Country Director- Burkina Faso
based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Country Director- Burkina Faso

-based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Closing date: 01 December 2020

Organisation Background

Founded in 2011, the International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO) is an international charity that supports the safety of aid workers by establishing safety coordination platforms in insecure contexts. INSO provides registered NGOs with a range of free services including real-time incident tracking, analytical reports, safety related data and mapping, crisis management support, staff orientations and training.

INSO services help NGOs with their day-to-day risk management responsibilities and improve their overall situational awareness to support evidence-based humanitarian access decisions.

The organisation has grown from innovative start-up to become a globally recognised charity and a valuable component of the humanitarian safety coordination system.

Today the organisation provides daily support to more than 1000 beneficiary organisations (NGOs) in some of the world’s most insecure environments and has earned a strong reputation for performance, principles & professionalism.

INSO Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has witnessed a dramatic conflict escalation during the last three years. An estimated 2.90 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance with humanitarian indicators deteriorating at fast pace. The conflict has rapidly spread from the north to the East and North-West, occasionally leading to loss of NGO access in large parts of the territory. INSO Burkina Faso was established in this context in 2018 – starting as rather a small project with a coordination center in Ouagadougou and a field office in Dori, the project has evolved nowadays with the addition of two field sites (Fada N’Gourma) and Ouahigouya, and the opening of a new field office in Bobo Diolasso projected for the end of 2020.

More than 120 NGO partners access are services on daily basis, which are funded by a large donor base including USAID-BHA, DG ECHO, Sida, the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A co-funding from FCDO is also under consideration.

To enable a quick start in 2018 and to generate regional analytical capability, INSO’s platform in Burkina Faso was initially integrated under a joint programme management team with INSO Mali. Due to the concurrent growth of both platforms, and for conformity with INSO’s standard country office model, the joint Mali-Burkina Faso programme will be transitioned to two autonomous country offices in the first quarter of 2021.

Our strategic objective for 2021 includes building upon the strengths of three separate country offices in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, to maintain strategic regional outlook and develop a more effective outreach to partners.

A vacancy has arisen for an experienced professional to lead our Burkina Faso programme into the next stage of its development as our first Country Director. The Country Director will be based in Ouagadougou, with travel to INSO field sites and partner field locations as required. The position reports to the Regional Director for West Africa at the headquarters, and liaises frequently with other headquarters staff (Finance Controller, Chief Analyst and other leads of technical departments) as well as other Country Directors in the West Africa region (Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon).

Job Summary

The Country Director- Burkina Faso is responsible for leading and managing a programme of over 60 staff and field monitors to deliver high quality information, analysis and advisory services that enable the NGO community to plan, manage and deliver aid and assistance more safely. The role requires an accomplished programme director with experience and keen interest in conflict analysis and high-profile external representation.

The successful candidate will possess solid programme and human resources management skills and will be a natural and confident communicator, consensus-builder and networker. They will combine keen intellect and analytical skills with pragmatism, patience and a good sense of humour and will enjoy the challenge of translating strategic concepts into workable practices in difficult environments. The successful candidate will be fluent in both French and English, and comfortable in drafting analytical reports in both languages.

Key Responsibilities

Programme Leadership and Management

* Provide engaged, effective leadership across the programme, ensuring that INSO Burkina Faso performs well across all functions – programme delivery, finance, operations, HR – and in compliance with INSO SOPs.
* In the first quarter 2021, work closely with the Regional Director, and Country Director Mali on the separation of Mali and Burkinabe platforms into two autonomous and distinct programmes.
* Steward INSO resources effectively and transparently in full compliance with internal and donor policy.
* Develop and deliver annual programme planning, aligning programme development strategy with realistic assumptions of future funding. Ensure all activities and grants are managed in compliance with the annual plan, and if required, initiate a revision (usually at least once a year).
* Manage INSO Burkina Faso donor relations and produce high-quality, compelling donor proposals and progress reports that underscore INSO Burkina Fasos’ impact. Most of INSO donor reports are delivered in English.
* Line manage a Deputy Director (Programme), a Finance Manager and an Operations Manager (Support).
* Ensure that INSO Burkina Faso recruits and retains high-calibre staff and orients them to the INSO mandate.
* Promote and exemplify a culture of openness, collaboration and cohesion across the organisation.
* Uphold rigorous risk management standards, not least as it affects the welfare and wellbeing of staff.

