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Programme Development Advisor – Regional section, Middle East Team

Programme Development Advisor – Regional section, Middle East Team


Salary: Competitive

Hours: Full time, 37.5 hours per week and permanent


Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC’s mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The International Rescue Committee has headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. In addition, through 28 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient. The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.

The Awards Management Unit (AMU)

Established in January 2016, the Awards Management Unit (AMU) is a global unit spanning New York, London, Nairobi, Berlin and Amman. It has responsibility for identifying, securing and managing all funding from statutory/government donors. The unit is organized into five pillars: Donor Relations & Analytics; Grants Management and Frameworks; Compliance and Policy; Programme Development (Business Development); and Training.

The AMU is a bridge between donors and the field: providing expert technical advice to the field, while maintaining portfolio-level visibility to ensure consistency and compliance, and manage risk. This unit ensures that donor compliance policies and procedures are implemented consistently, and supports all staff working across the grants management cycle for all restricted funding from global government sources. The unit operates within a matrix management system across teams in the US and the UK and elsewhere, driving functional integration between all relevant units and staff, in collaboration with the Vice President, AMU, and the Senior Vice President for Europe in relation to overarching issues with European donors.

The Purpose of the Role

The Programme Development pillar of the AMU is responsible for all the IRC’s business development from statutory/government sources.

The main purpose of the role is to manage support to IRC’s regions and country offices in programme development and proposal work.  This includes, but is not limited to:

Relationship management with regional units and country offices
Business development support
Proposal quality assurance
Proposal in-depth support
Proposal leadership, i.e. leading the proposal development process, including partner management where needed
Proposal writing and editing  (as necessary, and of a non-technical nature)
Grant contract and partnership review and negotiation
Scope and Authority

Authority: the post-holder is expected to demonstrate initiative, make decisions and provide support and advice autonomously but in line with parameters laid out by the Director of Programme Development, the Deputy Director of the Regional Section and the Senior Programme Advisor for the team.  The post holder will manage proposal quality assurance, in depth support and bid leadership for a particular region and be accountable for the outputs and outcomes of the team.


General (approx. 10% of time)

Represent IRC/participate in donor/NGO events and provide feedback to relevant staff

Develop/support the design of business development plans and strategy

Liaise with other IRC departments and teams
Participate in/deliver training sessions for regional and Technical Unit workshops
Accountable for providing business development and/or donor specific perspective as appropriate to other IRC units/initiatives
Oversee development of standard guidance for staff working on proposals, including but not only overview sheets on donor rules and preference and standard language for proposals
Manage a pipeline of upcoming opportunities and circulate to key country/Technical Unit staff
Ensure upcoming regional donor engagement opportunities are identified and assessed
Accountable for providing business development and/or donor-specific perspective as appropriate to other IRC units/initiatives
On-board new Programme Development employees
Accountable for developing standard guidance for staff working on proposals pertaining to their regions
Proposals: Quality Assurance (approx. 30% of time)

Interpret donor solicitations, rules and regulations
Review final proposal before submission
Review of budgets for the region; both  for donor responsiveness and matching to technical narrative
Ensure proposals are submitted
Review and negotiation of contracts and agreements for the region
Proposals: In-Depth Support (approx. 30% of time)

Interpret donor solicitations, rules and regulations
Ensure resources for proposal development are identified (lead writer, TAs, budget development, recruitment)
Support with appropriate/competitive teaming arrangements
Ensure multiple proposal reviews are conducted
Consolidate technical inputs in case of multi-country/sector work
Write, and edit non-technical sections of proposals when these form important part of evaluation criteria/are non-standard
Review of budgets; both  for donor responsiveness and matching to technical narrative
Review and negotiation of contracts and agreements
Ensure proposals are submitted
Proposals: Proposal Leadership (approx. 30% of time)

Task can include any of the below, but would not entail all tasks for any proposal.
Interpret donor solicitations, rules, and regulations as part of the proposal development process
Identifying resources for proposal development (lead writer, Technical Advisors, budget development, recruitment, etc.)
Identify appropriate/competitive teaming arrangements and facilitate negotiations
Conduct (multiple) reviews of proposal
Consolidate technical input in case of multi-country/sector work
Write non-technical sections (e.g. management and past performance sections) when these form important part of evaluation criteria/are non-standard
Support budget preparation when the budget is an important part of the overall competitive strategy to ensure the budget matched the solicitation and donor expectations
Review budget for donor responsiveness and match to technical narrative
Edit full technical proposal and budget narrative for coherence, length, uniformity, and responsiveness to solicitation
Work with recruiters to identify key personnel, and tailor CVs
Manage coordination, communication and inputs from subs
Coordinate multi-country proposal efforts
Submit proposal
Review and negotiate donor contracts and agreements


Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:

Degree (minimum BA) or equivalent experience in a field relevant to IRC’s work;
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively manage a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment;
Demonstrated ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues in ‘remote’ and diverse teams, including as team leader for proposals;
The ability to work productively and accurately while under pressure in a fast-paced, demanding environment;
Flexible work attitude: the ability to work in a team environment and independently and ability to meet unexpected demands;
Ability to multi-task and prioritize effectively;
Ability to travel internationally (up to 20% of time);
Ability to work autonomously and under remote management.

Significant experience in developing and managing project concepts and funding proposals for humanitarian/development work (for international NGOs) from government/statutory donors – including from (some of) DFID, US Government (USAID, OFDA, BPRM, etc.), EU institutions (ECHO, DG Devco, others), Sida, SDC, Irish Aid, etc.;
Experience of working in development and/or humanitarian contexts, preferably for an NGO or international organization (e.g. UN, major donor), preferably with some time spent in the field;
Experience in proposal budgeting;
Experience in building partnerships for development and humanitarian funding as well as negotiation of programmatic and financial contractual arrangements with donors and partners.

The ability to work (read and write) in French is desirable but not a requirement

Ability to travel at times with minimum notice and for prolonged periods of time;
Ability to facilitate project design processes, including applying theories of change and project logic to design, and develop work- and management plans accordingly;
Longer term field posting in a relevant context;
Interest in and understanding of policy and advocacy work.
Candidates must have the right to work in the UK or US

IRC-UK strives to be an equal opportunities employer. IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and to non-discrimination for all job applicants and employees. We seek to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

International Rescue Committee is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Copyright © International Rescue Committee, 2018

To apply email your details to hello zaheen.tariq@rescue-uk.org