Regional Partnerships Advisor
Working in partnership with local civil society, government and private sector actors is fundamental to the International Rescue Committee’s mission to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster, including climate change, to survive, recover and gain control of their future. Effective local partnerships are central to the IRC’s strategic ambitions in Strategy100, resulting in more effective, responsive, and locally owned response and development efforts that reach more people and produce better outcomes for the people served. Investing in local civil society organizations (CSOs), community-based organizations (CBOs) and government entities recognizes those organizations not only as allies in achieving outcomes, but also as permanent actors’ catalysts and drivers of change.
The Strategy100 partnership ambitions reflect our learning that we can often reach more people with more effective, responsive, and timely assistance when we collaborate with local actors. Local partnerships also enable more durable outcomes, by strengthening local capacity and systems for sustained impact - particularly crucial at a time when 168 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and the average length of displacement nears 20 years. In addition, as Strategy100 recognizes, ‘meaningful partnerships with leaders and organizations based in the communities we serve’ are central to our mission to address global inequalities. Effective local partnerships also enable the IRC to achieve agreed standards for humanitarian response, such as the Core Humanitarian Standards, and are increasingly prioritized by all of IRC’s public and private donors.
The Partnership Excellence for Equality and Results System (the ‘PEER System’ or ‘PEERS’) is the IRC’s authoritative source of policy, process, guidance and tools for working in partnership. The primary objective of PEERS is to ensure the IRC defines and pursues its role in each context based on how it can best add value to local capacities and systems, prioritizing principled, collaborative partnerships with local actors’ government, civil society, and private sector actors.
Scope of work
The Asia Regional Partnerships Advisor is a six-month position to provide intensive operational and strategic support to Asia country programs and the regional team to accelerate progress towards achieving country and organizational partnership ambitions. This includes supporting country programs to operationalize local partnership standards as well as define and deliver on the partnership components of their Strategy Action Plans, consistent with the Strategy100 partnership ambition. S/he supports and coordinates the development and implementation of the Asia region’s partnership ambitions and contributes to reinforcing reflections and practices that enhance IRC’s implementation of partnership principles. S/he ensures that regional partnership initiatives support country programs, provides change management advisory support to country leadership for quality delivery of partnership ambitions across all functions, supports and coaches CPs in the use of PEERS for the development and management of collaborative partnerships; and supports regional and country support functions to evolve and perform their role in PEERS.
The needs and priorities of each country office will vary, and as such, the specific responsibilities of the Regional Partnerships Advisor will include:
• Advise and support Asia CP Senior Management Teams (SMTs) and relevant partnership focused staff on the appropriate structures, systems and processes needed to effectively implement PEERS. This includes working with country teams to identify and address internal barriers to partnering.
• Assist CPs to establish a well-functioning Partnership Working Group in order to assure cross-departmental awareness of the IRC”s partnership approaches and to have clear roles and responsibilities for each department’s involvement in implementation PEERS. .
• Identify areas where the country and regional teams can apply PEERs differently in order to take advantage of flexibility within PEERs standards to alleviate time-consuming steps of the partnership process – including partnership agreements, contracting, partnership budgeting rules, etc.
• Strengthen capacity of CP grants, and partnerships and technical teams on ways of engaging, tools, and processes to establish effective partnerships, and to co-design programs (and specific bids) with partners.
• Guide, coach and mentor partnership leads and other partnership facing staff in each country program in the use of PEERS for the development and management of principled, collaborative partnerships.
• Strengthen, and where needed, define processes for how the regional level support functions add value to the partnership processes led by Asia CPs.
• Lead cross-country learning and sharing of best practices around partnerships and develop a regional partnership Community of Practice.
• Capture experiences and learning from the Asia region to contribute to the continued development, strengthening and simplification of global PEERS policies, processes, and tools.
• Guide country programs in developing strategies and tools for establishing long-term strategic partnerships in line with S100 partnership ambitions.
• Collaborate with relevant technical advisors, regional and country colleagues as needed to assure guidance and capacity building support is available to partners for technical implementation and program quality.
Professional qualifications and requirements
• Minimum of five years’ experience in partnership, capacity sharing, organizational learning and/or related work required, and progressive managerial and/or advisory experience strongly preferred.
• Strong understanding of IRC’s PEER System required.
• Thorough knowledge of best practices in partnership and capacity sharing, with demonstrated experience in integrating this theme into programming.
• Familiarity with key institutions and donors.
• Experienced in setting up and using monitoring and evaluation systems for partnerships.
• Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through participatory adult training, mentoring, distance learning, and other formal and non-formal methods. Strong workshop design and facilitation skills.
• Collaborative, team management style; ability to work well in diverse, multi-cultural team settings.
• Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills.
• Skilled at persuading and leading through influence, negotiation and coaching.
• Significant capacity for strategic thinking and systems development.
• Fluency in English required.
• Must be willing to travel throughout the region if the situation allows (potential for ~30% travel).
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.