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Country Director

Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

  • Organization: DRC - Danish Refugee Council
  • Location: Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Grade: Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-27

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The Danish Refugee Council (DRC), one of the world’s leading humanitarian NGOs, is currently looking for a highly qualified and motivated Country Director that will lead continuity and stabilization of the strong DRC presence in the country by his/her strong management, leadership, representation and fundraising skills.


About the job

DRC originally started working in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in 1992 and closed its office in the country at the end of January 2010. In mid-2018 DRC re-opened its mission in BiH, aiming at supporting the BiH authorities in managing the increased migration flows and needs of migrants, refugees and other displaced Persons of Concern (PoCs).

At the moment, DRC BiH focuses on improving access to primary and secondary health care, including psychosocial and mental health services to PoCs and COVID-19 prevention and response; support to the public healthcare system to enhance the overall COVID-19 response capacity; enhancing the overall protective environment for PoCs, including case management in SGBV (Sexual and Gender Based Violence); emergency response to PoCs without access to the formal reception system; and timely outreach response to rights violations at the borders. Currently there are 3 international and 79 national staff employed. DRC has a main office in Sarajevo, a field office in Bihac (Una-Sana Canton) and activities implemented in Una-Sana, Herzegovina-Neretva, Tuzla and Sarajevo cantons, as well as in Republika Srpska.

The Country Director is ultimately accountable for all aspects of DRC’s work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, representing the organization in key matters relating to the external environment in the country, ensuring the continuous development and growth of DRC BiH’s strategy, programme and operational presence, ensuring that the financial management and organisational setup is adapted to the operational context, safe-guarding internal and external compliance demands, and strengthening accountability initiatives.

The Country Director position is based in Sarajevo with regular field visits. The Country Director reports to the DRC Regional Director for Europe, located in Copenhagen.

The more specific responsibilities include:

  • Overall management of the country operation, direct management of senior staff members and ensuring compliance with DRC’s Operation Handbook and internal procedures and policies, including Code of Conduct
  • Be a driving force in ensuring the development and implementation of DRC’s strategy for BiH with a particular focus on striking a balance between direct implementation in an unstable and dynamic humanitarian environment, and defining a role for DRC in a progressive transfer to a more state-managed migration response.
  • Represent DRC with BiH authorities at state and cantonal level, with the UN country team and the donor community
  • Lead the process of securing and broadening the funding basis in a challenging funding environment
  • Provide overall budget monitoring, financial management and expense control, including compliance with minimum DRC and donor requirements
  • Be overall accountable for ensuring that the DRC country programme is delivered in a safe and secure manner and according to DRC standards
  • Be a key contributor in developing DRC’s regional footprint (Italy-Balkans-Greece) on border protection and related advocacy engagement, in close coordination with the Regional Office and the DRC Brussels office
  • Together with the Head of Support Services ensure that the ERP system (DRC Dynamics) is successfully and fully implemented and used in country


About you

To be successful in this role we expect you to have:

  • Minimum 7 years’ experience within humanitarian work as Director/Operational Manager/Programme Manager for an international NGO in expat position
  • Proven leadership skills and a competence in people management
  • Work related experience from the Western Balkan region, from Bosnia and Herzegovina an advantage
  • Previous professional experience working in mixed migration contexts, preferably in Europe
  • Proven experience in leading evidence-based advocacy, particularly in the framework of EU/European Commission migration and asylum policy
  • Technical knowledge of at least one of the following thematic areas:
    • Migration policy and protection programming
    • Refugee/IDP policy and programming
  • Experience in donor contact, fundraising and networking
  • Experience in financial and safety management
  • Full professional proficiency in English
  • Some proficiency in local languages is desirable, but not essential
  • Relevant academic education


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: 2 years, with possibility for extension, subject to funding and performance.

Band: Senior Management, D

Designation of Duty Station: Sarajevo is a family duty station and the position is accompanied.

Start date: 1 September or as soon as possible thereafter

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates. For questions regarding the vacancy please contact Regional Director for Europe, Mr. Claus Larsen on claus.larsen@drc.ngoApplications sent by email will not be considered.


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: 27 June

Please note that applications will be reviewed continuously, and interviews will be planned as soon as a suitable candidate is identified - 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.

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