Head of Program Development & Quality
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and regain control of their future. The IRC Yemen began its programs in October 2012. The country has been engaged in an armed conflict since 2015 and is regularly characterized as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Infrastructure has been destroyed by years of war and 67% of the population needs humanitarian assistance. The IRC currently operates in the south and north of the country through direct programming and local partnerships, with main offices in Aden and Sana’a and field offices in Abyan, Al Dhale’e, and Hodeidah governorates.
The Head of Program Development & Quality is responsible for the strategic direction, leadership, and quality assurance of all grants, monitoring & evaluation (M&E), client responsiveness & accountability (CRA), and partnerships functions in the Yemen country program. This is a senior and central position within the programs department and a member of the Country Management Team.
This position ensures timely and effective management of a large multi-donor grant portfolio. She/he will lead the process of identifying funding opportunities and writing winning proposals and will also oversee post-award management, reporting, and donor liaison. The position is accountable for high-quality data collection, the routine application of evidence and learning in program design, and the development and maintenance of equitable partnerships with Yemeni NGOs and local authorities. This role also leads IRC Yemen’s client engagement and accountability efforts through strengthening actionable feedback mechanisms and supporting safeguarding initiatives.
The Head of Program Development & Quality reports to the Deputy Director for Programs and directly manages the Grants Coordinator, MEAL Coordinator, and Partnerships Coordinator with partial management responsibilities for the Gender Equality & Safeguarding Manager. The role is based in Aden with occasional travel to program sites across Yemen.
Departmental Leadership and Staff Management
•Lead the Grants, MEAL, and Partnerships departments and provide professional development opportunities for staff as needed. Promote integration and alignment of departments, particularly ensuring that MEAL and program development continually inform each other.
•Ensure clear delineation of roles and responsibilities, reporting lines, and logical portfolio allocation for all team members.
•Coordinate performance management within the department and ensure a culture of high performance through staff engagement and accountability.
•Develop cohesive teams through regular department meetings, individual meetings, and the promotion of a collaborative working environment.
•Oversee recruitment of new staff as required. Ensure comprehensive onboarding and training for new hires.
•Ensure all departmental communication with IRC colleagues and donors is constructive, clear, and organized.
•Ensure an information management and filing system exists and is maintained by the Grants, MEAL, and Partnerships teams.
Business Development and Grants Management
•Identify new funding opportunities by monitoring and analyzing donor strategies and funding trends. Research and advise the DDP and CD on the benefits and challenges of pursuing different funding streams in line with the country program’s Strategic Action Plan.
•Working closely with the DDP, provide leadership in the development of new program design. Manage the development and review of concept notes and proposals. Guide the grants department to lead and facilitate effective cross-departmental coordination for all proposal development and project revision processes.
•Ensure all proposal outputs are accurate, complete, and of high quality prior to submission.
•In collaboration with the Grants Coordinator, ensure relevant, responsive, and donor-compliant support to program delivery and operations departments in the post-award management of grants.
•Track, monitor and supervise all external reporting to ensure timely delivery of high-quality reports which meet donor and IRC requirements.
•Oversee the organizing, preparation, and follow-up of Project Cycle Management meetings.
•Facilitate open communication with headquarters-based focal points during the proposal development phase and throughout the grant management cycle.
•Maintain a strong working relationship with donors. Participate in donor meetings together with the CD and DDP as required; produce meeting minutes and capture action points.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning
•Monitor and ensure the quality of logical frameworks, MEAL plans, data collection tools, and client feedback approaches.
•Ensure that all projects have strong M&E plans with clear data collection mechanisms.
•Support the MEAL Coordinator to facilitate the provision of MEAL technical assistance to program delivery teams during the design and inception stages, including support with logframes, indicator selection and measurement methodologies, and the development of data collection plans and tools.
•Oversee baseline and endline surveys. Manage the commission of evaluations as required in coordination with program coordinators, technical advisors, and external partners.
