Deputy Country Director-Operations, Niger

Niamey, Niger
Apply by 16 August 2018
Posted on 16 July 2018

Job Description

Country Program Overview:

HKI began working in Niger in 1987, and Niger has been HKI’s flagship program in vitamin A supplementation, significantly reducing vitamin A deficiency and child mortality. Currently, HKI assists the Government of Niger to improve health and nutrition practices and the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). HKI works with other key stakeholders including diverse government agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations and communities. HKI is working nationwide and in specific regions (e.g., Maradi, Zinder) with about 50 staff and an annual operating budget of approximately $2.5 million. HKI’s program in Niger is funded by various donors, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Hilton Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Functional Relationships

The Deputy CD reports directly to the Country Director (CD) and serves on the Country Management Team (CMT). The position directly supervises a team of professional level staff, including the Finance Manager who also serves on the CMT. S/he works closely with colleagues at all levels of the organization in HKI’s Africa regional and US, and may be called upon to participate in global working groups and/or steering committees.

HKI’s programs require close relations with governments, partner universities and NGOs, private industry, donors, and UN agencies and the Deputy will represent HKI at relevant external meetings.

HKI has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both the line management and authority within country office and regional hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of subject matter experts and multi-country program managers wherever they are located. Strong communication skills and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally, are essential to thrive within this structure.

Scope of the Position:

The Deputy Country Director – Operations supports the efficient implementation of program objectives and activities by ensuring sound management and optimal performance in all areas of financial and grants management, risk management, safety and security, office management, information technology, and human resource management in compliance with HKI and donor policies. This may include leading the screening of sub-grantees, development of sub-grant agreements, and monitoring of their financial performance.

The Deputy supports the CD to develop country office strategies and goals, and backs up the responsibilities of the CD. S/he ensures all aspects of finance and administration are fully integrated with the work of program teams to fulfill the HKI mission and the objectives established in grants. The Deputy CD contributes to securing funding for project activities in Niger as well as to organization-wide efforts to optimize systems and procedures.

The position is based in Niamey with periodic travel to field sites, as well as international travel for meetings and training.

Specific Responsibilities:

Overall Management and Leadership

  • Participate in strategic planning and direction setting for HKI-Niger and its programs, lending unique expertise to the process.
  • Identify operational challenges that affect the integrity of resource management.
  • Lead finance and operations teams in collaborative effort with program managers to ensure high-quality financial planning, management, reporting and auditing of all programs, including thorough budget preparation and oversight.
  • Participate in international work groups assigned to develop global policies and/or optimize systems and procedures.
  • Review and assess status of the country office policies, procedures and workflows, identify gaps or outdated policies and prioritize improvements.

Program Finance Management

  • Oversee and build the capacity of direct reports and their staff to support program staff in all aspects of finance, administrative, human resource and logistics management, ensuring knowledge of and adherence to applicable operational systems, donor requirements and country program strategy. Ensure:
    • integration between accounting and program teams;
    • timely submission of financial reports within established guidelines;
    • regular preparation, tracking and review of budgets by finance and program staff;
    • appropriate implementation and maintenance of internal controls;
    • support for annual internal and/or external audits, as required;
    • an efficient procurement process which responds to the needs of the grants;
    • compliance with HKI standards, policies and procedures, and processes across the program portfolio, including performance management; and
    • compliance with donor requirements, including timely and accurate reporting of results and expenditures, and required interim and final reports.
  • Where necessary ensure preventative and corrective action is taken.
  • Authorize expenditures for grant or contract allocations and ensure compliance with procedures required by grant or contract agreements.
  • Review, and recommend changes to improve the overall effectiveness of the program including program logistics and resource management systems in the field.
  • Develop and carry out mitigation plans to support and increase the capacity of local partners in program finance and administration.
  • Ensure financial compliance of all international and local partners and maintain effective working relationships with all stakeholders (donor, partners and local authorities).
  • Represent HKI at relevant national and local meetings with government officials, contractors, other NGOs, etc., reporting back as applicable to colleagues.

Office Operations

  • Liaise with regional and HQ IT staff to ensure implementation and on-going oversight and management of information systems operation, including network administration, hardware and application management, security, user support and administrative functions.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in global operations to ensure knowledge of and adherence with policies and procedures related to procurement, asset management, risk management, travel, fleet management, safety and security and other global aspects of office management.
    • Work with country office staff to customize and supervise implementation of global operations guidelines.
  • Ensure effective management of local office administration.
  • Serve as primary liaison to legal counsel, as assigned by CD.
  • Partner with CD to manage the safety and security of staff and respond promptly to emergent issues.

Human Resources and Team Management

  • Collaborate with country management team to hire and manage personnel in compliance with HKI policies and lead initiatives to develop staff capacity.
  • Ensure understanding and compliance with host country labor and tax laws, and with internal HR policies and procedures.
  • Consult with Regional HR Manager to ensure coherence with HKI policies and practices as regards compensation, performance management, recruitment, training & development, etc.
  • Mentor, supervise and evaluate direct reports and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
  • Consult with and guide staff to achieve goals and ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.


  • Minimum seven years working in management of development programs for an international organization (five in a management position) plus;
  • Masters’ degree or equivalent in development, program management, international development or other relevant field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience with INGO reporting, financial management, procurement, and project management including demonstrated ability to develop and monitor budgets, and collaboratively manage operational activities of complex programs including sub-grant management.
  • Experience in managing USAID projects and familiarity with USAID policies and regulations.
  • Substantial experience with a variety of other donors such as Canada, European Commission, United Nations agencies and private foundations, a plus.
  • Experience in dealing with a diverse group of stakeholders representing government, civil society, international organizations, community and political leaders, and others.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to exercise diplomacy and tact as demonstrated in previous roles that required communication with a broad and diverse set of partners.
  • Experience directing IT and HR administrative activities in a similar program.
  • Excellent capacity building, team building/management, and coordination skills. An ability to ability to delegate responsibilities effectively and coach and mentor junior staff.
  • Excellent oral and written English and French language skills, including the ability to clearly communicate complex financial, compliance and operational issues into layperson language.
  • Excellent analytical and self-motivation skills; excellent advocacy and persuasion skills; able to think critically.
  • An ability to work in challenging and changing environments, and to see through challenges to find solutions
  • An ability to maintain balance when under stress.
  • Computer literate and proficient with automated and integrated accounting packages,
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards.
  • Ability and willingness to travel within the country to project sites.

The initial contract is for two years with possibility of renewal.

To Apply:

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to noting the job title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Helen Keller International is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

About the Organization

Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. We combat the causes and consequences of preventable blindness, malnutrition and diseases of poverty with more than 120 programs in 20 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States. Renowned for its reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, Helen Keller International promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health. We deliver scientific rigor and effectively leverage donor dollars with our hallmark characteristics of grit, compassion and integrity. If you share these characteristics, we invite you to apply to open positions at Helen Keller International.

More information

HKI Job Announcement - Deputy Country Director-Operations Niger.pdf

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