Regional Emergency Coordinator

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
United States


Job Description

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC is supporting people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities which support them, as well as those who remain within their homes and communities. 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 IRC leads the way from harm to home.

A member of the regional support team, the Regional Emergency Coordinator works closely with countries in the region as well as with the IRC’s Emergency Unit.

The IRC’s Great Lakes Regional Support team

The IRC’s Great Lakes Regional Support team oversees the design, development and implementation of programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Tanzania.  With over 700,000 refugees and 4,000,000 IDPs in the three countries, IRC teams are already working across borders to support those who are displaced, those who are able to return home, as well as the host communities and those unable to flee the multiple conflicts affecting the region. The Great Lakes regional team is working on joining with the teams across the three countries to provide support to the achievement of their priority outcomes and objectives.

The IRC’s Emergency Unit

The IRC’s Emergency Unit leads or oversees IRC’s global emergency preparedness and response activities. The mission of the Emergency Unit is to help meet the immediate survival needs and reduce suffering in conflict or disaster affected populations during the acute phase of an emergency. The Emergency Unit also works in protracted emergencies, where the risk to life may be reduced but the population is still subjected to rights abuses and a lack of basic services. Emergency response is a global mandate of the organization and thus depending on the emergency situation, a response can be led by a country team (default) or the global Emergency Response Team.

The Emergency Unit is also charged with enhancing the IRC’s global and country level emergency preparedness capacity. We do this by supporting the development and training of IRC Country Emergency Teams (CET), assisting in the development of emergency focused partnerships with local civil society organizations, supporting the IRC country teams in emergency preparedness planning, maintaining regional and global capacity to rapidly identify and deploy qualified emergency response personnel.


The Regional Emergency Coordinator (REC) will work within IRC’s Great Lakes Region to realize the IRC’s strategy to be an operational leader in the field of Emergency Preparedness and Response. The REC is charged with supporting and empowering country programs to respond to emergencies chiefly through an intentional and continual investment into Emergency Preparedness.  The REC will spend most of his/her time advancing the IRC’s Emergency Preparedness levels within the Great Lakes Region. Additionally, as country programs launch emergency responses, the REC will provide remote technical support, and in a small number of instances is anticipated to offer short term support in country.

The REC will be situated in IRC’s Great Lakes Region while working closely with the Emergency Unit, country programs, and regional support team colleagues. S/he will report to the Great Lakes Deputy Regional Director and will work closely with the Emergency Unit’s Deputy Director for Emergency Preparedness, the Emergency Preparedness Team and the network of other RECs to assure highly integrated work.


Emergency Preparedness Planning on Country Level

  • Support and facilitate the Emergency Preparedness Planning (EPP) process of IRC country teams in the region’s high-risk countries, supporting the country program with the finalization, feedback process, approval and recurring review processes of the EPP documents as well as follow-up on progress of the country team against the implementation of the Preparedness Action Plan which is part of the EPP. This also includes the facilitation of the EPP workshop.
  • Support and facilitate the process of regularly monitoring emergency triggers and drivers and generating a regional trigger monitoring dashboard.
  • Develop a regional emergency preparedness perspective through analyzing the EPPs from within the region and identifying hazards and threats that could affect neighboring countries and support the development and maintenance of a regional emergency-risk monitoring and preparedness tool. Where required, the REC will also develop a regional approach to risk reduction and/or resilience and facilitate the streamlining and/or implementation of that approach in existing country operations and programs.
  • Support the execution of Emergency Preparedness Rating (EPR) surveys and actively follow up on the results with the Region’s country teams. Provide support to Watchlist country programs in the Region to achieve an EPR score of 3.0 or higher.
  • Support IRC country teams in the region to conduct Real-Time Evaluations (RTE) for country-led emergency responses and ensure that lessons learned from the RTE are proactively fed back into the preparedness process.

