International / Multinational

Head of Country Cluster at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world’s largest humanitarian network and is guided by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Head of Country Cluster

Vacancy No: IFRC04384
Location: Abuja
Duty Station Status: Family Duty Station
Accompanied Status: Accompanied
Duration: 2 years
Category of Staff: Delegate
Grade: F1

Organizational Context

  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC or “the Federation”) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network. The Federation is a membership organization established by and comprised of its member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Along with National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Federation is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  • The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.” It works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises.
  • The Federation is served by a Secretariat based in Geneva, with regional and country offices throughout the world. The Secretariat is led by the IFRC Secretary General and provides the central capacity of the International Federation to serve, connect, and represent National Societies. The Secretariat’s focus includes providing support to the IFRC governance mechanisms; setting norms and standards; providing guidance; ensuring consistency, coordination, and accountability for performance; knowledge sharing; promoting collaboration within and respect for the RCRC Movement; and expanding engagement with partners. The Secretariat’s headquarters is organized in three main business groups: (i) Partnerships, including Movement and Membership; (ii) Programmes and Operations; and (iii) Management. The Secretariat has five regional offices, as follows: Americas (Panama City); Africa (Nairobi); Asia/Pacific (Kuala Lumpur); Europe (Budapest); Middle East and North Africa (Beirut).
  • As part of the Region; the Country Cluster will facilitate cooperation in the area of responsibility and provide direct support to IFRC country offices (if any) and National Societies under the cluster. The office should ensure delivery towards global indicators and producing tailor-made plans per country. It may also host outpost technical resources which can be available for the sub-region and beyond.
  • The Country Cluster Office should ensure effective Movement coordination, per country under its responsibility and as a Country Cluster Office will promote communications, provide a platform for cooperation within its scope of action and strengthening relations with national, regional and International organizations based in the area.
  • The Country Cluster office will draw support from the regional office as required to deliver support for the NSs and will ensure regional coherence and consistency on the IFRC delivery. The country cluster office will promote country centered longer-term programming, provide a platform for cooperation.

Job Purpose

  • The Head of Country Cluster is the senior Secretariat representative and business manager for the countries covered by the office, with clear management authority and responsibility. Under the guidance and leadership of the Regional Director, s/he is accountable for developing the Secretariat’s strategy to assist the National Societies in those countries covering the key tasks set out below and as updated from time to time.

Job Duties and Responsibilities
Strengthening National Societies (NS) to deliver services and to advocate on behalf of vulnerable people:

  • Lead the Federation Secretariat team to organise and manage the support to the National Societies, represent the Federation Secretariat and maintain good relations with all NSs and participating NSs involved in these countries;
  • Understand the needs and concerns of all NS working in these countries (including participating NS) and ensure at all times that IFRC provides relevant support to national societies;
  • Ensure that Secretariat delivers and provides quality support to national societies and core programmes is properly planned, managed and monitored; and that capacity building opportunities are fully exploited;
  • Ensure that evaluations of Federation supported programmes are carried out according to project/programme plans and that lessons are effectively shared;
  • Lead resource mobilisation for the Federation Secretariat and NS programmes in these countries for the region and for global activities of the Federation and the NS.
  • Support the NSs in their plans to strengthen their financial sustainability, the volunteer growth and international cooperation capacities

Coordinate, cooperate, and form strategic partnerships:

  • Ensure that Federation policies, procedures, guidelines and quality standards are well known and complied with;
  • Facilitate cooperation and coordination in all programmes and operations between the host NSs, participating NSs and ICRC to ensure the most effective mobilisation and utilisation of resources across the geographical area of focus;
  • Build effective cooperation and partnerships with a wide range of partners and stakeholders in government, civil society, academia and the private sector.
  • In coordination with the regional Partnership and Resource Development team, support the NSs to develop concrete Partnerships, Development and Humanitarian Diplomacy objectives.

Support Global IFRC initiatives:

  • Working with NS and Governments, particularly the countries under the cluster to build global alliances and develop interest in and support to the global work of the IFRC.
  • Support the conclusion and implementation of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for international humanitarian and development cooperation with these Governments and NS.
  • Support and lead global partnerships with Governments and institutions in these countries, in close consultation with the concerned NS.

Develop effective humanitarian diplomacy:

  • Monitor and analyse political, economic and social trends in these countries for planning purposes and for keeping the Federation Secretariat and partners informed;
  • Formulate policy objectives for advocacy, communications and external relations for these countries in line with Federation global priorities;
  • Represent to IFRC at national, regional and international events taking place in these countries – also at meetings which are of global relevance.
  • Provide assistance to NSs to enhance the auxiliary role in the humanitarian field and to develop effective humanitarian diplomacy, communications and external relations, and ensure that these build on and promote Federation priorities;
  • Ensure effective cooperation with ICRC and IFRC membership in the countries in representation and advocacy work.

