Director, Program Quality and Performance in Emergencies

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International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is one of the world’s largest international humanitarian non-governmental organizations (INGO), at work in more than 50 countries and more than 25 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. A force for humanity, IRC employees deliver lasting impact by restoring safety, dignity and hope to millions. If you’re a solutions-driven, passionate change-maker, come join us in positively impacting the lives of millions of people world-wide for a better future.

The IRC’s Emergencies & Humanitarian Action Unit (EHAU) is responsible for IRC’s global emergency preparedness and response activities. The mission of the EHAU is to expand and improve IRC’s ability to help affected communities survive in acute emergencies and hard to reach contexts by investing in people, systems, and solutions to complex humanitarian challenges. The EHAU team achieves this mission through ongoing thorough risk analysis, investing in capacity strengthening of frontline humanitarians, partnership with local actors, offering collaborative support and technical assistance to teams working in emergencies and hard to reach places, and deploying and supporting world class emergency response staff as they help people affected by acute crisis situations.

Job Overview

The Quality in Emergencies (QiE) team is the largest pillar of EHAU and is made up of several emergency technical excellence teams. These teams (which include health, violence prevention and response, cash/basic needs, partnerships, safeguarding, education, and MEAL) mirror the IRC’s key programmatic areas of delivery but with a specialization in emergency humanitarian programing. The ability of this heterogenous team to deliver quality programs that are successful in complex emergency situations is deeply dependent on its capacity to respond to emergencies as a collaborative and aligned team. The Director, Program Quality and Performance in Emergencies will be responsible for ensuring this level of strategic alignment and quality performance within QiE is achieved, allowing EHAU to deliver high-quality programs at scale, to achieve impact through developing and maintaining systems, and to deliver strategic initiatives in line with S100 and the Emergencies SAP.

The Director will work across QiE and other EHAU pillars to support the alignment and integration of strategic QiE commitments, and through intradepartmental collaboration to engage on learning and performance through preparedness and response. The role will establish and manage core routines, systems, and forums for the Quality in Emergencies pillar, focused on performance, coordination, and collaborative delivery. It will likewise devise and manage large-scale, multi-sectoral projects critical to the success of the pillar and support the Senior Director’s management and communication needs. Finally, this role will articulate and measure performance of QiE by working closely with the Measurement, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) team to provide evidence-based analysis which would inform quality in emergencies decision making.

This position is managed by the Senior Director for Quality in Emergences and helps to steward shared direction and collaborative action across these teams and other stakeholders in EHAU. The Director will work closely with colleagues across the EHAU pillars, including but not limited to Regional Emergency Directors and Senior Technical Advisors; and with counterparts outside EHAU focused on similar themes of program quality, technical strategy, and performance. The Director, Program Quality and Performance in Emergencies will directly manage the Partnerships Technical Advisor and the Emergency Safeguarding Coordinator and will need to hone a supportive leadership approach and influencing skills to harmonize and enhance the delivery of programing in emergencies.

Major Responsibilities

Strategic Project Leadership (50%)

Balancing efficiency with broad engagement, the role will conceptualize, coordinate, simplify, structure, project-manage, and deliver results independently and through others on key QiE strategic priorities and special assignments critical for the future of the Pillar. The Director will lead on high-impact, inter-departmental, and complex strategic initiatives and coherence on strategic projects related, but not limited to:

o Emergency response tools and guidance

 Emergency Roadmap

 Emergency Technical Frameworks and STEP

o Piloting and improving QiE’s quality assurance accountability framework in emergencies

o Business development strategies, including targeted fundraising approaches for emergencies

o Climate change and adaptation framework in emergency settings

o Partnerships in Emergencies, supporting EHAU’s commitments to invest in partnerships in the next three years

To meet these goals, the role will build, improve, and implement lean and efficient governance systems to facilitate decision-making, risk mitigation, and quality assurance. Likewise, it will be responsible for ensuring knowledge management and supporting effective and inclusive collaboration. This will require the position holder to strengthen collaboration, prioritization, and execution across programming teams, serving as a partner, relationship builder, and leader within the department and across the IRC.

The role will demonstrate strong strategic leadership with minimal oversight and support and will ensure consistent communication and engagement of the QiE Leadership team, the EHAU SMT and/or other technical partners as relevant, on strategic projects. Strategic project management will include clear workplans, key results, benchmarks as well as transition or organizational change strategies. The Director will also advise the Senior Director of Quality in Emergencies on priorities, opportunities and challenges and ensure they are appropriately informed of key organizational issues.

Emergency Preparedness and prepositioning response capacity (10%)

• Be responsible for the strategic roll-out and implementation of the preparedness and early action framework for quality in emergencies with Regional Emergency Directors. This includes establishing a change management process and practice integration assessment plan. Ensure the framework is kept updated and properly communicated across all relevant parties.

• Ensure effective and efficient implementation of the preparedness framework with linkages to IRC’s strategic action planning process.

• Support uptake and consistent use of the tools and resources for preparedness across regions.

