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Ethiopia: Head of Program

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: Danish Refugee Council
Country: Ethiopia
Closing date: 30 Jun 2017


DRC has been providing relief and development services in the Horn of Africa since 1997 and initially focused assisting those who are displaced by conflict, but now works with all those in the region impacted by displacement. DRC has offices across the region, and has been working in Ethiopia in 2009 and Djibouti since earlier in 2015 to address the needs of refugees, IDPs, and migrants in or transiting those countries. DRC has offices in Djibouti-Ville, Ali-Sabieh, and Obock, and implements projects in three refugee camps across Djibouti.

​DRC has been providing relief and development services in the Horn of Africa and Yemen since 1997 and initially focused assisting those who are displaced by conflict in Somalia, but now works with those in the region impacted by forced displacement. DRC has offices across the region, and opened its first office in Ethiopia in 2009, and the program overseen in Addis Ababa now covers nine offices spread across Ethiopia and Djibouti (Gambella town, Itang, Dimma, Dollo Ado, Jijiga, Shire, Djibouti Ville, Ali Sabieh, and Markazi) to address the needs of refugees, IDPs, and migrants in transit.

​In Ethiopia, DRC has been in the forefront of responding to the refugee influx from South Sudan into the Gambella region, primarily by providing water and shelter to refugees in camps, and also through livelihoods and protection programming. DRC has been increasingly strengthening its profile in particular in the protection programming in Gambella region over the last 6 months. DRC Ethiopia also has activities in Dollo Ado and Jijiga in eastern Ethiopia to assist Somali refugees and host communities there, and has earlier this year opened an office in Shire to respond to the needs of Eritrean refugees. DRC’s work in Djibouti began with its registration in April 2015 and addresses a wide range of challenges raised by the displacement to and through that country, including mixed migratory flows heading to the Middle East, Yemeni refugees fleeing conflict, and protracted Somali refugees in Djibouti for two decades or more.

​**Job profile**

The Head of Program is responsible for the overall quality and delivery of DRCs program across five established areas of operation in Ethiopia and Djibouti (Tigray, Gambella and Somali Regions in Ethiopia & Djibouti) with a significant contribution expected to the conceptualization, technical support and implementation of emergency and start up projects in all other areas of Ethiopia. The HoP will play a vital role as a member of the SMT and be active in high level and strategic decision-making while ensuring outputs in line with the programs country priorities and DRCs mandate.

Key responsibilities

Program Strategy & Development

  • Participate in country level strategic planning and contribute to the sustainable management of program growth with an eye towards program growth and development.
  • Contribute to the conceptualization and evolution of the country strategy, develop/define the country programming in a collaborative way ensuring program appropriateness and accountability among the country program team.
  • Collaborate closely with senior management staff in the development and design of innovative initiatives to drive new program development in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti in accordance with DRC’s assistance framework
  • Foster synergies between program areas (integrated approach), support the strong integration of protection and gender throughout all humanitarian initiatives and ensure adherence to Sphere standards or any other international standards when relevant
  • Lead assessment and rapid response in any humanitarian situation, with written report and recommendation to initiate and setup relevant emergency projects if a response is decided on.
  • Advocate for DRC’s program in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti with government, donors and humanitarian stakeholders, in cluster meetings, workshops, conferences and in other relevant fora.

​*Program Implementation & Coordination*

  • Provide oversight, guidance and leadership to all aspects of program implementation in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti.
  • In a frequent context of remote management, provide daily oversight to programmatic needs and collaborate closely with the country logistics, finance and administrative teams, as well as the grants management team.
  • With the Logistics and Finance teams, continually evaluate current methodologies and policies, determine their effectiveness and provide suggestions on ways to improve compliance, and to ensure program and organizational success.
  • Ensure effective and transparent budget follow up, planning and use of financial resources in compliance with DRC and donor policies and priorities.
  • Lead Area Managers in compiling and developing work plans and achieving benchmarks for program activities including spending plans and burn rates.
  • Effectively stay abreast of donor policies, procedures, rules and regulations; and train DRC program staff in these policies.

