INGO Forum Director

Advocacy and Public Relations Abuja, Nigeria


Description

** This is a transitional role up to 30th September 2019

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

The INGO Forum in Nigeria was formed in late 2014 to develop a collaborative platform for effective and principled INGO interaction, engagement and coordination for humanitarian, recovery and development interventions in Nigeria. Since inception, the INGO Forum has become a critical platform for ensuring effective information sharing and analysis; leadership on advocacy and policy engagement; and liaison with government/donor/UN engagement and engagement ensuring the perspectives of INGOs and affected populations are ultimately included in decision-making processes. The INGO Forum is governed by a core membership of 41 members (and 6 observers) with new member applications pending approval on a regular basis, The INGO Forum is governed by an elected Steering Committee of five Country Directors and a Chair that works alongside a full term Secretariat. Since March 2017, the INGO Forum is administratively hosted by Mercy Corps in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja as well as Maiduguri.

General Position Summary

The INGO Forum Director is overall responsible for facilitating, leading and quality managing the work of the INGO Forum ensuring it remains relevant to the needs of its members and is appropriate to the context. Key duties include: proactive agenda setting; facilitating a space for NGO-NGO collaboration; enabling sharing of information and analysis for effective decision-making; high level representation of INGO interests in external meetings and planning efforts nationally and globally; and strategically guide and encourage common advocacy and policy engagement. The Director also manages the Secretariat of eight full term staff, which includes two expatriates. The Director manages office operations in Abuja (four staff) and provides strategic oversight of operations in Maiduguri (four staff). The position requires an individual with a strong understanding and ability to navigate complex humanitarian and development issues and landscape, build effective coalitions and relationships, and drive principled engagement of INGOs in the country particularly ensuring that the voices of affected populations and their protection is central to the various responses.

Essential Job Responsibilities

The INGO Forum Director will have purview of INGO engagement across Nigeria and engage predominantly at the Federal level elevating operational concerns in strategic decision-making mechanisms and processes and also engaging in regional and global platforms to raise the profile of the Nigeria context.

Strategic Coordination and Representation
  • Ensure transparent coordination mechanisms and regular information sharing between INGOs and other stakeholders.
  • Enable INGOs to coordinate at strategic and operational level in Nigeria by facilitating high quality, regular meetings of Country Directors, Senior Field Managers, thematic working groups, representatives of the INGO Forum and other mechanisms that maximizes the impact of INGO action in Nigeria. Ensuring information flows, feedback, drafting of relevant agenda and timely follow up on action points.
  • Encourage active and open dialogue between the INGO Secretariat, NGO Executive Committee and Plenary and Humanitarian Managers.
  • Participate in important policy and planning processes underway at the UN and government level that requires field level operational inputs from INGOs e.g. Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), multi-donor and UN longer-term recovery and development planning.
  • Provide a regular and reliable conduit for the UN, Government, donor representatives and other stakeholders to communicate and coordinate with NGOs
  • Help maintain high quality countrywide coordination within humanitarian actors and between humanitarian and conflict mitigation/peace-building, recovery and development/governance actors.
  • Coordinate visits of high level evaluation missions, UN and NGO missions, researchers, donors, diplomats as required
  • Increase and enhance INGO engagement with national NGOs and civil society groups to create potential coalitions around key thematic areas.
  • Identify opportunities and strategies for coordination with peace-building and development actors and humanitarians in Nigeria
Senior Level Representation
  • Actively represent INGO Forum members in senior humanitarian and development platforms e.g. HCT, ISWG, Humanitarian-Donor Group, CMCOORD Forum, NHF Advisory Board and ensure engagement with and high profile external discussions and ensure the dissemination of high quality written feedback.
  • Regularly network and represent the INGO community at high-level fora and bilateral meetings including with UN, Donors, Member States, military and government, and other representative bodies including outside of Nigeria at capital level.
  • Work effectively with delegated representatives of the INGO Forum and ensure accountability to members.
  • Represent INGO Forum members at global meetings and conferences and raise members’ advocacy messages and key priorities by participating in high level panel discussions, round tables and closed door meetings.
Advocacy and Policy Leadership
  • Lead in implementation of Advocacy Strategy while mobilizing and leveraging support from member organizations.
  • Work with INGO Advocacy Working Group to regularly draft policy and positioning papers and briefs in line with collective views of INGO Forum members on topics of concern.
  • Actively engage high profile targets and allies within UN, GoN, donor and diplomatic communities in Nigeria and externally to further advocacy objectives. This includes leveraging global opportunities in UK, US and Geneva, etc.

