Area Manager

Danish Refugee Council , South Sudan

Skill Required:, HR and Admin
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
29th October, 2019

Job Description

We are looking for a highly qualified, self-motivated Area Manager who is able to work with diverse teams of both national and international staff as well as local government authorities, UN agencies, I/NGOs and other partners under difficult, stressful and sometimes insecure conditions.  


Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is operational in South Sudan since 2005, working with the overall aim of achieving durable solutions for displaced populations. The Danish Demining Group (DDG) started Humanitarian Mine Action in 2006.

Danish Refugee Council main programme objectives (2019-2021) in South Sudan are:

  • To save lives and alleviate suffering among displaced people and their hosts
  • To reduce displacement related risks and support and facilitate solutions
  • To promote peaceful, inclusive and resilient societies and address root causes to displacement

DRC primarily operates across Upper Nile and Unity states, both of which are heavily affected by conflict and experience high numbers of internally displaced populations as well as refugees in need of humanitarian assistance. DRC has operational bases in Maban, Malakal, Kodok and Aburoc in Upper Nile and in Bentiu, Mayom, Kodok and Ajuong Thok in Unity state, supported by a country-office in Juba.

DRC recently developed important multi-sectorial mobile response teams based in Juba able to rapidly respond to new and urgent humanitarian situations countrywide at short notice to conduct assessments and responses

Purpose of the post

The Area Manager (AM) has overall responsibility for the implementation and strategic direction of DRC’s projects in Ajuong Thok and for fostering effective relationships and communication with the majors Donors, UNHCR, as well as sister NGOs and Government agencies operating in Pariang. The Area Manager combines a thorough grasp of program with amiable and inspirational leadership of a diverse team of international experts, and a large national workforce of emerging skill and professional capacities.

Reporting to the Country Director based in Juba, the Area Manager is the direct supervisor of an international and national team of Project Managers and Support Services staff who in turn oversee large teams of international and national program and support staff. The Area Manager provides routine support and guidance to project teams on project cycle management, budgeting, proposal development and operational functions, including finance, logistics and procurement. In addition, the AM provides oversight to ensure the successful implementation of all projects, with the support of the Technical Coordinators and constantly monitors the context to ensure programing is relevant and responsive to priority needs. In this capacity, the AM is also responsible for representing DRC publicly at the site level, including in coordination fora, with other agencies and with donors, and for providing the direct link in communications between DRC's Ajuong Thok and Juba offices, seeking Juba program direction and input on important programmatic and operational issues in a timely manner. Finally, it is essential that the AM provides strong oversight of security management of the Ajuong Thok team and ensures all safety and security measures, including contingency plans and standard operating procedures, are in place and well understood and observed by all staff.


To achieve the objectives of the position, the Area Manager will perform the following tasks and undertake the following responsibilities:


  • Actively participate and represent DRC in coordination meetings with UNHCR, UNMISS and coordination meetings with NGO colleagues, meetings conducted by local and state authorities, UN agencies and stakeholders
  • Build a close relationship with donors
  • Liaise with partners, local authorities, and local communities whenever it serves the objectives of the programs
  • Identify gaps in service provision to IDPs, proactively referring those gaps to relevant forums or advocating with government authorities or humanitarian partners for additional support

Programme Management

  • Overall responsibility for managing the DRC Ajuong Thok staff including ensuring positive and collaborative working relationships in line with DRC's Code of Conduct, leading performance planning and evaluation process including staff capacity building for the team in collaboration with the Program Coordinator and HR department.
  • Overall responsible for the planning and timely implementation of all activities (shelter, livelihood, camp coordination and management and protection) ensuring adherence to DRC and donor policies and procedures
  • Overall responsibility for managing DRC Ajuong Thok office, including efficient and effective financial operations and budgeting, administration, human resources, logistics, procurement and security in compliance with DRC and donor regulations
  • Ensuring the smooth communications between Ajuong Thok and Juba offices plus facilitate coordination between Technical Coordinators based in Juba and Project Managers under his direct supervision in Ajuong Thok
  • Contribute to the strategic direction of the DRC programs, in close collaboration with the Technical Coordinators in line with the DRC platforms, for instance, initiating strategy planning meetings at field level, and supporting development of corresponding strategic documents
  • Work with the Technical Coordinators, Grants Manager, Deputy Country Director - Programmes and Finance Manager to contribute to new project development, including both narratives and budgets
  • Maintain regular interaction and consultations with other DRC Area Managers to promote synergy and cross learning among DRC teams and projects in other program areas of the country.
  • Coordinate the development for emergency response in case of additional large-scale influx of IDPs
  • Ensure the timely and quality delivery of weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual project re-ports and staff contributions to organizational monitoring and evaluation requirements to ensure project quality, relevance and accountability to DRC's beneficiary populations
  • Provide oversight of all programming in Ajuong Thok in compliance with DRC and donor regulations while upholding rigorous project cycle management standards.
  • Contribute to fundraising by leading the team to generate ideas for new proposal development and budgeting as well as extension of existing programs
  • Support program staff to create synergy between the sectors
  • Continuously monitor Programme quality and develop relevant accountability initiatives in the field as well as strengthen the effort to document the impact of activities and DRC presence

