Country Director

at CARE International
Published May 8, 2022
Location Erbil, Iraq
Category Administration  
Job Type Full Time  





About CARE: CARE International (CARE) is a non-religious, non-political international development and humanitarian organization, dedicated to fighting global poverty with a focus on the empowerment of women and girls. CARE works in around 95 countries globally, engaging diverse partnerships to support communities to overcome poverty through development projects and delivers humanitarian assistance. CARE programmes address social injustice whilst placing women and girls at the core of programming in order to create sustainable positive change in poor communities. CARE is an equal opportunity employer irrespective of nationality, religion, ethnicity, caste or gender.


CARE established its presence in Iraq in 2014 to provide relief and development assistance to vulnerable populations affected by conflict. Its programming currently spans the Governorates of Duhok, Ninewa, Anbar and Diyala, with plans to expand to other areas.


The core sectors of CARE Iraq’s work encompass various sectors such as Livelihoods, Protection (with a focus on GBV), Women’s Rights, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services and Sexual Reproductive and Maternal Health (SRMH) services.


Job Summary


Reporting to CARE Deutschland’s Operations Director, the Country Director provides effective leadership and management to CARE International (CI) staff and other stakeholders to undertake CARE International’s role in addressing poverty and injustice and providing humanitarian assistance in Iraq, consistent with CI’s Vision, Mission and Focus.


The Country Director has overall responsibility and leadership to ensure the relevance, impact and cost-effectiveness of CARE International in Iraq. S/he represents CARE in the country, guiding a relevant program strategy development and implementation, ensuring effective humanitarian capacity and timely response, leading operational planning, and overseeing financial, operations and human resource management, including the safety and security of all CARE staff and visitors in Iraq.


Job Responsibilities and Tasks


Representation, Relationships, Fundraising and Advocacy


  • The Country Director is the representative of CARE International in Iraq and represents CARE to all parties including the Government of Iraq, local authorities at various levels, donors, civil society and other organisations.


  • Ensure that the CARE has an appropriate legal basis for CARE’s presence in Iraq consistent with CI standards and program related agreements with the relevant government authorities.


  • Maintain relationships with key stakeholders (civil society, government, donors, etc) so that they understand and seek the value of CARE’s contribution to development and humanitarian fora as a valuable source of experience and as a preferred partner.


  • Develop and strengthen relationships with key institutional donors and contribute to developing successful funding proposals to build a healthy funding pipeline for CARE in Iraq.


  • Advocate with key stakeholders to positively influence decisions and conditions affecting the humanitarian situation and the position of women and girls, as well as CARE’s ability to implement its programs.


  • Ensure that the image of CARE International in Iraq is consistent with CARE’s Mission, Vision and Focus and protects CARE's interests and assets.


  • Encourage and facilitate the engagement of all interested CI Members in all aspects of CARE’s program in Iraq including engagement in planning processes, securing donor funding, maintaining project management and supporting CARE Member media and communications.


Program Development and Implementation


  • Guided by the CARE International program strategy, donor and host government priorities, ensure that CARE has a coherent, documented and understood strategy which clearly sets out how CARE will fulfil its mandate to address poverty and injustice amongst poor and marginalised women and their communities in Iraq.


  • Ensure that CARE’s programs in Iraq meet the objectives of the strategy and CARE is able to demonstrate the impact of its work through regular reporting of robust evidence.


  • Provide support and guidance to the CO program staff in the identification, development and design of programs and projects consistent with CARE’s program strategy in Iraq.


  • Develop value-adding partnerships that are complementary to CARE’s activities and competencies, increase the effectiveness and impact of mutually agreed objectives and are consistent with CARE’s approaches to partnership and global commitments.


  • Identify and secure program and project funding consistent with CARE’s program strategy in Iraq through CARE Members, bilateral and multilateral donors and non-traditional sources.


  • Ensure excellence in programming through the application of best programming practices, sound technical approaches, and good practice monitoring, evaluation and learning and develop a robust evidence base to demonstrate impact and inform policy engagement.


  • Ensure CARE’s full compliance with donor contractual requirements;


  • Ensure effective project implementation monitoring and evaluation that allows for accurate donor reporting, timely course corrections, and learning and innovation.


Emergency Preparedness & Response


  • Ensure that CARE in Iraq maintains a high level of preparedness to respond to humanitarian emergencies and responds effectively to emergencies as required.


  • Ensure that the Country Office emergency preparedness plan is current and reviewed regularly in collaboration with CARE stakeholders and in-country partners;


  • Provide effective leadership and management for the response by CARE in Iraq in the event of a humanitarian emergency.


