Head of Office - Nigeria
North East, Nigeria
About Search for Common Ground
Search for Common Ground (SFCG) is an international non-profit organization that promotes peaceful resolution of conflict.
With headquarters in Washington, DC and a European office in Brussels, Belgium, SFCG's mission is to transform how people deal with conflict - away from adversarial approaches and toward cooperative solutions.
It’s our purpose our call to action. We strive to build sustainable peace for generations to come. We work with all sides of a conflict, providing the tools needed to work together and find solutions.
We launched our programs in Nigeria in 2004. Now in 2020, the country program has offices in Abuja, Jos, Maiduguri, and Yola.
We work with partners in target states of the country. Dialogue, media and capacity building are primary tools utilized across all our programs.
Each program is adapted to specific local context and conflicts, and all apply common ground tools from our toolbox. Our Nigeria North East offices are currently supporting a host of programs around conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding in a humanitarian context, the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus, developing an early warning and early response system, promoting the role of youth and women in preventing violent extremism, supporting return and reintegration of internally displaced people and refugees, COVID-19 Communication initiatives, and supporting social cohesion and providing psychosocial support.
Activities in these areas include capacity building, dialogues, peace architecture, media programming, trainings and forums targeted at other Humanitarian and Development actors, participatory theatre and collaborative joint activities.
We are searching for
We are looking for a Head of Office for our North East program currently covering Borno and Adamawa states. Based in Maiduguri, with frequent travel to Yola and other field offices as well as occasional travel to field activity locations, the position will be responsible for all aspects of programmatic, financial and administrative coordination and leadership of the office and various programs.
Principle tasks will be to oversee the entire North East regional program portfolio, determine appropriate implementing mechanisms to achieve projects’ strategic goals, serve as the primary program liaison for donors, partners and stakeholders in the region, oversee regional-level planning and budgeting, and reporting / evaluations, ensuring compliance with management and financial procedures and overseeing and managing security of teams and organizational assets.
The position will report to the Country Director, and work closely with the West Africa Regional Program Manager. Working language for this position is English.
The Head of Office is a Senior level position and is a members of Search Nigeria’s Leadership and Management Team (LMT).
The duties and responsibilities are :
Represent SFCG at the regional level with partners, donors, local and international organizations, and government authorities and ensure SFCG activities are visible.
In accordance with SFCG advocacy policy, advocate for common ground solutions to various conflict situations in the region;
Represent SFCG in strategic meetings, conferences, forums and other public events and contribute towards consolidating and raising the profile of SFCG;
Develop and strengthen relationships with local organizations and networks and establish national and regional strategic relations and alliances with partners and civil society working in common cause with SFCG objectives;
Continue Search’s engagement around the Humanitarian-Development-Peacebuilding Nexus as a key convening actor; and
Promote SFCG's organizational identity and capacity to all stakeholders and partners in the North East and ensure SFCG remains relevant to the changing needs of the people who most need it.
Program Development and Management
Ensure a conscious program approach in line with the Common Ground principles;
Provide leadership and oversight to program staff charged with implementing programs;
Manage the field-based SFCG operations staff and program staff;
Contribute creative ideas for program development and provide inputs for technical and financial proposals to local and international donors ;
Provide content material to the Communications Team for updating the websites, as well as for quarterly program updates, newsletters, and other SFCG literature;
Lead in the development of the North East program, providing sound methodological and technical support to ensure use of participatory methodologies, human rights and social exclusion framework as per the organizational thematic alignment and programming approach;
Coordinate the program participatory annual planning and budgeting as per organizational guidelines;
Promote a participatory approach in programming work and create space in the structure for staff participation and involvement in decision making;
Oversee and coordinate the program portfolio to ensure the highest level of project quality and accountability, while fostering continuity through building local capacity and developing innovative program interventions;
Lead the development, implementation and monitoring of research and advocacy plan on issues of relevance in the North East aligned with SFCG’s global programmatic and policy priorities;
Participate in national and international campaigns in line with the advocacy plan and other relevant opportunities;
Facilitate trainings, researches, and learning of cross-cutting relevance to programs;
Ensure that participatory systems and processes for monitoring activities, results and impact assessment at program level are in place and involves the team and partners;
Provide continuous monitoring and support to field offices and existing projects, coordinate program reviews, evaluations, and follow up implementation of evaluation findings in close collaboration with the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DM&E) Manager, Program Managers and Coordinators;
Coordinate the production of timely and quality program reports in line with SFCG and donor requirements;
Support monitoring and evaluation work in collaboration with SFCG’s DM&E Manager;
Verify and analyze work-plans, progress reports, final reports and other data for clarity, consistency and completeness; and
Ensure close monitoring of the political and security environment and develop contingency plan for the office.
