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UN PONTE PER – Deputy Head of Mission – Siria

Un Ponte Per sta selezionando un/a Deputy Head of Mission da inserire nella sua operatività in Siria. Durata 12 mesi. Scadenza candidature 14/03/2022

Deputy Head of Mission – Nes

Position Title: Deputy Head of Mission

Location:  North East Syria

Period: 12 months, with possible renewals

Closing date of the vacancy: 14th March 2022 (applications on a rolling basis)

Starting date: ASAP

Context Presentation: Un Ponte Per (UPP) is an Italian NGO established in 1991. It started its activities as “Un ponte per Baghdad”, in the aftermath of the first Gulf war, with the aim of organizing solidarity initiatives in support of the Iraqi civilian population. In subsequent years, UPP missions expanded to include Serbia and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. The NGO aims at preventing armed conflicts, protecting human rights and supporting local civil society, especially in the Middle East, by promoting the nexus between its humanitarian, peacebuilding and development programs.

For further information please refer to our website:

CONTEXT BACKGROUND: Since 2015, UPP has been one of the leading INGOs in the North East Syria (NES) response. Thanks to its close partnership with the Kurdish Red Crescent (KRC), UPP has been able to develop a comprehensive system of health services delivered in 26 facilities, including mobile units, hospitals, primary health care centers, and rural health posts. These function as the backbone of the basic health care system in the region, including an ambulances network managed by a centralized operational desk for emergency management and COVID-19 response.

Since 2017 UPP is also active in the Protection sector in NES, providing capacity building for local actors on Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention and response, Child Protection (CP), Psycho-social Support (PSS) and protection mainstreaming in health programs. UPP developed a strong partnership with the Houses of Women, identified as key community stakeholders in GBV response, with the local youth organization DOZ and the Women Protection Department of Arab National Association, setting up a wider outreach network with a particular focus on awareness and campaigning against early and forced marriage. UPP also co-chairs the NES PSEA Network.

Since 2019 the UPP NES Mission built an Early-Recovery sector component focusing on capacity-building for Local Authorities and civil society, supporting municipalities in NES to establish links with corresponding public bodies in Europe. The intervention pivots on peer-to-peer trainings on waste management (with a strong focus on medical waste disposal), water infrastructure, urban planning and civil defence. 2021 UPP has launched the WASH and Livelihood sectors under the largest consortium in Syria.

The team is mostly based in North East Syria (NES) with frequent visits to the project locations and is supported by an office based in Dohuk (Kurdistan Region of Iraq). Most of the medicines and equipment provided to UPP facilities are imported from Iraq, through the territory of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Project Implementation Follow-up

  1. Project Planning
    • Develop with sector coordinators, desks and HoM the assessment stages for project development and submissions
    • Ensure and direct all projects have adapted the PCM (logframe, implementation timeline, MEAL, budget, HR, procurement)
    • Ensure timely organization of project kick-off and close-out meetings in coordination with MEAL, departmental focal points and desks
    • Together with sector coordinators and Project Managers, plan the various stages of project implementation and set direction by prioritizing and organizing activities and resources to achieve project objectives, with ample consideration for contextual complexities
    • Assist in the development of a UPP comprehensive programme pack (assessments, PCM, Mission timeline etc)
  2. Project Implementation Follow-up
    • Oversee the implementation of projects ensuring that technical requirements and quality standards are considered and respected during project implementation
    • Anticipate and mitigate risks and implementation delays and provide ad-hoc support to project implementation through trouble shooting and eliminating blocking points
    • Update the HoM on output achievement with PM’s, cash burn rates, BVA’s to ensure a timely completion of projects through review of PCMs, BFUs and project reports
    • Ensure that contractual obligations (particularly donor reporting as reflected on Mission Timeline) are met in terms of project deliverables with desks and HoM
  3. Project Quality Control
    • In coordination with MEAL Manager and HoM support the development and application of a practical field based M&E system/plan
    • Conduct frequent field visits to project sites to assess activities and ensure efficient use of resources and coordinated approach with actors, partners and technical working groups (TWG)
    • Ensure Sector Coordinators and Project Managers adapt projects according to monitoring and evaluation findings
    • Advise on and assist with tri monthly project reviews conducted by MEAL including success stories
    • Together with the MEAL team, ensure capitalisation of best practices and lessons learnt for projects
    • Review the development and support in the rollout and adaptation of the health portal interface with Medical team and implementing partner
    • Establish the Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS) benchmark for UPP project activities
  4. Implementing Partners
    • Support the HoM to regularly review aspects of partnership and ensure that all topics, developments and challenges are resolved in a timely manner, especially IR’s
    • Provide critical review to partners in project implementation and ensure timely and qualitative implementation of projects by partners in line with UPP and donor requirements
    • Support the HoM with partners, with particular attention towards collaborative mechanisms based on strengthening programming and enriching and expanding opportunities identifying modalities of knowledge exchange and avoiding overlapping
  5. External Relations
    • Establish, maintain, and improve active and regular working relationships with local authorities, technical working groups (TWG’s) and actors and assist in approvals/authorizations and buy-in for UPP’s activities
    • Support, facilitate or undertake communication and liaison activities to actively consult and involve beneficiaries, key informants, actors, partners and stakeholders in all stages of project implementation with a focus on Communication with Communities (CwC)
    • In the absence/support HoM in overall representation for all spheres of WoS coordination mechanisms in addition to actively/timely submitting to all requests f(INSO, SIRF, NES Forum, CD, AdWG, Durable Solutions, Operations etc)
    • Collaborate with HQ communications department to develop mission IEC material and sectorial factsheets

