Save the children

Localization and Partnerships Specialist

Job Overview

Country Office overview:  
Save the Children in Iraq is operating an integrated child focused programme in five governorates in Northern Iraq – Ninewa, Dohuk, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and Diyala. Through direct delivery, partnerships, and consortium approaches, we deliver multi-sector assistance to internally displaced people (IDP), Syrian refugees, returnees and host communities. SCI programmes on child protection, education, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security and livelihoods (FSL), and distribution of critical non-food items (NFIs), promoting of social cohesion and peace building, are designed and delivered in partnership with key stakeholders. Through integrated approaches targeting those most in need, ensuring participation and a sense of ownership of beneficiaries over our work, and establishing strong relationships and building capacities of communities and partners, Save the Children is building foundations for sustainable impacts and shift from immediate humanitarian programing to development programming and peacebuilding in Iraq.

Working in partnership is central to Save the Children’s Theory of Change on how to maximize our impact for children, and is a key element of the Iraq Country Office’s Country Strategic Plan (CSP) both to increase the depth and breadth of its programming but even more importantly to improve sustainability, and promote local ownership and the development of a strong civil society that that can promote child rights and accountability for children. Save the Children has a Global Partnership Framework, which aims at ensuring that across the Save the Children movement we have a shared understanding of what partnership means. In addition, this role will be critical in approaching partnership more strategically and to advance our commitments to the localization agenda, including the operationalization of the localization policy, and to implement organizational adjustments needed to adhere to Grand Bargain principles and CHS verification outcomes aimed at operationalizing local partnerships. S/he will work together with internal and external stakeholders and our local partners across the country program to advise, facilitate, coordinate, monitor and support the successful implementation of the Partnership Framework and develop our Country Office Partnership Strategy; coordinate and monitor the capacity strengthening of our partners; play a lead role in strengthening Save the Children Iraq’s approaches to partnership, building on SCI’s global partnership principles; work across departments to establish systems and approaches for identifying, pursuing and maintaining effective partnerships that contribute to Save the Children’s strategic direction and support reaching breakthroughs for children in Iraq;  and engages in internal and external forum on partnerships and localization, contributing to learning and leveraging best practices from other contexts., the role holder will be expected to work outside the normal role profile and be able to vary working hours accordingly.


Reports to: Program Development & Quality Director
Staff reporting to this post: None

Strategic Planning 

•    Ensure the partnerships component of the Theory of Change and organizational Partnership Framework informs country strategic planning, annual plans, humanitarian response strategies, other delivery approaches, including to implement organisational adjustments needed to adhere to Grand Bargain principles and CHS verification outcomes aimed at operationalizing local partnerships
•    In close collaboration with Awards, PDQ and Operations, lead the development/review of the Iraq Country Office’s partnership and localization strategy in line with Save the Children’s global Partnership Framework and Localization policy, that clearly articulates our vision and help promote that vision with Save the Children staff and stakeholders
•    Coordinate self-assessments on partnerships and localization, and develop action plans/improvement plans, including monitoring and reporting on progress to SMT
•    In collaboration with Awards and PDQ teams, lead the CO in systematic approaches to scoping, assessing and selecting partners, and in identifying and pursuing strategic partnerships, to build high performing and diverse partnerships to achieve our strategies, priorities and plans
•    Coordinating the consolidation and analysis of data/information on Partnership performance indicators, and developing any relevant reports to the SMT and other stakeholders

Partner Management & Capacity Strengthening:
•    Support programs in ensuring quality partnership management and knowledge sharing, regularly review partnership management practices are aligned with the partnership principles, and identify and follow up on actions to improve management practices;
•    Facilitate partners’ active involvement in Country Office strategic planning, program design and proposal/concept paper development and ensure partner support costs are adequately resourced
•    Coordinate across teams to carry out partner organizational capacity assessments and support partners to develop capacity strengthening plans, and ensure that partner capacity strengthening plans are resourced during proposal development
•    Work with IT to establish and maintain a partnership database that centralizes our partner scoping, assessment and capacity strengthening plans for better tracking, monitoring and reporting
•    Coordinate implementation of partner organizational and programmatic capacity strengthening, including tracking spending against relevant budget lines, and monitoring and reporting on progress and achievements
•    Coordination with external agencies working with the same partners, ensuring a partner-centered approach and minimizing duplication of capacity strengthening efforts
•    Ensure that partners are trained on and apply SC standards such as Child Safeguarding, SCs Code of Conduct, and essential humanitarian principles and Core Humanitarian Standards

