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Oxfam International

Regional Director

About Oxfam International

Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries. One person in three in the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is determined to change that world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty. Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical and innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. Oxfam saves lives and helps rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. Oxfam also campaigns so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them. In everything they do Oxfam works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

About the Role

Location

  • Bangkok (Thailand), Manila (Philippines), Hong Kong (SAR of China).
  • *Other locations will be considered, all locations are subject to being able to establish a contract of employment and obtain the right to work.

Reporting to:                       

Oxfam International Program Director.

Staff reporting to this post Country:

Directors of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of North Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand and Timor Leste.

Total Workforce:                 

Approximately over 1,200 staff based over 15 countries.

Annual Budget:

Approximately 100m Euros, though this may vary depending on humanitarian response.

Background

Oxfam is currently undergoing a period of transformational change that envisions a future where they are a more interdependent network, driven by knowledge, organized for more simplicity and more balanced globally. Oxfam strives to have affiliates in southern countries that can raise their own funds, run their own programs, make their own alliances with local people’s movements, and lobby their own governments and businesses.

In the coming decade, Asia will continue to be an active player driving poverty reduction, expanding its middle class, propelling urbanization and intra-regional migration, increasing access to education and communications technologies, swelling consumption, and reconfiguring demographics. However, at the same time, inequality between the ultra-rich and those living in poverty continues to grow.

The most rapid growth of the middle class will occur in Asia, with China and India largely driving poverty reduction. Economic opportunities in an increasingly-urban population expands the urban-rural development gap, increases pressure on provision of essential and basic services and onto urban governance systems and their ability to maintain peace and political stability.

In this context, Oxfam in Asia needs to adapt and change and become fit for purpose to realise its vision of empowering people living in poverty to fight for their rights to a better world. Vision 2020, Oxfam’s strategy for internal change, will create a sustainable and accountable Oxfam that has one vision, one voice and one shared plan. The aim is to create a stronger Oxfam in Asia and globally, one that is coordinated and relevant in every country in which they work.

In order to help drive and deliver this ambitious vision in Asia, Oxfam needs an outstanding and distinctive Regional Director. This leader will be able to apply leadership, management and coordination skills in a network setting, a multi-cultural worldview and understand the opportunities and challenges that come from working in a global organization. Fluency in English is essential.

Purpose of Role

The Regional Director will contribute to and implement Oxfam’s Global strategy by providing vision and strategic direction to all of Oxfam’s work in the Region. This includes Oxfam’s humanitarian responses; long-term development program design and implementation; advocacy; and policy and influencing. They will be responsible and accountable for the strategic direction and effective management of the Region, ensuring development, continued improvement in quality and impact, as well as managing financial and human resources in line with Oxfam Policy.

Role Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  • Accountable to the Oxfam International Program Director for the leadership, delivery, management, monitoring, evaluation and learning of the programs in all countries within the Asia region, against Oxfam’s Strategic Plan (OSP), 2020 vision and achieving Oxfam standards.
  • Remotely line-manage 15 geographically dispersed Country Directors and Regional Program Managers, the Regional Humanitarian team and the Regional Campaigns team within the Asia region. Where applicable, manage other Asia regional staff, budget, assets and funding.
  • Responsible for the development and management of an effective and efficient regional structure, including the direct line management of the Regional Platform; ensures that the Regional Platform includes all the key functions needed in Asia and that it is supportive to the 15 country programs, regional programs and regional campaigns.
  • Provides vision and strategic leadership support to the Country Directors of Oxfam’s programs in the Asia Region, both directly and through the Country Governance Groups.
  • Works closely with the relevant partner affiliates involved within the Region in a number of different ways to ensure the good relationships are maintained in order to develop and deliver all Country and Regional Programs.
  • Responsible for aligning Country Programs towards the Oxfam 2020 Vision and leading Oxfam through major transformational change to shift towards the Affiliate process in countries and region as appropriate.
  • Ensures that the One Oxfam Stakeholder Structure change activity is implemented successfully.
  • Responsible for approving Oxfam Country Strategic plans, fundraising strategies and annual plans and budgets in line with the Oxfam Strategic Plan and having taken on board CGG feedback and views.
  • Represents Oxfam within the Asia region and globally. Working with internal and external audiences at the most senior level to influence and inform decision makers at the highest levels, and work collaboratively with leaders in Oxfam and externally, building alliances and networks within the Poverty movement.
  • Ensures that Oxfam’s work in the Asia region is adequately funded, both internally within Oxfam and externally. Build relationships with external donors and proactively identify new donors for Oxfam’s work in the region.
  • Ensures that countries take a One Program Approach in tackling poverty and inequality so that development, campaigning and humanitarian work is strategically aligned and balanced to maximize impact and influence.
  • Responsible for the delivery of all Country and Regional Programs. Ensures that programs are of the highest quality and meet the required standards. Works with the Country Directors and Regional Program Managers to ensure that quality standards are met in the country: for program, program management, Human Resources (including but not limited to the Code of Conduct), finance, security, health and safety etc.
  • Ensures that programs are monitored and evaluated. Promotes sharing of learning with others and drawing on learning from across Oxfam and externally, utilizes the results to inform program decisions and enhance institutional knowledge.
  • Contributes to the overall leadership of Oxfam, as a member of the Regional Governance Group (RGG) to ensure that the voice of the Region is effectively heard, and influences the direction of Oxfam though the contribution and leadership of the Region and organization wide activities.
  • Responsible for anticipating and managing risks that could threaten the organization’s reputation, operational viability and security. Responsible for managing security in line with Oxfam Policy.
  • Ensures Asia is fulfilling agreed standards in disaster preparedness, mitigation and management including humanitarian response activities for Category 1 / 2 / 3 emergencies.
  • Facilitates the provision of Shared Services, initially through five Executing Affiliates, to countries within the Asia Region.

