Head of Rakhine Programs

RI - Relief International

Sittwe, Myanmar (Burma)

Position Summary:

Relief International Myanmar is delivering a suite of projects in Rakhine State to respond to the humanitarian crisis and also to sow the seeds of early recovery. Projects include working with IDP population in WASH, health, and protection; as well as health systems strengthening, early livelihoods recovery and community dialogue with conflict-affected communities. The Head of Rakhine Programs will oversee the implementation up to 8 grants with the total portfolio of USD$3 million of all Relief International projects in Rakhine State, including emergency response and longer-term development programs. The Rakhine team is currently comprised of four expatriates and over 60 national staff based in three field offices. The Head of Rakhine Programs will be a key liaison between Rakhine project staff, other Rakhine-level stakeholders, and the Yangon office. The Head of Rakhine Programs will represent Relief International at donor and inter-agency meetings in Rakhine in close coordination with the Program Director as well as with the Country Director; and identify, design, and develop new program opportunities.

Position Responsibilities and Duties:

Program Management

  • Supervise quality project implementation, including allocation of resources and ensuring that appropriate controls are maintained at all levels by working with field staff;
  • Ensure that team members are effective and efficient; provide feedback to staff to ensure optimal performance;
  • Supervising the Program Managers, ensure all Rakhine projects are completed on time, within budget, and achieve their objectives;
  • Provide adequate support to each project including, but not limited to, strategic vision and technical input and advice;
  • Ensure the proper allocation of resources and maintenance of appropriate controls at all levels with field staff;
  • Monitor project implementation, communication, coordination and reporting both internally and externally;
  • Ensure quality and timely reports to the donors are prepared and submitted in coordination with the Yangon office;
  • Ensure that donor rules and regulations are known and followed by RI teams;
  • Serve as a link between RI and all project counterparts through sector coordination.

Program Planning and Development

  • Develop, in cooperation with other staff, short-, medium-, and long-range strategic plans maintaining program focus in areas in line with RI's program objectives;
  • Ensure regular humanitarian context analysis;
  • In close coordination with the Program Director, the Country Director and the Program Development and Mobilization Manager, maintain effective communications with donors by tracking trends and anticipating the likelihood of funding opportunities in Rakhine State;
  • Assess other implementing organizations’ activities to identify gaps and overlap;
  • Maintain effective communications with Yangon office regarding program development, funding agreements, and staffing;
  • Identify, and where necessary, initiate and maintain program partnerships with external agencies;
  • Research relevant field data for compilation and inclusion in support of project documents while ensuring and verifying that field observations, assessments, and reports are at a level of detail and quality that can be used in project concept notes and detailed proposals and reports to donors;
  • Take the lead in the design of new relevant programs.

Personnel Management

  • Oversee the management and wellbeing of all staff in Rakhine projects;
  • Supervise all personnel and provide probation and annual evaluations for direct reports;
  • Promote and organize local staff capacity building and development.

Security and Safety

  • Ensure the overall responsibility of the safety and security of RI staff and programs in Rakhine;
  • Ensure the overall protection of RI assets, equipment and data in Rakhine;
  • Make safety and security policy and recommendations based on all available information;
  • Immediately report to Country Director regarding safety and security incidents;
  • Provide regular security context analysis and liaise with stakeholders on security preparedness.

Reporting and Control

  • Ensure compliance with RI policies and regulations;
  • Report any breach of RI policy, particularly the SEA (Sexual Exploitation and Abuse) and Harassment Policies;
  • Provide program reports and regular situation reports that are timely, professionally written, and meet information requirements as needed by RI and as required by donors.

External Representation

  • Maintain a suitable image for RI in Myanmar and protect RI's interest, image, and notoriety;
  • In close coordination with the Program Director and the Country Director, effectively liaise with donors, government officials, and other agency representatives in Rakhine;
  • Represent RI at Sittwe-level meetings with the humanitarian and development actors, and ensure attendance at relevant sector and cluster meetings in Rakhine;
  • Facilitate donor visits to project sites as appropriate.

Financial Management

  • Undertake budget preparation and monitoring;
  • Manage operations budgets for three field offices (Sittwe, Myebon, and Mrauk U);
  • Close follow-up and review of project expenditures in relation to work plans.


  • Act as the communication link between Yangon main office and the field. Direct all communications up or down, as appropriate;
  • Undertake additional activities as required by RI.


  • Degree (Master’s preferred) in international humanitarian program management, development/affairs, public administration, management, or related subject;
  • Five years of field experience in humanitarian and/or development organizations, preferably working in conflict and natural disaster settings;
  • Three years of experience in managing large multisector programs with the conflict sensitive and do-no harm approach;
  • Previous experience living and working in austere and/or insecure environments;
  • Solid experience developing budgets and managing expenditures;
  • Experience carrying out safety and security protocols;
  • Ability to build, motivate, and operate in a team;
  • Strong coordination, organizational, and time management skills;
  • Strong diplomatic, conflict-resolution and problem-solving skills;
  • Comfortable liaising with other implementing agencies, government officials, and stakeholders;
  • Fluency in English; strong verbal and written communication skills;
  • Willing and able to work in a challenging and dynamic environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous experience in Myanmar/Southeast Asia;
  • Experience with remote management of programs;
  • Experience managing USAID, ECHO, UNICEF programs;
  • Experience working in consortia with other NGOs;
  • Strong grants and operation management skills.

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