 2. Administrative and Operational Management of Project Implementation

  1. Finance
    • Support and ensure comprehensive operational and programmatic budget allocation within all CfP submissions with agreed results (bases + coordination) and expenditure work plans
    • Monthly pipeline meetings with financial FP’s to review the BVA, within the BFU(s) with PM’s, desks and HoM to avoid under/over spending. Jointly suggest and ensure accurate budget forecasting and expense planning
  2. Logistics
    • Oversee and ensure the incorporation of project procurement plans within the PCM, in alliance with implementing partner, PM’s, Log and desks to ensure all FWA, tenders, etc. are forecasted ensuring timely procurement
    • Contribute to quality checks and procurement committees to finalise suppliers’ selection according to applicable scenario and adherence to rules
    • Propose the development of 6 months Log and procurement plans for mission operational management and programmes offering forecasting and cash shortfall oversight
  3. Administration/HR
    • Coordinate and support in the transparent and timely recruitment of staff (developing and updating organigrams, reviewing and adapting relevant ToRs in coordination with HoM)
    • Proactively support HoM to adapt staffing structure to needs, funding, reviewing coordination and bases
    • Ensure regular performance appraisal and career management of project teams in link with HoO and HoM with a deep focus on functional and positive working environment enriching team dynamics
    • Monitor, support and coordinate all Incident Reports (IR’s) raised through FCRM or internal accordingly to procedures within the staff handbook in line with organizational policy. Review IR’s that are manifested as a result of interpersonal, social or cultural conflicts
    • Support in ensuring the yearly capacity building plan is developed with sector leads for all staff in coordination with implementing partners
  4. Security
    • In coordination with HoM and the Security focal points, review the assess risks in the areas of project implementation and offer programmatic responses in the development of context specific SoPs, area assessments and stakeholder mapping
    • Ensure that project teams are aware of security threats and follow UPP security policies, SoPs accordingly
    • Actively participate and monitor the updating of key SoP’s Staff Vademecum, field presence, etc.
    • Work with HoM and SFP for cross border movements, addressing complications and ensuring timely submissions and advocacy during contentious periods
  5. Duties with HoM
    • Support in monthly reports including Humanitarian Context and Security report, Mission and HQ SITREP
    • Review new partnership development due diligence time bound organizational development workplans
    • Support in the development and finalization of MoU’s, MoI’s with partners, actors
    • Oversee the development of capacity building framework and action plans with full participation of partners
    • Work to establish the country specific and sectoral mission strategy


  • University degree in International Studies, Public Policy, Political Science, Law, Accounting or related fields
  • At least 4 to 5 years of working experience in insecure environments, preferably in Middle East, Africa, or Asia
  • Demonstrated communication and organizational skills
  • Ability to train, mobilize, and manage both international and national staff
  • Flexibility and ability to multi-task under pressure
  • Strong knowledge and internalization of ethics and humanitarian principles
  • Knowledge and experience in internal investigation on breaches to CoC and Policies is a strong asset
  • Ability to work well in unstable and frequently changing security environments
  • Willingness to work and live in often remote areas under basic conditions
  • Proven ability to work creatively and independently both in the field and in the office
  • Advanced proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Good command of Office package and windows applications, including word processing, spreadsheets and email.
  • Ability to international mobility and entering Iraq and NES
  • International vaccination card (containing the QR verification code), proving that the person has received at least two doses in one of the Covid-19 vaccines, compulsory to enter in Iraq.

UPP requires criminal background check certificate (released max 3 months before the date of job offer) to confirm a job offer. We are aware that in some countries the release of criminal background certificate by the competent authorities might require several weeks. However, UPP runs selections to deploy staff in emergency programs and time-lapse between job offer and field deployment is often very short. Thus, we kindly ask all candidates to get prepared on time and be able to submit their certificate promptly in case of success in the selection.


  • 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


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 that s/he will not 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 (PDF format) with the authorization to use and process data on the base of the EU Regulation 2016/679 – GDPR and a brief cover letter (PDF format) that includes the contact information for three Professional References (relevant and recent) to:  Please reference “Deputy HoM – Name Surname in the subject line of your email application and name the files attached to your application as surname_name_CV, surname_name_CL, etc. Be informed that UPP screens prospective colleagues through anti-terrorism/anti-money-laundering/anti-corruption/anti-fraud sanctions lists before job offer. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


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