Head of Programme

Danish Refugee Council, Mali

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
15th March, 2019

Job Description

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has been operational in West Africa since 1998. DRC´s aim is to contribute to the peace and stabilisation, protection and promotion of durable solution to crisis-affected populations in the region. The overall strategic objective of the program is: Support peace and stabilization, protect and promote durable solutions to conflict-affected population on the basis of humanitarian principles and fundamental human rights.

DRC Mali currently implements food security and livelihood projects in northern Mali (cash transfers, community-based protection), protection projects in the central Mopti region (access to services based around child protection, GBV and PSS), and mixed migration/protection for people on the move projects between Bamako and Gao. DRC’s technical unit, DDG, also implements armed violence reduction projects on the border areas between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, and a regional women leadership programme.

About the job

Under the supervision of Country Director, The Head of Program delivers operationally and can strategically drive DRC’s programs in Mali. He/she reports directly to the Country Director and is a member of the Strategic Management Team (SMT).

People Management and internal communication

  • Manage, coordinate and coach members of the programme team, ensuring their professional development and capacity building as needed
  • Oversee and support capacity building for expatriate and national staff on technical issues and program cycle management, based on assessment of the critical program improvement needs of the Mali mission
  • Work in close cooperation with programme and support staff in Mali, and actively seek support, knowledge and coaching as necessary from colleagues in other regions and HQ

Program strategy and business development

  • Ensure the development of sector programme strategy in line with the Mali programme strategy. Guide Programme Coordinators in the implementation of strategies through collaboration and proactive programme development and implementation
  • Develop, disseminate and implement the Mali programme strategy within DRC team
  • Supervise the drafting of project proposals and budgets, ensuring strong cross-departmental coordination between programme and support teams, including field teams, as well as close liaison and timely consultation with RO/HQ.
  • Contribute to the development of a fundraising strategy in line with the Mali programme strategy
  • Establish strong and efficient partnerships with organisations, donors and authorities, in line with the Mali programme strategy and DRC partnership management policy
  • Design, contribute and/or lead assessments for emergency or longer-term programming in existing or new project locations

Quality and accountability of the programs

  • Oversee and support continuous improvement of programme quality standards, including application and harmonisation across field bases
  • Ensure that DRC values and code of conduct are respected and upheld, including through setting a personal example
  • Assess and improve DRC Mali’s accountability measures in accordance with DRC’s global Core Humanitarian Standard commitments
  • In collaboration with the Program Development and Quality Control Manager and MEAL Specialist, ensure that DRC Mali implements high-quality Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEAL) across all projects, including that learning is captured, capitalized and used in program design and implementation
  • Support the grants team in timely submissions of high-quality donor reports.

External relations and representation

Together with Country Director, ensure adequate bilateral representation of DRC with government authorities, donors, UN agencies, humanitarian agencies and other partners in regard to programme and participation in coordination meetings as relevant

About you

  • Experience and technical competencies:
  • Min. 5 years’ experience overseas in complex emergencies, preferably with refugees and/or IDPs
  • Relevant university degree (Master or Post graduate), in international relations and/or development, political science or similar field.
  • Min. 3 years’ experience in staff management and development
  • Good understanding of displacement issues and related international standards/frameworks
  • Strong experience in programme development and proven program development abilities
  • Substantial NGO project management experience, including responsibility for strategy design, staffing, admin/finance management, contract management and donor relations
  • Experience of leading strategic programming and planning, implementation, monitoring and learning
  • Proven track record of negotiating and advocating with government authorities and donors for solutions that serve the needs of beneficiaries, pursuing values of internationally recognized and universal character in a post-conflict context with a strong respect of local culture and tradition
  • Ability to manage a large workload and multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines
  • Team player with excellent communication and strong participatory leadership skills
  • Excellent written and spoken French and English


Experience in a Sahelian country

  • Experience with DRC’s main donors in Mali: Danida, ECHO, SDC, DFID, Europaid
  • In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:
  • Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.
  • Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.
  • Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.
  • Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.
  • Demonstrating integrity: You act in line with DRC’s vision and values.


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