Syria Response Manager,August 2013

Syria Response Manager,August 2013

Syria Response Manager,August 2013

Job Description

Job title / Syria ResponseManager
Salary / circa £33,259 p.a. / Ref / UKO52401
Department / Disaster Management / Division / International
Reporting to / Syria Crisis Programme Manager, Beirut / Location / Beirut, with frequent travel within Syria (and possible relocation to Damascus)
Duration / 18 months with possible extension / Last updated / August 2013


The British Red Cross (BRC) helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual crises. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand crises in their own communities. When the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

The international work of the BRC is managed by an International Division consisting of around eighty people based in the organisation’s UK Office in London, and by staff employed overseas supporting BRC’s programmes, or as delegates to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation) or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The International Division consists of six departments:

  • Humanitarian Policy (international policy and managing strategic relationships)
  • Disaster Management (consisting of the disaster response, recovery and logistics teams)
  • Partnership Development (management of relationships with National Society partners and long-term programme support to the Red Cross Movement (the Movement)
  • Performance & Accountability
  • International Law (International Humanitarian Law)
  • International Finance (financial management and budget control)

The on-going crisis in Syria and its repercussions in surrounding countries is one of the larger operations BRC is presently engaged with, with over £8m committed since mid-2011. Most of this financing is through multilateral emergency appeals managed on behalf of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent by IFRC, though some support has been provided directly to national societies as well.

BRC has developed an Operational Framework to guide programming to the Syria Crisis in the region. The framework provides direction for advocacy and partnership development as well as support to the multilateral humanitarian response activities. BRC is seeking to consolidate its response to the Syria Crisis and to establish a dedicated Syria Crisis Team that will take forward a continued multi-million GBP response with a stake in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

The BRC response currently consists of emergency relief material and financial support; National Society capacity building and organisational support; support to the IFRC in coordinating the overall operational response; humanitarian advocacy messaging; and a preparedness to engage in recovery programming as opportunities allow.


Based in Beirut, but with an organisational desire to move to Damascus as and when circumstances allow, this new fixed term role will focus solely on the Syria Crisis Response. The post will be a part of the Syria Crisis Team (under development: will include a Syria Crisis Programme Manager with overarching responsibility for the regional response of the BRC)and be responsible for the delivery of the Syria-focused elements of the BRC regional response. The role will be line-managed by the Syria Crisis Programme Manager.

The role will coordinate closely with Red Cross/ Red Crescent Movement colleagues on specific issues relating to the inside Syria emergency response. The role will pursue a combination of multilateral response options in support of the appeals of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and bilateral support relationshipsto the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). The role will engage with SARC on the day-to-day and operational issues. , and do so in close liaison with theMENA Regional Programme Support Manager (Partnerships Development) who has responsibility for holding the long-term and strategic relationships with the same National Societies. The role will lead on monitoring the on-going multilateral emergency response operation funded by BRC, with travel to and in Syria.

Overall Purpose of the Post

To manage, implement and monitor the successful delivery of the ‘within Syria’ elements of the Syria Crisis Response Programme. The role will have key operational management and decision-making responsibility, subject to BRC leadership approval procedures, to ensure that activities are completed on time and within budget, and ensuring that the programme remains appropriate to the context. The role will work closely with SARC to fulfil BRC organisational development, branch support and capacity building commitments. The role will work to ensure that appropriate monitoring information is gathered and accountability obligations fulfilled.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Programme Management

  1. In accordance with delegated budget and operations management authority, take operational responsibility for the efficient and effective management ofthe ‘within-Syria’ elements of the BRC Syria Crisis Response.
  2. Work proactively, under the direction of the Syria Crisis Programme Manager, with the BRC Disaster Management teams (response, recovery and logistics), Partnership Development teams, and Humanitarian Policy team to ensure appropriate on-going support responding to identified needs with Red Cross/Crescent national societies that is consistent with BRC International priorities.
  3. Undertake regular support visits to and in Syria, working closely with SARC, the IFRC and ICRC country delegation representatives, to implement the agreed capacity building, branch support and organisational development commitments. This may include visiting SARC branches.
  4. Provide technical advisory support to SARC in line with the agreed capacity building, branch support and organisational development commitments.
  5. Obtain appropriate levels of monitoring and accountability information on the progress of emergency relief material support and capacity building initiatives.
  6. Work closely, under the direction of the Syria Crisis Programme Manager, with the MENA Regional Programme Manager to ensure the Syria Crisis Response is coherent with the broader BRC MENA Regional Strategy, and its initial implementation plans, especially around capacity support to SARC.
  7. Provide insight and advice to help BRC ensure that the BRC Syria crisis response remains appropriate to the political, social, economic, environmental and cultural context in Syria.
  8. Facilitate the building of relationships and links between SARC and the wider BRC; especially to the benefit of the Syria Crisis Programme Manager and the MENA Regional Programme Manager.
  9. Identify and advise on new response programming options within Syria, including longer-term recovery as the situation allows, which are consistent with the BRC’s Syria Crisis Operational Framework.
  10. Contribute to the documentation and communication of learning within the organization and seek, where possible, to share that learning with key stakeholders.

