In times of crisis, people desperately need information about how to stay safe, access vital services and make informed decisions about the issues that matter most to them. Often, information in crisis and conflict-affected settings is either non-existent, inaccurate or inaccessible. Rumors and misinformation can imperil lives.
Signpost provides accurate, accessible, timely and responsive information to populations in crisis around the world. Combining best practices from the humanitarian protection sector, journalism and social media, we create and help people access and navigate life-saving and life-sustaining content. We share this information through a portfolio of contextually appropriate digital technologies like social media, websites, interactive service maps and WhatsApp. Unlike traditional government and NGO information providers that deliver top-down information, our two-way communication approach shifts the balance of power to crisis-affected populations, whose content needs and preferences are at the center of all that we do. Our vision is to become the go-to global information platform for all crisis-affected people, so they can be safe, access vital services and rebuild their lives.
Launched in 2015 at the height of the refugee crisis in Greece, Signpost’s original incarnation as Refugee.Info started as a partnership between Mercy Corps and the IRC. IRC and MC continue to share governance and implementation roles. Today, Signpost is delivered in three “instances”: ,in Jordan as “Khabrona” (MC led), in Greece/Italy as “Refugee.Info” (IRC led), and in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala as “CuentaNos” (IRC led).We are currently exploring new Signpost instances in Colombia focused on Venezuelan refugees and in Mexico/United States with a focus on mixed migration populations.
Local instance teams in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America are supported by the Signpost Global team, consisting of experts in humanitarian protection, digital product management, journalism, monitoring and evaluation, social media and design. They oversee the global digital platform, set quality standards for all Signpost instances, provide technical support and work to expand Signpost in new geographies.
Signpost is housed within the IRC’s Emergencies and Humanitarian Action Unit (EHAU) and has strong linkages with the IRC’s Violence Prevention and Response Unit (VPRU), to ensure it remains grounded in gold standard protection principles that are at the heart of the project. A small Global Leadership Council (GLC) comprised of members from Mercy Corps and IRC, provide support to the Signpost Director and Global Team and engage in high-level strategic decisions.
We are seeking a highly experienced, collaborative and entrepreneurial Signpost Director to lead the Signpost Global team and develop and execute a strategy to take Signpost into its next phase of global growth. The Signpost Director would sit within the Emergencies and Humanitarian Action Unit and maintain close ties with instance leads and GLC representatives from Mercy Corps’s Technology for Development team and the IRC’s Violence and Prevention Response Unit/Protection and Rule of Law team.
PURPOSE OF THE ROLE
The Signpost Project Director will lead a global team of cross-sector experts who collaborate with and provide technical assistance to field-based teams that deliver life-saving and life-sustaining information to populations affected by conflict and crisis. The Director will ensure the quality of the Signpost portfolio of instances (or local geographic delivery units of the platform) by working with the Global Team to set quality standards, collaboratively assess whether instances are meeting quality standards and assure adherence. They will determine how the Global Team is deployed to provide product, protection, social media and content support.
They will set the course for how the team expands Signpost’s platform to crisis-affected populations in new geographies, including but not limited to expanding through global NGO partnerships, endorsement by global protection bodies and key stakeholders, and assessing and launching alternate delivery models in emergency and resettlement settings. They will be accountable for consistently and thoroughly assessing risks to the project, using in-house or external support, and putting in place mitigation strategies to address relevant risks. The Director will set clear annual goals for the Global Team, monitor progress and adapt tactics as necessary to achieve Signpost objectives.
The Director must be a keen collaborator and team player who recognizes that Signpost’s success relies on strong partnerships with other NGOs, field-based teams, UN agencies and private partners. They will proactively engage with the Global Leadership Council (GLC) formally on a monthly basis and informally as frequently as needed to share project progress, troubleshoot challenges and raise key strategic decisions. They will engage at least monthly with all instance leads to ensure they are receiving necessary program quality support that is fit for purpose and are delivering on their commitments to maintain protection and product standards.
