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Senior Program & Award Advisor, Great Lakes (soon Central Africa)

New York City | London | Dakar

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: New York City | London | Dakar
  • Grade: Senior level - Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date:
Additional locations will be considered in approved hosting locations. Internal staff are strongly encouraged to apply.

Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

The International Rescue Committee is a global network with its headquarters in New York. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. 

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable. 

The Awards Management Unit (AMU)
The Awards Management Unit (AMU) is a global department with the responsibility for identifying, securing, and managing all funding from statutory/government donors. The department includes the following teams: Program and Award Support, Strategic Partnerships, Compliance and Policy, Business Development, and Training.

The AMU is a bridge between donors and country programs: providing expert technical advice to the country teams, while maintaining portfolio-level visibility to ensure consistency and compliance, and manage risk. This unit ensures that donor compliance policies and procedures are implemented consistently, and supports all staff working across the award management cycle.
The Crisis Response, Recovery and Development (CRRD) Department 
The Crisis Response, Recovery and Development (CRRD) Department has a growing portfolio of humanitarian relief, post-crisis recovery, and development programs under their remit. This work focuses support in five key areas: ensuring safety from harm, improving health, increasing access to education, improving economic well-being and ensuring people have the power to influence decisions that affect their lives. In all these programs, there is a drive to address the unique needs of women and girls (who represent the majority of those displaced) – and the universal barriers they face. 
The CRRD works across 6 regions globally, including West Africa, East Africa, Great Lakes, Middle East and North Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The regional teams are the links between country offices and key HQ departments and aim to support and provide advice to country programs with a range of issues from strategic planning, business development to compliance, awards management and partnerships management. 

The Purpose of the Role
Reporting to the Director, Awards Management (DAM), the Senior Program and Award Advisor (SPAA) plays a vital role within the Regional Program and Award Support (RPAS) Team, which supports an award portfolio of humanitarian relief, post-crisis recovery, and development programs. The SPAA provides support to country programs while playing both a strategic and tactical role in ensuring the smooth operation and overall effectiveness of the RPAS Team. The SPAA is a problem solver, acting as a representative of and thought partner to the Director, Awards Management. The position leads internal coordination for gap planning and backfilling support to country programs and the RPAS Team (in close collaboration with the Senior Program Development Advisor), supports the development, enhancement and implementation of awards management processes (including specific partnership and project management initiatives) and coordinates RPAS related data management routines. 

The SPAA is a “doer” and serves as a regional representative of IRC Great Lakes region – including country offices in Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania – to internal and external stakeholders regarding awards management and delivery processes.

Scope and Authority
Line management of Regional Budget Manager and of Regional Grants and Business Development Coordinator, which are roles dedicated to providing surge capacity support to country programs. Additional line management responsibilities may be assigned by the Director, Awards Management based on the composition and needs of the team. 

Key Working Relationships
Works closely with all Regional Program and Award Support team members, in particular the Program and Awards Advisors and Senior Program Development Advisor, and across all teams within Awards Management Unit, Crisis Response Recovery and Development Department (including Technical Excellence), External Relations, Global Supply Chain, Finance, Office of General Counsel, and other key departments within IRC. 

Strategic Planning and Implementation Support (40%)
Lead on regional or departmental coordination efforts as delegated by the Director, Awards Management and manage regional communication/coordination for high level strategy, learning or training events. 
Contribute to strategic departmental and/or regional initiatives that support country programs as agreed with the Director, Awards Management, as well as to the development, coordination and implementation of actions linked to wider organizational efforts, including the IRC Partnership and Project Cycle Meeting processes. Organize feedback sessions with country programs, capture and communicate country program needs and suggestions for continuous improvements.
Play a strategic role in the planning and successful resolution of implementation challenges, and act as thought partner to the Director, Awards Management, advising together with the Senior Program Development Advisor on matters related to team priorities, engagement, and growth.
Act as key point of contact for the implementation support of the Program & Award Support Team as agreed with Director, Awards Management. 
· Act as delegated regional representative of country program perspectives on identified post-award or cross-functional initiatives (i.e., participation in data system improvement fora, and other internal or cross-departmental working groups, or as focal point for certain advocacy or donor engagement efforts).
Ensure that important organizational data points are captured, relevant trackers are maintained and required updates and analysis are shared in a timely manner.
Lead on regional/portfolio data management efforts, ensuring that post-award data entry-points are maintained for accuracy and reflect correctly in various dashboards

