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Programme Operations Director Job Vacancy

Save the Children

Job Title: Programme Operations Director, Madagascar
Team / Programme: Madagascar

Grade: National Pay Scale - Madagascar
Location: Andapa, Madagascar

Post Type: Malagasy Nationals
Child Safeguarding: Level 3 – the responsibilities of the post may require the post holder to have regular contact with or access to children or young people.  

Role Purpose: The Madagascar Programme Operations Director will represent Save the Children in Madagascar and ensure that the Programme Office (PO) is managed in accordance with Save the Children’s policies and practices, its Mission, Vision and Values.

He/she will manage and provide operations oversight to the FSL programme in Madagascar funded by a corporate donor. 

This is Save the Children’s first programme in Madagascar and the post holder will report to Deputy Country Director - Programme Operations in Kenya with dotted line management to the Senior Food Security and Livelihoods Advisor based in the UK. 

He/she will, in addition, receive technical, M&E and awards management support from staff based in the region and London HO. 

The Goal of the 3-year project is “To contribute to the reduction of intergenerational transfer of poverty in vanilla producing communities in SAVA region, Madagascar”.   

Scope of Role: 
Reports to:  Deputy Country Director Programme Operations, Kenya (based in Nairobi) 
Staff directly reporting to this post: FSL & Behaviour Change Manager; Finance & HR Coordinator; Logistics Officer; MEA&L Coordinator

Country Dimensions: Madagascar ranks 151 out of 187 in the global Human Development Index, placing it in ‘the low human development’ category. 

A challenging political context influenced many global funding institutions to suspend foreign aid to Madagascar between 2009 and 2014. 

While funding is now returning and the presence of international development and humanitarian organisations is increasing, it will take time for the damage of these years to be overcome.

Madagascar is the largest producer of vanilla globally, with local production representing between 50% and 80% of the global supply. 

The SAVA region of Madagascar is known as the ‘Vanilla Belt’ of the country and vanilla is at the heart of its communities and local economies. Children in SAVA are directly linked to and impacted by the vanilla supply chain. 

However, 70% of households living in these communities are classified as either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Within this figure, 5% of households are identified as ‘extremely poor’. 
This programme is funded by a corporate donor and represents Save the Children’s first intervention in Madagascar. 

Programme operations have been established during an inception phase of 6 months in 2016 and will be supported throughout the project cycle by Save the Children’s Country Office in Kenya. 

A team of advisors in the region and at Head Office level will provide consistent, high quality technical support to the programme. 

Our vision is to support the vanilla market to work better for children and to prevent the intergenerational transfer of poverty within communities engaged with the vanilla supply chain. 

