Country Representative - Danish Refugee Council | Afghanistan

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is looking for a very experienced and capable Country Representative to head our activities in Afghanistan and further develop the programme.

Three decades of conflict have left Afghanistan as one of the world’s poorest countries, despite modest progress reported in the health and education sector. According to the UNDP, the life expectancy at birth is 44 years. Only 23 percent of the population enjoy access to safe water and 88 percent of Afghans do not have access to adequate sanitation. The country’s limited resources are further strained by the return of over five million refugees since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, and by the large number of IDPs, who have been forced from their lands due to conflict and drought amongst other causes.

Promoting solutions for IDPs in accordance with internationally acceptable principles, including local integration as a possible solution alongside return, is challenging. Since 2002, over 5.6 million Afghan refugees have returned home. These returnees represent nearly a quarter of Afghanistan’s population, yet more than 40% have not fully reintegrated, and almost half a million IDPs are also not integrated; given their inherent destabilizing potential, this represents a significant security concern.

DRC started up its programme in Afghanistan in January 2011. The goal of DRC’s work is to promote durable solutions to refugee and displacement problems, on the basis of humanitarian principles and human rights. DRC focuses mainly on livelihood and infrastructure support to the increasing number of returnees and IDPs squatting in the slum areas of Kabul, where living conditions are deplorable and health hazards accelerated due to poor shelter, lack of access to basic necessities, and scarce employment opportunities. Through a participatory and community based approach, DRC also aims at enhancing the protection capacities of urban communities hosting IDPs and returnees. In 2012, DRC will expand its programme, focusing on a wider reintegration strategy in cooperation with UNHCR and other main stakeholders.

In addition, DRC organizes the Afghan Diaspora in Denmark via a grants facility to take part in the support to sustainable livelihoods of compatriots in Afghanistan. DRC’s activities in Afghanistan, however, also take place within the framework of the Danish Demining Group (DDG, since 1998) and the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR, since 1984) of which DRC is a consortium member among others.
The Country Representative is the overall responsible for DRC operations in Afghanistan. The function should closely liaise with the other DRC relevant initiatives in the country, namely DDG and DACAAR.

The more specific responsibilities include the following:

ManagementOverall management of the operation and direct manager for staff members. This includes coaching, ensuring coordination among managers, recruiting, and development of staff.

Programme developmentBe a driving force in terms of developing DRC programme within the DRC programme objectives.

Strategic developmentIn coordination with the Programme/Project Managers, lead the process of adapting DRC’s strategic focus to the circumstances in the field - both nationally and regionally.

Finance and administrationProvide overall budget monitoring, financial management and expenses control including compliance with minimum DRC and donor requirements and ensuring that the necessary systems are in place.

SecurityOverall responsible for security including development and ensuring adherence to security procedures, monitoring the development in the security situation, analysing and provision of recommendations.

ReportingEnsure compliance with internal and external reporting requirements including procurement.

RepresentationAct as representative for the DRC programme to authorities, donors, partners, and various in co-ordination forums. Strengthen DRC’s position nationally and regionally.

FundraisingAs the majority of the fundraising is done locally, the Country Representative will lead the process of applying for funding and broadening the funding basis.

AccountabilityGuided by the DRC Programme Handbook, continuously monitor and develop relevant accountability initiatives in the field as well as strengthening the effort to document the impact of activities and our presence.

SUPERVISION & REPORTINGThe Country Representative will refer to and work in close coordination with DRC Head of Desk in Denmark.

QUALIFICATIONSQualified applicants that match the requirements listed have extensive management experience, and are very familiar with humanitarian principles and practises, and are used to represent an international organisation to external partners and authorities. Furthermore, the ideal applicant has experience from operating in a very volatile security environment and preferably in a remote management setting as well. He/she has a good and operative insight in financial management and takes active responsibility in expense planning and control.

In addition:
Master’s degree in Political or Social Sciences, Migration Studies,
International Relations, Law or a related field

At least 5 years experience within humanitarian and/or development work, with progressive management responsibilities; prior experience in refugee and IDP programming would be an asset, in particular in reintegration scenarios.

Experience in managing a complex humanitarian operations in a volatile security environment.

Solid experience in programme, financial and human resource management.

Experience of networking, advocacy and coordination highly desirable.

Strong analytical skills.

Strong interpersonal communication and writing skills.

Ability to work independently and as part of the team.

Cultural sensitivity and adaptability.

Experience in Afghanistan or in similar complex displacement scenarios is highly desirable.

Fluency in written and spoken English; knowledge of Dari and/or Pashto would be an asset.

Knowledge of and/or prior experience with DRC would be an asset

Duty station: Kabul, Afghanistan.

Availability: December 2011.

Contract: 6 months, with possibility of extension subject to funding and performance.
Salary and other conditions in accordance with DRC’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates, which can be found on our website under Vacancies. The position is placed at Level A3.

FURTHER INFORMATIONYou are welcome to contact Mr. Stefano Cordella, Country Representative (+, or Ms. Rikke Johannessen, Head of Desk (+ for further information on the position.

Please note that applications are not to be sent to Mr. Cordella or Ms. Johannessen, as we only receive applications via our online-application system on Applications sent directly to Mr. Cordella or Ms. Johannessen will not be taken into consideration.

APPLICATIONOnly motivated applications that address the stipulated duties and meet the required qualifications, sent together with a CV, will be considered.

CV-only applications will not be considered. We only accept applications sent via our online-application system on under Vacancies/Current vacancies/Country Representative – Afghanistan.

Please submit your application, in English and marked "Country Representative - Afghanistan" no later than 9. October 2011.

Please contact Ms. Anne Oxholm ( if you have questions to the application process or experience problems with your on-line application.