Seeking Leaders for Global Change

Action Against Hunger - Country Director, Afghanistan

As a politically fragmented and natural disaster-prone nation, Afghanistan has long faced levels of chronic insecurity, internal displacement, and widespread poverty. ACF works in Afghanistan delivering programs for nutrition, health, WASH, and mental health care across six provinces. As Country Director, you will be responsible for overseeing the development, funding and implementation of the country strategy and growth of the program portfolio. As a seasoned leader in complex contexts, you will bring resilience and expertise to a broad portfolio of humanitarian and development programs.

About Action Against Hunger, Afghanistan

Action Against Hunger is a non-governmental organization which has been fighting global malnutrition for 40 years. 

As a politically fragmented and natural disaster-prone nation, Afghanistan has long faced levels of chronic insecurity, internal displacement, and widespread poverty that has subjected its populations to ongoing hardships and recurring humanitarian crises. Communities remain food insecure for a range of reasons, such as the cumulative impacts of multiple droughts, erratic climate shocks and seasonal flooding, and a lack of infrastructure and limited access to markets. These problems are especially acute among vulnerable populations in remote regions. As a result, Afghanistan ranks poorly on basic human development indicators, with millions dependent on external humanitarian assistance for their daily survival and an estimated four million refugees living abroad in Pakistan and Iran. Although education and health have improved in urban areas, rural populations remain largely vulnerable facing high levels of maternal and infant mortality, disease and malnutrition. 

ACF has been in Afghanistan since 1995 with a team of 371 employees and a budget of  USD 13-14m. In 2017, ACF implemented several integrated project in nutrition and health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food, security and livelihoods (FSL) and mental health and care practices (MHCP) responding to the needs of the most vulnerable in Helmand, Ghor and Kabul. ACF also extended its emergency response mechanism (ERM) approach into more provinces such as Daykundi, Nimroz and Bamyan reaching 191,030 people. In 2017, 1,973 IDPs increased their access to sanitation and hygiene through latrines and hygiene kits, and 21,724 IDPs benefited from multi-purpose cash distribution. Through its nutrition surveillance department and together with partners, ACF conducted 12 assessments across Afghanistan addressing current humanitarian data gaps and ensuring informed strategic programming decisions. ACF Afghanistan also recently organized an acclaimed photography exhibition in Kabul and Brussels, to raise awareness about the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

Purpose of the Role

The Country Director (CD) is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the development, funding and implementation of the country strategy and the growth of program portfolio that effectively addresses the underlying causes and effects of malnutrition in line with ACF's values (Charter), Programming Principles, and Strategy.
  • Ensuring systems and procedures are in place and are properly implemented.
  • Creating a shared vision among all staff, ensuring proper management, well being and safety of ACF staff.
  • Overseeing the appropriate use of ACF resources.
  • Building on best practices previously developed on the mission.
  • Promoting the ACF Charter and ensuring an organizational culture where ACF core values are embedded, teamwork is encouraged and all staff feels valued.
  • Establishing and maintaining good working relationships with host government officials, donors and other partners.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic and operational planning, organizational performance

  • Lead the preparation, updating, and implementation of the country strategy appropriate for the country and regional context and in line with the ACF vision and mission.

Programming

  • Oversee the mission’s programming to ensure the effective and efficient design, implementation and evaluation of ACF's programs and projects.

External relations and partnerships

  • Develop and enhance relationships between the mission and donors’ representatives, civil society, the private sector, government agencies and other organizations, acknowledging diversity as an asset of the humanitarian community, so that ACF can maximize its impact on malnutrition and its prevention.

Security 

  • Lead the preparation, regular updating and implementation of the security plan in line with ACF standards and procedures.

Management and human resources

  • Oversee the management and development of the mission’s human resources, and create a shared vision among all staff, of ACF's values and program's aims and their role in achieving these. Manage direct reports and work on overall HR.

Finance and logistics

  • Oversee and direct the appropriate mobilization, use and management of financial and logistic resources in the mission in line with ACF policies and donor requirements.

Working relationship with HQ

  • Act as key actor between the field and HQ, maintaining good working relationships with HQ and complying with information demands, using HQ’s expertise to optimize the country’s strategy implementation.

Skills and Experience

  • Leadership and management skills in a complex international setting, with strong field experience and 5 years+ of leadership and management experience.
  • Solid experience in representation with key donors, government, internal and external stakeholders.
  • Excellent communication skills, presenting clear and structured arguments with strong interpersonal and negotiation skills. 
  • Experience identifying, analysing humanitarian needs & designing potential responses, working with technical experts in proposal writing, concept notes, etc.
  • High capacity, able to overcome stress and work under pressure.
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of humanitarian coordination mechanisms and nexus between recovery and development.
  • Strong analytical and conceptual thinking with the ability to understand complex issues and translate them into simple, workable actions and plans.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.  
  • Knowledge about ACF programs (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Food Security and Livelihoods, Nutrition and Health, Mental Health and Care Practices) is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of the region and of Afghanistan specifically would be an advantage.