Head of Programme Operations

at Plan International Ethiopia
Location Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date Posted August 31, 2020
Category Business Development
Facility Management
Social Sciences
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB


Plan International is a rights-based development and humanitarian organization working for better lives for all children. We are independent of government and have no political or religious affiliation. Our purpose is to strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries. Plan International Ethiopia's main purpose is to seek Gender Justice for Girls, Adolescent Girls, and Young Women. We aim to help create an enabling environment where girls, adolescent girls, and young women are safe, valued, equally cared for, and have equal opportunities. PIE will contribute to the global strategy by aiming to reach directly 2.1 million Girls, Adolescent Girls and Young Women over the period of the strategy 2020-2024 and to reach an additional 6.3 million beneficiaries through its interventions. The Head of Program Operations will provide strategic oversight of programme design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The Head of Program Operations will work together with the Head of Program quality to ensure the development & delivery of quality and integrated programming in line with the Country Strategy, as well as organizational standards, frameworks, and procedures. The Head of Program Operations will provide external representation and recognition of Plan International Ethiopia with government, peer partners, donors and key stakeholders for collaborative working relationships to position PIE as a global leader in achievement of girls’ rights. Plan International Ethiopia is looking for Head of Programme Operations  who will be reporting to the Programme Director.

management scope, reporting lines, key relationships

Direct reports –

Reporting to the Programme Director, the Head of Program Operations overseas more the implementation of the overall development programme and management of all risks associated with the programme delivery, including budget, context, talent and people management and legal compliance. The Head of Program operations provides strategic direction and close oversight of the delivery of the Country Strategy. He/she is required to work collaboratively with the Senior Management Team to ensure the delivery of programmes.

This position will lead the Program Operations department to ensure that Plan’s management standards are applied in all aspects of the programmes including providing oversight of relationship with partners,  donors and other Plan’s National Offices. S/he will periodically review project goals, strategies and priorities with local partners and programme staff to ensure proper alignment with the project and organizational goals. The incumbent is also responsible for PIEs Sponsorship programming, and needs to ensure timely and quality production of sponsorship communications and implementation of the sponsorship commitments.

The Head of Program Operations supervises the Sponsorship Manager, Thematic Sector leads for Child Protection, ECD and YEE, Education and WASH. S/he also manages all Programme Managers/Coordinators at CO level. The post holder is responsible to provide support and technical guidance in the management of the respective teams of his/her direct reports, to ensure high level performance.

S/he will have a close collaboration with the head of disaster preparedness, response & resilience and head of refugee & migration to will foster the nexus between humanitarian and development programmes. Furthermore, s/he will have a matrix management responsibility with the Head of Program Quality (HPQ) and the team under  HPQ

He/she will have a functional reporting line to the Humanitarian Director.


Key relationships


Country Leadership/Management Team members

Close working relationship with Head of Program Quality and Humanitarian Director

Internal technical networks as relevant

Global and Regional functional and thematic leads

Functional departments Heads at PIE

Plan Inc. National Organizations

Plan Inc. Liaison Offices


National and Local authorities

Partner organisations

Civil society organizations

Youth and youth organisations

Other INGOs

Donors and foreign missions

Level of contact with children

Mid contact: Occasional interaction with children

Physical Environment

·         Typical Office environment with 30% travel in PIE’s programming areas.

Accountabilities and MAIN WORK ACTIVITIES

Strategic leadership in Operations Management (%)

Provide strategic oversight in the delivery of the Country Strategy through contribution to the design, management and implementation of development programmes that are gender transformative.

Lead the development and evolution of the Country development programmes within the overarching Country Strategy and their subsequent operationalisation.

Model our value-based leadership framework underpinned by our feminist leadership principles.

Oversee development, review and submission of annual plans and quarterly reporting.

Build and oversee managerial accountability with particular attention to development programme design, planning, programme delivery, monitoring, evaluations and research.

Foster humanitarian, development nexus approaches in collaboration with the humanitarian department mainly - head of disaster preparedness, response & resilience and head of refugee & migration. .

Ensure the quality of development programme is in line with plan international global quality standards, sustainable development goal and government sectoral plans.

Coordinate with the relevant departments at all levels during programme design, implementation and monitoring.

Ensure relevant policies in particular gender equality, child & youth safeguarding are embedded in the programme design.

Actively participate in review and planning meetings with implementing partners

Ensure Sponsorship KPI’s are met and follow of the implementation of sponsorship program and be the liaison for all NO Communication.

Procedures, process and applications support (%)

Oversee the in-country rollout of corporate systems and applications including relevant ERP/SAP modules, and other corporate applications;

Oversee the rollout, including staff training, of global operational policies and procedures in the country;

Provide strategic oversight in the development and implementation of up-to-date support services systems, policies, procedures and guidelines to support in-country operations and ensure compliance of Plan’s global standards and donor requirements.

