Director Global Peacebuilding Unit at International Alert Job Vacancy Application Details | How To Apply

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International Alert is one of the world’s leading peacebuilding organizations, with over 30 years of experience supporting communities, and advising governments, organisations and companies on how to build peace. Alert works with people in conflict-affected and threatened areas to make a positive difference for peace; to improve the substance and implementation of international policies relevant to peacebuilding; and to strengthen the peacebuilding sector.

We are recruiting to fill the position of:

Job Title: Director, Global Peacebuilding Unit

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Contract Duration: Permanent
Reports to: Global Director of Policy, Advocacy and Communications
Management Responsibility: Staff – currently 11 (5 direct reports), Annual budget – currently just under £2m
Grade: 2A

Job Purpose

  • The purpose of this position is to lead International Alert’s Global Peacebuilding Unit to: deliver global thematic programmes and partnerships; link these to our organisational advocacy and policy work to make a compelling case for changes in policy and practice as well as for peacebuilding as a vital tool in conflict prevention and mitigation; and act as a hub for peacebuilding advice to our country and regional teams.
  • Alert’s Global Peacebuilding Unit serves as a hub connecting Alert’s global network of peacebuilders through the major themes which cut across our work: climate change and natural resource management; gender; peace economies; and conflict sensitivity.
  • Through its four teams it manages several global programmes and Helpdesk services for international partners. It provides thematic and programmatic advice to Alert’s key partners and Alert’s country teams, runs thematic programming on these priority issues, and serves as a hub coordinating distributed networks of expertise in the organisation.
  • The GPU leads on global policy and advocacy engagement with a range of stakeholders, ensuring Alert’s continued leadership in international peacebuilding discourse and practice.
  • As Alert develops its next strategy (to be finalised in late 2023), the postholder will play a key role as we refocus the Unit to prepare for the years ahead.  We are looking for an outstanding leader with deep peacebuilding experience and insight, to
  • Lead the continuing growth of our thematic peacebuilding programming and of our conflict sensitivity partnerships, ensuring a strategic, sustainable pipeline, building on our reputation for expertise and excellence, and exploring and setting new peacebuilding trends;
  • Develop a strategic approach to global peacebuilding policy and practice, connecting our thematic peacebuilding programmes and research to global and country-specific advocacy on what needs to change to promote peace, and oversee our advocacy-focused research pipeline to that end;
  • Work with leaders and teams across Alert to strengthen further the technical advisory resources available to our peacebuilding teams, and develop potentially new models for such advice, recognising that such expertise is held globally across the organisation, particularly amongst Country and Regional Teams;
  • Build our capacity to understand and analyse the key trends that shape our work, and draw on these and a deep understanding of issues of peacebuilding practice to orient and nourish discussions on our priorities and direction.
  • The Director provides leadership and vision, formulates the Unit’s strategy, drives its fundraising pipeline, ensures its financial sustainability and manages the team and funds. The team currently comprises eight staff (based in London, The Hague, Nepal and Kenya) and the Director line manages the four thematic leads. The Director ensures that the team are well coordinated internally, and with external networks and partners, and works closely with senior staff across Alert. The Director plays a crucial leadership role in Alert’s overall organisational coherence, and as a senior member of the management and leadership regularly represents Alert and its messages and ideas externally.  The role sits on Alert’s Executive Team, which is the key decision-making body for the organisation.

Duties and Responsibilities
Provide strategic leadership to the team:

  • Oversee the implementation of the Unit’s existing strategy and develop propositions for future strategy;
  • Develop, implement, monitor, adjust and report on the Unit’s workplans;
  • Lead the team, ensuring coherence across the different aspects of its work;
  • Guide, motivate and manage the performance of the four thematic leads, coaching and mentoring them to anticipate and solve problems and effectively manage their own teams and areas of work;
  • Ensure that the team is structured to be effective and efficient, and that it can access the support required from other functions such as finance, HR, and fundraising;
  • Position and represent the team across the organisation, building a shared understanding among Alert teams of the role of the Unit and the support and added value it offers.

Oversee global thematic programmes, secure new funds, manage donor relationships and ensure the Unit’s long-term sustainability:

  • Lead and play a hands-on role in the development of project proposals for global programmes to ensure a sustainable and broad fundraising pipeline, ensuring that GPU staff, programme design and fundraising staff, and regional programme colleagues as appropriate are fully involved.  Approve proposals being submitted to donors;
  • Work with senior leadership, the Unit and our peacebuilding teams globally to strengthen peace-positive approaches among our current and potential partners and draw and share lessons on emerging peacebuilding trends and across key thematic areas
  • Implement and develop/evolve a business model for the Unit that is realistic and achieves financial sustainability for the team;
  • Ensure timely and high-quality reports are provided to donors, demonstrating project’s impacts;
  • Build strong relationships with key funding partners;
  • Work with the finance department and GPU colleagues to develop and manage an annual working budget (currently just under £2m), and to monitor financial performance;
  • Ensure that programme funds are spent in compliance with Alert policies, donor budgets and any other stipulations – including funds passed to partners;
  • Ensure that resources purchased with donor funds are used appropriately and maintained securely.