Safety and Security


The Country Director has primary responsibility for the safety and security of all CARE International staff in-country and to safeguard all organisational assets and operations. The Country Director will:


  • Promote a safe and secure work environment, foster a safety and security culture and ensure consistent application of CARE International safety and security policies and procedures.


  • Consult with the line manager and CARE stakeholders as required in the event of any major safety or security-related matter.


  • Lead the Crisis Management Team in Iraq under the direction of the line manager and oversee the CO’s overall response in critical incident situations, liaising with Country Governments, CARE Members, donors and media.


Country Office Strategic and Operational Planning and Implementation


  • Undertake periodic review to ensure that CARE’s type of presence in the country is appropriate for the program strategy including humanitarian mandate, operating environment and funding base and enables CARE to achieve maximum impact at minimum cost.


  • Establish and maintain an effective management structure in the country that is documented and identifies responsibilities and accountabilities, includes appropriate engagement of stakeholders in decision-making and has systems for internal communication;


  • Maintain the operational planning cycle, such as Annual Operating Plans, consistent with CARE Member standards.


  • Maintain all reporting requirements to host government, development stakeholders, CARE Members and line management.


Country Office Financial, Budget and Administration Management


  • Ensure the development of the CO’s annual budget as per CARE policies and procedures;


  • Ensure the financial viability of the CO to ensure that project budgets are able to cover the running costs of the CO;


  • Monitor and analyze the CO cost structure, particularly in anticipation of changes in the program portfolio;


  • Ensure that the CO performance and audit results are satisfactory, recommendations from previous evaluations and audits are addressed and show an overall improving trend;


  • Ensure that the risk register is maintained and issues acted upon in a timely manner;


  • Ensure compliance with CARE Member financial policies and procedures including internal controls and reporting requirements;


  • Ensure compliance with all legal, contractual and statutory requirements.


Human Resources Development and Management


  • Responsible for the overall performance and management of the CARE workforce in Iraq;


  • Ensure that personnel working in CARE in Iraq are managed in accordance with the relevant CARE Member and national staff HR policies and practices.


  • Ensure that personnel management systems, policies and practices are documented including but staff orientation and induction, safety and security, work plans and performance appraisal, managing poor performance and misconduct; and are adhered to by staff.


  • Ensure that HR policies and procedures are established in accordance with host country laws and legislation and reviewed on a regular basis; ensure that HR policies are respected for expatriate personnel;


  • Promote staff development and the maximization of local talent, through coaching and mentoring, talent management, succession planning and active career development.


Communication, information and public relations


  • Liaise with the CARE International Members to publicise the work of CARE in Iraq.


  • Provide information for Fundraising and Communication Departments of CI Members.


  • Engage with national and international media and seek opportunities for publicising CARE’s work in Iraq.




Education & Training:


  • Required: Appropriate educational background and qualifications commensurate with the seniority of the position.


  • Higher education in a relevant discipline is an asset.






  • Minimum of ten years of experience in international development and humanitarian assistance;


  • At least five years of successful experience at the senior management level in international settings, in contexts similar to Iraq;


  • Demonstrated experience of development and humanitarian programs relevant to the situation of Iraq;


  • Solid understanding of financial and budget management, and of best practice programming;


  • Proven abilities in decision-making and problem-solving including in dynamic and security sensitive contexts;


Language competency:


  • Fluency in English (speaking, reading and writing) is essential;


  • German, Arabic, Kurdish language skills will be considered an asset.


Key Competencies:


Critical: Visibly and consistently demonstrate high standards for CAREs core values.




  • Demonstrated leadership and management competence at a senior executive level in a dynamic environment;


  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, team player, creativity, appreciation of efficiency, highly organized, ability to handle detail concurrent with strategic issues, and reverence of deadlines and time obligations,


  • Demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to gender and diversity.


  • Experience leading an organization through organizational change


  • Demonstrated experience, patience and the ability to work in diverse, cultural contexts in a culturally appropriate manner.


  • Capacity to make accurate self-assessment particularly in high stress situations.


  • Excellent communication skills, ability to work under stress, patience, multi-tasking and problem solving skills; and positive attitude.


  • Health condition allowing travel and work under tropical and subtropical conditions.


Accountability within CARE:


A commitment to CARE’s values and integrity framework is critical to working with CARE. Any candidate offered a job with CARE will be expected to adhere to the following key areas of accountability:


  • Comply with CARE’s policies and procedures with respect to safeguarding, code of conduct, health and safety, confidentiality, do no harm principles and unacceptable behaviour protocols.


  • Report any concerns about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult or any wrongdoings within our programming area.


  • Report any concerns about inappropriate behaviour of a CARE staff or partner.


How to apply


Please send your complete application package (CV, motivation letter, references) only in English to Ms. Judith Berger by email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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