Our approach takes into account and aims to build upon the existing work of our private sector partner, which aims to develop the sustainable sourcing of vanilla and improve farmers’ technical skills through Rainforest Alliance co-operatives.
Key Areas of Accountability: 
As a member of the Senior Management Team:
  • Demonstrate “collective leadership” of the Madagascar Programme, taking responsibility for and appropriately representing decisions to staff and partners. 
  • To practise behaviours that are consistent with Save the Children’s Mission, Vision and Values and ensure their broader application by staff across the Madagascar programme.
  • Provide overall leadership to the Madagascar Programme and act as Save the Children’s lead representative in the country.
  • To take responsibility for the whole Madagascar programme by taking active measures to promote Save the Children’s culture and values, create a positive working environment and celebrate success.
  • Help establish, maintain, and improve active and regular working relationships with: host government authorities at central, regional and district level, donors, partner agencies including major institutional donors, and local and international NGOs.
  • Support the development of an organisational culture that reflects our full spectrum values, promotes accountability and high performance, encourages a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, and frees up our people to deliver outstanding results for children and excellent customer service for our Members and donors.
  • To represent Save the Children’s Madagascar Programme to the external world by maintaining and developing external relationships with government of Madagascar, donors, partners, communities, beneficiary groups and others.
Quality Program Implementation, Management and Reporting
  • Responsible and accountable for Save the Children programme in Madagascar and ensure the planning, implementation and management of programmes in accordance with organization strategies and policies.
  • Responsible and accountable for Save the Children programmes in the area and for the implementation and management of programmes, grants and awards in accordance with organization strategies and policies for quality programming.
  • Ensure that the programme is delivered with high quality by ensuring that the Programme Office team receives appropriate and timely support from technical advisers and programme quality teams for programme design and strategy, M&E, advocacy and planning.
  • Ensure that the programme is appropriately monitored reviewed and evaluated on a continuous basis, according to organisational quality standards and in coordination with the technical advisers supporting the programme.
  • Ensure appropriate systems are in place for all aspects of programme cycle management and ensure that lessons learned are taken into account.
  • Contribute to strategy and proposal development within the area under the overall leadership of the Programme Development and Quality team. Responsible for ensuring that proposals are relevant, contextualized and inclusive of all required support and staffing costs at the field level.
Operational Management
  • Lead the Programme Management Team in ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of field operations and ensure that programme plans are clearly prioritized and communicated to the operations team;
  • Conduct regular Programme Management Meetings to enhance information sharing and the effectiveness of operations;
  • Work closely with the Kenya Country Office Operations Director to ensure adequate logistical support to deliver high quality programmes effectively.
  • Lead the development and monitoring of field-based detailed programme implementation and grant management work plans. Responsible for ensuring that field-based teams implement programmes on schedule and within budget.
  • Responsible for the delivery of high quality, timely reports for donors and internal purposes, as well as the development of relevant case studies, success stories and other documentation.
  • Lead field-based start-up meetings of new projects with relevant CO staff to guarantee a joint understanding among team members of donor requirements, budget responsibilities, technical requirements and other considerations.
  • Ensure standardized systems, policies and procedures are in place, well understood by all staff and in line with the country programme system and are implemented in an appropriate manner
  • Ensure that the principles of child safeguarding and ‘do no harm’ are embedded in all programme planning, implementation and reporting and that staff receive regular, up to date training on same. Ensure transparency in targeting beneficiaries, delivery of services and participation of beneficiaries and partners in planning and monitoring of process is reflected in programme delivery.
  • Ensure all Save the Children Management Operating Standards are followed, implemented and maintained.
  • Ensure all contingency and Emergency Preparedness Plans are continually updated according to Save the Children operational standards and implemented when appropriate.
Financial, Budget, Grant & Award Management
  • Responsible for all donor and Save the Children budgets managed by the Madagascar programme. Lead monthly awards management progress review meetings at appropriate levels with team and in close collaboration with the Grants and Awards Manager. Ensure timely report providing a variance analysis on each budget is submitted to the Kenya CO and SCUK HO.
  • Identify any budget challenges or issues such as over or underspends and propose solutions to line manager as soon as issues are identified. Ensure that these are identified through the monthly variance meetings and immediately addressed.
  • Oversee the general application and observance of financial procedures and guidelines set out in SC financial manual and donors’ requirements
  • Ensure the grants are managed as per Save the Children’s and donors’ requirement including the quality and timely submission of reports
  • Prepare annual budgets for the programme, assessing costs and budget/expenditures from projects and asset inventory.
  • Prepare, and submit for approval, program budgets and expenditure forecasts.
  • Responsible for certifying and authorizing disbursements according to SC and donor guidelines.
Staff management, mentorship and development
  • Oversee effective management of performance of all staff in the Madagascar Programme Office through:
  • Effective use of the Performance Management System
  • Manage performance of direct reports, including the establishment of clear, measureable objectives, ongoing feedback (including 360 degree feedback), periodic reviews and fair and unbiased evaluations; coaching, mentoring and providing other developmental opportunities;
  • Ensure recognition and reward for outstanding performance;
  • Documentation of performance that is less than satisfactory, with appropriate performance improvements/work plans
  • Ensure CO staff are trained on all internal policies and procedures and ensure prompt action is taken in the event of breach of policy.
  • Maintain appropriate staffing levels and structures in the programme team, whilst planning and implementing specific actions to recruit, manage and motivate staff.
  • Ensure appropriate gender and ethnic diversity within the programme team as far as possible;
  • Ensure that programme staff have clearly defined objectives and understand their responsibilities under the matrix reporting structure
  • Ensure technical line manager’s input into the performance evaluation process.
  • Maintain clear communication with both the functional (direct) line manager and the technical manager to foster a smooth working relation under existing matrix structure.
Partnership Management
  • In collaboration with other staff, develop standardised approaches and best practices in assessing the capacity of local partners for the programmes.
  • Develop and lead the implementation of a partnership strategy in accordance with Save the Children’s guidance and the Quality Framework.
  • Develop the capacity of field-based partnership focal persons by conducting training and providing technical advice as well as field visits and ensure documentation of partner support at area office level is maintained and wider/collective issues for capacity building are collated to allow joint support visits.
  • Lead agency-wide capacity strengthening strategies including the assessment and improvement of SC and partners and through linkages with the relevant technical advisors and support departments.
  • In collaboration with relevant international Technical Specialists and Operations support staff, coordinate agency-wide learning processes in partnership and capacity building.
  • Establish relationships with all partners involved in the children’s sector. Advise on advocacy issues and opportunities for SAVE THE CHILDREN to lead in the children’s sector.  
Humanitarian and Emergency Response
  • Work with the Humanitarian Preparedness and Response Manager (HPRM) and Director Programme Operations (both based in Nairobi) to develop an Emergency Preparedness Plan and ensure that responses are assessed, prioritized and actioned in a timely and effective manner.
  • Work with the HPRM to identify opportunities to strengthen the programme office’s capacity and resourcing for emergencies and prepare the right response to these opportunities.
  • Ensure a continuous emergency monitoring mechanism is in place, ready to generate analysed information and able to respond to requests for this information both internally and externally to SAVE THE CHILDRENI. 
Security Management and Context Monitoring
  • In close collaboration with the Safety and Security Manager (based in Nairobi), supervise the Support Services Manager in proactively monitoring the political, military and security situation at local level and regularly report on its potential impact on Save the Children’s activities
  • Develop a clear safety and security management plan for all areas of operations. Ensure that staff understand and can implement this plan – and that it is reviewed and updated regularly.
  • Manage and report on all security incidents in accordance with SC’s Safety and Security procedures
  • Establish, maintain, and improve active and regular working relationships and take the lead role in representing the principles and work of SC to representatives of other organizations (UN, NGOs, INGOs, counterparts, donors, government authorities etc) who are working in or visiting the Programme Area.
  • Oversee that local implementing partners are discharging their responsibilities, live up to stipulations stated in the partnership agreement and take appropriate action.
Child Safeguarding: All staff have an obligation to ensure they fully understand the provisions of the Child Safeguarding Policy, the Code of Conduct and related policies. They must conduct themselves in accordance with the rules of the Child Safeguarding Policy, in their personal and professional lives – which includes reporting suspicions of child abuse.
All staff must ensure the way they are carrying out their work is not putting children at risk (or further risk). This includes an obligation to report cases of child safeguarding to the relevant focal point.