•Facilitate open communication with third party monitoring (TPM) companies including timely provision of required documents and feedback on monitoring reports.
•Use learning and evidence to inform proposal design and theories of change. Ensure the documentation, dissemination, and application of program impact and lessons learned.
•Strengthen client feedback and response mechanisms based on regional standards and expectations.
•Support the MEAL Coordinator in reviewing and addressing major programmatic complaints in a timely manner and escalate, as necessary. Support IRC’s Ethics and Compliance Unit in inquiries and investigations, if warranted.
•Champion an organizational culture where data and client input are routinely used for evidence-based decision making and program adaptation.
•Ensure all new proposals contain adequate resources to support the delivery of M&E and CRA to the required standard and promote investment in M&E technology.
•Support the Partnerships Coordinator to facilitate successful partnership management processes across technical sectors. Co-chair the Partnership Working Group.
•Collaborate with technical coordinators to proactively identify potential strategic partnerships with NGOs, government bodies, and the private sector.
•Assist in ensuring that strategic partnership considerations are incorporated in program design, including in Go / No-Go funding discussions.
•Ensure the proactive engagement of partners in program development efforts.
•Serve as a leader in building a culture of effective and respectful partnerships. Promote attitudes and values conducive to collaborative partnerships across the country program.
•Promote and apply the IRC’s PEERS approach. Contribute to building a strong understanding of PEERS throughout the IRC Yemen offices.
Gender and Safeguarding
•In collaboration with the Senior HR Coordinator, provide management in partnership support to the Gender Equality & Safeguarding Manager on program quality issues.
•Promote the application of gender equality principles in all program policies and practices.
•Monitor and support the rollout of IRC’s safeguarding strategy across programs.
•Other relevant duties as assigned by supervisor to further IRC programs.
•Minimum of eight years of experience in grants management and program quality functions in a multi-donor, multi-sector working environment.
•Demonstrated experience in an inter-departmental coordination role and the ability to communicate with and balance the priorities of a range of stakeholders.
•Extensive experience leading proposal development processes and report drafting/consolidation, including the coordination of inputs and development of complex documents across different departments.
•Experience advising teams and ensuring compliance with donor regulations required. Knowledge of BHA, ECHO, GFFO, and USAID requirements an advantage.
•Experience in program M&E and understanding of data quality standards, quantitative and qualitative data collection, and basic analysis methods.
•Able to interpret routine data and research findings and make clear, actionable recommendations to program delivery teams.
•Experience developing and managing partnerships with and processing sub-awards to other NGOs is a distinct advantage. A genuine interest in and commitment to collaborating with national NGOs and government partners for effective and context-appropriate humanitarian response is required.
•Experience creating and strengthening systems to collect, analyze, and act upon client/beneficiary feedback is a distinct advantage.
•Excellent English writing and editing skills and comfort with professional communication and external representation at a senior level are essential. Arabic language skills are an advantage.
•Previous experience in a conflict-affected or protracted crisis setting strongly preferred. Experience in a range of operational settings is preferred.
•Strong cross-cultural communication skills and eager to work as part of a diverse team. Sensitive to interpersonal differences and a range of viewpoints.
•Highly developed leadership abilities, including the ability to coach, motivate, grow, and support effective teams.
•Exceptional advance planning and organizational skills. Able to effectively prioritize and follow multiple activities and deadlines simultaneously.
•Analytical, strategic, and able to proactively develop solutions to complex challenges.
•Flexible and innovative. Able to adapt plans and pivot approaches in response to changes in context.
•Reliable, patient, and able to work independently in a fast-paced environment.
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.
Work Environment: There is active conflict in parts of the country and a possibility of the conflict expanding into other locations. The situation in Aden is currently quiet but remains unpredictable. Security will be thoroughly discussed during the interview process.
Housing: Lodging in Aden is in shared IRC guesthouse apartments. All IRC sites have electricity and internet.
The IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and 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.