Position: Country Director
Duration: 12 months
Reports to: Asia Regional Director
Relief International is a leading nonprofit organization working in 18 countries to relieve poverty, ensure well-being and advance dignity. We specialize in fragile settings, responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and chronic poverty.
Relief International combines humanitarian and development approaches to provide immediate services while laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Our signature approach — which we call the RI Way—emphasizes local participation, an integration of services, strategic partnerships and a focus on civic skills. In this way, we empower communities to find, design and implement the solutions that work best for them.
Relief International includes the four corporate members of the RI Alliance: RI-US, RI-UK, MRCA/RI-France and RI-Europe. Under our alliance agreement, we operate as a single, shared management structure. In addition, RI has country offices registered as affiliates of one of the alliance members in an additional 18 countries.
The Country Director will ensure strong leadership of all members of the RI Country Team that builds team spirit, cohesion, motivation, commitment, quality performance and fulfillment of all agency functions. He/she is directly responsible for the overall strategic planning, program design and implementation, program support operations (security, HR, procurement, liaison), country-level external relations and coordination, finance and budget compliance, administration, monitoring and evaluation, staff supervision, and supervision of required reporting on grants. He/she will ensure that programs meet stated objectives, are in line with RI’s philosophy and strategy, meet the needs of beneficiaries, and are implemented to the highest standards, on time, and within budget. The CD is will lead in obtaining funding, and identifying and pursuing new program opportunities. The CD will continually assess, identify and address gaps and weaknesses so as to improve overall country program performance, efficiency, and effectiveness. The CD is the primary link between the country team and Regional Support Office or team (RSO) and Global Support Office (GSO). He/she will build and maintain a close, collaborative and responsive relationship and frequent communications with the Regional Director as his/her direct supervisor and key link to global support services.
Position Responsibilities and Duties:
Program Planning, Development, and Resource Acquisition
- Lead the process of developing medium and long-range country strategic plans maintaining program focus in areas congruent with RI's program objectives and core sectors and best responsive to the needs on the ground
- Pro-actively ensure effective ongoing direct communications and networking with stakeholders that produces actionable and timely business intelligence.
- In collaboration with Regional team and country staff, lead and ensure that preparation of funding proposals are of the highest quality and closely responsive to requirements
- Work closely with the teams at sub regional level (Afghanistan and Pakistan) to develop multi country strategies and programming
- Be involved in development of funding proposals and budgets
- Track funding and program trends to understand specific donor priorities and resources.
- Cultivate relationships with new donors.
- Actively identify and pro-actively pursue new opportunities for program growth and start-up, in coordination with relevant country, regional and GSO Program Development, and Program
- Coordinate efficiently with other organizations and keep updated on their activities to identify geographic or sector gaps and to map competitors.
- In close collaboration with regional 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.
- Supervise and plan assessments, field research, and data collection in support of program design
- In coordination with the Global Emergency Director, and as needed, lead all aspects emergency and disaster response, including internal and external inter-agency coordination at the country level, networking with donors and authorities, conducting emergency assessments, leading the design and drafting of proposals, and re-allocation of country staff and assets as appropriate.
- Supervise and ensure quality project implementation through interactive management of project/program managers, including ensuring appropriate allocation of resources and that controls are maintained at all levels
- Fully responsible for actively monitoring of projects to ensure they are on track with deliverables and quantitative targets, on time, and on budget without overspending or underspending and that they fully meet goals as committed in project documents.
- Take the lead, with program management team, in sufficiently early identification and diagnosis of off-track projects and actively determining feasible strategies to correct such problems.
- Ensure that all project modifications, adjustments, or no-cost extensions are fully justified and appropriately communicated and agreed by donors.
- Ensure that operations in support of projects, in particular procurement and logistics, are efficiently and effectively carried out.
- Ensure that team members effectively and efficiently contribute to the necessary work to ensure quality implementation of their programs. Provide feedback to staff to ensure optimal performance.
- Provide program guidance and technical input and advice as needed to maintain strategic vision
- Ensure project communication, and all requested internal and external reporting is completed with the highest quality, responsive to information requirements, and submitted on time.
- Conduct ongoing sub-office and field visits to enable direct staff support and observation of activities
Personnel Management and Development
- Responsible for ultimate leadership and management of national and expatriate staff in country
- Assess staffing requirements for programs and country office and supervise recruitment in coordination with country HR manager, and as needed, in consultation with the RD.
- Ensure complete orientation process for all incoming staff covering RI goals and objectives, country and program background, vision and future plans, policies and procedures and security
- Assess staff training and capacity building needs and ensure training opportunities are provided.
- Act as a Point of Contact for Child Protection, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Harassment, and Code of Conduct policies, and train staff and beneficiaries on reporting misconduct mechanisms.
- Ensure that all HR personnel practices, contracts, taxes, compensation, registrations, residence permits, and departures are in accordance with local laws and RI policies.
- Ensure timesheets, payment records and contracts are properly kept, fully supported, updated and maintained, and easily available for audit
- Assess staff training and mentoring needs and develop a layer of Local National leaders through promoting the National Officer Corp program.
