Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a leading international organization working in relief, rehabilitation, protection, post-conflict development, resettlement services and advocacy for those affected by the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Operating in over 40 countries, the IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.
Iraq is emerging from over three years of civil war against the Islamic State 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. Iraq has a new government in place, and while some parts of the country are beginning to stabilize, others remain precariously close to collapse. Over 4 million Iraqis have returned in the past year, but 1.9 million remain displaced. 230,000 Syrians continue to seek refuge in the Kurdish region. The new government will struggle to rebuild trust and restore basic services.
A lead responder in Iraq since 2003, the IRC is providing robust programming across 4 governorates through women’s protection and empowerment, child protection and protection and rule of law programming; cash distributions and livelihoods programming and integrated early childhood development programming. Our work spans the spectrum from emergency response within 72 hours to long-term programming supporting our clients to rebuild their lives through starting small businesses. 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.
The IRC’s Protection and Rule of Law (PRoL) team works to safeguard the human rights and wellbeing of those affected by years of war and sectarian strife. Displaced Iraqis, as well as those who were formerly displaced, often lack access to critical documentation, basic social services and key information about their rights. In South and Central Iraq, the IRC’s Protection programming includes Protection and Reintegration Centers, legal provision (including detention) and legal awareness, protection information services and protection monitoring across governorates most affected by violence perpetrated by ISIS and the subsequent coalition offensive to retake ISIS controlled territory. The PRoL Coordinator is the leader of the Protection and Rule of Law team and responsible for overall management, strategy development, program design, implementation, quality, monitoring and evaluation of all activities in the fields of protection, human rights, and rule of law.
Program Strategy and new business development
• Coordinate the expansion of protection and legal support programming in close collaboration with the protection field team;
• Identify opportunities for, design and develop concept notes and proposals for further protection programming;
• Provide protection input on proposals from other sectors to ensure protection is mainstreamed across IRC programming
• Participate in the development of budgets for program proposals in conjunction with the finance department.
• Work closely with IRC’s Technical Unit to integrate innovative approaches, tools and resources to Protection programming and to provide lessons learned and feedback to global initiatives including the IRC2020 outcomes and evidence framework
• Identify, monitor and report unmet needs. Explore the potential of the IRC to address those needs, particularly on institutional systems strengthening, within the parameters of the Strategic Action Plan and sector priorities.
Program management and quality
• Together with the Deputy Director of Programs provide strategic direction and vision to the IRC’s Protection programming in Iraq, with an emphasis on maintaining program quality during a period of expansion.
• Ensure that protection monitoring data and analysis is of a high standard and shared in a timely manner with internal and external stakeholders.
• Ensure that all interventions are in compliance with the IRC’s protection mainstreaming framework, international law and global protection standards and national policies.
• Ensure that monitoring and evaluation systems are effectively designed and integrated into all stages of the project; that output and impact data are captured and that data is used to optimize program quality.
• Participate in cross-departmental collaboration and coordination in order to ensure that linkages between programs are made and programs gain from protection best practice; in particular with regular contact and coordination with Coordinators and Managers in other sectors.
• Oversee implementation of Protection and Legal programs, including budget oversight in coordination with Protection Managers, Field Coordinators and Field teams (budget forecasting, supporting field-staff to develop spending plans and budget follow-up) and reporting in accordance with IRC and donor regulations.
• Promptly identify and recommend solutions to technical issues.
• Contribute to Emergency Preparedness activities as identified.
Representation, coordination and advocacy
• Coordinate with DDP/CD to forge connections with key government counterparts at the ministerial level, UN, I/NGOs, human rights actors, municipal and other sub-national government actors.
• Represent the IRC in high level and strategic meetings involving protection actors such as protection working group meetings, inter-agency coordination meetings, and bi-lateral meetings.
• Regularly coordinate with internal program and operational stakeholders, the Protection/Rule of Law Technical Advisors, Women’s Protection and Empowerment, Children’s Protection, Economic recovery and Development, Education and other IRC colleagues.
• In collaboration with the DDP/CD and regional advocacy team, ensure that the protection program delivers on advocacy goals as articulated in the country wide advocacy strategy.
Grant Monitoring & Reporting
• Undertake regular field monitoring visits to assess progress and identify technical quality issues and/or other implementation issues, provide solutions and implement modifications as required.
• Produce/contribute to IRC and donor reports as per set schedules (monthly, quarterly and annually) on grant activities, indicators and achievements.
Human Resources Management and Development
• Hire, supervise, and build the capacity of Protection team members in relevant technical and management competencies; place special emphasis on recruiting, identifying and grooming national staff to take leadership roles in Protection programming;
• Coach, train, supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting annual performance objectives, providing regular and timely positive and constructive performance feedback, and providing documented semi-annual performance reviews;
• Ensure management strategy contributes to the goal of nationalization, with related milestones for succession planning across the team; Provide a measurable development plan including on-the-job learning with the aim of strengthening technical capacity
• Support collaborative partner relationships focused on mutual learning and capacity building as well as technical guidance in areas of IRC expertise, including training/mentoring support and performance management that fully reflects the skills and attitudes required to work effectively in partnership;
• 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 required identify staff performance issues and work with Human Resources to document and address these in accordance with the National Staff Employment Policies;
• Adhere to and act in accordance with the IRC Global HR Policies and Procedures, and communicates through word and example a high standard of compliance with all applicable policies and regulations.
Key working relationships
Position Reports to: Deputy Director – Programs
Position supervises: the Erbil and Baghdad-based Senior Protection Managers
Key Internal Contacts:
Child Protection, ECD, Economic Recovery and Development and Women’s Protection and Empowerment program Coordinators; Field Coordinators, Monitoring & Evaluation team, Partnership Unit, Grants and advocacy team, Supply Chain, HR, Finance; North East Syria protection team
Region/Global: PRoL technical advisor as well as other members of the Program Quality Unit as relevant
Key External Contacts: Protection clusters/working groups and member organizations
• BA/BS Degree in international development, law, human rights, or a related field; MA/MS a plus.
• A minimum of 5 years’ professional humanitarian/development experience, including specific experience in protection programming or human rights in emergency or post conflict settings.
• Demonstrated experience using international human rights standards in protection programming
Demonstrated Technical Skills:
• Thorough understanding of best practices and evidence-based strategies in protection mainstreaming, protection monitoring, legal programming and system strengthening
• Demonstrated coordination and capacity building skills with key partners
• Strong experience, knowledge and skills in participatory methods, community development and partnership
• Experience in designing and leading protection programs in both humanitarian and development settings is an asset
Demonstrated Managerial/Leadership Competencies:
• Demonstrated experience in successfully leading, building and strengthening a team in an evolving, fast paced environment;
• Excellent project management skills, including strong financial literacy (understanding of budget development and managemnet as applied to program development and implementation)
• Excellent interpersonal skills, positive and professional attitude, ability to lead and work well in a team setting and with multiple partners;
• Previous experience and understanding of basic human resources, finance, supply chain and grants management notions;
• A flexible approach;
• Desire to learn, develop, and grow professionally while making impact on lives of thousands of beneficiaries and clients;
• Previous experience working in a diverse, multicultural environment;
Professional fluency in spoken and written English is required. Arabic a plus.
Computer/Other Tech Requirements:
Full professional competency in Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
Ability to Travel: 30 - 50% within Iraq for program oversight, when security allows, and in the region and globally for workshops and conferences.
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.