 Capacity Building of Staff on Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • Advise and support IRC country teams in the process and procedure to identify and select appropriate and motivated staff for the Country Emergency Teams (CET).
  • Support the continuous assessment of emergency response capacity and competency needs of CET staff and assistin the corresponding development of capacity and competency building tools and training resources necessary for setting up effective and efficient emergency response teams
  • Administrate, support and facilitate the delivery of emergency response capacity strengthening and technical training workshops to CET staff and assist IRC country teams in the development of efficient and effective CETs.
  • Support country program CETs in the development of emergency related capacity strengthening plans and support and monitor the implementation of these plans. This includes connecting country teams with appropriate internal and external emergency preparedness training resources and opportunities. 
  • Provide input to the Emergency Unit’s Senior Emergency Preparedness Coordinator into the process of further development and improvement of capacity and competency development tools and resources across the organization.

Partnership Development

The IRC’s new strategy places emphasis on the establishing and development of partnerships with local civil society organizations (CSOs). In this, the IRC will clearly move away from primarily sub-contracting out elements of program implementation to a partnership model that centers on actually investing in CSO partners to help them strengthen their own emergency response capacities. The REC will be instrumental in building relationships around shared objectives and vision - rather than only focusing on project and partners’ performance.

  • Support the IRC country teams in the process of evaluating and selecting potential CSO partners in high risk countries and support the establishing, developing and maintaining of these partnerships with a particular focus on partnering / collaboration in emergencies.
  • When needed, provide coordination and co-operation support to country teams and CSO partners during an emergency response.
  • Provide input to the Emergency Unit’s Senior Coordinator for Emergency Preparedness Capacity Strengthening into the process of emergency response training tools and resources and manage the delivery of such trainings to IRC partner organizations in collaboration with the country team.
  • In collaboration with the IRC country teams, support established CSO partners with on-going, tailored, targeted support to help ensure effective application of emergency response skills.

In countries where the IRC does not have a presence but has established partner organizations, the REC will be the lead in supporting partners in their emergency preparedness and response activities.


Emergency Response Support

Working closely with regional leadership and other members of the regional support team, the REC will provide technicalsupport to country teams as they launch emergency responses. The REC will encourage the realization of response plans developed as a part of their emergency preparedness work.  The REC will, for the most part, provide remote support to CETs; and in a small number of instances can travel in country to provide hands on support and leadership in the setting up of an emergency response. 

The advisory support may include, but is not limited to the following components:

  • Advise and support country programs with collating the required data to request an emergency classification and provide follow up with the Emergency Unit if necessary.
  • Advise and support country programs with speedy setup of an emergency response through reviewing proposals for emergency funding requests from crisis response fund (CRF) and other IRC emergency funding mechanisms or supporting the development of response strategies.
  • Advise country programs with regard to the activation of specific emergency protocols.
  • Advise and support country programs in the deployment of their CET.
  • Assist country teams in liaising with the Emergency Unit with regard to specific support for country-led emergency responses. E.g. in case of a shortage of deployable response staff on country level, the REC will support the country team to request support from the IRC’s Emergency Response Team or Emergency Roster.
  • Upon request, advise and assist local partner organizations in the setting up of an emergency response.


Position Reports to: Deputy Regional Director, Great Lakes Region

Position directly supervises:  n/a

Indirect Reporting: Deputy Director for Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Unit


  • Prior hands-on field experience and proven track record in:

o   humanitarian staff competency and capacity strengthening

o   emergency preparedness planning and programs

o   establishing and developing partnerships with local civil society organizations based on shared objectives and visions and through investing into CSO partners’ capacity strengthening

o   organizing and facilitating training / capacity strengthening workshops

o   emergency response and emergency coordination

  • University degree in human resources, international development or related field, Masters degree preferred, equivalent work experience will be considered.
  • Proven abilities in developing and implementing new structures and processes including building support and consensus across departments and delivering on timelines.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills in English and French. 
  • Previous experience in international humanitarian aid or development required, particularly within the region.
  • Able and willing to undertake significant travel within the region to potentially insecure environments.


For more information on this and other positions with the IRC, please visit our website at

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply