Thematic Lead, National Society Development (NSD)

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
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  • Posted:
    3 months ago
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  • Deadline:


Organizational Context

The IFRC Americas region has developed its Operational Plan for 2024 in line with the overall strategic direction and priorities of the IFRC’s Strategy 2030. In addition, IFRC’s Regional and Country Cluster Support Teams work together to enhance technical support and guidance to National Societies in close cooperation with all Movement partners across the Americas.

The Thematic Lead, National Society Development (NSD) reports to the regional Head of Membership Services. The position is a national contract in countries in which the IFRC Secretariat has Legal Status (Argentina, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, or Trinidad and Tobago).

As a key component of the IFRC Regional Membership Services team, the NSD Thematic Lead i) promotes and facilitates quality learning processes, ii) supports National Society organizational development and NSD initiatives and is responsible for managing and enhancing the large NSD portfolio, iii) promotes new humanitarian and development thinking to ensure that National Societies change and grow, and can “consistently deliver, through volunteers and staff, relevant countrywide services to vulnerable people sustained for if needed” (NSD Framework). The position will also play a critical role working with other units and regional counterparts to early-detect, manage and mitigate risks associate with the NSD portfolio.

Job Purpose

The primary responsibility of the Thematic Lead, National Society Development (NSD) is to ensure that the regional NSD activities are delivered in alignment with the targets identified in the annual plan. The NSD Thematic Lead provides guidance and offers sound and comprehensive technical support to IFRC Country Cluster offices, Programs, and Operations units to enhance the NSD agenda in the region and maintains close productive relations with the leadership teams of all National Societies in the Americas Region. The focus lies in updating and innovating operational methods, primarily addressing internal challenges related to Organizational Development, as well as support National Societies in a relevant, accountable, and sustainable way. This involves establishing the necessary legal, ethical, and financial foundations, as well as implementing systems and related competencies and capacities to effectively plan and execute initiatives.

The National Society Development Thematic Lead works closely with all departments to mainstream National Society Organizational Development: Disaster Management., Volunteering and Youth development, Learning, Innovation, Reference Centres, Partnership and Resource Development, Communication, Finance, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Legal Advocacy and Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting.

The Thematic Lead, National Society Development (NSD) works under the leadership and direction of the Head of Membership Services and in very close coordination with the IFRC Heads of country cluster that work in close contact with the region’s National Societies. The coordinator keeps a lateral technical line to the National Society Development department in Geneva.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational Development covers all the structural aspects of an organization: vision, governance, strategy, performance and risk management, reporting system, volunteering, leadership, resource mobilization, quality processes, etc. Altogether, the organization can deliver efficiently its core business services. A developed or strong National Society will contribute to the strength of the IFRC and the Movement.

Under the policy direction of Strategy 2030 and other related doctrine or policy guidance documents, such as the conceptual and operational framework of the National Society Development Framework, the Thematic Lead, National Society Development (NSD) supports organizational development initiatives to modernize targeted National Societies addressing key internal challenges.

Regional NSD information management, quality monitoring and technical alignment

  • Manage and keep developing the regional NSD dashboard for the Americas.
  • Ensure continued monitoring of relevant regional trends and mapping of global practices in organisational and institutional development of National Societies together with the global and regional NSD counterparts.
  • In support to the Head of Membership Services, provide technical advice about the alignment of NS to IFRC strategic and policy frameworks as relevant to Organisational Development and Capacity Building.
  • Advance the practical furthering of the National Society Development Frameworkon principles, approaches, and practical methods for National Society development.
  • Ensure proper planning and enhancement of the regional OCAC and BOCA certification systems (OCAC – Organizational Assessment and Certification System; BOCA) as well as other key regional products like Regional Movement Induction Course (MIC).
  • Ensure quality design, due diligence, and an efficient monitoring of portfolio performance for all active projects (Capacity Building Fund, NSIA, The Empress Shoken Fund and others).
  • Monitor full compliance with statutory obligations and monitor progress of governance risk indicators to prevent, anticipate, mitigate, and manage challenges with integrity and accountability using the tools, policies and resources available within the IFRC.

Regional NSD internal and external coordination and cooperation

  • Coordinate and lead at regional level on global IFRC initiatives related to Organizational Development
  • Ensure integrated approach to organizational development with other programmatic areas, especially the positioning of National Society Development pillar in the IFRC Regional Disaster Management System and the integration of Branch Development challenges in the community-based activities.
  • Promote movement-wide cooperation on NSD/organizational development to ensure that the support provided to National Societies is coherent, aligned with priorities and cost-efficient.
  • Where needed, leverage internal capacity and promote capacity building initiatives with other units, e.g. Finance, IT, HR, PMER development initiatives.
  • Promote innovative and more efficient solutions for NSD, by pursuing and engaging in partnerships with external actors the likes of Universities, Private Consulting Companies, Banks, Start-ups, Research Institutes, CSO and CBOs).

