Job Description

The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 7.6 million people are internally displaced and 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.8 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 4 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair. IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis. IRC is undertaking programs in Syria in the fields of health, protection, and economic recovery and development. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding and coordination. SCOPE OF WORK The Field Director, Northeast Syria, leads IRC’s program in Northeast Syria (NES), overseeing and providing strategic leadership for a dynamic, multi-sector program covering Hasakeh, Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zour governorates. S/he will report to the Iraq-NES Country Director and work in close coordination with other members of the country senior management team, as well as the northwest Syria country program. This position is based in Derek, Northeast Syria though base location is subject to change given the fluidity of the security situation in NES. RESPONSIBILITIES Leadership and Representation • Serve as IRC’s primary focal point for all NES programs and operations. • Provide leadership and supervisory management for all programs in NES, including mobilization and stewardship of resources, program quality and accountability, and performance management. • Participate actively in country program management and strategy meetings with other members of the senior management team. • Actively engage with donors, partner agencies, and the humanitarian community in Syria to ensure IRC is strongly represented in coordination and advocacy efforts. • Actively liaise with other IRC programs in the Middle East region and regional team to maximize synergies and application of best practice across the region. Strategic Direction, Program Quality and Growth • Provide cohesive leadership to Northeast Syria programming, ensuring that priorities and opportunities identified contribute to achievement of IRC’s Strategy Action Plan. • Work with colleagues in country program, region and HQ to identify funding opportunities and develop competitive, responsive proposals; meet with donors to discuss potential funding in aligned with beneficiaries’ needs. • Work closely with field management and operational support departments to ensure systems are fit for purpose to support ongoing programmatic goals and strategic growth opportunities. • Remain abreast of ongoing humanitarian response and funding trends in the region, and provide regular updates on these trends and analysis of how they may affect IRC programming. • Work with the Director of Public Affairs to develop clear advocacy messages, contribute to policy analysis, and produce program-related information materials. • Ensure active participation in sector coordination groups to ensure IRC’s involvement in and contribution to the wider Syria response. Risk and Security Management • Ensure security procedures are in place and followed in accordance with IRC global policy. Maintain close coordination and communication with the CD, Safety, Security and Humanitarian Access Coordinator, and the Regional Safety and Security Director on staff safety and security concerns. • Ensure business continuity through an integrated risk management approach, including security, financial, operational and reputation risks by developing contingency plans and scenarios. • Support the Humanitarian Access Management team to develop and maintain ongoing relationships with community leaders and stakeholders within the operations area. Work to ensure that the mission and work of IRC is known and accepted. Work to encourage stakeholders to work with the IRC in ensuring that staff and programs are safe and allowed to continue humanitarian activities. • Develop and/or identify and implement optimal practices to minimize the diversion of aid and assistance in Syria. Stewardship and Operational Management • Manage Supply Chain function in close coordination with Regional Supply Chain Director. • Support field management in decentralization processes while maintaining effective oversight. • Drive operational excellence to achieve optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness in all functions. • Provide financial oversight to ensure systems are in place and functioning effectively in accordance with operating budget. Develop and manage program budgets, lead reforecasting exercises throughout the fiscal year. Ensure cash management, financial planning, cash transfers using the Hawala system, and staff effort allocation. • Oversee the development, deployment and utilization of financial and operational policies, procedures, and systems to deliver compliance with IRC and donor requirements. • Provide timely and effective oversight of the financial position of IRC’s cross-border operations. • Ensure all necessary measures taken to address any audit findings. Staff Performance Management and Development • Coach, supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting quarterly performance objectives, providing regular and timely positive and constructive performance feedback, and providing documented semi-annual performance reviews. • Provide a measurable development plan including on-the-job learning and providing guidance on career paths. • Promote and monitor staff care, well-being and self-care; approve and manage all time, attendance and leave requests to ensure adequate departmental coverage. • As part of succession plan and nationalization goals, support teams to identify, train and develop capability and capacity of a national staff to successfully transition role and responsibilities within an agreed open timeframe per position. • Maintain open and professional relations with team members, promoting a strong team spirit and providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform in their positions. • Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff. • Work with regional HR staff to identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies. Key Working Relationships Position Reports to: Country Director Position directly supervises: Deputy Director of Programs, Field Coordinator Amouda, Security and Humanitarian Access Coordinator, Deputy Finance Controller, Supply Chain Coordinator; administratively supervise North East Syria Health and Protection Working Group Coordinators in close collaboration with Whole of Syria leads Other internal and external contacts: Internal: Deputy Regional Director, Director of Public Affairs, Regional Supply Chain Director, Regional Security, IRC Middle East country program CDs and deputy directors  External: Public and private donor agencies, North East Syria NGO Forum, international and national NGOs, UN agencies, partner organizations, foreign governments Qualifications Education: • Graduate degree in International Development/Studies, Emergency Management, Public Health, or other relevant field Work Experience: • 6 years of progressively responsible professional experience managing complex multi-sectoral humanitarian programming. • Experience interacting with global communities of practice in applicable program areas. • Experience as donor liaison, contracts, compliance and related accountability processes. • Experience in remote management, specifically large teams working in multiple field sites. • Previous experience in an emergency or conflict-afflicted setting is required. • Experience living and successfully working in a remote, complex, unstable environment, while maintaining a focus on program outcomes, preserving calm. Demonstrated Technical Skills: • Demonstrated successful leadership experience managing a multi-disciplinary team and cross-cultural dynamics. • Conversant in best practices in humanitarian interventions across programmatic sectors. Strong familiarity with IRC’s core programming areas in Syria, including Protection, Health, and Economic Recovery and Development • Demonstrated ability for rapid, accurate analysis of complex issues, strong decision-making, and translation of programmatic priorities into operational strategies. • Proven track record of leading multi-location teams. • Repeated, successful experience delivering appropriate levels oversight for a portfolio consisting of a variety of complex, high-value donor-funded projects while achieving high quality programming objectives. • Superior diplomatic and coordination skills are essential, both for internal coordination and for working with key stakeholders and local staff. • Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, producing high-quality outcomes detailed in written reports. • A keen understanding of political complexities in the Middle East region. Demonstrated Managerial/Leadership Competencies: • Excellent leadership and management skills including coaching, mentoring and managing teams. • Politically astute, with well-developed diplomatic and negotiating skills. • Superior oral and written communication skills, with ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders. • Extensive representation and fundraising success, including prior experience with European, US and other international donors. • Established capacity to deal with ambiguity in stressful situations, while setting an example of competence to assure local teams. • Strong commitment to IRC’s vision, mission and core values. • Proven ability to design and lead training engagements with staff and partners to enhance skills and adapt to changing program demands. Languages Required/Preferred: • Fluency in spoken and written English; working knowledge of Arabic or Kurdish preferred. Computer/Other Tech Requirements: • Full professional competency in Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Ability to Travel: Up to 40% throughout country, region and HQ for workshops, conferences or other meetings Standards of Professional Conduct: The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons and several others. Gender Equality:IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances. Working Environment: The overall security situation is relatively stable but can be unpredictable. Conditions are modern and of comfortable standard. Amouda is generally quiet, but IRC is responding to more fluid environments in Raqqa City and surrounds, and ongoing conflict in Deir ez Zour governorates. This position is based in Amouda, Syria with extensive travel to field sites, as well as regional and ad hoc meetings and conferences. Housing is shared but with private room/bathroom. Returning National Candidates: IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs. We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Middle East Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply. IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer: IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
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