Response to disasters:

  • Provide effective support, including technical advice, to ensure that appropriate disaster preparedness and response mechanisms are established in each NS and IFRC office, both to facilitate effective disaster response, coordination with national response mechanism and to build on and strengthen NS capacities in this area;
  • Ensure that national resources from these countries are made available rapidly and efficiently to support Federation disaster response;
  • Work with the Regional Emergency and Crisis team on the management of international appeals and international response coordination where and when appropriate.

Management of People and Secretariat resources in the region:

  • Ensure that an effective and relevant organisational structure is in place for effective support of National Societies in these countries;
  • Manage all staff under his/her authority – including those in the Country Cluster Office as well as in the countries under his/her responsibility;
  • Ensure the application of all established HR policies and procedures, and that staff hired in-country are employed in accordance with local laws and practices;
  • Implement the Federation Secretariat’s gender and diversity policies;
  • Ensure dissemination of the Code of Conduct for Staff to everyone under his/her authority.

Finance and Risk Management:

  • Ensure sound financial management of the Secretariat’s programming in these countries, that effective budget planning is in place, and that programmes operate within approved budgets.


  • Ensure the quality and timeliness of the reporting of the Federation Secretariat’s programming;
  • Maintain regular management reporting to the Regional Director.


  • Ensure that the Office maintains a comprehensive and effective 24/7 security management that will have a positive impact on, and enhance, personnel as well as assets safety and security.
  • Ensure all IFRC (and other RCRC) personnel, assets, and operations under IFRC responsibility are adequately protected and that identified security risk are mitigated and much as possible.
  • Ensure that the security management system is adequately to ensure that IFRC Duty of Care and legal liabilities are respected.
  • Undertake security risk assessment of Federation operations according to the needs to ensure compliance with the Federation’s Minimum-Security Requirements (MSR). This includes Office, Residential and Site security coordination.
  • Develop and update appropriate security plans and procedures in accordance with MSR and ensure that the security plans are well known and complied with
  • Monitor and evaluate compliance with mandatory IFRC safety & security trainings (e.g. e-learning programs).
  • Respond 24/7 to IFRC or RCRC-related security incidents/emergencies/crises to safeguard personnel, assets, and operations.
  • Monitor and analyse security, political and socio-economic situation, and identify security-related trends and issues that affect the Federation and RC/RC Movement.
  • Establish and maintain internal and external security-related contacts and participate in security meetings both internally and externally with ICRC, UN, local authorities, NGO’s and embassies as required.
  • Advise staff on coordinating actions required to deal with security-sensitive situations and if required the management of critical incidents.
  • Follow up on security incidents, ensure correct reporting to Security Unit


  • Post-graduate (i.e., Master’s. degree or equivalent) in social sciences/development studies, strategic/programme management, management studies or other relevant disciplines.


  • IMPACT course or equivalent knowledge


  • 10+ years work experience in managing operations for humanitarian aid organisation and or development cooperation organisation
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience at a senior management level
  • 5 years of work experience including management in a Red Cross/Red Crescent National Society, IFRC or ICRC
  • 5 years’ experience of proven high-level communication skills backed by proven track record in programmes management
  • Proven results-based experience on relationship management and resource mobilisation
  • Proven experience in people management
  • Proven record of security regulations implementation
  • Proven experience in governance and leadership support
  • Proven experience of acting in a representational role and maintaining donor and partner relations


  • Proven experience of working in the region.

Knowledge, Skills and Languages

  • Strong management and organizational skills, including ability to delegate authority and responsibility
  • Good intercultural communication skills
  • Ability to work in a cross-cultural and cross-functional environment
  • Strong financial management skills
  • Computer literate and proficient in Microsoft Office
  • Excellent interpersonal negotiations skills, including ability to effectively communicate a vision, solve problems and manage conflict
  • Proven people management skills in a multi-cultural environment and strong track record of developing people
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake high-level representational and advocacy role
  • Drive change and improvements and the ability to deliver strategies in a challenging environment
  • Understanding of and commitment to the IFRC’s mission and values
  • Demonstrated initiative and creativity, and substantial experience of strategic thinking, including identifying, analysing, problem-solving and responding to opportunities and challenges and the ability to translate these into practical plans of action
  • Fluently spoken and written English
  • Good command of another IFRC official language (Arabic, French and/or Spanish) or language relevant in the region

Competencies and Values:

  • Core Competencies: Communication; Collaboration and Teamwork; Judgement and Decision Making; National Society and Customer Relations; Creativity and Innovation; Building Trust;
  • Managerial Competencies: Managing Staff Performance; Managing Staff Development
  • Functional Competencies: Strategic Orientation; Building Alliances; Leadership; Empowering Others


  • In the event that you have applied to the Second Round of Pooled Recruitment and you have not heard from us, please submit your application to this post.

Deadline: 8th September, 2020.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

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