Head of Office – Niger Delta at Search For Common Ground’s International

Search for Common grounds
Search for Common grounds

Employment Type: Temporary Contract (6 months)

Our Program
We launched our programs in Nigeria in 2004. Now in 2020, the country program has offices in Abuja, Jos, Maiduguri, and Yola. We work with partners in target states of the country. Dialogue, media and capacity building are primary tools utilized across all our programs. Each program is adapted to specific local context and conflicts, and all apply common ground tools from our toolbox.

Our Nigeria Niger Delta offices are currently supporting a host of programs around conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding in a humanitarian context, the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus, developing an early warning and early response system, promoting the role of youth and women in preventing violent extremism, supporting return and reintegration of internally displaced people and refugees, COVID-19 Communication initiatives, and supporting social cohesion and providing psychosocial support. Activities in these areas include capacity building, dialogues, peace architecture, media programming, trainings and forums targeted at other Humanitarian and Development actors, participatory theatre and collaborative joint activities.

We Are Searching for

  • We are looking for a Head of Office for our Niger Delta program currently covering Bayelsa, Delta and Port Harcourt states. Based in Delta, with frequent travel to other field offices as well as occasional travel to field activity locations, the position will be responsible for all aspects of programmatic, financial and administrative coordination and leadership of the office and various programs.
  • Principle tasks will be to oversee the entire Niger Delta regional program portfolio, determine appropriate implementing mechanisms to achieve projects’ strategic goals, serve as the primary program liaison for donors, partners and stakeholders in the region, oversee regional-level planning and budgeting, and reporting/evaluations, ensuring compliance with management and financial procedures and overseeing and managing security of teams and organizational assets.
  • The position will report to the Country Director, and work closely with the West Africa Regional Program Manager. Working language for this position is English. The Head of Office is a Senior level position and is a member of Search Nigeria’s Leadership and Management Team (LMT).

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Represent Search at the regional level with partners, donors, local and international organizations, and government authorities and ensure Search activities are visible. In accordance with Search advocacy policy, advocate for common ground solutions to various conflict situations in the region;
  • Represent Search in strategic meetings, conferences, forums and other public events and contribute towards consolidating and raising the profile of Search;
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with local organizations and networks and establish national and regional strategic relations and alliances with partners and civil society working in common cause with Search objectives;
  • Continue Search’s engagement around the Humanitarian-Development-Peacebuilding Nexus as a key convening actor; and
  • Promote Search’s organizational identity and capacity to all stakeholders and partners in the Niger Delta and ensure Search remains relevant to the changing needs of the people who most need it.   

Program Development and Management:

  • Ensure a conscious program approach in line with the “Common Ground” principles;
  • Provide leadership and oversight to program staff charged with implementing programs;
  • Manage the field-based Search operations staff and program staff;
  • Contribute creative ideas for program development and provide inputs for technical and financial proposals to local and international donors ;
  • Provide content material to the Communications Team for updating the websites, as well as for quarterly program updates, newsletters, and other Search literature;
  • Lead in the development of the Niger Delta program, providing sound methodological and technical support to ensure use of participatory methodologies, human rights and social exclusion framework as per the organizational thematic alignment and programming approach;
  • Coordinate the program participatory annual planning and budgeting as per organizational guidelines;
  • Promote a participatory approach in programming work and create space in the structure for staff participation and involvement in decision making;
  • Oversee and coordinate the program portfolio to ensure the highest level of project quality and accountability, while fostering continuity through building local capacity and developing innovative program interventions;
  • Lead the development, implementation and monitoring of research and advocacy plan on issues of relevance in the Niger Delta aligned with Search’s global programmatic and policy priorities;
  • Participate in national and international campaigns in line with the advocacy plan and other relevant opportunities;
  • Facilitate trainings, researches, and learning of cross-cutting relevance to programs;
  • Ensure that participatory systems and processes for monitoring activities, results and impact assessment at program level are in place and involves the team and partners;
  • Provide continuous monitoring and support to field offices and existing projects, coordinate program reviews, evaluations, and follow up implementation of evaluation findings in close collaboration with the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DM&E) Manager, Program Managers and Coordinators;
  • Coordinate the production of timely and quality program reports in line with Search and donor requirements;
  • Support monitoring and evaluation work in collaboration with Search’s DM&E Manager;
  • Verify and analyze work-plans, progress reports, final reports and other data for clarity, consistency and completeness; and
  • Ensure close monitoring of the political and security environment and develop contingency plan for the office.

