External Roster: Country Director At International Rescue Committee

The IRC’s Emergencies & Humanitarian Action Unit

The IRC’s Emergencies & Humanitarian Action Unit (EHAU) oversees IRC’s global emergency preparedness and response activities. The mission of the EHAU is to expand and improve IRC’s ability to help affected communities survive in acute emergencies and hard to reach contexts by investing in people, systems, and solutions to complex humanitarian challenges. The EHAU team achieves this mission through ongoing rigorous risk analysis, investing in capacity strengthening of frontline humanitarians, partnership with local actors, offering collaborative support and technical assistance to teams working in emergencies and hard to reach places, and deploying and supporting world class emergency response staff as they help people affected by acute crisis situations.

The IRC’s Emergency External Roster

Members of the Emergency External Roster (EER) are deployed to either support existing country programs in their emergency response, or to initiate a new program in the crisis zone. The overall responsibility of the team is to rapidly and effectively design, develop and manage the IRC’s on-site humanitarian response to meet the immediate needs of the affected population. The EER is also responsible for supporting the transfer of responsibilities and knowledge to the long-term staff to ensure the continuity of IRC programming and operations.

Emergency Country Directors are expected to be deployed in the field, either in an emergency or roving capacity and must be able to deploy to the site of an emergency within 72 hours of notification.

Job Overview/Summary

The Emergency Country Director leads deployed Emergency Response Teams and is responsible for overall leadership and supervisory management of IRC offices and operations involved in emergency response. This includes stewardship of resources, staff safety and security, program quality and accountability, and performance management.

The Emergency Country Director is IRC’s principal representative to the government, donors, international organizations, other NGOs and the media as it pertains to the emergency response. The Emergency Country Director is expected to respond effectively to a constantly changing environment with effective humanitarian programs. S/he will be directly responsible for the overall coordination and strategic direction of the emergency response; providing oversight and coaching for directly supervised ERT/EER staff; leading teams to identify, design and deliver responsive, high-quality programs; ensuring efficient management of public grants and private funds for results, compliance and focused, timely reporting; and oversight of financial management and compliance systems.

The Emergency Country Director will also deploy into existing IRC Country Programs to fulfil Country, Program or Deputy Director functions as required. The Emergency Country Director will report to the IRC Country Director (or Regional Vice President, when filling a CD function) and present themselves to IRC teams using their deployed title, so as to avoid confusion as to reporting lines and decision-making rights, and therefore to assure collaborative and coordinated actions to address the emergency at hand.

Success in this position requires an individual with exemplary leadership abilities who deploys strong communications and interpersonal skills effectively, both internally and externally. The successful candidate will enjoy developing networks to build partnerships and diversify program resources. The candidate should have experience in complex and insecure operating environments, is expected to be attentive to risk management, and must have a proven track record in successfully managing emergency programming in a diverse range of locations and contexts.

The Emergency Country Director will report to the Senior Director, Delivery in Emergencies, and will work closely with the Deputy Director, Delivery in Emergencies, while maintaining working relationships with other EHAU Senior Management Team members as well.

Major Responsibilities

Emergency Response

• Identify and lead deployment of initial emergency response team formation under the direction of the Senior Director, Delivery in Emergencies. Lead, oversee and coordinate IRC assessments of emergency needs and develop a response strategy in collaboration with Host Country Government, other humanitarian organizations and the ERT, Regional and Country management teams as appropriate.

• Design, resource (people and funds) and implement emergency response programs that meet the near and longer-term program objectives needs of an affected community. Ensure IRC’s response is implemented in adherence to the IRC’s Emergency Roadmap, and build toward full achievement of the IRC Outcome and Evidence Framework.

o Oversee IRC’s on-site humanitarian response including management of programs, operations, budgets, fundraising, external representation and transition planning.

o Oversee quality and consistency of program monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure and enhance program effectiveness and quality.

• Advocate with and/or advise peer agencies, local governments, donors and other partners to influence responses to promote delivery of inclusive and high quality humanitarian services.

• Oversee and ensure compliance with IRC policy, procedures and practices throughout the ERT and program; contribute to HQ led efforts to refine emergency specific standard operating procedures and policies.

