The NGO Forum was established in 2012 to facilitate information sharing and coordination activities for international and Syrian NGOs operating in northern Syria. The Forum’s role is to positively increase the impact of humanitarian activities in response to the Syrian crisis, which is now in its seventh year. The NGO Forum membership provides cross-border operational support to the large populations of people in need in Idleb and other besieged and hard to access areas in northern and eastern Syria and in rural Damascus. The NGO Forum Secretariat supports this role, promoting coordination and collaboration of a diverse Forum membership, and is actively engaged with local and international actors to ensure the systematic and comprehensive development of local capacity. As of December 2017, the NGO Forum represents almost 70 Syrian and international NGOs as members or observers. The NGO Forum also works with Turkish local authorities, donors and state representatives, Unıted Natıons agencıes, departments and offıces in particular OCHA, Syrian NGO platforms and networks and other humanitarian actors.
In late 2014, the humanitarian response for Syria in the region shifted to take on a “Whole of Syria” approach, which has increased the need for strong, high-level, persuasive leadership by the NGO Forum Director. Not only does the Director work with coordination systems inside Turkey representing the interests of NGO Forum members, but also takes a leading role in strategic leadership at a regional level in the strengthening of current coordination mechanisms and the design of additional coordination structures to serve the Whole of Syria approach. The NGO Forum recognises the continuing long-term nature of this crisis and is keen to see an integration of emergency and recovery activities where appropriate, as well as a greater role for local organisations and civil society groups.
The successful candidate will have significant senior level leadership experience, and will contribute to ensuring appropriate, accountable and effective humanitarian action in northern Syria by harmonising NGO collective opinions, addressing issues not considered by UN-led mechanisms in the whole of Syria response, representing NGOs at the strategic level and by providing consistent and constructive advocacy from within the NGO community.
Scope of Work:
Under the overall supervision of the Chair of the NGO Forum Steering Committee, with a secondary reporting line to the Secretariat’s host management, the Director will perform the following duties, and other responsibilities as may be agreed:
Facilitate coordination between the NGO Forum members within the existing coordination structures both in Turkey and in the Whole of Syria regional response, ensuring transparent coordination mechanisms and regular information-sharing between NGOs;
Facilitate monthly NGO Forum General Meetings and NGO Forum Steering Committee Meetings and other ad-hoc meetings as required, providing full Secretariat support including issuing invitations to external speakers, record keeping and follow up on relevant action points;
Provide high-level analysis and comprehensive situational overviews to the NGO community, donors and UN representatives including regular reporting to the Forum Steering Committee and membership;
Provide information, briefings and presentations on anticipated or developing issues or trends of concern, and on the function, initiatives and interests of the humanitarian NGO community in northern Syria and southern Turkey;
Represent the NGO Forum and advocate to external stakeholders, including government officials, donors, United Nations representatives and others, in close collaboration with the NGO community and NGO Forum Steering Committee;
Foster close collaboration with other coordination bodies, including regional coordination and Syrian structures, and the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) counterparts;
Liaise with NGO coordination platforms in neighbouring countries in the region and support strong linkages between regional Fora Secretariats;
In close collaboration with the NGO Forum Steering Committee, develop productive relationships with key individuals in relevant local and national government offices including ministries, civil society, counterpart institutions, diplomatic missions and donors;
Represent the Forum membership on the Humanitarian Liaison Group and other coordination bodies, and at meetings and initiatives, including those at the regional strategic level;
Support training initiatives, capacity building, mentoring and skills transfer for the NGO Forum membership, and
Oversee, and be responsible for, the over-all day-to-day management of, and accountability for, the Forum Secretariat office, personnel, assets and financial resources, line managing four staff in a diverse team and ensuring all records are appropriately archived.
Experience and skills
Bachelor’s degree in international relations or development studies, political science, international law or management or similar related studies. Masters preferred.
Five to eight years of post-graduate experience, of which at least two years were in senior management eg Head of Mission or Director of Programs level and involved working with local and international NGOs and implementing partners and with other stakeholders including donors, local authorities and civil society groups;
At least two years of experience working on strategic level issues, including significant advocacy experience;
Significant experience coordinating humanitarian activities within a UN-lead cluster system, at a minimum with demonstrated active participation in other NGO platforms;
Experience working in the Syria Response and/or a strong demonstrated understanding of the country context and that of the wider Syrian crisis;
Experience in representation within Humanitarian Country Teams, inter-sectoral cluster system or other IASC coordination mechanisms;
Understanding of the challenges in the management of remote-operations, and
Ability to supervise and effectively manage diverse teams.
Demonstrated Technical Skills and Personal Attributes:
Strong leadership and mentoring skills; conversant with best practices in humanitarian interventions including adherence to international humanitarian standards and codes of conduct;
Extraordinary diplomacy skills and a keen understanding of the political and cultural complexities in the Middle East region and ability to rapidly read situations and determine appropriate responses;
Ability to manage stress and meet competing priorities in a timely manner, producing high-quality outcomes;
Ability to undertake international and regional travel as required;
Competency in the use of office suites including Word, PowerPoint and Excel, and
Fluency in English (both oral and written) is essential, proficiency in Arabic and/or Turkish is an advantage.
How to apply:
Applicants should send their CVs, with a covering letter detailing their experience and motivation, to firstname.lastname@example.org by 21 December, 2017. Please note in the subject line of your email “Application – Director Forum Secretariat”. Telephone applications will will not be accepted. Only candidates who are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
- Sector Service
- Highest Degree Master, University
- Experience 4-9
- Language Level English (B2, Level 4, Intermediate )