South Sudan: Area Manager (various location)

We are looking for highly qualified, self-motivated Area Manager 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.

Who are we?

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and Danish Demining Group (DDG) is a humanitarian, non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 1956 that works in more than 30 countries through-out the world, including South Sudan. DRC/DDG fulfills its mandate by providing direct assistance to conflict-affected populations, including refugees, internally displaced people and host communities. Under its mandate, the organization focuses on emergency humanitarian response, rehabilitation, post-conflict recovery and humanitarian mine-action.

Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in conjunction with Danish Demining Group (DDG) has been operating in South Sudan since 2005 initially concentrating on providing safe and supportive conditions for refugees returning from neighboring countries after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed.

In 2012 - 2013, DRC opened its operations in Upper Nile and Unity States to respond to the large influx of refugees coming from Blue Nile State and South Kordofan (Sudan). In addition to the refugee response and since 2014, DRC has been then actively engaged in responding to the humanitarian needs of IDPs affected by the internal conflict through the provision of integrated approaches.

With a total of 450 national staff, 50 expatriate staff and an annual budget of USD 20 million, we are currently implementing multi-sectorial interventions through the provision of humanitarian services focused on CCCM, Protection, SGBV, FSL, Shelter and Infrastructure to both internally displaced persons and refugees across 5 field sites (Ajuong Thok, Bentiu, Maban, Malakal and Melut).

About the job

The Area Manager has overall responsibility for the implementation and strategic direction of DRC’s projects in the specific location, and for fostering effective relationships and communication with the major donors, as well as sister NGOs and Government agencies operating in the county. 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 Program Coordinator based in Juba, the Area Manager is the direct supervisor of an international team of Project Managers and Support services experts 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 UNHCR, and for providing the direct link in communications between field location 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 Team Leader provides strong security management of the 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 donors and coordination meetings with NGO colleagues, meetings conducted by local and state authorities, UN agencies and stakeholders
  • Facilitate the DRC Safety Advisor in coordination for security messaging and analysis for NGO partners in the location
  • Liaise with partners, local authorities, and local communities whenever it serves the objectives of the programs
  • Identify gaps in service provision to refugees and host communities, 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 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 (depending on location; shelter, construction, protection, GBV, camp management, FSL, AVR) ensuring adherence to DRC and donor policies and procedures
  • Overall responsibility for managing the 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 field location and Juba offices plus facilitate coordination between Technical Coordinators based in Juba and Project Managers under his direct supervision in the location
  • 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 refugees or transfer from existing sites
  • 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 the location 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 Manager
  • 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 and
  • 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 Manager
  • 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

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 (4 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: protection, Food Security & Livelihoods, Natural Resource Management, Camp Management, Shelter, Vocational Training
  • 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
  • A Post-graduate University Degree in Political/Social Sciences, International Development or Business Administration

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.

We offer

DRC will offer the successful applicant 12 months contract, renewable dependent on both funding and performance. You must be available to start work as soon as possible.

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates; please refer to under Vacancies. This position will be placed at level A13 according to DRC terms and conditions for expatriate staff.

Application process

Interested? Then apply for this position by clicking on the apply button.

All applicants must send a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages). Both must be in the same language as this vacancy note. CV only applications will not be considered.

Applications closed by 30 August 2017.

If you have questions or are facing problems with the online application process, please contact

Need further information

For further information about the Danish Refugee Council, please consult our website

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