Syria – Head of Mission At COOPI – Cooperazione Internazionale

COOPI is looking for a Head of Mission in Syria

COOPI has been active with its humanitarian action in Syria (Damascus) since 2016 and it’s currently implementing the following programs: Food Security and LivelihoodWaSH and Protection in South and North Syria and funded by different donors (UNHCR, OCHA and AICS).In 2017, COOPI started the implementation of an emergency program supporting FLS and WASH in south-western Damascus. In 2018, FSL intervention has been extended in Eastern Rural Damascus, where COOPI established a collective kitchen for hot meals distribution. The same year, COOPI opened first community center in Aleppo to provide an integrated package of protection services. In 2019 COOPI established second community center in Aleppo city and expanded protection activities integrated with FSL and WASH intervention in Rural Damascus. In 2020, COOPI has expanded its FSL and Protection assistance in Dar’a and Aleppo western countryside. In 2021 COOPI delivered assistance to the most vulnerable families in Raqqa and food vouchers in the South.

Role Purpose

The Head of Mission (HoM) provides leadership and strategic direction of COOPI’s operations in Syria, in collaboration with the Regional Coordinator, and is responsible for the implementation and development of the country programme in line with COOPI’s organisational and country strategy, policies and procedures. The HoM is also responsible for the management and capacity building of the staff, securing donor funding and to represent the organisation to the government, donors, and other appropriate bodies – including clusters, UN agencies and the media. The HoM reports directly to the Regional Coordinator. The position is based in Damascus (with regular filed visits, when needed and possible).



  • Strategy and planning: S/he verifies and proposes to the Regional Coordinator the intervention priorities to consolidate the organization’s opportunity to be more involved in the country. S/he contributes to the definition of the Country Strategy in collaboration with the Regional Coordinator and proposes the country planning (projects and coordination).
  • Programme extension: S/he coordinates the elaboration, writing and documents’ preparation for presenting new projects, referring to the Regional Coordinator and the headquarters support offices.
  • Country registration: S/he ensure the maintenance of the registration of COOPI in Damascus, in collaboration with the Country Administrator and the national staff;
  • Visibility: S/he cooperates with the Communication and Fund-Raising office for all communication, awareness and fund raising activities implemented in and for the country.
  • S/he coordinates and monitors the projects, guaranteeing the correct implementation in conformity with the contractual obligations and donors’ procedures, and in line with COOPI’s procedures and management standards.

Administration and Finance

  • Economic and financial management: S/he is responsible for the country’s economic result. S/he supervises the financial management in collaboration with the Country Administrator and ensures – through the administrative function – that all financial reporting deadlines and donor/COOPI’s procedures are respected. S/he participates to the projects/coordination budget preparation. S/he has the signature for all COOPI’s bank accounts in the country.


  • Country office management: S/he is responsible for all different aspects related to the country office management: economic and financial situation, local regulations, office organization charts, logistics, local and expatriate personnel management, in conformity with the organization’s guidelines. S/he guarantees the respect of the country’s legislation and administrative regulation.
  • Safety and security: S/he is responsible for the expatriate staff security, for the correct implementation and respect of the general security rules.

Human resources

  • Staff management: S/he is responsible for the local staff management. S/he participates and supports the Regional Coordinator and the Human Resources office in the selection of the expatriate staff. S/he coordinates and monitors the country’s expatriate staff management.


  • S/he is responsible to supervise the preparation of projects reports and all the monitoring documents requested by the central headquarters and by the donors.
  • S/he ensures the transmission of all official and administrative project documents to the central headquarters.

Institutional Relations

  • Institutional relations: S/he manages relations with the main institutional donors for the ongoing projects. S/he represents COOPI in the country/area by engaging in relations with institutions, NGOs, local and international organizations and partners to guarantee the quality implementation of the projects. S/he also is responsible of the organization’s reputation in country.



  • Advanced degree in International Development, Business administration, Social Science or Law. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • Minimum 5 years experience in the humanitarian field and in a similar position, with a track record of success and results achieved;
  • Experience of working on one or more among the main donors, with priority to ECHO, UNHCR, AICS, OCHA, USAID-FFP and WFP;
  • Experience of working within an insecure environment with responsibility for security planning, monitoring and management;
  • Experience in managing expatriate staff and mission with more than 50 staff members.


  • Ability to manage a humanitarian programme;
  • Ability to organize a mission in a comprehensive way (logistics, programme, reporting, staff management);
  • Ability to conduct sectorial analysis and to understand and transform into possible proposal the policies and strategies of the donors;
  • Ability to organize and supervise a complex team;
  • Ability to organize work efficiently and deliver assignments in a timely manner often under time constraints;
  • Projects proposals writing.

Soft skills

  • Strong analytical and practical problem-solving skills;
  • Institutional relations management and cultural context understanding;
  • Strong supervisory abilities, and demonstrated capacity of teamwork and of coordination with the relevant actors;
  • Strong analytical and practical problem-solving skills;
  • Very good inter-personal and writing communication skills;
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English;
  • Computer literacy, with high proficiency in the use of standard office software applications (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint).


  • Knowledge of Arabic will be an asset;
  • Previous experience with an international humanitarian NGO in a similar context will be an asset;

We reserve the right to close the vacancy prior to the application closing date, once a sufficient number of applications have been received.

Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) is an Italian humanitarian non-governmental organization founded in Milan in 1965. COOPI aims to help the world’s poorest to improve their access to healthcare, food, and financial security, and to overcome their special vulnerability to wars, civil conflicts and natural disasters. For more than 50 years of long-term support and constant presence in the field, COOPI has been engaged in breaking the cycle of poverty and responding to specific emergencies in numerous sectors, including Food Security, Humanitarian Aid, Health, Socio-Economical Services, Water and Sanitation, Human Rights, Education and Training, Migrations and Sustainable Energy.

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