Stay informed on global, regional and national opportunities to further advocacy objectives by anticipating key dates and ensuring adequate time to contribute productively. Liaise with relevant consortia to this end.

  • Collect, analyze and share information relevant to members and external stakeholders, often with the goal of influencing policies and improving operational or protection space.
Information Sharing, Analysis and Best Practice
  • Acting as focal point for information/experience sharing with and among NGOs on relevant issues including managing NGO Forum and NGO SC membership, contact lists and mailing lists
  • Offer regular analysis on key thematic and operational issues impacting humanitarian, recovery and development responses and affected populations.
  • Ensure timely response to requests for help and information from member organizations, non-member organizations and other stakeholders, such as donors, governments and UN agencies. Often this requires a high degree of coordination and the collection of sensitive information.
  • Create feedback mechanisms, open learning channels, support pilot efforts for knowledge management, and ensure information flow between NGOs.
  • Conduct active and continued research into prevailing humanitarian, socio-economic, geo-political, security situation in Nigeria, providing the Forum with regular updates.
  • Identify gaps in research and analysis that could be used by large numbers of the membership and hire and manage consultants as needed to assist with and complement this task.
  • Provide oversight on the development of the Forum Web site and rebranding of the Forum including development of a toolbox of branded materials and templates
Project Management and Human Resources 
  • Ensure high quality INGO Forum donor reporting and proposal development, as well as donor liaison on key areas of progress in collaboration with the Chair and Host Agency.
  • Report back to Steering Committee and Plenary on project activity progress, expenditure and plans.
  • Build and maintain a productive relationship with the Host Agency.
  • Manage consultants, researchers and other external support.
  • Provide leadership and direction, promote professional working relationships, and encourage staff.
  • Conduct regular performance appraisals identifying capacity building needs and further career objectives; follow-up, and maintain updated job descriptions
  • Update the INGO Forum Strategy on an annual basis
  • Ensure smooth running of the governance model of the INGO Forum and where required make recommendations for changes.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work.

Supervisory Responsibility

Directly: INGO Forum Deputy Director, INGO Forum Policy Advisor, INGO Forum Government Engagement & Partnerships Manager, INGO Forum Senior Information Management Officer,  INGO Forum Support Manager,

Accountability

  • Supervisory Accountability:

The position reports to the Chair of INGO Forum Steering Committee. (For budgetary and administrative issues, the position reports to Mercy Corps Country Director.)

  • External :

INGO Forum Steering Committee: reporting, information, collaboration, cooperation

INGO Country Directors: coordination, collaboration, information

INGO Technical departments/Sectors: information, collaboration, coordination

Government Ministries/Agencies/Departments: Liaison, lobbying, representation, advocacy, information, collaboration, cooperation

UN agencies: lobbying, representation, information, collaboration

Donors: Lobbying, information, collaboration

Works Directly With: other INGO Forum staff, INGO Directors and managers, Mercy Corps finance, operations and security team members.

Knowledge and Experience

  • 7+ years of experience in a conflict or post-conflict setting with an INGO in a coordination or senior management role ( ex Country Director or similar levels). Experience of working in complex humanitarian situations is preferred.
  • Tertiary undergraduate/postgraduate qualifications in international relations, political science, development or other relevant field
  • Proven high profile management, coordination and advocacy experience in humanitarian context.
  • Familiarity with humanitarian principles and response architecture (such as UN or INGO-led coordination mechanisms) and key humanitarian policy issues.
  • Strong understanding of conflict sensitivity and protection
  • Knowledge of the Nigeria context or previous experience working in Nigeria or West Africa
  • Experience in administration and coordination of coalition or secretariat functions a plus.
  • Documented results related to the position’s responsibilities.
  • Strong communication, inter-personal, facilitation and diplomatic skills.
  • Fluency in English, both written and verbal, with strong writing and editing skills. Knowledge of Hausa is a plus.
  • Excellent computer skills.

Success Factors

  • Commitment to achieve results in a timely manner
  • Trustworthiness and integrity
  • Committed to humanitarian values and principles
  • People management skills
  • Influencing and negotiation skills
  • Communication
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Gender equity and protection sensitive
  • Creative solutions to problems

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The INGO Forum Director is based in the capital city Abuja. The location is accompanied and generally secure. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are good international and domestic travel options from Abuja Airport. Air travel is necessary to get to some field locations. Mobile phones services are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices with some inconsistencies in the most remote sites. There is a wide variety of schools with different education philosophies and curriculum (British, American, French, and German to name the few). This position requires 30% travel by road and air to field offices and global locations.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a short term assignments. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps' policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.