Head of Syria Program for Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH)

Closing date

About Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH)

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH) renders humanitarian aid worldwide, and currently works in 36 countries. DKH supports people who are affected by natural disasters, war and displacement and who are not able to cope on their own in the emergency situation they find themselves in. The work is guided by the Humanitarian Principles and the Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS). It is DKH's approach to work through a global network of partner organizations.

DKH is part of the Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e.V. (EWDE), an umbrella-organization with a nationwide established Social Service Agency, one of the biggest welfare institutions in Germany.

Purpose and tasks of deployment

The purpose of the deployment is to lead and strengthen the DKH Syria Program, both operational and programmatic. While DKH is not directly implementing humanitarian projects in Syria, it has to be ensured that the local partner organizations have the administrative and technical capacities to respond to the crisis according to highest quality standards possible. DKH needs to ensure that the humanitarian response in Syria is meeting expectations in all relevant aspects that DKH can continuously rely on their partners and DKH added value in the partnership is manifested.

The Head of Syria Program plays a key role in providing technical and other backstopping support to the partner organizations. It is a continuous effort to increase and further strengthen relations with local partner organizations and building their capacities.

Work Context

All projects funded by Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe in Syria are implemented by local partner organizations. Acquisition of backdonor-funding is of key importance in order to ensure sustainable programming.

The DKH Syria Strategy 2019-2022 is the guiding framework, which needs to be translated into a consistent DKH-intervention. It is crucial that the partner organizations maintain ownership, and feel being part of a broader strategy.

The DKH Syria program is closely integrated with the DKH Regional Office for West and Central Asia in Amman, which provides financial and administrative support as well as technical expertise.

Main Job Responsibilities

Strategic Guidance & Leadership

  • Contribute to further strengthen strategy development and prioritize and organize actions and resources to achieve objectives set through those processes;

  • Follow analysis of the Syria crisis and the impact of policy, political, and military changes on the context, ensuring that this analysis is recognized and incorporated in planning for both short-term humanitarian and mid-term early recovery and resilience programming;

  • Ensure that DKH’s core values and standards are understood throughout the team, and strategies and policies are guiding the daily work.

Program & Quality

  • Ensure that projects are planned and implemented according to the annual plan;

  • Ensure that planned backdonor proposals are timely prepared and submitted for review to DKH headquarters, and also seek new backdonor funding opportunities;

  • Ensure that timely and high quality reporting is provided to DKH headquarters;

  • Continue to identify potential local partner organizations on the basis of a comprehensive Partner Capacity Assessment;

  • Ensure that relief, early-recovery and durable solution projects are developed by the local partner organizations according to available DKH-own funding as well as backdonor funding;

  • Ensure that partner organizations are planning and implementing in coordination with national and international/UN coordination bodies, and projects are included/reported in the UN-system;

  • Strengthen and enhance relations with local partner organizations, ensure that individual capacity building plans are developed for each partner and ensure incorporation of partner organizations into the DKH Capacity Building Initiative Asia (also based in Amman);

  • Ensure that topics and quality aspects in which DKH is specialized or is planning to enhance its expertise/portfolio are fully reflected in the cooperation with the partner organizations and their projects/programs;

  • Conduct regular field trips to Damascus and various Governorates in Syria, together with the partner identify gaps and challenges in the management of projects and actively support partners in addressing these;

  • Ensure that project and program evaluations, studies and assessments are planned (including preparation of Terms of Reference) and executed in due time in close collaboration with DKH headquarters and partner organizations;

  • Identify new consortia, and support in the set-up and strengthening of existing consortia;

  • Support and maintain knowledge management to ensure efficient and transparent capture of program data for management decision-making and timely and informative internal and external reporting;

  • Oversee the alignment with systems, policies, and approaches necessary to ensure and demonstrate the quality of programs.


  • Present a plan for a DKH-presence in Damascus until end of 2020.

Finance & Compliance Management

  • Ensure compliance and accountability of all fiscal controls with the requirements and regulations of DKH, backdonors, local laws and the Internationally Recognized Accounting Principles in close collaboration with DKH finance staff.

Human Resources & Team Building

  • Ensure that the Syria team has the necessary tools, resource information and training to support partners in a meaningful way, ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.

Representation, Visibility & Advocacy

  • Represent DKH with other national and international actors including the German Embassy or Consulate as well as backdonors and media;

  • Maintain and develop relevant and productive relationships with a wide range of stakeholders;

  • Act as focal point for ACT Alliance and ACT-partners, and actively represent DKH at the ACT Syria Forum and the Syria Partnership group;

  • Ensure provision of communication materiel (photos, videos, human touch stories etc.) for DKH headquarters’ Communication and Fundraising Department;

  • Handle media/PR tasks as well as visits of delegations in close collaboration with DKH headquarters.

The requested qualification and experience are as follows:

  • University degree in a related field;

  • a minimum of 5 years of senior-level leadership and management experience in large and complex humanitarian operations, previous work experience in the Middle East and insecure environments;

  • Substantial knowledge of the international humanitarian system, institutions and donors, including compliance requirements and accountability frameworks;

  • Prior experience with back donor funding from DG ECHO, CBPF and AA (German Federal Foreign Office);

  • Experience in engaging and working with local organizations in an equal partnership, including implementation of a program strategy through partners and building partners capacities;

  • Demonstrated experience in working effectively with networks, and establishing new partnerships and consortia;

  • Demonstrated experience in setting-up office structures, enlarging country programs and creating and maintaining a culture of team spirit;

  • Demonstrated experience in representation and working effectively and respectfully with local authorities and other stakeholders in complex environments;

  • Experience in guiding the transition from relief to early-recovery and durable solution programming;

  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including negotiation skills as well as guidance and mentorship of team members;

  • Strong participatory leadership with the ability of solving complex issues collegially, defining a clear way forward, and utilizing best practices in management to ensure shared success;

  • Ability to work under high pressure, in a highly volatile context with strict security measures, and motivated by constant program adaptation to an evolving context;

  • No hinderance to obtain visa for Syria;

  • Excellent oral and written English skills, proficiency in Arabic and German preferred.

How to apply

Kindly send your application, CV, certificate of participation in a HEAT course or similar and other supporting documents together with your earliest availability by email to Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe headquarters in Berlin:

Applicants might be contacted on a rolling basis, even before the closing date.

Further questions regarding the assignment kindly address to