Capacity building and People Management (%)

Socialize and nurture Plan Values and Behaviours.

Provide overall vision and direction to the Program Operations team in coordination, planning, prioritization, coaching and supervision.

Support staff to understand and comply with the organizational vision, mission, strategic direction and other organization policies.

Ensure that Program Operations department is operating as a high-performance team and have clear accountability lines (direct and matrix).

Create an enabling working environment across different department units to foster excellent teamwork and high performing staff.

Create a safe working place and ensure the safeguarding policy is upheld, and clearly understood – including reporting.

Oversee the delivery of effective capacity building support in key areas of programme management, finance management, logistics management and human resources management

Establish, communicate and monitor standards of performance and behaviours of the team through development of Individual Accountability Plans (IAP), and key performance indicators (KPI’s) that are agreed annually, and monitored and updated regularly.

Support team members to gain the necessary skills through learning and development

Lead the team in line with the Country HR Manual and other guidelines.

Engage in the performance management of functional subordinates by working closely with the functional subordinate’s line manager.


Financial Responsibility

Ensure timely implementation of grants and budgets. The creation of POs and closing of grants in SAP is done expeditiously.

Ensure that all grants have opening/launch and closeout workshops/meetings.

Ensure that all project expenditures are on time and according to the budget (within permissible variance limits) and to oversee and guide any budget reforecasting and reallocation exercises that are required

Financial delegation as per the authorization level.

Other responsibilities (%)

Liaison with stakeholders: liaise with and communicates with government bodies, donors, other Plan offices and local and international agencies stakeholders – as required and directed by the Programme Director.


Safeguarding Children and Young People (Safeguarding) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI)

Understands and puts into practice the responsibilities under Safeguarding and GEI policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), ensuring that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

Ensures that Programme staff are properly inducted on and understands their role in upholding Plan International’s safeguarding and GEI policies;

Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in project design, during implementation and as principles applied in day-to-day work of Programme team;

Ensures that Plan Ethiopia contributes to Plan International’s global efforts to ensure safeguarding and GEI, including making sure that relevant reporting and data are submitted.


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.


Setting and communicating ambitious but realistic work goals and priorities, explaining how these contribute to Plan International's purpose.

Setting high standards for self and others' behaviour, inside and outside work. Championing our values and commitment to rights, gender equality and safeguarding. Supporting the health, well-being and both physical and psychological safety of our staff, including their safety to speak out.

Holding self and others to account for what we have agreed, dealing with poor performance quickly, firmly and constructively.

Creating a positive team spirit, helping people work well together, to reflect and continuously improve the efficiency and quality of what we do.

Collaborating with team members, colleagues and partners in finding creative solutions to problems by sharing information, experience and ideas and actively seeking their input.

Motivating and developing others by taking an interest, giving constructive feedback and praise, ensuring they are properly trained and helping them develop their potential.

Positive about change and supporting others in adjusting to it, helping them understand.




Articulates the purpose, values, and global strategy to a range of audiences. Can explain how Plan International will deliver on its objectives through the theory of change and communicates the implications for their team.

Understands the purpose, lines of accountability and decision-making capacity for each structural element of the organisation. Helps their team to understand where they sit within the organisational structure.

Considerate of the political, economic, social and cultural climate of the local operating environment and the implications for our work and are aware of the local business environment, including financial, employment, and business laws.

Advanced knowledge of programmes according to Plan International’s financial management procedures, including: the grant agreement process, the cost recovery process, forecasting, cost allocation principles, apportioned costs and scheduling and monitoring of expenditure, reports against programmes and budgets in line with the Funding and Sponsorship Agreement Document (FAD) and (SPAD).

Understands digital enablers to improve team performance and working practices. Encourages digital behaviours through role modelling, the personal development processes and capability building. Uses digital and technological tools to support the management of risk, activities and resources, and people and information.

Job Requirements

Technical expertise, skills and knowledge

Qualifications/ experience essential:

A Master’s Degree in International development, social studies, International relations or similar field.

7 years of relevant experience in NGO Sector or demonstrated equivalent combination.

At least 5 years in managing development programmes in the INGO sector.

Proven experience in managing complex teams, including staff management and development.

Ability to communicate effectively and authoritatively on area of expertise, and influence others to reach common goals.

Proven experiences and ability to coordinate and collaborate with different organizations including the government and demonstrable working experience in development programme.

Demonstrated track record of proposal writing

Thorough knowledge of programming processes, systems and principles, and the ability to provide leadership and support to staff working at field level.

Comfortable with taking timely decisions in situations where information may be incomplete, based on consultation and sound judgement.

Numeracy and the ability to interpret financial data, in order to provide management support to budgetary processes including planning, monitoring and reporting.