National Society OD support

  • Act as a focal point vis a’ vis all IFRC head of country clusters/head of missions for all OD matters by advising and referring them to the right source of information, or to the better positioned party to assist them in following 6 key areas:
    • Leadership and strategic visioning and planning.
    • Auxiliary role and NS positioning.
    • Financial sustainability.
    • Financial and Management systems and controlling, including integrity and risk management.
    • Structural review together with its functions and processes.
    • Branch development.
  • Support NS assess and implement sustainable self-development plans at national and local level as well as enhance their own capacity to monitor it (National NSD dashboard, OCAC and BOCA review, etc.). This includes drawing on analysis from the Federation Databank & Reporting System (FDRS), the Organizational Capacity Assessment and Certification Process (OCAC) or its Branch adaptation (BOCA) and its visioning and strategic process.
  • Enhance National Society services capacities to make them more efficient and sustainable and support new models of NS business growth and generation of resources together with the PRD unit.
  • Ensure alignment of resources with NS Self-Improvement plans.

Facilitate applications together with PRD for the Empress Shoken Fund, the National Society Investment Mechanism and other similar OD / CBF funds and follow their implementation.

National Society Development Learning and Knowledge management

  • Support the Head of Membership Services in engaging with NSD networks (laboratories, working groups, networks, surge capacity, CORI, etc.).
  • Ensure a robust resource and knowledge base for National Society Organizational Development (OD) efforts, both internally and with external partners. This includes a supporting platform of tools, methodologies, case studies, policies, and guidelines.
  • Proactively collaborate with and leverage capacity from CREPD as necessary.

General management and tasks

  • Be accountable on progress of results. Be a dynamic member of the regional team supporting strategic content areas and/or organisational change.
  • Support the Head of Membership Services and the Regional Director in monitoring risk and taking proactive actions to contribute to secretariat’s risk management processes.
  • Manage and mobilize human and financial resources necessary to augment capacity for organizational development programs and initiatives.
  • Ensure effective coordination with other relevant departments in the Secretariat.
  • Nurture relations with peer organizations, participate in communities of practice and professional associations, develop networking and exchange initiatives to keep abreast of emerging trends and integrate best practices.
  • Foster a participative culture that values high performance, accountability, continuous improvement and learning and innovation.

Represent the IFRC in international conferences and seminars dealing with organizational development.


  • University degree in Management, Organisational Development, International Relations Public Administration/policy and/or any other relevant area.
  • Advanced university degree (master’s or equivalent), preferred


  • 7+ years’ working and management experience in the humanitarian or development sector
  • Demonstrated credibility in demand driven business / organisation management, operations and strategy
  • Demonstrated professional experience in an organization within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, or in an international organization or NGO.
  • Demonstrated professional experience managing and measuring performance of large programmatic portfolios.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and leveraging capacity from matrixed teams.

Knowledge, Skills and Languages

  • Knowledge of methodologies, systems, techniques in OD/CB consultancy and change management
  • Results oriented and demand driven individual, entrepreneurial, ability to lead in unprecedented and/or ambiguous situations.
  • Demonstrated leadership and management skills, including the ability to lead within a matrix management structure and utilize talent and experience of team members in a productive way.
  • Outstanding networking, representational, communication and negotiation skills. An ability to be proactive and persuasive.
  • Demonstrated track record in innovating, contributing to a learning culture, sharing knowledge and new approaches to engaging partners.
  • Program design and portfolio monitoring skills.
  • Professional credibility, able to work effectively at all levels across the organisation.
  • Proven good judgment and ability to work with complete integrity and confidentiality.
  • High degree of discretion, tact and sensitivity in dealing with internal and external clients and stakeholders at all levels.
  • Skills include cultivating fruitful relations with a diverse group of RCRC Senior Regional Leaders.
  • Ability to work within a multi-cultural, multilingual, multidisciplinary environment.


  • Fluent spoken and written English
  • Fluent spoken and written Spanish
  • Good command of another IFRC official language (French or Spanish) or a language relevant in the region or country of assignment (i.e., Portuguese), preferred.

Competencies, Values and Comments

VALUES: Respect for Diversity; Integrity; Professionalism; Accountability

CORE COMPETENCIES: Communication; Collaboration and Teamwork; Judgement and Decision Making; National Societies and Customer Relations; Creativity and Innovation; Building Trust.

MANAGERIAL COMPETENCIES: Managing Staff Performance; Managing Staff Development; Strategic Orientation.

FUNCTIONAL COMPETENCIES: Building Alliances; Leadership; Empowering Others


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