Senior Partnership Coordinator
The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 7.6 million people are internally displaced and 12.2 million need humanitarian assistance, with 4.8 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 3.8 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes, and infrastructure will take years to repair.
IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis. With an annual budget in excess of $140 million and a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 1,250 staff in the region, IRC is undertaking programs in Syria and the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan in the fields of health, child protection, education, women’s protection and empowerment, NFI and food distribution, cash assistance, water and sanitation, and livelihood programming. 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.
SCOPE OF WORK
The Senior Partnership Coordinator is responsible for the management and implementation of IRC’s approach to partnering with local and national civil society organizations in Syria, establishing IRC as a leader in its engagement with Syrian civil society to produce better outcomes for the people we serve.
Under the guidance of the Deputy Directors of Program (DDPs) for the Northwest and Northeast Syria hubs, and in close collaboration with the senior management teams (SMTs), the Senior Partnership Coordinator will lead the Syria Partnership Department to ensure strong, collaborative partnerships that deliver effective and efficient program outcomes in accordance with IRC Strategy 100 (S100) and IRC Syria’s Strategic Action Plans. The Senior Partnership Coordinator will oversee the implementation of IRC’s partnership management system (PEERS), ensuring that IRC identifies, appropriately allocates and effectively mitigates programmatic, operational, financial and reputational risk, establishing a strong foundation for strategic partnerships that extend beyond program implementation to incorporate mutual capacity strengthening and broader collaboration. The Senior Partnership Coordinator will be a leader in fostering and promoting a culture, attitudes, values and skills conducive to collaborative partnerships throughout the Syria teams, based on a clear and shared understanding of IRC’s strategy, role and approach, and core partnership principles.
Promote Effective Partnerships
· In collaboration with DDPs, lead the definition of IRC’s Strategic Action Plans in Syria as they relate to partnerships with civil society organizations, collaborating with SMTs to integrate effective partnership approaches into sectoral strategies, taking into account gender equality at every step.
· Overall responsibility for the effective implementation of IRC’s SAPs, particularly with respect to partnerships.
· Collaborate with DDPs and technical coordinators (TCs) to drive processes that ensure IRC develops and maintains a detailed working knowledge of the civil society landscape in Syria, and establishes, builds and maintains a network of strategic partner relationships, including with women-led organizations as per IRC’s S100.
· Collaborate with TCs to proactively identify potential partnerships with civil society organizations.
· Work with the DDPs, TCs, and the Grants Coordinators to ensure that partnership is appropriately integrated into all new business development and support the development of new business development concepts that prioritize partnerships.
· Define and contribute to research and learning opportunities with respect to local partnerships.
· Lead responsibility for IRC’s engagement in CSO, INGO and UN partnership networks and coordination forums, and promoting the localization of the Syria response.
· Support the DDPs to advocate with donors to promote approaches and requirements that are responsive to the priorities and realities of local partners, and that promote the localization of the Syria response.
· Actively engage in and help drive IRC regional partnership initiatives, including participating in working groups and thematic meetings on partnership approaches and practices, identifying opportunities for systems improvements, and coordinating to ensure a coherent, efficient and effective joint approach to partnerships.
Partnership Accountability and Results
· Serve as a technical resource for partnership-focused staff in sector teams to promote an effective, responsive and coherent approach.
· Foster and promote a culture, attitudes and values conducive to collaborative partnerships throughout the Syria teams, based on a clear and shared understanding of IRC’s strategy, role and approach, and IRC’s core partnership principles.**
· Lead responsibility for facilitating a process that defines clear roles, responsibilities and management structures in the Syria country programs to ensure efficient and responsive processes with respect to sub-award partnerships, consistent with PEERS. Chair the IRC Syria partnership working groups to promote a coherent, strategic and coordinated approach to local partnerships.
· Collaborate with Syria SMTs to ensure that IRC includes key partnership competencies in recruitment for relevant technical and operational positions; provides staff with necessary support for skills development for core partnership skills (mentoring, negotiation, etc); and includes performance objectives for relevant positions that incentivize effective partnerships.
· Oversee all aspects of partnership management - from due diligence vetting, project and agreement development, sub-award management, monitoring and accountability, through to closure - coordinating all program, operations and finance components.
