Country Director Syria Relief - Iraq

Job Title Country Director Syria Relief - Iraq
Hours Full-time
Location Dohuk, Iraq
Reports To Regional Director
Salary TBC
Closing Date Friday, April 23, 2021

Responsible for:  directing and controlling the work of the Senior Management Team and liaising productively and positively with other departments, staff, donors and all stakeholders to facilitate the achievement of Syria Relief’s vision, mission and values. 

Description of the Role:

Country Director (CD) for our Syria Response operations in Iraq and North Syria (NS) will build on the strengths and opportunities of the programme to define strategic direction, creatively manage the team, and build excellent relationships with partners, donors and authorities. You will have experience of working and leading teams in unstable and insecure environments, excellent knowledge of regional politics and development trends, and a strong track record in both resource mobilization and improving programme quality. You will demonstrate experience of building programmes with a focus on accountability, and evidence of connecting programmes to wider advocacy agendas. You will be able to show that you can build effective working relationships across organizational boundaries and have the technical skills to appraise and oversee complex development projects


Country Director will oversee Syria Relief’s entire operation in Iraq and NS.  S/he will directly manage the operations and programmes teams. In co-operation with the appropriate staff, s/he will undertake the following responsibilities:

Programme Development and Management:

  • -Undertake programme planning and development in line with Syria Relief’s organizational strategy, inside and outside of Syria.
  • -Develop and implement programmes in consultation with all staff and stakeholders, inside and outside of Syria.
  • -Ensure stakeholders participate meaningfully in the planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of projects.
  • -Conduct participatory research to identify and develop new projects, aligned with Syria Relief’s organizational strategy.
  • -Plan time frames and budgets as well as development of new concept papers and liaison with in-country donors.
  • -Implement programmes as per grants requirements and compliance, delivering and reporting of projects on time, on budget and to the required standard.
  • -Mobilize the support of government, NGO and community stakeholders, including development of fundraising strategies in country with submission of proposals that have to be signed-off by the UK office.
  • -Develop coordination and capacity building initiatives for all staff to ensure learning and best practice is shared and developed. This will evolve to include partnership management and transferred learning.
  • -Develop national advocacy strategy to draw grass-roots participation in projects with national and international lobbying coordinated in the UK, Iraq and other Strategic locations.
  • -Produces monthly reports on a timely basis to HQ as required.
  • -Organize and facilitate internal and external evaluations of the project, using these as opportunities to elicit and document achievements, challenges, learning and opportunities.
  • -Facilitate visits to project sites by donor representatives and other Syria Relief representatives
  • -Is responsible for the management and coordination of the Iraq and Northern Syria Offices.


  • -Work in line with the institutional fundraising strategy and with support from the UK Programmes/Operations team to raise funds through relationship building and proposal development.
  • -Develop and submit concept notes/ proposals with support from Head of Programmes Implementation and Head of Programmes Support, ensuring compliance with donor requirements and synergy with strategic outputs.
  • -Negotiate grants and partnership agreements with in-country donors.
  • -Identify in-country funding opportunities, aligned to Syria Relief’s organizational strategy.
  • -Work with the in-country and UK Finance teams to develop accurate and realistic donor budgets.

Financial Management:

  • -Comply fully with Syria Relief’s finance policies and procedures and provide the finance department (HQ, Manchester) with financial requests and expenditure information reports in an accurate manner on a monthly basis.
  • -Comply fully with the donors’ requirements and conditions.
  • -Compile donor reports in a timely manner with feedback and support from the Programmes and Operations Team and sign-off from the CEO.
  • -Comply fully with the Iraqi Government’s regulations and requirements.
  • -Ensure all expenditure is authorized and in line with the programme and project budgets.
  • -Ensure receipts and supporting documents are compiled and achieved properly.

Security Management:

  • -Responsible for ensuring compliance of security protocols within the team, imparting and training partners in security planning, and maintaining oversight of the country-security context at the tactical level
  • -Ensure reporting and recording incidents for the Security coordination in Iraq and the UK.
  • -Update at least annually and/or whenever appropriate, security and evacuation plans with relevant stakeholders.
  • -Ensure all national staff and visiting staff comply fully with Syria Relief’s security policy and procedures. Security is non-negotiable and overrides programme consideration

Communication and Representation:

  • -Represent the organization to key donors, diplomats, multilateral organizations, journalists and visitors in Iraq.
  • -Ensure effective networking, profile and representation with local, national and international authorities, donors and peer agencies.
  • -Ensure quality of communication material including case studies for UK based communications team.
  • -Interface with Fundraising Team in production of blogs, photos, videos and case-studies.
  • -Circulate and inform staff of Syria Relief’s communications strategy and external messaging.

