Head of Programme

Danish Refugee Council, Afghanistan

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th November, 2019

Job Description

Danish Refugee Council, one of the world’s leading humanitarian NGOs, is currently looking for a highly qualified who will play a key role in leading DRC-DDG strategic direction in Afghanistan and ensuring programme coherence with DRC’s global strategy. The DRC Head of Programme will be responsible for liaison/representation with the local authorities and UN authorities in the areas of strategies, policies and advocacy, under the guidance of the Country Director and in coordination with the DRC-DDG Afghanistan SMT

About the job

The role of the Head of Programme (HoP) is to contribute and coordinate the development of the DRC Afghanistan country strategy and coordinate the technical design of new programme proposals and budgets, in close collaboration with the Mine Action head of Programme and the DCD and Area Managers. The HoP also oversees the technical programme unit that provides the DCD and Area Managers responsible for grant delivery, with the technical tools, training and oversight to support the quality implementation of the country portfolio. As part of this drive for quality, the HoP also line manages the MEAL team, to enable close monitoring of the effectiveness of DRC’s programming in line will country, regional and global strategies. The HoP is a part of the senior management team (SMT), providing input to the overall DRC/DDG country operation.

Your main duties and responsibilities will be:

Direct staff management:

Ensure that technical coordinators, specialists and managers under HoP line management have clear and realistic performance-based management goals.
Provide on-going support and coaching, and ensure that line managed staff have necessary capacity to fulfil their responsibilities.
When delegated responsibility for centrally-delivered activities by the Deputy Country Director (DCD), draft and/or review scopes of work to hire and manage technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget

Programme Strategy and Development:

Under the leadership of the CD and in close coordination with the Mine Action HoP and DCD and other senior staff as required, the DRC Head of Programme will play a key role in leading DRC’s strategic direction in Afghanistan and ensuring programme coherence with DRC’s global strategy.

Tasks include:

  • As a key pillar of the overall country strategy, develop/define/update the country programming strategy designing process in a collaborative way in order to ensure program appropriateness and accountability among the country program team.
  • Write/Review and monitor the Programme Strategy document based upon a clear needs/evidence-driven approach, DRC’s core expertise and a large stakeholders’ analysis
  • Keep abreast key conflict and displacement trends in Afghanistan
  • Identify key developments and trends in displacement response in country and position the organisation to best deal with these
  • Advocate about DRC’s program in Afghanistan with government, donors and humanitarian stakeholders, in cluster meetings, workshops, conferences and in other relevant fora
  • Ensure that the key regional and global frameworks are contextualised and applied in the country programme context and ensure that staff understand these,
  • In collaboration with DCD and Mine Action HoP, contributing in fundraising and donor contract management.

Representation, Coordination and Stakeholder management:

  • The DRC Head of Programme will be responsible for liaison/representation with the local authorities and UN authorities at Kabul level in the areas of strategies, policies and advocacy, under the guidance of the Country Director and in coordination with the Mien Action HoP and DCD. Tasks include:
  • Representing or delegating appropriate staff to represent DRC at relevant and senior forums/ meetings,
  • Ensuring sector coordinators and other Country Office staff are adequately prepared to represent DRC and report back
  • Maintaining agreed profile of DRC at country level
  • Conducting regular stakeholder analyses to ensure that DRC has good understanding of dynamics/ relationships
  • Engaging in, and where effective, leading coordination processes amongst key stakeholders.

Advocacy and communication: To lead the Afghanistan team’s advocacy in all DRC-DDG key messages. 

Tasks include:

  • To prepare and implement an advocacy and communication strategy,
  • Guiding and coach staff to advocate clearly, appropriately and strategically.
  • Rollout of communication messages from the globe relevant to country programme
  • Overseeing communication activities including journalist visits, website updates etc. via the Comms Officer

About you

To be successful in this role, we expect you to be a positive, strategic thinker with a proven track record of developing effective initiatives, programmes, and impact. You can effectively communicate, advocate and lead the multi-sector coordinators in guiding programme operations. You are an effective people manager and enjoy working with teams of committed staff to build collaboration and capacity within the Afghanistan programmes.

Moreover, we also expect the following:


  • MA in Social Sciences or equivalent discipline (e.g. political science, international development, or economics)
  • At least 5 years of proven experience with programme management as a senior Manager in humanitarian/recovery context
  • Proven experience in managing large multi sectorial programs
  • Proven experience in proposal development and representation
  • Experience working with donors and external relations
  • Strong on liaison and networking with national stakeholders, both on a national and local level.
  • Strong leadership skills and proven result related to the position’s responsibilities, including project management and people management.
  • Proven ability to mentor and coach others. Staff management is important in this position.
  • Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy.
  • We are looking for a strategic thinker that is able to handle high pressure environment and manage conflict.
  • Desired
  • Flexibility – in getting the job done, and the capacity and willingness to be flexible and accomodating in difficult and insecure circumsntances.
  • Respect – in regard to your colleagues and their field of expertise and work day.
  • Openness and transparency – when working with national and local partners
  • A mindset of collaboration and coordination – in regard to working with related partners and institutions such as other NGOs and the UN.
  • Trust building, respectful and collaborative towards beneficiaries.

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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