Across the globe, an estimated 8 million children live in institutions. Most are there for a complex combination of reasons – poverty, disability, housing, and a lack of access to health and education services. Lumos is working to end the institutionalisation of children globally by 2050. As the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, you will lead the development of the regional strategy and oversee the country programs in Colombia and Haiti. You are a skilled influencer, adept in operational management, and share a passion for advancing children’s rights and well-being.
Lumos is an international non-governmental organisation working to end the institutionalisation of children globally by 2050. To achieve this aim, Lumos works in partnership with governments, UN agencies, civil society, communities, families, children, and caregivers to transform systems that separate families. Together with partners, Lumos replaces institutions with family and community-based services that provide children with access to health, education, and social care tailored to their needs. This support enables families to provide the care their children need to develop to their full potential. Lumos delivers a combination of country programmes; sharing expertise and provision of technical assistance; research and documentation of best practices; advocacy and policy influencing at the highest levels of government, funders and the international community to change attitudes and drive change forward.
Over the past 10 years, Lumos’ work has helped achieve a tipping point in the European region, where most countries that have large numbers of children in institutions now have national strategies and plans in place to end the practice. In order to achieve its global mission, Lumos expanded into the Latin America and Caribbean region in 2015 and now has two country programmes in Haiti and Colombia.
Purpose of the Role
This role will report directly to the Director of International Expansion in London and is responsible for overall operational and programmatic delivery, policy development, advocacy and training in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The post-holder will develop the LAC regional strategy and will provide leadership across the region, including managing Directors and Managers in demonstration countries. He or she will work closely with HQ departments to build an integrated team.
The role will require frequent travel within the region (often to Haiti and Colombia) and will require some additional travel outside the region.
Duties and Responsibilities
The LAC Regional Director will:
Leadership, vision and strategy:
- Develop and lead the implementation of Lumos’ strategy for the Latin America and Caribbean region;
- Provide overall leadership and management of Lumos’ LAC demonstration programmes (Haiti and Colombia);
- Oversee and guide the work of Country Directors who will lead on programme and operations at country level;
- Develop and lead the implementation of Lumos’ advocacy, research, training and policy strategy for the wider LAC region;
- Develop strategic plans to ensure regional structures (Organisation of American States, Inter-American Development Bank) prioritise the issue of deinstitutionalisation, including identifying key opportunities to influence relevant regional policy and funding initiatives.
Programmes and stakeholder management:
- Identify and manage relationships with key high-level stakeholders across the region, strategically positioning Lumos in the sector, both at government and non-governmental level;
- Responsible for executing agreed activities as detailed in MoUs and action plans developed together with key partners at the regional level;
- Establish and lead a regional technical working group on deinstitutionalisation;
- Influence and change the attitudes of key government partners, policy-makers, regional funders, and other stakeholders, in order to create a regional shift in policy and funding, away from institutions and towards community-based services;
- Oversee regional-level events, conferences and training as well as regional level research pieces;
- Promote a dialogue between countries in the LAC region and sharing and learning, particularly from the demonstration country programmes.
- Lead, manage and develop the LAC regional team in order to ensure that the regional office is implementing planned activities with key strategic partners and is capable of fully achieving its agreed targets;
- Responsible for overseeing Haiti and Colombia programmes, including management of senior country staff;
- Responsible for financial management of the Panama office and financial oversight of LAC country offices;
- Responsible for producing LAC progress reports on activities for Lumos Headquarters;
- Ensure that financial, procurement and budgetary guidelines and controls are in place across LAC;
- Monitor and manage budgets and ensure proper expenditure phasing across LAC;
- Ensure accounts are produced on time and in accordance with Lumos’ policy and procedures;
- Other tasks as reasonably required by the Director of International Expansion.
Skills and Experience
- Proven theoretical and practical knowledge of child protection essential; proven theoretical and practical knowledge of health, education, and development issues desirable;
- Ability to strategically position Lumos in the development sector, both at the government and non-governmental level, to advance regional and national initiatives aimed at fulfilling children’s rights.
- Extensive experience in senior management positions, with a demonstrable track record in achieving results;
- Significant experience in leading and managing multi-disciplinary teams;
- Experience of delivering complex long-term programmes to high-quality standards within budget;
- Extensive experience in operational management at a strategic and day-to-day level;
- Expertise in working with governments, international organisations, NGOs, funders and other key stakeholders;
- Experience in international service delivery and development;
- Experience of working across the LAC region.
- Able to represent Lumos credibly at the highest levels;
- Demonstrable evidence of strong financial management experience and management of large programmes;
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and ability to work with a wide variety of contacts;
- Highly organised, with an aptitude in planning effectively to meet deadlines, and an ability to work on multiple programmes at the same time;
- Strong team leadership and managerial skills, including managing teams at a distance;
- Excellent written and spoken communication skills in Spanish & English;
- Ability to travel abroad regularly;
- Ability to work with a diverse range of cultures;
- Strong track record of delivering results;
- Ability to be flexible and assimilate new information quickly in a problem-solving environment;
- Ability to work under pressure.
- Fluency in French an advantage;
- Knowledge of the field of deinstitutionalisation and alternative care.