Ensure the Unit provides strong technical support to country programmes, and work with others across Alert on this support overall:

  • Support the team leaders to ensure that the Unit provides high-quality support to country programmes in the thematic areas on which it leads (Gender & Peacebuilding; Climate Crisis & Natural Resource Management; Peace Economies; and conflict sensitivity)
  • Work with the Programmes leadership team to ensure that Alert as a whole has the right technical support in areas outside the thematic areas on which the Unit currently leads (for example on peacebuilding approaches, programming framework, impact and learning), as part of an internal ecosystem of peacebuilding expertise and innovation;
  • Ensure that advisory approaches and ways of working contribute to and promote a strong culture of learning and trust across country teams;
  • Develop and ensure uptake of research, conflict-sensitivity and gender-sensitivity standards within Alert;
  • Consider new models for Alert’s future advisory expertise, including more decentralised models, in line with reflections on our next strategy during 2023, and implement or support the implementation of these over time once agreed.

Support Alert’s global policy advocacy:

  • Support the Global Director of Policy, Advocacy and Communication in designing and implementing plans to achieve change among global decision-makers on the thematic priorities on which the Unit leads.  Currently Gender, Peace and Security and Climate and Natural Resource Management are our two influencing priorities here.
  • Support the Unit’s thematic programmes leads to achieve peacebuilding impact and help translate local insights into global expertise and advocacy;
  • Lead Alert’s engagement on selected policy processes and initiatives, including engagement in major international reviews, conferences;
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with other organisations and networks in the peacebuilding sector and beyond;
  • Ensure Alert’s research outputs in these thematic areas are of high quality and designed from the start to achieve change;
  • Represent the organisation externally.

Contribute to Alert’s strategic thinking:

  • Act as a thought leader within Alert on peacebuilding issues and trends in our sector, in particular scoping new/emerging dynamics and trends influencing Alert’s peacebuilding work
  • Build Alert’s capacity to track these issues and trends and use them to inform decision-making and future strategic thinking
  • Act as a full member of Alert’s Executive Team.

Travel requirements:

  • We have learnt much during the pandemic about alternative ways of working, and are still learning about this.  So while we would welcome applications from candidates able to commit to regular travel, there are other ways to make a big impact in this job if you are unable to commit to such a working pattern, so don’t let that stop you from applying!

Person Specification
Essential Requirements:

  • At Alert, we have introduced Talent Management to our business model as we believe talented people are crucial to the success of our work.  We believe all individuals are talented and success comes in matching the right talents to the right roles.
  • For this role, the skills, qualifications and experience listed below are important, but we believe that to be great in this job you are likely, first and foremost, to have a talent for the kind of leadership which allows you to identify, create and coordinate opportunities for joined-up work between different parts of the organisation and with partners, and inspire others whose involvement or support is needed.

This is what we will be looking for above all else:

  • Significant senior-level experience in a relevant sector including a minimum of five years of experience working on peacebuilding issues relevant to Alert’s work, and experience based in conflict-affected contexts
  • The ability to identify, understand and explain trends in conflict and peacebuilding, and work with others on how these affect the organisation
  • Knowledge of how to make change happen, including demonstrable experience in achieving changes to policies, practices, budgets, laws, or norms.
  • Ability to contribute constructively to Executive Team-level discussions, both in the direct work area and on broader organisational issues
  • Experience in managing substantial and complex programmes/projects, including managing and reporting on the use of restricted donor funds.
  • Proven ability to lead and motivate global teams working on complex issues and projects, and supervise and support individual staff (including remote supervision).
  • Proven ability to develop and maintain external and internal relationships and networks, including representing organisations at international fora.
  • Significant experience in raising funds through a combination of identifying new and diverse funding partners, proposal design, networking and negotiation.
  • Experience designing project proposals that attracted funding, and understanding of what makes a high-quality proposal.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
  • Demonstrable commitment to and understanding of safeguarding
  • Commitment to International Alert’s values, to Gender, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and to anti-racism.
  • The existing right to work in a country where Alert has an office.

Desirable Requirements:

  • Knowledge and understanding of at least one of the following thematic areas: Peace Economies; Climate Crisis and Natural Resource Management; Gender and Peacebuilding; Conflict Sensitivity.
  • Ability to communicate in an additional language to English (ideally Arabic, French, Russian or Spanish)
  • Experience of co-ordinating, designing or delivering quality research that provide concrete actionable recommendations to inform policy and practice.
  • Entrepreneurial skills and experience of business development, including commercial tendering and contracting.
  • Lived experience of conflict.
  • Experience in the non-governmental/non-profit sector, ideally within international aid or development.

How to Apply

Submit your CV and Application on Company Website: Click Here


  • The role is conceived as full-time, but we are open to applications from people wishing to work part-time or on a job-share basis.
  • All applicants must have an existing right to work in Nigeria.
  • International Alert is an equal opportunities employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.
  • While International Alert will endeavour to contact all candidates within a reasonable time, this may not always be possible due to limited resources. Therefore, if you have not heard from us within four weeks of the closing date, you can assume your application has, on this occasion, been unsuccessful.

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