Head of Mission - Afghanistan

  • Added Date: Tuesday, 20 August 2019
  • Deadline Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019

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Terms of reference

Job Title: Head of Mission

Code: SR-28-1069

Duty station: Kabul - with travel to other provinces

Starting date: ASAP

Contract duration: 6 months

Reporting to: Regional Director

Supervision of: Direct line management of 5 expats and 1 national staff

Dependents: no

General context of the project

INTERSOS has been present in Afghanistan since October 2001, with its main office in Kabul and sub-offices in Jalalabad, Maimana, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah. Currently, INTERSOS is present with operation capacity in Kandahar and maintains its office in the capital city (Kabul) for representative purposes, supervising also some operational activities.

Currently, INTERSOS humanitarian response strategy for Afghanistan is paying attention to emergency needs of the conflict-affected population, in particular IDPs, documented and undocumented returnees (from Pakistan and Iran) and vulnerable/isolated host communities. INTERSOS’ strategy is to provide for emergency response capacity in 4 main sectors: protection (including Education in Emergency), health-nutrition, livelihoods and WASH. As such INTERSOS has also ongoing multi-sector humanitarian programs (with its 4 priority sectors integrated), opting for an area- and community-based approach in Southern Region and targeting both returnees coming from Pakistan and conflict affected IDPs.

In the last 15 years, INTERSOS has been working on various aspects of the Afghan emergency, mainly focusing on repatriation and returns, protection, water and sanitation, reconstruction, humanitarian demining, mine risk education, and institutional building. For INTERSOS Afghanistan remains a key humanitarian emergency for its geopolitical importance and because of the internal dynamics related to manmade and natural disasters. Humanitarian gaps and needs are high in the provinces where we are currently operating and even more in others. In order to respond to the ongoing emergency in the country and given the shortage of players currently engaged, INTERSOS considers really important its contribution to bring aid and assistance to those affected by the crisis.

The main strategic objective that the Head of Mission should pursue is to boost INTERSOS presence in the capital city while consolidating and expanding operations in the southern provinces.

General purpose of the position

● Be INTERSOS referent in Afghanistan vis-à-vis international donors, main stakeholders and national team in Kabul and Kandahar;

● Define country priorities and strategy based on a needs assessment and the analysis of the context of the country.

Main responsibilities and tasks

● Actively participate to the main humanitarian coordination meetings and fora

● Ensure a steady and active representation of INTERSOS at clusters level (Health/Nutrition and Protection).

● Maintain daily relationship with the Donors and involve the Regional Director whereas strategic opportunity can arise.

● Maintain ongoing surveillance of the developing humanitarian situation, monitor donor’s priorities and intervention strategies in the country and propose activities accordingly.

● Keep constant relation with international donors at Kabul level

● Identify opportunities for new emergency intervention and develop project proposals and concept papers

● Coordinate and supervise international and national staff in the central and southern regions and recruit new staff following the start up of new interventions

● Organize and participate to assessment in new area of intervention with the support of INTERSOS technical staff

● Re-organize and enlarge INTERSOS office in Kabul and Kandahar and ensure respect for the values, Code of Ethics and Organization Management and Control Model of INTERSOS

● Establish, guarantee and periodically monitor government’s recognition and accreditation procedures and any other formalities required by the hosting country, ensuring their timely renewal;

● Manage human resources in the country and in particular, ensuring direct supervision and appraisal of performances as well as personnel compliance with procedures foreseen by INTERSOS’ Organization Management and Control Model

● Be responsible for security, providing the definition of specific procedures and behaviours, and monitoring the implementation of regulations and protocols in line with INTERSOS Security Manual

Required profile and experience


Master degree in Social Science, Community Development, Social Work and/or equivalent practical field experience, preferably with a humanitarian organisation

Professional Experience

● Minimum 5 years professional experience in emergency programs: technical focus on health and nutrition, protection, population movements and reintegration is an asset;

● Previous experience in humanitarian program management is required;

● Previous experiences in complex emergency context are an asset

Professional Requirements

● Deep knowledge of the cluster system and humanitarian country system

● Demonstrable experience in establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with donors and government counterparts.

● Good interpersonal skills to work effective with different stakeholders including different communities in the target areas, humanitarian actors, service providers, local and national authorities;

● Programme Management skills, including new proposal writing;

● Good problem solving attitude

● Excellent organisational, team-building and participatory training skills and experience is required, as well as ability to work as part of a team;

● Strong representation and negotiation skills

● Demonstrated leadership and interpersonal skills

● Previous working experience in Afghanistan will be an asset


Fluency in written and spoken English, good reporting and communication skills are required;

Personal Requirements

● Comfortable to work in a High Risk Environment.

● Team worker and flexible in job planning

● Ability to travel frequently to different areas in Afghanistan working in stressful situations and at times, in hardship field locations.

This vacancy is archived.

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