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Head of Mission Sint Maarten (Dutch Caribbean)

Vacancy information

Work area

Sint Maarten


Level of education




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At the moment we are looking for a:

Head of Mission Sint Maarten (Dutch Caribbean)

From08-06-2018 LocationSint Maarten Hoursna Educationna

We help to strengthen resilience of vulnerable people exposed to hazards and crisis situations and we respond to disasters and conflicts to save lives and alleviate suffering. In the Netherlands with more than thirty thousand volunteers and internationally through technical assistance, supplies and money. Together we act before, during and after disasters to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people.

We do this without regards to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinion. Our seven principles guide our humanitarian work: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

The International Assistance department is responsible for all Netherlands Red Cross international support for victims of disasters and conflicts and for vulnerable people exposed to hazards.


The International Assistance department has opened a vacancy for a Head of Mission.

Position title:                    Head of Mission

Duty station:                    Sint Maarten (Dutch Caribbean)

Time period:                     12 months

Starting Date:                   July 2018

Status:                                Accompanied posting


Purpose of the position

The main purpose of the position is to strengthen the branch and manage the implementation of NLRC long term recovery programming on Sint Maarten.



The Red Cross branch on the island of Sint Maarten is part of the Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) and has a small but established role in the Sint Maarten emergency support framework. In order to increase the role of RC SXM in the emergency support structures on the island, and facilitate the roll-out of longer term and large scale projects, the Sint Maarten branch will need to be strengthened and the number of volunteers expanded.

Following the devastating impacts of category 5 hurricane IRMA on the 6th of September 2017, NLRC started to organize relief efforts, focusing on food and water distribution, as well as other distribution of non-food items. A team of approx. 70 people (volunteers and paid staff) has coordinated Red Cross efforts in the areas of WASH, Restoring Family Links, health, shelter, mapping of the most vulnerable area’s and conducting assessments. As part of the early recovery, NLRC implemented cash based assistance projects (current food voucher project to finish in June), and school meal projects (to finish in July at the end of the school year). Long term recovery has focused on shelter repair so far, but there is scope for wider implementation of projects in livelihood/recovery cash based assistance, disaster risk reduction/preparedness, and social support projects. NLRC is also supporting other partners, such as UNICEF in school/PSS projects, and VNG International in government DM capacity building.

According to the NLRC strategy the recovery programme will focus on increasing the resilience of beneficiaries and focus on building back better to avoid or reduce future disaster impacts. This approach takes into account the adaptation to climate change and climate variability. Increased resilience focuses on the building blocks of increased capacity of people to anticipate, adapt, respond and transform.

Sint Maarten is an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and has a varied population, with people from many different backgrounds. The populations includes a significant amount of undocumented migrants. Loss of tourism income as a result of the hurricane, has a significant impact on a large part of the population.


Position in the organization

The Head of Mission reports into the NLRC Portfolio & Partnership Coordinator (PPC) for St Maarten based in the Netherlands. The Sint Maarten desk falls within the Partnership Unit within the International Department of the NLRC.

The Head of Mission works together in day to day operations with the Manager of Red Cross St Maarten (RC SXM) and the Volunteer Manager. The Head of Mission is the direct line manager for other NLRC delegates based on Sint Maarten.


Summary statement and responsibilities

1.      Develop and implement program interventions related to the Irma recovery phase on St Maarten

o   To coordinate the overall project portfolio related to Irma response and recovery on Sint Maarten, and coordinate portfolio development;

o   Effective, efficient and sustainable overall programme management based on resilience building of local communities;

o   To lead the management team consisting of local branch manager and senior technical staff (delegates);

o   Line manager for international technical project delegates; ensure effective team with international, local staff and local branch.

o   Establish efficient cooperation with other important stakeholders on the island like local government, NGO’s, schools etc; together with the branch manager.

o   Represent NLRC together with the local branch manager in relevant meetings, workshops, conferences etc;

o   Responsible for the (monthly, quarterly and annual) planning, budgeting, programming and monitoring and review of milestones;

o   Assume overall responsibility of programming and control of financial administration including regularly checking of bank reconciliations and regular financial monitoring throughout the implementation of projects;

o   Conduct monitoring visits to projects and internal evaluations when requested or necessary;

o   Ensure project design and implementation is done in line with NLRC policy and strategy;

o   Manage the inventory and proper maintenance of equipment and assets.


2.      Capacity Building together with the branch manager and the board of RC SXM:

o   Develop a long term strategy for the branch and identify areas in which NLRC can provide support;

o   Formulate a capacity development plan, based on a baseline assessment, or Branch Organisational Capacity Assessment (BOCA);

o   Define the focus and strengthening of relevant capacities of RC SXM through training, coaching, workshops, etc.

o   Develop stakeholder management approach and capabilities aimed at maintenance of effective working relationships with government agencies, Dutch government and international organisations.

o   To explore local/regional/international funding opportunities jointly with the manager of RC SXM and the PPC and drafting a funding scheme for coming years/ sustainability of branch activities after recovery programme;

o   Assist the branch manager in further branch development activities, embedding the branch within the government’s disaster management structures, establishment of a new branch building, assist in hurricane preparedness/ contingency planning each year etc.

o   Support formation/instalment of new board for the local branch. Together with branch manager and PPC ensure IFRC/NLRC principles of good governance are implemented.


3.      To participate -upon request- in the RC’s humanitarian response in case of a disaster (natural or man-made) in the island or in the region.



Key qualifications

o   Proven experience in working in recovery programmes with local partner and volunteer organisations preferably within the Red Cross Movement.

o   Knowledge of the Caribbean context and awareness of the local Government structures in St. Maarten in relation to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

o   Experience with strategy development, strategic planning and its translation into concrete action.

o   Proven experience with management of staff and delegates.

o   Knowledge and experience of finance management, budgeting and cost control procedures.

o   University Degree

o   Proven experience in longer-term programme design and management and its relevant tools (such as the Logical Framework Approach)

o   Fluency in written and spoken English; Understanding of Dutch is preferred

o   Understanding of and commitment to NLRC mission, values and programming approaches, Red Cross Fundamental Principles and code of conduct


Key competencies

o   Proven managerial skills to lead a team of delegates and local staff

o   Communication skills with strong interpersonal and coaching skills / strong people management

o   Demonstrated orientation on results, process, and people

o   Diplomatic skills and proven track record in stakeholder management

o   High level of patience as well as cultural sensitivity

o   Skills in Microsoft Office applications


We offer

o   A full time  appointment (based on 40-hour work week) for 1  year, with the possibility of extension.

o   A flexible and human centred working environment in an international environment with a variety of international organizations.

o   Well balanced employment conditions with space for initiative and development.



Please send your resume in English and letter of motivation with reference to Annemieke van Teeffelen before 24 June using our online application tool: https://werkenbij.rodekruis.nl/en/Vacancy/Apply/103711/head-of-mission-sint-maarten-dutch-caribbean.html 

For more information about the position, you can contact Jesper Jansweijer at jjansweijer@redcross.nl

The first interviews may take place in the week of 18th June – selection of candidates may start before the closure date of the vacancy.

An initial assessment of candidates short-listed is part of the selection procedure.

For more information of the work of the Netherlands Red Cross please go to www.rodekruis.nl.  and www.rodekruis.tv.  NLRC on Facebook: Facebook.com/rodekruis  and Twitter: Twitter.com/rodekruis

Acquisition for this vacancy will not be appreciated


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