· Facilitate and lead the development of the structure and approach to individual partner relationships – including the selection of the appropriate funding mechanism and the development of appropriate reporting, monitoring and advance terms - based on the findings of the pre-award due diligence and in line with IRC policy, appropriately analyzing and mitigating risks, in collaboration with SMTs and TCs.
· Ensure that IRC’s approach to sub-award management, monitoring and accountability during the sub-award period prioritizes the best possible outcomes for clients, while effectively mitigating and managing risk, and promoting the core partnership principles.
· Facilitate systematic partner feedback on IRC’s management of and performance in partnerships, as well as appropriate action in response to the feedback.
· Supervise the Senior Partnership Finance Manager to ensure appropriate financial documentation in compliance with IRC and donor regulations, and to facilitate timely processing of all partnership payments according to schedule.
· Support effective sub-award close out processes, incorporating reflection and lessons learned.
Partner Support and Capacity Sharing
· Ensure all partners have collaboratively developed project support plans in place and oversee the delivery of timely and effective support, in close collaboration with the SMTs.
· Ensure IRC understands the capacity strengthening priorities of its partners, including through Organizational Capacity Assessment processes where appropriate, and identify opportunities for IRC to support partner capacity strengthening efforts where aligned with prime award objectives.
· Oversee and facilitate IRC’s delivery of organizational capacity strengthening support, appropriately coordinated and integrated with technical capacity strengthening support.
· Work with the Regional Gender Advisor to ensure alignment with IRC’s approach as a feminist organization and its commitment to gender equality under S100
· Work with M&E Coordinator and Senior Capacity Sharing Manager to ensure that the impact of IRC’s support to partners is effectively tracked and measured.
Human Resource Management
· Direct management oversight of the Syria Partnership Department, including ensuring that the unit is appropriately resourced and structured, and the recruitment, performance management, and professional development of all unit staff. Supervise the Senior Partnership Manager, Senior Partnership Finance Manager, and Senior Capacity Sharing Manager
· Coach, train, mentor and supervise direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting quarterly performance objectives, providing regular and timely positive and constructive performance feedback, and providing documented semi-annual performance reviews. Look for opportunities to support staff in their career growth.
· Provide a measurable development plan including on-the-job learning with the aim of strengthening technical capacity, exchanging knowledge within the team and providing guidance on career paths.
· 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.
· Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff.
· Work with HR staff to identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies.
KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
Position reports to: NWS and NES Deputy Directors of Program (DDPs) (management in partnership)
Position directly supervises: Senior Partnership Manager(s), Senior Capacity Sharing Manager, Senior Partnership Finance Manager.
Other internal: Technical Coordinators, Deputy Directors of Finance, Grants Coordinators, M&E Coordinators, Regional Partnership Director, Partnership Supply Chain Coordinator, Regional Gender Advisor.
Other external: Syrian NGOs, INGO and UN actors with respect to partnerships, as well as donors.
· BA degree or equivalent in International Development or Affairs or related field; advanced degree an asset.
· 6-9 years of progressively responsible professional experience managing a partnership or grants portfolio in development or humanitarian context required.
· Significant experience managing a sub-award portfolio of at least $5m in value required.
· Extensive experience and proven ability to work effectively with national and local civil society organizations required; experience working in local or diaspora CSOs is highly desirable.
· Experience working in the Middle East, with Syria response experience highly desired.
· Demonstrated knowledge of U.S. Government rules and regulations required; experience working with FCDO, ECHO and other European donors preferred.
· Familiarity with IRC’s core programming areas in Syria, including Protection, Health, Economic Recovery and Development, and Early Childhood Development
· Proven experience in project proposal development with partners
· Experience and skills in reading and reviewing financial reports.
· Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, producing high-quality outcomes.
· Superior oral and written communication skills, with ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders.
· Demonstrated capacity to deal with ambiguity in stressful situations.
· Proven ability to work well in and promote teamwork, thrive in a multi-cultural environment, be flexible and handle pressure with professional grace.
· Strong commitment to IRC’s vision, mission and core values.
· Proven ability to design and lead training engagements with staff and partners to enhance skills and adapt to changing program demands.
· Experience managing staff and a commitment to team building, mentoring and staff development.
· Professional fluency in written and spoken English required
· Arabic skills required
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.
Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.
IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.