The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Today, 13.4 million people in Syria – more than half of the country’s population – are in need of humanitarian assistance with needs increasingly being exacerbated by economic decline. Of these, 6.8 million are refugees and asylum-seekers who have fled the country. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.
IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 1000+ staff in Syria Country Program. IRC is undertaking programs in Syria and the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan in the fields of health, child protection, early childhood development, education, women’s protection and empowerment, non-food items and food distribution, cash assistance, water and sanitation, protection and rule of law, and livelihood programming. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding and coordination.
IRC Syria country programme has recently united under one leadership for the entire Syria response. Under this structure one DDP is holding the S100 and SAP IP for the entire country programme and two Senior programme Coordinators oversee direct daily implementation in the two hubs (NES and NWS).
Working under the direction of the Deputy Director of Programs (DDP), the Quality & Strategy Specialist will be responsible for ensuring the completion of special initiatives meant to improve our programmatic quality, our ability to learn, and our alignment with the Syria Country Program’s strategic direction (S100 SAP). This will involve supporting the country program in institutionalizing the IRC’s IMPACT Standards and directly supporting strategic planning, fundraising, communications, and program quality efforts. S/he must be able to motivate and lead a diverse staff as well as effectively manage strategic projects, collaborations between departments, and budgets. The Quality & Strategy Specialist is based in Amman, with 30% of time expected travel to field sites.
• Drive processes related to the Syria Country Programme strategy including: S100 update, dissemination to teams, SAP IP and regular commitments tracking with selected teams.
• Lead specific commitments in the SAP-IP to ensure activities are completed and behavior change occurs.
• Work with TUs, the IMPACT team and other strategy/quality teams at HQ level to support the country team in understanding IMPACT and S100 tools including driving trainings/ deep dives and consultation sessions based on team’s needs and discussions with DDP
• Support and encourage a culture of learning from program data, client data, and mistakes. Help busy colleagues across sites and sectors make it feel easier to take a step back and find big or small ways to improve quality
• Being present in all Program design discussions and make sure qualitative elements are included in new designs and tools are developed, disseminated and ready to act on them (gender and diversity analyses, accessibility and inclusivity considerations, a “why not partner” view, etc.)
• Together with programs teams, prepare a plan to support partners in selected quality initiatives (which should be included in proposals and later on acted upon if approved)
• Attend donor’s meeting based on need to highlight on IRC Syria quality initiatives and evidence based /data driven program designs
• Work with the MEAL CO and team to push forward quality initiatives related to measurement and client responsiveness and make sure they are applied to programs – including making sure program teams are appropriately trained to be able to deliver. Work with program teams and MEAL Co to help them react to and change behaviors / activities based on the data they collect
• Support Ops, Finance and HR team in understanding their role in SAP IP selected quality initiatives
• Work with TU and selected team to push forward concretely on GEDI initiatives prioritized in SAP IP
• Build the capacity of IRC staff on selected quality initiatives based on need identified with DDP
• Prepare a workplan for quality related actions prioritized in the SAP IP and support in appropriate spending of U1055 dedicated budget
• University degree and 5-7 years’ experience in humanitarian or development programs or management, or in a field relevant to IRC’s work;
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively manage a variety of multi-level relationships in a multicultural environment;
• Demonstrated experience managing projects with stakeholders and team members without direct managerial oversight;
• Excellent project management skills, including organization and attention to detail;
• Excellent written communications and ability to develop simple and accessible communications materials;
• The ability to work productively and accurately while under pressure in a fast-paced, demanding environment;
• Comfort understanding when to handle problems independently and when they should be flagged to leadership;
• Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues in ‘remote’ and distant, diverse teams;
• A flexible work attitude, meaning the ability to work in a team environment or independently, and the ability to meet unexpected demands;
• Ability to prioritize effectively;
• Mastery of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
• Master’s degree valued but not required
• Long-term career interest in humanitarian or development program management and/or strategy/quality
• Previous experience with an INGO
• Strong familiarity with IRC processes a plus
• The ability to work (read and write) in Arabic a plus
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:
• A commitment to IRC’s mission, vision, values and IRC Way – Professional Code of Conduct.
• Credible written, presentation and verbal communication skills; ability to convey information effectively and solid experience providing training and staff development
• Validated sense of professional discretion, integrity, and ability to handle complex situations diplomatically and to effective resolution.
• Excellent management and interpersonal skills and a solid ability to promote harmonious/cohesive teamwork, in a cross-cultural context.
• Validated ability to plan long-term, organize priorities and work under administrative and programmatic pressures with detail orientation and professional patience.
• Highly collaborative and resourceful; ability to establish positive working relationships with senior level management and all other partners to maximize cooperation and productivity.
• Curiosity, a desire to continually learn and develop and a sense of humor is a must.
• Analytical ability in creating effective solutions to complex matters while adhering to labor laws and internal policies.
• English is required
• Travel: 30% to field sites in NES and Turkey as well as attending regional and global workshops and meetings.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: DDP Syria
Position directly supervises: None
Indirect Reporting (If applicable): None
Key Internal Contacts: Sn Programme COs, Technical COs, Grants CO, MEAL CO, Partnership CO, SMT, RO team, Technical units
Professional Standards: IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability and Equality. In accordance with these values, IRC operates and carries out policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Respect at Work Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
Returning National Candidates: We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a citizen of the Country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Middle East Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply. IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs.
Accountability to Clients: IRC staff must adhere to the commitment of contributing to the sustainability and development of its (CR) Client Responsiveness Mechanisms, preserving the culture of prioritizing the needs of our clients and affected communities by systematically listening to their perspectives and using their feedback to make programmatic decisions and give them greater influence over program design and delivery.
Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.
Diversity and Inclusion: at IRC MENA, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. Organizations that are diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, nationality, and perspective are validated to be better organizations. More importantly, creating a safe workspace environment where everyone, from any background, can do their best is the right thing to do. So, bring your whole self to work.