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Syria - Head of Mission

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COOPI is looking for a Head of Mission in Syria

After 11 years of crisis, food security situation in Syria has further deteriorated drastically with an estimated 14.2 million people in need (PiN) of some form of food and agriculture assistance. The protracted crisis in Syria has intensified needs over the past year through a complex and deepening socio-economic crisis, knock-on effects of Covid-19, and major losses in the food production sector. Today, 13.4 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance with needs increasingly being exacerbated by economic decline.

COOPI is currently implementing the following projects:

  • Food Security/Protection/Health integrated approach programme in Rural Damascus and Dara;
  • PSS activities, Protection services and Education in Dara, Aleppo and Hama;
  • FSL projects in Aleppo and Hama;
  • WASH/PSS activities in Raqqa.

Description of the role

The Head of Mission (HoM) provides leadership and strategic direction of COOPI’s operations in Syria, in collaboration with the Regional Coordinator, and is responsible for the implementation and development of the country programme in line with COOPI’s organisational and country strategy, policies and procedures. The HoM is also responsible for the management and capacity building of the staff, securing donor funding and to represent the organisation to the government, donors, and other appropriate bodies – including clusters, UN agencies and the media. The HoM reports directly to the Regional Coordinator. The position is based in Damascus (with regular filed visits, when needed and possible).

Main responsibilities

Organization and management:

  • Strategy and planning: verifies and proposes to the Regional Coordinator the intervention priorities to consolidate the organization’s opportunity to be more involved in the country. Contributes to the definition of the Country Strategy.
  • Programme extension: coordinates the elaboration, writing and documents’ preparation for presenting new projects.
  • Visibility: cooperates with the Communication and Fund-Raising office for all communication, awareness and fund raising activities implemented in and for the country.
  • Procedures: coordinates and monitors the projects, guaranteeing the correct implementation in conformity with the contractual obligations and donors’ procedures, and in line with COOPI’s procedures and management standards.

Administration and finance:

  • Economic and financial management: is responsible for the country’s economic result. Supervises the financial management in collaboration with the Country Administrator and ensure – through the administrative function – that all financial reporting deadlines and donor/COOPI’s procedures are respected. Participates to the projects/coordination budget preparation. Has the signature for all COOPI’s bank accounts in the country.


  • Country office management: is responsible for all different aspects related to the country office management, such as economic and financial situation, local regulations, office organization charts, logistics, local and expatriate personnel management, in conformity with the organization’s guidelines. Guarantees the respect of the country’s legislation and administrative regulation.

Safety and Security:

  • Staff security: is responsible for the expatriate staff security, for the correct implementation and respect of the general security rules.

Human resources:

  • Staff management: is responsible for the local staff management. Participates and supports the Regional Coordinator and the Human Resources office in the selection of the expatriate staff. Coordinates and monitors the country’s expatriate staff management.


  • Is responsible to supervise the preparation of projects reports and all the monitoring documents requested;
  • Ensures the transmission of all official and administrative project documents to the central headquarters.

Institutional relations:

  • Manages relations with the main institutional donors for the ongoing projects. Represents COOPI in the country/area by engaging in relations with institutions, NGOs, local and international organizations and partners to guarantee the quality implementation of the projects. Is responsible of the organization’s reputation in country.



  • Advanced degree in International Development, Business administration, Social Science or Law. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree;
  • Minimum 5 years experience in the humanitarian field and in a similar position, with a track record of success and results achieved;
  • Experience of working on one or more among the main donors, with priority to ECHO, UNHCR, AICS, OCHA, USAID and WFP;
  • Experience of working within an insecure environment with responsibility for security planning, monitoring and management;
  • Experience in managing expatriate staff and mission with more than 50 staff members.
  • Ability to manage a humanitarian programme;
  • Ability to organize a mission in a comprehensive way (logistics, programme, reporting, staff management);
  • Ability to organize and supervise a complex team;
  • Ability to organize work efficiently and deliver assignments in a timely manner often under time constraints;
  • Ability to conduct sectorial analysis and to understand and transform into possible proposal the policies and strategies of the donors;
  • Projects proposals writing;
  • Strong analytical and practical problem-solving skills;
  • Institutional relations management and cultural context understanding;
  • Strong supervisory abilities, and demonstrated capacity of teamwork and of coordination with the relevant actors;
  • Strong analytical and practical problem-solving skills;
  • Very good inter-personal and writing communication skills;
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English; Computer literacy, with high proficiency in the use of standard office software applications (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint).


  • Knowledge of Arabic will be an asset;
  • Previous experience with an international humanitarian NGO in a similar context will be an asset.

We reserve the right to close the vacancy prior to the application closing date, once a sufficient number of applications have been received. Please note that only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Interviews will be conducted on rolling basis and the vacancy will be closed when filled, thanks for understanding.

Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) is an Italian humanitarian non-governmental organization founded in Milan in 1965. For more than 50 years of long-term support and constant presence in the field, COOPI has been engaged in breaking the cycle of poverty and responding to specific emergencies in numerous sectors, including Food Security, Humanitarian Aid, Health, Socio-Economical Services, Water and Sanitation, Human Rights, Education and Training, Migrations and Sustainable Energy.

Как подать заявку

Please send your CV and cover letter - https://coopi.org/en/job-position.html?id=4576&view=2