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Oxfam International

Regional Director

About Oxfam International

Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries. One person in three in the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is determined to change that world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty. Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. Oxfam saves lives and helps rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. Oxfam also campaigns so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them. In everything they do, Oxfam works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

About the Role


Dakar, Senegal (subject to being able to establish a contract of employment and obtain the right to work).

Reporting to:

OI Program Director.

Staff reporting to this post:

12 Country Directors (Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Benin, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger) and approximately 4 Regional Roles.

Total Workforce:

Approximately 500-700 staff based over 12 countries.

Annual Budget:

Approximately £70 million (may vary depending on humanitarian response).


Oxfam is currently undergoing a period of transformational change, which envisions a future where Oxfam is a more interdependent network, driven more by knowledge, organized for internal simplicity and more globally balanced. Oxfam strives to have affiliates in southern countries that can raise their own funds, run their own programs, make their own alliances with local people’s movements, and lobby their own governments and businesses.

West Africa is one of the poorest and least developed regions of the world. Despite its huge potential, the realities of West Africa are cruel. Its population of 313 million bears the worst statistics in the world in terms of food security, education, employment, gender inequality, child and maternal mortality and widespread degradation of the natural environment. In response to the needs and the vulnerable of West Africa, OXFAM envisages in its 2016-2019 strategic plan a region free of chronic hunger, where the citizen is free from fear, hunger and disease and where Governments are able and committed to fair taxation and a pro-poor redistribution of resources, in order to put an end to extreme poverty and inequality.  

In order to help drive and deliver this ambitious vision in West Africa, Oxfam is currently seeking an outstanding and distinctive Regional Director. This leader will have demonstrable strategic and creative leadership, management and coordination skills in a network setting, a multi-cultural worldview and understand the systemic challenges and strengths of being a global organization. Excellent communication skills, including fluency in French and English are essential.

Purpose of Role

The Regional Director will contribute to and implement Oxfam’s Global strategy, by providing vision and strategic direction to all of Oxfam’s work in the region. This includes Oxfam’s humanitarian responses, long term development, program design and implementation, advocacy, policy and influencing. They will be responsible and accountable for the strategic direction and effective management of the region, ensuring development, continued improvement in quality and impact, and effective financial and human resource management in line with Oxfam policy.

The focus of the Regional Director role will change over time from a management focus to one of increased facilitation and coordination of the Oxfam country programs as they move towards the Oxfam 2020 Vision. This aims to create a stronger Oxfam that is globally coordinated and relevant in every country in which they work.

Role Responsibilities and Accountabilities


Accountable to the OI Program Director for the leadership, delivery, effective management, (which includes people, budget and plans), monitoring, evaluation and learning, and communication of the programs in all countries within the WAF Region against Oxfam’s Strategic Plan (OSP), and 2020 vision in line with Oxfam Policy.

People Management:

  • Recruitment and remote line management of geographically dispersed Country Directors within West Africa. Where applicable, manages three regional programs, Regional Centre staff, budget, assets and funding.
  • Work closely with Oxfam affiliates involved within the region in a number of different ways to ensure that productive working relationships are maintained across the region and within countries in order to develop and deliver all country and regional Programs.

Strategic Direction:

  • Provide vision and strategic leadership support to the Country Directors of Oxfam’s program in the West Africa Region, both directly and through the Country Governance Groups (CGG) and the Regional Governance Group (RGG).
  • Ensure that the transformational change towards the Oxfam 2020 vision is implemented successfully.
  • Where they continue to program, be responsible for approving Oxfam Country Strategic plans, fundraising strategies, annual plans, budgets and reports, in line with the Oxfam Strategic Plan, having taken on board CGG feedback and views, as well as regional program strategies in line with the global and regional priorities for change.
  • Contribute to the overall leadership of Oxfam to ensure that the voice of the region is influential, by playing an active role in the Regional and appropriate global fora.

Public Engagement:

  • Held accountable for leading and implementing a globally integrated strategy for public engagement (including brand, communications, public fundraising and/or campaigns) resulting in high quality, positive and consistent content for external and internal audiences.
  • Represents Oxfam within West Africa and globally. Working with internal and external audiences at the most senior level to influence and inform decision makers at the highest levels.
  • Work collaboratively with leaders in Oxfam and externally, building alliances and networks within the poverty movement, civil society and other critical constituencies. Serving as a spokesperson with media and social media to expand Oxfam’s reach and influence in the region.

