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  • International Development
    Senior Leadership and Management

    Country Director – Afghanistan

    About War Child

    War Child, the charity for children affected by war. We are delivering high-impact programmes that are rebuilding lives across Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and Yemen. We understand children’s needs, respect their rights, and put them at the centre of the solution – from supporting Yemeni children to access education, to reintegrating child soldiers in the Central African Republic and upholding the rights of children caught up in juvenile justice in Afghanistan. We look forward to a world in which the lives of children are no longer torn apart by war. This is a vision that can only be realised through the collective actions of children themselves, communities and their leaders, organisations like War Child, governments and key decision makers.

    Our values

    Bold: We use our passion and creativity to deliver high quality evidence-based work to maximise our beneficial impact for children in conflict.

    Accountable to children: Children can rely on us to respond to their voices and to treat them with respect and dignity.

    Transparent: We expect to be held to account by our supporters and beneficiaries and we respond with openness and honesty.

    Committed to each other: We support each other and our partners to achieve ambitious goals and to be the best we can be.

    Your role

    War Child UK has worked in Afghanistan since 2002 and has developed a flagship programme working in Western Afghanistan in partnership with the IOM and UNICEF to respond to the needs of vulnerable uncompanioned and separated children since 2014. The current complex humanitarian situation is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. We expect to primarily focus on emergency response, child protection, education in emergencies and food security, cash, and livelihoods. We will continue to programme in the western provinces of Herat, Badghis, Farah and Ghor with a possible expansion into other provinces. We expect to need to continue to adapt programmes to an evolving context.

    We are recruiting a new Country Director for our Afghanistan programme. We are seeking an experienced NGO leader who is familiar with the challenges of operating within the constraints of a context such as Afghanistan.

    You will ensure that the War Child team remains safe, and that our security protocols are well maintained. We want to further grow our programme, and central to this role will be the ability to build networks and alliances with local and international partners, to represent effectively with a wide range of donors and to scale up a humanitarian response programme. We place a very strong emphasis on national advocacy as part of our theory of change, and you will need the representational and relationship skills to ensure that War Child is connected to the appropriate national and local authorities across our areas of operation. War Child has a clear vision and approach to programme quality, and you will have a track record in ensuring effective monitoring, accountability, and learning.

    Leadership and team building skills are paramount, the Country Director will inspire results and performance across the team and will need to maintain motivation of staff during organisational changes that may be needed. The post also forms part of War Child’s dynamic and experienced Country Director Group, with the ability to share experience across our country programmes. The Country Director will lead the Senior Management Team for War Child UK in Afghanistan, focusing on growing the programme to meet needs, developing the vision and strategy and take overall responsibility for HR, Financial and Security decisions. The role also ensures information from the country programme is shared across departments and will represent War Child at the highest levels; engaging with donors, national authorities, clusters and national partners in Afghanistan.  The role is managed by the Director of Programmes and Advocacy, who is based in London.

    Your responsibilities

    • Programme Development: Leadership on participatory programme planning and development, in line with WCUK’s organisational strategy; time frames, risk appetite and budgets as well as development of new concept papers and liaising with in-country donors.
    • Partner liaison: Work with national partners to achieve shared programme objectives and build strong and accountable partnerships.
    • Representation and Networking: Provide effective representation and profile of War Child UK and high level networking in forums and strategic engagement with a wide range of national and international stakeholders
    • Financial Management: Ensure rigorous financial and administrative management: ensure grant management and expenditure information is received in an accurate manner on a monthly basis.
    • Security Management: Effectively manage all staff and programme security within the guidelines of security Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
    • Safeguarding: Responsible for creating a culture committed to the safeguarding of children and adults, and compliant to WCUK’s Safeguarding policies.
    • Grant Management, and Donor Compliance: Ensure timely quality reporting to donors and compliance with donor requirements, including leading your programme and grants team to build a compliance and performance focused management system.
    • Donor Engagement and Funding: Lead on donor engagement within country and with regional donor. Contribute to efforts to identify and secure in-country funding and providing the programme funding to deliver on the Afghanistan country strategy. Support the team with the information necessary to help develop proposals and reports, in line with donor schedules. Provide final country level approval of concept papers, proposals and budgets
    • Team leadership: Lead the SMT, develop country strategy and build a culture of shared responsibility. Ensure team wellbeing and effective performance management as well as ensuring that WCUK’s standards and values are known and followed within the mission.
    • People and change management: Take ultimate responsibility for Human Resources and Development, ensuring War Child is a fair and responsible employer. Leading and motivating all WCUK staff, promoting effective cohesion and team identity across the various offices and projects. Leading organisational change to ensure the War Child team adapts to changes in funding and programmes. Ensuring that WCUK’s standards and values are known and followed within the mission.
    • Reporting: Ensure adherence to organisational requirements, including safeguarding policy, minimum standards for quality programme cycle management and regular programme reporting.

