Head of Mission at Premiere Urgence Internationale

Premiere Urgence Internationale (PUI) is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-political and non-religious international aid organization. Our teams are committed to supporting civilians’ victims of marginalization and exclusion, or hit by natural disasters, wars and economic collapses, by answering their fundamental needs. Our aim is to provide emergency relief to uprooted people in order to help them recover their dignity and regain self-sufficiency. The association leads in average 190 projects by year in the following sectors of intervention: food security, health, nutrition, construction and rehabilitation of infrastructures, water, sanitation, hygiene and economic recovery.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Head of Mission

Location: Maiduguri (with frequent move to Abuja)
Duration of Handover: Desk Officer
Duration of Mission: 12 months (renewable upon funding)

Job Description

  • The Head of Mission is responsible for supervising all PU’s operation within the country.
  • S/He is the first official representative of PUI inside the country.
  • S/He is in charge of the smooth functioning and the evolution of the mission.
  • He defines and/or adjusts the positioning and the country strategy of the organization in comparison to the socio-political and humanitarian context, and leads the operations and development of the response programs accordingly.

Scope of Duty:

  • The Head of Mission direct and shape the strategic positioning of PUI within the country to achieve the organizational vision, mission and objectives.
  • S/He supervises the programmatic and functional management, as well as the geopolitical environment analysis.
  • S/He is the first representative of the organization towards Governmental bodies, NGOs, Institutional donors and other stakeholders linked to the PUI activities.
  • S/He takes a leading role in developing, overseeing implementation, reviewing and monitoring of the Country Humanitarian response and ensuring the same in line with the global strategic positioning/thematic focused sectors of PUI.
  • S/he promotes the necessary fundraising for ensuring a smooth running of the operations, the grant management as well as the programs’ sustainability.
  • S/he is responsible for overall financial and human resources management of the organizational structure.

Specific Goals and Related Activities
Strategic and Program Development of The Mission:

  • S/He keeps his/herself informed of changes in the humanitarian and political context of the country and the sub-region.
  • S/He participates in the development of the mission by securing close contact with bilateral and multilateral donors, of whom S/He knows the policy (operational strategy, finance policy, compliance with the associative project of PUI).
  • S/He communicates the mission strategy (in external version) to the donors in order for them to know PUI’s activities and positioning.
  • S/He is responsible for the development of the mission. Thus, S/He provides humanitarian monitoring and carries out new assessments as needed
  • S/He may be called for ad-hoc support in the region.

Safety & Security of Goods And People:

  • S/he ensures that a geo-politcal analysis of the situation is produced or at least collected and examinate by the Country Mission management team.
  • S/he ensures the PUI’s safety & security management procedures and formats are in place throughout the mission.
  • S/he ensures that safety & security plans (for each field office and for the mission) are up-to-date, known to and understood by everyone (expatriates and nationals).
  • S/he ensures that material and personnel resources are sufficient to ensure the optimal safety of the teams, the material and the beneficiaries.
  • S/he ensures that in case of a security incident, the information concerning the incident is communicated, without delay, to the Desk Officer and in accordance with the existing format.
  • S/he ensures that safety & security information is properly collected, analysed and that alerts or important information is effectively communicated (to the Headquarters and the field).

Ensuring Programmes Are Properly Carried Out And Suggesting New Operations:

  • S/he ensures that programmes are properly carried out (targets, monitoring of indicators, respect of activity schedules, budgetary follow-up and contractual reports, etc.)
  • S/he alerts the Desk Officer and the Program Coordinator in cases where there is a delay associated with a programme and suggests changes which could be made (in terms of activities, operation area, budget, schedule by which the programme is carried out, etc.).
  • S/he establishes a formal coordination system on the field (inter-departmental meetings, reports, etc.) and ensures that this coordination system is implemented on each base.
  • S/he suggests new operations and has them authorized by the Desk Officer before submitting them to donors.
  • The documents associated with these new operations should be complete, should respect PUI’s internal procedure, should follow the Donor’s template and shall be sent to the Headquarters for validation.
  • S/he makes sure that the aforementioned documents subscribe to PUI’s mandate and to its operation policy and are in accordance with the strategy of the mission.
  • When new operations are outlined, S/he ensures that operational means are well defined in order to allow for the programme and its subsequent monitoring to be well carried out.
  • S/he initiates, organizes and ensures that the mission strategy is prepared, in coordination with expatriate and local teams as well as with the Headquarters.
  • S/he ensures that departmental action plans are effectively carried out and monitored and are on track to achieve the results defined within the framework of the mission programming.