Program Quality and Delivery (25%)
Proactively drive collaboration with country teams to identify their strategic priorities and support their SAP implementation needs in the areas of awards management and partnerships
Highlight systemic awards related concerns or risks to the Country and Regional Senior Management Teams, through established pathways and processes, and provide guidance and/or recommendations on needed actions for resolution.
Support members of the Program & Award Support team to problem-solve on escalated awards and partnerships-specific compliance and policy matters, ensuring most effective resolution.
Provide support to assigned complex regional or multi-country program projects, as agreed with the Director, Awards Management. 
Promote information sharing, standardization, and collaborative business process development efforts across the regions and countries.

Capacity Building, Training and Team Processes Management (20%)
· In partnership with Director, Awards Management, source, and coordinate deployment of human resources needed to cover country office or Program and Award Support staffing gaps, including coordination of surge capacity for country teams.
· Lead team’s support to country teams through capacity strengthening, coaching and mentoring of country Grants and Partnerships focal points in the delivery of their functions and support them in the achievement of their annual objectives.
· Provide leadership support for the post-award teams and assist the Director, Awards Management with coordination and implementation of standardized goals for team members. 
· In collaboration with the Senior Program Development Advisor and the Director, Awards Management, organize/lead effective team meeting spaces and discussions.
· Coordinate, oversee, and provide surge/gap coverage for country Grants staff and other Program & Award Support team members in their absence.
· In coordination with the Director, Awards Management lead the development of standards, processes and good practices for awards and partnership agreement implementation and reviews, as well as recording lessons learned.
Develop training materials, deliver training to IRC country staff, and support training development in response to country program demands, in coordination with the Program and Award Advisors, and the Awards Management Unit (AMU) Training and Compliance teams.

Staff Management, Recruitment and Onboarding (15%)
With the support of the Director, Awards Management, lead recruitment processes for team and country grant vacancies. 
Contribute to onboarding new country office Grants and Partnerships staff and new Program and Award Support team members to assigned donors, policies and/or IRC processes (including Project Cycle Meetings, Partnerships policies, and others).
Coach, train, and mentor direct reports, including communicating clear expectations, providing regular and timely performance feedback, document/discuss performance issues if needed, and deliver high-quality documented annual performance reviews. This should include establishing direct reports’ development plans. 
Ensure direct reports are trained on all relevant IRC processes and donor regulations.
Support direct reports as well as other team members in achieving annual objectives, acting as a trusted and accountable manager, mentor and professional resource, including promoting collaboration, enabling adequate resourcing and ensuring accountability. 
Provide mentorship to PAAs as agreed with line manager.

Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:
Very strong work experience in award management and/or business development, with extensive knowledge of institutional donors and their requirements (e.g., FCDO, ECHO, BHA, PRM, USAID, Sida, UN, etc.)
Good understanding of humanitarian aid and development programming including project design, quality and delivery in humanitarian and development settings
Experience of working within an international context ideally in a global organization, with complex reporting relationships; familiarity with countries in the region preferred
Strong diplomatic and communication skills, including the ability to tailor language to different audiences (e.g., with internal stakeholders, peers, leaders) and to effectively handle a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment 
Effective people management skills: ability to lead staff and promote productivity in a pleasant work environment, and to model positive behaviors 
Strong attention to detail and ability to manage multiple and complex tasks as well as ensure that own work and work of others is of a consistent high quality 
The ability to, to efficiently prioritize, multi-task and manage deadlines effectively in within a fast-paced environment
Demonstrated ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues across ‘remote’ and diverse teams
Excellent written and oral communication skills, including experience in speaking on relevant issues with internal and external audiences 
Excellent analytical, negotiations and problem-solving skills
Solid organizational and project management skills
A flexible work attitude and a desire to contribute to the culture of a supportive, highly engaged team
Good computer skills
Fluency in English and French, both spoken and written
Ability and willingness to travel internationally 

Substantial experience of leading and managing a team 
Experience in developing countries, preferably in the context of an NGO or International Organization (UN or major donor or similar)
Strong organizational and coordination skills, and strong intertest in business process development

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: 
In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions.  All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: 
IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity.  We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal. 

Equal Opportunity Employer: 
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

US Benefits:
We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits.  In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles. 

Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget.  Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.
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.