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ActionAid International

4 x Regional Director: Africa (2); Asia (1) and Americas/Europe (1)

 About the Role

The Regional Director role exists to enhance organisational performance through provision of strategic leadership, coordination and management to deepen the impact of our work at the country, regional and international level. The role facilitates organisational development processes that strengthen countries’ capacities and enables them to effectively plan and deliver their country strategies and contribute significantly to international programmes. It is responsible for the line management of country programme directors of country programmes. The role is a critical leadership position in supporting and coordinating organisational processes that require strong levels of interaction between countries and with the IS. The role includes external engagement with key stakeholders in the region.

Key Activities


  • Drives and facilitates the embedding of the organisational vision, federation ways of working and supports transition management within the countries and IS teams based in the region;
  • As a member of Institutional Development Management Team, is responsible for implementing the strategic direction of AAI by supporting Members and Country Programmes in strategy delivery and implementation and ensuring impact of our work is evidenced through the coordination and management of established planning, monitoring, review, learning and reporting systems and processes;
  • Provides leadership in the identification of external and internal trends and challenges related to risk management in countries and at the regional level and in defining and implementing appropriate risk mitigation strategies and plans;
  • Provides strategic leadership to enable countries in the region to work together in monitoring and analysing global and regional trends and to develop joint alliances, policies and strategies externally;
  • Champion cross functional learning, participate (where applicable) in international platforms and cross functional project initiatives within AAI;
  • Promotes, practice and contributes to the continuous improvement of transparency and accountability in the federation in line with the AAI Accountability Charter”.

Strengthening the Federation through Membership Development

  • Manages the implementation of the Membership Development Process and delivery of the Affiliation/Association Plans in the region drawing on the OD expertise in the Directorate and specific technical functions expertise other directorates to ensure directorate support to build strong members and country programmes;
  • Leads in identifying and coordinating peer support and learning between countries and in harnessing/leveraging country capacity to support international programmes;
  • Monitors alignment and cohesion between countries and international strategies and compliance with federation policies, frameworks, standards and systems;
  • Coordinates the monitoring and evaluation of delegation of international roles to members/country programmes;
  • Coordinates strategic and programmatic expansion of AAI to new countries for influencing and fundraising;
  • Ensures and supports timely resolution of disputes/conflicts between countries/members and with other parts of the federation, in line with the established guidelines.

External Engagement

  • Responsible for raising the profile of the organisation within the region, representing and propagating the vision, mission and values of AAI at the host-country and regional level with governments and regional institutions;
  • Leads in the coordination, planning and delivery of regional policy and advocacy plans and activities targeted at regional institutions in line with the priorities defined and agreed by countries in the region;
  • Leads in the building and strengthening of relationships with civil society partners and social movements at the regional level, working closely with programme and policy staff within PDQI and PRAC.

People Management

  • Leads in recruitment, induction and performance management of Country Directors and supports/coordinates with National Boards of Associates and Affiliates on recruitment, induction and performance management of the Executive Directors;
  • Responsible for monitoring and ensuring IS and country senior management teams commitment to Women Leadership and Gender Equality;
  • Provides strategic direction, guidance and management support to Country Directors of country programmes (line management) and Executive Directors of Associates/Affiliates working closely with Chairs of the National Boards to ensure country performance;
  • Recruits, line manages and provides strategic direction and guidance to the regional Institutional Development team (Regional Coordinator and the Team Administrator), ensuring performance management, motivation and personal/professional development of the staff.

Management of Internal Accountabilities 

  • Serves as Head of Office/Legal representative at the respective IS Office/Hub where AAI has a regional office (Nairobi/Bangkok/Rio), ensuring AAI delivers on external accountability commitments and statutory obligations in line with the laws, policies and requirements in the jurisdiction of the AAI office;
  • Coordinates and provides support to countries on programme planning, review and reporting processes in line with approved priorities and guidelines;
  • Ensures cross-functional coordination at regional level to monitor and review progress on implementation of country engagement plans.


  • Deputises and acts for the International Director while away or as delegated authority;
  • The role holder will from time to time be required to carry out any other duties that are within the scope of the job;
  • Value Practice – A strong commitment to develop, promote and practice AAI’s vision, mission, values and strategy;
  • Women’s Leadership and Gender – Committed to Gender issues with a strong focus on women’s leadership;
  • Collaboration – Proactively leverage on cross functional learning, participate (where applicable) in international platforms and cross functional project initiatives within AAI;
  • Accountability – Promoting, practicing and contributing to the continuous improvement of transparency and accountability in the federation in line with the AAI Accountability Charter.

Person Specification

Education, Language and Qualifications

  • At least a Masters Degree in social, economic development discipline, organisational development or in development management;
  • Minimum 5 years in senior leadership position as part of a senior management Team;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and proficient in the major languages commonly used in the region.

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • At least 7 years knowledge, understanding and experience in international development and working on social justice issues;
  • Extensive staff management experience in a large, decentralised organisation and in a complex, uncertain international environment (must have experience in managing Country Directors and specialists for about 5 years);
  • Proven record of managing; motivating & supporting peers in a multi-functional environment;
  • Proven experience of managing organisational change and an organisational development approach to leadership and management;
  • Ability to clearly analyse and articulate the depth of understanding about the causes of poverty and injustice, potential solutions and key actors in the region and in the continent;
  • Experience in working with governance structures and understanding of good governance principles and their application;
  • Appreciation and ability to work in a multicultural context;
  • Ability to influence cross functionally both peers and multiple teams in a decentralised environment;
  • Listening, learning, empowering and result-oriented leadership style and management practice;
  • Commitment to AAI’s vision, mission, values and women’s rights and women leadership.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Project management and facilitation skills;
  • Experience and expertise in a discipline/function related to AAI work.

Competency Profile

  • Strategic Perspective – Understands the viewpoint of higher management and effectively analyzes complex problems;
  • Change Management – Uses effective strategies to facilitate organisation change initiatives and overcome resistance to change by involving others, listening and building commitment;
  • Decisiveness – Prefers quick and appropriate actions in many management situations;
  • Leading Employees – Attracts, motivates, and develops employees;
  • Building Collaborative Relationships – Builds productive working relationships with co-workers and external parties, whilst valuing people of different backgrounds, cultures and demographics;
  • Communication – Expresses ideas clearly and concisely; disseminates information about decisions and plans;
  • Leading with Purpose – Has personal direction and is not easily sidetracked by details or workload;
  • Credibility – Acts in accordance with stated values; follows through on promises; uses ethical considerations to guide decisions and actions;
  • Taking Initiative – Takes charge and capitalizes on opportunities.

Reporting Line

  • Reporting to: Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/International Director of Institutional Development
  • Direct Reports:
    • Country Directors (Country Programmes and Associates)
    • Regional Coordinator (Institutional Development)
    • Team Administrator (where applicable depending on region size)