Seeking Leaders for Global Change

ActionAid International - Director, Humanitarian Action and Resilience

ActionAid International (AAI) seeks to be an innovative game-changer in the humanitarian response sector. As the Director of Humanitarian Action and Resilience, you will be at the forefront of AAI’s humanitarian and emergency response, providing strategic leadership to the federation in times of disaster. Guided by a feminist approach, you will build AAI’s humanitarian signature that shifts power to local actors, holds humanitarian actors accountable to affected communities and actively promotes women’s leadership as well as protection of women’s rights. As Director, you will have the space to innovate, influence practice at local levels, as well as influence policy and discourse at the highest levels of decision making.

About ActionAid International

ActionAid International (AAI) is an international organisation working towards a world free from poverty and injustice with over 15 million people in 46 countries. With offices across Africa, Asia,  Europe, and the Americas, AAI empowers people to fight poverty, gender inequality, and injustice. AAI listens to the demands and requirements of those facing discrimination and helps communities take collective action to hold their government accountable while empowering local organisations to lead change and make a long-lasting difference. 

ActionAid is a global justice Federation working to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication. Throughout the world, ActionAid works to strengthen the capacity and active agency of people living in poverty and exclusion, especially women, to assert their rights. They work directly with communities, with people’s organisations, women’s movements, groups, networks, social movements and other allies to overcome the structural causes and consequences of poverty and injustice. AAI connect the work they do at a community level with broader efforts and struggles for justice at every level to make the greatest contribution towards a just, equitable and sustainable world. 

About the Role

The Director of Humanitarian Action and Resilience will provide overall strategic, operational and thought leadership on emergency preparedness, response, and resilience-building across the ActionAid Federation. S/he will lead and manage the International Humanitarian Action and Resilience Team (IHART), coordinating, supporting and holding countries that have agreed to delegated global responsibilities accountable to their commitments.

Purpose of the Role

The Director, Humanitarian Action and Resilience will lead the delivery of ActionAid’s humanitarian signature, ensuring the organisation’s feminist leadership principles are at the core of its delivery. You will manage the AAI Federation surge funding and capacity while ensuring that this programme is articulated clearly and implemented across the country offices and regions.

As the global leader of the AAI Federation-wide Humanitarian and Resilience Platform, you will bring countries together to design and implement programmes collectively. You will ensure the organisation is visible in all relevant decision making and agenda setting space, while influencing the humanitarian community to shift power towards a more feminist approach and achievement of gender equality and social justice even in humanitarian settings. You will lead your team to support and strengthen AAI members’ capacities to deliver stronger humanitarian responses and build communities’ resilience.  

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead AAI’s programming at times of major emergencies and support preparedness and resilience building, ensuring AAI’s humanitarian signature, anti-Sexual Harassment, Exploitation and Abuse and safeguarding policies and approaches are implemented.
  • Develop  global policy positions on specific emergencies and a global humanitarian response. 
  • Lead on innovation and change by establishing a culture of excellence.
  • Ensure all of AAI’s values are integrated into programmes and operations.
  • Manage and build the capacity of the International Humanitarian Action and Resilience Team, by assigning clear roles and responsibilities and conducting regular reviews and appraisals to ensure high-quality staff performance.
  • Establish and lead “Oversight Groups” to ensure consistent and coordinated responses with the deployment of key support personnel as necessary.
  • Ensure effective monitoring, evaluation and learning during and after emergency responses. 
  • Lead fundraising and resource mobilisation for major emergency responses and key International Humanitarian Action and Resilience global programmes.
  • Support and develop the internal AAI Humanitarian and Resilience International Platform for the purpose of collective programme design and implementation.
  • Coordinate the Federation’s strategic contribution to movement building, in line with AAI’s humanitarian signature.
  • Articulate clear and well-evidenced alternatives that challenge dominant policies and paradigms.
  • Represent AAI in relevant external spaces and high-level meetings.
  • Liaise with other Global Secretariat Heads to ensure intersectional analysis and collective delivery of AAI’s mission. 

Skills and Experience

  • Experience leading humanitarian programming in a multicultural environment. 
  • A passionate and committed feminist leader.
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to challenge dominant paradigms and policies.
  • Committed to and familiar with safeguarding approaches including anti-sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse. 
  • Excellent advocacy and networking skills with experience of high-level organisational representation.
  • Dynamic, participatory leadership style; able to build and inspire high-performing multi-cultural teams.
  • Strong negotiation skills. 
  • Experience in fundraising and resource mobilisation.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English. 
  • Another language (French, Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic) is an advantage.