The Director will design and execute a robust business development strategy, including proactively fundraising with both existing and new private and public donors. They will assure visibility of the Signpost program internally at IRC and externally in the media and in key external fora, in collaboration with Communications and Advocacy colleagues.
The Director will manage performance of the Global Team and mentor staff, including setting performance goals and professional development targets for all full time global time staff. They will make decisions about the composition of the team in line with available budget and the program needs.
Strategy and implementation
- Execute Signpost vision of global expansion and determine tactics for achieving global strategic vision
- Set annual and quarterly performance targets, including but not limited to user reach and product performance, for the project in collaboration with the team; monitor progress and guide team to meet targets
- Manage and facilitate monthly Global Leadership Council (GLC) discussions on project progress, challenges/successes and strategic decisions. Host quarterly impact review meetings with GLC to ensure project is meeting targets
- Identify new instance opportunities and make informed go / no-go recommendations to GLC
- Ensure instances are supported in project design, rollout and execution, providing guidance and overseeing the development of support plans for all instances to meet quality standards; ensure that this process is updated annually for existing instances
- Identify instances that are in violation of core Signpost standards; make recommendations to GLC to relinquish support and Signpost accreditation for instances that are not demonstrating progress towards meeting quality standards
- Identify new technology partners or products that would bolster the digital portfolio and make informed recommendations to GLC
Manage and strengthen relationships with key partners
- Manage relationships with IRC Regions and Country Programs utilizing Signpost or other NGOs using Signpost; ensure the global team is delivering high value support to instances which meets their context-specific needs; collaborate with instance leads to assure accountability for quality implementation
- Build internal IRC relationships and work to expand uptake of Signpost across IRC sectors
- Maintain existing strong partnership with Mercy Corps and grow other NGO partnerships to expand Signpost globally
- Engage with existing donors to provide progress updates and maintain strong relationships
- Engage with instance leads to inform decision-making on key strategic decisions including but not limited to new partnership approaches and expansion and exit strategies
- Represent Signpost externally in media and communications as needed
- Represent Signpost internally to all IRC stakeholders
- Engage in advocacy internally and externally about the urgent and important need for dedicated approaches and funding streams for humanitarian information among donors and other key stakeholders
Oversee business development and financial management
- Launch business development strategy and proactively fundraise for Signpost with private and public donors
- Oversee Signpost global budget
- Participate in instance level fundraising, as needed, including determination of mutual level of effort and budget support
- Ensure that high quality grant reports are delivered on time
- Make decisions about the composition of the team in line with the budget and programmatic needs
Manage global team performance
- Manage performance and professional development of global team members, ensuring adequate direction, sufficient support and empowerment and clear performance goals
- Identify and oversee pro bono resources / support to augment the skills and capacity of the team
- Assure global team maintains strong, collaborative relationships with instances and other NGO partners Update
- Minimum five years’ experience leading complex project or program, ideally in the humanitarian and / or product management space
- Demonstrated background in or fluency with digital product management
- Experience working in humanitarian sector and / or international development with adept understanding of international humanitarian needs and risks
Track record of successful fundraising, ideally with both private and public international partners
Experienced team manager with both local and remote direct reports,
Demonstrated ability to successfully work within and across departments/functions
Experience managing and building partnerships locally and globally with technical and implementing agencies/organizations
Entrepreneurial experience strongly preferred
- Excellent interpersonal, intercultural, oral and written communication skills, including comfort with public speaking
- Cultural sensitivity
- Ability to stay calm under pressure
- Demonstrated proactive nature and proclivity for collaborative work
- Ability to maintain a positive can-do attitude and results-driven approach
- Ability to listen to and blend together input from a diverse range of technical stakeholders
- Exceptional problem-solving skills
- Understanding of humanitarian architecture, preferably with experience in a protection-related field desirable
- Fluency in English; fluency/working knowledge of Spanish highly desirable
The IRC and IRC workers 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.
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 or disability.
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.