Supervising Local and International Personnel Teams on the Mission:

  • S/he supervises all local and international teams on the mission.
  • S/he defines the mission organization chart and submits it for validation to the Desk Officier.
  • S/he may be involved in the recruitment process of the members of his/her team. S/he is informed of every decision to end an employment contract.
  • S/he defines the objectives of each expatriate at the beginning of the mission and checks them regularly during, and at the end of the mission.
  • S/he ensures that each member of staff (local and international) is evaluated at least once during the mission by his/her direct superior.
  • S/he briefs, or has someone else brief, each new member of staff, when they take on the job, on the context, the programmes and the strategies of the mission, as well as safety regulations, logistical and administrative procedures, financial management and human resources and the use of communication means.
  • S/he participates in the training of expatriate or local staff (organizational, methodological and potentially technical support, organization of trainings, etc) and recommends internal or external training actions.
  • S/he prepares, or has someone else prepare, the job descriptions of expatriates who need to be replaced or hired and communicates them in good time to the Headquarters (ideally at the time when a new project proposal is sent to the Headquarters or 3 months before the replacement of an expatriate).
  • S/he is particularly sensitive to managing the team’s stress. S/he monitors and authorizes holidays and also mediates potential conflicts, seeking appropriate support in case of an incident.
  • S/he ensures PUI’s Internal Regulations are respected.
  • S/he protects PUI’s image in the country and thus makes sure the entirety of the staff behaves in a way which is in compliance with the values maintained by the organization and is respectful of the local culture.

Ensuring the Logistical and Administrative Monitoring of the Mission:

  • S/he gives his/her consent for local aid purchases and submits some purchase requests to the Desk Officer for approval (in accordance with internal and donors rules).
  • S/he ensures that the PUI’s logistical procedures (or those of the donor if they are stricter) are in place and monitored, especially for supplies, stock, management of the car park, etc.
  • S/he ensures that a procurement plan (which respects the PUI’s and the donor’s format and rules) is prepared for each project and that it is updated as purchases are made.
  • S/he supervises infrastructure and the entirety of the equipment on the mission (vehicles, IT equipment, office equipment, radio-communication and telecommunication equipment) and ensures they are properly utilized.
  • S/he ensures that the PUI’s administrative procedures (finance, HR, etc.) are in place and monitored.
  • S/he is responsible for general cost optimization and ensures the financial supply of the mission (transfer requests, mission fees and payment of suppliers).
  • S/he ensures that the mission’s accounting is sent to the Headquarters within the agreed timeframe.
  • S/he ensures that the administration produces budget follow-ups for each project, that these follow-ups are made available and analyzed with the logistics department, program managers and technical managers.
  • S/he informs the Headquarters of donors’ transfers which are received on the field.
  • S/he ensures that PUI respects national law (right to work, taxes, etc).
  • S/he ensures that PUI is registered in the country of operation.

Ensuring the Technical Monitoring of the Mission:

  • S/he ensures the respect of technical practices, in conformity with the mandate and operation policy of the association by guaranteeing a permanent connection between the different medical coordinator/officers and technical coordinator/officers with their counterparts at the Headquarters.
  • S/he ensures that the strategy of the mission and the programmes respects technical regulation of the association.

Ensuring The Representation of Pui:

  • S/he represents the association locally amongst donors, NGOs, International Organizations and local authorities and reports representation action to the Desk Officer in his/her periodical report, or ad-hoc when necessary.
  • S/he participates in important coordination meetings and is an active attendee of these meetings.
  • S/he is responsible for external communication in general and for contacts with the media.
  • S/he may be called to travel within the region to meet PUI’s partners.

Ensuring The Supervision And Development of the Mission:

  • S/he keeps his/herself informed of changes in the humanitarian and political context of the country and the region.
  • S/he participates in the development of the mission by securing close contact with bilateral and multilateral donors, of whom S/he knows the policy (operation strategy, financing policy and modalities, in compliance with the Associative Project of the PUI).
  • S/he communicates the Mission Strategy (in external version) to the donors so that they know PUI’s activities and positioning.
  •  S/he is responsible for the development of the mission. Thus, S/he ensures humanitarian supervision and launches new assessments in accordance with needs.
  • S/he may be called for ad-hoc support in the region.

