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Save the Children

Country Director

About Save the Children

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children. They work in around 120 countries. They save children’s lives; fight for their rights; help them fulfil their potential.

Save the Children works to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. Across all of their work, Save the Children pursue several core values: accountability, ambition, collaboration, creativity and integrity.

In 2013 they reached over 143 million children through their work, including over 52 million children directly.

Child Safeguarding

Level 3:  the role holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight) because they work in country programs; or are visiting country programs; or because they are responsible for implementing the police checking/vetting process staff.

Role Purpose

The role holder will build and support a team to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Guinea. The post holder will be responsible for leading the response in a constantly changing environment to ensure the best impact using direct implementation and working with national partners.  He/She will also be responsible for developing a clear vision for the longer term country programme, bringing the staff team together to deliver quality programmes, including advocacy, for children.

Scope of Role

Reports to:

WCA Regional Humanitarian Director, who is supported by the West and Central Africa Regional Director.


Guinea remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Save the children has worked in Guinea for more than 15 years, through partners and through a development program in Kankan supported by the Mali Office.  Guinea was the epicentre of Ebola crisis which spread from the Guinea Forestiere region to Sierra Leone and Liberia in early 2014. The West and Central Africa Regional office supported the response to the Ebola Crisis until August 2014 when Save the Children declared the outbreak a Category 1 for all 3 countries. Guinea has had the lowest number of infections of the 3 countries but the virus has been the most fatal there with close to 3,500 recorded infections and 2,300 deaths. With a few hundred thousand of seed funding the Guinea office has grown to 5 million in 6 months.

Staff directly reporting to this post:

In transition:  to be confirmed.

Key Areas of Accountability


  • Assume overall oversight of country-wide response and its potential development into a longer term country programme.
  • Manage a large number of multiple grants (across multiple sectors), ensuring strict compliance of programme activities with national and global policies and procedures and with relevant donor regulations and agreements, SPHERE guidelines and the NGO code of conduct.
  • Lead on country-level strategic planning, action plans and monitoring to ensure an effective humanitarian response and a smooth transition to a longer-term programming phase in coordination with the West and Central Africa Regional Office.
  • Have oversight over the development of master budgets for multiple sites, multiple sectors  and take overall leadership on the implementation of national level budgets, keep relevant stakeholders informed and ensure any corrective actions are taken.
  • In coordination with the Operations and Programmes teams, ensure the preparation of timely programme and donor reports on project activities in compliance with internal Save the Children requirements and any relevant external donor requirements.
  • Establish project monitoring plans and systems for identifying and tracking the indicators and develop processes/procedures and forms to support monitoring and inform learning.
  • Ensure optimal safety and security management procedures and practices are in place for the programme and continually monitor the safety and security situation, adapting staff safety and security procedures accordingly in collaboration and cooperation with the Country Security Manager.
  • Ensure effective functioning of logistics systems to procure, store and distribute stock, supplies and services for the timely delivery of project objectives at national level.
  • Ensure strong accountability to beneficiaries.
  • Plan, identify and resource appropriate and effective structure and staffing needs for entire programme (including ensuring that personnel policies are in accordance with national laws).
  • Oversee the development & implementation of staff wellbeing in accordance with Save the Children policy and ensure appropriate staff well-being and R&R policy and processes are in place.

Capacity Building:

  • Ensure that capacity building plans and performance management systems are in place to develop the requisite competencies in staff to ensure on-going sustainability and quality of response.
  • Coach and mentor international staff and national level counterparts and link in to wider organisational talent development mechanisms.

Representation & Advocacy & Organisational Learning:

  • Represent Save the Children on a national, regional and international level to donors, the media and members of the humanitarian community.
  • Help shape broader sector strategies through influence of and leadership within inter-agency coordination forums, ensuring the specific needs of children are being addressed.
  • Regularly undertake high level representation and advocacy with Government partners and officials as well as donor representatives. Establish systems for communication with local Government partners, relevant line departments and community representations in the project area(s).
  • Lead on organisational level operational practice, innovation and learning in consultation with Humanitarian team. 
  • Oversee the implementation of Save the Children policies and procedures with respect to child rights and safeguarding, health and safety, equal opportunities and other relevant policies.

Skills and Behaviours (Save the Children Values in Practice)


  • Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving results together with children and role modelling Save the Children values.
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.
  • Creates a managerial environment in-country to lead, enable and maintain Save the Children’s culture of child safeguarding.


  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for self and team, takes responsibility for own personal development and encourages team to do the same.
  • Widely shares personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others.
  • Future oriented, thinks strategically and on a global scale.


  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with own team, colleagues, members, donors and partners.
  • Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength.
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.


  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions.
  • Willing to take disciplined risks.


  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency.
  • Always acts in the best interests of children.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Experience of working in a senior management role within a complex country programme in an emergency response or fragile state.
  • Previous experience of managing programme teams in emergency response is essential.
  • Education: MA / MSc level (or equivalent field experience).
  • Senior management experience of multi-national, multi-sector team at a Country Director level.
  • Experience of managing multi-donor, multi-site programmes (including ECHO, DFID and OFDA).
  • Multi-site security management in insecure environments.
  • Experience of international level representation with key stakeholders, and co-ordination with other NGOs/UN.
  • Experience of international media representation and advocacy.
  • Experience of M&E and beneficiary accountability systems in large complex programmes.
  • Experience of developing and negotiating successful partnerships with institutional donors.
  • Proven ability to influence change at an operational and strategic level.
  • Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy.
  • A high level of written and spoken English and French.
  • The capacity and willingness to be extremely flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes insecure working circumstances.
  • Commitment to the aims and principles of Save the Children. In particular, a good understanding of the mandate and child focus and an ability to ensure this continues to underpin Save the Children’s support.