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Head of Rakhine Programs

from Relief International
Closing date: 14 Oct 2018

Job Title: Head of Rakhine Programs

Location: Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar (with travel frequent travel to field offices and Yangon)

Reports to: Country Director

Duration: 1 year based on satisfactory performance and budget availability.

About RI:

Relief International is a leading nonprofit organization working in 20 countries to relieve poverty, ensure well-being and advance dignity. We specialize in fragile settings, responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and chronic poverty.

Relief International combines humanitarian and development approaches to provide immediate services while laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Our signature approach — which we call the RI Way—emphasizes local participation, an integration of services, strategic partnerships, and a focus on civic skills. In this way, we empower communities to find, design and implement the solutions that work best for them.

Relief International began work in Myanmar in 2008 and is now supporting conflict-affected communities in Rakhine and Shan States. Relief International Myanmar currently employs over 180 national, 7 international staff and operates out of nine offices, with its main office in Yangon. At present, key RI donors include EC, ECHO, USAID, UNICEF, UNFPA, MHF and LIFT.

Position Summary:

Relief International Myanmar is delivering a range of both humanitarian and early recovery projects in Rakhine State responding to the needs of the local population. Projects include working with IDP populations in WASH, Health, and Protection; as well as health systems strengthening, early livelihoods recovery and community dialogue with conflict-affected communities.

The Head of Rakhine Programs will oversee the implementation of a growing portfolio of approximately USD$4.5 million per year, administered through 8 grants including emergency response and longer-term development programs.

The Rakhine team is currently comprised of four expatriates and over 102 national staff based in three field offices. The Head of Rakhine Programs will be a key liaison between Rakhine project staff, other Rakhine-level stakeholders, and the Yangon office. The Head of Rakhine Programs will represent Relief International at donor and inter-agency meetings in Rakhine in close coordination with the Country Director and identify, design, and develop new program opportunities.

Position Responsibilities and Duties:

The duties include, but are not limited to the following:

Program Management

  • Supervise quality project implementation, including allocation of resources and ensuring that appropriate controls are maintained at all levels by working with field staff.
  • Ensure that team members are effective and efficient; provide feedback to staff to ensure optimal performance.
  • Supervising the Program Managers, ensure all Rakhine projects are completed on time, within budget, and achieve their objectives.
  • Provide adequate support to each project including, but not limited to, strategic vision and technical input and advice.
  • Monitor project implementation, communication, coordination and reporting both internally and externally.
  • Ensure quality and timely reports to the donors are prepared and submitted in coordination with Project Managers and Business Development Director Yangon office.
  • Coordinate with Head of Rakhine Operations to ensure that donor rules and regulations are known and followed by RI teams.
  • Serve as a link between RI and all project counterparts through sector coordination.

Program Planning and Development

  • Develop, in cooperation with other staff, short-, medium-, and long-range strategic plans maintaining program focus in areas in line with RI's program objectives.
  • Ensure regular humanitarian context analysis
  • In close coordination with the Senior Management Team in Yangon, maintain effective communications with donors by tracking trends and anticipating the likelihood of funding opportunities for Rakhine State.
  • Assess other implementing organizations’ activities to identify gaps and overlap.
  • Maintain effective communications with Yangon office regarding program development, funding agreements, and staffing.
  • Identify, and where necessary, initiate and maintain program partnerships with external agencies.
  • Research relevant field data for compilation and inclusion in support of project documents while ensuring and verifying that field observations, assessments, and reports are at a level of detail and quality that can be used in project concept notes and detailed proposals and reports to donors.
  • Provide guidance to Program Managers in the design of new relevant programs.

Personnel Management

  • Oversee the management and wellbeing of all staff in Rakhine projects.
  • Supervise all personnel and provide probation and annual evaluations for direct reports.
  • Promote and organize local staff capacity building and development.

Security and Safety

  • Ensure the overall responsibility of the safety and security of RI staff and programs in Rakhine.
  • Ensure the overall protection of RI assets, equipment and data in Rakhine.
  • Make safety and security policy and recommendations based on all available information.
  • Maintain regular communication and immediately report to Country Director any safety and security incidents or deterioration of the conditions in any aspect.
  • Provide regular security context analysis and liaise with stakeholders on security preparedness

Reporting and Control

  • In coordination with Head of Rakhine Operations ensure compliance with RI policies and regulations.
  • Report any breach of RI policy, particularly the SEA (Sexual Exploitation and Abuse) and Harassment Policies.
  • Provide program reports and regular situation reports that are timely, professionally written, and meet information requirements as needed by RI and as required by donors.

External Representation

  • Maintain a suitable image for RI in Myanmar and protect RI's interest, image, and notoriety.
  • In close coordination with the Country Director and in collaboration with Program Managers effectively liaise with donors, government officials, and other agency representatives in Rakhine.
  • Represent RI at Sittwe-level meetings with the humanitarian and development actors, and ensure attendance at relevant sector and cluster meetings in Rakhine.
  • Facilitate donor visits to project sites as appropriate.

Financial Management

  • Provide guidance in budget preparation and monitoring.
  • In coordination with the Head of Rakhine operations, provide oversight of Operational budgets for all field offices (currently Sittwe, Myebon, and Mrauk U).
  • Close follow-up and review of project expenditures in relation to work plans.


  • Act as the communication link between Yangon main office and the field. Direct all communications up or down, as appropriate.
  • Undertake additional activities as required by RI.


  • Degree (Master’s preferred) in international humanitarian program management, development/affairs, public administration, management, or related subject
  • Five years of field experience in humanitarian and/or development organizations, preferably working in conflict and natural disaster settings
  • Three years of experience in managing large multisector programs with the conflict sensitive and do-no harm approach
  • Previous experience living and working in austere and/or insecure environments
  • Solid experience developing budgets and managing expenditures
  • Experience carrying out safety and security protocols
  • Ability to build, motivate, and operate in a team
  • Strong coordination, organizational, and time management skills
  • Strong diplomatic, conflict-resolution and problem-solving skills
  • Comfortable liaising with other implementing agencies, government officials, and stakeholders
  • Fluency in English; strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Willing and able to work in a challenging and dynamic environment

Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous experience in Myanmar/Southeast Asia
  • Experience with remote management of programs
  • Experience managing USAID, ECHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, EU programs
  • Experience working in consortia with other NGOs
  • Strong grants and operation management skills

Living Conditions: Shared housing with running water, electricity, and internet is provided for expatriate staff close to the Sittwe office. Five days of R&R is provided every two months. This post is unaccompanied.

RI Values: We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and operational independence. We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities.

We value:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Agility and Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Sustainability

Please note: Due to the critical nature of this position, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and candidates will be processed prior to closing dates listed on any job board

How to apply:

Please submit your resume, cover letter and three supervisory references (with contact information) to: