Programme Director at Relief International

Position: Programme Director (Countrywide)

Location: Tehran, Iran (Family Duty station) **

Duration: 2 year contract, with possibility of extension

Reports to: Country Director

Management: Line manages 10 staff (Sector leads, Grant Manager, Programme Managers)

About RI: Relief International is a leading nonprofit organization working in 20 countries to relieve poverty, ensure well-being and advance dignity. We specialize in fragile settings, responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and chronic poverty.

Relief International combines humanitarian and development approaches to provide immediate services while laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Our signature approach -which we call the RI Way- emphasizes local participation, integration of services, strategic partnerships, and a focus on civic skills. In this way, we empower communities to find, design and implement the solutions that work best for them.

RI in Iran: Relief International has been active in Iran since 1989. The Iran operation focuses on providing and improving access to health, education and livelihoods to Afghan refugees – with protection effectively mainstreamed across our activities. Relief International is a major actor in disaster response in Iran and currently implements a large scale COVID-19 response. We support national CSOs as well as coordination and advocacy with other INGOs, UN agencies and Governmental partners to improve the overall humanitarian and development response. In 2020, RI delivered assistance to over 500,000 beneficiaries in Iran.**

Position Summary: The Programme Director leads the development of high quality, innovative programmes that deliver immediate and lasting change for Afghan refugees and vulnerable Iranians countrywide. With support of a technical unit, He/She will ensure that RI programming is of excellent technical quality, attracts significant donor funding and contributes significantly to national / global learning, advocacy and programme development. The Programme Director oversees all technical sectoral advisors (Health, Education, Livelihoods, Protection, Cash and Capacity Building) as well as the Grants and Partnership Manager and the grant specific Programme Managers. He/She oversees the coordination of all aspects related to ongoing programming in Iran, including but not limited to program planning, progress monitoring, reporting, strategic adjustment and risk management. The Program Director will work closely with the CD for the strategic development and management of RI strategy as well as the improvement of the capacity and volume of programmes. As part of the core Senior Management Team, the post holder shall also contribute to the development and review of the organisation’s strategic direction and to its policy formulation. **

Position Responsibilities

Strategic design and delivery

· Contribute to the development, maintenance, and review of strategy and strategic vision for the Country Office.

· Provide overall guidance and direction to the program on achieving agreed targets and strategic objectives for programme unit.

· Lead role in developing program strategies and annual plans ensuring coordination of all technical input to country strategy, proposals and reports.

· Lead on developing standardised programmes and sector log-frames aligned with strategy and partnership strategy.

· Lead on the development of proposals to ensure the continuous delivery of services.

· Contribute to and lead program development efforts by identifying opportunities and working with the country and regional Program Development Team to respond to those opportunities.

· Lead on needs assessments, programme analysis to support annual strategy review and planning process.

· Responsible that programme quality meets at least minimum standards across Iran Response

· Support MEAL in developing a research programme by defining research topics and providing technical oversight to projects

· Assures the Country Office programme is based on data and experience gathered from high quality Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL)

· Ensure that technical staff provide input into proposals and proactively and regularly communicate planned requirements for program design and implementation to relevant Country Office departments/functions

· Develop an annual program budget in line with the country strategy, interfacing closely with all other key departments including finance, HR, operations and security.

· Support advocacy and communications unit with input into technical messaging.

· Identify and evaluate risks and possible threats associated with program activities and take appropriate mitigation measures, in close collaboration with the CD and Internal Control and Compliance unit.

· Active participation in monthly Senior Management Team meetings at country level.

Program Oversight and Monitoring

· Be responsible for the successful, timely and quality implementation of all RI projects and programs in Iran; Ensure activities are on track and define and implement action plans for areas of improvement.

· Ensure Programme Managers oversee budget monitoring for program activities and adopt early measures to address potential diversion from planned spending.

· Ensure close monitoring and documentation of program implementation against indicators and objectives.

· In collaboration with Finance and Grant Management colleagues, oversee all program funds according to established accounting policies and procedures, in-line with RI regulations and donor compliance.

