Head of Programming

Devex Candidate Sourcing
Apply by 19 March 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 26 February 2018

Job Description

Devex is assisting an international humanitarian agency that provides relief in emergency situations and helps people in the developing world break the cycle of poverty through community-based, sustainable development initiatives as well as Peacebuilding.

In line with the Agency’s 2014-2018 strategy, the primary role of the Head of Programming (HOP) is to provide leadership in the quality management of the programming portfolio. This includes the oversight of and technical support to program staff and partners, effective financial and budget management, and ensuring donor compliance and high program quality standards. The HOP will directly supervise at least six staff, including a Deputy Head of Programs (DHOP), and oversee gender-sensitive implementation of projects in education, agriculture, health, and humanitarian emergency response. The HOP will also work with the Business Development Coordinator on the development of new initiatives to further programmatic growth. S/he will promote healthy working relationships and collaboration with the Operations Department and will promote the organization’s commitment to gender sensitive and Do-No-Harm programming. As a member of the country program’s Senior Management Team (SMT), the HoP will actively contribute to the visionary and strategic leadership of the country program.


Program Quality:

  • Ensures project implementation plans are developed with staff and partners in a detailed and realistic manner.
  • Oversees high quality and timely reporting by Project Managers.
  • Ensures that all programming staff use the three ProPack volumes and agency MEAL standards for high quality program design and management, as well as accountability, learning, and innovation in key areas of both management and program quality.
  • Integrates and promotes information communication technology for development (ICT4D) initiatives into programming as appropriate.
  • Regularly travels to the field to visit projects and support further progress and regularly reviews progress against indicators.
  • Supports program and partner staff in ensuring effective monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning (MEAL) systems are in place for each project.
  • Ensures all programs and approaches are sensitive to the unique needs and situation of men, women, boys, and girls and promote gender equity.
  • Coaches staff in the use of integral human development (IHD), the justice lens, Do No Harm, and partnership principles to strengthen participatory, innovative and holistic development approaches.

Supervision and Staff Development:

  • Supervise Heads of Departments and a Deputy Head of Programs as listed under supervisory responsibilities, ensuring the use of performance and development plans, annual performance appraisals, regular coaching sessions, and the practicing of values based behaviors.
  • Promote and create a culture to ensure capacity building and further professional development opportunities for all program staff in appropriate fields.
  • Ensure all Program Managers are well versed in ProPack I, II and III/SMILER, Project Management Standards, and financial and budget management.
  • Conduct regular meetings with direct reports and other program staff for supervision, monitoring and coordination purposes.
  • Coach and assist staff in project design and proposal writing, in particular for publicly funded projects.
  • Mitigate risks by collaborating with the Finance Department to ensure that program staff fully understand financial and administrative processes involved in project budget cycles, including the review of partner liquidations, applicable donor regulations, and contract management.

Financial and Administrative Responsibilities:

  • Lead the development of the budgetary and programming aspects of Annual Program Plans under direct supervision and within the DHOP’s portfolio
  • Provide oversight and support to the DHOP and Heads of Departments to ensure strong budget management and ensure good stewardship of programming resources; oversee/ensure use of Project/Grant Tracking tool to monitor budgets, reporting and deadlines.
  • Ensure that partners reports follow applicable formats and are completed on time.
  • Collaborate with operations department to ensure that partner capacities are assessed before project implementation and updated regularly, and appropriate training is provided to fill identified gaps.
  • Approve release of resources (cash and/ or commodities) to partners/projects as per approved plans and agreements and reimbursement and/or liquidations of project expenditures.
  • In collaboration with the Finance Department, ensure timely closure of all grants.
  • Ensure programming compliance with all cooperative agreements and contracts.
  • Ensure proper follow-up of audit findings and recommendations at both program staff and partner level.

Build and Lead Effective Teams:

  • Ensure efficient departmental division of labor with the Deputy Head of Programs, transparent coordination mechanisms and regular and relevant information-sharing with staff.
  • Together with the Deputy Head of Programs, organize the programming team’s work around a shared vision and goals.
  • Ensure effective coordination and project implementation in a matrixed country program
  • Oversee regular program team meetings (including with key operations staff where appropriate) to address issues, ensure follow up, and promote cross-learning and collaboration.
  • Promote constructive integration between programming and operations staff.
  • Communicate regularly with staff and promote positive conflict resolution.
  • Support staff and local partners to build effective relationships founded on respect and trust.
  • Maintain a good level of communication with regional staff and Headquarters as appropriate.

Lead Programmatic Growth:

  • Identify program development opportunities and support strategic growth activities and opportunity capture planning led by in-country Business Development Coordinator and in collaboration with partners, CP staff, regional/HQ technical advisors and the Business Development Team.
  • Assess funding environment as well as strengths/opportunities and guides staff and partners in identifying and analyzing new opportunities.
  • Proactively identify and cultivate new partner and donor relationships, including potential private sector partners and consortia for new projects
  • Pilot and incorporate innovative practices into new or existing programs as appropriate.
  • Support the Business Development Coordinator in the mobilization of programming team resources for the preparation of evidence-based, holistic, quality project proposals.


  • Represent the organization in various fora including conferences, donor visit, meetings with church officials, other NGOs, government ministries, US government representatives and diplomatic missions in coordination with the Country Representative (CR).
  • Serve as Acting Country Representative as appropriate.


Deputy Head of Programs, Head of Health Department, Head of Emergencies Department, Head of MEAL Department, Ag Livelihoods Advisor, Program Quality Manager

Agency-wide Competencies:

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of the organization and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Serves with Integrity
  • Models Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning

Head of Programming Competencies:

These are rooted in the mission, values and guiding principles of the organization and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Builds and leads effective teams
  • Supervises and develops program staff
  • Focuses on quality
  • Leads Growth in programming

MEAL Competencies:

  • Design in MEAL
  • Monitoring
  • Evaluation
  • Accountability
  • Learning


Internal: The Country Representative, Business Development Specialist, Head of Operations, Heads of Offices Mopti and Timbuktu, Internal Auditor, Finance Manager, Human Resources Manager, Administration Manager, Deputy Regional Director for Program Quality, Regional Technical Advisors, as well as program quality support department staff in HQ.

External: Partner organization technical & management staff, universities, Caritas staff, USG mission, Government ministries, donors, and all relevant local and international technical institutions.


  • Master’s degree in International Development, Agriculture, Health, Social Sciences, or related discipline, or an equivalent university degree with extensive fieldwork experience
  • At least 5 years’ experience in development and emergency program management, preferably with the organization
  • At least 2 years’ experience working in an insecure, protracted complex humanitarian emergency environment
  • Proven in-depth knowledge of donor cash and in-kind policies and regulations from donors such as the Global Fund, European Union, USAID, and USDA commodity management and compliance regulations
  • Excellent organizational, planning and analytical skills; detail-oriented, adaptable, and flexible.
  • Experience in participatory program design/development and implementation (design, monitoring, evaluation & reporting), including activity and budget management
  • Knowledge of the organization’s policies, procedures, and standards preferred
  • Demonstrated capacity in establishing and maintaining strong working and representational relationships with partners, donors, government officials, international NGOs, local organizations, communities and other stakeholders
  • Familiarity with gender concepts and its application in program design and implementation;
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership in strategic planning initiatives.
  • Native fluency in oral and written English
  • Professional proficiency in French.
  • Willingness to travel up to 20% of the time
  • Experience in budget and financial management
  • Experience working in a multicultural team, possessing cultural sensitivity
  • Ability to multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Proficiency in computer applications (MS Word Excel)

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

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