Regional Head Of Humanitarian Preparedness & Response

  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year

Plan International

Plan International is a rights-based development and humanitarian organisation working for better lives for all children. We are independent of government and have no political or religious affiliation.

Our purpose is to strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

About the role

Plan International West and Central Africa is looking for a Regional Head of Humanitarian Preparedness & Response to provide strategic humanitarian leadership across the West and central Africa region. The post holder supports Country Offices ensuring humanitarian preparedness and response activities are of high quality and position Plan International as a leading agency working on humanitarian crises and with a specific recognition of our girls focus.

The position will develop strong relations with regional networks, regional UN and donor offices and represent our humanitarian work across these for a. A key aspect of the engagement will focus on influencing and ensuring the specific needs of girls are clearly considered and addressed in humanitarian activities.

Supporting Country Directors, the position will ensure that Country Offices have the right technical capability and where needed will support the professional development of Plan’s staff across the region. The position will provide strategic guidance and support to the regional leadership team, supporting high level decision making.

Dimensions of the role

Responsible for overseeing and supporting 14 Country Offices in the West & Central Africa region implement the humanitarian component of the Global Strategy. The role will proactively engage with a range of regional humanitarian networks, donors and peer agencies building Plan International’s profile as a humanitarian agency. The role will support the ongoing strengthening of humanitarian action within plan and will participate in global level meetings and networks. This role will support Plan International’s Programming and Influencing portfolio with a focus on the humanitarian agenda across the region working closely with the other colleagues in the RH Programming and Influencing unit and across COs.

The post is a key linkage/coordination point between global humanitarian work and implementation at country and regional level

The post holder manages a team of regional specialists and project coordinators (including a DRM Specialist specializing in preparedness, an Education in Emergencies specialist and a deployable Gender in emergencies Specialist) and has indirect oversight of a significant humanitarian budget managed by individual Country offices.

The post holder is expected to deploy (sometimes at short notice) as Emergency Response Manager to support Country Offices in the region to respond to new crises.


  • Ensures Country Offices are ready to respond to new crises or spikes in existing crises. Oversees the implementation of the Ready To Respond preparedness work across the region.
  • Leads the quarterly HotSpot Analysis within the region, identifying potential crises that may occur, supporting Country Offices to be prepared, and ensuring the wider organisation is aware. Maintains a watching brief on humanitarian situation in countries where Plan International is not present, highlighting key issues of concern and potential options to regional leadership team and Global Hub Humanitarian team.
  • Provides Country Offices with strategic advice and guidance on their humanitarian portfolio, ensuring it is of high quality, aligned with key industry standards and has a clear focus on gender, diversity and inclusion.
  • Supports Country Offices develop and update Emergency Response Plans.
  • Ensures Country Offices use Plan International’s Emergency Response Manuals to guide their work and ensure alignment with operational requirements.
  • Ensures all humanitarian work is aligned with International Humanitarian Law, Humanitarian Principles and uses key standards (i.e Sphere, Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), and the broader Humanitarian Standards covered by the humanitarian standards partnership)
  • Deploys, sometimes at short notice, to Country Offices as emergency response manager to lead the startup of medium or large-scale emergencies in the region for up to two months.
  • Supports Country Offices determine additional capacity requirements, and requests to the Plan International Deployment team for additional staff support.
  • Leads humanitarian learning within the region through a variety of approaches such as Real Time Reviews, After Action Reviews, Evaluations. Ensures learnings are disseminated across the organisation and where appropriate integrated in to Plan International’s standard ways of working. Support Country Offices develop their Country Strategy Plans, ensuring humanitarian preparedness & response and nexus programming are integrated where appropriate.
  • Represents Plan International in media and communications work as required.
  • Develop and maintain a portfolio of regional humanitarian grants, identifying funding opportunities together with regional and National Organisation colleagues.
  • Contribute to ensuring quality of multi-country projects in the region (e.g. Sahel Programme, Lake Chad Response Programme) through capacity building, formation of practitioner’s networks, development of tools and undertaking of research and lessons learned exercises.
  • Work with COs in monitoring and supporting the integration of resilience and triple nexus programming within the region.
  • Support and facilitate learning and sharing of DRM and triple nexus programming related resources/tools/experiences between countries in region.
  • Proactively engage with international/regional agencies and networks, such as the regional ICVA network and working groups and donors.
  • Represent Plan International with media outlets through interviews when required.
  • Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

Technical Expertise, Skills and Knowledge


  • Significant experience of donor compliance and financial management.
  • Demonstrable experience of the integration of gender, diversity and inclusion elements into humanitarian programmes.
  • Demonstrable experience of the use of key humanitarian standards such as SPHERE, Core Humanitarian Standard and the Humanitarian Standards Partnership.
  • Proven experience of networking and developing relations with a broad range of stakeholders (Government Departments, UN agencies, Donor agencies, peer agencies)
  • Demonstrable awareness of key discussions within the humanitarian sector (eg nexus, conflict sensitivity, cash amongst others)
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of integrating gender into humanitarian programmes.
  • Significant experience of managing humanitarian programmes and operational support functions in diverse contexts
  • Proven knowledge of emergency preparedness activities and best practice within the sector.
  • Conversant with the international humanitarian architecture, particularly related to coordination and funding. Demonstrated prior experience of engaging with the humanitarian coordination system at local, regional and global levels.
  • Experience of designing and delivering training for specialist and non-specialist staff.
  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal in order to present arguments clearly and powerfully to a variety of audiences.
  • Able to work in English and French
  • Proven experience in networking and external representation with Government, UN, Donors, Partners and Peers.
  • Able to work calmly under extreme pressure and at unpredictable hours during emergency response. Ability to prioritise and manage complex and varied workload, often to tight deadlines.
  • Able to use Microsoft packages

Plan International’s Values In Practice

We are open and accountable

  • Promotes a culture of openness and transparency, including with sponsors and donors.
  • Holds self and others accountable to achieve the highest standards of integrity.
  • Consistent and fair in the treatment of people.
  • Open about mistakes and keen to learn from them.
  • Accountable for ensuring we are a safe organisation for all children, girls & young people

We strive for lasting impact

  • Articulates a clear purpose for staff and sets high expectations.
  • Creates a climate of continuous improvement, open to challenge and new ideas.
  • Focuses resources to drive change and maximise long-term impact, responsive to changed priorities or crises.
  • Evidence-based and evaluates effectiveness.

We work well together

  • Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate.
  • Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals.
  • Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities.
  • Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.

We are inclusive and empowering

  • We empower our staff to give their best and develop their potential
  • We respect all people, appreciate differences and challenge equality in our programs and our workplace
  • We support children, girls and young people to increase their confidence and to change their own lives.


Location: Plan International office location in the West and Central Africa region: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Reports to: Executive Director West and Central Africa, with matrix reporting line to Global Humanitarian Director

Travel requirements: 50% both withing and outside region, often in hardship locations and sometimes at short notice to support initial response start up.

How to apply

Closing date: 2nd April 2023

Please click on the link here to be redirected to the Red Sea site.

As part of the application process kindly submit an MS Word version of your CV and a cover letter. All application documents (cover letter and CV) should be submitted in English.

Should you require access to information in a different format to facilitate your application please contact us via [email protected]

Please name your submitted files with the following reference*: PLAN_RHHPR

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Red Sea is committed to meeting the standards set out in our Equality and Diversity statement, acting in line with the UK Equalities Act 2010 and building an accurate picture of the make-up of the workforce in encouraging equality and diversity.

Deadline: 2 Apr 2023