Donor Funding and Grants Management:

  • Keep abreast of the trends within the donor environment in the Country and Internationally;
  • Undertake diversified local and international fundraising initiatives to strengthen program funding and sustainability;
  • Coordinate the production of good quality funding proposals and respond to call for proposal;
  • Facilitate donor visits, donor meetings, round table discussions and evaluations as necessary; and
  • Be aware of all donors conditionality in the Niger Delta programs and monitor adherence to donors conditionality

Financial Management:

  • Provide oversight to all finance and administrative services in the Niger Delta in close coordination with the Director of Finance and Administration;
  • Ensure effective implementation and compliance with the overall finance and guidance manual and compliance with procedures required by grant or contract agreements;
  • Ensure that the Project Managers and Coordinator carry out monthly budget versus expenditures analysis, make budget projections and keep up with the targeted burn rates;
  • Oversee and verify the Monthly Financial Report (MFR) from the Niger Delta program;
  • Ensure that adequate internal control mechanisms are in place; and
  • Supervise monthly financial reports according to Search procedures.

Human Resources Management and Organizational Development:

  • Provide leadership support to Niger Delta region staff and promote best practices in human resources management;
  • Ensure compliance with Nigerian law and Search procedures in admin and operations;
  • Provide leadership support for adequate implementation of the performance management system including performance objectives and planning, review, appraisal and staff development; and
  • Provide Coaching and Counseling advice to staff when necessary and lead initiatives to develop staff capacity

Information, Communication and Learning:

  • Ensure that all programs in the Niger Delta are maintaining a coordinated and agreed information exchange both internally and in its dealing with external parties;
  • Ensure that all communication infrastructures are set up in the programme and smooth information flow is maintained; and
  • Ensure that experiences, context updates and lessons learnt are documented and shared across the organization

Leadership and Accountability:

  • Attend the regular LMT meetings and contribute to the discussions around overall strategy and direction of the country program and the organization;
  • Be part of the management and leadership decision making around programmatic and operational issues.
  • Supervision: Works independently under the supervision of the Country Director and within approved strategy and policy guidelines;
  • Decision Making: Has full responsibility of decisions at the Niger Delta in line with approved policy; and
  • Responsibility over Staff: All Niger Delta staff  .

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field such as social sciences, law, development studies, etc. However, a Bachelor’s degree and five (5) additional years of relevant international development experience can be substituted for the Master’s degree.  
  • At least 8-10 years of progressively responsible experience in the successful implementation of international development activities, with preference given to conflict mitigation and/or violent extremism prevention programs – at least three (3) years of which must be in senior program management, including direct supervision of professional and support staff.  
  • Prior experience in awarding and managing sub-grants to local organizations to promote conflict mitigation, violent extremism prevention, and/or democracy and governance goals.  
  • Strong knowledge of and experience in conflict transformation, dialogue, negotiation, and mediation approaches
  • Significant experience in project management at a high level in a non-profit environment
  • Demonstrated experience with budgeting, project development, fundraising, proposal and report writing, and grants management

Other Relevant Requirements:

  • Deep understanding of the social, political and conflict dynamics in Nigeria;
  • Demonstrated skills of using different conflict analysis frameworks;
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills;
  • Excellent working knowledge in English
  • Attitude for teamwork and good leadership skill
  • Knowledge using qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis tools;
  • Knowledge of early warning systems;
  • A demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards and a diverse workplace; and
  • Ability to prioritize, plan and organize workflow to tight timeframes, handle multiple tasks, and be flexible with changing priorities

Method of Application

Application Requirements

  • Current resume
  • Cover Letter (which includes expectations of compensation and projected start date)


  • As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the position holder may be required to undertake other duties that are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.
  • Only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please. Please see our website www.sfcg.org for full details of our work.
  • All Search Employees must adhere to the values: Shared Humanity – Empathy – Impartiality – Inclusivity – Courage – Hope – Humility – Audacity. In accordance with these values, Search enforces compliance with the Code of Conduct and related policies on Anti Workplace Harassment, Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Conflict of Interest and Anti-fraud.
  • Search for Common Ground does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

Interested and qualified? Go to Search For Common Ground’s International on jobs.lever.co to apply