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Danish Refugee Council

Danish Refugee Council


Position: Head of Programme (Maternity Cover)
Job Time: Full-Time
Job Type: Contract
Place of Work: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Posted date: 1 year ago
Deadline: Submition date is over


The Danish Refugee Council (DRC), an international non-governmental organization (NGO), has been providing relief and development services in the Horn of Africa since 1997. DRC promotes and supports solutions to the problems faced by refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), and migrants. The organization has offices across the region and has been operational in Ethiopia since 2009.  With funding from bilateral and multilateral donors, DRC is currently implementing a range of activities across Ethiopia, including WASH and shelter provision, child and youth protection, gender-based violence response, awareness-raising of migration risks, protection monitoring of migration routes, and livelihoods support for returning migrants or those at-risk of migration.


Are you ready for a challenge? Are you looking for a fast-moving and challenging, but fulfilling temporary opportunity within the DRC Ethiopia team? We are looking for someone with substantial program management and leadership experience to oversee the contextually challenging programming in Ethiopia for seven months during 2022. The DRC Ethiopia program is implemented in a challenging context, with conflict and natural disaster-driven displacement, challenging access environment and constantly changing security conditions, and with a growing, complex country program. The interim Head of Programme will join DRC Ethiopia at an interesting time, overseeing high-quality programming across the country, while also overseeing the implementation of restructuring and reprioritization given the evolving context. As part of the SMT and working closely with the CD and HoSS, this role is vital to continue the momentum that has been started in driving our country-level vision and guiding the implementation of area and technical level strategies, with responsibility for rolling out quality assurance across all programs, managing internal restructuring and maintaining the progress made on mentoring, support and staff development. This role is vast, providing technical support and guidance to country operations while overseeing activities in a tense and uncertain environment. An East Africa lens will also be required, considering the potential broader impacts of the dynamics within Ethiopia on the region.  

Due to visa constraints, this may require remote working for significant amounts of time although presence in Addis Ababa would be preferable.

The key functions of this role are to:

  • Ensure the roll-out of the overall programmatic strategy across the entire country operation
  • Ensure the provision of high-quality and relevant technical guidance and oversight to all area offices and partners within DRC’s priority sectors: protection, WASH, shelter/NFIs, multipurpose cash, and livelihoods.
  • Enable and oversee the monitoring and evaluation of activities across the entire country operation
  • Lead and oversee proposal development and fundraising activities
  • Oversee effective grants and project management processes
  • Maintain high standards of internal and external representation


The Head of Program works under the direct supervision of the Country Director based in Addis Ababa and liaises with all programs and operations across Ethiopia. S/he has the following specific responsibilities:

  1. Program Strategy, Management, & Development
    • Contribute to the sustainable management of program growth and quality aligned with the Country and Area strategies
    • Oversee effective, efficient, and timely implementation of all projects according to agreed contracts, budgets, policies and in accordance with specific donor requirements
    • Lead the planning and development of concept papers, proposals, and budgets with support from the country team
    • Provide regular internal and external reports, and other relevant information on program activities, policy matters, and external relations
    • Foster synergies between program areas and support integrated approaches where applicable,
    • Support the Country Director to ensure effective coordination and visibility of the implementation of the projects with all humanitarian and development actors and in advocacy at all levels
  2. Fundraising, Grant proposals writing & reporting processes
    • Lead and oversee the drafting of concept notes, proposals, and donor reports by the program in coordination with support departments in line with DRC HQ/Region and donor requirements. Lead and oversee program design, and quality to assure all proposals and processes are ahead of timely submission.
    • Oversee the work of the program support functions, and accurate and detailed budgeting to make sure timely and coherent budget preparation for all new proposals and budget revisions. 
    • Ensure timely, quality reports and targeted communications are submitted to all donors and relevant internal and external parties in coordination with the Country Director, Regional Office, HQ, and other program stakeholders.  
  3. Program Implementation & Coordination: 
    • Provide oversight, guidance, and leadership to all aspects of program implementation in DRC Ethiopia
    • Collaborate closely with Area Managers and provide daily oversight to programmatic technical needs
    • Participate and contribute to the Grants and BFU meetings ensuring with the HoSS that there is accountability and responsibility being taken appropriately
    • Support the Grants teams with go/no go meetings, kick-off meetings and follow up meetings as required
    • Support the technical teams to provide timely, proactive, and appropriate technical support to program implementation across all area operations, and ensure consistent and standard technical quality across all programs.
  4. Program Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning:
    • Support the MEAL team in the follow up of their road map for 2021-22 and institutionalization of monitoring, tracking, and reporting systems that generate meaningful lesson learning, evidence of impact and provide data for effective programmatic decision making
    • Ensure that all projects have sound monitoring frameworks, contribute to measuring impact, and are in line with DRC’s country strategic plan.
    • Ensure quality programming by coordinating the technical support provided by the Regional Office and HQ and contributing to the development of M&E tools and indicators and other quality improvement initiatives
    • Promote learning and knowledge management within the country program
  5. Program Staff Management and Capacity Building
    • Continue the development of a technically excellent team in accordance with programmatic and country-level strategy.  Develop overall staff competence through leadership, training, and coaching of key technical and management program staff
    • Collaborate closely with the Head of Support Services to ensure a holistic approach to staff support, budget development and internal process and policy development, and a one-team approach to program implementation.
  6. Donor liaison, Partnerships, and Representation
    • As required represent DRC to existing and potential donors
    • Cultivate key relationships that enhance DRC’s visibility and credibility as an implementing partner amongst all agencies
    • Identify local NGOs/partners with whom to cooperate and partner

All DRC roles require the post-holder to master DRC’s 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 our vision and values.  

Required qualifications:

  • At least 7 years of experience in managing complex program operations in humanitarian or development contexts, including 3 years in Senior Management
  • Experience working in complex operating environments, including in conflict affected environments
  • Demonstrated experience and skills in proposal development, budget development, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Ability to think and work strategically and creatively, with attention to detail and experience troubleshooting and problem-solving in complex settings.
  • Proven leadership skills and competence in people management and leading by example
  • Proven experience in effectively coordinating with national governments, and international, and national NGO partners.
  • Proven experience in managing a diverse programme portfolio and comprehensive budget oversight
  • Full professional proficiency in English is required