Uganda: Senior Emergency Response Coordinator

Organization: International Rescue Committee
Country: Uganda
Closing date: 09 Jun 2017


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

The IRC has been working in Uganda since 1998. The current program portfolio in Uganda includes health, peace building, gender-based violence, economic recovery and agribusiness, and children & youth.

In July 2016, a breakdown in a peace agreement in South Sudan was followed by heavy military exchanges between rival factions. The fighting and violence quickly spread to other states in South Sudan, forcing thousands of refugees to flee to Uganda. The majority of refugees arrive in Uganda through informal border points. A number also reach the country having travelled through the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Refugees cite violence and indiscriminate killing of civilians through nightly attacks on homes and property, unsubstantiated accusations of collaborating with opposition groups and lack of basic needs as reasons for flight. The IRC provides support to refugees in two settlements in West Nile, Bidibidi and Imvepi, serving over 370,000 people. Programming is expansive, covering Protection and Rule of Law, Women’s Protection and Empowerment, Health and Economic Recovery with an estimated annual budget of approximately $8 – 9 million.

Job Summary

Building on the achievements of the IRC so far in West Nile, the Senior Emergency Response Coordinator, under the management of the Deputy Director of Programs and Deputy Director of Operations, will lead the emergency response in West Nile, managing Finance Manager, Operations Coordinator, and Protection and WPE Program Coordinators. Responsible for a staff of over 250 based in two locations in expansive settlements, the Senior Emergency Response Coordinator (SERC) will work closely with the Kampala team to ensure that the emergency response is operationally functional and programs are of a consistently high quality. The SERC will provide strategic direction a0nd ensure sufficient resources are effectively managed to ensure sustainability of programming.

Key Responsibilities:

Program Implementation

  • In conjunction with the Deputy Director of Programs, oversee programming in West Nile, provide guidance and support to program coordinators and managers, supporting capacity development of a new and growing team. Oversee spending and program progress against agreed targets and spending plans.
  • Organize grant review meetings at field sites, sharing support needs with the operations and program teams in Kampala.
  • Support the development and implementation of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system providing insights into delivery of outputs and results at regular intervals.
  • Support integration across programs, holding regular coordination meetings and promoting active collaboration across sectors.
  • Actively review and participate in program development and program and support input from the field site.
  • Ensure key support needs for the field site are budgeted in new proposals.

Operations (Supply Chain and HR):

  • Managing the Operations Coordinator, ensure the supply chain functions effectively at the field level, including procurement, stock and asset management, vehicle operations, equipment maintenance and repair (including communications and computer equipment).
  • Particular regard for compliance with donor requirements in procurement, ensuring understanding and adherence to IRC SOPs.
  • Oversee HR functions at the field level, including recruitment, contracting and payroll with support from the Kampala HR team.
  • Ensure all activities are carried out in accordance with IRC policies and procedures.

Finance and Budget Monitoring:

  • Oversee budget expenditures in West Nile, ensuring a healthy burn rate in line with work plans and agreed deliverables.
  • Supervision to ensure expenditures are in line with IRC and donor compliance regulations, eliminating disallowables and spreading costs strategically across a portfolio of funds.
  • Review monthly Budget vs. Actual reports and Budget Expenditure Plans with program and support staff, ensuring that relevant action is taken in a timely fashion.
  • Inform senior management of changing budget needs, and participate in budget development and revision processes.
  • Conduct weekly cash count with finance officer.

Systems Compliance and Improvement:

  • Assure adherence to IRC global and Uganda specific finance, logistics, IT, security, communications and HR/administration policies and procedures, including the IRC Way.

Strategy, resourcing and accountability:

  • Develop and implement a relevant strategy and resourcing plan, adapting to a changing context, maintaining flexibility and innovation, taking advantage of new opportunities as they arise.
  • Maintain good relations with donors present at the field level, developing funding opportunities for program growth and sustainability. Transitioning the program from emergency to longer term sustainable service delivery.
  • Ensure the IRC feedback mechanism is functioning and responsive, regularly reviewing the feedback register to ensure timely and effective responses, adapting programming where appropriate.


  • Submit timely and accurate reports to the Country Director, reviewing review program, finance, logistics, and HR reports to ensure accuracy before sending to Kampala.
  • Support the delivery of punctual donor reporting, ensuring monitoring systems report accurately against deliverables.

Coordination / External Representation:

  • Represent the IRC to local government authorities, UN agencies, international organizations, NGOs, donors and other stakeholders at field level.
  • Enhance collaboration and maintain good relations contributing to a safe and productive operating environment.

Staff Management:

  • Oversee all head of departments in West Nile, setting annual objectives and monitoring performance against set targets, conducting timely performance evaluations and taking corrective action as and when required.
  • Work with staff to identify training needs, providing coaching and mentoring as required.
  • Provide vision, leadership and direction for staff in new offices, contributing to a safe, respectful and dynamic working culture.


  • Act as the security focal point for West Nile, with the Operations Coordinator responsible for day to day monitoring and management of security, regularly reviewing and updating the West Nile Security Management Plan.
  • Monitor the security situation, including attending security briefings and maintaining regular contacts with key security focal points in local government and UNHCR, keeping senior management in Kampala and local staff informed of developments.
  • Ensure tools for rapid response to security incidents are in place and up to date, including telephone trees and constant companion card, as well as supervising quick and comprehensive incident reporting.
  • Ensure staff are trained on, aware of and in compliance with IRC security policies and the West Nile site SMP. Provide a security briefing on arrival for all new staff and visitors.

Compound Management:

  • Ensure good living conditions for the field staff in all sites.
  • Actively liaise with Kampala to ensure basic items are available at the field level.
  • Act as focal point for visitors or other organizations staying at the NGO compound, if any.


  • University degree level education, or equivalent practical experience.
  • At least five years working within a humanitarian agency in a leadership position
  • Five years experience managing, supervising and developing operational and program staff
  • Experience in managing programs in emergency and insecure areas.
  • Program / office start up experience an asset.
  • Good understanding of operations (logistics, administration, human resources, IT)
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to coordinate and manage a diverse array of responsibilities: programs, logistics, security, finance and operations.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle sensitive situations diplomatically and possesses strong communication skills.
  • Ability to work well with people of varying backgrounds, cultures, education levels
  • Familiarity with the IRC and donors (US, European, UN) policies and regulations
  • Excellent computer skills: MS Word, Excel, Power point, Outlook.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English
  • Additional qualities: ability to multitask, ability to handle pressure well, ability to improvise, flexibility.

Work Environment: Security level orange. The situation in Yumbe and the whole of West Nile is calm at the moment but across the border in South Sudan remains tense and unpredictable.

Housing: The Yumbe office has a guest house but the site is remote and new so the living conditions are basic (shared bathroom and makeshift offices). Food is the individual’s responsibility.

How to apply:

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