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UPP – Head of Programs – Iraq

Un Ponte Per sta selezionando un/a Head of Programs da inserire nella sua operatività in Iraq. Durata 5 mesi. Scadenza candidature 28/03/2021

Head of Programs Iraq

Duty Station:  Erbil, KRI-IRAQ

Period: 5 months (with possible renewal)

Closing date of the vacancy: 28 March 2021 (applications on a rolling basis)

Starting date: Mid/April

Context presentation: Un Ponte Per (UPP) is an NGO established in 1991. It has started its activities as “Un ponte per Baghdad”, right after the end of the war in Iraq, with the aim of organizing solidarity initiatives in favor of the Iraqi civil society. Later on, the intervention of Un Ponte Per started including Serbia and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. The NGO mission is to prevent new conflicts, protect human rights and support civil society, especially in the Middle East, through humanitarian and development programs, always supporting the local civil society in all its forms. UPP is active in Iraq since 1991 and is regularly registered at National and Kurdistan Region levels. The main UPP offices in Iraq are in Erbil and Baghdad, but the mission has a total of 6 offices in both KRI and GOI and activities in 6 different governorates. The currently active programs are: Peacebuilding and social cohesion, Livelihood, Protection and Health, funded by both Institutional Donors and private foundations. UPP is active in the humanitarian response for Syrian refugees in camps, IDPs and returnees, in the physical and social reconstruction of the liberated areas, as well as in the support of strategic areas in southern Iraq. Most activities are directly implemented, but UPP also cooperates with a variety of local and international CSOs, and has a specific intervention aiming at strengthening the role of the local Civil Society and of its organizations.

Learn more at:

Organization setting: the appointed Head of Programs refers to the Director of Programs, in coordination with the Country Director for Iraq

Specific tasks and responsibility:

  • Proactively suggesting and planning for the development and continuation of current programmes and activities to ensure the sustainability of the mission.
  • Project proposals writing.
  • Managing relations and negotiations with donors in coordination with CD and Desk Officers.
  • Supporting the PMs in the implementation of projects if requested by Desk Officers.
  • Ensure project implementation uphold quality and integrity standards such as Safeguarding (child, women, disabilities, environment), humanitarian principles, AAP and UPP strategical indicators.
  • Supporting the CD in ensuring that the activities implemented at country level is within UPP operational standards, procedures and code of conduct. Ensuring that all updates in policies or procedures are duly and timely shared with all HOOs and PMs.
  • Liaising and following up with projects auditors, as well as supporting PMs and Country Admin in their preparation.
  • Helping the CD in organizing monthly meetings individually and collectively with the HoOs, PMs and HQ, in order to harmonize the networking and external relation functions with the work on the field. Weekly coordination with Senior Management Team (SMT) at mission level (CD and Country Admin)
  • Identifying general shortfalls and bottlenecks related to programs implementation that require immediate action and, accordingly, proposing corrective measures in agreement with the HoO(s) and the CD.
  • Suggesting contacts, partnerships and networking leading to the success of the programs.
  • Monitoring and analysing Strategic and Response Plans released by Donors and Local Authorities and inform HQ accordingly. Coordinating with CD to ensure UPP presence in all relevant response plans
  • Representing UPP in clusters and other inter-agency initiatives (ex. Durable Solution, IHF Advisory Board) related to ongoing activities and programmes, if delegated by CD.
  • Maintaining and widening relationships with institutions, international aid agencies, NGOs and individual donors, in coordination with CD.
  • Paying regular visit to all UPP offices and project locations (according to security and access possibilities).
  • Coordinating with the Italian consulate and Embassy in Iraq for both security and programmatic issues, following indications of the CD.
  • Supporting the CD and HR Manager in recruitment, inductions and training, evaluations, salary and contract renewal or termination decision, following procedures of the Staff Handbook.
  • Other tasks that are consistent and supportive of the ones described above as per the request from UPP HQ.

Essential requirements

  • University degree in International Studies, Public Policy, Political Science, Law, Accounting or related fields
  • At least 5 years professional work experience in management position in NGOs
  • Experience in grant management with a range of external donors
  • Experience in reporting and monitoring with tight deadlines
  • Strong management and mentoring capacity, ability to plan, implement and solve problems effectively and efficiently
  • Ability to take initiative, be proactive and maintain a solution-oriented approach
  • Determination and commitment to high quality standards
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to establish and maintain co-operative working relationships with all program staff in the Mission, with people of different cultural and religious backgrounds, different gender and diverse political views, while maintaining strict impartiality and objectivity
  • Ability to prioritize work, meet deadlines and work calmly under pressure, while maintaining flexibility and a positive approach
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required, Arabic is an asset
  • Ability to cope with physical hardship and willingness to work extra hours and in an environment with limited infrastructure
  • Knowledge of regional political history and developments
  • Ability to navigate a complex multilateral diplomatic context and apply negotiation skills
  • Model and encourage active practice of the principles of neutrality, impartiality and fairness
  • Gender, age and diversity awareness and sensitivity, and an ability to integrate this approach into daily work and mission strategic objectives
  • Good command of Office package and windows applications, including word processing, spreadsheets and email.

Desirable requirements:

  • Work experience in the Middle East
  • Experience working in field operation/s, particularly in crisis areas with multinational and international organizations
  • Experience in results based management
  • Skills and certificates in security management
  • Working knowledge of Italian, Arabic and/or Kurdish

Other Requirements:

Un Ponte Per is an International NGO committed to diversity and inclusion within its teams, in line with the principle of non-discrimination. UPP encourages all candidates irrespective of gender, religion and ethnicity including persons with disabilities to apply and become part of the organization.

Ethical Conduct

UPP upholds all the minimum standards in terms of Ethical Conduct and strives to increase its standards over the minimum. Zero tolerance is reserved to Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and to Child Abuse, Violence, Harm, Injury and Negligence. By applying, any candidate assures that s/he has never breached any standard in terms of SEA and Child Safeguarding and the s/he won’t in the future. For the protection of beneficiaries, communities and partners, UPP will conduct extensive reference check and vetting on shortlisted candidates, also over the contacts indicated by the candidate. Candidates are alerted that the required background check might compromise their privacy. Shortlisted candidates shall promptly provide an up-to-date criminal background check.

HOW TO APPLY: Interested candidates are invited to submit a detailed CV, a brief cover letter to address the requirements above and contact information for two professional references to: . Please reference Head of Programs Iraq – Name Surname” in the subject line of your email application.  Please apply with just one email. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Due to the urgency of this position Un Ponte 

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