The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has been working in Burundi since 1996, initially supporting return and reintegration of refugees from Tanzania. Since then, the IRC has expanded its support to Congolese refugees and post-conflict support to Burundians. The IRC has also provided humanitarian response prompted by natural disaster as well as the current political crisis in Burundi. The current portfolio covers a broad range of activities including protection (child protection and GBV) as well as livelihoods and social development programs in vulnerable and underserved areas. IRC Burundi also provides protection and logistical support for UNHCR.
SCOPE OF WORK:
The Country Director for Burundi is responsible for overall leadership and supervisory management of IRC offices and operations in the country, including stewardship of resources, staff safety and security, program quality and accountability, and performance management. The Country Director is IRC’s principal representative to the Burundi government, donors, international organizations, other NGOs and the media. The Country Director is expected to respond effectively to a constantly changing environment and vulnerable host populations with effective humanitarian programs implemented directly and with Burundi partner organizations. The Country Director will lead country program staff in pursuing the outcomes identified in the strategy action plan for 2016-2020, bringing them together to deliver high-quality, cost-effective programming results.
Success in this position requires an individual with exemplary leadership abilities who deploys strong communications and interpersonal skills effectively, both internally and externally. The successful candidate will enjoy developing networks to build partnerships and diversify program resources. Given the operating environment, the Country Director is expected to be attentive to risk management. S/he will be directly responsible for the overall coordination and strategic direction of the country program; providing oversight and coaching for directly supervised senior managers; leading country program teams to identify, design and deliver responsive, high-quality programs; ensuring efficient management of public grants and private funds for results, compliance and focused, timely reporting; and oversight of financial management and compliance systems.
Based in Bujumbura, the Country Director oversees all IRC operations in Burundi. Reporting to the Regional Director, this position receives support from regional and headquarters staff in the areas of program quality, new business development, safety and security management, finance, operations management, and external affairs. The Country Director is additionally expected to actively participate in defining the IRC’s public advocacy positions. The Country Director directly supervises five positions in a country program of approximately 307 staff.
Leadership and Representation
- Lead the country program by maintaining open and professional relations with colleagues, promoting a strong team spirit and providing guidance, oversight and resources to enable staff to perform successfully.
- Develop and carry out strategies that result in strong representation with: Burundian Government authorities at various levels; donors including EC, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, USAID, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, Private Foundations and other international organizations, local NGOs and networks such as the INGO Forum.
- Ensure that the IRC remains a partner of choice for major international donors.
- Develop and maintain a high level of understanding of donor priorities and planned funding.
- Initiate and sustain strong, mutually beneficial and authentic partnerships with Burundian organizations.
- Seek out and pursue opportunities to raise the profile of the work of the IRC and its partners in Burundi, as well as the lives and the needs of the people the IRC seeks to serve.
- Play a leadership role in efforts to improve humanitarian response coordination in Burundi.
- Lead country program collaboration with colleagues in the IRC’s Horn, East Africa and Zimbabwe (HEAZ) to deliver regional programming and advocacy.
Strategic Direction, Program Quality and Growth
- Set the strategic vision and direction of the country program to serve more people with the most responsive and highest quality programming possible, and secure the resources necessary to do so.
- Align programming to the country program strategy action plan, sectoral expertise and technical standards.
- Ensure program quality through consistent use throughout the country program of: rigorous assessment, design, and proposal development and review processes; comprehensive monitoring and evaluation, accountability and learning systems; staff development investments; and partner organization capacity strengthening.
- Remain current on national and regional issues impacting the country program and partners, and develop responsive strategies to ensure the IRC mission can be carried out appropriately in rapidly changing contexts.
- Ensure country program alignment with and involvement in meeting regional objectives.
- Identify opportunities for appropriate expansion and growth of programs, supported by the acquisition and investment of human resources.
- Ensure timely submission of competitive, responsive and high-quality proposals, and support colleagues in negotiations with donors.
Safety and Security Management
- Take primary responsibility for overall management of safety and security for the country program.
- Oversee the management of all security issues, including appropriate response to emergency situations as they arise.
- Create and maintain a culture of safety and security throughout the country program, including trainings and briefings that prepare all country program staff for security incident prevention and response.
- Keep security, evacuation and contingency plans current and accessible to country program staff.
- Maintain close coordination and communication with the Regional Safety and Security Advisor on safety and security concerns and evolving issues that could adversely affect IRC staff or operations.
Staff Performance Management and Development
- Supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely performance feedback, and leading documented semi-annual performance reviews.
- Provide constructive feedback and counsel on appropriate career paths and professional development for IRC staff.
- Oversee the management, coaching and development of national and international staff to build a cadre of skilled, committed and motivated personnel.
- Continue to pursue nationalization of senior management positions.
- Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff.
- Offer leadership support for successful adherence by all staff to IRC’s Global HR Operating Policies and Procedures.
- Work with regional HR staff to identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies.
- Undertake regular reviews of labor and salary markets in Burundi for the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of the IRC’s overall compensation package for national staff.
Stewardship and Operational Management
- Drive operational excellence to achieve optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness in all functions and operations of the country program.
- Oversee the development, deployment and utilization of financial and operational policies, procedures, and systems to deliver compliance with IRC and donor requirements.
- Ensure responsiveness and appropriate levels of in-person and remote support to all offices, especially in the areas of HR, finance and supply chain.
- Provide timely and effective oversight of the Burundi country program’s financial position.
- Maintain effective and coordinated budget monitoring processes for grant funds and discretionary funds.
- Seek opportunities to introduce efficiencies and eliminate redundancies in existing business processes.
- Model and encourage active practice of the principles of the “IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct” throughout the Burundi country program.
- Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among IRC staff and with partner organizations.
- Maintain open communications with regional management staff, regional technical advisors, and HQ departmental staff.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Graduate degree in a relevant field
- At least ten years of progressively responsible international work experience, including at least three years in a leadership role at the Country Director level of multi-site, multi-sectoral operations in a complex operating environment
- Experience of building personal networks at a senior level, resulting in securing new opportunities for the organization
- Demonstrated successful leadership and management experience with a multi-disciplinary team in a cross-cultural setting, including active mentoring and coaching
- Proven experience delivering appropriate levels oversight of a portfolio consisting of a variety of complex, high-value donor-funded projects
- Extensive representation and fundraising success, including prior experience with European, US and international donors
- Experience of managing security in a complex and rapidly changing security context
- Proven ability to negotiate and work with partner organizations. Experience with organizational capacity strengthening and partnership building helpful
- Strong budget and fiscal oversight capacities
- Established capacity to deal with ambiguity in stressful situations
- Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, producing high-quality outcomes
- A keen understanding of political complexities in the Burundi
- Ability to work and live in a sometimes insecure environment while maintaining a positive attitude
This position is based in Bujumbura with an estimated 33% of the Country Director’s time spent in other locations in Burundi and the region.