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The Sphere Project

Director – The Sphere Project

About Sphere

The Sphere Project is a voluntary initiative that brings a wide range of humanitarian agencies together around a common aim – to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and the accountability of humanitarian actors to their constituents, donors and affected populations.

The Sphere Handbook, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, is one of the most widely known and internationally recognized sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in life-saving areas of humanitarian response.

Established in 1997 and governed by a Board composed of representatives of global networks of humanitarian agencies, the Sphere Project today is a vibrant community of humanitarian response practitioners.

Sphere is at an exciting time in its trajectory. Sphere’s new vision and strategy (Sphere 2020) aims to transform the project into a more inclusive and vibrant network of humanitarian standard setting initiatives. This transformation is expected to be completed by strengthening the relationship with other humanitarian standards initiatives, including current Sphere companion standards such as INEE, CPMS, MERS and LEGS.

The Sphere network, as a dynamic and forceful network, will convene individuals, communities, initiatives and organisations committed to improving the quality and accountability of humanitarian assistance through the implementation of humanitarian principles and standards.

About This Role 

Reporting to the Board, the Director is the most senior executive, key representative and brand leader for the Sphere network. The overall work will be defined by Sphere’s new strategy (Sphere strategy 2020- to be effective from end 2014) with sufficient scope for innovation and creativity.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead and be accountable for the implementation of the Sphere strategy 2020 which will be approved during the second half of 2014, ensuring that the appropriate plans, processes and policies are in place for the effective implementation of the strategy;
  • Work closely with the Board, supporting them by providing information it needs for governance responsibilities, resource management and strategic developments;
  • Grow the funding base to ensure the financial stability and independence of the network.  This will include strengthening the relationship with existing donors and establishing new relationships with a diverse range of funding sources such as foundations, trusts and private sector.  Ambitious fundraising targets will be decided in discussions with the board;
  • Develop and establish an effective and vibrant global network of humanitarian standard setting initiatives, including strengthened partnerships with key humanitarian Quality and Accountability initiatives;
  • Provide strong leadership within the organisation and ensure that the organisation is professional and managed effectively. This includes strong budget and finance management and leading a small team of staff in the Sphere network/secretariat;
  • Represent the organisation externally at the highest levels, identifying and building strategic alliances and engaging with international initiatives and conferences (e.g. World Humanitarian Summit).

Skills and Qualifications

  • Strong leadership and management skills with evidence of ability to inspire and motivate others.  Previous experience of managing and implementing change;
  • Previous senior leadership experience in the International NGO sector;
  • Excellent people and finance management skills;
  • Ability to work under pressure, difficult circumstances and on challenging issues;
  • Organisational development skills and strong commitment to quality and continuous improvement;
  • Strategic thinking, innovative and creative, with excellent analytical skills;
  • Strong fundraising experience including proposal-writing skills and grant management;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, able to influence, motivate and encourage others;
  • Networking skills and ability to form strong working relationships with others as well as speak publicly and represent the organisation at the highest levels to a wide variety of stakeholders globally;
  • Fluent in English Fluency in another language used widely in the sector such as French, Spanish or Arabic. Other language skills would be an advantage.