Country Director- Syria


Organisation Background

Founded in 2011, the International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO) is an international NGO that supports humanitarian aid workers by establishing safety coordination platforms in insecure contexts. INSO provides registered NGOs with a range of free services, including real-time incident tracking, analytical reports, safety-related data and mapping, crisis management support, staff orientations and training.

INSO services help NGOs with their day-to-day risk management responsibilities and improve their overall situational awareness to support evidence-based humanitarian access decisions.

INSO provides daily support to more than 1000 NGOs operating in 18 of the world’s most insecure countries and has earned a strong reputation for its performance, principles and professionalism.

INSO is registered in the Netherlands with its headquarters based in The Hague, the international city of peace and justice.

INSO Syria

The Syria programme supports more than 200 NGOs to deliver vitally needed aid and assistance to an estimated 13.1 million people in need across the country. First launched as an emergency response operation in 2014, INSO Syria has grown to have a regionwide presence with offices in all regional Syria response hubs.

INSO is now looking for an experienced humanitarian professional to serve as our Country Director- Syria. The position is based in Amman, Jordan with periodic travel to field offices and partner locations. The position reports to the Regional Director for Middle East & Central Asia and liaises frequently with other HQ staff (Finance Controller, Senior Information Manager, Global Training Manager, etc.).

Job Summary

The Country Director leads the overall country program strategy and provides coordination and representation among the NGO partners as well as supervision and management of staff and services. The Country Director is responsible for leading and managing a program with 39 international and national staff across five countries and 65 field monitors. The role requires advanced understanding of humanitarian operations as well as strong analytical skills. The successful candidate will come from an NGO/Humanitarian background (senior management and programs), possess solid management skills and will be a natural and confident communicator, consensus-builder and networker. She/He will combine keen intellect and analytical skills with pragmatism, patience and a good sense of humour and will enjoy the challenge of translating strategic concepts into workable practices in difficult environments. This position does not require a military/police background.

The Syria program is well established. The main challenges of the Country Director will consist of maintaining the continuity and quality of services. This position is an exciting and rewarding role with a high level of external representation and direct involvement in analytical and coordination services on humanitarian safety and access.

Key Responsibilities

Program Leadership and Management

  • Coordination of all staff and resources in Syria country offices including; internal coordination, grants management, host government regulatory registration, donor reporting and representation of INSO towards stakeholders
  • Program management, including annual funding strategy, budget management, and contractual compliance. Direct grant and contract management responsibilities.

Service Delivery

  • Provide quality control and direct contributions to the delivery of INSO services including; supervision of INSO products, production of information and analysis (written quarterly and special reports), high-level engagement and briefings, beneficiary surveys, training and capacity building, and emergency support as needed.
  • Lead crisis management support to individual NGO partners or the NGO community at large during critical incidents.

External Representation

  • Effectively represent and protect INSO’s principles of independence, impartiality and neutrality and actively promote INSO as an integral member of the humanitarian community.
  • Represent INSO towards senior humanitarian leadership, on a bilateral basis and in relevant coordination fora, utilising INSO’s expert understanding of the context to promote more informed, more effective decision making on issues affecting humanitarian access and safety.
  • Engage with third parties, including local government, the UN, diplomatic missions and military forces.

Mandatory Requirements

  • Previous experience as an NGO Country Director or equivalent management experience in conflict/post-conflict contexts (at least 3-5 years). No previous military/police background required.
  • Experience with management of multi-donor projects. Knowledge of donor policies and procedures (DG ECHO, SDC, USAID-BHA, FCDO). This includes project cycle management, budget management and monitoring, donor liaison and reporting.
  • Proven analytical skills including analytical editing, writing and authorship of analysis reports (the position entails substantial report editing and reviewing)
  • Ability to handle competing deadlines and balance daily management priorities.
  • Master’s Degree-level of education or equivalent work experience in a relevant field
  • Solid understanding of principles and practices in broad humanitarian action, NGO safety and risk management, humanitarian access, and civil-military coordination.
  • Excellent networking, diplomatic, and representative communication skills.

Preferred Characteristics

  • Minimum of one year experience working in the region and demonstrable understanding of the humanitarian context.
  • Direct experience and involvement in crisis management
  • Experience in staff capacity development and training.
  • Prior experience in a high-profile inter-agency role.
  • Detailed understanding of INSO mandate & services.
  • Previous INSO experience (as a team member, a member of INSO’s country advisory board or as a beneficiary)

Key Personal Competencies

  • A good listener
  • An effective communicator and creative thinker
  • Excellent analyst
  • Team player
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • A people manager
  • Flexibility to cover crisis situation during and outside working hours

INSO’s Safeguarding Policy

INSO is fully committed to safe recruitment, selection and vetting of all potential new staff, trustees and volunteers and we will ensure rigorous compliance with our Code of Conduct and Safeguarding policy throughout the recruitment process.

Terms & Conditions:

12-month contract, €5,500 per month salary, 4 calendar days annual leave per month and 3 days of R&R every 3 months, housing allowance, global medical coverage (excluding USA) and USD $200,000 AD&D coverage.

How to apply

Interested applicants are requested to send the following documents to [email protected] with the reference “CD Syria” in the subject line of the email:

  • Cover letter specifying how you meet the mandatory requirements, your motivation in applying and what you hope to bring to INSO (1-page maximum).
  • Up to date CV (2-page maximum).
  • One relevant and substantive writing sample, which demonstrates your analytical and reporting abilities (10 page maximum).

Please do not send any additional information (such as copies of certificates, copies of diplomas, other writing samples, etc.) and keep the total size of your application under 2MB if possible. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.