Program Director

Relief International, Afghanistan

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
8th November, 2017

Job Description

About RI: Relief International (RI) is a home to teams of humanitarian activist-professionals committed to transforming adversity into renewal for the world’s most vulnerable populations. By partnering with beneficiaries and communities on the front-lines, RI innovatively bridges the gap between immediate relief and long-term community development.

Position summary: This is an opportunity to join an international NGO with a fast-growing portfolio of development and humanitarian programs in Afghanistan. With over 200 staff working in seven provinces, RI Afghanistan is looking for a dynamic individual who can lead program strategy and ensure that our programs are well designed, integrated and implemented, resulting in high quality programs to vulnerable communities in Afghanistan.

Reporting directly to the Country Director (CD), the Program Director is responsible for providing effective leadership and management of RI’s program team in Afghanistan. This includes management of a grants calendar and ensuring that projects and expenses are reaching objectives and are on track, and ensuring accurate, timely and well written reports to RI donors.


Programs Management (40%)

  • Provide day-to-day guidance and support to Program and Project Managers
  • With the Director of Implementation, ensure program quality, with highest standards.
  • Develop and update RI Afghanistan program strategy for the country and regions, aligned with RI’s Global, Regional and Sub-Regional strategies
  • Contribute towards RI Afghanistan security strategy and plan
  • Ensure quality design, check, and approve of project work plans and action plans. Follow up implementation in coordination with the Director of Implementation and Country Director
  • Check and approve Project Manager’s project budget projections in coordination with finance department
  • Regularly visit field offices to meet with the Project teams as security permits
  • In coordination with the Director of Implementation; monitor the implementation of RI’s projects and provide regular and constructive feedback to Project Managers
  • Establish regular meetings with Program and Project Managers, and regular team meetings
  • Ensure regular meetings between program and support departments to improve coordination
  • Ensure Project Managers attend relevant cluster and other coordination meeting and project meet cluster standards where relevant
  • Ensure that projects are monitored regularly with appropriate indicators
  • With the Director of Implementation, ensure that program quality feedback is incorporated into current and future programming, and that lessons learnt events take place for each project
  • In coordination with HR, lead the recruitment for national and international Project Managers and consultants
  • Perform and organize trainings for Project Staff with emphasis on building national staff capacity
  • Ensure that each project has well-ordered and complete project files
  • Oversee all external project evaluations and lead the selection of RI contracted evaluators
  • Ensure that each new project has a procurement plan in line with donor procurement guidelines that is shared and discussed with the logistics department
  • Oversee donor project audits and provide support to financial audits as relevant
  • Provide monthly program dashboard to Country Director

Program Development (30%)

  • Develop assessments in coordination with the program teams
  • Organize contributions by the Program team towards program development efforts, ensuring that program design and targeting, as well as project budget, is in line with the Program strategy, is meeting the assessed and unmet needs, is realistic, and will enable RI to implement high quality programs
  • Ensure that Project Managers and Sector Leads take a lead on project design and substantially contributes to the proposal writing process
  • In coordination with the CD, identifies new funding opportunities, liaises with donors and designs new programs.

Grants Management (20%)

  • Improve grant management tool to ensures tracking of all grants and monitor progress and spending for all grants
  • Ensure that program staff and head of departments are aware of – and comply with – RI and donor policies and guidelines.
  • Ensure project donor reports are systematically reviewed and submitted timely, and that reports are accurate and well written
  • Ensure proper kick-off sessions are held for each new project including support department staff is held for every new project
  • Hold regular meetings with individual Project Managers to discuss progress against deliverables, BVAs, and any changes that may need to be made to the project, including budget changes
  • Lead the preparation, appropriate internal authorization and submission to donor of budget realignments or other project changes, and ensure that changes comply with donor guidelines
  • Organize grant closure meetings and ensure that project documentation is complete and adequately stored

Coordination, Partnership and Collaboration (10%)

  • In coordination with the Country Director, represent and promote RI Afghanistan programs to the donor community, government line ministries, and other stakeholders
  • Ensure that Project Managers liaise with NGOs, UN agencies and donors to have a good understanding of WWW and the work and plans of other organizations and donors in their areas
  • Participate in relevant coordination meetings including clusters
  • Formulate RI Afghanistan partnership framework and oversee RI’s partnerships with local NGOs and CSOs
  • Liaise and coordinate with government on work permission, access and other relevant issues
  • Coordinate with RI’s regional and global offices, as well as the emergency response team on program matters as needed


  • Master degree in development, Asian studies or other relevant discipline
  • Minimum 10 years of experience in management positions in INGOs, 4 of which in senior level positions with multiple reports (including program director or country director); previous experience in Afghanistan strongly preferred; experience working in conflict countries and complex crisis environments; Experience working with diverse donors and in managing multi-sector programs
  • Excellent problem solving skills; solution oriented attitude
  • Excellent staff leadership and management skills;
  • Excellent communication skills, diplomacy and ability to manage sensitive situations;
  • Ability to work in multicultural and rapidly changing environment;
  • Familiarity with donor compliance for major donors;
  • Pro-active;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Budget management skills;
  • English fluency;
  • advanced computer skills;


We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and operational independence. We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities. We value:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Agility and Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Sustainability


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