Job vacancy: Head of support services - Danish Refugee Council

Cameroon Desks
Position Title : Head of Support Services
Supervised by : Country Director
Reporting to : Country Director
Duty Station : Yaoundé
Area of Operation Cameroon
Employment Period :24 months (start date ASAP)
Type of Contract (Expat/National/Trainee) : Expatriate or national contract
Salary & Benefits E1 - large family package

1. Introduction

The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe: we provide emergency aid, fight for their rights, and strengthen their opportunity for a brighter future. We work in conflict-affected areas, along the displacement routes, and in the countries where refugees settle. In cooperation with local communities, we strive for responsible and sustainable solutions. We work toward successful integration and – whenever possible – for the fulfilment of the wish to return home.

The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956 and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organization with more than 7,000 staff and 8,000 volunteers. Based in Copenhagen (Denmark) and present in forty countries, the Danish Refugee Council is a non-profitmaking, politically independent, non-governmental and non-denominational relief organization.

Our vision is a dignified life for all displaced. All our efforts are based on our value compass: humanity, respect, independence and neutrality, participation, and honesty and transparency.

2. Background

The West and Central Africa, North Africa and Latin America (WANALA) region has 73 bases spread around three main areas in 12 countries: 43 in West Africa (former WARO), 11 in North Africa (former NARO) and 19 in the Americas.

Under the leadership of the regional office in Dakar and closely linked to interventions in neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR), DRC began operations in Cameroon in 2018 by responding to the humanitarian needs of refugees from CAR and vulnerable Cameroonians in the Adamaoua region. Currently, DRC operates a regional office in Meiganga and two sub-offices in Djohong (Adamaoua region) and Garoua-Boulai (Eastern region). The Emergency Mobile Team (EMPACT) established DRC’s program presence in the Southwest region in late 2018 to address the needs of forcibly displaced people in the context of the Anglophone crisis, beginning humanitarian activities in January 2019. The regional office for the southwest is situated in Buea and Sub-office in Kumba. Recently DRC (October 2023) started activities in the far north of Cameroon to respond to intercommunity conflicts in the area including agro-pastoral conflicts among many others.

3. Duties and responsibilities:

Under the supervision of the Country Director, the Head of Support Functions (HoSS) has strategic and operational responsibility for Finance, Human Resources, Logistics and Procurement, Administration and Information Technology. He/she oversees, develops, and provides strategic direction to his/her support areas.

An active member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) this role ensures that all aspects of the Country Office management is represented and considered in decision making. This role has a country focus and as SMT member, the HoSS must be committed to visiting the field offices regularly to ensure regional level support, capacity is provided and competent understanding of the systems and processes within the country along with ensuring compliance to donor requirements and adherence to DRC procedures and guidelines.

a) Team management and internal communication
  • Lead and manage support managers (including planning, performance, wellness, and staff development)
  • Manage, deliver, and report on support of current operations across a geographic scope.
  • Build high performing support teams to ensure high quality approaches are maintained.
  • Develop and improve operational approaches, compliance, and systems, and support the Country Director in developing and implementing effective and sustainable interventions.
  • Responsible for the strategic development, management, and implementation of support operations.
  • Provide tailored technical support in line with organizational priorities.
  • Actively participate in the development of the annual strategy as part of his/her operational duties.
  • Ensure that DRC programs are implemented in accordance with the organization’s internal procedures.
b) Operations Management
  • Support the Country Director in liaising with donors and authorities, particularly with regard to compliance, registration and auditing issues.
  • Oversee the country/regional operational support units by providing strategic leadership and technical support in the areas under his/her supervision.
  • Oversight, audits and monitors and implements corrective actions related to DRC operational standards in the support area.
  • Ensure that DRC maintains and develops its operational capacity, particularly with respect to its supply and transportation systems.
  • Develop and maintain the necessary tools to ensure the efficiency of the mission support departments.
  • Ensure that legal and administrative systems are fair and meet internal, donor and local government requirements.
  • Develop a country risk management plan that identifies key financial and operational risks and implement a mitigation strategy.
  • Work to strengthen the capacity of support staff through the implementation of training sessions and personalized mentoring.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of DRC’s global initiatives.
  • Work to build the capacity of the operational support staff throughout the operation though frequent in-service training sessions and mentoring support
  • Oversee the master budget, KPI indicators and financial viability of the country operation.
c) DRC Dynamics ERP 
  • SystemEnsure ERP functionality is properly utilized by relevant personnel.
  • Perform analysis, reporting and data from DRC Dynamics to improve overall performance.
  • Be the country level referent of ERP usage for support functionality.
d) Deputy Responsibilities
  • Assist the Country Director in ensuring coherence of strategic programming with DRC’s operational platforms, coordinate DRC’s program development, strengthen program quality, standards, and learning, and enforce DRC accountability frameworks
  • Represent DRC with authorities, UN agencies, humanitarian agencies and other partners.
  • Act as the Country Director in his/her absence.
e) As the lead, the position is responsible for the following tasks:
  • Responsible for the achievement of DRC’s strategic goals and objectives in responsibility
  • Responsible for making significant decisions on the activities of the unit.
  • Responsible for the management of staff reporting directly to him/her.
  • Responsible for making decisions considering policies, standards and technical expert advice to DRC.
In addition to the above, the Head of Support Services may be asked to carry out other duties requested by the Country Director.

4. Required Qualifications
  • Advanced degree(s) in finance, business administration, economics, logistics or similar field
  • At least seven (7) years of experience in humanitarian support management, including four years in people management.
  • Experience in a similar role in an international NGO
  • Proven leadership and people management skills
  • Demonstrated and significant experience in financial, information and systems management
  • Significant experience in procurement and tendering processes
  • Demonstrated experience and ability in operational management, including in conflict zones.
  • Understanding of and experience with institutional fundraising
  • Experience working in an ERP system, including supply chain, finance, and human resources systems.
  • Excellent written and spoken French and English skills.
  • Experience in a Central and/or West African country preferred.
5. Required Skills & Qualities

Core Competencies of DRC:
  1. Striving for excellence
  2. Collaboration
  3. Taking the lead
  4. Communication
  5. Demonstrating Integrity
  • Ability to work in a multinational and multicultural environment.
  • Proactivity, with a sound commitment to teamwork and with a spirit of genuine collaboration
  • Excellent communication skills, as well as patience and politeness, are required.
  • Multi-tasking and Organizational skills is a must
  • Adaptable and Flexible
  • Proven analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Exemplary sense of ethics in the workplace
  • Team-oriented & good sense of humour
6. General Regulations
  • The employee shall follow DRC instructions on safety, confidentiality, and ethical guidelines, including the Code of Conduct and the Humanitarian Accountability Framework
  • Employee should not engage in any other paid activity during the DRC contract period without prior authorization.
  • Employee should not engage in any activity that could harm DRC or the implementation of any project during the DRC contract period.
  • Employee should not give interviews to the media or publish project-related photos or other material without prior authorization.
  • Employee shall return all borrowed equipment for the project to DRC after the end of the contract period or upon request.
7. Application Process

Are you interested? Then apply for this position online: All applicants must send a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages).

DRC provides equal opportunity in employment and prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, sex, colour, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability.

DRC encourages all applicants to apply and does not practice any discrimination in any recruitment process.

However, all applicants shall take into consideration that DRC cannot offer an international work contract to a citizen of the country of assignment (in this specific case: Republic of Cameroon)

Applications close on the 25th of March 2024 at midnight (GMT-time). 

Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.

Due to the urgency of the position, DRC reserves the right to recruit a candidate who matches the required profile before the above deadline.

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