• Ensure appropriate time, resources, and engagement is set-aside for Real-Time Evaluations in relevant responses.

Leadership and Representation

• Lead a response team by establishing open and professional relations with colleagues, promoting a strong team spirit, oversight and resources to enable staff to perform successfully.

• Develop strong relationships with: government ministries at various levels; UNOCHA; donors including OFDA, USAID, DFID, BPRM, ECHO, UNHCR, UNICEF and other international organizations; international and local NGOs; and networks.

o Ensure that IRC remains a partner of choice for major international donors.

o Develop and maintain a high level of understanding of donor priorities and planned funding streams.

• Execute the EHAU’s resource mobilization strategy to ensure appropriate level of visibility and support for IRC emergency initiatives. This will include giving face-to-face briefings to government, foundation and private donors about the IRC’s emergency response capacity and unmet humanitarian needs around the world.

• Seek out and pursue opportunities to raise the profile of the work of IRC and its partners, as well as the lives and the needs of the people IRC seeks to serve.

• Play a leadership role in efforts to improve humanitarian coordination.

• When applicable, play a leadership role in training sessions for IRC Emergency Roster, ERT, as well as capacity sharing efforts for high-risk country programs on IRC emergency program management systems and protocols.

• Model and drive active practice of the principles of the ‘IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct’ throughout the response team.

Safety and Security Management

• Take primary responsibility for overall management of safety and security for all staff and assets involved in the emergency response.

• Oversee the management of all security issues, including appropriate response to emergency situations as they arise.

• Create and maintain a culture of safety and security throughout the response, including rapid establishment, regular updating, and dissemination of security, evacuation, and contingency plans, trainings and briefings that prepare all response staff for security incident prevention and response.

• Maintain close coordination and communication with the Regional Safety and Security Advisor on relevant concerns and evolving issues that could adversely affect IRC staff or operations.

Staff Management, Learning and Development

• Supervise deployed ERT/EER staff and support performance management by communicating clear expectations, providing regular and timely positive and constructive feedback, and providing documented performance reviews.

• Oversee the management, coaching and development of staff to build a team of skilled, committed and motivated professionals according to IRC’s Leadership Standards in responses.

• Initiate high-quality meetings with each direct report on a regular and predictable basis.

• Cultivate and maintain a positive, collaborative, safe and protective work environment, while additionally setting an example of ‘One IRC’-way of working within responses and the wider organization.

• Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff.

• Collaborate with ERT HR staff to identify and implement recruitment and on-boarding strategies.

• Ensure regular reviews of labour and salary markets in the area are completed for the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of the IRC’s overall compensation package for country staff, when establishing a new country program.

• Create an inclusive environment where different work styles, personalities and approaches are valued

• Model inclusive behaviors to team members (ensuring all members’ voices are heard, support learning moments when team members or others experience micro-aggression in the workplace); acknowledges own biases and learning on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Professional Qualifications and Requirements

• Significant experience leading complex on site emergency response projects and/or programs requiring extensive judgment and interpretation. Diverse geographical professional experience preferred.

• Demonstrated ability to influence peer agencies, local government and community leaders to work effectively towards a common and agreed upon result.

• Proven ability to evaluate and implement best practices and processes affecting multiple technical specialties to achieve rapid, consistent and high quality outcomes.

• Experience developing, resourcing and leading large budget, complex projects spanning multiple technical specialties.

• Excellent verbal and written skills in English and a second language (preferably: French, Spanish, or Arabic).

*External Emergency Roster members staff are based in their home of record and usually do not work at an IRC office. Location requires ability to deploy within 72 hours and connectivity to enable remote work from home base.

Professional Standards: The IRC and IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability and Equality. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

EHAU strives to build a diverse and inclusive team at all levels who as individuals, and as a group, embody our culture statement creating a working environment characterized by critical reflection, power sharing, debate, and objectivity for us to achieve our aspirations as a unit and deliver the best possible services to our clients.

Narrowing the Gender Gap: The International Rescue Committee 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 a flexible hours (when possible), maternity leave, transportation support, and gender-sensitive security protocols.

How to apply


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