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Deputy Director Programs

from International Rescue Committee
Closing date: 28 Feb 2019


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is one of the world’s leading agencies working in post-conflict and development contexts, supporting communities in over 40 fragile, failed and developing states. In this capacity, we work to restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted, struggling to endure and wishing to advance on a path of development. The IRC opened the country program in Afghanistan in 1988. Our programs span the range from humanitarian relief to early recovery and development activities, focusing on emergency response, child protection, education, economic wellbeing, and health. The IRC works in 9 provinces throughout Afghanistan, among which some of the most security volatile, and employs over 1,000 staff. IRC Afghanistan operates an annual portfolio of over $17 million.


The Deputy Director Programs (DDP) provides a leadership, decision-making and coordinating role on programmatic issues, both in developing quality proposals as well as the effective implementation of IRC’s projects in Afghanistan. With a focus on refugees, internally-displaced populations affected by conflict and natural disaster, IRC currently works in the following sectors: Economic Well-Being, Environmental Health (WASH), Education, Protection, Nutrition and Emergency Response.

As a part of the country Senior Management Team (SMT), the DDP leads on developing strategies and implementing programming in the nine geographic areas/provinces: Kabul, Nangarhar, Laghman, Paktya, Helmand, Badghis, Herat, Logar, and Khost.

The DDP line manages the Program Coordinators, as well as the Grants Coordinator and the M&E Coordinator. As DDP, you will report to the Country Director.


Strategic Planning

  • With the CD, lead on implementing the Country Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and achievement of the plan objectives, universal expectations, regular progress review of plans. Serve as the focal point person for the SAP Monitoring and Reporting Protocol and SAP Implementation Committee.
  • Advance program sector strategies, including the integration of cross-cutting issues of gender, partnership, disaster risk reduction and advocacy.
  • Work closely with the Deputy Director for Emergencies in ensuring appropriate support of Program Coordinators, Grants and M&E to our Emergency Response programs.

Program Development and fundraising

  • Provide mentorship and leadership in the rollout and use of the SAP and Outcome and Evidence Framework when developing new projects.
  • In coordination with the CD, actively design and implement fundraising strategies, incorporating donor mapping and communication plans, to ensure program sectors are adequately financed.
  • Support the Grants Unit and M&E Unit to make sure that high quality and needs-based project proposals are developed, according to the Proposal Flowchart and in compliance with IRC and donor regulations as well as within the parameters of the Strategic Action Plan.
  • Support in developing Communication and Advocacy strategies, growing IRC visibility in country and positioning IRC in line with advocacy strategy.

Program Implementation

  • Support the Provincial /Sector Coordinators to ensure that program implementation is led closely through creation of structured work-plans and approved monitoring plans based on project proposals and that expenditures are monitored monthly; with well-structured corrective action is initiated and tracked where required.
  • Chair monthly Grants Review Meetings – review progress of programs/projects as well as budget spending and take corrective measures so that projects finish on time.
  • Provide the Country Director with accurate and up to date advice of developments and opportunities in program and project implementation together with any necessary recommendations for action.
  • Support the M&E Coordinator in developing, rolling out and monitoring a country-wide M&E strategy and tools for the collection and analysis of program information (qualitative and quantitative) to inform all stages of the project cycle to increased shared learning internally and externally.
  • Lead the development of timely and high quality reporting by the grants team and program staff for submission, per IRC and donor guidelines.
  • Coordinate donor visits, and support field staff in preparing and conducting these visits as necessary.

Human Resources and Staff Development

  • Provide supportive mentorship and supervision to direct reports. Provide appropriate and timely feedback to staff regarding their performance, including timely implementation of the annual staff performance management system.
  • Set clear objectives for sector coordinators.
  • Support the identification of staff development opportunities for senior staff.
  • Assist in developing job descriptions and in the recruitment of senior program staff (national and international). Ensure that regular and quality staff evaluations are conducted for all staff.
  • Work with the Country Director, Deputy Director Operations, Finance Controller and Human Resources Coordinator to review/revise and develop appropriate policies and address issues.

Liaison/Representation and Coordination

  • Actively, systematically and regularly communicate with various partners in country.
  • Maintain a sound understanding programs to be able to represent the IRC and the IRC’s interests with implementing partners, government, donors and clients.
  • Help develop a positive relationship with donors / Government counterparts to ensure sustainable programs in the portfolio sectors. Encourage and support improved program cohesion through coordination initiatives and information sharing with and between all key country program staff.
  • Promote the IRC Afghanistan vision and mission amongst all staff.
  • Serve as an active member of the Senior Management Team and deputize for the Country Director as necessary.


  • Graduate degree in International Development, International Relations, business; management and administrative science.
  • Excellent professional track record with 5-6 years of overseas experience, preferably in a conflict/post-conflict environment with program leadership responsibilities. Successful experience working within a complex security environment is preferred.
  • Proven ability to think strategically, prioritize and meet deadlines in a complex and challenging environment; must be culturally sensitive
  • Excellent leadership, people management, interpersonal and negotiation skills and a demonstrated ability to develop harmonious teams in a multi-ethnic context.
  • Strong diplomacy skills; ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with partners, donors, government and clients in a sensitive environment.
  • Have fluent spoken and written English
  • Strong computer skills: including competency in the use of Windows MS office programs (Word, Excel), email programs, etc.
  • Willingness to travel outside Kabul depending on security clearance.
  • Willingness to live in strict security protocol environment