Head of Program Implementation at Save the Children Nigeria

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in over 120 countries. We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfil their potential. Save the Children is working in Nigeria because one in five children in Nigeria dies before their fifth birthday. About 40% of children miss out on school and have to work to survive while nearly 2 million children have lost one or both parents to an AIDS-related disease.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Head of Program Implementation

Job ID: 22000284
Location: Maiduguri, Borno state, Northeast Nigeria with frequent travel to remote and insecure locations. Provides technical supports to teams in Yobe and Adamawa
Grade: NAT2 / INT3
Employee Status: Fixed Term
Contract Length: 12 months
Post Type: National
Reports to: Deputy Director Programme Operations – Humanitarian (DDPO – Humanitarian)
Staff directly reporting to this post: 5 Sector Managers, Awards Manager, Programme Operations Coordinator, Gender Coordinator, ACCM Manager, Community Mobilization Coordinator
Indirectly: Projects’ teams

Child Safeguarding

  • Level 3 – The responsibilities of this post may require the post holder to have regular contact with children and young people. In the overseas context, all posts are considered level 3.
  • As part of these responsibilities the post holder will support the establishment of child safeguarding systems, promote a culture of keeping children safe, and ensure that potential harm to children (by our own staff and/or as a result of how we do our work) is identified and addressed on an ongoing basis.
  • The post holder should report and respond to interventions as determined by position related responsibilities identified in the Child Safeguarding Policy.


  • Save the Children International is a ‘dual mandate’ organisation and as such equal priority will be given to both humanitarian and development work.
  • This is the only way we will be able to ensure that some of the fundamental rights that we believe children have, such as survival, safety and constant access to protection and education can be guaranteed.
  • As part of a commitment to work with children through humanitarian interventions, Save the Children will support programmes in both sudden onset and chronic emergencies.
  • Save the Children in Nigeria has experienced a rapid scale up of its humanitarian response over the past two years.
  • The response is focused on the northeast of Nigeria, which experienced a massive humanitarian crisis due to the insurgency and counter-insurgency operations.
  • Save the Children humanitarian response in the northeast focuses on sectors like FSL, Nutrition, Education, WASH and Child Protection.


  • The HOPI is responsible for the direct oversight and overall management of SC’s humanitarian projects in northeast Nigeria.
  • The HOPI supports the Deputy Director Programme Operations (Humanitarian) and the Director Programme Operations by providing information on the progress of the programmatic interventions, providing direction to individual Sector Managers on their projects and ensuring a multi-sectoral and/or integrated approach across programmes where feasible.
  • The HOPI’s role includes supporting the Deputy Director Programme Operations (Humanitarian) and the Director Programme Operations to identify needs and resources and elaborating programme recommendations for the emergency response in line with Save the Children Nigeria SMT and regional response priorities.
  • The post-holder will take part in developing the response strategy and identification of the necessary resources for the response.
  • In coordination with the PDQ Team (TAs), the HOPI will support Sector Managers to incorporate the relevant thematic advisory to provide appropriate design, training and MEAL functions for programming in Northeast Nigeria.
  • The HOPI will establish working relations with other agencies, looking for opportunities for partnership and harmonisation of approach and with donors to ensure resources are made available to the response.
  • The HOPI will negotiate the positioning of the humanitarian response within the Country Programme and support the Deputy Director Programme Operations (Humanitarian) and the Director Programme Operations to ensure the suitable resourcing of the response, manage programmes or country support functions, negotiate, and network at an international level.
  • They will ensure that all relevant Save the Children policies and procedures with respect to child safeguarding, safety and security, code of conduct, equal opportunities and other relevant policies are in place.
  • The post holder will play a strategic role in defining the effective scale up and management of Save the Children emergency programme to maximise impact and enable positive change for children.

Main Responsibilities
Programme Support:

  • In collaboration with the Deputy Director Programme Operations (Humanitarian), assume overall oversight of the programmatic side of the SC Nigeria humanitarian response in Borno.
  • Ensure the large number of multiple grants (across the 5 sectors), contribute to the achievement of the response strategy ensuring strict compliance of programme activities with Save the Children national and global policies and procedures and with relevant donor regulations and agreements, SPHERE guidelines and the NGO code of conduct.
  • Ensure the integration of other sectors to strengthen the quality and geographical coverage of the humanitarian response to include new areas of need and additional sectors like early recovery/resilience
  • Take overall leadership and oversight on the management of response budgets of over US$ 34 million of annual budget, keeping relevant stakeholders informed and ensuring any corrective actions are taken to meet donor guidelines
  • Review all donor project reports as per the reporting matrix and work with the respective Sector Managers to finalize drafts at field level before submitting to CO and SC Member
  • Ensure all donor project reports meet the respective donors’ guidelines
  • Support on the revision of the response master budget for the Nigerian response, based on direction from the Deputy Director Programme Operations (Humanitarian).
  • In coordination with the Sector Managers, TAs and the Awards team, ensure the preparation of timely programme and donor reports on project activities in compliance with internal SC requirements and any relevant external donor requirements.
  • Work with the Sector Managers and TAs to develop scaling up plans for programming, based on existing Nigerian experience and the experience during the early months of the response
  • Establish project monitoring plans and systems for identifying and tracking the indicators and develop processes/procedures and forms to support monitoring and inform learning.
  • Through embedding direct and remote processes into each sector programme design, ensure strong accountability to beneficiaries
  • Perform other tasks as outlined by the line manager

