Regional Director, Africa
Closing date (Geneva time zone):05-07-2019
Duty station status: Family Duty Station
Accompanied status: Accompanied
Category of Staff: Delegate
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with 190 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC or “the Federation”) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network. The Federation is a membership organization established by and comprised of its member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Along with National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Federation is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.” It works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises.
The Federation is served by a Secretariat based in Geneva, with regional and country offices throughout the world. The Secretariat is led by the IFRC Secretary General and provides the central capacity of the International Federation to serve, connect, and represent National Societies. The Secretariat’s focus includes providing support to the IFRC governance mechanisms; setting norms and standards; providing guidance; ensuring consistency, coordination, and accountability for performance; knowledge sharing; promoting collaboration within and respect for the RCRC Movement; and expanding engagement with partners. The Secretariat’s headquarters is organized in three main business groups: (i) Partnerships, including Movement and Membership; (ii) Programmes and Operations; and (iii) Management.
The Regional Director leads the Federation’s work in the region, is a member of the Secretary General’s Global Senior Management Team, and reports directly to the Secretary General. The position is located in the IFRC regional office in Nairobi, Kenya. The Addis Ababa based Head of Delegation and the Permanent Representative to the African Union and International Organisations also reports to the Regional Director for Africa.
Under the leadership and overall guidance of the Secretary General, the Regional Director provides vision, leadership, strategic guidance and effective management for the Secretariat’s work and resources in the region, including in the areas of Programmes and Operations, Partnerships, and Management, ensuring organizational excellence in support of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and vulnerable people and communities. The position oversees the Secretariat’s activities in the region along the continuum from crisis prevention and disaster risk reduction and preparedness, to development and building safe, healthy and resilient communities, to disaster and crisis response and recovery.
Job Duties and Responsibilities
Within the framework of the IFRC Strategy 2020, and under the guidance of the Secretary General, the Regional Director:
Partnerships, Movement Coordination and Membership Services
Provides leadership and direction to Country Cluster and Country Offices to ensure that strategic partnerships are established, maintained and strengthened, to build stronger National Societies, to maximize Movement Coordination with the ICRC and National Societies, and to engage in humanitarian diplomacy and resource mobilization, consistent with the priorities established by Governance and the Secretary General.
Provides strategic direction in the region and advocates for an increased understanding of the fundamental principles and humanitarian values, and ensures Federation-wide standards and guidance are disseminated and integrated. This includes pro-active efforts to tackle stigma, discrimination, social exclusion, violence and promoting peace and harmony by working pro-actively with the National Societies in the region.
Engages with National Societies leadership to promote prevention and early action concerning integrity risks and help them to overcome integrity problems.
Leads the development and adaptation of regional strategies that facilitate research, learning and knowledge sharing in support of evidence based decision-making by National Societies including enhancement of the professional qualifications, competencies and impact of RCRC volunteers and staff at all levels.
Represents the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in high level internal, Movement and external forums, and plays an active role in contributing to policy development along the continuum of the Federation’s humanitarian work.
Guides and oversees the implementation of strategies in the region to heighten RCRC influence on decision-makers, opinion leaders, governments, other humanitarian actors, private sector partners, and other key stakeholders to better understand the needs of vulnerable people and the central role of the IFRC and the RCRC Movement and to facilitate the availability of humanitarian access, space, and resources for RCRC actions.
Leads the mobilisation of resources at the necessary scale to support regional activities along the continuum of IFRC engagement, working in close coordination with the member National Societies and ensuring support to National Societies in the region to build up their own resource mobilisation capacity.
Guides support to National Societies to strengthen their capacities for volunteer development and youth engagement and ensure that lessons learned are shared between National Societies in the region and are available globally.
Programmes and Operations
Provides leadership, strategic direction, effective management and operational coordination in the region in the areas of disaster risk reduction and crisis prevention, preparedness, response and recovery, in support of the National Society in country and in close collaboration with the Under Secretary General (USG), Programmes and Operations.
Provides leadership, strategic direction, and effective management and coordination in support of National Society efforts to strengthen the resilience of communities and address the needs of vulnerable people in the region, in the full range of programme areas (e.g., health and other social and economic sectors) consistent with the priorities established by Governance and the Secretary General and in close collaboration with USG, Programmes and Operations.
