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Head of Programmes/ Deputy Country Director

Erbil (Iraq)

Are you ready to take on a key leadership role to contribute with lasting impact for the Iraqi people?


Who are we? 

Danish Refugee Council is a leading protection agency pursuing our mandate to protect and promote durable solutions to displacement-affected populations on the basis of humanitarian principles and human rights. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), DRC apply a regional approach with operational presence in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Iraq. Present in Iraq since 2003, DRC is today operational in the Kurdish governorates, in and around Baghdad and in several South-Central governorates. Focused both on the influx of Syrian refugees and the current IDP crisis, DRC is providing assistance in a range of sectors including Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Protection, Livelihoods, Emergency Response (including food security, cash, and NFIs), WASH, Shelter and Mine Action. The Iraq programme presently employs some 600 national staff and 60 international staff, and is growing to meet new, emerging needs associated with ongoing and recent conflict in multiple locations. 


About the job 

The overall objective of the post-holder is to ensure the accountability of DRC’s program towards the humanitarian needs in Iraq and the donors supporting the response. The HoP is expected to contribute to the quality assurance of program implementation across the project development and implementation cycle.  The position ensures that DRC’s projects bring a significant contribution to meeting immediate humanitarian needs, transitioning from relief to longer-term rebuilding and recovery, and building secure productive and just communities. The HoP is a key senior position in the DRC country set up, responsible for cross-cutting programmatic information management, sound design of and overseeing assessments, monitoring and evaluation, and ensuring that information collected is reflected upon, used to improve ongoing projects, and is incorporated into consistently high quality grant proposals and reports. S/he plays as key role in strategy development and adherence and ensuring that policies, systems and people are continuously and accurately working in a coordinated manner in order to ensure that a coherent and comprehensive program is designed and implemented.


Duties and Responsibilities 

Programming Strategy & Development

  • Constant in-depth analysis of humanitarian context, trends, gaps, challenges and opportunities
  • Participate in country level strategic planning and contribute to the sustainable management of program growth with a continual eye to new program development that addresses displacements and meets the needs of beneficiaries
  • As a key pillar of the overall country strategy, develop/define the country programming strategy designing process in a collaborative way in order to ensure program appropriateness and accountability among the country program team.
  • Write/Review and monitor the Program Strategy document based upon a clear needs/evidence-driven approach, DRC’s core expertise and a large stakeholders analysis
  • Foster synergies between program areas (integrated approach), support the strong integration of protection and gender throughout all humanitarian initiatives and ensure adherence to Sphere standards or any other international standards when relevant
  • Facilitate assessment and rapid response in any humanitarian situation, with written report and recommendation to initiate and setup relevant emergency projects if a response is decided on
  • Advocate about DRC’s program in Iraq with government, donors and humanitarian stakeholders, in cluster meetings, workshops, conferences and in other relevant fora

Program Implementation & Coordination

  • Provide oversight, guidance and leadership to all aspects of program development and implementation in Iraq, including ensuring timely reporting, compliance and quality utilizing routine monitoring and feedback into program implementation
  • Ensure effective and transparent budget follow up, planning and use of financial resources in compliance with DRC and donor policies and priorities
  • Develop a close and productive working relationship with Area Offices to ensure that all aspects of programs are implemented to maximum affect and compliant with DRC and donor regulations. 
  • Effectively stay abreast of donor policies, procedures, rules and regulations

Program Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning

  • Ensure the implementation of effective and participatory program Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning strategies at all levels of the DRC’s program in country
  • Ensure that all projects contribute to measuring impact and are in line with DRC’s country strategic plan
  • Ensure Quality programming by coordinating the technical support provided by the Regional Office and HQ, by developing M&E tools and indicators and other quality improvement initiatives
  • Adopt a evidence based approach that see the dissemination of lessons learned and best practices within DRC country and Region teams, to donors and to other stakeholders when relevant in order ensure synergetic programming and cross-program collaboration in Iraq and in the whole region
  • Supervise monitoring and evaluation of the operations to ensure the overall implementation is in accordance with agreed work plans, donor agreements and humanitarian accountability framework

Fundraising, Grant proposals writing & reporting processes

  • Ensure up to date donor mapping and pursue funding opportunities in all DRC competence areas, and coordinate the capacities of the program managers and SMT to identify and materialize opportunities
  • Chair on GRMs and Kick off meetings
  • Lead in the design of programs to input into potential proposals.
  • Review final reports and authorize on proposals to be submitted to external donors and HQ

Program staff Management and Capacity Building

  • Effectively manage the Coordinators working in CCCM, WASH, Shelter, Protection, Cash& Livelihoods, as well as the M&E Coordinator and the Program Development and Support Specialist working out of the Erbil Coordination office covering the country with an emphasis on excellence, promoting a culture of cooperation, learning, creativity and innovation. There also is a dotted supervisory line with the various Heads of Offices where it relates to Programs.
  • Ongoing development of team composition and structure to ensure that is fit for purpose, develop Job descriptions/Terms of Reference, follow up program staff related recruitment processes and orientation of staff.  Proactively seek to increase the numbers of national staff members in the Programs team. 
  • When needed, draft and/or review scopes of work to hire and manage technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget
  • Development of overall staff competence through leadership, training and coaching of technical and management key program staff
  • Conduct annual staff performance reviews

Donor liaison, Partnerships and Representation

  • As required represent DRC’s Iraq program to funders and potential donors
  • Cultivate key relationships that enhance DRC’s visibility, credibility in Iraq
  • Frequent travel for direct support to field sites, representation and identification of opportunities for organizational growth in the competence areas
  • Identify local NGOs/partners

Deputize the Country Director when required

  • Takeover the Country Director role when necessary, including external representation, security management, overall mission management, HQ/RO relations and any other tasks normally undertaken by the CD
  • Perform any other duties assigned by the Country Director


About you 

To be successful in this role you must have: 

Experience and technical competencies:  

  • Minimum 8 years of progressively responsible experience in program management, leadership and design in countries of conflict or post-conflict,
  • Minimum 4 years of experience in managing complex emergency operations, including 2 years at country senior management level and at least 2 years in Middle-East
  • Demonstrated experience and skill in proposal development, budget development, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • Proven experience in effectively coordinating with National Governments, International and National NGO partners and a variety of working with and coordinating with a variety of donors including DFID, UNHCR, ECHO and OFDA.
  • Preferably previous successful experience with DRC.
  • Proven experience in managing integrated programs as well as capacity building.



Master’s degree in International Development and/or Humanitarian Assistance, Project Management or any other related field



• Fluent in English 

• Arabic notions would be a plus 


In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:  

• Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.  

• Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.  

• Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.  

• Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.  

• Demonstrating integrity: You act in line with our vision and values.  


We offer 

Contract length of 24 months, renewable dependent on both funding and performance. You will start as soon as possible. 
Level A10 compensation in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates; please refer to under vacancies.  
Start date: 15 April 2018 


Application process 

Interested? Then apply for this position by clicking on the apply button. All applications must include a cover letter explaining your motivation for applying for this position and an updated CV (no longer than four pages). Both must be in English. Applications without a cover/motivation letter will not be considered. 

If you have questions or are facing problems with the online application process, please contact  

Applications close 15 April 2018  

Please note: Due to the urgency to fill the post, recruitment will be done on the rolling basis and DRC reserves the right to recruit before the deadline 


Need further information? 

 For further information about the Danish Refugee Council, please consult our website 


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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.

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  • Organization: DRC - Danish Refugee Council
  • Location: Erbil (Iraq)
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-07

What does it mean?

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