Financial and information management

  1. Contribute to the development of proposals for new contracts.
  2. Ensure operations comply with BRC procedures, regulations and policies. In particular, ensure that the financial management of all funds meets with the standards established by the Finance Division and donors and liaise with the Head of International Finance within the International Division to achieve this objective.
  3. Provide timely provision of clear and consistent information and operational narrative and financial reporting for BRC corporate and institutional donor proposals and reports.
  4. Ensure that the reporting and accountability needs of institutional donors (DFID, ECHO and the DEC) are provided for.
  5. Ensure BRC Syria Crisis Programme Manager is informed on any material developments which could affect the programme.

External relationship management

  1. Develop and maintain BRC operational relationships with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies secretariat at the country level, ICRC, other Participating National Societies (PNS)present in the country and relevant stakeholders, ensuring an open and transparent dialogue.


  1. In accordance with established processes, contribute to the editing of information resources relating to the response operations which are produced by other BRC divisions, including texts for fundraising, communication, social media, web and other purposes.
  2. If required, to give media interviews regarding the Syria Crisis Response, following sign off of the content via the established processes.
  3. Any other reasonable duties as delegated by the Line Manager.
  4. Uphold the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and work within the Society’s equal opportunities policy.

Person Specification

Job Title: Syria Response Manager Ref: UKO52401
Education/ training / Degree level (or equivalent qualification) in Disaster Management, International Development, International Relations, Management or other relevant subject
Red Cross Movement training: relevant Disaster Management trainings and /or personal and operational security management are all desirable
Experience / Proven experience in the development and management of multi-million pound and multi faceted humanitarian assistance programmesis essential **
Experience in working for IFRC, ICRC, or a Red Cross/Red Crescent national society in an international operations role is desirable
Demonstrable experience of managing humanitarian, recovery and/or development programmes in the Middle East is essential**
Proven track record of working through, and in support of, partner organisations (preferably local National Societies) including working to develop their organisational capacity to respondis essential **
Demonstrable experience working in demanding environments to multiple deadlines is essential
Experience in monitoring partners’ use of programming resources, preferably within the Red Cross Movement
Considerable experience of needs assessment and developing operational plans, preferably in an emergency response context
Considerable experience of programme design, proposal writing, monitoring and evaluationis essential **
Demonstrable experience of working with donors and managing donor funded programmes ** (DFID, DEC and ECHO experience are desirable).
Knowledge/ technical skills / Good level of Arabic language skills is essential **
Ability to easily access and travel frequently within Syria is essential **
Fluency in written and verbal English is essential
Strong technical skills for developing disaster response capacity are essential
Comprehensive understanding of the current political, social and humanitarian situation in Syria and in the Middle East, especially around the Syria Crisis is essential **
Proven ability to represent an organization at a senior level is essential
Strong budget and financial management skills are desirable
Demonstrable ability to develop strong working relationships with internal and external stakeholders working in a partnership approach is essential **
Experience of analysing humanitarian contexts and operations, identifying pertinent issues, making operationalrecommendations is essential
An understanding of the various standards that are applied to humanitarian operations (e.g. SPHERE, the Red Cross Code of Conduct, etc.) is essential
Ability to quickly, rigorously, and accurately write documents / reports and prepare financial analysis for a wide variety of uses (e.g. strategies, plans, terms of reference, MoUs etc.) is desirable
A general knowledge of the key sectors in which BRC is likely to programme (i.e. livelihoods, relief, emergency shelter) and an general appreciation of the others (in particular, an understanding of Cash Transfer Programming is desirable).
Knowledge of the structure, mandates and operational norms of components of the Red Cross Movement and an appreciation of the IFRC’s global disaster response tools, regional response mechanisms, and means of managing these at zone level is desirable. **
Behaviours / Uphold the Fundamental Principles and act with integrity and in accordance with the BRC’s values and obligations
Work in an open, collaborative way with other key stakeholders
Work in a politically and culturally sensitive way with all key stakeholders
Ensure anti-discriminatory practice and promote diversity
Recognise and value the contribution of others
Maintain effective interpersonal and communication skills
Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability and open mindedness
Special Circumstances / Willing and able to deploy at short notice to work/travel in remote and unstable areas
Willing and able to work beyond the statutory hours at short notice, and be contactable outside office hours.

**Minimum short-listing criteria. N.B. All disabled candidates who meet these criteria must be short-listed for interview in line with our commitment under the two- tick symbol scheme.