The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive, recover and gain control of their future.
We aim to make our programs a model for the highest global standards and to cultivate power and lasting change not just for our clients but for all people affected by humanitarian crises. To achieve that vision, the IRC’s Technical Excellence (TE) group, located within the Crisis Response, Recovery and Development (CRRD) Department, provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence is comprised of policy and practice.
IRC’s Technical Excellence team five teams or sector “Units” which have deep expertise in their respective fields: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Governance, Health, and Violence Prevention and Response, as well as three enabling teams which provide measurement, program quality improvement, and finance/grant management support. Technical teams are also matrixed with a team that focuses on the quality and content of cross-sectoral programming in emergency responses.
IRC’s Technical Excellence teams offer five core services to IRC country programs and the wider organization:
- Program Design: We support country and regional teams to design state of the art programming, incorporating the best available evidence, cost data, and expertise of what has worked elsewhere, with the knowledge that country teams, partner organizations and our clients bring to the table.
- Quality Assurance: We partner with our measurement teams to design and drive the use of indicators to measure progress towards outcomes; we partner with regional and country teams to review program delivery progress and help address implementation challenges and adapt interventions to changed circumstances.
- Business Development: We partner within and outside the IRC to design winning bids and identify winning consortia; we deploy technical expertise in public events and private meetings to position IRC as a partner of choice.
- Research & Learning: We partner with our research lab to design cutting edge research to fill evidence gaps, and with country teams to learn from implementation such that we continuously improve our future design and delivery.
- External Influence: We showcase the IRC’s programs, technical insights and learning in order to influence and improve the humanitarian sector’s policy and practice.
Health Technical Unit
IRC’s health programs comprise the largest proportion of its overall program budget and are essential to both IRC emergency response and long-term programming worldwide.
The Health Technical Unit is a dynamic team of more than 70 professionals in Primary Health Care, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Nutrition, Mental and Environmental Health. They provide IRC’s 40 plus country offices and emergency response team with world class technical expertise, capacity building and a cross country view of what works to achieve outcomes in terms of both evidence and practical experience. They also lead focused research agenda, influencing donor policy to support interventions and innovations proven cost effective to achieve positive change in people’s lives.
The Deputy Director, Health, will play a critical role in the Health Senior Management Team (SMT). Primary areas of responsibility include:
- Lead: Thought partner to the Senior Director (SD) and engaged member of SMT, cultivating a kind, supportive team culture that reduces bureaucracy and anchors strategic decisions in evidence and good practice.
- Manage: of a team of highly skilled regional leaders to ensure the delivery of high-quality health programming across IRC country programs.
- Oversee: the development and implementation of IRC processes and policies across the Health Technical Unit e.g. budget allocation, strategic workforce planning, wider people and culture goals and policies.
- Champion: and support the implementation of the Health Unit’s strategic plan. Providing strategic leadership to the design of programs that are evidence-based and evidence-generating, supporting focused advocacy efforts in close collaboration with the Senior Director and Global Practice Leads as well as with key stakeholders within and outside of the Health Unit.
- Resolve: operational problems to ensure program challenges are promptly addressed and staff are supported.
- Promote: cross-functional collaboration and a ‘One IRC’ way of working both within the Health Unit and between the Technical Excellence, CRRD and the wider organization.
Management of technical support functions: The Deputy Director will ensure that high quality, effective technical assistance is delivered to IRC’s Country and Regional programs by translating technical norms and standards to practice and elevating examples of good practice as accelerators of quality, scale and impact.
They will do this by:
- Providing excellent line management to Health Regional Leads in close collaboration with the Deputy Regional Director for each region, to enable colleagues succeed, feel supported and work well in a regionally aligned structure.
- Creating strong connections and communication between the Regional Leads and the Technical Unit, as well as across each other.
- Cultivating a strong and inclusive culture of performance, accountability, and collaboration, and ensuring high quality of technical support is provided by the team to IRC’s country programs.
- Ensuring TA is fit for purpose and innovative, as a key bridge between regions and countries and global practice and technical leaders and amplifying the voices of our clients and frontline staff.
- Providing strategic leadership to the design of programs that are evidence-based where possible and
evidence-generating where necessary, Collectively and in close collaboration with the Senior Director, as well as with key stakeholders within and outside of the Health Unit.
