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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 and works in around 120 countries to save children’s lives; to fight for their rights; and to 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 they pursue several core values: accountability, ambition, collaboration, creativity and integrity. 

In 2012 Save the Children touched the lives of over 125 million children worldwide and directly reached 45 million children.

Mission Talent has been tasked by Save the Children with providing an exclusive search for the position of Country Director for Nigeria, who will lead the transformation of the country to a new operating model, whilst also delivering Save the Children’s strategy within the country and the programmes managed by the country office through delivering quality programmes, including advocacy, for children; and serving Save the Children Members and their donors.

Role Purpose

As a member of the West and Central Africa Senior Leadership team, you will have shared accountability for Save the Children’s international development and emergency programming in the region of approximately $120 million in 2014 through an organisation of nearly 1500 people. To achieve our ambitious goals and breakthroughs for children, the leadership team will, in collaboration with Save the Children Members and in conjunction with the other regional organisations, aim to drive growth to $2 billion by 2015.

The Country Director will lead the transformation of the country to a new operating model, whilst also delivering Save the Children’s strategy within the country through:

  • Delivering quality programmes, including advocacy, for children; and.
  • Serving Members and their donors.

Scope of Role

Reports to: Regional Director West & Central Africa.

Dimensions: Nigeria is a single entity country, requiring a vigilant focus on staff safety and security management. Save the Children works in over eight states in Nigeria with a current staff complement of approximately 160 staff and current expenditure of approximately GBP 6.8 million each year. Our programme implementation is focused in the Northern States including Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara where we have offices and in Jigawa, Gombe, Yobe, Bauchi and Kaduna where we work with and through partners. The estimated budget for 2014 is around $30 million.

Staff directly reporting to this post:

  • 1 Deputy Country Director.
  • 1 Director of Program Operations.
  • 1 Director of Program Development & Quality.
  • 1 Head of Safety & Security.
  • 1 Director of Finance.
  • 1 Director of HR & Support Services.

Key Areas of Accountability

As a member of the Regional Senior Leadership Team, contribute to strategic development and delivery of international programming, in both humanitarian and development contexts, in line with the Save the Children mandate, strategy and theory of change

Deliver transformational change in-country, including:

  • Developing and delivering improved outcomes for children through delivery of the Save the Children global programme strategy and global initiatives and growth targets as set for the country.
  • Defining and implementing the new operating model for the country, in consultation with the Regional Director and Transition Team.
  • Engaging Save the Children staff, partners and other stakeholders to create real shared ownership and collaboration.
  • Creating an environment of continuous learning, where staff are encouraged and supported to grow and develop and are willing to be held accountable for their commitments.
  • Ensuring that the focus of the organisation remains on the rights and needs of children.

Be accountable, and develop the capacity of, mentor and hold staff accountable for:

  • Developing strong country strategy and operational plans that identify and address significant issues facing children, and are in line with Save the Children’s overall strategy (with a focus on Global Initiatives) and theory of change.
  • Preparing for and implementing rapid and effective responses to major emergencies affecting children, including building relationships with key humanitarian and development decision-makers and partners in-country.
  • Delivering programmes and advocacy in line with the country strategy, operational plans, budgets and Member requirements that result in significant impact for children.
  • Collaborating with colleagues in the region to deliver any regional programmes and advocacy, in line with regional strategies, operational plans, budgets and Save the Children member requirements that result in significant impact for children.
  • Developing and maintaining good relations with Members and their donors.
  • Growing the country programme to become the leading NGO addressing children’s issues in the country.
  • Developing and maintaining efficient and effective operating systems, and ensure compliance with all Save the Children Essential Standards, with a particular focus on safety & security management.
  • Developing and coaching staff to optimise their potential in pursuit of Save the Children’s objectives.
  • Contributing to global knowledge and learning in Save the Children.

Be accountable, and develop the capacity of, mentor and hold Senior Management Team accountable for:

  • Role modelling and leading the way on the new values and ways of working.
  • Developing strong country strategy and operational plans that identify and address significant issues facing children, and are in line with Save the Children’s overall strategy (with a focus on Global Initiatives) and theory of change.
  • Preparing for and implementing rapid and effective responses to emergencies in-country affecting children.
  • Collaborating with colleagues in the region to deliver any regional programmes and advocacy, in line with regional strategies, operational plans, budgets and Save the Children member requirements that result in significant impact for children.
  • Building relationships with key decision makers and partners.
  • Developing and coaching staff to optimise their potential in pursuit of Save the Children’s objectives.
  • Contributing to global knowledge and learning in Save the Children.

Skills and Behaviours (Our Values in Practice)

Accountability:

  • 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 our culture of child safeguarding.

Ambition:

  • 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.

Collaboration:

  • 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.

Creativity:

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

Integrity:

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

Qualifications and Experience

  • Experience of working with large, complex donors to secure and/or manage new large-scale and/or competitive funding.
  • Experience of building, leading and developing a team of senior staff with different backgrounds and expertise.
  • Experience of managing a crisis situation requiring quick changes to priorities and rapid action to respond.
  • Experience of leading change in an organisation which has led to considerable results for the organisation and its stakeholders.
  • Experience of building personal networks at a senior level, resulting in securing new opportunities for the organisation.
  • Experience of solving complex issues through analysis, definition of a clear way forward and ensuring buy-in.
  • Good understanding of programme, financial and operational management processes.
  • Good understanding of key trends in international and humanitarian development.
  • Experienced leader who has held senior positions in complex/high profile/ multinational organisations.
  • Demonstrable ability to recruit, lead and develop high calibre specialist senior staff with a range of backgrounds and expertise.
  • Strong track record in building high performance teams and future successors/leaders.
  • Experience of leading a large, highly complex organisation through significant change with clear business benefit.
  • Strategic thinker who is comfortable with developing highly ambitious business strategies at scale and the track record of delivering on these.
  • Ability to manage and motivate self and others to respond to a significant and complex crisis situation in extraordinary circumstances, requiring swift action and rapid changes in priorities.
  • Evidence of identifying and building strategic and effective business networks at a very senior level, which have resulted in clear business benefit for the organisation.
  • Innovative approach to solving a range of highly complex issues and galvanising buy-in to the solutions at all levels.
  • Highly developed political acumen and ability to navigate through complex political situations.
  • Strong and nuanced cultural awareness.
  • Commitment to the Save the Children values.