Nigeria INGO Forum: Deputy Director (Humanitarian)

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About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary
The INGO Forum in Nigeria was formed in late 2014 owing to a need for a collaborative platform for effective and principled NGO interaction, engagement and coordination of humanitarian, recovery and development interventions in Nigeria. As of 2019, the INGO Forum has a core membership of 50 members (and 6 observers) and is a critical platform for ensuring effective information sharing and analysis; leadership on advocacy and policy engagement; and liaison with government/donor/UN engagement and engagement ensuring the perspectives of INGOs and affected populations are ultimately included in decision-making processes. The INGO Forum is governed by an elected Steering Committee of Country Directors and a Chair that work alongside a full term Secretariat to fulfil the function of the Forum. The INGO Forum is administratively hosted by Mercy Corps through March 2020 in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja with a field office in Maiduguri.

General Position Summary
The INGO Forum Deputy Director will provide field level support to the Forum and its member organizations supporting humanitarian efforts in the north-east BAY states (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe) through high quality information exchange, coordination, multi-stakeholder engagement, facilitating effective INGO representation in decision-making mechanisms, and advocacy efforts.

S/he will serve as the primary liaison linking Abuja coordination structure with up-to-date realities from the north-east response. In collaboration with humanitarian managers of member organizations based in BAY, s/he will facilitate action-oriented coordination discussions and identify opportunities for improvement of coordination, operational responses, adoption of principles and standards, and maintain a high level of context analysis both within INGOs and on behalf of INGOs with other partners or stakeholders. The post holder will have strong diplomacy skills, be able to navigate complex humanitarian issues, build productive relationships and maintain strong networks with key stakeholders with the aim of working towards an accountable and principled response.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Senior Level Coordination

  • Facilitate INGO coordination supporting INGO Forum member organizations in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe to plan bi-weekly action-oriented coordination meetings and identify gaps, duplication and opportunities for enhancing coordination be it information exchange, inter-agency assessments or analysis, problem solving, joined up responses and common messaging. · Regular travel to Yola and Damaturu and deep field locations to engage with partners and identify coordination and advocacy gaps. · Ensure regular high-level representation in key humanitarian decision-making platforms and other mechanisms that impact humanitarian operations and the protection and needs of affected populations. · Facilitate regular coordination meetings, thematic discussions, planning sessions to support INGO operations and engagement with external stakeholders.
  • Identify strategies to support INGOs to work collaboratively and in a principled manner that places the needs and interests of affected populations at the center. · Support the coordination of the Advocacy Working Group and act as a technical support on critical topics including: humanitarian aid architecture in complex conflict settings, regulatory environment, humanitarian access, protection of civilians, accountability to affected populations, and effective delivery of assistance. · Facilitate trips for key external stakeholders to raise attention to the extent of the humanitarian situation and response.

Representation and Advocacy

  • Facilitate representation of the INGO Forum through direct bilateral engagement with key actors (UN, Government and other national actors), supporting elected representatives to the Operational Humanitarian Country Team (O/HCT) and Inter Sector Working Group (ISWG) to perform their duties and ensure transparent information sharing on decisions made and actions required. · Ensure INGO Forum takes lead of key task forces and working groups thematically dedicated to access and protection. · Assure NNGO interests are represented within INGO Forum key messages, and actively seek advocacy allies/partnerships. · Provide linkages between INGO and NNGO community / identify opportunities for collaboration along with the National Coordination Focal Point. · Assist in drafting humanitarian updates, policy briefs, and talking points on the humanitarian situation.

Information Sharing / Communication

  • Facilitate structured and effective information exchange both between internal INGO partners/members, and with external partners (NNGOs, UN, Government, etc). · Stay informed on political, humanitarian and security contexts, while providing structured updates to the INGO Forum · Facilitate effective information flow between field-level realities in NE Nigeria and capital-level coordination in Abuja. · Maintain and develop induction and guidance materials for new humanitarian actors leading on briefings and support as required. · Maintain updated stakeholder mappings to inform strategic engagement.

Finance & Compliance

  • Ensure compliance with donor and host agency (in this case, Mercy Corps) regulations · Draft or review scope of work to hire and manage technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget, as required. · Ensure effective management of the INGO Forum budget

Security

  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership. · Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

Administration and Management

  • Manage Borno based INGO Forum staff, office and logistics

Accountability to Beneficiaries

INGO Forum team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work.

Supervisory Responsibility

Senior Liaison Advisor and Administration and Logistics Officer

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Director based in Abuja.

Works Directly With: Director, Government Engagement and Partnerships Manager, Policy Advisor, Programme Support Officer, Senior Information Management Officer, Admin and Logistics Officer, Senior Liaison Advisor other INGO Forum staff, INGO Directors and managers, Host Agency Mercy Corps finance, operations and security team members.

Success Factors

  • Commitment to achieve results in a timely manner · Trustworthiness and integrity · Committed to humanitarian values and principles · People management skills · Influencing and negotiation skills · Communication · Cultural sensitivity · Gender equity and protection sensitive · Solutions oriented

Living Conditions

The position will be based in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria and it requires frequent travel to field locations in Borno (25%). Accommodation in Maiduguri will be in team housing with host agency staff. Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics. Housing in the field will be in hotels or guesthouses where available. Security in the field locations require additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously. Access to good medical services in northeast is limited. Phone communication, internet, electricity and water is available but might be erratic.

The location is eligible for hardship and R&R benefits. Given the nature of the humanitarian response, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings will be necessary.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Advanced university degree in law, political science, international relations, journalism, social sciences, international development or related technical field or undergraduate degree with significant field experience in complex humanitarian contexts
  • Demonstrated experience of 5-7 years in managing humanitarian emergency responses in conflict contexts
  • Demonstrated experience of coordination in complex emergencies and/or active engagement in high level humanitarian coordination structures (eg. as member on HCT)
  • Knowledge and understanding of key thematic priority areas including access, protection, humanitarian aid architecture in conflict settings, and responses to acute and protracted crises.
  • Proven relationship building skills and ability to facilitate common space between disparate views and agendas.
  • Ability to represent collective views diplomatically to various stakeholders
  • Public speaking skills
  • Experience in developing advocacy strategies and stakeholder maps.
  • Applied knowledge and experience of working in insecure contexts and in constrained access contexts · Prior experience in managing INGO Consortia/fora desirable
  • Written and spoken fluency in English.
  • Strong data analytical and interpretation skills.
  • Willingness to learn and interest in humanitarian practice. · Commitment to international humanitarian standards and principles. · Excellent writing, editing and analytical skills and ability to formulate well-targeted strategic documents. · Ability to work independently in a fast-paced and often demanding environment. · Proven experience in influencing for policy change and practice desirable · Demonstrated experience in facilitating meetings in high-pressure professional setting · Demonstrated experience in lobby and engaging with high level actors with strong evidence from the field · Exceptional interpersonal skills and experience in humanitarian setting. · Experience in an NGO (local or international), in NE Nigeria Humanitarian context desirable. · Knowledge of and contacts in Nigerian NGOs desirable

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