing War Child’s Emergency Start-Up Funds, a key catalyst to strengthen our humanitarian work
  • Building the interest, confidence, and capacity of the country, regional and headquarters offices to take up humanitarian work and embrace change; ensuring that War Child offices understand expectations for engagement in and impact of our humanitarian work
  • Recognize the need for more hands-on humanitarian leadership, management, and operational capacities on the ground for longer and sustained periods in real-time settings
  • Building partnerships
  • Lead and manage War Child’s (Ukraine) emergency response programme development and coordination with partners. Responding to the Ukraine crisis is a current high priority, but responding to other humanitarian crises in the future will emerge as well.
  • Work directly with partners (in Ukraine or potentially elsewhere in the future) to coordinate, develop and implement a response relevant to their needs and capacities
  • Develop an updated plan for the medium-term response in Ukraine. Ensure that the response has clear impact goals and targets, and make programme, partnership and funding allocation decisions, after consultation with relevant internal & external stakeholders

Internal humanitarian leadership, coordination & management

  • Authority to direct the nature, scale and methodologies for humanitarian responses within overall parameters decided upon by the Directors of International Programmes
  • Establish clear structures and procedures for decision making related to humanitarian responses involving country, regional and headquarters management as appropriate
  • Act as the focal point for internal stakeholders on coordination of emergency responses and coordination of information with internal stakeholders
  • Recruit and manage War Child’s Emergency Response Team, as may be needed and depending on allocations of budget
  • Work closely with War Child’s humanitarian information management focal points to finetune reporting and information management procedures and regular coordination meetings (including SitReps, Virtual Operations Room, etc)
  • Work closely with Communications & Advocacy managers to review and sign off on materials for War Child’s communication to donors and other external audiences
  • Work closely with the global operations team (logistics, finance and human resources) to ensure their support is aligned with the emergency response program/approach

External coordination

  • Engage with local partners, international humanitarian organisations, global humanitarian policy and coordination forums, and other stakeholders relevant to the thematic and geographic scope of War Child’s developing humanitarian work
  • Support partners in their humanitarian coordination roles as relevant
  • Act as War Child’s focal point for communications and advocacy purposes, for example interviews with media
  • Collaborative work with War Child’s advocacy and communications teams to strengthen War Child’s humanitarian positioning, profile and reputation
  • Collaborative work with War Child’s Child Protection, Education, MHPSS, Youth, CWTL, Team UP and the Research Team to support niche areas if relevant in contexts
  • Networking, platform, and partnership building and membership in relevant humanitarian initiatives / multi-agency initiatives


Your Profile

  • Bachelor’s degree in international development, humanitarian affairs, social science or work, health, business management, communication, or other relevant field
  • At least 5 years of hands-on experience in managing humanitarian responses on the ground
  • At least 3 years of experience developing and coordinating humanitarian responseprogrammes (including planning, programming, partnerships and budgeting)
  • Experience developing and managing organisational humanitarian capability
  • Team leadership and management experience
  • Previous experience working with civil society organisations/ international NGOs
  • Commitment to strengthening local leadership of humanitarian work, including nurturing partnerships with local partners and building on their existing capacities
  • Strong skills in planning, budget management, programme implementation, and MEAL
  • Ability to understand and manage the information needs and expectations of multipleinternal & external stakeholders and provide information management, reporting, and decision making in changeable emergency situations
  • Pragmatic with a flexible approach and an ability to get things done while demonstrating empathy, effectiveness and creativity
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Result-orientated and proactive by nature
  • Attention to detail with regard routine systems and procedures and cost-conscious
  • Fluency in English is required. Fluency in UN or other languages (eg Arabic, French, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Spanish, sign language etc) is an advantage
  • Affinity with War Child’s mandate, mission, and core values (Impact, Creativity, Inspiration and Integrity)
  • Willing to travel frequently/ be deployed to programme areas and have availability to work remotely within CET due to the nature of the work with existing teams and very short deadlines

Application instructions

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