International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Deputy Director of Programmes

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Job Description

Iraq is emerging from over three years of civil war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and remains one of the most complex operating environments in the world. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades and the destruction of communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair. Over 6 million Iraqis have been internally displaced since the conflict erupted in 2014. Two out of five Iraqis who returned home lack adequate housing, jobs and access to basic services. As of June 2021 there are 1.2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in country.

A lead responder in Iraq since 2003, the IRC delivers aid and services that help communities survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The IRC is providing robust programming across five governorates through women’s protection and empowerment, Child Protection and protection and rule of law programming; cash distributions and livelihoods programming in support of economic recovery and development; integrated early childhood development programming as well as governance programming. Our work spans emergency response to long-term programming supporting our clients to rebuild their lives while partnering with local civil society and stakeholders.

Scope of work

The Deputy Director for Programs (DDP) plays a leading role in ensuring overall program responsiveness, quality and impact. The DDP ensures that programs are evidence-based and needs-driven, monitored closely, and funded appropriately. Reporting to the Country Director and a member of the Senior Management Team, s/he will supervise technical Program Coordinators as well as the Grants and Partnership Coordinator and Meal Coordinator. The DDP is responsible for ensuring programmatic strategic direction of the Iraq Country Programme, high quality implementation of a wide range of programming across emergency to early recovery and development contexts and conducting day to day team management.

Specific responsibilities

1. Leadership and Representation

• Provide leadership and supervisory management for all IRC programming in Iraq, including mobilization and stewardship of resources, program quality and accountability, and performance management.

• Participate actively in country Program Management, coordination, and strategy meetings with other members of the senior management team.

• Work closely with Finance colleagues to ensure timely budget development, financial planning and cost management.

• Actively engage with donors, partner agencies and the humanitarian community in Iraq to ensure IRC is strongly represented in coordination and advocacy efforts.

• Conduct regular field visits to support program teams.

• Actively liaise with IRC programs in the Middle East Region and the regional team to maximize synergies and application of best practice across the region.

2. Strategic Direction, Program Quality and Growth

• Provide cohesive leadership to IRC’s program teams in Iraq, ensuring that priorities and opportunities identified are in line with and contribute to achievement of IRC’s objectives in the Middle East region and the Iraq strategic action plan which includes a shift to recovery/development approach with a strong partnerships focus.

• Provide guidance to the program team regarding tools and strategies to ensure that programming is based on input from communities, local partners and local/national stakeholders, a thorough understanding of the context, nd technical best practices.a • Work with colleagues in the country program, region and HQ to identify funding opportunities and develop competitive, responsive proposals that meet internal standards, apply IRC’s global strategy, and are donor compliant; meet with donors to discuss current and potential funding opportunities.

• Work with the senior management team to develop operational budgets, which reflect a detailed understanding of situational parameters, beneficiary needs, available resources and technical possibilities including partnership capabilities.

• Through the provision of leadership support to the in-country grants team, and in close collaboration with the Finance Team, develop cost-effective funding applications aligned with the IRC’s Outcome and Evidence Framework.

• Ensure programs collaborate across sectors on outcome-based programs for greater impact.

• Manage Program Coordinators to ensure partnership plans that maximize the opportunities for collaborative partnerships in Iraq are maintained and updated, consistent with the IRC’s Strategy Action Plan.

• Remain abreast of ongoing contextual and funding trends in the region and provide regular updates on these trends and Analysis of how they may affect IRC programming.

• Support M&E Coordinator to develop, adapt and implement appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems that enhance program quality, increase effectiveness and measure results.

• Identify and pursue opportunities to improve client feedback mechanisms to ensure responsive programming.

3. Staff Performance Management and Development

• Supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, establishing a supportive environment while emphasizing accountability, providing regular and timely constructive performance feedback, and leading documented semi-annual performance reviews.

• 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.

• As part of succession plan and nationalization goals, identify, train and develop capability and capacity of national staff to successfully transition roles and responsibilities of select coordinator positions, by end of assignment.

• Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. 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.

• Model and encourage active practice of the principles of the “IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct” throughout the Iraq country program.

4. Grant Monitoring & Partner Management

• Supervise the Grants and Partnerships Coordinator in the development of funding strategy, diversifying and strengthening donor base, quality concept notes and proposals for all IRC Iraq programs.

• Support and supervise implementation of strong Project Management Cycle processes and tools in accordance with NY and CP policies and procedures including budgeting and planning and grant meetings such as Budget vs Actuals Meetings, Grant Opening, Mid-Term, and Closing Meetings, ensuring follow up on action points.

• Support the Grants and Partnerships Coordinator to ensure that all IRC Iraq programs are compliant with their respective donor regulations.

• Support the Grants and Partnerships Coordinator in having a solid Partnership strategy aligning with the ambitions of the Strategic Action Plan • Work through the IRC’s Partnership Excellence for Equality and Results System (PEERS), a comprehensive set of compliance tools to set up, manage, and close out partnerships and subawards.

• Ensure program staff proactively maintain positive relationships with partners, including ongoing Capacity Building and mentoring, as well as a culture of mutual learning.

5. Communications

• Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among IRC staff and with partner organizations.

• Maintain open communications with regional management staff, regional technical advisors, and HQ departmental staff.

Supervisory Responsibilities

Eight direct reports including the Economic Recovery and Development Coordinator, Protection Coordinator, Women’s Protection and Empowerment Coordinator, Child Youth Protection and Early Childhood Development Coordinator, Education Coordinator, Monitoring and Evaluation and Grants Coordinator.

Key Working Relationships

Internal: Country Director; Iraq Senior Management Team; Iraq Field Coordinators, ME regional team; HQ staff in various departments External: Public and private donor agencies, international and national NGOs, UN agencies, partner organizations, foreign governments.


• Graduate degree in a relevant field preferred • At least 7 years of progressively responsible professional experience managing complex humanitarian and development programming. Previous experience in an emergency or conflict-afflicted setting, and/or post emergency/conflict recovery is required.

• Strong familiarity with IRC Iraq’s core programming areas including integrated protection, Education, and Economic Recovery and Development.

• Demonstrated successful leadership experience managing a multi-disciplinary team and cross-cultural dynamics • Superior diplomatic and coordination skills are essential, both for internal coordination and for working with key stakeholders • 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 • Politically astute, with well-developed diplomatic and negotiating skills • Fluency in spoken and written English; working knowledge of Arabic strongly preferred • Strong 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 international donors • Experience of managing programs in a complex and rapidly changing security context • Established capacity to deal with ambiguity in stressful situations • Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, producing high-quality outcomes • A keen understanding of political complexities in the Middle East region • Strong commitment to IRC’s vision, mission and core values • Motivated, positive individual who excels at taking initiative and is able to motive team members to produce results under pressure while maintaining a sense of humor.

Travel: This position is based in Erbil, Iraq and is partially accompanied with private accommodation. Regular travel to all IRC Iraq field offices in Kurdistan as well as Southern and Central Iraq, including Baghdad, is required, security permitting.

Working Environment: The overall security situation in Erbil is relatively calm. Security in field sites and Baghdad is currently fairly stable but subject to change at any time.

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, Equality 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.

Returning National Candidates: We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are an Iraqi national, are currently located outside of your home country and possess at least three years of international work experience, the Syria Response 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 strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs.

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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