    You have

    • Experience in leading international humanitarian and development programmes, with strategic planning and a clear vision of how to work effectively with partners.
    • Experience in the delivery and supervision of programmes within conflict environments with some experience of our areas of intervention, Reintegration, Child Protection, Education in Emergencies and/or Food Security/Livelihoods projects.
    • Experience of both direct programme implementation and working with partners.
    • The ability to advocate, think and manage strategically and represent the organisation at the highest level.
    • Rigorous budget expenditure and financial management skills and experience
    • Experience in security management in conflict settings
    • Experience in team security management in fragile contexts and insecure settings and risk management. Negotiation skills and knowledge of the operational challenges of working in Afghanistan are an advantage.
    • Able to inspire team and partners to achieve results in a tough operational setting.
    • Compliance focussed with a strong sense of accountability for results and performance.
    • Deeply committed to safeguarding of beneficiaries, partners and staff and safe programming
    • An experienced grant manager with direct experience in leading a portfolio of complex projects from multiple donors with a successful track record in securing funding from institutional donors and grant reporting.
    • A great team leader and people manager, with demonstrable skills in performance and change management.
    • Able to support the professional development of team members.
    • Able to travel in country and overseas as required.
    • Previous international experience in Afghanistan or other conflict setting highly desirable.
    • Excellent analytical skills with a systematic approach and an eye for detail
    • Fluency in English. Written and spoken Dari an advantage.

    Other details

    Location: Kabul, with frequent travel to Western Afghanistan

    Contract type: Full time (37.5 hours), Fixed term (24 months) with possible extension

    This role is open to national and international candidates.

    For general information about working for War Child please visit: https://www.warchild.org.uk/who-we-are/working-war-child

    Child safeguarding and Adults at Risk

    Our work with children and at-risk adults to keep them safe is the most important thing we do. We are committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in all areas of our work. We have zero tolerance for any behaviours and practices that puts children and/or vulnerable adults at risk of abuse and/or harm. Successful applicants will be expected to be compliant and sign up to our Child Safeguarding policy, our Code of Conduct and PSEA: Adults at Risk Policy. You can find the Child Safeguarding policy here: https://www.warchild.org.uk/whats-happening/news/our-child-safeguarding-policies-and-procedures 

    How to Apply

    Closing date: 30th July 2023

    Interviews: Tentative dates of weeks commencing 7th and 14th August.

    To apply please click ‘apply for job’

    As part of the application process kindly submit your CV and a cover letter, preferably in MS Word. All application documents (cover letter and CV) should be submitted in English.

    Need help submitting your application? Please email us at [email protected]

    Should you require access to information in a different format to facilitate your application please contact us via [email protected]

    Please name your submitted files with the following reference: WC_CDAFG

    Pre-employment checks

    Employment with War Child will be subject to the following checks prior to your start date:

    • a satisfactory police record check to include a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and/or an International Criminal Record Check, and a clear vetting and Due Diligence check.
    • receipt of two satisfactory references.

    Red Sea takes our responsibility towards protecting your personal data very seriously. The data you provide is processed in line with relevant data protection legislation. For the purposes of this recruitment, and as defined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Red Sea is defined as the Data Controller.

    Red Sea is committed to meeting the standards set out in our Equality and Diversity statement, acting in line with the UK Equalities Act 2010 and building an accurate picture of the make-up of the workforce in encouraging equality and diversity.

    Job Overview

    Job Title:Country Director – Afghanistan
    Location:Kabul, Afghanistan

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