Malawi: Head of Programs

Organization: Plan
Country: Malawi
Closing date: 14 Apr 2017

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas. Plan aims to reach as many children as possible, particularly those who are excluded or marginalized; with high quality programs that deliver long lasting benefits by increasing its income, working in partnership with others and operating effectively. Plan International Malawi is currently recruiting for a qualified and seasoned individual to be Head of Programs. The purpose of this role is to provide strategic leadership in Program Management within Plan Malawi through the development and execution of the Country Strategy. The incumbent will be responsible for leading the program team in designing, planning, implementing, and monitoring and evaluating program interventions. S/he is accountable for overall performance of the Program Department at Country Office and Program Implementation Areas/field operations to ensure that Plan Malawi delivers quality programs in accordance with child rights principles and strategies. The post holder directly oversees Program Strategy and technical support, program effectiveness, knowledge management & learning and program delivery (PAs and outside PAs through grants). This is a very senior role and a member of the Country Management Team (CMT) and provides high-level, strategic leadership to the office as a whole, working collaboratively with other CMT members. The incumbent may at times act as the Country Director (CD) on a variety of Programmatic functions and assists in the overall management of the Country Office as a member of the Country Management Team (CMT).
Dimensions of Role • The post holder will report directly to the Country Director on the management of all risks associated with program development and delivery including budget, people management, senior level representation, both internally and externally, including brokering and enhancing productive working relationships within the key partners. • Oversee the Program Management including field program operation in different locations throughout the country. • Directly supervise the Program Quality Delivery Manager, Technical Specialists in various thematic areas, Monitoring Evaluation & Research Manager and all roles directly associated with development and implementation of programs. • The incumbent has overall responsibility for national policy and advocacy programs • The post holder manages the departmental budget at the Country Office, but also oversees the management of program budgets within the program function as a whole and keep track of the ongoing programs/projects. • The post holder ensures smooth teamwork within and across the different units and management lines within the Department, while enhancing integration among other departments. Of particular importance in creating high performing teams are the effective working relationships between program staff at the Country Office and in the Program Implementation Areas (PIA), grant project staffs within and outside the PIA. • To ensure that the right staff capacity, competencies and skills are in place, she/he will be involved in recruitment and staffing within the Department. Typical Responsibilities – Key end Results of the Position: Strategic leadership • Lead the overall development and evolution of the Country Programs within the overarching Country Strategy and their subsequent operationalization. Undertake periodic reviews and have a regular monitoring and evaluation to enhance the programs quality. Also make sure all statutory reports are submitted on time and any enquiries regarding the program initiation, implementation and reporting etc. are addressed on time. • Oversee the consolidation and development of the Program Implementation Area(s), supporting at a strategic level the representational and operational remits of the Program Quality Delivery Implementation Manager and Technical Specialists. • Build and oversee managerial accountability with particular attention to overall program operation, encompassing program management, logistics management and PIA management. • Consolidates baseline surveys and M&E reports for learning to improve on program quality and or appraisal for new areas where programs are to be initiated. • Organize trainings and workshops to enhance the understanding of program quality and CCCD among the staff and develop a strategy for local capacity development/succession planning. • Establish networks and partnerships with like-minded organizations for overall enhancement of the programs and profiling the organization; for program implementation, fundraising and/or working in collaboration. • Strategically deliver on sponsorship communications and commitments with full compliance. Coordination and integration • Ensure a good coordination between Programs Department and other support function in the organization proactively so that work can be done on cost effective basis and in an efficient manner. • Ensure that the organization has an up to date overview of all relevant areas of programmatic related policies, including any Plan global and guidelines, as well as policies relevant to the local operating context in Malawi. Representation and networking • Establish and support productive collaborative relationships with a range of partners and stakeholders and build the profile of the organization. • As delegated by the Country Director, act as overall organizational representative to selected forums, networks and external entities. People Management • Ensure a smooth and optimized working and enabling environment within the Department that engenders good team work and a high performing team. • Provide