Head of Programmes

Danish Refugee Council, Yangon, Myanmar

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
31st January, 2018

Job Description

We are looking for an experienced candidate to fill the role of Head of Programmes for DRC in Myanmar.

Who are we?

DRC has been responding in Myamar since 2009, as both DRC and since June 2012 broadened its presence via the Danish Demining Group (DDG) - DRC’s division for Mine Action. DRC is currently engaged in responses in Rakhine, Kachin, Kayah and Northern Shan.

DRC's response is targeting displaced and displacement affected communities and other vulnerable communities in some of the most deprived areas of Myanmar. Key activities include protection (including Child Protection, GBV and Protection Monitoring), CCCM, WASH, Livelihoods, shelter and mine action.

DRC/DDG Myanmar currently employs over 280 national, 24 international staff and operates from six operational offices. DRC’s main office is in Yangon; the main donors of DRC in Myanmar include ECHO, OFDA, UNICEF, UNHCR, DANIDA, SDC, DFAT, LIFT, USAID, DFID, EC and private donors

About the job

The Head of Programmes manages the Programmes Unit in Yangon and coordinates closely with Programme Managers in each of the field sites, along with technical staff to:

  • Ensure the Myanmar Country programme portfolio is executed on time, on budget and delivers the expected outputs, outcomes and impact
  • Ensure strategic coherence and vision of the whole country programme, based on active participation in the drafting of the DRC/DDG Strategic Programme Document and as part of the Senior Management Team
  • Ensure a strong and consistent DRC technical representation in the Yangon based Humanitarian Architecture (clusters, technical working groups, ad-hoc programmatic groups, etc.)
  • Ensure DRC maintains and builds strategic relations with our current and potential donors (formal and informal communications)

The Head of Programmes role is based in Yangon, with regular travel and field visits a key part of the role.

The position reports directly to the DRC Country Director, is a key role on the Senior Management team and expected to act as Country Director in during gaps or absences.

Specific duties and responsibilities

The duties include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Participate in the development of Country Wide SPD, ensuring inputs from all field programmes
  • Build upon the SPD to develop a DRC/DDG appeal and associated fundraising strategy
  • Participate in preparation and finalisation of strategic documents, annual reviews etc.
  • Ensure that DRC programming across States is coherent and anchored in national technical strategies (HMA, LLH, Protection, WASH, Shelter etc.)

Programme Management

  • Ensure close liaison on programmatic issues with the current programme donors beyond contractual reporting requirements.
  • Work with Programme Managers and Grants Officer to ensure that a detailed implementation plan is completed at the beginning of any project. This will include output / outcome milestones, expenditure plans and detailed procurement plans.
  • Ensure that implementation plans are monitored, respected and or adjusted through support to Programme Managers to implement quarterly project review meetings.
  • Ensure that relevant projects and activities gather and analyse robust evidence to substantiate project outcomes and results, and can inform future activities and humanitarian advocacy.
  • Facilitate new projects and partnership development with the Progamme Managers and technical teams.
  • Facilitate coordination of country wide multi sector/multi state projects
  • Ensure Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan is up to date and coherent across the country programme.


  • Lead the Programmes Unit, directly managing Grants Management Office, IM Specialist and protection Coordinator
  • Plan centralised support to field teams according to programmatic and sectoral needs
  • Liaise closely and ensure strong communication with Programme Managers in all 4 field sites to support and oversee programme implementation, including regular field visits.
  • Cover Country Director post during periods of absence.


  • Ensure close liaison on programmatic issues with the current programme donors beyond contractual reporting requirements.
  • Coordinate the gathering and sharing of information on existing and emerging donor opportunities.
  • Work with Grants Managers and field teams for finalising and submission of proposals for funding opportunities

Recruitment / Human Resources / Training: Support the Programme Manager with the recruitment of expat staff and senior national staff for the field bases. Conduct second interviews as appropriate.

Finance, Procurement and Administration

  • Liaise with HOFA and Operations Coordinator to ensure practical systems and tools are in place, which meet both the needs and expectations of the programme teams as well as the operations teams to ensure effective programme implementation monitoring.
  • Review and authorise procurement documentation, contracts etc. according to the delegation of responsibility under the IDRA.

Coordination and Representation

  • Ensure DRC maintains and builds strong strategic relations with all humanitarian and development donors in Myanmar.
  • Coordinate DRCs strategic presence in the relevant clusters and other coordination groups in Yangon to ensure that the critical issues raised on the bases are effectively and proactively tabled in Yangon.
  • Work with the CD to ensure that key humanitarian issues are well documented and grounded in programmatic evidence and addressed in official and unofficial coordination bodies (HCT, Humanitarian Breakfast, HOMs group, CDs meetings on Kachin/Rakhine/NSS, INGO forum etc.
  • Maintain close working relations with Head of Programme or equivalent counterparts of national and international humanitarian and or development agencies in Yangon

Cross cutting

  • Oversee the development and roll out of an M&E system across the bases in coordination with IM specialist and M+E Coordinator
  • Work closely with technical specialists to ensure specific strategies for protection, and livelihoods are finalised and updated.
  • Work closely with the CD on an evidence based advocacy strategy
  • Liaise closely with Danish Demining Group colleagues to ensure coherent and complementary programmes
  • Ensure implementation of agreed CHS across the programmes and bases

About you

To be successful in this role the ideal candidate has:

  • Min. 7 years’ experience overseas in complex emergencies, preferably working on displacement issues (experience with IDP settings an advantage)
  • Min 5 years management experience, of which at least 3 should include management of a portfolio of programmes across multiple sectors and locations.
  • Experience of managing large teams of expatriate and national staff
  • Good understanding of displacement issues and related international standards/frameworks
  • Strong experience in programme development and proven program development abilities with key donors
  • Proven experience of representing externally to key stakeholders, including donors, embassies and clusters.
  • Experience of leading strategic programming and planning processes
  • Experience of managing systems and tools to oversee complex project portfolios across different sectors and locations as well as within consortiums
  • Relevant University Degree, Masters or post-graduate in international relations, Humanitarian Programs Management, degree, political science, international development and/or similar field
  • Ability to live and work under pressure in a rapidly changing and sometimes insecure environment
  • Team player with excellent communication and strong participatory leadership skills


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