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  • Organization: DRC - Danish Refugee Council
  • Location: Damascus
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2019-07-29

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Strategic Advisor

Damascus (Syria)


The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe: we provide emergency aid, fight for their rights, and strengthen their opportunity for a brighter future. We work in conflict-affected areas, along the displacement routes, and in the countries where refugees settle. In cooperation with local communities, we strive for responsible and sustainable solutions. We work toward successful integration and – whenever possible – for the fulfilment of the wish to return home.

The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956, and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organization with more than 7,000 staff and 8,000 volunteers. Our vision is a dignified life for all displaced.

All of our efforts are based on our value compass: humanity, respect, independence and neutrality, participation, and honesty and transparency.

DRC Syria

DRC has been actively operating in Syria since 2008 mainly supporting refugees. In June 2012, DRC was authorized by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) to expand its humanitarian efforts. DRC is currently offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis.  With an annual country portfolio of $23 million supported by approximately 400 staff and service providers, DRC is undertaking programs in Syria in 8 Governates out of 14 in Emergency Response, Protection, Livelihoods, Shelter and Education sectors.


DRC carried out a structural and programmatic review exercise earlier this year to assess the programmatic direction and delivery modality through two separate processes- annual review and structural review. The reviews concluded in Feb/March recommended the establishment of an area-based service delivery model including a management structure replacing the current centralized operational model. Concretely, the establishment of Field Offices in three locations was recommended: Damascus, Homs and Aleppo, maintaining the community centers as safe space to provide protection services only.  

Furthermore, there is a need to review the community centers operating model as recently legal aid, one of the main components of protection services, has been stopped due to a governmental decision to channel this service only through two national organizations (SARC and Syria Trust). Legal aid, however, remains one of the main pillars of DRC protection intervention in terms of human resource as well.


The new decentralized and the restructured community centers operating model shall allow DRC Syria to carry out its current portfolio more effectively with better oversight and management and to provide improved quality services, having better access to the communities and ensuring more integration among sectors. Furthermore, this will also set the foundation for a more returns- and possible durable solutions focus in the near and mid-term future.


About the job

The suggested model entails two main changes:


  • Separation of roles and responsibilities between implementation and technical teams (strategy, programme development, quality assurance and support services)
  • Establishment of empowered and self-sufficient area offices that are able to manage day to day operations in the field with senior national staff closer to operations
  • DRC is therefore establishing a six-months long position of Strategic Advisor to enable the Syria Country Office to plan and roll out the new model in 2019. The Strategic Advisor will drive the planning, reviewing and changing roles and responsibilities, reorganizing new teams at the field in line with DRC’s programme priorities and direction in country



 Your main duties and responsibilities will be:


  • Design a detailed work plan of the process for review and approval of the SMT. In cooperation with the Head of Programmes and Programme Managers, work out the details of a new service delivery model, including staffing needs by location that integrates various program activities and services into a coherent structure.
  • Develop detailed budget for a core structure taking into account staff cost, rent, utilities, transport etc.
  • Develop job description for key area-based positions
  • In cooperation with the Programme Managers, carry out capacity assessment of field-based staff
  • Liaise with SMT members on a weekly basis to report on progress against the plan, providing timely and specific feedback, guidance and direction on the process
  • Work closely with the HoP, Programme Managers and other Heads of Departments to develop efficient structures for the delivery of high quality and integrated programmes
  • Design and propose organizational charts for each programme and support unit
  • Map out RACI (Responsibility, Accountability, Consulted, and Informed) matrix between offices and different work streams (programme implementation, technical units and support services)


About you

To be successful in this role we expect the following:



  • Master’s degree in International Development and/or Humanitarian Assistance, Business Administration, Business Law, Project Management or any other related field
  • Minimum seven years of progressively responsible experience in senior management with demonstrated experience in human resources and change management and/or organization development
  • Minimum four years of experience in a complex emergency context
  • Demonstrated experience and skill in people management and budget management
  • Understanding and experience with multiple regulatory sources (labour laws, donor requirements, etc.).
  • Proven experience in capacity building
  •  Fluency in spoken and written English required


  • Previous successful experience with DRC is preferred.
  • Working experience in Syria and spoken Arabic is preferred


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 DRC’s vision and values. 


We offer

Contract length: 6 months contract

Level: G

Designation of Duty Station: Unaccompanied duty station

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriate Staff.

Syrian Nationals and candidates from Arabic speaking countries are highly encouraged to apply.


Application process

Interested? Then apply for this position, go to

And click on "Apply for position".


All applicants must upload a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages) in English. Applications sent by email will not be considered.


Closing date for applications: the 22nd of July 2019. 


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



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.

What does it mean?

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