Refugee Response Director

World Vision, Uganda

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
7th July, 2020

Job Description


The Refugee Response Director (RD) has primary responsibility for directing the Response program from strategy to implementation, inclusive of performance, oversight and all other aspects of the program. The RD will develop and maintain an efficient, cohesive team, whilst ensuring effective coordination and relationships with other agencies, officials, beneficiaries, donors, media and all areas of the National Office (and the wider WV Partnership). The purpose of this position is to create a sustainable Refugee Response program which will link current humanitarian response programming with long term development initiatives, and in the process become the flagship refugee focused program within the

World Vision Partnership.

World Vision’s Refugee Response program commenced in Uganda in January 2014. With the mass influx of South Sudanese refugees, the program was upgraded to a WV Category III Global Response in May 2017. In March 2020 the program was re-designated as a Sustained Humanitarian Response (SHR) and officially reintegrated under the World Vision Uganda National Office. The FY20 Refugee Response budget is circa USD 23m (cash and in-kind) and there are approximately 285 staff operating on the program. Currently major program activities revolve around food security (WVU is one of the main partners of WFP), child protection and livelihoods.

The main Refugee Response program is located in Arua Uganda, and it is anticipated that the RD will be based in this location. The RD would be expected to travel regularly to the field and to Kampala. The role is a constituent part of the WVU Senior Leadership Team (SLT).



  • Develop and monitor implementation of response strategy and ensure full integration of Response-related objectives in new WVU National Office strategy (and visa-versa).
  • All new funding opportunities are only given a "Go" decision if they are in alignment with the Response program strategy.
  • New Response program strategy is fully integrated into the WVU National Office strategy (including alignment to CWB outcomes) and is aligned with the Our Promise global strategy, UNHCR Refugee Response Plan (RRP) and Government of Uganda (CRRF) plan for refugees.
  • Ensure team buy-in for any strategic decisions related to the Response program made by relevant stakeholders (WVU SLT, WVU Board, Partnership Executive Team etc.).
  • Strategy implementation is regularly monitored and high quality progress reports are shared with key stakeholders.
  • Contingency and preparedness plans are in place (and regularly reviewed) in the case of changes in the context.
  • Quarterly representation of Refugee Response in quarterly WVU board committee meetings and full WVU board meeting.
  • Monthly Sitrep and Quarterly Management report developed and submitted in a timely manner.


  • Continue to lead the process of integration of the Response program into the WVU National Office, so that there is full integration by the end of Q1 FY21.
  • By Q2 FY21, ensure full integration of procurement, ICT, P&C, M&E, communications and finance into National Office structures.
  • Build a team culture which is responsive and professional, but also highly supportive of National Office integration.
  • As new development oriented programs commence in FY21 and beyond, the RD will actively work with the National Office Operations Division in order to ensure an appropriate integrated structure is effectively developed to meet the needs of WVU.
  • RD will actively continue representing Response program issues in the SLT.


  • Ensue the Response program structure is adequately designed and appropriately resourced to fulfill strategic and operational goals.
  • Clear Response program structure is in place and approved by the ND.
  • Response program is properly staffed to achieve the objectives of the Response program strategy (whilst recognizing funding realities).
  • Performance management system, capacity building and staff care systems in place to ensure that staff are enabled to effectively perform their responsibilities.
  • Lead team/individual development and provide direction and support as needed to enable effective performance.
  • Contribute to NO capacity building in the area of emergency response and “nexus” programming in coordination with NO leadership and People & Culture (P&C).
  • Communicate integration plans to Response staff effectively. Ensure strong team buy-in.
  • Oversee recruitment of direct reports in line with standard WVU recruitment policy and practice.
  • Ensure defined accountabilities are in place for each function.
  • Staff are adequately informed of policies and decisions which affect them.
  • Encourage and lead a strong culture of Performance Management in the Response program.
  • Ensure staff well-being by working towards adequate office and accommodation standards, team building activities, etc. (but within available resources).
  • Continue to raise awareness about WVs safeguarding and sexual harassment policies, and follow-up on disciplinary issues as needed.
  • Ensure adequate internal communications mechanisms are in place to allow policies, information and decisions to be effectively shared with staff as appropriate.


