By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Country Director Iraq

Erbil | Baghdad (Iraq)


Vacancy No.: Q-IRQ-VAC-16-002

Position: Country Director

Duty Station: Erbil Governorate – Republic of Iraq

Application Deadline: 31 January 2016

QANDIL, a Swedish Humanitarian NGO with its base in Stockholm, is looking for a Country Director in Iraq. The position, located in Erbil, is a full-time position starting in February/March 2016. The timeframe of the contract is 1 year with a possible extension. The position is under direct supervision of QANDIL’s Board of Directors in Sweden.


QANDIL is a Swedish non-profit, non-political, non-religious humanitarian aid organization founded in 1991. Headquartered in Stockholm, QANDIL’s main priorities of work are construction and infrastructure activities, refugee initiatives, health, water and sanitation, and capacity building. The major funders of QANDIL have traditionally been the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The programs of QANDIL assist Iraqi IDPs, non-Iraqi refugees, and host communities across multiple sectors, such as: Shelter to the refugees and IDPs, Capacity Building, Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, as well as Construction and Infrastructure Activities in the areas of the vulnerable communities.


The Country Director will provide strategic vision, staff leadership and operational management supervision for the QANDIL country program in Iraq. S/he is responsible for the identification, design and delivery of responsive, high-quality programs; donor and government relations; fundraising; budget management; security; operational management; and recruiting, developing and maintaining a motivated and professional team. Based in Erbil, the Country Director will oversee all QANDIL operations in Iraq as well as an expanding base in northeast Syria. Reporting to the Board in Sweden, the Country Director will work closely with and receive support from regional staff and headquarters-based technical units, safety and security services, finance and operations staff. This position oversees five senior positions in a country program of approximately 350 staff. This position is limited accompanied, and requires extensive in-country and cross-border travel.

The overall security situation in Iraq remains dynamic, and varies from one QANDIL operating area to another. Security in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is relatively stable with few minor security threats. In central Iraq, the security environment remains unpredictable due to ongoing sectarian violence, weak governance, political polarization and the impact of the conflict in Syria. Since April 2013, areas of Anbar province and Baghdad have witnessed significant deterioration in security, with many Iraqis forcibly displaced as a result. Though the dynamic nature of the Syrian conflict requires close monitoring and active security management, QANDIL does plan to expand its humanitarian programs to the northeastern parts of Syria.


Strategic Planning and Management

• Working closely with the Board and other members of the team, lead implementation of a country program strategy that corresponds to QANDIL’s priorities, the needs of the people QANDIL seeks to serve, and a dynamic funding environment;

• Deliver sound operational management of rapid program growth in Iraq and eventually cross-border;

• Ensure that systems, procedures and reporting are functioning efficiently and in compliance with QANDIL standards and donor requirements, and that they support program delivery and promote management coordination, communication, and efficiency throughout the country program.

Program Quality & Development

• Develop program strategies that reflect and contribute to QANDIL’s mission and sectoral expertise;

• Lead the identification, design, resource acquisition and management of programs that are appropriate to varying contextual challenges, often requiring effective use of remote management strategies;

• Ensure the consistent use of rigorous assessment, design and proposal development processes;

• Provide leadership for the deployment of robust monitoring and evaluation tools;

• Promote a team approach and positive learning environment to enhance the quality of program design and delivery.

Partner, Donor and Government Relations

• Maintain QANDIL as a partner of choice for major international donors;

• Develop and maintain a high level of understanding of donor priorities, country plans and planned funding initiatives;

• Maintain and expand active representation with key donors, host government officials, local stakeholders, and relevant policy and coordinating bodies.

Fundraising and Budget Management

• Ensure timely submission of competitive, high-quality proposals and support colleagues in negotiations with donors;

• Monitor and identify appropriate sources for matching fund requirements and coverage of funding gaps;

• Provide timely and effective oversight of the country program’s financial position;

• Maintain effective and coordinated budget monitoring processes for grant funds and discretionary funds.

