Director of Program Development and Quality at Save the Children Nigeria

Finance Assistant - AP Shared Services at Save the Children

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 of:

Job Title: Director of Program Development and Quality

Ref No: 220004ZR
Location: Abuja, with regular travel to field sites
Employee Status: Fixed Term
Contract Length: 3 years
Team / Programme: Senior Management Team, Nigeria
Reports to: Country Director
Grade: INT 3 / NAT 1

Child Safeguarding

  • Level 3: The role holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight) because they work in country programs; or are visiting country programs; ore because they are responsible for implementing the police checking/vetting process staff.

Role Purpose

  • As a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) in Nigeria, the DPDQ is responsible for driving the country office strategic plan and theory of change.
  • They are also responsible for ensuring strategic development of high quality, evidence based, innovative full spectrum programs that deliver immediate and lasting change for children and contribute to Save the Children’s global Breakthroughs: Learn, Survive, Be Protected.
  • One of key aspects of the role is ensuring capacity building, mentoring and coaching of technical advisors in order to build a strong PDQ department.

Scope of the Role:

  • Staff directly reporting to this post: Head of Business Development, Head of MEAL, Head of Education, Cash Voucher Assistance Advisor, Head of Health and Nutrition, Child Protection Advisor, Food Security and Livelihoods Advisor, Gender Advisor, Sr. Disability Advisor (40%)
  • Role Dimensions: The DPDQ plays a key role in defining and pursuing the strategic direction for Save the Children’s programs in Nigeria, ensuring the relevance, strategic coherence, and impact of our programs for children in all contexts.
  • This is a challenging role in a complex environment requiring a dedicated, experienced and highly motivated individual who can operate in a high profile environment.
  • S/he has specific oversight for strategy and program development in all contexts, and ensuring that programs demonstrate thematic excellence in contributing to Save the Children’s three priority breakthroughs for children: no child dies from preventable causes before their fifth birthday; all children learn from a quality basic education; and violence against children is no longer tolerated.
  • The DPDQ works with thematic specialists and advisors to develop evidence-based strategies, programs and projects and to strengthen program integration.
  • S/he takes a lead in establishing systems for program monitoring, quality improvement, accountability, evaluation and learning, and in ensuring that learning and results are captured, shared and used to inform programs.
  • As a senior leader in the country office s/he plays a representational role with the government, donors, partners and others.
  • The DPDQ has the responsibility to build the capacity of, mentor and coach SC teams and individual staff in areas related to PDQ, ensuring the development of a strong national team. S/he works closely with PDQ and thematic leaders from across Save the Children to facilitate strategic alignment and to maximize synergies.

Key Areas of Accountability
Strategy and Planning:

  • Provide leadership, strategic vision, coherence and direction to the country program as a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT)
  • Lead on the SMT to drive forward the Country Strategic Plans (CSP) by coordinating input for the development and review of CSP’s across departments
  • Facilitate the development and pursuit of thematic, cross-cutting strategic priorities and Gender Equality Policy to guide current and future SC programming.
  • Position SC as the leading organization for children’s issues in the country, with child rights at the core of all programming and advocacy work
  • Lead the development/updating of the Country Program Strategies and Country Annual Plans and Reports
  • Support development of cross-team coordination mechanisms to ensure effective collaboration and integration across key programs (e.g. program operations, advocacy) and related departments (e.g. awards, local fundraising).

Ensuring evidence based programme and project design:

  • Ensure that the country office has high quality, cost-effective and evidence based multi-sector programs reflecting SC’s global initiatives and theory of change
  • Ensure programmes in the design process have a strong evidence base resulting from learning via needs assessments and situational analyses
  • Ensure all thematic strategies include key global indicators to guide programme development, and holistic needs of children and communities are considered
  • Balance needs/requests of SC members, donors and external partners to ensure quality results in programming
  • Ensure that relevant technical and other teams receive regular timely and quality programme inputs to help guide their strategies and promote effective cross-thematic collaboration
  • Ensure discussion on innovation, policy making and bringing in external stakeholders to foster innovation
  • Introduce innovative approaches to secure flexible funding and turn ineffective programmes into effective programmes with a focus on improving programme quality

Program Development:

  • Oversee strategic resource mobilization
  • In consultation with the CD and Members, ensure technical engagement with donors to pre-position and prepare for opportunities, and engage in strategic positioning work directly as appropriate
  • Represent Save the Children and network with government authorities, donors, partners and other stakeholders to promote SC objectives and build relationships to facilitate success of our projects
  • Play a leading role in designing innovative and high impact programmes/projects and proposals, including:
    • Engaging with technical experts as needed to ensure high quality, evidence-based designs that draw on needs assessments, learning from past programs and child safeguarding principles;
    • Ensuring partners are identified and appropriately engaged in program design, linking with Operations and Awards teams as need be for assessments, especially to strengthen gender sensitivity at design stage;
    • Ensuring proposal designs and their budgets include robust MEAL plans that are aligned with the Global Results Framework (and therefore advance towards our Breakthroughs), incorporate Common Approaches as relevant, and build in critical learning questions.
    • Ensuring the project budget will enable the project to be delivered as designed.
    • Incorporating child and community participation into design, as relevant.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, Learning (MEAL) and Knowledge Management:

