Deputy Director of Programs, Directeur Adjoint des Programmes, Yaoundé, International Rescue Committee
Role Responsibilities/ Responsabilités du rôle
Requisition ID: req37328
Job Title: Deputy Director of Programs
Sector: Program Administration
Employment Category: Fixed Term
Employment Type: Full-Time
Open to Expatriates: Yes
Location: Yaounde, Cameroon
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. 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. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.
The IRC started operations in Cameroon in 2016 to respond to the increasing concerns for people affected by violence linked to Boko Haram, in the Far North region of the country. Assistance to displaced populations extends across the Far North, mostly in Mayo Sava, Mayo Tsanaga and Logone & Chari, delivering lifesaving programming to increase access to water and improving hygiene practices in vulnerable displaced and host communities, cash programming to enable families to meet basic needs and improve food security, and protection programming, including prevention and response to gender-based violence. The IRC has field bases in Maroua and Kousseri.
Following the escalation of the crisis in the anglophone regions of Cameroon: Northwest and Southwest, the IRC started its operations in 2018 by opening an office and presence in Buea (SW) and then in 2019 in Bamenda (NW). Today, IRC’s work in these regions includes basic needs programming (water, food, livelihoods) as well as protection services to internally displaced populations and vulnerable host communities.
As the Deputy Director for Programs, you will be based in IRC’s coordination office in Yaounde but have direct links with each of these field offices and the staff and associated programs. Travel to these locations will be frequent and engagement with them daily. You will work to ensure implementation of our Strategic Action Plan which aims to provide the best possible impact for some of the most vulnerable boys, girls, women, and men affected by these two separate humanitarian crises in Cameroon. In all that we do, we strive to deliver through IRC’s core values of Integrity, Accountability, Service and Equality.
As a key member of the Senior Management Team (SMT), the Deputy Director for Programs has overall responsibility to supervise, support, and enhance quality, coherence, impact, sustainability and synergy of all programs implemented by IRC in Cameroon. You will disseminate and monitor the implementation of the programmatic elements of the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and the related initiatives, playing a lead role in fundraising for the country program.
You will directly manage the Technical Coordinators for: Protection Rule of Law (PROL); Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE); Environmental Health (EH); Economic Recovery & Development (ERD), and Education & Child Protection as well as the Grants Coordinator, MEAL Coordinator and Senior Health Manager positions. You will report directly to the Country Director and receive her support in your responsibilities.
Program implementation, oversight and coordination
- Ensure effective and timely implementation of programmatic objectives of grants;
- Provide oversight to ensure that programs are implemented in accordance to IRC and international technical standards;
- Ensure that project planning tools (implementation plans, procurement plans, item forecast and spend plans, procurement plan and M&E plans) are elaborated, shared and used on a monthly basis by Program Managers in collaboration with the Technical Coordinators, Operations, Finance and Grants colleagues;
- Work closely with the Grants Coordinator and project leads to hold efficient and effective project design, opening, implementation, and closing meetings;
- In collaboration with the Grants Coordinator and Technical Coordinators, ensure that quality donor reports are generated and submitted to headquarters and donors in a timely manner, ensuring programmatic review and inputs on all reports ahead of submission;
- Ensure all projects have M&E plans and Client (Beneficiary) Feedback Mechanisms in place from the outset, which are reviewed at regular intervals by the MEAL Coordinator;
- Provide on-going problem-solving guidance for Program Managers, Field Coordinators and their teams regarding programmatic issues, planning issues, and meetings partners or donors;
- Ensure a close coordination and collaboration with the Deputy Director, Operations and Deputy Director, Finance to ensure adequate synergy between programs and operations in the implementation of activities;
- Support and promote adherence to finance controls for program expenditures in accordance with IRC policies and procedures;
- Develop strong working relationships with Technical Units and Technical Advisors based in the Regional Office or HQ to ensure adequate remote and in-country support in line with country office needs and strategic direction.
Proposal design and development
- Take the leading role in program design drawing on evaluations, lessons learnt and identified clients’ needs and voices in collaboration with Technical Coordinators;
- Support the Grants team and other colleagues to write high quality proposals, meeting identified needs and donor requirements while also ensuring that cross-cutting issues such as gender equality and protection mainstreaming are integrated into program design;
- Work with the Technical Coordinators, Grants team, Field Coordinators, Finance, and Operations to develop budgets, which reflect a detailed understanding of situational parameters, client (beneficiary) needs, available resources and technical possibilities;
- Ensure adequate budgeting of M&E, client feedback & accountability and learning activities in all proposals;
- Promote the use of IRC’s IMPACT standards and revised Outcome and Evidence Framework in both program design and proposal development, ensuring that Theories of Change are incorporated, in line with the priority outcomes as outlined Cameroon’s Strategic Action Plan;
- Maintain an up-to-date contextual analysis to ensure pertinence of all programming in collaboration with humanitarian access, safety and security colleagues;
- Ensure effective use of client feedback and technical assessments in all program design.
