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 works with 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 combined two decades of economic mismanagement, a drop in oil prices, deterioration of democratic institutions has resulted in a humanitarian crisis inside Venezuela. Insecurity has manifested following protests in April 2017 against the president and his government, particularly for failing to address the growing inflation rate which lead to large-scale food insecurity. The demonstrations were initially peaceful but grew in severity of violence as time passed. Venezuela’s economic devastation worsened in the last half of 2017. This caused a massive migration of Venezuelans into neighboring Colombia in search of affordable food, medicine and work. The number of Venezuelans living in Colombia has increased to more than 550,000 people.
Cúcuta is the capital of Northern Santander department (Norte de Santander), it is a major access point for Venezuelans’ coming into Colombia. It is also located in one of the regions of the country most affected by a number of pre-existing stressors including: armed groups; drug cultivation, processing, and trafficking; trafficking of goods/people across the border; high unemployment and natural disasters. This complicated dynamic in Cúcuta goes back decades and has nearly exhausted the capacity of the Colombian government to respond to the needs of its citizens in the region.
In response, the IRC’s Emergency Unit has launched emergency programming in Colombia, focusing on an integrated response involving child protection, women’s protection and empowerment activities, primary and reproductive healthcare, and cash transfer programming. The IRC is in the process of delivering these and future activities directly in Colombia, and in partnership with local civil society organizations in Venezuela.
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 Colombia and Venezuela. Working under the direction of the Country Director (CD), the DDP is responsible for overall program direction and implementation within the program framework, government policies and strategies, and in compliance with donor regulations, specifically in the areas of a) grant management b) program development and implementation c) day-to-day representation with line donor agencies and local and international stakeholders, d) Monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning.
The DDP will spearhead the development of the Country Strategic Plan and also be responsible for supervising the Health, Child Protection, Women’s Protection and Empowerment, Economic Recovery and Development and Grants Coordinator. This position will work closely and collaboratively with the different departments within the country program, the IRC technical advisors and the IRC Emergency Unit.
The DDP will be based in Cucuta, Colombia, with occasional travel to Bogota for donor meetings and regional travel as necessary.
Program Strategy, Design and Fundraising
- Lead the operationalization of the current IRC Colombia and Venezuela response strategy and actively engage in strategic planning processes for the longer term.
- Ensure, with Coordinators, and HQ-based Technical Unit staff, that project design of projects reflects IRC program quality standards and industry best practices.
- Lead efforts for sustainable program growth, proactively identifying opportunities for new programming initiatives and emphasizing multi-year funding to support them.
- Provide leadership support to the program and grants teams to develop competitive, evidence-based and cost-effective funding applications.
- Provide guidance, strategies and tools to ensure that program choices are based on needs assessment findings (primary & secondary data) and analysis, input from communities, a thorough understanding of context, technical best practices, and operational viability.
- Formulate integrated program initiatives so that technical sectors complement each other and promote mainstreaming of protection principles and gender-responsive approaches.
Program Management - Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation
- Provide overall leadership and management of IRC Colombia and Venezuela program portfolio, ensuring strategically coherent program direction, well-managed growth, and compliance with IRC and donor regulations.
- Continually seek out ways to build the capacities of the program team members, individually and collectively.
- Ensure that detailed, realistic and feasible project implementation plans are developed, and modified as needed, in collaboration with the Program Coordinators and Operations team.
- Coordinate with other members of the Senior Management Team on appropriate management, compliance and performance standards, as well as effective systems for budget management, knowledge management and risk management.
- Support programming staff to collect, document and disseminate lessons learned and best practices, incorporating these into new project designs.
- With program staff, develop effective and appropriate M&E plans, including methodologies and tools to strengthen the quality of data collection, analysis and reporting.
- Review M&E and accountability data with program staff to identify and address areas for operational improvement.
- Provide strategic direction in terms of development of a funding strategy, widening and strengthening donor base, ensuring quality grants management, ensuring compliance with donor requirements, ensuring quality information management related to programs/ grants, and supporting directly in all aspects of the proposal development and reporting processes.
- Supervise all internal, external and reporting with programs and finance, ensuring high-quality, well-written and timely reports meeting donor and IRC and partner requirements; conduct thorough reviews and/or revisions of all external reports compiled by the Grants Coordinator.
- Ensure that Program Coordinators and Grants Senior Manager conduct routine monitoring visits to implementation sites to ensure donor compliance and quality program implementation.
- Coordinate with the Program Coordinators and Grants and Finance teams to ensure sound budget management, expense control and timely contractual documentation.
- Support the Grants Senior Manager to lead Grant Opening and Grant Closing Meetings with all relevant department and units and to ensure they take place on time. Also ensure that programming staff are well trained to properly manage project budgets.
- Ensure that the program coordinators review BvAs on a regular basis; provide leadership and management support to ensure effective monthly grant review meetings.
- Mitigate any potential risk by collaborating with the Finance Department to ensure that programming staff fully understand financial and administrative processes involved in project budget cycles.
External Representation and Advocacy
- Develop a sound understanding of the IRC's programs to be able to professionally represent the IRC to implementing partners, the government and donors;
- Assist the Country Director developing strong relationships with donors, assisting with visits and in the development of appropriate advocacy actions;
- Forge and maintain solid cooperation with partner organizations through regular communication, cooperation and, where appropriate, joint decision-making.
- Act as the focal point for program-related communication between IRC country programs in the region and worldwide offices.
- Identify funding opportunities and track them in collaboration with the technical teams.
- Oversee programmatic inputs to advocacy efforts both in-country and globally.
Staff Management and Development
- Provide guidance and supervision to the technical coordinators as well as the grants senior manager and the Venezuela Partnership Liaison, discuss job expectations, set objectives and provide appropriate and timely feedback on performance of direct reports, including timely implementation of performance management system.
- Create a supervisory environment focused on the achievement of team and individual results that emphasizes the importance of learning, productivity, accountability and openness
- Adhere to IRC's performance management system, providing regular, timely and thoughtful coaching, feedback, performance assessment, and professional development for all direct reports, while making sure that they do the same for their direct reports.
- Build capacities of programming staff in key project management principles, tools and approaches and ensure that these new skills are utilized on the job.
- Manage recruitment, hiring and development of high-performing national staff to assume greater levels of responsibility.
- Provide leadership support for the successful implementation of and adherence to the IRC Global HR Operating Policies and Procedures.
· Master's degree in Development Studies, International Relations, Social Sciences or a similar field;
· Minimum eight years of management experience working in a humanitarian or development setting with a minimum of five years of INGO program management experience.
· Experience in managing protection, ERD and/or health, and experience working in partnership with local organizations, is strongly desired.
· Proven ability to develop winning proposals to public and private-sector donors;
· Familiarity and experience with US and European, donors;
· Previous experience managing programs financed by US government agencies, DFID, EU, foundations and private donors a must, with previous experience in competitive environments a plus.
· Proven ability to manage projects to completion on time, within budget, and with the anticipated results.
· Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, producing high-quality outcomes.
· Demonstrated successful leadership experience with a multi-disciplinary team in a cross-cultural setting, including active mentoring and coaching. Strong leadership, motivational and team-building skills;
· Proven fluency in English and Spanish a must
Working Environment: DDP will be provided with individual accommodation. Some local and regional travel expected.
Level of Language Proficiency
Minimum Education Required