- Representing the Senior Director as required.
Technical Unit strategy and operations: The Deputy Director, in close collaboration with the Senior Director, will foster operational and strategic excellence by cultivating a culture of data-driven decision making and leading on the operationalization and delivery of both the strategy of the Health Unit and the application of IRC’s overall strategy (“Strategy 100”) to Health programming.
They will do this by:
- Overseeing the implementation of IRC strategic processes and policies across the Health Technical Unit e.g. budget allocation, Strategic Workforce planning, wider people issues and policies.
- Taking forward strategic initiatives and change management processes as appropriate, contributing to the implementation of the IRC Health strategy, unit-wide ways of working, setting direction and workplans, as well as performance and knowledge management.
- Ensure the responsible management of the Health Unit funds, partnering with technical and finance colleagues to harmonize planning, budgeting, and reporting. Driving improvements in ways of working across the Technical Unit.
- Providing strategic oversight and assurance of portfolio, including quality and performance of programs, staff capability and management of delivery risk.
- Building a strong network and collaborative relationships with other Technical Units, Regional and Country Leadership, Finance, People and Culture and other central teams to support the delivery of Health Technical Unit objectives.
Key Working Relationships
- Position Reports to: Senior Director, Health, CRRD Technical Excellence
- Direct Reports: Overall responsible for leading a team of 40+ technical regional & country teams
- Direct manages a regional leadership team across 6 CRRD regions and Health Unit operations roles
Key Internal Relationships:
- Health Unit Leadership Team
- Health Unit Global Practice functions
- CRRD Senior Management Team and Leadership Group; Regional Leadership Teams
- Global leaders in the areas of VPRU, Education, ERD, Governance
- Global HQ, Awards Management and External Relations teams
- Key External Relationships: INGO counterparts; United Nations Agencies, Foundations and Donors
Success in this position requires an individual with outstanding leadership abilities and deep expertise in designing, operationalizing, and delivering high-quality Health programming across geographies and contexts. Extensive lived experience and deep understanding of cultural, societal, and political context in at least one of the regions where IRC operates is desired. A people-centered leadership style, driving performance enablement culture, engagement, and wellbeing.
Work experience desired:
- 12+ years of relevant experience, including programmatic experience in a service delivery NGO or international organization.
- Experience and familiarity with Health donors, peer agencies and national contexts required, preferably in humanitarian and transitional, post-crisis contexts, with familiarity with development programming strategies.
- Leadership and management experience in complex global organizations at regional/global levels.
- Experience and expertise raising funds from bilateral, multilateral, and private donors, and leading teams to design winning bids.
- Experience undertaking strategic planning and leading teams through change.
Demonstrated skills and competencies:
- Deep expertise in Health programming and hands-on experience (preferably in 1 or more of the Health Technical Unit’s sub-sectors – Primary Health Care, nutrition, and environmental health/WASH.
- Understanding of the humanitarian/development sectors and effective practices used by aid organizations to design, implement and measure the progress of interventions.
- Fluency in the relevance and use of empirical evidence to know what works best to achieve meaningful program outcomes.
- Excellent analytical skills and a demonstrated ability and comfort in effectively managing and using data and evidence to inform program design, adaptation and monitoring and learning.
- Demonstrated leadership and management proficiencies including the ability to build a diverse team, foster an inclusive team culture, encourage confidence and trust and lead team in a unified vision and strategy.
- Commitment to creating a learning culture and supporting internal learning within and beyond the team.
- Communicates effectively with IRC program leadership, technical peers, and colleagues in fundraising, communications, and advocacy.
- Demonstrated ability to navigate a large multi-national organization.
- An established and collaborative professional network in humanitarian and development communities.
- Excellent public speaking and writing skills essential.
Education: Masters’ degree in Public Health and/or relevant fields or an equivalent professional experience of background is required. Sound training on the use of data and research evidence for programmatic decision making and rigorous analytic skills are an advantage.
Language Skills: Excellent spoken and written English essential. Proficiency in French or additional IRC relevant languages (Arabic, Spanish) strongly preferred.
Working Environment: Travel up to 30% of time. Preferably based in one of our international hubs in London, Nairobi, or New York. Other IRC locations may be possible.
Posted pay ranges apply to UK and US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.
- Job City Kenya, Senegal