  • Ensure high quality evaluations are conducted to demonstrate outcomes and impact and accountability mechanisms are in place for all projects with a focus on knowledge management
  • Ensure regular data collection and meaningful analyses, establishment of accountability and learning mechanisms, with regular dissemination of strategic information to SMT and other relevant staff to drive learning and improve program quality
  • Ensure effective collaboration between MEAL staff, technical advisors and thematic specialists in the development of sector log frames, indicators, implementation plans, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks and related tools
  • Develop key research questions with technical experts and ensure evidence generation in programmes with a focus on learning and recommendations from those programmes
  • Support capacity development of MEAL staff, maximizing their role as trainers and facilitators of quality standards in project design, monitoring and evaluation for the country office and hold team accountable for development and use of quality benchmarks
  • Participate in project kick-offs for significant awards to ensure effective strategic direction and project close-outs to gather learning and share results

Thematic Expertise, capacity building and quality assurance:

  • Monitor and advance technical and operational quality of field programmes across all themes and accountable for results and sustainability of programme outcomes
  • Ensure effective working relationships with SC global and regional technical advisors, procuring technical support as needed to support program and advocacy efforts
  • Ensure relevant technical support is provided promptly, at scale and in line with humanitarian principles and standards during emergencies.
  • Ensure the development of regular thematic working groups, and facilitate cross-thematic learning
  • Support capacity development of thematic advisors, maximizing their role as technical support providers to field teams and local project partners
  • Ensure that Technical Advisors engage in larger communities of practice to link with the most relevant and evidence-based approaches and conduct timely and useful review of project reports to support quality reporting for Members and donors
  • Integrate and mainstream SC programmes from different country offices to develop a holistic approach in achieving SC breakthroughs

Senior leadership function:

  • Support the development of an organisational culture that reflects SC’s full spectrum mandate and values, promotes accountability and high performance, encourages a cross -team culture of learning, creativity and innovation in a productive work environment, and frees up people to deliver outstanding results for children and excellent service for our members and donors
  • Ensure Country Office complies with the SC Quality Framework Essential Standards and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS)
  • Interface with Members to effectively execute strategy and build effective donor relationships

Staff Management, Mentorship, and Development:

  • Ensure appropriate staffing within PDQ team and the sub office staff and ensure all staff understand and are able to perform their role
  • Manage PDQ team; define expectations, provide leadership and technical support as needed, evaluate reports regularly
  • Ensure the recruitment, training, and promotion of staff is appropriate and ensure availability of appropriate professional development opportunities for staff. Incorporate staff development strategies and Performance Management Systems into team building process.
  • Work closely with the Human Resources team, provide recommendations on key technical competencies and related capacity building support and training for program staff as appropriate.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in relevant Social Science, Human Rights, Development Studies, NGO management or equivalent fields.
  • A minimum of ten (10) ears of progressive senior management and/or development experience in a corporate or an NGO environment, including experience directing and implementing programs for children.
  • Experience in one of Save the Children’s thematic sectors: education, child protection, child rights governance, health and nutrition, child poverty, emergencies, social protection, climate resilience.
  • Knowledge of New Business Development, members and donors and their environments.
  • Credibility to lobby, influence and represent Save the Children at all levels
  • Experience working with high level government agencies and academics on issues related to children.
  • Strong skills and proven experience in new program development, project design, and donor proposal design with corporate, foundations and institutional donors.
  • Strong skills and proven experience in leading strategic planning, change management and program management processes; also from the knowledge and learning perspective.
  • Developing and managing monitoring, evaluation and learning systems
  • Excellent listening, inter-personal, communication and networking skills; and an ability to work with diversified populations
  • Skills such as training, capacity building, coaching, mentorship, problem solving, and analytical and an understanding of project cycle management and coordination.
  • High level of self-awareness and willingness to take criticism as an opportunity for growth and self-development
  • Ability to research, write and represent well, manage time, multi-task and delegate tasks.
  • English skills required.

Skills and Behaviours

  • Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved


  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves (and their team), takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages others to do the same
  • Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically


  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, members and external partners and supporters
  • Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to


  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • Willing to take disciplined risks


  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency.

Application Closing Date
30th September, 2022.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


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