Advocacy, external relations, and fundraising
- Alongside the CD, strongly participate and contribute to advocacy efforts on relevant sectoral policies and on community of practices, both within Cameroon and across the Lake Chad Basin;
- Represent IRC with donors (both existing and potential) and lead on any monitoring visits for our programs in the field and in Yaounde;
- Develop strong working relations with INGO/UN and other humanitarian actors to strengthen operational collaboration and sharing of key information as well as facilitating client referrals;
- Support the Technical Coordinators in their representation with UN Clusters and Sectors and pushing forward IRC’s leadership particularly in all areas of protection;
- Ensure program teams have the right level of engagement with key government ministries and in Yaounde work to develop MoUs with sectoral ministries in line with our program sectors;
- Oversee colleagues’ work on developing and updating of informational materials such as brochures, fact sheets, articles, posters, audio-visual materials, etc. to promote the work of IRC among various stakeholders and constituencies, in particular donors, international organizations, NGOs, and IRC HQ.
Strategy and Partnerships
- Ensure effective and timely implementation of programmatic objectives of the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) in collaboration with the Country Director;
- Lead on reporting on SAP progress to inform the Country Director, Regional Office and HQ;
- Supervise the roll out of program related SAP initiatives, such as the Outcome and Evidence Framework and IRC’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning handbook;
- Advance the partnership priority and strategy and fostering collaboration between program and operations teams;
- Ensure the Country Program’s adherence to IRC’s Global partnership policy, Partnership Excellence for Effectiveness and Results System (PEERS);
- Raise all potential risks related to partnerships to SMT to ensure proper mitigation steps are determined and implemented.
Staff Development and Human Resources
- Supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, establishing a supportive environment while emphasizing accountability, providing regular and timely constructive performance feedback, and leading documented annual performance reviews (more often when needed);
- Develop and mentor staff, looking at not only their performance in their current roles but also longer-term career planning and professional development & growth;
- Maintain open and professional relations with team members, promoting a strong team spirit and providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform in their positions;
- Work with the Senior Management Team to ensure that the Program team maintains a high work engagement and proactive management of both over & under performance;
- Work with HR staff to identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies respecting principles of diversity, gender equality and inclusion;
- Model and encourage active practice of the principles of the “IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct” throughout the Cameroon country program;
- Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among IRC staff and with partner organizations;
- Maintain open communications with Regional management staff, Regional technical advisors, and HQ departmental staff.
- Contribute to the effective leadership of the country program as an active member of IRC Cameroon’s Senior Management Team;
- Within the SMT, lead on coordination for all areas of the Strategic Action Plan, including around our emergency preparedness and response;
- Develop excellent working relations with SMT peers, especially Field Coordinators, and working to strengthen the linkages between Operations and Programs;
- Act as CD when she is out of the country or on leave.
- Advanced degree in International Relations, Community Development, Economics, or a relevant field
- At least 7 years of experience in the management of complex humanitarian and recovery programs in African or similar contexts
- Demonstrated successful leadership experience managing a multi-disciplinary team and cross-cultural dynamics.
- Demonstrated ability for rapid, accurate analysis of complex issues, strong decision-making, and translation of programmatic priorities into operational strategies.
- Extensive representation and fundraising success, including prior experience with donors such as ECHO, USAID or BHA, and other international institutional donors.
- Successful experience delivering appropriate levels of oversight for a portfolio consisting of a variety of complex, high-value donor-funded projects.
- Proven track record of leading and developing multi-location teams.
- Solid skills and experience in program design and delivery, proposal development and monitoring and evaluation.
- Proven capacity in staff management, multi-tasking, time management and diplomacy
- Strong oral and written communication skills, with ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders.
- Expertise and knowledge on a diversity of programs (WASH, Women’s Protection and Empowerment, Economic Recovery & Development, Protection and Rule of Law, Child Protection & Education)
- Motivated, positive individual who excels at taking initiative and is able to motivate team members to produce results under pressure.
- Fluent in French and English (written & spoken)
- Strong commitment to IRC’s vision, mission and core values.
- Problem solving and judgment: effectively uses critical thinking in solving problems;
- Results driven: sets challenging and clear expectations to meet organizational priorities;
- Committed to the mission of the IRC, is sensitive to both the political and social ramifications of decisions;
- Diplomatic both within the organization and with external interactions;
- Copes well with pressure and adapts and learns from adversity;
- Communicates important information in ways that are easily understood, both in written and oral forms;
- Respected and trusted negotiator in conflict situations.
Security Yaounde is at Level II (yellow) which allows for accompanied posts. However, security in the Far North region (Maroua & Kousseri) is Level III (orange), and in the Southwest and Northwest regions it is level IV (red) – which entails (differing) curfews for all those field sites.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. 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.
IRC is equal opportunity employer, considered all the candidates on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran or disability.
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