Senior Advisor, Strategic Partnerships - Scandinavia

Location: London, UK or Berlin or Bonn, Germany (travel approx. 30% of time)

Salary: circa £43,000 per annum

Hours: Full time. 37.5 hours per week

Contract: 12-month fixed term contract (further extension may be possible subject to budget decisions during 2019)


Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC’s mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 28 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient. The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.


Our European headquarters, IRC-UK, were established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with European policy-makers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC-UK has grown rapidly and is now acknowledged for its high quality project management, technical expertise in governance and rights and economic recovery, and innovative thinking on early recovery and gender based violence. The IRC also has offices in Berlin, Bonn, Brussels and Geneva. IRC-UK comprises approximately 100 staff across five departments.

The Global Awards Management Unit (AMU)

The Global Awards Management Unit (AMU) is a global unit spanning New York, Washington DC, London, Brussels, Nairobi and Amman. It has responsibility for identifying, securing and managing all funding from statutory donors. The Unit is organised into five directorates: Strategic Partnerships & Analytics; Grants Management & Frameworks; Compliance and Policy; Programme Development; and Training & Curriculum Design.

The Global AMU is a bridge between donors and country teams: providing expert technical advice to the field, while maintaining portfolio-level visibility to ensure consistency and compliance, and manage risk. This unit ensures that donor compliance policies and procedures are implemented consistently, and supports all staff working across the grants management cycle for all funding from global government sources. The unit operates within a matrix management system across the teams in the US and the UK, driving functional integration between all relevant units and staff, in collaboration with the Vice President of the Global AMU and the Senior Vice President for Europe in relation to overarching issues with European donors. The matrix management structure ensures that AMU staff support the Europe Strategy and work towards the pursuit of new opportunities, while IRC-UK maintains accountability for European funding.

The Senior Advisor is part of the Strategic Partnerships and Analytics Team, which has responsibility for relationship management of IRC’s key institutional donors, and owning and managing AMU information systems and data analytics.

Purpose of the Role

The Senior Advisor will ensure that IRC’s engagement with Scandinavian donors (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) is undertaken in a coordinated fashion, based on the most up to date information and in accordance with donors and IRC policy. The Senior Advisor will provide an internal and where needed, external “account management” function to support engagement with our Scandinavian donors. Reporting to the Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships - Europe, the Senior Advisor will, in consultation with key stakeholders, develop and implement strategies for consistent donor relationship management across IRC.

Scope and Authority


  • Informs and implements engagement strategy for target donors.
  • Informs Senior Management in the AMU, IRC-UK and across the global organisation on stakeholder engagement priorities.
  • Initiates engagement and develops strong relationships with prospective donors and partners.
  • Represents IRC in external meetings with key donor officials, leads the preparation for senior level meetings with target donors, including ministers, political advisers, Director-General/equivalent and senior civil servants, working closely with relevant teams such Grants & Frameworks and Policy & Advocacy, and participates alongside senior IRC staff.

Responsibility for Resources:

  • This role will not have staff management or budget responsibilities.

Key working relationships

  • Reports to the Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships - Europe
  • Works closely with the Senior Advisors in the Strategic Partnerships Team
  • Close co-ordination and working with the other units within the AMU including senior management, Regional Grants Directors, Policy and Advocacy, UK staff, and senior IRC staff on Scandinavian donor relationships.
  • Liaison with President’s Office on engagement with key donor stakeholders for Strategic Partnerships and delivery of briefings.
  • Supports other teams to understand relationship management (structures and processes) within the global organisation.


Information and Knowledge Management (60%)

  • Maintain up to date knowledge of IRC’s position relevant to Scandinavian donors, including portfolio, pipeline, implementation and compliance issues, advocacy aims and the status of senior level HQ-HQ engagement;
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of donor strategies and policies relevant to IRC’s areas of work, such as funding priorities, geographical interests and political climate, providing analyses and synopses of press releases, policies and other announcements, and disseminating this information internally;
  • Manage and input donor information on the relevant contact management database and IRC’s Intranet;
  • Lead on the development and implementation of Donor Action Plans;
  • Provide the Programme Development Team with guidance on donor policies, standardised text for use in proposals and other similar support, to ensure proposals to that donor are as closely aligned to donor policy and preference as possible;
  • Undertake “deep dives” of proposals or reports to identify trends within IRC’s portfolio and pipeline relevant to (donor), and identify opportunities to improve areas such as success rates and compliance, or to broaden or deepen IRC’s engagement with Scandinavian donors;
  • Mapping of donors organisational chart and key contacts;
  • Act as first point of contact for IRC’s HQ relationships with key Scandinavian stakeholders for Strategic Partnerships, and represent IRC at key events and groups;
  • Coordinate internally with AMU, policy and advocacy and IPD colleagues to ensure consistency, accuracy and timeliness of messaging for Scandinavian donors.

External Representation (40%)

  • Undertake direct representation with donor officials, and support the development of IRC’s donor relationships, including brokering meetings between donors and Regional and Technical Directors, Country Directors, etc.
  • Participate in key meetings with Scandinavian donors, including Director-General/equivalent, Heads of Unit, advisors and other civil servants.
  • Represent the IRC at external meetings, events, and forums including delivering presentations/briefings to senior donor representatives, forums and sector groups.



Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:

• Bachelor’s Degree preferably in a related field such as International Development, Economic Development, Geography, or Social Anthropology, or experience leading to equivalent knowledge.

• Strong working understanding of the political environment and trends relevant to Scandinavian donors, and knowledge of donor policies, priorities and financing mechanisms, especially Sida, Norad and Danish MFA (Danida).

• Fluent in at least one of the following languages: Swedish, Norwegian or Danish (ability to have external meetings/discussions in language, including technical dialogue; ability to understand and summarise donor documents, media, etc. into English).

• Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills, including briefings for senior colleagues.

• Excellent verbal communication skills, including representing with external stakeholders and donors.

• Experience undertaking reviews of policies and producing associated written guidance for senior staff.

• Experience building and maintaining relationship with staff across different teams, including those based in other countries.

• Ability to lead and manage projects, including working as part of remote/virtual teams.

• Good analytical skills and first-class attention to detail.

• Strong organisational and time management skills.


• Significant experience of working in the not-for profit sector, managing institutional donor relations, business development, grants management, or other similar HQ-HQ strategic relationship with Scandinavian donors.

• Experience in negotiation of programmatic and financial contractual arrangements with donors and partners.

• Proven ability to work supportively and successfully with virtual teams.


• Experience of working in developing countries, preferably in the context of an NGO or International Organisation (UN, major donor or similar).

• Substantial experience in developing/managing strategic funding agreements such as DFID Programme Partnership Arrangements (PPAs), block grants or equivalent (£500k plus).

• Experience of developing business cases.

• Demonstrable experience of driving integrated advocacy, communications and fundraising programs to access funding.

IRC-UK strives to be an equal opportunities employer. IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and to non-discrimination for all job applicants and employees, and we seek to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.


Deadline for applications is 25th April 2018. Interviews will take place on 3rd and 4th May 2018.

You must have the right to work in the UK.

IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and to non-discrimination for all applicants and employees, and we seek to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability. IRC-UK welcomes applications from all candidates, including refugees who have the right to work in the UK.

If you have any questions or need assistance with the online recruitment process, please contact the UK HR team at

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