Program Manager / Head of Mission

from Netherlands Red Cross
Closing date: 26 Oct 2017

We help to strengthen resilience of vulnerable people exposed to hazards and crisis situations and we respond to disasters and conflicts to save lives and alleviate suffering. In the Netherlands with more than thirty thousand volunteers and internationally through technical assistance, supplies and money. Together we act before, during and after disasters to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people.

We do this without regards to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinion. Our seven principles guide our humanitarian work: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

The International Assistance department is responsible for all Netherlands Red Cross international support for victims of disasters and conflicts and for vulnerable people exposed to hazards.

The International Assistance department has opened a vacancy for a Program Manager / Head of Mission.

Position title: Program Manager / Head of Mission

Duty station: Sint Maarten (Dutch Caribbean)

Time period: 12 months

Starting Date: mid November 2017

Status: Single posting

Purpose of the position

The main purpose of the position is to strengthen the branch and assist in the setup of long term recovery programming.


The Red Cross branch on the island of Sint Maarten is part of the Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) and has an established role in the Sint Maarten emergency support framework. In order to facilitate the roll-out of longer term and large scale projects, the Sint Maarten branch will also need to be strengthened and the number of volunteers expanded.

Following the devastating impacts of category 5 hurricane IRMA on the 6th of September 2017, NLRC started to organize relief efforts, focusing on food and water distribution, as well as other distribution of non-food items. A team of approx. 70 people (volunteers and paid staff) has coordinated Red Cross efforts in the areas of WASH, Restoring Family Links, health, shelter, mapping of the most vulnerable area’s and conducting assessments. Based on the assessment results discussions with the Government of St Maarten are still ongoing.

NLRC is currently in the transition to early recovery and longer term programmes on Sint Maarten. Most likely the focus will be on shelter recovery, vector control and hygiene awareness. To facilitate the local economy, which will probably see a decline due to the loss of tourism, programming will also focus on voucher or cash based systems as much as possible. Other focus areas include school-based programmes and targeting the most vulnerable population, which includes a large number of undocumented migrants.

According to the NLRC strategy the recovery programme will focus on increasing the resilience of beneficiaries and focus on building back better to avoid or reduce future disaster impacts. This approach takes into account the adaptation to climate change and climate variability. Increased resilience focuses on the building blocks of increased capacity of people to anticipate, adapt, respond and transform.

Position in the organization

The Program Manager reports into the NLRC Partnership Program Coordinator (PPC) for St Maarten under the supervision of the Director of the NLRC and the Head of International.

The Program Manager works together in day to day operations with the Manager of Red Cross St Maarten (RC SXM) and the Volunteer Manager. Until the board of the RC SXM is fully operational the Program Manager is accountable for the NLRCoperation on SXM.

Summary statement and responsibilities

Programme Management and long term portfolio development of RC SXM:

  1. Develop and implement program interventions related to the IRMA recovery phase on St Maarten
    • To coordinate the overall project portfolio related to IRMA response and recovery on Sint Maarten;
  • Effective, efficient and sustainable overall programme management based on resilience building of local communities;

  • To lead the management team consisting of local branch manager and volunteer manager (vacancy) and senior technical staff (delegates);

  • Line manager for international technical project delegates and local branch manager;

  • Establish efficient cooperation with other important stakeholders on the island like local government, NGO’s, schools etc;

  • Represent NLRC together with the local branch manager in relevant meetings, workshops, conferences etc;

  • Responsible for the (monthly, quarterly and annual) planning, budgeting, programming and monitoring and review of milestones;

  • Assume overall responsibility of programming and control of financial administration including regularly checking of bank reconciliations and regular financial monitoring throughout the implementation of projects;

  • To explore local/regional/international funding opportunities jointly with the manager of RC SXM and the PPC and drafting a funding scheme for coming years;

  • Conduct monitoring visits and internal evaluations when requested or necessary;

  • Ensure project design and implementation is done in line with NLRC policy and strategy;

  • Manage the inventory and proper maintenance of equipment and assets.

  1. Capacity Building together with the branch manager and the board of RC SXM:
    • Develop a long term strategy for the branch and identify areas in which NLRC can provide support;
  • Formulate a capacity development plan, based on a baseline assessment, or Branch Organisational Capacity Assessment (BOCA);

  • Define the focus and strengthening of relevant capacities of RC SXM through training, coaching, workshops, etc.

  • Develop stakeholder management approach and capabilities aimed at maintenance of effective working relationships with government agencies, Dutch government and international organisations.

  1. Involvement in the formation of new Board of RC St Maarten, manage new governance process together with remaining board members and the PPC under supervision of CEO NLRC and the Head of International according the IFRC principles of good governance.

  2. To participate -upon request- in the RC’s humanitarian response in case of a disaster (natural or man-made) in the island or in the region.


Key qualifications

  • Proven experience in working in recovery programmes with local partner and volunteer organisations preferably within the Red Cross Movement.

  • Knowledge of the Caribbean context and awareness of the local Government structures in St. Maarten in relation to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

  • Experience with strategy development, strategic planning and its translation into concrete action.

  • Proven experience with management of staff and delegates.

  • Knowledge and experience of finance management, budgeting and cost control procedures.

  • University Degree

  • Proven experience in longer-term programme design and management and its relevant tools (such as the Logical Framework Approach)

  • Fluency in written and spoken English; Understanding of Dutch is preferred

  • Understanding of and commitment to NLRC mission, values and programming approaches, Red Cross Fundamental Principles and code of conduct

    Key competencies

  • Proven managerial skills to lead a team of delegates and local staff

  • Communication skills with strong interpersonal and coaching skills

  • Demonstrated orientation on results, process, and people

  • Diplomatic skills and proven track record in stakeholder management

  • High level of patience as well as cultural sensitivity

  • Skills in Microsoft Office applications

    We offer

  • A full time appointment (based on 40-hour work week) for 1 year, with the possibility of extension.

  • A flexible and human centered working environment in an international environment with a variety of international organizations.

  • Well balanced employment conditions with space for initiative and development.

How to apply:


Please send your resume in English and letter of motivation with reference to Annemieke van Teeffelen before 26 October 2017 to:

For more information about the position, you can contact Marion van der Reijden at

The first interviews will take place in the week van 29 October 2017.

An initial assessment of candidates short-listed is part of the selection procedure.

For more information of the work of the Netherlands Red Cross please go to and NLRC on Facebook: and Twitter:

Acquisition for this vacancy will not be appreciated