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GOAL has been working in Syria since 2012, responding to the acute needs of conflict affected communities. GOAL is working in Idlib, Hama, Aleppo and Lattakia Governorates, directly and with local partners, delivering food, non-food, WASH, livelihoods and emergency programming with a strong focus on cash assistance and market based approaches. In 2016, GOAL had a total budget of over 100 million Euros including bilateral and UN donors.

General Description of the Role

The Head of Programmes-Syria (HOP-S) assumes overall responsibility for the development and delivery of GOAL’s programmes in North West Syria. The role focuses on portfolio, programme and project management, and works closely with the Syria Response Director and Regional Director on resourcing, coordination and external representation. The HOP is a member of the GOAL Syria Senior Management Team (SMT) and the role involves the management of a department of approximately 300 staff members requiring evolved leadership, decision making and organisational competencies.

Key Duties

Programme Management

The HOP will assume overall responsibility for the implementation of GOAL’s programmes and attainment of project targets in North West Syria. The office holder will manage sectoral leads ensuring the existence of structures and processes to facilitate their management of projects across all stages of the project cycle. Duties include:

  • Lead participatory planning processes and support technical Coordinators in the development of project tools such as work breakdown structures, implementation plans, gantt charts, etc.;
  • Ensure activity plans are regularly reviewed, in terms of actual outputs and financial spends are monitored through the use of budget monitoring tools (in conjunction with other departments);
  • Work with technical Coordinators to amend project plans as necessary to ensure the programmes achieve their objectives within the allotted time and budget; communicate any project issues to the SRD/RD, and donor as appropriate, in good time;
  • Provide support and oversight to programmes team inside Syria to carry out implementation, meeting programming targets and ensuring program quality.

Programme Quality

The HOP will also oversee the MEAL and Mainstreaming Departments, and take a leading role in supporting overall programme quality. Duties include:

  • Oversee the development and implementation of appropriate Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) and programme management tools and systems;
  • Work with the MEAL team to capture programme learnings and facilitate the incorporate lessons learned into revised project designs.
  • Support robust accountability mechanisms, geared particularly towards the remote management context of cross-border programming.
  • Work with the Mainstreaming Department to ensure effective consideration and mainstreaming of Protection, Child Protection and Gender through all stages of programme design and implementation, working in close coordination with Technical Coordinators, Dublin-based Advisors and other agencies operational in GOAL’s area of intervention.


  • Support programmatic inputs and guidance into GOAL Syria’s overall partnership strategy.
  • Directly engage with partners, focusing on strategic programming issues and providing support to partner program staff.
  • Ensure inclusion of partners into program design, grants management processes and MEAL activities.

Portfolio Management and Resourcing

  • Manage GOAL’s portfolio of programmes, ensuring the maintenance of a robust portfolio with relevance to growth sectors and strategic concerns as well as immediate needs and funding landscapes;
  • Working with the Grants team, oversee the development of donor proposals, reports and other donor facing comms products, delivered on time and to exceptional quality standards;
  • In conjunction with the SRD/RD, maintain excellent professional relationships with key donors ensuring a steady two-way flow of information regarding ongoing projects and grants, forthcoming opportunities, and evolving donor priorities and interests.

Management and leadership

In addition to directly managing the senior programmes team, the HOP leads a department of approximately 300 staff members so takes responsibility for the creation and maintenance of a positive and high performance departmental culture.

  • Directly line manage GOAL’s Technical Coordinators, and MEAL and Grants Coordinators. Ensure all direct reports have articulated, understood and frequently reviewed objectives, remain motivated in their work, comfortable in the expectations of them, and are producing to an optimum level;
  • Indirectly line manage GOAL’s Field Programs Coordinator and provide support and coaching to that position and other senior programmes positions inside Syria.
  • Provide leadership to the programmes department as a whole, creating a dynamic, supportive and results orientated working environment;
  • Maintain a focus on the training and development needs of the programmes team and support HR to arrange capacity development exercises as appropriate.