​***Program Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning***

  • Design and ensure the implementation of effective and participatory program monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning strategies at all levels of the DRC’s program in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti
  • Ensure that all projects 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
  • Identify, propose, test and roll-out of new monitoring and evaluation approaches and methods
  • Promote learning and knowledge management within the country program
  • Document lessons learned and best practices for dissemination within DRC country and Region teams, to donors and to other stakeholders when relevant in order ensure synergetic programming and cross-program collaboration in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti and in the whole region
  • Supervise monitoring and evaluation of the operations to ensure the overall implementation is in accordance with agreed work plans, donor agreements and humanitarian accountability framework
  • Develop appropriate monitoring, tracking and reporting systems, tools and templates that enhance monitoring of program outputs and quality, generate quality evidence on program impact and promote and ensure use of data for decision-making processes/ program adjustments.

​***Fundraising, Grant proposals writing & reporting processes***

  • Pursue funding opportunities in all DRC areas of competence and coordinate the capacities of the program managers and SMT to identify and materialize opportunities.
  • Trigger and oversee the drafting of concept notes, proposals and donor reports by program managers (including budgets for cost-related activities) in coordination with departments in line with DRC HQ/Region and donor requirements
  • Ensure timely and targeted communication and information flow to all relevant internal and external parties in coordination with the Country Director, Regional Office, HQ and other program stakeholders to remain informed about program achievements.

​***Program staff Management and Capacity Building***

  • Effectively manage program teams, including where applicable, international and national managers, specialists and technical experts, coordinators, officers, located at sites throughout the country with an emphasis on excellence, promoting a culture of cooperation, learning, creativity and innovation.
  • Develop Job descriptions/Terms of Reference, lead and or contribute to recruitment processes and the induction and/or orientation of new staff.
  • Development of overall staff competence through leadership, training and coaching of technical and management key program staff.
  • Conduct annual staff performance reviews.
  • Collaborate closely with the Head of Finance and Administration (HoFA) to allocate funding for staff development, performance management and team building processes.

​***Donor liaison, Partnerships and Representation***

  • As required represent DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti program to existing and potential donors
  • Cultivate key relationships that enhance DRC’s visibility, credibility and notoriety in DRC Ethiopia/Djibouti
  • Identify local NGOs/partners to cooperate


Works under the direct supervision of the Country Director based in Addis Ababa, and liaises with all program and operations across Ethiopia and Djibouti.



  • Master’s degree in International Development and/or Humanitarian Assistance, Project Management, Humanitarian Assistance, Human Rights, Social Sciences or any other related field
  • Over 8 years of progressively responsible experience in program management, leadership and design in different countries,
  • At least 5 years of experience in managing program operations, including 2 years minimum at country senior management level and at least 2 years in this region
  • Demonstrate experience and skill in proposal development, budget development, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • Proven experience in effectively coordinating with national governments, international and national NGO partners.


  • Experience working within an INGO, and most preferably previous successful experience with DRC.
  • Proven experience in managing Emergency/Non-Emergency integrated programs as well as developing community-based protection and/or education-related programs
  • Fluency in French


Contract: Two Years. Other employment conditions in accordance with the Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Global Expatriates recruited by the East Africa and Yemen Regional Office. This position is rated as A9 on the DRC salary scale available at

​*Availability:* ASAP

​*Duty Station:* Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with frequent travel across Ethiopia and Djibouti or elsewhere in the region, as needed. Note that this is an unaccompanied position. Accommodations will be provided in Addis Ababa for this position, but will arranged by the incumbent with support from DRC upon arrival in the region.

​General Commitments: DRC has a Humanitarian Accountability Framework, outlining its global accountability commitments. All staff are required to contribute to the achievement of this framework.

​For general information about the Danish Refugee Council, please consult

How to apply:

Application and CV

Interested candidates who meet the required qualifications and experience are invited to submit updated CV and cover letter explaining their motivation and why they are suited for the post.

We only accept applications sent via our online-application form on under Vacancies.

Please forward the application and CV, in English through the online application on under vacancies no later than 30 June 2017.

​If you have questions or are facing problems with the online application process, please contact

For general information about the Danish Refugee Council, please consult