Head of Programme – Iraq

  • Contract
  • Erbil Iraq
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

Danish Refugee Council

Danish Refugee Council, one of the world’s leading humanitarian NGOs, is currently looking for a highly qualified Head of Programme for our operations in Iraq.

In Iraq, DRC strives to provide sustainable solutions for refugees, displaced people, and host communities coupled with the objective of enabling those we assist in living dignified lives.

The Head of Programme reports to and works closely with the Country Director to provide strategic program direction for DRC’s response in a manner that is accountable to the communities to work with. S/He is expected to contribute to the quality assurance of program implementation across the project development and implementation cycle. The position ensures that DRC’s projects significantly contribute to meeting immediate humanitarian needs, transitioning from relief to longer-term rebuilding and recovery.

The Head of Programme is a key senior position in the DRC country set up, responsible for cross-cutting programmatic information management, sound design of and overseeing assessments, monitoring and evaluation, and ensuring that information collected is reflected upon, used to improve ongoing projects, and is incorporated into consistently high-quality grant proposals and reports. S/He plays a crucial role in strategy development and adherence and ensuring that policies, systems, and people are continuously and accurately working in a coordinated manner to ensure that a coherent and comprehensive program is designed and implemented.


You main duties and responsibilities will include:

Programming Strategy & Development

  • Constant in-depth analysis of humanitarian context, trends, gaps, challenges and opportunities
  • Participate in country level strategic planning, lead the annual review process and contribute to the sustainable management of program with a continual eye to new program development that addresses displacements and meets the needs of beneficiaries
  • As a key pillar of the overall country strategy, develop/define the country programming strategy designing process in a collaborative way in order to ensure program appropriateness and accountability among the country program team.
  • Write/Review and monitor the Program Strategy document based upon a clear needs/evidence driven approach, DRC’s core expertise and a large stakeholders analysis
  • Foster synergies between program areas and promotes an integrated approach
  • Support the strong integration of protection throughout all humanitarian initiatives and ensure adherence to Sphere standards or any other international standards when relevant
  • Support the integration of gender mainstreaming across all programs
  • Facilitate assessment and rapid response in any humanitarian situation, with written report and recommendation to initiate and setup relevant emergency projects if a response is decided on
  • Keep abreast and engage with the Durable Solutions Architecture and ensure DRC is well represented in these fora.
  • Advocate about DRC’s program in Iraq with government, donors, and humanitarian stakeholders, in cluster meetings, workshops, conferences and in other relevant fora

Program Implementation & Coordination

  • Provide oversight, guidance and leadership to all aspects of program development and implementation in Iraq, including ensuring timely reporting, compliance and quality utilizing routine monitoring and feedback into program implementation
  • Ensure effective and transparent budget follow up, planning and use of financial resources in compliance with DRC and donor policies and priorities
  • Develop a close and productive working relationship with Area Offices to ensure that all aspects of programs are implemented to maximum affect and compliant with DRC and donor regulations.
  • Ensure grant Kick Off and Close Out meetings are systematically taking place
  • Ensure regular grant review meetings are taking place and red flags are discussed and actioned upon
  • Effectively stay abreast of donor policies, procedures, rules and regulations

Program Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning

  • Ensure the implementation of effective and participatory program Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning strategies at all levels of the DRC’s program in country
  • Ensure that all projects contribute to measuring impact and are in line with DRC’s country strategic plan
  • Ensure quality programming by coordinating the technical support provided by the Regional Office and HQ, by developing M&E tools and indicators and other quality improvement initiatives
  • Adopt an evidence based approach that see the dissemination of lessons learned and best practices within DRC country and Region teams, to donors and to other stakeholders when relevant in order ensure synergetic programming and cross-program collaboration in Iraq and in the whole region
  • Supervise monitoring and evaluation of the operations to ensure the overall implementation is in accordance with agreed work plans, donor agreements and humanitarian accountability framework
  • Ensure Information Management is embedded with DRC program and data are managed in a confidential manner

Fundraising, Grant proposals writing & reporting processes

  • Ensure up to date donor mapping and pursue funding opportunities in all DRC competence areas, and coordinate the capacities of the program managers and SMT to identify and materialize opportunities
  • Lead in the design of programs to input into potential proposals.
  • Review final reports and authorize on proposals to be submitted to external donors and HQ

Program staff Management and Capacity Building

  • Effectively manage the Coordinators working in Shelter and Infrastructure, Protection, Economic Recovery, Humanitarian Mine Action, as well as the M&E Manager, Programme Quality and Development Manager, Gender Coordinator, and Partnerships Specialist. and with an emphasis on excellence, promoting a culture of cooperation, learning, creativity and innovation.
  • Ongoing development of team composition and structure to ensure that is fit for purpose, develop Job descriptions/Terms of Reference, follow up program staff related recruitment processes and orientation of staff. Proactively seek to increase the numbers of national staff members in the Programs team.
  • When needed, draft and/or review scopes of work to hire and manage technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget
  • Development of overall staff competence through leadership, training and coaching of technical and management key program staff
  • Conduct annual staff performance reviews

Donor liaison, Partnerships and Representation

  • Represent DRC’s Iraq program to funders and potential donors
  • Cultivate key relationships that enhance DRC’s visibility, credibility in Iraq
  • Frequent travel for direct support to field sites, representation and identification of opportunities for organizational growth in the competence areas profit, independent, rights-based refugee organization.
  • Review and oversee implementation of the CSO partnership strategy and promote localization agenda within DRC Iraq.
  • Identify local NGOs/partners and develop partnership with relevant and complementary partners.


  • In close collaboration with the broader Senior Management Team, lead by example to ensure continual progress towards DRC’s Age, Gender, and Diversity policy and AGD programmatic minimum standards, and promote compliance with DRC’s commitment to zero-tolerance to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse policy.
  • Other duties as requested by the Country Director


To be successful on this role we expect you to posses the following:

  • Master’s degree in International Development and/or Humanitarian Assistance, Project Management, or any other related field
  • Minimum 5 years of progressively responsible experience in program management, leadership, and design in countries of conflict or post-conflict
  • Minimum 4 years of experience working in managing emergency operations, including 2 years at senior management level and at least 2 years in the Middle East.
  • Demonstrated experience and skill in proposal development, budget development, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Proven experience in effectively coordinating with National Governments, International and National NGO partners and a variety of working with and coordinating with a variety of donors including SDC, GAC, PRM, BHA, OCHA, UNDP, SIDA, GIZ, the Netherlands, DANIDA and the EU.
  • Demonstrated commitment to apply an age, gender and diversity (AGD) and Conflict Sensitive approach to programming.
  • Proven experience in managing integrated programs as well as capacity building.
  • Full professional proficiency in English is required.
  • Arabic is desirable

In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:

Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.

Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.

Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.

Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.

Demonstrating integrity: You uphold and promote the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct in relation to our values and Code of Conduct, including safeguarding against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.


Contract length: 24 months

Band: E

Start date: 15 January 2022

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates.

How to apply

All applicants must upload a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages) in English. Applications sent by email will not be considered.

Closing date for applications: 8 November 2022

For further information about the Danish Refugee Council, please consult our website drc.ngo

Please click here to apply