Ensures resources, logistics services, tools, and commodities, resources and overall organizational preparedness for all programmatic and operational activities of the IFRC, including disaster and crisis response and tools of the Movement, are mobilized to meet the operational and programme needs at scale, while helping to build stronger National Society capacities in the areas of disaster risk reduction and crisis prevention, resilience and preparedness, response and recovery.
Provides vision and leadership for the elaboration of innovative and effective programmes in the region for safe and healthy living, strengthened community systems, and resilient communities.
Provides overall leadership to international programming support to National Societies in health, social services, disaster preparedness, recovery and other development areas and to the support services in the context of disasters.
Provides regional oversight for staff safety and security in the region and, in close collaboration with the USG, Programmes and Operations and the IFRC Security Unit, ensures that effective systems, mechanisms, programmes and tools are in place to protect the safety and security of staff and volunteers in operational settings and to strengthen National Society capacities to ensure the safety and security of their staff and volunteers.
Provides line management of team managers and other senior officers in the regional office, as well as country cluster and country office heads in the region.
Works to ensure overall institutional coherence and coordination in the organization’s results based management systems, and ensures effective human resources management, financial management, and management of plans and budgets.
Ensures that Secretariat strategies, plans, regulations, procedures and standards are in place and implemented in compliance with IFRC policies, and ensures compliance with all applicable laws and status agreements to minimise the risk of harm to the IFRC and Secretariat personnel, property and resources.
Fosters and contributes to an overall organizational ethos of learning, accountability and transparency within the region.
Nurtures and ensures effective matrix management and cohesion in regional teams and between the region and Geneva, including effectively putting in place systems of shared accountabilities with regional and central leadership structures.
Ensures staff growth, motivation and satisfaction and team building, contributing to effective organizational talent management and overall institutional discipline.
Works continuously to bring the Secretariat closer to National Societies and to foster Movement coordination and collaboration in related areas of work.
Performs as an effective member of the organization’s senior management teams.
Performs any other work related duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by the Secretary General, including representing him upon request.
Provides leadership to the monitoring and reporting process on global performance indicators and promote a culture of performance and continuous learning to improve the accountability and impact for vulnerable people.
Post-graduate degree in the area of management, humanitarian or development issues, or other relevant area.
A second relevant post graduate degree.
At least 15 years of professional experience in disaster and crisis prevention, response and recovery, humanitarian operations, social or economic development, membership services, international organization partnerships, or other relevant field, 5 of which must be at regional or country field level
At least 10 years of experience in effectively managing and motivating teams and direct supervision of staff
Proven leadership and management experience including in the areas of human resources management, financial management, administration, and organisational risk management.
Experience in strategy development, developing tools and guidance, providing technical assistance and in establishing and maintaining networks.
Demonstrated success in project/programme planning, budgeting, management, reporting and evaluation
Professional experience in a National Society
Good understanding of IFRC policies and strategies and a demonstrated ability to translate these into an operational context.
Knowledge, skills and languages
Sound knowledge and practical understanding of the Federation
Capacity to work with sensitivity in a multi-cultural environment and virtual or/and dispersed teams
Outstanding written and oral communication skills, including in public speaking
Able to conceptualize strategic approaches and translate them into practice and results
Able to network effectively and influence and inspire others including the membership, governments, other agencies, and own peers, staff, volunteers and partners
Focus on quality and standards, results and accountability
Capacity to multi-task, set priorities, and meet deadlines
Teamwork and trust-building, including in National Society relations
Management style that inspires, builds confidence, and finds creative and constructive solutions to difficult issues
Ability to manage and coach people including distance management.
Budgeting and financial skills.
Ability to work in a cross cultural and cross functional environment
Drive for change and improvements and ability to deliver strategies in a challenging environment.
Fluently spoken and written English
Fluently spoken and written French
Good command of another IFRC language ( Spanish, Arabic) or language relevant in the region.
Competencies and values
Core Competencies : Communication; Collaboration and Teamwork; Judgement and Decision Making; National Society and Customer Relations; Creativity and Innovation; Building Trust;
Managerial Competencies : Managing Staff Performance; Managing Staff Development
Functional Competencies : Strategic Orientation; Building Alliances; Leadership; Empowering Others
The Federation is an equal opportunity employer.