Ability to communicate effectively and build high performance teams in support of achievement of organisational objectives.

Ability to interact and work effectively with others at all levels.

Good analytical and administrative skills.

Strong skills in facilitation and negotiation.

Strategic thinker

Team player


Languages required

Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.

Qualifications/ experience desirable:

Experience in child sponsorship operations and programming

Knowledge of key programme areas such as gender, child protection, education, livelihood and economic empowerment.

Knowledge of development and humanitarian issues affecting girls, adolescent girls and women is preferred.

Ability to influence without power


Gender Equality and Inclusion

In-depth knowledge of gender and inclusion and global/local development issues, with particular knowledge in girls’ rights and child rights, feminist movements, the key actors and institutions, and the power dynamics involved.

Mastery of key gender inequalities, gaps, barriers and opportunities at the national, regional and global level and gender and inclusion in programmes, and especially for children and girls.

Role model our values and behaviors both internally and externally.

Engages sensitively with community members on issues of gender equality and inclusion, demonstrating an understanding of the local culture and context.

Promotes equality, including gender equality, inclusion and girls’ empowerment in Plan’s work and in its work with partners.



Uses creativity to challenge the norm and promote innovation and thinks and acts for the wider organization – linking partnership opportunities with the context of the wider organizational strategy

Communicates effectively at a high level and with a range of appropriate styles for different audiencesTechnical Competency Framework: Influencing 2




Theoretical and practical understanding of social and gender norms and specific issues like early marriage, sexual exploitation & Abuse, Youth Economic empowerment, Early childhood development and quality & inclusive education. And other issues girls and women face throughout the life cycle. Feminist ideology, leadership and movements, gender socialization, patriarchy, privilege, power relations and the plurality of masculinities across developmental stages.

Understanding the nature, approaches and roles and responsibilities of actors, institutions and key movements relevant to our work and the interests of our Primary Impact Groups including understanding of how to strengthen and mobilise civil society.

Understanding the rationale for and practical implications of key programming and influencing principles including being rights-based, stimulating gender transformative change, using participatory approaches, working in partnership and being evidence-based

Understands different approaches to developing programme/project logic and measuring results and outcomes; and their benefits and implications.

Draws on appropriate international and national policies, data sources, networks and methods of inquiry (eg informant interviews, focus groups, intersectional data analysis)

Shaping strategy, policy, standards and plans, clearly aligned with our purpose, relevant needs and stakeholder interests.

Ensures that strategy, policy, standards and plans are based on rigorous internal and external evidence, including examples of effective practice.

Designing programmes with clear objectives and measurable results contributing to overall outcomes.

Ensuring that the appropriate human, financial and other resources, including the use of digital technology, are planned into proposed strategies and programme and project design.

Mainstreaming gender and inclusion into programming and influencing work by applying strategies for gender transformative change.

Using participatory approaches and the engagement of our Primary Impact Groups and other key actors and stakeholders throughout the programme and project cycle, including monitoring and evaluation.

Identifying, assessing and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships to engage with and influence key actors and stakeholders, including government, inter-governmental organisations, civil society, youth organisations and the private sector.

Using on-going project monitoring and assessment, lead the project teams to improve the quality of implementation and adapt project design.

Interpreting and contextualising data, assesses results and draws conclusions to inform programme and influence initiatives and clearly communicating the results of evaluation and lessons learned as appropriate.

Promote individual and organisational learning through systematic reflection processes, documentation, dissemination and knowledge management.

Adapting to local political frameworks and processes including in fragile contexts, conflict or political transitions and changes to national, regional human rights frameworks and mechanisms, and governance processes.

Open to feedback and willing to try new approaches for programme communications.

Understands Plan’s needs and behaves strategically.

Ability to work with minimum supervision.

Demonstrate behaviours that embrace Child-centeredness, Community participation and partnership.

Promotes creativity, innovation and learning.

Support learning, sharing & knowledge management


Applying Instructions

The closing date for the application is September 11, 2020. Qualified candidates should submit their application with the below link.


This position is only open to Ethiopian Nationals, who must be eligible to live and work in Ethiopia.

Please note that:

·         Applications and CVs written in English will be accepted and

·         Shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

·         Please note that we are not accepting CVs that are not sent through the indicated link.

Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert early.

More information about Plan International can be found on http:// plan-international.org

References will be taken and background and anti-terrorism checks will be carried out in conformity with Plans Child Protection Policy. Plan operates an equal opportunities policy and actively encourages diversity, welcoming applications from all persons meeting the skills and experience required.

As an international child centered community development organisation, Plan International is fully committed to promoting the realization of children's rights including their right to protection from violence and abuse. That means we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with.

Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. We must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk. Female applicants are highly encouraged to apply.

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