leadership, coaching for results and support to the programs team as well as in their individual development and performance management. • Oversee the delivery of effective capacity building support in key areas of program management, logistics management and operations management to Plan staff and partners. Other • Actively participate in the Country Management Team in an open, cooperative and proactive manner, ensuring full engagement of the Programs Department with organizational initiatives and initiatives developed and led by other departments and teams, in order to engender a high performing organization-wide team. Dealing with Problems: • The position involves a high degree of complexity in resolving a wide range of challenges which typically occur in the management of a large department encompassing different management lines, geographical locations, a large and diverse workforce, and a range of contractual obligations, specifically grant contracts. • The post holder will demonstrate the ability to solve problems, thinking strategically while introducing innovations as needed to meet the demands of a dynamic and sometimes unpredictable operating environment while ensuring Plan systems and policies are adhered to. The post holder should be creative and proactive in the work and resolving the problems. • The post holder ensures smooth teamwork within and across the different units and management lines within the Department, while enhancing integration among other departments. • Of particular importance in creating a high performing team are the effective working relationships among program staff at the Country Office, field offices where grants funded projects are operating and PIA. • The post holder may at times deputize for the Country Director in his/her absence, and support the Country Director in a number of high level representational responsibilities, both externally and also internally within Plan locally. • The post holder will also coordinate the Program Department’s engagement and interface with other departments and wider organizational initiatives, and is expected to play a key role in optimizing overall organizational performance and engendering a high performing country team as a whole. This will also demand innovation, flexibility and the ability to promote change in response to specific challenges and circumstances which arise. Knowledge, Skills, Behaviors, and Experience Required to Achieve Role’s Objectives: Educational Qualification and Experience • Masters’ degree in development studies, Agriculture, Economics, Project Management, Gender Transformative studies or related field • At least a minimum of 10 years of experience in similar, senior management roles • Experience of, and a commitment to, and understanding of participatory, right based approaches to development programming. • Demonstrated track record in driving change and engendering high performing teams, with the ability to lead, motivate and develop others. • Demonstrated experience in designing and leading strategic planning processes Knowledge • Knowledge of development issues, trends, challenges and opportunities and implications to community development • Knowledge of key program areas such as child protection, education, livelihoods, disaster risk management and protection, gender equality etc. with a sound understanding of integrated development issues and critical analysis of child poverty. • Knowledge of efficient program cycle management and a good analytical knowledge. • Strong knowledge about Disaster Risks Management (DRM) issues with specific practical experience in Disaster Risks Reduction (DRR) implementation with reputable humanitarian organization(s). • Knowledge of logistics, and other support areas including finance, grants management, human resource management and preferably child sponsorship. • Knowledge of effective participatory monitoring, evaluation and research systems and processes Skills Specific to the Post • Exceptional conceptual and strategic thinking and analytical skills. • Excellent proposal development and grant management skills • Comfortable with taking timely decisions in situations where information may be incomplete, based on consultation and sound judgement. • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with colleagues at long distances in a multi-cultural environment. • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including presentation and public speaking • Strong negotiation, influencing and problem solving skills. • Solid experiences in resource mobilization with a variety of donors. • Numeracy and the ability to interpret financial data, in order to provide management support to budgetary processes including planning, monitoring and reporting. • Ability to provide leadership, communicate effectively and build high performance teams in support of achievement of organizational objectives. • Strong team-building and motivational skills with ability to interact and work effectively with others • Ability to analyze information, evaluate options and to think and plan strategically • Proficient in computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications Competencies, attitude and behaviour • Believe in the potential of all people to succeed if given the right support and willingness to multi-task. Capable to cope with tough situation and able to perform under stress, innovate, build relationships, communicate effectively, coach and mentor, facilitate change, develop teams, initiate action, make strategic decisions, plan and organize. Lead through vision and mission and a personal commitment to children’s development and protection.

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