Regional Head of Core Competencies and Thematic Unit ALAR

World Food Programme (WFP)

Duty station: ALAR Regional Office.

1. Background/Context

The Asia and Latin America Region for NRC comprises a diverse range of country programmes across a vast geographical area. Of five regions in Field Operations, the Asia and Latin America RO is based in Head Office in Oslo covering:  three sub-regions: Latin America, Afghanistan/Iran and South East Asia. The operating environment is varied, encompassing a complex and multi-faceted set of humanitarian and recovery response needs in countries that are either fragile, environmentally vulnerable or both. 

The Regional Programme Unit, managed by the Regional Programme Director, is responsible for the strategic development of NRC programming in the region by maximizing the support to and the development of COs as well as by exploring and creating synergies among COs. The Regional Programme Unit is focused on research, policies, guidance & procedures, evidence and learning, capacity building, programme quality and donor relations with regional donors and non-traditional donors. The Unit, supports with development of capacity in core competencies and cross-cutting themes, working collaboratively and in a matrix structure with the Regional Support Unit, Regional Advocacy, and the global Programme Development and Support Section in HO, and not least with Heads of Programme in Country Offices.

The Regional Head of Core Competencies (CC) and Thematic Unit is responsible for leading on identification and utilisation of programmatic synergies across CCs and development areas through an integrated programming approach and through promoting best practices and learning. The Regional Head of Unit leads and line manages CC and Thematic advisers and provides strategic advice and support to the Regional Programme Unit and COs in the region in relation to the CCs and thematic areas. 

The CC and Thematic team are part of a technical matrix structure and are required to work collaboratively with colleagues in both the technical and the operational management structures in country offices, and the regional management group.  They also have a technical accountability to the global programme function, policy, strategy, and direction as determined through the Head Office level of NRC.  Staff within the team will be expected to contribute to global development initiatives as part of the wider community of specialists.  Collaborative working with colleagues within the wider regional programme team, at HO and in other Regions is essential to effectiveness in the role and maximising the shared learning across NRC.

2. Role and responsibilities


Generic responsibilities 

Policy, strategy and programme development

  1. Accountable for excellence and ensuring that NRC delivers high quality, effective and relevant programming in the region in line with NRC Strategy, programme priorities, and existing policies.
  2. Accountable for the implementation of and adherence to NRC’s strategies, plans, systems and regulations that are relevant to the unit, including supporting the documentation of the region’s achievements and progress towards NRC’s global strategic ambitions.
  3. Accountable for the identification and utilization of programmatic synergies across CCs and development areas through the integrated programme approach. Accountable for supporting the development of tools and methodologies to better integrate safe and inclusive programming, cross-cutting issues, and prioritised development areas into programmes.
  4. Accountable for resource mobilisation and fundraising for the unit, in particular for programme development related to NRC’s CCs.
  5. Work in partnership with the HO Programme department on specific areas of innovation and development, allocating innovation activities to staff within the team, including piloting and learning from experiences at the country office and regional level, and sharing learning with other regions.

Team leadership

  1. Provide leadership to a team of technical experts by approving relevant pieces of work, allocating cross-team pieces of work, and bringing a coherence to the team through integrated programming and complementary approaches.
  2. Provide line management, including performance management and staff development of the Unit’s members, ensuring clear objectives aligned to regional strategy and priorities, and NRC strategy and programme priorities.

Technical development, support and capacity building

  1. Accountable for strategic prioritizing within the CCs and thematic work in the unit to ensure regional positioning and responsible for contributing to the technical development of the CCs themselves. 
  2. Accountable for the adaptation of NRC’s programme approaches through innovation and development within the unit’s programmatic areas, in close cooperation with the field. 
  3. Accountable for donor reporting for projects run by the unit according to deadlines and quality requirements. 
  4. Accountable for the provision of support and capacity building along the technical reporting lines to the ALAR COs. 

Quality standards, data analysis and M&E 

  1. Responsible for the institutionalisation and promotion of best practices and learning related to the programmatic areas in the Unit. Accountable for internal communication and information sharing on the core competencies through the regional CC team structures. 
  2. Contribute to the development of, and facilitate the use of, effective assessment and M&E systems ensuring compliance with NRC program policy, quality standards and technical guidance. Accountable to the overall analysis, strategic use and dissemination of relevant regional data in close collaboration with regional M&E.
  3. Act as a focal point for promoting lessons learned and best practices for programme development, and identification of learning and development needs to build capacity, harmonizing programme-related regional tools, including guidance notes, assessments, template for all CO’s to ensure consistency and continuity.

Networking, representation and relationships

  1. Work in partnership with the Regional Programme Director and Senior Sub Regional Advisers to ensure effective networking and representation of NRC at strategic level ensuring NRC’s access to regional policy debates and for participation of the unit’s advisers in regional clusters and representation in various fora when requested and relevant. 
  2. Work in partnership with the Advocacy lead within the Region to ensure the identification, prioritization, development and documentation of advocacy issues related to the programmatic areas of the unit.


Specific responsibilities 

  1. Work collaboratively with L&D lead in the Region, and HO Programme and L&D colleagues, on the review and development of CC and thematic learning provision within the region, including induction, CC and thematic training provision to COs, and capacity building initiatives.
  2. Contribute to the development of systems to facilitate and foster programme quality and use of data/learning at a regional level, in collaboration with regional M&E and Senior Sub Regional Advisers (e.g., GPRR process).
  3. Work with the regional Grants Manager and Partnership Specialist and L&D specialist and HO L&D specialists/PCM Adviser on the development of enhanced learning and development initiatives to address learning needs identified in COs in relation to programme proposal development, PCM, grants management and donor compliance.

2. What We Are Looking For

  • Several years leadership/management/adviser experience within the humanitarian field
  • Extensive experience in programming in complex and volatile contexts
  • Experience of strategic planning, including strategic approaches to programme development
  • Experience of programme quality assessments, programme development and delivery
  • Understanding of and commitment to organisational learning, and the role and contribution of M&E to quality management and development
  • Experience from working in complex and volatile contexts, with preference for previous experience in ALAR
  • Previous experience of managing staff teams, including during periods of change, would be useful
  • Understanding of, and commitment to working collaboratively with technical and operational colleagues within a matrix structure, including capacity building
  • Experience of delivering learning and development as part of quality improvement and capacity building
  • Fluency in English, both written and verbal

Find more details about the role HERE with the Job Description (JD) of the position.

  1. What We Offer


  • Type of contract: 18 months.
  • Salary/benefits: According to NRC salary scale, terms and conditions.
  • Duty station: ALAR Regional Office.
  • Travel: 40 %.

Internal candidates are encouraged to apply but we are also open to external applicants who can show a commitment to NRC and being part of a challenging, but important mission to make a difference.

NRC might review applications before the adverted deadline, therefore interested candidates are encouraged to apply early.

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