Head of Program at Danish Refugee Council

Head of Programme – Nigeria at Danish Refugee Council

Position Title: Head of Program

Supervised by: Country Director

Reporting to: Country Director

Duty Station: Yaoundé – Cameroon

Area of Operation: Cameroon

Employment Period: 24 months

Type of Contract (Expat/National/Trainee): Expatriate or national contract

Salary & Benefits: E1 small family package


The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe: we provide emergency aid, fight for their rights, and strengthen their opportunity for a brighter future. We work in conflict-affected areas, along the displacement routes, and in the countries where refugees settle. In cooperation with local communities, we strive for responsible and sustainable solutions. We work toward successful integration and – whenever possible – for the fulfilment of the wish to return home.

The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956 and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organization with more than 7,000 staff and 8,000 volunteers. Based in Copenhagen (Denmark) and present in forty countries, the Danish Refugee Council is a non-profitmaking, politically independent, non-governmental and non-denominational relief organization.

Our vision is a dignified life for all displaced. All our efforts are based on our value compass: humanity, respect, independence and neutrality, participation, and honesty and transparency.


The West and Central Africa, North Africa and Latin America (WANALA) region has 73 bases spread around three main areas in 12 countries: 43 in West Africa (former WARO), 11 in North Africa (former NARO) and 19 in the Americas.

Under the leadership of the regional office in Dakar and closely linked to interventions in neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR), DRC began operations in Cameroon in 2018 by responding to the humanitarian needs of refugees from CAR and vulnerable Cameroonians in the Adamaoua region. Currently, DRC operates a regional office in Meiganga and two sub-offices in Djohong (Adamaoua region) and Garoua-Boulai (Eastern region). Interventions focus on finding durable solutions for the most vulnerable, using the holistic approach of graduation to improve both protection and economic recovery. Interventions include identifying key protection risks and inter-population conflicts to identify social cohesion and conflict resolution projects that will bring communities together. The Emergency Mobile Team (EMPACT) established DRC’s program presence in the Southwest region in late 2018 to address the needs of forcibly displaced people in the context of the Anglophone crisis, beginning humanitarian activities in January 2019. DRC operates in the Meme and Fako divisions, with an office in Buea. Programming focuses in rural and hard-to-reach areas to meet people’s basic needs for food, shelter, and NFIs, while improving the protection environment and providing income generation opportunities.

Under the supervision of the Country Director, The Head of Program is responsible for the quality of program development and implementation, and for developing the program strategy for DRC in Cameroon. He/she reports directly to the Country Director and is a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT).

People Management and internal communication

  • Manage, coordinate, and coach members of the program team, ensuring their professional development and capacity building as needed.
  • Oversee and support capacity building for expatriate and national staff on technical issues and program cycle management, based on assessment of the critical program improvement needs of the Cameroon mission.
  • Work in close cooperation with program and support staff in Cameroon, and actively seek support, knowledge and coaching as necessary from colleagues in other regions and HQ.

Program strategy, business development and Grants management

  • Develop, disseminate, and implement the Cameroon program strategy within DRC team.
  • Ensure the development of sector program strategy in line with the Cameroon program strategy. Guide Program teams in the implementation of strategies.
  • Lead on the development of project proposals and budgets, ensuring strong cross-departmental coordination between program and support teams, including field teams, as well as close liaison and timely consultation with RO/HQ.
  • Contribute to the development of a fundraising strategy in line with the Cameroon program strategy.
  • Establish strong and efficient partnerships in line with the Cameroon program strategy and DRC partnership management policy.
  • Design, contribute and/or lead assessments for emergency or longer-term programming in existing or new project locations.

Quality and accountability of the programs

  • Oversee and support continuous improvement of program quality standards, including application and harmonisation across field bases.
  • Provide support to field bases for program planning and implementation in support of Program Managers.
  • Ensure that DRC values and code of conduct are respected and upheld, including through setting a personal example.
  • Assess and improve DRC Cameroon’s accountability measures in accordance with DRC’s global Core Humanitarian Standard commitments.
  • In supervision of the MEAL team, ensure that DRC Cameroon implements high-quality Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEAL) across all projects, including that learning is captured, capitalized, and used in program design and implementation.
  • Oversee the development and timely submissions of high-quality donor reports.

External relations and representation

  • Together with Country Director, ensure adequate bilateral representation of DRC with government authorities, donors, UN agencies, humanitarian agencies and other partners regarding program
  • Ensure representation and participation in coordination meetings and key clusters as relevant.

In addition to the above, the Head of Program may be asked to carry out other duties requested by the Country Director.

Required Qualifications

  • Min. 5 years’ experience overseas in complex emergencies, preferably with refugees and/or IDPs.
  • Relevant university degree (Master or Postgraduate), in international relations and/or development, political science or similar field.
  • Min. 3 years’ experience in staff management and development
  • Good understanding of displacement issues and related international standards/frameworks.
  • Strong experience in program development and proven program development abilities
  • Substantial NGO project management experience, including responsibility for strategy design, staffing, admin/finance management, contract management and donor relations.
  • Experience of leading strategic programming and planning, implementation, monitoring and learning
  • Proven track record of negotiating and advocating with government authorities and donors for solutions that serve the needs of beneficiaries, pursuing values of internationally recognized and universal character in a post-conflict context with a strong respect of local culture and tradition.
  • Ability to manage a large workload and multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines.
  • Team player with excellent communication and strong participatory leadership skills
  • Excellent written and spoken French and English


  • Experience in a Central / Western African country
  • Experience with DRC’s main donors in Cameroon: ECHO, SDC, BHA, UN fuds, etc.

Required Skills & Qualities

  • Core Competencies of DRC:
    • Striving for excellence
    • Collaboration
    • Taking the lead
    • Communication
    • Demonstrating Integrity
  • Ability to work in a multinational and multicultural environment.
  • Proactivity, with a sound commitment to teamwork and with a spirit of genuine collaboration
  • Excellent communication skills, as well as patience and politeness, are required.
  • Multi-tasking and Organizational skills is a must
  • Adaptable and Flexible
  • Proven analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Exemplary sense of ethics in the workplace
  • Team-oriented & good sense of humour

General Regulations

  • The employee shall follow DRC instructions on safety, confidentiality, and ethical guidelines, including the Code of Conduct and the Humanitarian Accountability Framework
  • Employee should not engage in any other paid activity during the DRC contract period without prior authorization.
  • Employee should not engage in any activity that could harm DRC or the implementation of any project during the DRC contract period.
  • Employee should not give interviews to the media or publish project-related photos or other material without prior authorization.
  • Employee shall return all borrowed equipment for the project to DRC after the end of the contract period or upon request.

How to apply

Application Process

Are you interested? Then apply for this position online**: www.drc.dk/about-drc/vacancies/current-vacancies.** All applicants must send a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages).

DRC provides equal opportunity in employment and prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, sex, colour, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability.

DRC encourages all applicants to apply and does not practice any discrimination in any recruitment process.

However, all applicants shall take into consideration that DRC cannot offer an international work contract to a citizen of the country of assignment (in this specific case: Republic of Cameroon)

Applications close on the 8th of May 2023 at midnight (GMT-time).Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

Due to the urgency of the position, DRC has the right to recruit a candidate who matches the required profile before the above deadline.


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