- Ensure staff are working effectively as a team to meet Country Strategic objectives, and individual performance and satisfaction are maximized through efficient support structures and procedures within the legal framework of the country and within RI policies and guidelines
Safety and Security
- Overall responsibility for the safety and security of all RI country staff, volunteers and visitors
- Overall responsibility for all RI assets in country.
- Ensure the appointment of an appropriately qualified staff member as Country Security Focal Point while still maintaining overall responsibility and working closely with the Focal Point
- Ensure that all country staff are adequately familiar with, and trained in RI Security Policy and in particular the country-level security plan and procedures
- In coordination with the global and regional security staff, ensure the development and/or bi-annual update of a RI country security plan.
- Ensure all relevant SOPs’ are in place and updated/revised as per programmatic requirements.
- Ensure orientation of staff, visitors and volunteers on specific country safety and security issues.
- Represent RI in coordination of all security matters with other NGOs, the United Nations, other stakeholders, and local authorities.
- Strictly enforce compliance of all safety and security policies and procedures by all staff members.
- Lead close coordination with, and reporting to, RI GSO and Security Director in times of crises.
- Lead appropriate actions in security high risk situations, including but not limited to the activation of emergency evacuation plans.
External Representation and Government Liaison
- Work closely with government ministries and counterparts, to facilitate project implementation and design
- Maintain an appropriate image of RI to all external entities and protect RI's interests and assets
- Maintain best possible relations with relevant government authorities and ensure RI registration, permits, and clearances are all up to date and enable effective program implementation
- Conduct effective ongoing liaison with donors
- Represent RI by active participation in meetings of the humanitarian and development community
- Facilitate visits by donors, RSO and GSO staff, Board members and others, as requested
- Serve as a link, along with relevant country staff, between RI and project counterparts and partners
- Supervise the Country Finance Manager and ensure, through close collaboration and follow-up, that all elements of the CFM’s Terms of Reference are fully met.
- Ensure timely and appropriate country level and project level budget preparation and monitoring
- Actively and personally verify that the national office and sub-offices maintain complete, up to date and accurate financial records for all transactions, and that full and appropriate supporting documentation, signatures, stamps, are available, using proper forms and templates.
- Verify that that all records are adequately stored, and backed up to prevent losses of any kind
- Verify on-time reporting and uploading of all financial data to RI accounting system by finance staff
- Verify project finances are properly coded and that BVAs are appropriately examined and analysed
- On an ongoing basis ensure that project expenditures are in line with implementation plans so that early detection of under or over expenditure is appropriately addressed and projects end on-budget
- Examine and verify all key expenditures for which CD signature is required
- Ensure full coverage and equitable allocation of shared national office operating costs and staff to the various projects and donors as per an agreed formula
- Ensure the timely preparation and accuracy of project financial reports that are of highest quality and submitted on time to RI Regional Office, RI Global Support and donors
- Ensure overall audit compliance, financial transparency through supervision and direction of financial and administrative staff.
- Consult the Regional Finance Manager, as appropriate, who will provide additional technical support and oversight to the Country Finance Manager
- Consult the Regional Finance Manager and Regional Director for additional support in country-level financial analysis and planning.
- Ensure resources are used effectively and efficiently to deliver the objectives of all Programme Areas Plans and any overarching objectives
- Take an active role, in coordination with CFM and/or RFM, the recruitment and termination of all country finance staff
- Oversee program operations and reporting, ensuring compliance with RI policies and procedures, donor regulations and local laws
- Ensure that programs have appropriate legal representation and GSO is informed of all legal cases
- Oversee all internal and external audits
- Oversee the preparation of annual work plans and budgets
- Report regularly to RD, providing timely updates of all situations and project developments
- Create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) of beneficiaries, by clearly defining the standards of behavior that are expected of RI staff, as described in the organizations Code of Conduct; Ensure that mechanisms supporting these standards and principles are promoted, disseminated, and integrated into personnel requirements
- Ensure the existence and proper understanding of a complaint reporting system to address suspected abuses, and irregularities regarding staff, property or practices and participate in any investigations as directed by Global Support Office.
- Ensure all donor/supporter contractual terms and conditions are fulfilled in line with RI’s project funding management guidance and procedures.
Qualifications & requirements:
- More than 7 years of experience in an equivalent position in the sector;
- Proven leadership skills and experience of managing multidisciplinary teams;
- Practical experience of applying development issues at a project or community level coupled with impact assessment and evaluation of poverty reduction and social change;
- Experience in the management of emergency response operations is a plus;
- Experience in cash programming and familiarity with refugee/migrants focused programming are a plus;
- Substantial experience in financial management, including financial projections, general financial management and reporting;
- Proven expertise of leading in fundraising, seeking and securing new donors;
- Successful proposal writing, management of large and complex grants;
- Evidence of understanding the challenges of donor and grant/contract management and the implications for program management;
- Experience of working effectively as a team member with colleagues based outside the country;
- Proficient English language writing and verbal skills
- Familiarity with the context and Iranian culture is a plus.
We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and operational independence. We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities. We value:
- Transparency and Accountability
- Agility and Innovation