Country Director – Syria

Antakya, Turkey
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Country Director – Syria

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GOAL is an international NGO operating across the globe. Our mission is to work towards ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable in our world and those affected by humanitarian crises have access to the fundamental rights of life, including but not limited to adequate shelter, food, water and sanitation, healthcare and education.

GOAL has been working in Syria since 2012, responding to the acute needs of conflict affected communities. GOAL is working in Northern Syria, directly and with local partners, delivering food, non-food, WASH, livelihoods and emergency programming with a strong focus on cash assistance and market based approaches. In 2016, GOAL had a total budget of over 100 million Euros including bilateral and UN donors.

Overview of the role

The Syria Country Director (CD) is a challenging yet rewarding role that comes with high expectations. You will be expected to promote innovation in your programmes, strive to have the most effective and responsive MEAL approach inside Syria, use your formidable communication skills to influence government, donors and the media, and above all, ensure that GOAL is responsive to the needs of the people inside Syria. You will be responsible for supporting one of the most amazing teams inside Syria and doing everything in your power to ensure that they can carry out their work in this incredibly dangerous context.

Main responsibilities

Strategy and Vision

  • Formulate and plan, in consultation with key stakeholders, a clear vision of present and future programme goals and strategies, which can be clearly communicated to team members, local beneficiaries, partners, local authorities and donors.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve programme and agency objectives.
  • Explore, evaluate and present new country and project funding opportunities that leverage impact and integrate initiatives and activities.

Programme Impact, Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning

  • Oversee programme quality and impact by ensuring programmes are based on sound design principles and utilize GOAL and donor required M&E Systems.
  • Gather evidence of programme impact through robust agency standard procedures for data gathering, reporting and evaluating programme outputs and outcomes.
  • Oversee the Syria Complaints and Response Mechanism, ensuring that timely feedback is provided to those using the system and that proper investigations are carried out for serious complaints through GOAL’s Director of Complaints and Head of Investigations.
  • Support mechanisms that link reporting, monitoring and advocacy for internal and external purposes.
  • Ensure that all interventions adhere to the Joint Operating Principles and beneficiary accountability standards.

Representation and Influence

  • Anticipate needs, understand donor pool and contribute to shaping donor’s views on humanitarian and development strategies.
  • Explore, evaluate and present innovative funding opportunities that support the objectives for the country as a whole.
  • Work closely with other Country Directors through the NGO Forum and other mechanisms to coordinate humanitarian actions and advocate for a supportive work environment for humanitarian agencies.
  • Represent GOAL with government, local authorities and media as appropriate.

Team Management

  • Develop and maintain an excellent human resource plan consistent with GOAL policies, including current position descriptions for all positions, personnel orientation and professional development plans, personnel evaluation system, and field personnel policy manual.
  • Institute a disciplined culture of performance management and regular feedback between supervisors and their direct reports.
  • Ensure that HR policies are in line with government regulations.
  • Recruit, manage, and motivate an informed, skilled and efficient team with an emphasis on excellence and achievement.
  • Encourage a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, incorporating staff development strategies and performance management systems into the team building process.
  • Establish leadership and personal credibility with the GOAL Syria team and implement and create an organizational culture of accountability, responsibility and quality of services.

Personal Leadership

  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Demonstrate awareness of their own strengths and development needs.

Finance and Operations

  • Coordinate overall country budget; manage budget within approved spending levels and establish an annual cash flow plan to ensure a steady and adequate supply of funds for programme activities
  • Ensure programme implementation is on time, target and budget by leading the monthly budget monitoring process, ensuring that staff receive training on the BMT process and holding staff accountable for accurate forecasting.
  • Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, administration and logistics.
  • Build and maintain an environment of collaboration among programme, finance, operations and human resource team members resulting in optimal support for programme activities.
  • Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and GOAL policies and procedures.

Safety & Security

  • Manage security and safety of the entire country team and GOAL assets according to best practices, GOAL Global guidelines and field realities.
  • Liaise with the Global/Regional Security Advisor and the Regional Director on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting or security policy changes.

Risk Management and Compliance

  • Review and update the Country Risk Register on a quarterly basis.  All risks should be owned and managed in the programme and the CD should ensure they are addressed.
  • Ensure that 100% of staff receive training on key global policies. The mandatory policies are: Anti-Fraud Policy; Whistleblowing Policy; Conflict of Interest Policy; Code of Conduct
  •  Line manage the Internal Auditor, review all compliance and IA reports and ensure that the SMT reviews the outstanding consolidated issues list on a monthly basis.

Requirements (Person Specification)

  • 5 + years of previous overseas management experience in humanitarian assistance programmes, at least 2 years of which must be at senior management level.
  • A relevant post graduate qualification
  • Strong track record as a leader with excellent team building skills.
  • Dedicated to leading and supporting your team to be the very best they can be.
  • Demonstrated track record raising funds from institutional donors.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Experience in remote management and/or working in conflict settings.


  • Arabic language skills are an advantage.
  • A solid grounding in humanitarian principles and cash-based programming preferred.
  • Prior work experience in the region.
  • Prior experience of setting up or expanding new programmes.
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