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Head of Programme

Damascus (Syria)

  • Organization: DRC - Danish Refugee Council
  • Location: Damascus (Syria)
  • Grade: Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-09

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Danish Refugee Council, one of the world’s leading humanitarian NGOs, is currently looking for a highly qualified Head of Programme to play a leading role in ensuring overall program quality and impact. As Head of Programme you ensure that programs are evidence and needs driven, monitored closely and funded appropriately. Reporting to the Country Director, you are a member of the Syria Senior Management Team, and supervise a team of technical, program and monitoring and evaluation coordinators.  


About the job

The Head of Programme provides leadership in the design and delivery of the DRC Syria programme, including mobilization and stewardship of resources and program quality and accountability, while upholding the principles outlined in the Core Humanitarian Standards. The post-holder is responsible for the quality of programme delivery, the development of in-country expertise in each sector, as well supporting the capacity development of national staff. S/he establishes clear communications and direction for all programme staff, participates actively in program management, coordination, and strategy meetings with other members of the senior management team. The HoP actively engages with partners, the INGO and donor community to ensure DRC’s views and humanitarian priorities are strongly represented.

Your main duties and responsibilities will be:

Programme Strategy Development

  • Lead on overall programme strategy development through consultations with technical leads and country leadership staff to support strategic growth.
  • Remain informed of humanitarian response and funding trends in country, and provide regular updates on these trends.

Programme Development, Proposal Writing & Reporting

  • Lead on programme development with colleagues in country program, region and HQ to identify funding opportunities and develop competitive, responsive proposals that are in line with country strategy and compliant with donors.
  • Liaise with donors to discuss current and potential funding opportunities. Ensure that all internal and external reports are provided in a timely fashion in collaboration with relevant staff.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Support the development of appropriate MEAL tools and systems and ensure that programme management tools and systems are relevant.
  • Develop internal mechanisms for institutional learning and memory. Improve the quality of services provided through supervision of key staff, analysis and dissemination of MEAL data and lessons learnt, and review of DRC and other best practice guidelines.

Finance and Administration

  • Coordinate with DRC’s support services to ensure that budgets are designed in accordance with needs.
  • Ensure that expenditure are planned and properly managed.
  • Manage DRC programme staff and ensure that all staff have relevant work plan, job description and that performance reviews take place.
  • Ensure that DRC management principles are disseminated and adequately applied.

Human Resources Management

  • Ability to manage people and teams including recruiting, selecting, inducting employees, providing orientation, imparting training and development and appraising the performance of employees. 


  • Attend coordination meeting in coordination with the CD; with Government partners, regional and local authorities; donors; national level working groups, local agencies etc. at all levels of project implementation as required.


  • Support the CD in the development of communication materials, including project and programme brochures, case studies as well as press releases.



About you

To be successful in this role we expect you to have at least 8 years of international experience in an INGO Senior Management Position, with at least 5 years of experience in complex emergencies; and at least 5 years management experience in large scale programmes. Moreover, we also expect the following:  

  • University degree with advanced training/courses either in management, international relations, development studies, or another related field.
  • Proven experience in strategic development and program design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Experience in livelihoods, housing/infrastructure, protection, direct assistance and relief highly desired;
  • Experience with range of donors including DfID, USAID/OFDA, UNHCR, EC, ECHO and UNICEF;
  • Experience in working with national NGO partners and local/government authorities;
  • Results-oriented management experience of a large, diverse and dynamic team, with strong leadership skills;
  • Practical and proven skills in negotiation and conflict resolution with a wide range of stakeholders essential.
  • Knowledge of refugee issues and related policies; 
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills and an ability to work independently and with a team needed.
  • Fluent in English, spoken and written 
  • Arabic speaking candidates are strongly desired


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: Upholding and promoting the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct in relation to DRC’s values and Code of Conduct, including safeguarding against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.


We offer

Contract length: 12 months

Level: Senior Management, E

Designation of Duty Station: Damascus, with frequent travel to the field (Non-Family Duty Station)

Start date: 15 May

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates; please refer to under vacancies.


Application process

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: 10 April

The screening process for this position is on rolling basis, so early submission of applications is encouraged. DRC remains a right to close the vacancy once a suitable candidate is identified.

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.

What does it mean?

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