Première Urgence Internationale – Iraq

Head of Programs – Erbil or Baghdad

Job Overview

General Information
The organization
Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-political and non-religious international aid organization. PUI has been working in Iraq since 1983. Its core objective is to provide a humanitarian response to the needs arising from population displacements in Iraq, through reinforcement and strengthening of the existing health system, provision of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS), and by enhancing access to shelter, drinking Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH). PUI is currently implementing Health, MHPSS, WASH and shelter projects in Federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, through bases in Erbil and Baghdad.

Overall purpose
The Head of Programs is responsible for the design and proper implementation of programs on several operational bases, in line with the country strategy and in coordination with other departments.

Responsibilities and scope of duties
– Programs: He/She ensures proper implementation of programs on the mission, in cooperation with other departments and with the Field Coordinator for the Baghdad base. He/she proposes and designs new interventions in their area. He/She ensures proper reporting on the program activities internally and to the donors.
– Human Resources: He/She participates in hiring and training the mission program staff. He/She directly supervises program teams in Erbil and provides technical support to the program teams in Baghdad.
– Representation: He/She represents the organization (either directly or through their team), for all programmatic issues, before the partners, authorities, and various local actors operating in the areas of intervention.
– Coordination: He/She ensures that all procedures and SOPs related to programs are coherent and realistic to the country context and are properly disseminated and implemented on the field. He/She ensures that information is properly and timely shared between the region and the coordination office and follows-up for support requests.
– Assessment/Strategy: He/She participates in strategy development and proposes new interventions based on needs identified in his/her region of affectation.

Specific objectives and linked activities

– He/She ensures the smooth running of ongoing programs on all sites (meeting of objectives, respecting timelines, budgetary monitoring, action plans…) and coordinates with all relevant departments.
– He/She designs new program follow-up tools to ease the teams’ work and ensures they are properly implemented by the program team
– He/She is responsible for writing donor reports for programs implemented on the mission; reports which are wholly or partly drafted by him/her (involving consolidation of sections drafted by the project managers, technical staff and/or resource persons on his/her sites).
– He/She sets up a formal coordination system, implements it in the field (meetings, written reports…), and reports to his/her immediate supervisor and raises issues to relevant departments when they occur.
– He/She ensures proper filing of all documents produced in the context of the project(s) and ensures the availability of the verification sources mentioned in the proposals.
– He/She is responsible for problem solving when issues arise during project implementation in coordination with relevant departments/stakeholders.
– He/She proposes new interventions and coordinates with technical departments.
– He/She plans and supervises needs assessments.
– When defining new operational activities, he/she coordinates the work of the relevant technical departments and of the administrative and logistical support teams, in order to prepare project proposals that are complete, and in line with the donors’ formats and internal rules of PUI.
– He/She supervises all programs-related teams (either through direct or technical management), tracks the realization of their objectives, and leads the mid-term and final evaluation exercises.
– He/She participates in the hiring process, as well as in any decision related to the termination of employment contracts of local program personnel on the sites.
– He/She designs and implements training programs for program staff based on identified needs and builds capacity of the program team on a continuous basis.
– He/She prepares the job profiles of program staff of the mission.
– He/She suggests appropriate staff structure to ensure proper implementation of the programs.
– He/She handles the management of interpersonal conflicts that arise on his/her sites and refers the matter to his/her immediate supervisor in the event that he/she is not able to resolve dispute.

– He/She is a guardian of the image of PUI, and in that capacity ensures that the entire staff under his/her authority displays behavior consistent with the values upheld by the organization, and with full respect for the local culture.
– He/She represents the organization before local actors, whether they are official or not, and ensures that good relations are maintained with each of them in compliance with PUI’s principles of neutrality and independence.
– He/She attends main coordination meetings when they take place and participates actively.
– In the event of visits from Donors, he/she participates in the organization and implementation of the visit.
– He/She prepares, consolidates and sends the internal and external reports to his/her immediate supervisor while meeting the internal deadlines for endorsement (Situation Report, incident report) and external contractual deadlines (project reports).
– He/She ensures the coherence and relevance of PUI’s interventions at mission level.
– He/she ensures harmonization of PUI’s interventions and processes between bases.
– He/She is the link between the region and the coordination office for all program-related matters, advises on the relevance and feasibility of the proposed interventions, gives contextual feedback and cascades technical recommendations from coordination office to the field teams, as well as communicates the needs for support from the field teams to the coordination office.
– He/She ensures proper coordination with the Field Coordinator, Admin Coordinator, and Logistics Coordinator on support-related matters and needs to ensure that programs can be smoothly implemented; and coordinates with the Area Coordinator on security and authorities-related matters that could impact the programs.
– He/She attends and, when necessary, leads internal coordination meetings and participates actively.
– He/She participates in the Strategy development exercise of the mission.
– He/She plans and supervises needs assessments.
– He/She proposes new interventions.
– He/She stays alert on contextual developments and proposes emergency responses when needed.

Team Management
Direct management: 2 people (2 Project Managers in Erbil)
Indirect management: Technical management of 1 Project Manager in Baghdad, indirect management of 5 program officers (under the direct management of PMs)
Other contacts
Internal: Coordination team
External: Local authorities, Humanitarian actors.

Required Profile

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in social science, humanitarian action, program management or international development
  • Experience in Project Management
  • Experience in Safety Management.
  • Knowledge in at least one of the following sectors of intervention: Health, MHPSS, Civil Society strengthening, WASH, Shelter, Climate Change.
  • Previous experience in a similar position
  • Significant experience in project management in the humanitarian or development sectors.
  • Good training skills and experience building staff capacity.
  • Project and team Management skills
  • Team Management
  • Ability to represent PUI with an efficient and proactive coordination with other actors.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Knowledge of institutional donors’ procedures



  • Advanced level in both oral and writing

Pack Office

  • Intermediary level


Required Personal Characteristics (fitting into the team, suitability for the job)

– Ability to provide/structure instructions clearly and concisely both orally and in writing
– A high sense of discretion and integrity when dealing with sensitive information
– High degree of autonomy, responsibility, initiative, alertness, emotional stability with ability to prioritize a heavy workload and to delegate accordingly
– Professional attitude and ability to build successful working relationships with contacts outside of the projects.
– Self-motivated, flexible and adaptable to the needs of the team and organization
– Strong commitment to support/develop capacity of staff
– Team player: proven management ability and inter-personal skills, team management and conflict management skills
– Excellent communication skills and sense of diplomacy
– Analytical, Problem solving and leadership skills
– Organization, rigor and ability to meet deadlines
– Ability to integrate the local environment into operations, in its political, economic and historical dimensions
– Strategic vision, ability to predict future needs and to plan for a continuous development of the operations

More Information