Program Development and Delivery:

  • Ensure that countries take a ‘One Program’ approach to tackling poverty and inequality so that development, campaigning and humanitarian work are strategically aligned and appropriately balanced to maximize impact and influence.
  • Through the CDs, responsible for the development and delivery of all country programs.
  • Responsible for the development and delivery of regional and multi-country programs, by ensuring that country and regional programs have the necessary resources, money, people and knowledge required so that programs are of the highest quality, are innovative and scalable and meet the required standards, for program, program management, human resources, (including but not limited to the Code of Conduct), finance, security, health and safety etc. making full use of shared services.
  • Ensure that programs are monitored and evaluated. Play an active role in capturing knowledge, sharing learning with others and drawing on learning from across Oxfam and externally and utilizing the results to inform program decisions and enhance institutional knowledge i.e. via Oxfam’s Knowledge hubs.
  • Responsible for anticipating and managing risks that could threaten the organization’s reputation, operational viability and security. Advises and supports the Country Director and takes ultimate responsibility for crisis management and security management within the region in line with Oxfam Policy.
  • Ensures the West Africa Region is fulfilling agreed standards in disaster preparedness, mitigation and management including humanitarian response activities for Category 1 / 2 / 3 emergencies, consulting the Global Humanitarian Unit for advice and support.

Skills, Experience & Knowledge

Geographical, Political and Regional Knowledge:

  • A deep understanding and knowledge of the politics, economics and political context within the region, enabling the effective management of strategy, programming and risk.
  • Ability to manage the development of, and contribute to, the high level analysis of factors driving poverty, inequality and vulnerability in developing country contexts, including the ability to ‘think politically’ by understanding motivations, pressures and challenges faced by colleagues, partners and other actors.

Management and Leadership:

  • Significant senior leadership experience of managing and motivating, multi-disciplinary, multicultural, and geographically remote and matrix-managed teams.
  • A track record of understanding and experience in the development and management of multi-country, large scale, impactful, high quality and innovative long-term and humanitarian programming, either with partners or directly.
  • Significant experience leading and managing complex change processes and relationships involving a wide range of both internal and external multi-cultural stakeholders across a variety of disciplines and geographical areas.
  • A high degree of self-awareness and an understanding of how to drive and support excellent team performance and individual development. Act as a role model and demonstrate exceptional leadership in line with Oxfam’s values.

Strategic Analysis:

  • Ability to oversee the development of, and contribute to, high level analysis of factors driving poverty, marginalization and vulnerability in developing country contexts, including the ability to ‘think politically’ by understanding motivations, pressures and challenges faced by colleagues, partners and other actors across the region.
  • Proven analytical skills, able to take and manage calculated risks based on evidence based assumptions. Able to think strategically, to maximize adaptability and agility, encourage forward thinking, new ideas and learning from experience beyond the country program context while acting within a global framework.
  • A track record or driving program quality improvements through evidence based learning. A focus on outcomes and accountability enabling countries to build on learning and effectively share and manage knowledge within Oxfam and externally.

Finance and Funding:

  • Competent financial and asset management experience. Able to manage multiple budgets of £70 million, mitigating and controlling financial risks – including managing donor funding and relationships, across a large number of countries and programs.

Risk Management and Judgment:

  • Able to take calculated risks based on evidence-based assumptions. Ability to continually access and analyze the external context of the organization enabling the development of realistic strategies to maximize adaptability and agility, encourage future thinking, innovation, new ideas and learning from experience, as well as sound judgment on when to stop as well as start new initiatives.
  • Proven track record of making sound judgments in uncertain and pressurized situations. Including crisis management leadership, while faced with multiple possibilities but inadequate resources.

Representation and Communication:

  • Demonstrated ability to convey complex messages in an appropriate manner to broad and diverse audiences via multiple channels.
  • Proven track record of advocacy and representation at the highest level, including an understanding of and experience with media and an ability to represent the organization externally at various forums and in the media (including social media) if required.
  • Committed to maximize their influencing capability across their programs.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to motivate, influence, and negotiate within a multi-cultural environment which includes decision makers in government, media and pivotal figures in society. Able to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
  • Demonstrated ability to support fundraising efforts with private and public donors, including corporate, foundation and major individual donors.
  • Fluent in written and spoken French and English.


Committed to a rights-based approach including an active commitment to putting women’s rights at the heart of all they do as well as the rights of other marginalized people in all aspects of an organization’s work.


Willingness and ability to travel frequently, often to remote program sites within the Region as well as to Oxfam International’s Head office.