Finance and Administration

  • Effective Supervision of the Finance/HR and Administration Senior Officer
  • Maintain a site-level budget overview and collaborate regularly with the Juba-based finance team to monitor spending and ensure the timely utilization of all grants
  • Support project managers and support staff in the development of site specific budgets and spending plans
  • Ensure full compliance with DRC and donor financial guidelines and policies while managing the projects

Human Resources

  • Lead the implementation of an area nationalization/staff capacity building strategy which feeds into the National Staff Nationalization policy
  • Support site-level recruitment processes and ensure that relevant staffing structures are in place, are reflective of appropriate gender balance, and promote opportunities for nationalization
  • Promote professional development by identifying training and capacity building opportunities
  • Ensure staff are well versed on DRC's Code of Conduct, accountability, respectful dialogue with the refugees and host communities, and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse
  • Collaborate with the Juba Human Resources department to ensure staff performance plans and evaluations are conducted on a regular basis

Logistics and Procurement

  • Effective supervision of the Logistics Officers
  • Guide the Logistics staff, technical managers, program coordinator, support staff and Juba-based logistics and procurement team to develop and track the implementation of site-specific procurement plans
  • Ensure the observance of DRC procurement, logistics, warehousing and asset management procedures procurement and also full compliance with Donor regulations and policies and standards

Safety and Security

  • Assume overall responsibility for staff safety in the area of operation
  • Ensure that all relevant information regarding safety, security and the context is collected, updated and shared in a regular and timely manner
  • Ensure that the NGO Safety Advisor manages basic security planning including information gathering and regular updating of risk assessments, standard operating procedures, and evacuation and contingency plans
  • Make decisions and assist the Safety focal point to manage security incidents at local level, in consultation with the Country Director and the Country Safety Advisor

About You

In this position, you are expected to demonstrate each of DRC’ five core competencies:

Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results through the Regional team both to position DRC and ensure excellence in all deliverable. 
Collaborating: You lead regional initiatives and processes by involving relevant parties and encouraging feedback. 
Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.
Communicating: You listen to other stakeholders and staff; and you communicate concisely and persuasively.
Demonstrating integrity: You act in line with DRC’s vision and values. 

Moreover, we also expect the following:

  • Experience and technical competencies: (include years of experience)
  • A Post-graduate University Degree in Political/Social Sciences, International Development or Business Administration
  • Solid experience in program management (3 to 6 years)
  • Field experience and broad knowledge of characteristics relevant to conflict-affected or post-conflict contexts, and specific operational experience with refugee emergency and recovery programming within a host community
  • Recent program management/oversight in all or some of the following sectors: Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Shelter, Livelihood, Protection etc
  • Solid experience (3 years) in project cycle management, including proposal writing, budget management and donor reporting
  • Experience of coordinating activities across locations
  • Demonstrated experience in meeting high, evidence-based monitoring and evaluation standards
  • Experience with different donors i.e. BPRM, UNHCR and Danida preferred
  • HR staff management of both expats and national staff in challenging environments
  • Proven experience of capacity building and training, including preparation of materials and facilitation and roll out of a training plan
  • Knowledge of finance monitoring and follow up tools
  • Ability for rapid analysis of very complex issues, strong decision-making, and translation of programmatic learning and priorities into operational strategies
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, cross-cultural communication and ease in managing a multi-ethnic team
  • Good team leadership and conflict resolution skills, consensus team building, and adaptability
  • Patience and understanding to work with and develop capacity of national staff
  • Experience delivering programmes to tight deadlines
  • Good computer and IT skills and strong communication and writing skills
  • Ability and willingness to work in remote and isolated location with ever changing security scenarios

Desirable qualifications

  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Prior experience in South Sudan an added advantage;
  • Self-motivated and able to work with a minimum of guidance and supervision;
  • Experience working in security-sensitive environments and enforcement of team security protocols is an asset.
  • Conditions


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