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Head of Programmes

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Mon, 22/07/2019 - 17:00

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.


We believe in the power and potential of every child.  But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination.  And it is girls who are most often affected.

Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.

We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood.  And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crisis and adversity.  We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.

We employ more than 9,000 people in programme countries, working with over 85,000 communities.  We have been building powerful partnerships for children for almost 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.

Plan International Sierra Leone is committed to ensuring that child protection, gender and DRR are integrated in all its interventions and processes. It also encourages women to apply and is an equal opportunity employer.  

We are currently seeking to recruit:


Head of Programmes 



Location:       Country Office

Department:    Programme and Influencing

Reports to:      Country Director


Summary of the position: 

To provide strategic leadership and operational oversight for designing, implementing and evaluating quality gender transformative programmes and influencing, and child sponsorship initiatives that advance children and youth’s rights and equality for girls in Sierra Leone.

Typical Responsibilities

Dimensions of Role:

  • Leads and provides strategic and oversight support to the design, implementation, and evaluation of gender transformative programmes and influencing initiatives that fully align to key global purpose, theory of change, strategies, country context, and other agreed standards

  • Supervises and co-ordinates a team of seven (7) direct reports who are playing management, specialist, and co-ordination roles

  • Maintains a horizontal working links with 6 other functional heads/leads

  • Works with and maintains sound and credible (win-win) partnerships that promote girl-friendly policy and practice; and culture of learning/knowledge management to improve program quality

  • Member of the Country Leadership Team

  • Impact of this role is significant internally and externally to Plan International.


Policy alignment and Influence:

  • Responsible for ensuring that Plan International’s Global Policies/Procedures for Quality Program and Influencing, Gender Equality & Inclusion, Child Sponsorship and Child Protection are fully embedded and practised per applicable local context

  • Responsible for seeking alignment of Plan’s work to local policies that promote child rights safeguarding and especially equality for girls

  • Drive country initiatives that effectively influence laws, policies, budgets, norms and behaviours for the benefit of marginalised/excluded children and youth especially girls

  • Coordinate continuous policy scans to support influencing initiatives towards advancement of child rights and equality for girls. 

Strategy design 

  • Leads in formulating country program and Influencing strategies that fully align to Plan International’s Global purpose, strategy, and Program & Influencing Quality policy/procedures

  • Responsible for mainstreaming gender equality and inclusion approaches to program, influencing and project design

  • Support in identifying and deploying appropriate global/local enablers to effectively and efficiently drive transformative change 

  • Responsible for appropriate dissemination of country strategies and programs for building knowledge, understanding, and credibility among key stakeholders around Plan’s work

  • Responsible for developing, updating and mainstreaming disaster risk reduction plans and disaster preparedness plans appropriate for Plan International SLE

  • Ensure that Country strategies are adapted to reflect contextual realities in the country.

Program/Project Implementation:

  • Provide oversight, supervision and coordination of the MERL Manager to ensure that are all projects and programmes follow MERL standards more effectively  

  • Provide oversight, coordination and supervision of the Programme Implementation and Influencing Manager to ensure that all projects are implemented according to design, and contribute clearly to the Objectives, Outcomes and Goal of the Country Strategy 

  • Responsible for co-ordinating the development and effective implementation of comprehensive programs/projects plans (annual/quarterly etc.) that support a coherent program/project delivery, monitoring and reporting

  • Monitor and supervise the implementation of projects to ensure timely and quality delivery

  • Establish and continually strengthen capacities of local implementing and national level partnerships for effective and efficient program/project delivery and influencing

  • Responsible, on quarterly/annual basis, for achieving and reporting on the global programmatic KPIs (Sponsorship Commitment#2, program quality, Influencing, Gender equality, partnerships etc.)

  • Responsible for maintaining good relations/communications with NOs for effective project implementation

  • Responsible for timely and quality reports on projects to NOs and other stakeholders, per agreed standards

  • Responsible for effectively rallying technical and financial resources from across the organization around most critical pieces of work 

  • Establish and implement intra- and inter- project   control mechanisms to build synergies and minimise risk of resource duplication and waste.

Child Sponsorship 

  • Develop and implement strategies for effective and efficient Sponsorship-program alignment (for instance achieving sponsorship commitment#2)

  • Ensure Gender mainstreaming in sponsorship activities and maintain gender sensitivity to staff and associates

  • Develop  strategic and tactical plans for  sponsorship to ensure effective and efficient  management of caseload

  • Ensure that Plan International SLE maintains an effective working relationship with NOs, and IH with respect to sponsorship

  • Support and coordinate the development and implementation of new sponsorship product in collaboration with other departments and with the Nos.

Partnerships and Networking  

  • Develop, implement and evaluate partnership guide to support partner engagements for effective project delivery 

  • Provide support in building partnership capacities to deliver projects 

  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships/partnerships with relevant governmental institutions to facilitate the influence agenda

  • Design a framework for performance based financing and coordinate its effective implementation and continuous improvement;

  • Develop and maintain relationships with coalitions, civil society actors, research/academic institutions to advance Plan International’s work.