Skills and Behaviours (our Values in Practice)
  • Holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities - giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved
  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves (and their team), takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages others to do the same
  • Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically
  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, members and external partners and supporters
  • Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to
  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • Willing to take disciplined risks
  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency
Qualifications and Experience
  • A minimum of 7 years of management experience in an NGO or similar environment, including significant field operations experience running development programmes or emergency response programmes.
  • Master’s degree in development or other social sciences (desired). 
  • Experience in a senior role with programme and country management skills in addition to previous experience in food security/poverty reduction.
  • Substantial experience of managing high quality programme implementation and operations.
  • Substantial experience and knowledge of managing effective financial and budgetary controls.
  • Experience of working with local, international and government partners.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and French.
  • Commitment  to  and  understanding  of  Save  the  Children’s  aims,  values  and principles, including rights-based approaches. Good partner management and coordination skills.
  • Proactive approach to programme design, review and modification.
  • A very good understanding of at least three of the sectoral programmes and a working knowledge of the programme priorities of the Country Office.
  • Good understanding of internal procedures (support services) and ability to hold staff to account.
  • Previous experience of security management.
  • Previous experience in external representation.
  • Ability to function autonomously whilst ensuring rigorous internal reporting.
  • Ability to live and work in remote area with limited social life.
  • Previous experience of programming in Madagascar is highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of spoken Malagasy language a distinct advantage.
Child Safeguarding Policy:  Any employee, consultant, contractor or the supplier undertaking an activity on behalf of SCI must sign the Child Safeguarding - Declaration of Acceptance  Form] and comply with the SCI’s Child Safeguarding Policy which is a statement of SCI’s commitment to preventing abuse and protecting children with whom it comes into contact.  
This extends not only to children with whom SCI and its partners work directly, but also includes children whom staff are responsible for.  SCI believes that the situation of children must be improved through the promotion of their rights supported and demonstrated by all members of staff. 

Save the Children International's Code of Conduct sets out the standards which all staff members must adhere to.

How to Apply

The application process is now open and will close on Monday 9th January 2017.

To apply for these positions visit the SCI Kenya Website:

The system allows CVs & Cover letter as One(1) document.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

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