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GOAL has responded to almost all of the world’s major humanitarian crises since its founding in 1977, working with vulnerable communities in more than 60 countries over that period of time. While GOAL continues to be an agile first-responder to humanitarian crises, it is also committed to working with vulnerable communities to help them survive crises and support them on the road to recovery.

GOAL’s purpose is to save lives and empower communities to develop resilience and greater control over their lives and livelihoods. GOAL aims to increase the resilient wellbeing of the world’s poorest people and focuses on those who are excluded or marginalised, particularly those who are vulnerable due to socio-economic status, gender or age.

Job Overview

The Emergency Response Director – Surge (ERD-S) is part of GOAL’s Emergency Response Unit (ERU) led by the Head of the Emergency Response. The ERU provides overall leadership and guidance to increase GOAL’s capacity to respond to rapid onset disasters and support with the ongoing complex emergencies and fragile settings.

The ERD-S primary function is to provide strategic support to GOAL’s emergency programming and surge capacity to crisis responses in new and existing GOAL country programmes. The ERD-Surge may also function as Country/Response director in the initial stages (up to 6 Months) of an emergency response. This role will also provide Country Director CD cover in non-emergency GOAL countries as requested for up to 3 months. This position is deployable to emergency responses on short notice (24-72 hours, for up to 3 months). The post holder is expected to travel up to 70% of their working time.

Duties and responsibilities

Responsibility 1: Emergency response support to existing GOAL country programs and new country entry

  • Lead or support GOALs first phase response actions to chronic or sudden onset humanitarian emergencies in new or existing country programmes; contribute to GOAL’s response as required on humanitarian programme development and management, proposal development, sectoral assessments, donor liaison and resource generation, external coordination, etc.
  • Lead on establishing new country presence if and when necessary in response to a humanitarian crisis.
  • Responsible for securing and responsibly growing the portfolio of the response. The ERD-Surge leads the process for developing, updating and implementing the Country Funding Strategy; proactively engages existing and future donors.
  • Provide surge support to GOAL’s current protracted humanitarian programmes in a learning and advisory function.
  • Represent GOAL at various fora as required in country whilst deployed.
  • Ensure that emergency response programme planning and implementation is in line with GOAL’s standards, ensuring donor compliance and accountability to beneficiaries, donors and other stakeholders.
  • Support with needs assessments, partners assessments and input in donor funding applications

Responsibility 2: Roving/training/gap fill during non-emergency deployments:

  • Contribute towards building the capacity of the Surge Emergency Team (SET).
  • Support the review of organizational processes for emergency response and other humanitarian policies and guidelines ensuring GOAL’s agility to respond to crisis, including those relating to financial management, procurement, MEAL, safeguarding, risk management etc.
  • Gap fill as required for vacant senior managerial positions within GOAL’s existing humanitarian and emergency programmes including CD.
  • In collaboration with the GOAL global technical team provide technical design for humanitarian programme approaches.
  • Undertake from time to time certain other tasks relating to GOAL humanitarian programmes as requested by the HEAD of the ERU, including strategic planning and resource development.


  • Highly flexible and organised, able to manage multiple, simultaneous demands and willing to take on new tasking (potentially involving travel) on an ad hoc basis.
  • Be able to work both on one’s own initiative and as part of a team in a high-pressure environment while adhering to deadlines.
  • Strong evidence of good interpersonal and communication skill.
  • Set a strong example for adherence and improvement of GOALs accountability, safeguarding and protection initiatives, both internally and for the people reached by the programme.
  • Ensures that programme goals, activities and staff behaviour uphold key national and international humanitarian frameworks, standards, principles and codes to which GOAL has committed

Requirements (Person Specification)

  • 5-7 years at Country Director level in an overseas humanitarian or development environment;or;5-7 years’ experience as part of a Senior Management Team in a humanitarian assistance programme.
  • Experience in directly managing multi-sector programmes across multiple grants;and/or;experience in managing qualified programme managers implementing multi-sector activities across multiple grants.
  • Relevant post-graduate qualification in business, administration, management, social science, international development etc.;or;relevant degree level qualification alongside 3-5 years professional management experience in a leadership role
  • Experience in leading a large and geographically dispersed team under challenging circumstances.
  • Experience in engaging with national level government line ministries and donor agencies


  • Ability and willingness to deploy within 72 hours and for a maximum of 6 months
  • 5-7 years at Country Director level in an overseas humanitarian or development environment;or;5-7 years’ experience as part of a Senior Management Team in a humanitarian assistance programme.
  • Notable experience of deploying in response to sudden onset emergencies, including in a programme lead role.
  • Experience supporting strategic programme development including successful proposal development for a wide array of humanitarian donors.
  • Experience in developing security protocols and in contingency planning.
  • Budgetary and financial management skills.


  • Strong theoretical understanding of the localisation agenda and experience of engaging and working with local partners, ideally including the development of partnership strategies for emergency response.
  • Experience of engaging with the cluster coordination systems and key international humanitarian networks.
  • Experience working with complaints and response mechanism and in relation to stakeholder information.
  • Experience in cash transfer programming
  • French, Spanish or other language skills

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