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17-249: Desk Officer, Horn and East Africa
Country:Los Angeles, CA or Washington, DC
Department:International Operations
Essential Job Duties/Scope of Work:
International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, International Medical Corps is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide. By offering training and health care to local populations and medical assistance to people at highest risk, and with the flexibility to respond rapidly to emergency situations, International Medical Corps rehabilitates devastated health care systems and helps bring them back to self-reliance.

The Desk Officer works in close collaboration with the Regional Coordinator and the Regional Team to effect a good management, development, supervision, and support of International Medical Corps’ Country Programs within a Regional Desk portfolio.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential function with or without reasonable accommodation.

Working under the supervision of the Regional Coordinator (RC) and within the Regional Team assist to coordinate International Medical Corps’ emergency relief and development activities and program design and development for the country programs within the regional portfolio, supports in-country teams and provides guidance to International Medical Corps field staff from its Washington, DC offices with frequent trips to the field. Additionally, the Desk Officer represents and advocates for International Medical Corps’s programs to partners in the international development community, donors and government representatives.

1. Regional team membership
• Work within the Regional Team to assist the team members to provide financial, program development, fund raising, recruitment and technical oversight, input and supervision;
• Work with members of other International Medical Corps departments who are not assigned to the Regional Team but who provide programming, logistical, legal, security, human resource and communication oversight, input and/or supervision, including International Medical Corps-UK.

2. Regional program management
• Working under the supervision of the Regional Coordinator and with the Regional Team:
• Backstop the daily operations of the country programs to ensure continuance through appropriate response to context changes, mission, program, and beneficiary needs, donor positioning, lessons learned, and best practices;
• Facilitate compliance with internal and external regulations, all applicable laws, and contractual obligations, in consultation with Legal;
• Facilitate timely and adequate cooperation with Legal regarding review and approval of agreements (MOUs, contracts, etc.);
• Manage timely and proper reports (internal, financial, donor, special and other) and their flow within and without International Medical Corps including International Medical Corps-UK including review, analysis, and compliance with deadlines;
• Act as liaison for the country programs with International Medical Corps internal departments, advocating for the needs of the program within International Medical Corps;
• Manage MOU and contract review and approval process; follow International Medical Corps legal procedures;
• Perform regular program evaluation to ensure that objectives are being achieved and quality is maintained;
• Assist in developing and implementing regional and country strategies; provide feedback on identified country program directions;
• Perform problem solving and mitigation as needed;
• Coordinate communications between all International Medical Corps departments, including headquarters offices and the field; maintain open lines of communication with field staff ensuring that country programs are properly briefed on International Medical Corps’s mission, goals, and capacity;
• Assist in new program and new mission start-up as appropriate.

3. Program design and development
• Working under the supervision of the Regional Coordinator and with the Regional Team:
• Using the country strategies as a base, manage ongoing program development and design. This will include identification of needs; identification of donors, donor priorities, and donor opportunities; and program design;
• Assist in the proposal process, which may include proposal writing, editing and proofreading, coordination of International Medical Corps departments, technical input, preparation for submission, submission, following through the approval process, and assisting in start-up activities;
• Expand International Medical Corps horizons and ensure sustainability through the use of new funding mechanisms, new program concepts, and the adaptation of new program techniques using consultants as necessary;
• Participate in exploratory missions/assessments both within and without current country missions.

4. Supervision
• Working under the supervision of the Regional Coordinator and with the Regional Team:
• Facilitate human resource oversight of country teams including administration matters, mentoring, coaching and identification and resolution of problems, concerns, legal issues, and conflicts;
• Assist in identify staffing needs, interviewing applicants, and orienting new country mission staff, including consultants following appropriate International Medical Corps procedures;
• Visit the country missions regularly for management and operational assessment; Coordinate visits to the mission by Regional Team members and others;
• Communicate regularly with mission staff, especially the country director;
• Be accessible to mission staff;
• Assist in the provision of applicable training of new and current staff through the identification of staff training needs and training opportunities and through ongoing training in International Medical Corps policies and procedures;
• Provide leadership, guidance and promote professional working relationships with all International Medical Corps departments to International Medical Corps staff members.
• Contribute to the creation of a positive image and overall credibility of the organization, notably through the application of the organizations Code of Conduct, ethics, values and stand-point with regard to internal and external actors

5. Representation
• Working under the supervision of the Regional Coordinator and with the Regional Team:
• Have a thorough understanding of the mission and regional contexts;
• Maintain substantial relationships with donors and partners (governmental, NGO, and companies) both current and potential;
• Raise the profile of International Medical Corps, its work and country missions through active participation in Interaction forum, conferences, workshops, outreach events, and communication opportunities;
• Document all contacts;
• Represent International Medical Corps as well to the field and mission;
• Serve as advocate for the missions

6. Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
• Actively promote PSEA (Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse) standards within International Medical Corps and amongst beneficiaries served by International Medical Corps
• Perform other duties as assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed above are representative of the nature and level of work assigned and are not necessarily all inclusive.
• “Donors”, as used in this document, refers both to donors whose agreements are signed by International Medical Corps-US as well as those whose agreements are signed by International Medical Corps-UK.
• Other duties as assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are representative of the nature and level of work assigned and are not necessarily all inclusive.

1. Regional team leadership and management
• Minutes of the team meetings distributed promptly.

2. Manage regional programs
• Maintain up-to-date mission data – site descriptions, maps, contact lists, security plans, organizational charts, etc.;
• All reports submitted following donor regulations.

3. Program design and development
• Proposals are submitted on time and following donor regulations.

4. Supervision
• Job descriptions, staff requests, travel and other human resources procedures are followed correctly;
• Each mission is visited at least once per year by the SDO or ADO.

5. Representation
• Participate in at least one outreach event per quarter;
• Mission communication materials are updated quarterly.

Compliance & Ethics:  Promotes and encourages a culture of compliance and ethics throughout International Medical Corps. As applicable to the position, maintains a clear understanding of International Medical Corps’ and donor compliance and ethics standards and adheres to those standards.  Conducts work with the highest level of integrity. 


Bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of relevant work experience and some experience to managing programs and projects in the field. or Master’s degree (e.g. Public Health, Social Work, International Relations, Business Administration, International Development, etc.) plus 1-2 years of relevant field experience required.
•Ability to read, analyze, and interpret USG/EU/UN donor regulations and requirements;
•Ability to write reports;
•Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from management and field programs;
•Understanding of health and development concepts in developing countries;
•Outstanding organizational skills;
•Excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
•Excellent self-motivation skills;
•Experience in effectively dealing with international and headquarters staff, and the ability to deal with a broad spectrum of people;
•Ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions independently;
•Excellent ability to handle multiple tasks in a fast paced and constantly changing environment;
•Be flexible possess the ability to cope in stressful situations;
•Be creative and possess the ability to work with limited resources;
•Willingness and ability to travel extensively.