Partnership Monitoring and Learning:
•    Coordinate with the MEAL and program teams to ensure the development and implementation of appropriate project and partner M&E, and program management tools and systems for use by partners, and that appropriate training and ongoing support is provided to partners on use of the same
•    Develop a system for accountability towards partners where Save the Children regularly and proactively seeks feedback from partners, including  organising annual partnership meetings and feedback surveys, partnership conferences, complaint & feedback mechanisms and and work with relevant departments to address feedback;
•    Support MEAL and Operations teams to analyse results of on-going partnerships and results on the ground to produce lessons learnt to inform project design, implementation and strategic decision-making
•    Work with partners, programs, and communication units to document and disseminate best practices and case studies to be used for advocacy on localization efforts

Representation & Networking
•    Participate in internal and external partnership fora (working groups, conferences, workshops, meetings and webinars) and provide regular update to the CO on new developments, best practices, learning and trends in partnerships and localization
•    Embed partnerships in relevant dialogues, discussions and debates at all parts of the organisation, not just functional leads but also thematic leaders, account managers, partners and others;
•    Participate in any Working Groups that will support the operationalization of the partnership strategy and localization policy

People Management 
•    Work closely with programme quality, awards and operations teams in a matrix management and remote management environment for development and implementation of high quality projects
•    Provide training, coaching/mentoring and support for learning, development and capacity building of relevant Country Office staff on partnership strategy, principles, management process/procedures, framework, policy etc
•    Support the development of an organisational culture that reflects our full spectrum programming, promotes accountability and high performance, encourages a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, and frees up our people to deliver outstanding results for children

BEHAVIOURS (Values in Practice)

•    holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
•    holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.
•    sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team, takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same
•    widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
•    future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale.
•    builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
•    values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
•    approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.
•    develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
•    willing to take disciplined risks.
•    honest, encourages openness and transparency; demonstrates highest levels of integrity

•    Post graduate or Master degree in International relations, Social Sciences, project management and development relevant field
•    Minimum 5 years work experience in the humanitarian sector/with NGOs, with at least 2 years’ experience in partnership based programming or community based programming

•    Sound knowledge of child- and human-rights frameworks, including rights-based programming and in-depth understanding on core elements of approaches and principles to working in partnerships
•    Experience in organizational capacity strengthening processes, including excellent training/facilitation, presentation, and communication skills.
•    Proven experience in field level representation and networking with key stakeholders and co-ordination with other NGOs/UN
•    Proven commitment to and experience in participatory approaches and beneficiary accountability
•    An excellent team player with good skills in team work and consultative approach to decision making
•    Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, with a high level of written and spoken English
•    The capacity and willingness to be extremely flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes insecure working circumstances.

The Organisation:
We employ approximately 25,000 people across the globe and work on the ground in over 100 countries to help children affected by crises, or those that need better healthcare, education and child protection. We also campaign and advocate at the highest levels to realise the right of children and to ensure their voices are heard.

We are working towards three breakthroughs in how the world treats children by 2030:
•    No child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday
•    All children learn from a quality basic education and that,
•    Violence against children is no longer tolerated

We know that great people make a great organization, and that our employees play a crucial role in helping us achieve our ambitions for children.  We value our people and offer a meaningful and rewarding career, along with a collaborative and inclusive environment where ambition, creativity, and integrity are highly valued.

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

All employees are expected to carry out their duties in accordance with our global anti-harassment policy.