Capacity Building:

  • Coach and train Sector Managers on PCM/PMM to ensure coherent project management
  • Ensure that all programme designs and budgets sufficiently incorporate pre-deployment training requirements and capacity building plans and performance management systems are in place.
  • Ensure training plans include capability statements and measuring systems to allow the development of the requisite competencies in staff at each level to ensure timely delivery of a quality of response
  • Coach and mentor international and national staff and partners and link in to wider organisational talent development mechanisms.

Representation & Advocacy & Organisational Learning:

  • Represent Save the Children’s emergency response 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.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Education: MA / MSc level (or equivalent field experience)
  • Substantial management experience (i.e., at least 5 years) in a humanitarian setting including significant field operations experience in both emergency and development programmes
  • Robust experience of emergency programme cycle management, and with experience of working within a complex organisation structure
  • Experience in international humanitarian systems, institutions, and donors, and of procedures, accountability frameworks and best practices in emergency management
  • Middle or senior management experience of multi-national, multi-sector team.
  • Experience of managing multi-donor, multi-site programmes (including ECHO, DFID and BHA) of USD 10m+ in a first phase response at regional or country level
  • 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
  • Award management and experience. Good understanding of donors ‘requirement
  • 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
  • Proven reporting and communication skills
  • A high level of written and spoken English
  • The capacity and willingness to be extremely flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes insecure working circumstances.
  • Commitment to the aims and principles of SC. A good understanding of the SC mandate and child focus and an ability to ensure this continues to underpin our support


  • Previous experience in northeast Nigeria or the Lake Chad basin
  • Previous experience with Save the Children.

Core Behaviours:
Understanding humanitarian contexts and application of humanitarian principles:

  • Demonstrates strategic leadership in disaster coordination mechanisms and interagency cooperation
  • Applies humanitarian principles to complex situations to generate both short and long-term organisational and sector-wide strategies

Achieving results effectively:

  • Leads strategically on accountability initiatives, ensuring accountability processes are in place and achieving results
  • Builds consensus and ownership around difficult decisions and/or complex courses of action
  • Maintains focus on strategic issues and overall organisational and sector-wide impact.

Maintaining and developing collaborative relationships:

  • Quickly builds and leads high performing teams
  • Applies distributed leadership amongst a team
  • Shares success whilst being accountable for difficult outcomes

Operating safely and securely:

  • Monitors security risks and ensures organisational protocols are consistently followed by staff
  • Takes appropriate action and provides appropriate direction and support to team members in the event of a critical incident
  • Reduces vulnerability by complying with safety and security protocols set by the organisation.

Managing yourself in a pressured and changing environment:

  • Ensures that wider team remains positive and focussed on the objectives and goals in a rapidly changing environment
  • Able to proactively build & maintain levels of resilience in others
  • Adapts leadership approach to the situation
  • Communicates humanitarian values and motivates others towards them
  • Maintains simultaneously a broad strategic perspective and awareness of the detail of a situation
  • Demonstrates personal integrity by using one’s position responsibly and fairly.

Leadership: Action; Thinking; Self; Inspiring; Developing Others:

  • Removes obstacles to ensure strategic objectives are met
  • Aligns ideas and solutions to strategic imperatives
  • Uses global networks to influence strategy or action
  • Demonstrates managerial courage by willingness to confront difficult situations, take potentially unpopular decisions and communicate clearly to create consensus notwithstanding difference
  • Creates a team environment where team members feel able to contribute, champion or challenge decisions
  • Continual efforts at self improvement in evidence
  • Creates and communicates a compelling vision which inspires others
  • Ensures processes are in place across the team to strengthen the capacity of staff and partners in line with individual and organisational objectives.

Deadline: 31st March, 2022.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Applicants are advised that Save the Children International does not require any payment or expense during the entire recruitment process. Any request in this direction should be immediately reported as it is contrary to the values and practices of our organization.
  • Due to the volume of applications received, Save the Children may not provide feedback to all applicants. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
  • Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as applications will be reviewed as received.
  • Save the Children reserves the right to change the closing date, if considered necessary.


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