Head of Programme

Danish Refugee Council, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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

Job Description

The Head of Programme is responsible for the overall quality and delivery of DRCs programme across seven established areas of operation in Ethiopia and Djibouti (Tigray, Gambella and Somali Regions in Ethiopia & Djibouti) with a significant contribution expected to the conceptualization, technical support and implementation of development, emergency and “nexus” projects. The HoP will play a vital role as a member of the SMT and will drive the overall country-level vision, mission and objectives, and guide implementation of area- and technical level strategies.  S/he will be active in high level and strategic decision-making, collaborating closely with the Head of Support Services and Country Director, ensuring outputs are in line with the programmes country priorities, DRCs mandate and according to DRC policies and systems.

About the job: The Head of Porgramme works under the direct supervision of the Country Director based in Addis Ababa, and liaises with all program and operations across Ethiopia and Djibouti. Moreover, she/he has the following responsibilities:

Program Strategy & Development:

  • Participate in country level strategic planning and contribute to the sustainable management of program growth with an eye towards program growth and development.
  • Contribute to the conceptualization and evolution of the country strategy, develop/define the country programming in a collaborative way ensuring program appropriateness and accountability among the country program team.
  • Collaborate closely with senior management staff in the development and design of innovative initiatives to drive new program development in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti in accordance with DRC’s assistance framework
  • Foster synergies between program areas (integrated approach), support the strong integration of protection and gender throughout all humanitarian initiatives and ensure adherence to Sphere standards or any other international standards when relevant
  • Lead assessment and rapid response in any humanitarian situation, with written report and recommendation to initiate and setup relevant emergency projects if a response is decided.
  • Advocate for DRC’s program in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti with government, donors and humanitarian stakeholders, in cluster meetings, workshops, conferences and in other relevant fora.

Program Implementation & Coordination:

  • Provide oversight, guidance and leadership to all aspects of program implementation in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti.
  • In a frequent context of remote management, provide daily oversight to programmatic needs and collaborate closely with the country logistics, finance and administrative teams, as well as the grants management team.
  • With the Logistics and Finance teams, continually evaluate current methodologies and policies, determine their effectiveness and provide suggestions on ways to improve compliance, and to ensure program and organizational success.
  • Ensure effective and transparent budget follow up, planning and use of financial resources in compliance with DRC and donor policies and priorities.
  • Lead Area Managers in compiling and developing work plans and achieving benchmarks for program activities including spending plans and burn rates.
  • Effectively stay abreast of donor policies, procedures, rules and regulations; and train DRC program staff in these policies

Program Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning:

  • Design and ensure the implementation of effective and participatory program monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning strategies at all levels of the DRC’s program in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti
  • Ensure that all projects contribute to measuring impact and are in line with DRC’s country strategic plan.
  • Ensure quality programming by coordinating the technical support provided by the Regional Office and HQ and contributing to the development of M&E tools and indicators and other quality improvement initiatives
  • Identify, propose, test and roll-out of new monitoring and evaluation approaches and methods
  • Promote learning and knowledge management within the country program
  • Document lessons learned and best practices for dissemination within DRC country and Region teams, to donors and to other stakeholders when relevant in order ensure synergetic programming and cross-program collaboration in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti and in the whole region
  • Supervise monitoring and evaluation of the operations to ensure the overall implementation is in accordance with agreed work plans, donor agreements and humanitarian accountability framework
  • Develop appropriate monitoring, tracking and reporting systems, tools and templates that enhance monitoring of program outputs and quality, generate quality evidence on program impact and promote and ensure use of data for decision-making processes/ program adjustments.

Fundraising, Grant proposals writing & reporting processes:

  • Pursue funding opportunities in all DRC areas of competence and coordinate the capacities of the program managers and SMT to identify and materialize opportunities in alignment with country and regional strategies
  • Trigger and oversee the drafting of concept notes, proposals and donor reports by program managers (including budgets for cost-related activities) in coordination with departments in line with DRC HQ/Region and donor requirements
  • Ensure timely and targeted communication and information flow to all relevant internal and external parties in coordination with the Country Director, Regional Office, HQ and other program stakeholders to remain informed about program achievements

Program staff Management and Capacity Building:

  • Effectively manage program teams, including where applicable, international and national managers, specialists and technical experts, coordinators, officers, located at sites throughout the country with an emphasis on excellence, promoting a culture of cooperation, learning, creativity and innovation.
  • Develop Job descriptions/Terms of Reference, lead and or contribute to recruitment processes and the induction and/or orientation of new staff.
  • Development of overall staff competence through leadership, training and coaching of technical and management key program staff
  • Conduct annual staff performance reviews
  • Collaborate closely with the Head of Support Services to allocate funding for staff development, performance management and team building processes.

Donor liaison, Partnerships and Representation:

  • As required represent DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti program to existing and potential donors
  • Cultivate key relationships that enhance DRC’s visibility, credibility and notoriety in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti
  • Identify local NGOs/partners to cooperate

About you


  • Master's degree in International Development and/or Humanitarian Assistance, Project Management, Humanitarian Assistance, Human Rights, Social Sciences or any other related
  • Over 8 years of progressively responsible experience in program management, leadership and design in different countries,
  • At least 5 years of experience in managing program operations, including 2 years minimum at country senior management level and at least 2 years in this region
  • Demonstrate experience and skill in proposal development, budget development, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • Proven experience in effectively coordinating with national governments, international and national NGO partners.
  • Proven experience in managing a diverse program portfolio, particularly in protection programming integrated with WASH, livelihoods, in development and emergencies contexts
  • Full professional proficiency in English


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