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Global Head of People and Culture


Hivos is an international organisation that promotes social justice across three areas that are vital to everyone’s right to live in freedom and dignity: civic rights, gender equality, diversity and inclusion, and climate justice. Hivos does this by amplifying and connecting people’s movements. 

Worldwide, Hivos employs approximately 300 people of all nationalities and backgrounds, around 65 of whom work at Hivos’ Global Support Office in The Hague (the Netherlands). Regional hubs are located in Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Lebanon. 

About the Role

The Global Head of People and Culture (GHPC) holds a pivotal position reporting directly to the Executive Board within Hivos. As an integral part of the Hivos Management Team, the GHPC operates closely with Regional Directors and other Management Team members, leading in strategic Human Resource Management.

The GHPC provides functional management guidance to the HR Business Partners stationed in the regional hubs and the Global Office.

Purpose of the Role

The primary purpose of the Global Head of People and Culture is to develop and implement a Global People and Culture strategy, which will integrate a strong plan of action and culture change drive to improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), people management and safeguarding across Hivos. This strategy serves as a foundational document in executing the overarching Strategic Compass. Second, the GHPC leads on revising, harmonising or establishing the standards and policies to underpin the strategy. The GHPC drives global HR projects while providing professional guidance to regional HR staff reporting to Regional Directors. 

The GHPC takes on the critical role of advising the Executive Board and Management Team on all matters related to culture change, attracting and motivating good people, organisational development and global HR policies. She or he will collaborate closely with all Hivos Hubs and their support functions to create an outstanding, inclusive workplace across diverse cultures, nationalities, and languages.

In addition to these responsibilities, the GHPC oversees a Safeguarding Manager. In this capacity, they are accountable for the design, implementation, and monitoring of all safeguarding procedures, documents, and training initiatives for staff and Safeguarding Focal Points across the organisation.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop a global People and Culture strategy that aligns with the organisation’s new five-year strategy. In collaboration with the global HR team, set annual objectives and milestones for translating the People and Culture strategy into action and ensure timely implementation of the DEI Action Plan. Promote innovative practices in areas such as DEI, culture change, performance management, compensation, and training.
  • Identify and pursue opportunities to simplify, clarify and harmonise HR standards, processes, and workflows, including through better use of modern IT and HR analytics.
  • Lead development of harmonised and improved approaches across all hubs for key areas such as reporting lines, job descriptions, recruitment approach, employer branding, onboarding, staff engagement and career advancement opportunities.
  • Uphold, improve and oversee safeguarding policies and procedures.
  • Play a key role in the Management Team, reporting directly to and serving as a strategic partner to the Executive Board. The COO will be the first point of contact.

Skills and Experience

  • Critical thinking skills with experience designing and implementing a clear People and Culture vision and strategy and driving organisational change processes.
  • Mid-career management experience with a strong global HR background.
  • Experience within an international organisation, preferably an NGO.
  • Experience in implementing DEI change processes in multi-cultural, global settings.
  • Commitment to openness and trust.
  • Ability to grasp the bigger picture while addressing immediate challenges.
  • Innovative and determined, with a practical and hands-on approach to leadership with decisiveness and adaptability.
  • Effective communication with a clear and tactful style.
  • Skilled in collaboration and consensus-building.