Thematic Lead NSD – MENA

International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies

Beirut, Lebanon or Amman, Jordan Lebanon

Organizational Context

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with a network of 191-member National Societies (NSs). The overall aim of IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by NSs with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.” IFRC works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises.

IFRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement), together with its member National Societies (NSs) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The work of IFRC is guided by the following fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

IFRC is led by its Secretary General, and has its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Headquarters are organized into three main Divisions: (i) National Society Development and Operations Coordination; (ii) Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization; and (iii) Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services.

IFRC has five regional offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Americas. IFRC also has country cluster delegations and country delegations throughout the world. Together, the Geneva Headquarters and the field structure (regional, cluster and country) comprise the IFRC Secretariat.

National Society Development is one of the three main mandates of the IFRC. While the responsibility of NSD rests with each National Society, the IFRC has the mandate to support National Societies in their development and to coordinate external support. NSD is a direct contribution towards the seven Transformations of the IFRC Strategy 2030.

The position will be located at the MENA Regional Office in Beirut or in Amman and reports to the Head of Membership Services, with technical supervision from the Manager, Organizational Transformation in Geneva. The role will technically manage the IFRC NSD technical personnel within the country and cluster delegations, who hold the main accompaniment role with National Societies, and also work alongside delegation and surge/ operational colleagues. The Lead is responsible for the overall advice and support to MENA NSs and to the Deputy Regional Director on NS Development, and identifying priorities with a focus on Leadership development, Branch strengthening, Integrity, Statutes and Legal Base, Financial Sustainability. The role will work closely with other colleagues on Digital Transformation, HR and Finance as part of systems strengthening of NSs aswell as on enhancing resource mobilisation capacities. The role will ensure a strong focus on NSD, including capacity strengthening, in the context of protracted crises and complex emergencies within the region.

They will also work closely with technical file holders in the Membership Services Unit on Youth and Volunteering; Protection Gender and Inclusion; and Safeguarding, in addition to other technical/sectoral areas within the region and with operational colleagues, ensuring that their work and support are aligned with the development priorities of the 17 National Societies in MENA.

IFRC has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment and other forms of harassment, abuse of authority, discrimination, and lack of integrity (including but not limited to financial misconduct). IFRC also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles.

Job Purpose

The Regional Thematic Lead NSD will coordinate the NSD network within MENA to:

  • Support NSs in the region to identify, drive and implement their NSD priorities,
  • Facilitate access to relevant appropriate expertise (from local resources, peer NSs, IFRC secretariat),
  • Coordinate NSD support provided by various Movement and non-movement actors, and
  • Enable quality assurance to the NSD support provided at country level.

The role will work actively with the Regional Office’s operation and technical teams and country delegations to ensure alignment, consistency and synergy between programme support and ongoing emergency operations towards the development priorities of the 17 national societies of the region.

The incumbent will contribute to greater localization with a strong focus on branch development and volunteering and ensuring relevant services to the “end-user”, which are key components for strengthening the effectiveness of NSs and building trust at the most local level. The role will ensure a strong focus of the IFRC on NSD in the context of protracted crises and complex emergencies within the region.

The Lead will work with MENA NSs to strengthen their humanitarian and development efforts, helping them to remain partners of choice within their country and sustainable and accountable for their actions.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

The incumbent will provide coordination and guidance for the Secretariat’s work in MENA in the areas of National Society Development. The duties and responsibilities are outlined as follows:

1. Ensure Respect for National Societies as volunteer and membership-based local actors:

Support NSs in enhancing accountability, financial sustainability, relevancy and effectiveness as local actors through coordination, by providing quality advice to NSs’ leadership on:

  • Effective governance / statutes revision processes providing access to professional support as required.
  • Identification, management and mitigation of organisational risk.
  • Preparation for Movement statutory meetings.
  • Development of mid- and longer-term strategy to strengthen branch systems.
  • Transformation of the scale and scope of NS’s volunteering practice.
  • Long-term NS sustainability and its relevance as a domestic humanitarian actor.
  • Management of humanitarian aid/project funding, to maximise opportunities to address NSD needs and minimise potential damage to long-term NSD goals.
  • Reflection on how collective Movement work is done at the regional level and its implications to NSs long-term development.

2. Connecting and Coordinating NSD at regional level:

Support NSs to connect and engage with domestic and international actors, other National Societies, the ICRC as well as external non-Movement actors; and enable NSs to lead NSD coordination in line with its defined development priorities, through:

  • Supporting NS leadership to develop and lead coordination mechanisms for domestic and international partners.
  • Leading coordination of NSD amongst movement partners and proposing coordinated response mechanisms in the context of protracted and emerging crises.
  • Supporting NS to strategically select and use existing RCRC tools and approaches and coordinating the use of NSD tools and pools of experienced peers.
  • Facilitating the engagement of NSs in the region with the growing communities of practice within NSD.
  • Coordinate the NSD community of practitioners from NSs in the MENA region, the IFRC and the ICRC, with clear identification of skills and competences and availability to support one another; keep an updated record of such capacities and facilitate P2P and communication where appropriate.
  • Supporting NS leadership to oversee and lead the process to define the NS’s strategic priorities (e.g. strategic planning processes).
  • Supporting NS leadership to better demonstrate and communicate its development journey and priorities to Movement and non-movement stakeholders.
  • Ensuring alignment of the regional NSD with the Global NSDS direction.
  • Integrating emergency task forces to ensure all aspects of NSD in Emergencies are duly considered.