Relations With the Headquarters:

  • S/he is the main link between the Headquarters and the mission.
  • S/he sends internal and external reports to the Headquarters, respecting internal validation timeframes (sitrep, accident report) and external contractual due dates (project reports).
  • S/he has security plans validated by the Desk Officier and consults him/her for any decision concerning security.
  • S/he regularly takes stock of each expatriate team member and defines his/her needs in terms of positions to fill (timing, profile, personality, etc.) with the HR manager.
  • S/he ensures information from the Headquarters is circulated on the field and vice versa (monthly and ad-hoc sitrep).
  • S/he participates annually to the Missions’ Week at the Headquarters, where s/he makes improvements and development suggestions for PUI.
  • S/he ensures the link between the mission’s medical coordinator and the medical department at the Headquarters.

Focus on top priority activities related to the context of the mission:

  • Comprehension of the context (Security and displacement of persons)
  • Set up Office spaces in Maiduguri and Abuja
  • Develop projects according to PUI strategy in country
  • Develop PUI notoriety in the country.

Managerial Relationships:

  • Under the direct management of: HQ Desk Officer
  • Under the indirect supervision of: HQ Director of Operations
  • Manage directly: Head of Prog, Security Advisor, Field Coordinator, Logistic Coordinator, Finance & Administrative Coordinator, HR Coordinator.
  • Manage indirectly (supervise): Technical Coordinators, Project Managers, Support Services Managers, Monitoring & Evaluation team, Grant & Reporting Officer.
  • Functional relations with: HQ Desk Program Officer, HQ Desk Finance Controller, HQ Desk Logistic Referent, HQ Desk Technical Referents, HQ Desk HR Referent

Training (desirable):

  • Project management
  • Education in Agriculture/Watsan /Public Health/Psychosocial
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Logistics and Security

Professional Experience:

  • Humanitarian
  • International
  • Technical


  • Min. 3 years of humanitarian experience in project co-ordination.
  • Successful experience in expatriate team management and multi-sector programmes.
  • Previous experience as Head of Mission in an NGO or OSI


  • Experience with PUI
  • Experience in project progression

Knowledge and Skills (required):

  • Excellent writing skills
  • Team management
  • Project management
  • Detailed knowledge of the donors (OFDA, ECHO, UN agencies, EuropeAid, AAP…)


  • Ability to work in unstable circumstances.

Required Personal Characteristics (fitting into the team, suitability for the job and assignment):

  • Leadership skills and the ability to make decisions:
  • Trustworthiness and a sense of responsibility
  • Charisma and the ability to awake enthusiasm for the work the project involves
  • Ability to use authority, when necessary
  • Analysis and synthesis abilities (discenrment, pragmatism)
  • Ability to adapt
  • Organisational skills, ability to be thorough and respect due dates
  • Strong listening and negotiation skills
  • Good people and communication skills
  • Ability to remain calm and level-headed
  • General ability to resist stress and particularly in unstable circumstances


  • Mobility: Extensive travel may be required


  • Employed with a Fixed-Term Contract


  • Cost covered: Round-trip transportation to and from home / mission, visas, vaccines…
  • Insurance: Including medical coverage and complementary healthcare, 24/24 assistance and repatriation
  • Housing: in collective accommodation
  • Daily Living Expenses: (« Per diem »)
  • Break Policy : 5 working days at 3 and 9 months + break allowance
  • Paid Leave Policy: 5 weeks of paid leave per year + return ticket every 6 months


  • English Mandatory
  • French Desired.


  • Monthly Gross Income: from 3190 up to 3 520 Euros depending on the experience in International Solidarity + 50 Euros per semester seniority with PUI

Application Closing Date
30th April, 2018.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should submit their application (Resume and cover letter) to “Romain Gautier, Human Resources Officer” for expatriates via: recrutement@premiere-urgence.org

Click Here for more information (PDF)

Note: The position must be clearly indicated with the following subject: “Head of Mission” – Nigeria as the subject of the mail.

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