  • Develop partnership with universities and knowledge institutions for support Plan’s evidence based programming and influencing work.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL)

  • Establish and implement an MERL that effectively and credibly tracks program/project performance (results),

  • Generate learning from our work and facilitate establishment of KM system to disseminate knowledge and promote good practice

  • Establish effective mechanisms to promote sharing and learning among project teams, and partners including children especially girls

  • Responsible for annual internal reviews of the Country Strategy that promote broad-based ownership, learning, and quality improvement 

  • Monitor the program/project performance vis-à-vis agreed milestones and indicators and initiate action to improve where and when necessary

  • Coordinate quarterly management and annual reporting on Plan International Sierra Leone programmes 

  • Support quarterly and annual reporting on various projects (against output and outcome targets); 

  • Participates in Technical Support Team meetings to discuss work progress and develops appropriate strategies to ensure the attainment of project/programmes objectives

  • Support capacity enhancement of project teams and partners on MERL. 

Staff Development

  • Direct reports are guided with appropriate key performance indicators

  • Technical specialists’ performances are recorded and recognized

  • Organise Coaching/counselling sessions on regular basis whenever necessary

  • Professional development needs are identified and addressed in association with HROD.

  • Works with the direct reports closely on program implementation issues

  • Recognizes and records performance of the direct reports

  • Provides coaching, mentoring and counselling to the direct reports as and when required.

  • Identifies professional development needs for the direct reports 

  • Assists HR in arranging appropriate staff development events.


Works closely with the Country Director 

  • Liaises with the Grants Support Manager and Country Finance Manager with regards to grants projects design/execution; and budgets respectively

  • Influences staff in Plan International and develop effective relationships with external bodies.



  • Functional Area Experience: Good knowledge and experience in policy analyses and formulation, rights-based and gender transformative programming, and influencing. Experience working and collaborating with diverse sets of stakeholders, such as local NGOs, government officials, donor representatives, local and international staff. 

  • Strategic thinking and innovation: Sets strong strategy in own team; makes an effective contribution to wider strategy, sees contribution of own team in wider Plan and external context, balances future vision with practical delivery; critically evaluates work effectiveness and searches for better ways of working. 

  • Striving for high performance: Strongly drives performance forward in policy and programming; involves others in setting and achieving goals; creates a strong sense of purpose within own team and with stakeholders.  

  • Decision making and risk management: Sound judgement and decision-making in complex situations; alerts others to risks inside and outside the organisation; willing to make judgements about managing risks and ready to take responsibility for such judgements.

  • Influencing and Communications: Effective communicator using clear messages drawn from Plan’s work; cross-culturally adept; ready to work to influence leaders in governments,  partners and communities; can reach out and influence large groups of people; effective communicator with children and young people.  

  • Building effective teams and partnerships:  Acting as a team player, even if this results in adjustment of own priorities; develops mutually trusting relationships with complex partnerships to deliver excellent programme/project outcomes.  

  • Developing people: Supports learning and a sense of mutual purpose in diverse teams; sets a strong learning culture; effective coach, adaptable to high performers and those in difficulty; uses opportunities across Plan to develop others. 

  • Self-awareness and resilience: Remains calm and positive under pressure and in difficult situations; aware of impact on others and adjusts own behaviour accordingly; has a positive impact on those around them; leads major change while keeping staff and partners on board. 

  • Language: English


  • At least Master’s degree in Development Studies, Social Sciences or any related area

  • Understands Plan’s work, and implements processes and practices that support 

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, including Word, PPT, Excel and Outlook.


Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Child Protection (CPP) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

Ensure staff understand Plan International’s commitment to driving a feminist agenda within the organisation, and the ambition for gender equality and gender transformative leadership is embedded in our value- based leadership framework.


We are open and accountable

  1. Promotes a culture of openness and transparency, including with sponsors and donors

  2. Holds self and others accountable to achieve the highest standards of integrity

  3. Consistent and fair in the treatment of people

  4. Open about mistakes and keen to learn from them

  5. Accountable for ensuring we are a safe organisation for all children, girls & young people.

We strive for lasting impact

  1. Articulates a clear purpose for staff and sets high expectations

  2. Creates a climate of continuous improvement, open to challenge and new ideas.

  3. Focuses resources to drive change and maximise long-term impact, responsive 

to changed priorities or crises

  1. Evidence-based and evaluates effectiveness.

We work well together

  1. Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate

  2. Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals

  3. Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities

  4. Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.

We are inclusive and empowering

  1. Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate

  2. Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals

  3. Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities

  4. Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.



Last date for submission of Application (CV and cover letter) is: 22nd July 2019 by 5:00 pm


Interested candidates need to send their updated CV (no more than 3 pages) and a cover letter (maximum 1 page) to on or before the closing date mentioned below. 


Subject line of submission mails will only bear the indication: Application for the Position of Programmes.  


Only short-listed candidates shall be contacted. References will be taken and background and anti-terrorism checks will be carried out in conformity with Plans Child Protection Policy. Plan follows an equal opportunity policy and actively encourages diversity welcoming applications from all especially women and people living with disability.


 This is an EXCLUSIVE job advert, reposting it on other job boards, on online or offline communication channels without the written consent of is strictly forbidden and may result in legal action!