Chief of Party

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Danish Refugee Council
Closing date: 22 May 2020

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is implementing the £21 million Ethiopia Migration Programme (EMP) with the overall objective of protecting would-be migrants and refugees from unsafe irregular migration through and from Ethiopia. The programme includes three subcontractors and has an operational footprint in Tigray, Somali, Afar, Amhara, Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa.

About the job

The Chief of Party holds overall responsibility for the achievement of EMP’s intended results, ensuring that deliverables are submitted on time and to a high standard and that the programme is delivering against its intended objectives, and ensuring an integrated vision among different components and actors. S/he will serve as the principal point of contact with DFID, lead on contract management and compliance, and ensure that resource planning and management are executed efficiently and effectively to ensure that the project achieves its purposes and outputs. S/he will be responsible for risk management of the programme as well ensuring robust and meaningful programme learning and adaptation is embedded.

The Chief of Party will lead and manage a multi-disciplinary team comprising Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and subcontractor staff as well as working closely with key DRC actors outside Ethiopia, including but not limited to DRC Headquarters in Copenhagen and multiple DRC regional offices. S/he will report to the DRC Country Director.

It is expected that the period of maternity cover for this role will be 1 July 2020 until 31 January 2021, although may be amended and/or extended subject to mutual agreement.


Representation, Leaderships and Management:

  • Be responsible for the oversight, management and technical leadership for the delivery of all outputs throughout the life of the programme, consistent with the contract objectives and delivered to a high quality with full accountability to the DFID and DRC.
  • Lead the overall technical and financial performance of the programme, including programme planning, resource allocation and financial management.
  • Assume the lead in management of the DFID contract, ensuring robust compliance with DFID and contract requirements. This will involve close collaboration with DRC Headquarters, Country and Region Offices to ensure that DRC’s operational policies and procedures meet donor requirements and commercial contracts business landscape to develop actions to improve value for money.
  • Assume full responsibility over the programme team, with direct line management of the Deputy Chief of Party (Programme), Technical Programme Manager, MEAL Manager, Support Services Manager and Operations Consultants. Manage all team members and support respectful and positive working relationships which allow for the effective implementation of all activities. This is to be achieved through leadership, team building, day-to-day support, capacity-building and strong knowledge in all of DRC’s core sectors, including protection and migration.
  • Assume the lead in management of programme subcontractors, ensuring all subcontractors are engaged in the programme, have a shared understanding of the programme direction and priorities, and are delivering on time and on budget.
  • Ensure Value for Money is mainstreamed across the program, supporting its incorporation into decision-making, programme planning and review processes.
  • Identify and effectively manage all key risks related to the programme, including compliance with DFID, UK’s International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and due diligence requirements.
  • Manage the program's relationship with local government authorities and other stakeholders, including representing the programme in local, national, and international meetings and events as appropriate.
  • Demonstrate high levels of commitment to the DRC and its vision, mission and values in order to ensure the objectives of your role and the country program are met.

Programming and Technical Support:

  • Provide and maintain a single programmatic and technical approach, ensuring a strong shared vision of the programme within EMP, robust coordination mechanisms with DRC and subcontractors, and an ongoing process for workplanning and implementation analysis.
  • Provide technical oversight of all programming in all field locations, ensuring achievement according targets, on time, within budget, with the expected high level of program quality and in compliance with core protection principles and best practices, and DRC and donor regulations
  • Ensure the EMP programme team (Programme Management Unit) is appropriately staffed across DRC and subcontractors, and the appropriate coordination mechanisms are in place between EMP, DRC and subcontractors.
  • Ensure that the field teams have the needed programmatic and technical resources to plan, deliver and oversee quality programming and activities, and ensure robust coordination with other DRC and subcontractor programming in the field locations.

Support Services:

  • Assume full responsibility as the primary budget holder for the program, overseeing financial management and accountability of all contract deliverables.
  • Ensure operational systems (financial, logistics and procurement, human resources and administration) are in place and are being fully implemented, including regular planning, reporting and review. These systems are expected to be fully compliant with DFID guidelines and business practices.
  • Ensure robust, regular and organized coordination between programme support services teams, DRC Country and Area offices and subcontractors.
  • Ensure the EMP Safety and Security Plan (inc. MoU with subcontractors) is being fully implemented and reviewed/adapted as conditions demand.
  • Collaborate with the DRC Senior Management Team to make decisions and manage security incidents at a local level.
  • Promote professional development by identifying training and capacity building opportunities and ensure staff are well versed in core protection concepts, DRC's code of conduct, accountability, respectful dialogue with the refugee population, and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.

About you

To be successful in this role we expect the following:

Experience and Technical Competencies:

  • A degree in a related field, such as international relations, migration, human rights, law, or social sciences;
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience working in international humanitarian and/or development aid, preferably with displaced populations, and with at least five (5) years as a Chief of Party or Deputy Chief of Party;
  • Proven background in commercial contracts and contract management, experience with DFID commercial contracts an advantage,
  • Demonstrated experience in managing large multi-location programs in complex operating environments, preferably with experience managing multi-organization teams;
  • Technical expertise and experience in migration, protection and/or livelihoods programming;
  • Robust analytical and strategic planning skills;
  • Strong experience in management of finance and budget monitoring, financial forecasting, and risk management;
  • Demonstrable track record of meeting or exceeding program targets, whilst maintaining technical quality;
  • Highly diplomatic with excellent political awareness and understanding;
  • High-level communications and interpersonal skills;
  • A demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, partners, local organizations, and other stakeholders; and
  • Fluent in written and spoken English

Additional preferred background experience:

  • Previous experience in the Horn of Africa or East Africa desirable with experience in Ethiopia preferred; and
  • Experience managing DFID contracts;

In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:

Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.

Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.

Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.

Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.

Demonstrating integrity: Upholding and promoting the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct in relation to DRC’s values and Code of Conduct, including safeguarding against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

We offer

Contract length: 7 months

Level: Management - E

Designation of Duty Station: Addis Ababa, with travel to the field Unaccompained Duty Station

Start date: 1 July 2020

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates; please refer to under Vacancies. For questions regarding the vacancy please contact [contact person].

DRC as an employer
By working in DRC, you will be joining a global workforce of around 8000 employees in 40 countries. We pride ourselves on our:

DRC’s capacity to ensure the protection of and assistance to refugees, IDP’s and other persons of concern depends on the ability of our staff to uphold and promote the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct in relation DRC’s values and Code of Conduct, including safeguarding against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. DRC conducts thorough and comprehensive background checks as part of the recruitment process. Visit to read more about what we do to secure robust safeguarding mechanisms.

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

How to apply:

Application process

All applicants must upload a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages) in English. Applications sent by email will not be considered.**

Closing date for applications: 22 May 2020

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

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