Representation and coordination

  • Represent GOAL as required, such as amongst donors, at regional coordination mechanisms, etc.;
  • Ensure GOAL is appropriately represented in external coordination mechanisms including the sector-specific technical working groups;
  • Liaise with potential and current local partners and key staff from other INGOs ensuring good relations and a tradition of open and effective communication are maintained.

Strategic Management

  • Work with the SRD and senior programmes staff to develop a clear vision, objectives, strategic direction, and plan of activities for GOAL Syria’s programmes based on the principles and policies of GOAL;
  • Support the development of a GOAL Syria Country / Annual Strategic Plan as required.
  • Play active role on GOAL Syria’s Senior Management Team and support overall decision making where needed.


  • Ensure logistics, HR and finance protocols are followed by all programmes team members, and collaborate closely with Internal Audit and Compliance staff to ensure the integration of compliance concerns into the work of the programme department;
  • Work with Systems Director and the Logistics Coordinator to ensure appropriate logistics involvement at all stages of the programme cycle;
  • Work with the Internal Audit regarding serious complaints and take direct responsibility for the efficient response to any serious programme issues arising;
  • Carry out other duties as requested by the SRD/RD.

Important information about working with GOAL:


Children and vulnerable adults who come into contact with GOAL as a result of our activities must be safeguarded to the maximum possible extent from deliberate or inadvertent actions and failings that place them at risk of abuse, sexual exploitation, injury and any other harm. One of the ways that GOAL shows this on-going commitment to safeguarding is to include rigorous background and reference checks in the selection process for all candidates.

Accountability within GOAL

Alongside our safeguarding policy, GOAL is an equal opportunities employer and has a set of integrity policies. Any candidate offered a job with GOAL will be expected to adhere to the following key areas of accountability:

  • Comply with GOAL’s policies and procedures with respect to safeguarding, code of conduct, health and safety, confidentiality, do no harm principles and unacceptable behaviour protocols.
  • Report any concerns about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult or any wrongdoings within our programming area.
  • Report any concerns about inappropriate behaviour of a GOAL staff or partner.

Requirements (Person Specification)


  • At least five years overseas experience gained in a conflict or post-conflict setting;
  • At least two years at a senior management level with demonstrable ability to lead a team of technical and support staff overseeing a large and complex programme;
  • Postgraduate degree in a relevant discipline, or commensurate experience.
  • Demonstrable previous experience in programme planning, budgeting, implementation and review;
  • Experienced and confident in representation with government at all levels, with institutional donors and with UN agencies and NGOs;
  • Excellent management skills with the ability to quickly re-prioritise activities to meet the demands of the programme in a rapidly changing context;
  • Good interpersonal and facilitation skills with the ability to lead teams to reach consensus on complex and/or divisive issues;
  • Commitment to capacity building staff and nationalising positions where possible;
  • Excellent presentation, oral and writing skills;
  • Enthusiastic, flexible and willing to take on a large workload in order to meet the needs of the program.


  • Prior work experience in Syria or the region
  • Spoken Arabic

Our package includes a competitive salary, shared accommodation, health and travel insurance and 20 days annual leave. Additional benefits are available after 12 months of service.

GOAL has a Staff Code of Conduct and a Child Protection Policy, which have been developed to ensure the maximum protection of programme participants and children from exploitation. GOAL also has a confidentiality policy ensuring the non-disclosure of any information whatsoever relating to the practices and business of GOAL, acquired in the course of duty, to any other person or organisation without authority, except in the normal execution of duty. Any candidate offered a job with GOAL will be expected to adhere to these policies any job offer made is also subject to police clearance. GOAL is an equal opportunities employer.

This Job Description only serves as a guide for the position available. GOAL reserves the right to change this document. Any published closing dates are estimated. Due to the nature of GOAL’s work we aim to fill vacancies as quickly as possible. This means that we will close adverts as soon as we have found the right candidate and this may be before the published closing date. We would therefore advise interested applicants to submit an application as early as possible.

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