  • Implement Response program in accordance with WV & international standards.
  • Ensure that accessible beneficiary feedback and accountability mechanisms are established and functioning.
  • Monitor and identify risks to program quality and coordinate (and sometimes raise) resources to address them.
  • Ensure that all programs are implemented, monitored and evaluated according to set plans, and that agreements with donors, SOs and other stakeholders are adhered to.
  • Programs are implemented in a manner that has a measurable impact on the wellbeing of the beneficiaries, while also meeting donor agreements.
  • Management decisions on program implementation are properly informed by analysis of the context, risk factors, program implementation and beneficiary feedback.
  • Lessons learned exercises undertaken in order to support continual improvement of this and future response programs.
  • Ensure risks that prevent the achievement of quality objectives are reported and rapidly addressed.
  • Information management system is established to facilitate decision making and reporting.
  • Innovative programs and processes are facilitated/resourced within the Response program and documented for future use.


  • Initiate resourcing mechanisms and ensure financial and material (in-kind) resources are managed according to WV standards, donor and Support Office (SO) agreements.
  • Response has adequate financial and material resources to achieve its objectives. Should resources prove inadequate, plans are adjusted accordingly.
  • Response program funding and materials are managed in compliance with WV and external donor standards/policies as well as specific agreements with SOs.
  • Ensure that program/project audits are planned and conducted as per WV audit regulations and donor requirements, and that audit recommendations are effectively implemented in a timely fashion.
  • Make Go/ No-Go decisions on grant opportunities.
  • Ensure appropriate donor engagement and communication is in place at all levels.


  • Oversee Response program security planning and implementation in order to ensure staff and organizational security.
  • Staff security is properly managed to ensure effective operations.
  • Core security requirements are met.
  • Response program collaborates with other agencies to ensure operational safety and security.
  • Facilitate inter-agency coordination for information sharing and intelligence sharing.

External Engagement:

  • External stakeholders are actively and purposely engaged in order to raise World Vision's profile and increase impact, income and influence.
  • Actively and purposely engage key stakeholders (government (OPM, Ministries)), multilateral agencies (UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, FAO, UNDP, World Bank), donors and support offices in formal and informal venues.
  • Work closely with the GAM team to engage donors for increased funding and improved donor relationships.
  • Position WVU as a leader in Uganda's Refugee Response by playing an active role in the INGO Refugee Response Network.
  • Lead all Refugee Response related advocacy work (in coordination with WVU Advocacy department).
  • Work closely with WVU Communications in order to ensure development and dissemination of top quality resources.
  • Liaise with advocacy, communications & external engagement teams to ensure strong alignment of external profile with WVI.


  • A minimum of 5-7 years in leadership role in the humanitarian assistance/international development sector, with a significant portion of this in INGOs.
  • 5 years’ experience in humanitarian assistance work.
  • Demonstrated understanding of key humanitarian principles, standards and best practices.
  • Master’s degree in relevant field, and/or equivalent experience.
  • Intensive experience in leading a multi-cultural team of professionals.
  • Experience working in a cross-cultural environment.
  • Experience working in fragile contexts with few facilities.
  • Experience in engaging with governmental institutions and multilateral agencies.
  • Experience in managing humanitarian operations that facilitate innovation and calculated risk taking.
  • Experience in serving as an organizational spokesperson to media and other external audiences.
  • Effective in written and verbal communication in English.

Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Experience:

  • Experience in program management and implementation of multi-sectoral emergency response projects.
  • Understanding of the international humanitarian system, particularly the systems, structures and key actors.
  • Understanding of the key accountabilities that must be maintained in a response (beneficiaries, donors, peers).
  • Ability to lead strategic planning processes.
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written) with ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong team leadership skills.
  • Emotional intelligence (self-awareness, managing emotions and those of others, remaining calm/composed, dealing with ambiguity and change).
  • Ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders as well as staff.
  • Ability to work in coordination with other humanitarian organizations.
  • Ability to analyze and make decisions in challenging situations in the absence of specific guidance and/or full information.
  • Ability to communicate and model to staff positive behaviors which help them remain resilient and effective in dynamic and high pressure environments.

Work Environment/Travel:

  • The position requires ability and willingness to travel domestically and sometimes internationally for up to 50% of the time.
  • Work hours are often in excess of 12 hours per day during difficult periods of the Response.
  • Whilst currently stable, the context could potentially change, which may disrupt normal work patterns and generate staff safety issues.
  • Work and housing environments may at times be below normal standards in terms of facilities, equipment, food availability and hygiene.


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