• Lead cross-functional analysis and learning around areas for improvement of the emergency preparedness framework and resource package, while promoting good knowledge management practices.

• Coordinate QiE support functions to ensure efficient, quality delivery on regional preparedness plans, in partnership with REDs and other IRC departments/ regional counterparts.

• Lead QiE STAs in maintaining emergency preparedness tools and resources for the Quality in Emergencies team.

• Participate in and coordinate QiE engagement in climate adaptation and anticipatory action strategic direction, inclusive of upcoming joint/shared business development between QiE and TechEx.

• As needed, provide strategic support and oversight of capacity strengthening and sharing on humanitarian and emergency competencies among country response teams.

Quality Assurance and Performance Management (25%)

This role will lead on governance and performance management for the pillar, working closely with EHAU’s Director of Strategy and Measurement to align and integrate with the Departmental Performance Framework and ecosystems. The role will:

• Support and design a vision and lead efforts to improve clarity, capacity, and commitment around IRC’s future quality assurance processes in emergencies.

• Identify simple and practical solutions for raising program quality, which apply to existing routines and standard approaches.

• Partner with STAs and other EHAU pillars to identify key management and other relevant metrics.

• Supervise and communicate performance across the Pillar.

• Establish overarching routines for the pillar for tracking, coordination, discussion, and debate.

• Play a leading role in the implementation of the organizational SAP for emergencies by ensuring strategic areas of work, such as preparedness and partnerships are supported, progress metrics reviewed and developing corrective actions as required.

• Coordinate accountability practices across QiE for the areas of the SAP under the department’s remit (1.1, 1.4, 2.1). Collaborate with the relevant SAP conveners to develop and manage routines for QiE quarterly SAP progress reviews, implementation plan revisions, and engaging the full QiE department in strategic efforts.

Management of Partnerships & Safeguarding Teams (15%)

• Manage the Partnerships Senior Technical Advisor and maintain strategic oversight over the integration of partnerships initiatives across QiE and EHAU. Provide leadership and guidance to the emergency partnerships team.

• Provide strategic support on delivering safeguarding priorities, including planning and implementation in emergency responses.

• Supervise and manage ERT and EST Safeguarding Coordinators.

• Provide oversight and support on learning and impact overview on EHAU Safeguarding priorities.

• Ensure coordinated technical support to safeguarding coordinators during deployments and response start-up.

• Ensure EHAU Safeguarding strategies are streamlined with the global IRC guidance.

Team Culture

• Build and maintain strong working relationships with EHAU colleagues and continually promote a culture of partnership and collaboration.

• Cultivate and maintain a positive, inclusive, safe and caring work environment, while additionally setting an example of ‘One IRC’-way of working within the team, EHAU and the wider organization

• Advance efforts across EHAU to promote gender equality, diversity and more inclusive practice across our programming and our ways of working.

• Engage in effective power-sharing practices and ensure colleagues have the knowledge, support, and power to do their work with autonomy.


• 8-10 years’ experience providing advice and support to country teams in the setting up and implementation of emergency responses.

• Extensive experience planning, leading and delivering large-scale, cross functional projects, and managing change in a complex, global organization.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

• Ability to anticipate and assess situations accurately and recommend/implement effective courses of action required.

• Proven track record of advancing multiple critical initiatives and a myriad of complex details on a concurrent basis.

• Ability to communicate effectively with internal and external collaborators with tact, both orally and in writing, including working with all staff levels and diverse personalities.

• Proven ability to build influence and alignment between diverse cohorts.

• Consistent record of serving as a role model, empowering others to translate vision into results; effective at supporting the power sharing and power building of team members.

• High integrity and ethical standards, collegial and collaborative behavior, high energy, resiliency, and creativity.

• Experience leading and inspiring leaders toward the achievement of joint goals.

• High dedication to fostering a working environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

• Ability to expand on own initiative in performance of duties.

• Excellent judgment, tact, initiative, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, organizational skills, and self-motivation.

• Ability to travel up to 25-30% of the time.

Language Skills: Fluency in English required; fluency in French, Arabic and/or Spanish desirable.

Qualified candidates residing in any location where the IRC operates are encouraged to apply.

Posted pay ranges apply to US based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.

US Benefits:
The IRC offers a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. All US employees are eligible for sick time, a 403b retirement savings plans: up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus an 3-7% additional IRC contribution, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support in times of crisis and mental health struggles.

In addition, full-time employees are eligible for 10 US paid holidays, 20-25 paid time off days, disability & life insurance, medical, dental, and vision insurance (employee contribution starting at $135, $7, and $5 per month respectively) and FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs. Part-time employees are eligible for a proportionate amount of paid time off. These additional benefits apply to employees who work at least 6 months within a 12 month time period.

Standard of Professional Conduct: The IRC and the IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – our Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability, and Equality.

Commitment to Gender, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: The IRC is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, respectful, and safe work environment where all persons are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. The IRC expressly prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or bullying of the IRC persons in any work setting. We aim to increase the representation of women, people that are from country and communities we serve, and people who identify as races and ethnicities that are under-represented in global power structures.

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