· Ensure that Programme Managers monitor, supervise and approve budgets in terms of expenses, projections, under and over spends, BVA analysis and timely allocations, fully expensing projects as per program documents and logframes and in-line with RI policies and RI’s Program Management Framework.

· Work closely with the Grants & Partnership Manager to ensure donor compliance for RI programs and Partnerships;

· Work closely with the Grants & Partnership Manager and support departments for preparation and submission of technical and program reports as per grant agreements; ensure regular monthly program progress reporting to the regional Program Team;

· Ensure contingency plans are in place and up to date;

· Develop and maintain systems for program operations, in accordance with RI policies and procedures;

· Provide hands on guidance and direction to program staff on all issues related to program implementation.


· Lead on Partnerships policy definition at country level, in line with RI global standards

· Support Grants and Partnership Manager in managing the Partner Agreements, including review of due diligence, analysis and performance

· Ensure RI technical support to Partner Organizations

· Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities

· Conduct periodic review of annual plans with partner organizations to ensure common vision in technical areas

Human Resource Management

· Ensure that the different technical sectors of the Country Office are coordinated, integrated and support each other to optimize programs and projects.

· Directly line manage all Program Managers, Sector Leads and other team members, providing guidance and direction on work planning, priority setting, task management, performance, growth and learning.

· Monitor the recruitment, training and promotion of programme staff to ensure core functions are filled, with focus on nationalisation of positions where feasible.

· Manage the performance of direct reports using RI performance management policies and procedures as well as through appropriate coaching, mentoring, training and development.

· Ensure adherence to and enforcement of HR policies including punctuality, productivity and principles of a professional work environment within the program team with high consistency.

· Provide capacity building and day to day coaching on program management to program staff.

Emergency preparedness and response

· Lead on developing programmes that are adaptive and can respond to humanitarian crisis as and when necessary

· Ensure excellent coordination and cooperation with incoming technical advisors as well as surge teams during emergencies

· Lead on ensuring the appropriate level of technical input into any emergency response

Coordination and external representation

· Support in establishing, maintaining, and improving active and regular working relationships with: partner agencies including humanitarian and development donors, and local and international NGOs.

· Attend meetings with organizations and stakeholders as required and assigned by the CD.

· When necessary, participate in sector coordination groups and identify areas for coordination and collaboration. If delegated, ensure staff representing RI are positively contributing to coordination and representation.

· Keep close relationship with RI donors in country and ensure regular program exchange and sharing of context and program related analysis; Ensure effective advocacy to respond to identified humanitarian needs.

· Maintain effective communication and updating on program activities with CD and other department heads and RI’s regional team.

· Perform other duties as needed and assigned by the CD.

Qualifications & requirements:

This position demands a dynamic individual with a demonstrated ability to achieve results in a demanding and fast paced environment.

· At least 5-year experience in an NGO environment, including experience directing and implementing programs for refugees and host communities in both emergency and development contexts.

· Recognized leadership role and experience in more than one of the Relief International priority sectors: Health, Education, Livelihoods, Protection, WASH, Capacity Building and Emergency Response.

· University Degree (Master’s level preferred) in International Development, Humanitarian Programming or a related discipline.

· Experience in working with key donors, in particular ECHO, DEVCO, SDC, GFFO and UN agencies.

· Experience in working with partner organizations in humanitarian or development settings.

· Superior strategy, project proposal, reporting and technical paper writing skills in English.

· A track record of delivery of multi-year, multi-site programmes with significant budgets.

· Strong management skills (ability to demand results and be decisive, firm and resilient).

· Demonstrated ability to work and manage across multi-functional units.

· Demonstrated ability to create / maintain effective working relations with host country govt. personnel, stakeholders, partners, international donor agencies and colleagues.

· Excellent communication, public speaking, and strategic planning skills.

· Excellent interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, patience and diplomacy.

· Organized and able to independently manage multiple projects under strict deadlines.

· In emergencies, ability and willingness to change work practices and hours, and work with incoming teams

RI Values:

We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence. We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities.

We value:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Agility and innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Sustainability

How to apply

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