Security & Operations Management

• Oversee the development, deployment, utilization and monitoring of financial and operational policies and procedures that ensure compliance with QANDIL and donor requirements;

• Ensure appropriate levels of in-person and remote support is provided to all operational bases, especially in the areas of HR, Finance and Supply Chain;

• Take primary responsibility for overall management of safety and security for the country program in an increasingly complex environment;

• Maintain close coordination and communication with the regional team, including the Regional Safety and Security Advisor, on safety and security concerns and evolving issues.

Human Resources Management and Development

• Supervise the country program’s senior management team, set clear performance expectations and objectives, provide regular and timely performance feedback, and lead annual performance management reviews;

• Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs for both national and international staff;

• Work with the region to identify and implement staff recruitment and retention strategies;

• Undertake regular reviews of the salary market, QANDIL’s salary scale, and benefits packages throughout the country;

• Create development plans with direct reports and support their access to appropriate training and professional development resources;

• Maintain open and professional relations with colleagues, promoting a strong team spirit and providing oversight, guidance and resources to enable staff to perform successfully;

• Provide leadership support for successful adherence by all staff to QANDIL’s Global HR Operating Policies and Procedures;

• Lead with commitment, integrity and accountability to the “QANDIL Way” – Global Standards for Professional Conduct.

Desired Skills and Experience


• University degree in Development studies, Management, Political Science or equivalent.

• Experience of international development work and coordination in complex contexts.

• Experience and good understanding of the role of civil society organizations in development processes in Iraq and/or Middle East.

• At least ten years of increasingly responsible international work experience, including leadership of multi-site, multi-sectoral operations in a complex operating environment;

• Demonstrated successful staff leadership experience with a multi-disciplinary team in a cross-cultural setting, including active mentoring and coaching;

• Extensive representation, program development and fundraising experience, with prior experience with European, US and international donors preferred;

• Demonstrated strong project management skills;

• Extensive budget and fiscal oversight responsibilities;

• A keen understanding of political complexities in the Middle East region;

• Prior experience in Iraq and/or the region preferred;

• Excellent writing and verbal communication skills in English. Arabic and Kurdish is a strong merit as well as other regional languages and Swedish.

• Ability to work and live in a sometimes-insecure environment.

This position requires travel to some sites involves overnight accommodations in shared housing. Movements in central Iraq and some areas of Syria are limited. This position will be based in Erbil, with an estimated 50% of the Country Director’s time spent in sites including, Dohuk, Sulaymania and, potentially, Syria.

Personal qualities:

The candidate must be a person with strong commitment to humanitarian aid and human rights that can be our representative in the area where Qandil works also with the ability to communicate in a clear and direct way, knows how to prioritize and delegate when necessary. need to be visionary to find the role for an NGO in a fast-growing economy where some people are forgotten. Finally, a sense of humor is appreciated.

Please send your application (CV and cover letter) with salary request at the latest 31st of January 2016 to the President of Qandil Carina Eriksson, and the Member of the Board of Directors of Qandil Karouk Said, For more information please contact the same persons mentioned.

QANDIL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It 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.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
Having problems applying by email?

When clicking the apply button, your email client should open as a separate programme (if you are using Outlook, Mail, Thunderbird, or similar), or in a different tab in your browser (if you are using GMail or similar).
If nothing happens when clicking the button, please open your email client, start a new email, and copy the following email into the to field:

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

  • Organization: Qandil - Humanitarian Aid
  • Location: Erbil | Baghdad (Iraq)
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2016-01-31

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

Similar Jobs

Chief of Party-Mekong Environment Program

Pact World
Senior - Internationally recruited position
Beijing (China)

Chief of Party- OVC

Pact World
Senior - Internationally recruited position
Abuja (Nigeria)

Country Director, Myanmar

Pact World
Senior - Internationally recruited position
Yangon (Myanmar)

Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, Burma’s HIV-AIDS Program Planning Activity

FHI 360 - Family Health International
Senior - Internationally recruited position
Yangon (Myanmar)

Chef d'Equipe/Chef du Bureau de Gestion du Programme - PMO

UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
IICA-4, International Individual Contractors Agreement
Niamey (Niger)