Place of assignment: Damascus, Syria
Type of posting: International delegate, non-family posting (contract is conditioned by visa being granted by national authorities)
Desired starting date: as soon as possible
Contract period: 12 months, with the possibility of extension
The Swedish Red Cross (SRC) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Unit is seeking a Country Representative to be based in Damascus, Syria. We are looking for someone that can strengthen our humanitarian support to people affected by years of conflict. You will be forward looking and capable of further developing SRC’s current plans for additional support both in the immediate post-conflict phase and into the longer-term stabilization, recovery and resilience work. Given Syria’s volatile context, in close cooperation with the SRC team, you will have the right reflexes and competence to initiate and launch Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) applications to enhance any sudden emergency actions required.
The MENA Unit is responsible for SRC’s emergency and longer-term programme support in the region. It manages relations to partners – International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other Red Cross/Red Crescent National Societies (NS) – all in accordance with SRC’s humanitarian strategy.
The Syria Country Representative (CR) leads the development of the relationship and interventions with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), ICRC, IFRC and other movement partners as well as follows up, monitors, facilitates the control of and reports on the implementation of current operations. Under the direct leadership of the Head of MENA unit, the position works closely with the MENA team as well as with relevant advisor positions and SRC National department colleagues as needed.
While the programme portfolio currently focuses on emergency response, further interventions with particular focus on health/mental health are under development. The CR is responsible for the successful completion of this process as well as for identifying new realistic opportunities for support where the SRC may represent an added value.
The CR coordinates the development and quality assurance of SRC supported projects and emergency response operations; conducts regular monitoring of supported programmes; coordinates evaluations and follows up on financial and risk management; as well as writes reports. The CR actively contributes to the coordination between emergency response and longer-term programmes. He/she captures programme results and presents them in a coherent way in reports, fact sheets and/or other documents. The position demands flexibility, and ability to adapt to new priorities, as well as frequent travel to areas of operation. At all times, the CR respects and follows external communication as well as security rules.
In close coordination with relevant MENA team members the CR establishes, develops and strengthens SRC’s relationship with the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), currently based in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as other relevant organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations. The position is based in SARC’s office in Damascus. It liaises closely with SRC ‘s MENA office in Beirut and reports to the Head of MENA Unit, based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Required qualifications and experience:
- Minimum 3 years senior/middle management experience of humanitarian work in a conflict/post-conflict setting, in a similar role
- University degree in Disaster Management, Public Health or relevant field and/or equivalent combination of education and experience
- Demonstrated success in project coordination, including planning, design, management, follow up/monitoring and reporting
- Experience of working with national implementing partners
- Experience of coordination with organisations and stakeholders in the humanitarian aid sector
- Experience of managing grants and reporting to external donors (EU, Sida, Cida, Dfid, GIZ, etc.)
- Good knowledge of the RCRC Movement and commitment to its fundamental principles
- HEAT training successfully completed (or similar training that may be recognized by the SRC)
- Excellent command of Microsoft Office
- International Driving License
- Minimum 3 years of experience working in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement (RC/RC) is preferred
- Experience in and knowledge of the Middle East and North Africa a strong asset
- Capacity building and facilitation skills
Security and wellbeing
This field position is based in a high-risk area. Working in countries of operation such as Syria is very demanding, both physically and psychologically. Difficult working conditions are expected, including but not limited to the following:
- Issues of access and mobility due to the dynamic nature of an emergency context and proximity to crisis-affected area
- Long hours of work in a high risk demanding context with limited resources
- Limited and crowded physical work space at the SARC premises with little or no privacy – several partners share a couple of small offices
- Basic living conditions that may include intermittent electricity, Internet and other basic services should not be underestimated
- The SRC supports a safe working environment and comfortable accommodation however, as in all contexts, delegates must be aware and responsible for their personal safety and that of eventual staff under their supervision.
- In some remote areas access to healthcare could be limited or non-existent
- All SRC delegates must be cleared by the HR Team including full medical and vaccination clearance.
- Excellent command of the English language - spoken and written
- Good command of the Swedish language - spoken and written – work level, a strong asset
- Command of the Arabic language – a strong asset
- Ability to live in fragile/conflict environment and abide by strict security rules and policies
- Strong analytical, diplomatic and negotiation skills with previous experience in representational roles and liaising with numerous stakeholders
- Strong programme management skills, including a demonstrated understanding of programme management in complex environments
- Proven skills and experience in strategy development/implementation, finance and risk management, people and performance management
- Strong organizational skills, with attention to detail and a proven ability to prioritize and effectively multi-task
- Demonstrated solutions-oriented management skills
- Commitment to the principles of the RCRC Movement
- Resilience and adaptability to changing circumstances and an evolving environment
- Commitment to the Principles of the Red Cross Movement
- Accountability: respects, inspires trust, is dependable, and uses judgment.
- Team excellence: adapts, demonstrates commitment, collaborates and builds relationships.
- Results focused: plans and organizes work, is goal/task oriented, is solution oriented, focuses on continuous learning.
- Service excellence: is service oriented