Skills, Experience & Knowledge

Geographical, Political and Regional Knowledge:

  • Understanding and knowledge of the politics, economics and political context within the Region.
  • Ability to manage the development of, and contribute to, the high level analysis of factors driving poverty, inequality and vulnerability in developing country contexts, including the ability to ‘think politically’ by understanding motivations, pressures and challenges faced by colleagues, partners and other actors.

Management and Leadership:

  • At least ten years senior leadership experience of managing and motivating multi-disciplinary, multicultural, geographically remote teams, preferably at the regional level. As well as the development and delivery of large scale impactful long term program and humanitarian strategy, either with partners or directly, in multiple challenging contexts.
  • Significant experience of leading and managing complex change processes and relationships involving a wide range of both internal and external multi-cultural stakeholders across a variety of disciplines and geographical areas.
  • A high degree of self-awareness and an understanding of how to drive and support excellent team performance and individual development. Act as a role model and demonstrate exceptional leadership in line with Oxfam’s values.
  • Understanding and experience in humanitarian and well as long term development issues as well as an ability to include and lead in the further development of program policy.
  • Committed to maximize Oxfam’s influencing capability across the humanitarian as well as long term development mandate.
  • Track record of managing multiple campaigns/ programs/ humanitarian crisis.
  • An excellent reputation of high integrity.

Strategic Analysis:

  • Ability to oversee the development of, and contribute to, high level analysis of factors driving poverty, marginalization and vulnerability in developing country contexts, including the ability to ‘think politically’ by understanding motivations, pressures and challenges faced by colleagues, partners and other actors across the Region.
  • Proven analytical skills, able to take and manage calculated risks based on evidence based assumptions. Able to think strategically, to maximize adaptability and agility, encourage forward thinking, new ideas and learning from experience beyond the country program context while acting within a global framework.
  • A track record or driving program quality improvements through evidence based learning. A focus on outcomes and accountability enabling countries to build on learning and effectively share and manage knowledge within Oxfam and externally.

Finance and Funding:

  • Competent financial and asset management experience. Able to manage multiple budgets of over $60m, mitigating and controlling financial risks – including managing donor funding and relationships, across a large number of countries and programs.

Risk Management:

  • Able to take calculated risks based on evidence-based assumptions. Ability to continually access and analyze the external context of the organization enabling the development of realistic strategies to maximize adaptability and agility, encourage future thinking, innovation, new ideas and learning from experience, as well as sound judgment on when to stop as well as start new initiatives.
  • Proven track record of making sound judgments in uncertain and pressurized situations. Including experience of crisis management leadership.

Representation and Communication:

  • Proven track record of advocacy, and representation to the highest level including understanding of an experience with media.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to motivate, influence, and negotiate with in a multi-cultural environment which includes decision makers in government, media and pivotal figures in society. Able to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
  • Fluent in English.

Values:

  • Committed to a rights based approach including an active commitment to putting women’s rights at the heart of all Oxfam do as well as the rights of other marginalized people in all aspects of an organization’s work.

Travel:

  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently, often to remote programmatic sites within the Region as well as to Global Headquarters.