The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is one of the world’s leading humanitarian relief and development organizations. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people survive, recover and regain control over their lives. Working in more than 40 countries, the IRC is helping to restore hope and opportunity to millions of people. In Sierra Leone the IRC has been implementing projects since 1999 beginning at the height of the civil war and continues to assist vulnerable communities throughout the country to this day. Since the start of its implementation in Sierra Leone, the IRC has reached over two million beneficiaries.
The position of Deputy Director of Programs (DDP) is a member of the Senior Management Team and is integral to the successful implementation of IRC’s programs in Sierra Leone. Working under the direction of the Country Director (CD), the DDP is responsible for overall program leadership in the areas of strategic programming and planning, ensuring program quality, promoting strategic growth and strong external and internal representation and advocacy. S/he must be able to motivate and lead a diverse staff as well as effectively manage programs, partnerships and budgets. This position oversees the program team responsible for the implementation of programs, as well as the Grants and MEAL coordinators. The DDP is based in Freetown, with frequent travel to all IRC field sites in the country.
Program Design and Coordination
• Lead program design initiatives drawing on evaluations, lessons learned and identified beneficiary needs in collaboration with Technical Coordinators.
• Support the Grants team and Technical Coordinators to write high-quality proposals, meeting identified needs and Donor requirements.
• Promote the use and understanding of IRC’s IMPACT standards and Outcome and Evidence Framework across the project cycle.
• Ensure issues of gender equality and protection mainstreaming are integrated into program design.
• Identify opportunities to diversify the IRC Sierra Leone Country Program’s portfolio working in collaboration with the Grants Unit, Technical Coordinators and Technical Advisors, as well as regional business development colleagues.
• With support from the Country Director, lead the implementation/operationalization of key actions from the Business Development Strategy.
• Work with the senior management team to develop/ revise the operational budget for the fiscal year based on relevant situational parameters including a detailed pipeline analysis.
• In collaboration with supply chain and finance functions, support Technical Coordinators to develop and update item forecasts, spending plans, and M&E frameworks monthly/as needed.
• With support from the Country Director, ensure spending is monitored in a timely manner and corrective actions are taken by relevant units as needed.
• With support from the Country Director, support the Technical Coordinators and Grants Coordinator to conduct effective Project Cycle Management meetings, ensuring preparation is done in advance, and follow-up actions are implemented in a timely manner.
• In collaboration with the Grants Coordinator and Technical Coordinators, ensure that quality Donor reports are generated and submitted to headquarters and donors in a timely manner, ensuring programmatic review and inputs on all reports ahead of submission.
• Maintain strong working relationships with Technical Units and Technical Advisors to ensure adequate remote and in-country support in line with country office needs and strategic direction.
• Ensure the Country Program adheres to IRC’s Global partnership policy, Partnership Excellence for Effectiveness and Results System (PEERS).
• Support the identification of strategic partnerships and foster strong relationships, including providing capacity-building support as needed.
Strategic Action Plan (SAP)
• Ensure all country program colleagues are familiar with the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and that all programs are in line with IRC Sierra Leone’s strategy.
• Follow up on SAP – implementation plan (SAP-IP) actions with key focal points identified in the plan.
• Develop and manage the FY24 SAP budget for the country program, ensuring expenses are reviewed and re-forecasted on a monthly basis.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, Learning and Client Responsiveness
• Ensure all projects have monitoring and evaluation plans in place from the outset, which are reviewed at regular intervals.
• Support the M&E Coordinator to ensure the M&E team stays up to date on IRC M&E practices through regular communication with the Regional Measurement and Action Coordinator (RMAC) and training on the MEAL handbook.
• Ensure adequate budgeting of M&E, accountability and learning activities in all proposals.
• Support the MEAL Coordinator and Client Responsiveness Manager to roll out Client Response Mechanisms in line with the Client Responsiveness and Safeguarding Mechanisms SOP.
Staff management and Human Resources
• Directly supervise senior program and technical staff- Technical Coordinators and Managers for Health, Women and Girls Protection and Empowerment (WGPE), Education, M&E Coordinator, Senior Grants Coordinator, Safeguarding Manager and Partnership Coordinator.
• With support from the Country Director and Technical Advisors, conduct regular 1:1 meetings with direct reports to receive updates on activities and set key actions.
• With support from the Country Director, conduct bi-monthly Program Coordination Meetings with program leads.
• With Support from the Country Director, set performance objectives and provide regular and constructive feedback for direct reports.
• Support the Country Director to initiate coordination/Country Leadership Group meetings bringing together program, finance, operations and field sector leads.
• Work with HR to identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies respecting principles of diversity, equality and inclusion.
• Maintain open communications with regional management staff, regional technical advisors, and HQ departmental staff.
Advocacy and Communications
• Assist the Country Director to represent the IRC with donors and government institutions, at interagency meetings, conferences, seminars or other events.
• Lead and contribute to advocacy efforts on relevant sectoral policies and on programmatic issues.
• Lead the development and updating of informational materials such as brochures, fact sheets, articles, posters, audio-visual materials, etc. to promote the work of IRC among various stakeholders and constituencies, in particular donors, international organizations, NGOs, and IRC headquarters.
• Working in collaboration with HQ communications team, ensure that the Sierra Leone page on the IRC Global website is updated.
• In coordination with the Country Director and the SMT, ensure an effective communication mechanism is in place to facilitate access to information by all staff to enhance inclusive participation and empowering work environment.
Ethics and Integrity
• Adhere to and act in accordance with the IRC Way (code of conduct) and other IRC Safeguarding policies and procedures.
• Support the IRC’s Ethics and Compliance Unit (ECU) and IRC Sierra Leone Country Director to ensure that complaints are handled according to policies and procedures.
• Ensure all partners under a sub-award contract adhere to their safeguarding policies and procedures and meet donor minimum requirements/standards.
• Contribute to the effective leadership of the country program as an active member of IRC Sierra Leone Senior Management Team and Country Leadership Group.
• Encourage constructive and productive relationships between program staff and operations, finance and field staff.
• Master’s degree in relevant field (Development Studies, Social Sciences, International Relations, etc).
• Six to eight years of experience, preferably in relief/development work with management and supervisory responsibilities in program, administration at senior management level.
• Experience working with and coordinating with donors including EU, ECHO, foundation donors, UN, USG, FCDO, USAID etc. and knowledge of specific donor guidelines and priorities.
• Demonstrated excellence in proposal and report development and writing.
• Demonstrated excellence in human resource management, particularly in a multi-cultural environment, including techniques for staff development, training, motivation, and discipline.
• Strong team and people leadership, management, organizational and development skills.
• Demonstrated excellence in multi-tasking, time management, and flexibility.
• Direct experience in building the capacity of national NGOs and working with local partners including a clear understanding of NGO capacity building.
• Demonstrated skills and experience working within INGO finance, security and operational frameworks.
• Knowledge of best practices in project design, implementation and community participation techniques.
• Ability to take the initiative and proven ability to work creatively, innovatively and effectively to make decisions with limited direct supervision.
• Knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software programs.
• Excellent analytical, writing skills and fluency in English.
Professional Standards: The IRC and IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we value diversity at our organization. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, age, marital status, veteran status, disability status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment.