Search for Common Ground (Search) is an international non-profit organization that promotes the peaceful transformation of conflict. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and Brussels, Belgium, Search’s mission is to transform how individuals, organizations, and governments deal with conflict—moving away from destructive approaches and towards cooperative solutions. With more than 700 staff worldwide, Search implements projects in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and North America. Position Summary Search is seeking an experienced senior leader for our Niger Delta Regional Office. The role will specifically focus on the leadership of an anticipated 18-month project funded by the European Union. The project will be implemented in consortium with co-applicants with the overall goal of fostering inclusive community security approaches to address the systemic drivers of violence and criminality in Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers States. The position may continue to support additional projects in the Niger Delta region if funding opportunities come in.Bringing together four leading peacebuilding and development organizations in the Niger Delta, the consortium offers a holistic, community-centered approach to addressing core drivers of criminality, violence, and conflict in the region, with a specific focus on the empowerment and inclusion of youth in the security of their respective communities in the Niger Delta . The consortium partners will leverage existing relationships with the action’s diverse target groups, including at-risk youth, local communities impacted by oil production and oil bunkering, state security actors, the private sector, journalists and media actors, key civil society organizations, and policymakers at the state, regional, national, and international levels, to secure broad-based buy-in and participation in the action. Overall, the project will seek to shift how relevant actors think about and approach issues of oil bunkering, criminality, and security in the Niger Delta in favor of more bottom-up, human-centered perspectives. This institutional and social shift is necessary in order to sustainably reduce the prevalence of oil bunkering and other forms of criminality and violence in the region in the long term.The design of the action centers around four activity streams, each addressing a systemic driver of division, violence, and criminality in Bayelsa, Rivers, and Delta States: Stream 1 will foster intra-community collaboration around issues of social exclusion, lack of economic opportunity, and environmental degradation. Stream 2 will build trust and collaboration between communities, the government, and security actors for more participatory, community-centered security operations. Stream 3 will leverage arts- and culture-based approaches to foster social cohesion between divided communities, both online and offline. Stream 4 will facilitate policy change to institutionalize community-centered security approaches at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels.
Job ResponsibilitiesLeadership and oversight of the Niger Delta Program including representation of Search with all donors, partners, authorities, and other key stakeholders in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Manage the relationship and act as the primary point of contact with the EU and project partners with regard to activity implementation, compliance, collaboration, and management matters relating to the project. Provide technical oversight, administration, fiscal management, and grant and contract administration and management, assuring quality, impact, and cost-effectiveness of the project. Hold overall responsibility for assuring that all assistance provided under the award is technically sound and appropriate for the needs to be addressed and for adequately managing and supervising the work of all field staff, long‐term staff, short‐term staff, consortium partners, and/or sub‐partners, as proposed. Effectively implement the project vision by overseeing the delivery of Search’s activities in all 4 key project activity streams. This includes strong technical expertise in conflict analysis, conflict transformation, community dialogue/peacebuilding structures, economic initiatives for peace, engagement of security actors, human rights, arts and multimedia activities, and journalism in contexts similar to Nigeria’s Niger Delta. Oversee multiple activities simultaneously, including hiring, training, mentoring, and supervising local personnel. Provide strong senior leadership and strategic direction to the project team and as consortium lead, including relationship management with key stakeholders and project partners. Assemble and motivate a team of local staff and short-term consultants, and effectively supervise project personnel. Liaise with Search’s internal teams including the Nigeria Country Team, the West Africa Regional Team, and global HQ teams in Brussels and Washington DC. Represent Search, the project, and the Niger Delta Program at high-level events and meetings, including public speaking engagements on relevant topic areas. Operations: Ensure compliance of staff and partners to Search, donor, and country rules and regulations Ensure adhesion to the logistical and security architecture of the country or regional implementation landscape Infuses organizational Values into all work Other duties that are broadly in line with the above key contributions as assigned.
Competency Behavior Indicators (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)Motivates colleagues and direct reports to develop while resolving problems within the context of a proactive and broad vision set by the organization. Builds and maintains collaborative relationships with vendors, organizations, professional associations, partners, funders, and Search’s network of experts to facilitate work intended to provide a service to Search. Manages and contributes to both routine activities and initiatives while also making progress on continuous improvement efforts. Juggles multiple demands and adapts to new situations with fresh ideas or innovative approaches. Contributes to the development and implementation of departmental strategy based on organizational goals and objectives. Practices ethical behavior to meet Search’s expectations for conduct, minimizes ambiguity and sets an example for others. Builds a framework and sets in motion a plan to overcome challenges by making sense out of complexity and an uncertain future, staying cognizant of the implications of a choice for the department, and being decisive while also applying flexibility for further change as needed and with changing work plans to meet environmental factors. Sets up procedures and team building to ensure high quality of work (, review meetings). Seeks out creative solutions within a complex and international environment while working within an organizational framework of compliance, ethics, best practices, and standards. Share information, advice, and suggestions to help others to be more successful; provide effective coaching. Sought out as an expert to provide advice or solutions in their technical or functional area. Convenes groups or teams through problem-solving and creative thinking processes, leading to the development and implementation of new approaches, systems, structures, and methods in a Shared Services environment. Involves team members in thought leadership discussions and decision-making to lead to continued growth and development for team, department members, and Shared Services colleagues.
Experience and EducationMaster’s degree (or higher) in Peace and Conflict Studies, Development, Political Science, International Affairs, Social Sciences, or other relevant subjects. Minimum 15 years of progressively responsible professional experience, with at least 5 years of senior management experience in community-centered conflict transformation and prevention and/or work with Local, State, Regional, National and International actors. Knowledge of and familiarity with EU international assistance program requirements. Senior management level experience in similar grants. Experience managing subgrants and contracts under grants for complex projects. Proven ability to manage all aspects of grant and contract administration, and technical assistance staff with a commitment to teamwork. Professional experience and knowledge of Nigeria and/or West Africa or experience in similar contexts to the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Experience overseeing conflict transformation Projects is an advantage. Proven ability to manage technical assistance teams and lead multidisciplinary teams while developing a common vision. Demonstrated ability to foster a culture of respect and inclusion. Strong written and verbal communication skills in English is a requirement
Deadline for submission of applications: August 25, 2023. The anticipated start date of this position is November 1, 2023. To apply , interested candidates should send the following items to our career portal :1.Current resume2.Cover letter
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