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Country Director (Iraq)

Closing date20 May 2020
LocationErbil, Iraq
External URL https://reliefweb.int/job/3613214/country-director-iraq

Organisation Background

Founded in 2011, the International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO) is an international charity that supports the safety of aid workers by establishing safety coordination platforms in insecure contexts. INSO provides registered NGOs with a range of free services including real-time incident tracking, analytical reports, safety related data and mapping, crisis management support, staff orientations and training.

INSO services help NGOs with their day-to-day risk management responsibilities and improve their overall situational awareness to support evidence-based humanitarian access decisions.

The organisation has grown from innovative start-up to become a globally recognised charity and a valuable component of the humanitarian safety coordination system.

Today the organisation provides daily support to more than 980 beneficiary organisations (NGOs) in some of the world’s most insecure environments and has earned a strong reputation for performance, principles & professionalism.

Please note that any start date is provisional and deployment may be delayed due to COVID-19 related travel bans and regulations. INSO suspended all international duty travel, including international deployments, on 16th March 2020 until further notice. As the situation is evolving, we will be re-evaluating the travel suspension on a regular basis.


While more than two years have passed since Iraqi and international military forces declared an end to military operations against the Islamic State, Iraq remains unstable. An estimated 4.10 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, amid a legacy of years of conflict, displacement, eroded social cohesion and persistent political tension.

INSO Iraq was established in 2014 and supports more than 180 partner NGOs, among them both international and local organisations. From offices in Erbil and Baghdad, INSO Iraq supports humanitarian programming countrywide.

A vacancy has arisen for an experienced professional to lead the programme into the next stage of its development as Country Director. The Country Director will be based in Erbil, but with travel to Baghdad and partner field locations as required. The position reports to the Regional Director for the Middle East and Central Asia.

Job Summary

The Iraq Country Director is responsible for leading and managing a programme of some 90 staff to deliver high quality information, analysis and advisory services that enable the NGO community to plan, manage and deliver aid and assistance more safely. The role requires an accomplished programme director with experience and keen interest in conflict analysis and high-profile external representation.

The successful candidate will possess solid programme and human resources management skills and will be a natural and confident communicator, consensus-builder and networker. They will combine keen intellect and analytical skills with pragmatism, patience and a good sense of humour and will enjoy the challenge of translating strategic concepts into workable practices in difficult environments.

Key Responsibilities

Programme Leadership and Management

· Provide engaged, effective leadership across the programme, ensuring that INSO Iraq performs well across all functions – programme delivery, finance, operations, HR – and in compliance with INSO SOPs.

· Steward INSO resources effectively and transparently in full compliance with internal and donor policy.

· Develop and deliver annual programme planning, aligning programme development strategy with realistic assumptions of future funding.

· Manage INSO Iraq donor relations and produce high-quality, compelling donor proposals and progress reports that underscore INSO Iraq’s impact.

· Line manage a Deputy Director, Finance Manager, Operations Manager and Training Manager.

· Ensure that INSO Iraq recruits and retains high-calibre staff and orients them to the INSO mandate.

· Promote and exemplify a culture of openness and collaboration.

· Uphold rigorous risk management standards, not least as it affects the welfare and wellbeing of staff.

Service Delivery

· Develop and maintain a sophisticated personal understanding of the Iraq context and the prevailing challenges to humanitarian safety and access.

· Supervise all INSO Iraq service delivery, ensuring that programme targets are met, quality is maintained and that services remain relevant and responsive to the evolving context and needs of NGO partners.

· Deliver strategic analysis to senior humanitarian leadership, including through monthly directors’ briefings, quarterly analytical reports and as needed on request.

· Lead crisis management support to individual NGO partners or the NGO community at large during critical incidents.

External Representation

· Effectively represent and protect INSO’s principles of independence, impartiality and neutrality and actively promote INSO as an integral member of the humanitarian community.

· Represent INSO towards senior humanitarian leadership, on a bilateral basis and in relevant coordination fora, utilising INSO’s expert understanding of the context to promote more informed, more effective decision making on issues affecting humanitarian access and safety.

· Engage with third parties, including local government, the UN, diplomatic missions and international military forces.

Mandatory Requirements

· Exemplary command of English (written and spoken).

· Graduate level education in a relevant field.

· Significant experience in insecure/conflict-affected environments with progressive seniority and at least one year at senior management level.

· Proven writing, editing, and analytical skills and a keen eye for detail – the position entails substantial report editing and reviewing.

· Acceptance and strong understanding of humanitarian principles.

· Demonstrable understanding of humanitarian safety practices and their application.

· Outgoing and confident personality.

· Mature leadership and staff management experience in a diverse multi-cultural setting.

· Excellent networking, diplomatic, and representative communication skills.

Preferred Characteristics

· A year’s (recent) experience working in Iraq and demonstrable understanding of the context.

· Experience in staff capacity development and training.

· Experience with NGO project management, including donor reporting and relations.

· First-hand experience of crisis management.

· Prior experience in a high-profile inter-agency role.

· Existing information networks and/or local language skills.

· Detailed understanding of INSO mandate & services.

Key Personal Competencies

· A good listener

· An effective communicator

· Excellent analyst

· Team player

· Excellent interpersonal skills

· A people manager

INSO’s Safeguarding Policy

INSO is fully committed to safe recruitment, selection and vetting of all potential new staff, trustees and volunteers and we will ensure rigorous compliance with our Code of Conduct and Safeguarding policy throughout the recruitment process. As such, the following safe recruitment practices will be applied:

· All offers of employment will be conditional on receiving at least two satisfactory professional references.

· INSO will ask candidates about significant gaps in employment history or frequent changes of employer and address.

· All essential qualifications and relevant professional accreditations and memberships will be verified.

· The successful candidate will be required to provide a valid proof of identity (passport, ID card).

· All new hires will receive an orientation in INSO’s safeguarding policy and procedures and associated documents (Code of Conduct, Whistleblowing etc.).

· All new hires will be required to sign and abide by the Code of Conduct as a condition of employment.

Terms & Conditions:

12-month contract with expected start date on or before 1 July, €5,500 per month salary, 4 calendar days annual leave per month and 3 days of R&R every 3 months with a €750 allowance per R&R cycle, housing allowance, global medical coverage and USD $200,000 AD&D coverage.

How to apply

Interested applicants are requested to send the following to jobs@oso.ngosafety.org and reference “Country Director Iraq” in the subject line of the email. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. **

· Cover letter specifying how you meet the mandatory requirements, your motivation in applying and what you hope to bring to INSO (1-page maximum).

· Up to date CV (5-page maximum).

Please do not send any additional information (such as copies of certificates, copies of diplomas, other writing samples, etc.) and keep the total size of your application under 2MB if possible.


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