Emergency Coordinator at International Rescue Committee

HR Associate at International Rescue Committee

Position Overview

The operating environment in Kenya is characterized by a complex, overlapping and humanitarian including a protracted displacement crisis (one of the largest and longstanding refugee hosting countries globally), recurrent natural disasters and persistent conflict (Intercommunal and cross border). Food insecurity, malnutrition, diseases outbreaks, flooding and other natural disasters are the outcome of both structural insufficiencies and climate change. The prolonged conflict in neighboring countries is the primary driver of a steady influx of asylum seekers into Kenya and the limited options for return contributing to the protractedness of the crisis. The IRC’s programs respond to both chronic and acute emergency needs in both the refugee operation and in the other impacted Arid and Semi-Arid counties in Kenya.

The Emergency Coordinator is responsible for the strategic direction, leadership, and quality implementation of emergency responses across the IRC Kenya country program. The position is responsible for context monitoring and emergency preparedness, emergency response coordination, and project management in EP&R. This is a cross-cutting role that supports technical program teams in the areas of Health, Nutrition, WASH, food security, Livelihood, and protection. The Emergency Coordinator will also work closely with the partnerships and operational support departments.

This position reports to the Deputy Director for Programs and is based in Nairobi with regular travel to program sites across the Country.


Emergency Monitoring & Preparedness

  • Update the IRC Kenya Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP), inclusive of facilitating an inter-departmental workshop, revising the context analysis, and defining clear response scenarios. Ensure the EPP is regularly updated and remains relevant and useful for the country program.
  • Review the existing internal Country Emergency Team (CET) structure and advise senior management on necessary changes to the design and functions. Provide a refresher training to CET members based on the newly defined EPP.
  • Regularly monitor and report on emergency trends across the country and provide an analysis on likely humanitarian needs and make recommendations to senior management on situations which may require either direct or partner-led responses.
  • Ensure that IRC EPP is aligned to the broader humanitarian system and other emergency preparedness and response mechanisms.
  • In collaboration with the Grants and Partnerships Manager, support the pre-positioning and operational readiness of a network of national NGO partners in line with IRC’s PEERS system as required.
  • In collaboration with technical program leads and the Supply Chain department, support the procurement, pre-positioning, and timely distribution of context-relevant emergency supplies.
  • Contribute to learning and advocacy targeting donors and policymakers to promote approaches and requirements that are appropriate and responsive to the priorities and realities

Emergency Response Management

  • Lead internal coordination to enable rapid and effective emergency responses, including serving as the chair of the Emergency Response Steering Committee.
  • In collaboration with the Regional Emergency Director functional and context-appropriate emergency alert and response system.
  • Develop a strategy to disseminate information on the availability and capacities of Emergency Humanitarian Action Unit (EHAU) how to report an alert, obtain classification and request/launch a response. Ensure all emergency alerts are quickly considered for either direct IRC or partner response.
  • Coordinate technical needs assessments with program teams as required.
  • As required, deploy to field locations to lead emergency response / start-up in complex or large-scale emergencies.
  • Support program teams as they carry out direct-IRC emergency response interventions. Advise on appropriate staffing, response modalities, and coordination requirements as requested. Serve as CET team lead as required.
  • Ensure adequate documentation and data collection during emergency responses.

Technical Quality and Programme Management

  • Coordinate closely with the Deputy Director for Programs and Grants department to ensure effective EP&R project management and compliance with donor requirements.
  • Regularly engage with the Emergency Directors and other Technical Unit Advisors and Specialists to ensure appropriate methodologies and technical approaches are developed for all program activities, benchmark programming to IRC standards and ensure application of best practices.
  • Produce and utilize regularly updated project management tools, including workplans, implementation plans, procurement plans, and accurate financial forecasts.
  • Oversee timely, relevant, and responsible use of project funds.
  • Coordinate closely with the MEAL department to develop monitoring tools and collect high-quality data.
  • Contribute to learning and advocacy targeting donors and policymakers to promote approaches and requirements that are appropriate and responsive to the priorities and realities.
  • Oversee post-response reflections and evaluations in collaboration with the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) department, including analysis of client feedback.

Business Development and Grants Management

  • Identify opportunities for growth of EP&R programming portfolio including areas for innovation and expansion.
  • Oversee the IRC’s relationship with existing partners and support the identification of new partners as it relates to new programming.
  • Support the Partnerships Manager and IRC emergency focal points in their engagement with and technical support to partners as requested.
  • Contribute to development of country office’s sector-relevant strategic direction and plans including ongoing development of EP&R programming, staffing and management structures.
  • Provide direction and monitor staff in their implementation of project workplans and quality of technical activities, including program budget oversight
  • Ensure that all internal and external reports are submitted on time and to a high-quality standard.
  • Contribute to efforts to promote gender equality, diversity and more inclusive practice across our programming and our ways of working

Coordination & Representation

  • Maintain effective coordination and long-term relationships with external stakeholders including fellow agencies/NGOS, government departments and ministries, community-based organizations and partners, donors, and others in accurately and professionally representing IRC positions, promoting long-term strategies, and resolving problems/conflicts
  • Actively advance IRC’s relations with EP&R actors/private sector at a local, regional, and national level, seeking avenues for partnership, collaboration and coordination of activities to ensure sustainability of interventions
  • Participate in IRC and external working groups and communities of practice around EP&R to advance strategies, disseminate research and program successes, discuss implementation challenges, and share best practices
  • Support the sharing of information and learning across EP&R related programs based in Kenya and throughout the Horn and East Africa region.


  • Other relevant duties as assigned by supervisor to further IRC emergency programs.


  • Minimum of five years of experience managing emergency humanitarian programs in complex operating environments.
  • Previous experience leading multi-sector acute emergency responses required. Understanding of inter-agency rapid response mechanisms (like EPRM) strongly preferred.
  • Experience in Disaster Risk Reduction and vulnerability analysis.
  • Solid understanding of the humanitarian architecture in Kenya and the region (system and roles/responsibilities of key external actors).
  • Experience working with national NGO and local partners on emergency management.
  • Demonstrated experience in an inter-departmental coordination role and the ability to communicate with and balance the priorities of a range of stakeholders.
  • Excellent project management and reporting skills.
  • Strong financial management skills, including budget management, financial forecasting, and management of spending plans.
  • Excellent written and spoken English required.


  • Strong cross-cultural communication skills and comfortable working as part of a diverse team. Sensitive to interpersonal differences and a range of viewpoints.
  • Highly diplomatic with excellent political awareness and advanced negotiation skills.
  • Demonstrated advance planning and organizational skills. Able to effectively prioritize and follow multiple activities and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Flexible and innovative. Able to adapt plans and pivot approaches in response to changes in context.
  • Proactive, reliable, and able to work independently in a fast-paced environment.
  • A sound understanding of the importance of gender in programme work.

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 allowance.

Kenyan nationals are encouraged to apply. International allowances are not available for this position. Salary and employee benefits are compliant to the Kenyan NGO Sector.

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.


Please take note that International Rescue Committee (IRC) does not ask for any fees in connection with its recruitment processes.


More Information

  • Job City Nairobi

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