Donor Funding and Management
Keep abreast of the trends within the donor environment in the Country and Internationally;
Undertake diversified local and international fundraising initiatives to strengthen program funding and sustainability;
Coordinate the production of good quality funding proposals and respond to call for proposal;
Facilitate donor visits, donor meetings, round table discussions and evaluations as necessary; and
Be aware of all donors conditionality in the North East programs and monitor adherence to donors conditionality
Provide oversight to all finance and administrative services in the North East in close coordination with the Director of Finance and Administration;
Ensure effective implementation and compliance with the overall finance and guidance manual and compliance with procedures required by grant or contract agreements;
Ensure that the Project Managers and Coordinator carry out monthly budget versus expenditures analysis, make budget projections and keep up with the targeted burn rates;
Oversee and verify the Monthly Financial Report (MFR) from the North east program;
Ensure that adequate internal control mechanisms are in place; and
Supervise monthly financial reports according to SFCG procedures.
Human Resources Management and Organizational Development
Provide leadership support to North East region staff and promote best practices in human resources management;
Ensure compliance with Nigerian law and SFCG procedures in admin and operations;
Provide leadership support for adequate implementation of the performance management system including performance objectives and planning, review, appraisal and staff development; and
Provide Coaching and Counseling advice to staff when necessary and lead initiatives to develop staff capacity
Information, Communication and Learning
Ensure that all programs in the North East are maintaining a coordinated and agreed information exchange both internally and in its dealing with external parties;
Ensure that all communication infrastructures are set up in the programme and smooth information flow is maintained; and
Ensure that experiences, context updates and lessons learnt are documented and shared across the organization
Leadership and Accountability
Attend the regular LMT meetings and contribute to the discussions around overall strategy and direction of the country program and the organization;
Be part of the management and leadership decision making around programmatic and operational issues.
Supervision : Works independently under the supervision of the Country Director and within approved strategy and policy guidelines;
Decision Making : Has full responsibility of decisions at the North East in line with approved policy; and
Responsibility over Staff : All North East staff .
As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the position holder may be required to undertake other duties that are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.
Master’s degree in a relevant field such as social sciences, law, political science, development studies, etc. However, a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five (5) years of relevant international development experience can be substituted for the Master’s degree.
At least 8-10 years of progressively responsible experience in the successful implementation of international development activities, with preference given to conflict mitigation and / or violent extremism prevention programs at least three (3) years of which must be in senior program management, including direct supervision of professional and support staff.
Prior experience in awarding and managing sub-grants to local organizations to promote conflict mitigation, violent extremism prevention, and / or democracy and governance goals.
Strong knowledge of and experience in conflict transformation, dialogue, negotiation, and mediation approaches
Significant experience in project management at a high level in a non-profit environment
Demonstrated experience with budgeting, project development, fundraising, proposal and report writing, and grants management
Previous management experience is highly preferred.
Knowledge or experience of donor guidelines indispensible.
Experience in security management.
Other Relevant Experience
Deep understanding of the social, political and conflict dynamics in Nigeria;
Demonstrated skills of using different conflict analysis frameworks;
Excellent analytical and writing skills;
Excellent working knowledge in English
Attitude for teamwork and good leadership skill
Knowledge using qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis tools;
Knowledge of early warning systems;
A demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards and a diverse workplace; and
Ability to prioritize, plan and organize workflow to tight timeframes, handle multiple tasks, and be flexible with changing priorities.
Ability to deal with stressful situations.