Country Director – Afghanistan
Founded in 2011, the International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO) is an international non-governmental organisation that supports humanitarian 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 provides daily support to more than 1000 NGOs operating in 16 of the world’s most insecure countries.
INSO is registered in the Netherlands with its headquarters based in The Hague, the international city of peace and justice.
Afghanistan is where INSO began in 2002 as a joint-organisation initiative before becoming an independent NGO in 2011. INSO Afghanistan provides services to more than 260 national and international NGOs from our Country Office in Kabul and six field offices in Kandahar, Khost, Jalalabad, Kunduz, Mazar-e Sharif and Herat. Afghanistan remains one of the most complex environments for humanitarians; it is unpredictable and there is a chronic reliance on aid and capacity building. These complexities make Afghanistan one of the most challenging and rewarding countries to work.
As Country Director you will lead, manage and direct program implementation. You will use your solid program and human resources management skills and be a natural and confident leader, communicator, consensus-builder and networker. You will combine keen intellect and analytical skills with pragmatism, patience and a good sense of humour. You enjoy the challenge of translating strategic concepts into workable practices in difficult environments. Ideally, you will come from an NGO/humanitarian background (senior management and programs) and are not required to have military/police backgrounds.
Program Leadership and Management
- Provide engaged, effective leadership across the program, ensuring that INSO Afghanistan performs well across all functions – program delivery, finance, operations, HR – and in compliance with INSO internal policies and protocols.
- Develop and deliver annual program planning, aligning program development strategy with realistic assumptions of future funding.
- Manage INSO Afghanistan’s donor relations and produce high-quality, compelling proposals and progress reports that underscore our impact.
- Line-manage the leads of programmes, finance, and operations support teams.
- Promote and exemplify a culture of openness and collaboration.
- Develop and maintain a nuanced personal understanding of the Afghanistan context and the prevailing challenges to humanitarian safety and access.
- Supervise all INSO Afghanistan service delivery, ensuring that program 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 NGO partners during critical incidents.
- Fluency in written and spoken English.
- Previous experience as an NGO country director or senior programme manager, preferably in Afghanistan or nearby countries.
- Solid understanding of principles and practices in broad humanitarian action
- Master’s Degree-level of education or equivalent work experience
- Minimum 3 years in conflict affected contexts.
- Minimum 3 years in an NGO senior management role
- Proven analytical skills and experience producing and editing analytical products
- Experience with grant management, donor proposals and reporting.
- Excellent networking, diplomatic and representative communication skills.
- Recent experience in Afghanistan or a similar context
- Previous INSO experience (as a team member, member of INSO’s country advisory board or beneficiary).
- Knowledge of Persian and/or Pashto
- Direct experience and involvement in a crisis management role.
- Existing local information networks and contacts.
- Experience and interest in data management, analytics, and research.
Key Personal Competencies:
- A people manager
- Calm in stressful situations
- A good listener
- An effective communicator
- Team player
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Excellent analytical skills
Terms & Conditions:
12-month renewable contract, 4 calendar days annual leave per month and 7 days of R&R every 2 months with a €1250 R&R allowance each cycle, global medical coverage (excluding USA) and AD&D insurance.
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.
How to apply:
Please submit completed applications to email@example.com and reference ‘CD Afghanistan’ in the subject line. Applications should be in English and include:
- An updated CV (maximum 3 pages).
- A one-page cover letter detailing why you are interested in working for INSO and how your qualifications align specifically with the competencies required for the role.
- One relevant and substantive writing sample, which demonstrates your analytical and reporting abilities (10 pages max).
Please do not send any additional information. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
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