3. Fostering sustainable change

Foster an environment for NSs to implement sustainable change through:

  • Supporting the use of outcomes from organisational assessments to define needs and accompany NS leadership to critically reflect on organisational weaknesses.
  • Supporting NS leadership to set the vision for change, the change strategy and process (including strategies to address blockages to change).
  • Supporting NS leadership to set appropriate targets for change, build internal and external coalitions for change.
  • Supporting and advising NS leadership to include perspectives of minority groups within NS and ensure Protection, Gender, and Inclusion (PGI) approach is duly considered in NS decision-making process.
  • Supporting NSs to explore ways to set internal leadership development pathways.
  • Challenging and supporting NS leadership to reduce NS dependency on Movement resources especially for NS core mandated services towards heightened Financial Sustainability
  • Supporting NS leadership to explore potential domestic resources and opportunities.

4. Awareness of Organisational Culture

Ensure awareness of the cultural surroundings and context and how this can impact operational and personal actions, through:

  • Advising partners and stakeholders working with the NSs on better understanding and respecting the NS organisational culture and facilitating ways to provide support.
  • Advising delegates and delegation staff to support NS leadership to lead and create an organisational culture of transparency and accountability.

5. Systems thinking

  • Support NS leadership and the NSs’ stakeholders to analyse and identify power dynamics, systematic bottleneck, and potential leverage points.
  • Support leadership in making sense of wider NS picture, improved oversight and coordination among key initiatives that contribute to NSD and how these interact.

6. Nurturing Innovation and creating culture of learning

Serve as a critical advisor for reshaping existing way of working, and support NSD counterparts to identify, design, test, reflect, analyse, and replicate different ways of working appropriate to the context, through:

  • Constantly updating own knowledge on examples and case-materials and serves as a learning-knowledge broker to NS Leadership
  • Serving as a critical advisor for NS leadership to adapt organisation to future needs and explore different ways of working.
  • Supporting NS leadership to create a culture in which intelligent risk-taking and occasional failure are celebrated.
  • Supporting NS leadership to integrate data collection and analysis as base of evidence for strategic decision-making.
  • Supporting NS leadership to develop and implement learning strategies, and supports peer-learning mechanisms within own NS, with external actors and with other NSs.

Duties applicable to all staff

  1. Work actively towards the achievement of the IFRC Secretariat’s goals.
  2. Abide by and work in accordance with the Red Cross and Red Crescent principles.
  3. Perform any other work-related duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by the line manager.


  • University degree in a Development related discipline; advanced degree preferred – Required.
  • IMPACT Course or equivalent knowledge – Required.
  • Background in non-profit management and consulting – Preferred.


  • At least 7-8 years of relevant professional experience of progressive career development and growth (including management of small teams) working in the RC/RC Movement or similar network of national organisations – Required.
  • At least 5 years of work experience in institutional development and capacity strengthening, preferably in an international organisation – Required.
  • Experience in management at senior level and/or in consulting and facilitating organisational transformation in a National Society or similar voluntary/membership-based organization – Preferred.
  • Experience in facilitating/coordinating cross-departmental/sectoral collaboration in change processes – Required.
  • Experience in leading, or supporting leadership, to identify, manage and mitigate organisational risk, and setting and implementing change strategy / process – Required.
  • Experience in facilitating and setting coordination approaches among multiple organisations – Required.
  • Proven ability and track record working with and inter-relating to the leadership of NSs and/or with local/ national actors and organisations – Required.
  • Experience in facilitating peer learning opportunities – Preferred.
  • Working experience in the MENA region – Preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Languages

  • Knowledge of Movement policy and frameworks (NSD policy, NSD framework, NSD Compact, other NSD-related frameworks) and experience in implementing and utilising them – Required.
  • Knowledge of NSD related policies and framework (Volunteering policy, Youth Policy, Integrity Policy, Financial Sustainability Framework, Branch Development Framework etc) – Preferred.
  • Knowledge of institutional procedures on preventing and addressing integrity issues – Required.
  • Demonstrated personal integrity and accountability, including proven ability to protect National Society and individual confidentiality – Required.
  • Proven analytical skills and the ability to think strategically, navigate complexity and systems thinking – Required.
  • Sound knowledge in change management and experience in supporting change process in more than 2 areas related to Red Cross Red Crescent NSD matters (such as, but not limited to coordination, legal base development, strategic planning, branch development, leadership development, financial sustainability, HR development, volunteering, and youth engagement etc)– Required.
  • Strong communication, negotiating and influencing skills – Required.
  • Ability to scope for new information, tools, approaches and serve as a knowledge broker to others – Preferred.
  • Familiarity in Movement coordination mechanisms and tools – Preferred.
  • Ability to navigate sensitivities a multi-cultural environment and work within diverse and virtual or/and dispersed teams – Required.
  • Ability to work in a stressful and demanding environment while keeping a consistent, courteous, and positive attitude towards others – Required.
  • Ability to travel to other countries – Required.
  • Fluent spoken and written English – Required.
  • Good command of another IFRC official language (Arabic, French, or Spanish) – Preferred.

Competencies, Values and Comments

  • Values: Respect for diversity; Integrity; Professionalism; Accountability
  • Core competencies: Communication; Collaboration and teamwork; Judgement and decision making; National society and customer relations; Creativity and innovation; Building trust.
  • Functional competencies: Strategic orientation; Building alliances; Leadership; Empowering others.
  • Managerial competencies: Managing staff performance; Managing staff development.

Salary Range mentioned below is NOT accurate, it depends on the relevant experience of the chosen candidate and based on the international IFRC salary scale.

IFRC ensures equal employment opportunities.

How to apply

For interested Applicants, the application will ONLY be accepted via the following link:

Thematic Lead NSD – MENA

Deadline: 22-Apr-24