Human Resources:

  • -Be overall responsible for the implementation of HR policies and procedures in Iraq and Syria, and ensure they comply with Syria Relief’s HR policies and practices and Iraq labor laws.
  • -Line management of team of diverse local staff and expatriate staff conducting regular supervision and support. This will include local and distance management of geographically separate teams and overseeing the management of relationships with local partner organizations.
  • -Lead the recruitment and orientation of new local and international staff members.
  • -Conduct or oversee at least annual appraisals of all staff working under the Iraq programme.
  • -Ensure compliance with security and child protection protocols and procedures
  • -Arrange for field visits to address local staff needs and ensure compliance with Syria Relief policies and procedures.
  • -Maintain learning and competency development amongst staff and partners through identification of individual learning objectives, institution of regular training programmes and competencies assessments.


  • -Liaison with local government authorities to ensure representation, good relations and full compliance with local Laws and/or customs as far as possible.
  • -Follow up with changes in Border, Registration, Residency and other policies that impact employees and organization in country of operation.
  • -Ensure legitimacy of staff and operations, and clear legal standing for all office operations.

Leadership Skills: 

  • -To promote Syria Relief’s vision and mission and to uphold the Charity’s values in all day to day activities and delivery of services.
  • -Take business accountability for the delivery of shared business responsibilities e.g. relevant contribution to the Charity’s Objectives, Risk Register and Assurance Framework.
  • -To ensure that Syria Relief develops a culture that promotes equality and values diversity and that the service you provide meets the needs of all stakeholders. This may involve the development and monitoring of policies and procedures to ensure the services you provide are inclusive to all.
  • -To participate in Syria Relief related events as and when required.
  • -In accordance with legislation, the post holder is required to undertake a proactive role in the management of risks in all their actions. This includes:
  • -Undertaking risk assessments in line with the Syria Relief risk assessment process;
  • -Reporting all incidents, near misses and hazards in line with the Syria Relief’s reporting arrangements/system
  • -Undertaking a statutory duty of care for your own personal safety and that of others
  • -Attending all statutory and mandatory health and safety training, appropriate to the role.
Person Specification
Qualifications Essential Desirable
Master’s degree in one of the following subjects: Business Management / International Relations / Development / Environmental / Conservation Management or other related fields; X
A minimum of ten years’ experience of managing including at least five years in humanitarian field. X
Proven track record in successfully developing, leading, and managing small to large-scale programmes in various humanitarian sectors. X
Knowledge and Skills Essential Desirable
Excellent leadership abilities to manage human and financial resources, with experience in leading change and driving the vision of the organization. X
Excellent team management and interpersonal skills. X
Decision making skills with the ability to think and manage strategically. X
Sound knowledge of participatory approaches. X
Excellent IT skills X
Security and risk management X
Demonstrated successful track record in securing funding from institutional donors and grant reporting. X
Grant management and reporting X
Demonstrated fundraising skills, and experience working with donors; X
Must be committed to equal opportunity employment policies and Syria Relief’s code of ethics; X
Adhere to humanitarian principles and international humanitarian laws X
Fluency in English X
Fluency in Arabic (highly desirable) X
Experience Essential Desirable
Maintaining relationships at a senior level with relevant organisations
M.E.A.L. Setting up monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning systems, including the use of logical frameworks.
High level negotiation and influencing skills, and the capacity to develop and maintain strong relationships at all levels with NGOs and donors’ representatives and government officials. X
Track record of building organizational talent by promoting performance culture and encouraging empowerment and delegation. X
Ability to work outside normal office hours and attend meetings at weekends or evenings X
Willing to travel locally & internationally X

Application Procedure

1 Attach your CV or fill application form.

2 A covering letter briefly outlining how you meet the required qualities and skills and how you would manage the key duties and responsibilities and where appropriate, evidence (maximum 1,000 words).

3 Demonstrate you have full rights to work in the UK.

4 Please email above information to with the Job Title in the subject line.

We reserve the right to close this post early, where we receive a high number of applications and you are advised to submit your completed application form as early as possible, to avoid disappointment. Applicants are encouraged to visit our website, read the job description carefully and person specification to assist you in completing your application. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. If any of the three requirements are missing in your application, your application will not be considered.

Please mention where you heard of this vacancy when you apply for this position.SR believes in treating everyone with dignity and respect and encourages applications from all sectors of the community.

Please note, the position you are applying for has been identified as requiring an Accuity Check