Service Delivery

* Develop and maintain a sophisticated personal understanding of the burkinabe context and the prevailing challenges to humanitarian safety and access.
* Supervise all INSO Burkina Faso service delivery, ensuring that programme targets are met, quality is maintained and that services remain relevant and responsive to the evolving context and needs of NGO partners.
* Deliver strategic analysis to senior humanitarian leadership, including through monthly directors’ briefings, quarterly analytical reports and as needed on request.
* Lead crisis management support to individual NGO partners or the NGO community at large during critical incidents.
* Identify and support programme synergies and regional approaches among INSO platforms in central Sahel (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger) and on the wider INSO West Africa team (incl. Nigeria and Cameroon).

External Representation  

* Effectively represent and protect INSO’s principles of independence, impartiality and neutrality and actively promote INSO as an integral member of the humanitarian community.  
* Represent INSO towards senior humanitarian leadership, on a bilateral basis and in relevant coordination fora, utilising INSO’s expert understanding of the context to promote more informed, more effective decision making on issues affecting humanitarian access and safety.
* Engage with third parties, including local government, the UN, diplomatic missions and the military forces.

Mandatory Requirements

* Ability to handle competing deadlines and to balance daily management priorities with conflict monitoring, strategic development of the project and representation of the organisation towards employees and partners
* Mature leadership and staff management experience in a diverse multi-cultural setting.
* Proven writing, editing, and analytical skills and a keen eye for detail - the position entails substantial report editing and reviewing.
* Exemplary command of English and French – ability to provide analytical reports and briefings in both languages
* Graduate level education in a relevant field.
* Significant experience in insecure/conflict-affected environments with progressive seniority and at least one year at senior management level.
* Acceptance and strong understanding of humanitarian principles.
* Demonstrable understanding of humanitarian safety practices and their application.
* Excellent networking, diplomatic, and representative communication skills.
* Outgoing and confident personality.

Preferred Characteristics

* A year’s (recent) experience working in Burkina Faso and demonstrable understanding of the central Sahel humanitarian context.
* Experience in staff capacity development and training.
* Experience with NGO project management, including donor reporting and relations
* First-hand experience of crisis management.
* Prior experience in a high-profile inter-agency role.
* Existing information networks and/or local language skills (including Arabic).
* Detailed understanding of INSO mandate & services.

Key Personal Competencies

* A good listener
* An effective communicator
* Excellent analyst
* Team player
* Excellent interpersonal skills
* A people manager

INSO’s Safeguarding Policy

INSO is fully committed to safe recruitment, selection and vetting of all potential new staff, trustees and volunteers and we will ensure rigorous compliance with our Code of Conduct and Safeguarding policy throughout the recruitment process. As such, the following safe recruitment practices will be applied:

* All offers of employment will be conditional on receiving at least two satisfactory professional references.
* INSO will ask candidates about significant gaps in employment history or frequent changes of employer and address.
* All essential qualifications and relevant professional accreditations and memberships will be verified.
* The successful candidate will be required to provide a valid proof of identity (passport, ID card).
* All new hires will receive an orientation in INSO’s safeguarding policy and procedures and associated documents (Code of Conduct, Whistleblowing etc.).
* All new hires will be required to sign and abide by the Code of Conduct as a condition of employment.

Terms & Conditions:

12-month contract with expected start date of 04 January 2021, €5,500 per month salary, 4 calendar days annual leave per month and 7 days of R&R every 3 months with a €1250 allowance per R&R cycle, housing allowance, global medical coverage (excluding USA) and USD $200,000 AD&D coverage.

How to apply:

Interested applicants are requested to send the following to and reference “CD Burkina Faso” in the subject line of the email:

* Cover letter specifying how you meet the mandatory requirements, your motivation in applying and what you hope to bring to INSO (1-page maximum).
* Up to date CV (5-page maximum).
* One relevant and substantive writing sample in French, which demonstrates your analytical and reporting abilities (10 page maximum).

Please do not send any additional information (such as copies of certificates, copies of diplomas, other writing samples, etc.) and keep the total size of your application under 2MB if possible.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.