As a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) in Afghanistan, the Deputy Country Director for Program Development and Quality (PDQ) is responsible for driving cross-functional engagement in the development and delivery of Country Strategy Plans (CSPs), developing annual plans and reporting on results. S/he is responsible for ensuring development and delivery of high quality, evidence-based, innovative programs for children, in all contexts, that contribute to Save the Children’s global Breakthroughs: Learn, Survive, Be Protected. The DCD for PDQ ensures that a robust monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) system is in place, that the country office engages in the collection and use of evidence and that this is shared across the global organization, and that reliable data is used for decision-making. One key aspect of the role is ensuring capability building, mentoring and coaching of technical specialists in order to support program quality in line with global standards and key performance indicators. As a senior leader in the country office s/he plays a representational role with the government, donors, partners, peer agencies, SC Members and others. The DCD for PDQ supports strategic positioning with donors and partners and leads on project design to ensure that the country office strategy can be delivered in line with child rights programming principles. S/he covers for CD absences.
KEY AREAS OF ACCOUNTABILITY :
Strategy, Planning and Reporting (15%)
- Lead the development/updating of the Child Rights Situation Analysis, including analysis of country context and taking into account child rights principles, ensuring participation and buy-in from all relevant staff, partners and other stakeholders as necessary
- Lead the SMT to develop/update and drive forward the Country Strategy Plan (CSP) that is in line with the global strategy, Ambition 2030, with child rights at the core of all programming and advocacy work.
- Provide leadership on development of the Country Annual Plan, monitoring of progress against the plan, and completion of accurate, on-time Country Annual Report of outcomes and impact for children, aligned with the Global Results Framework.
- Facilitate the development and pursuit of thematic and cross-cutting strategic priorities in line with the CSP, including gender equality and Save the Children’s Common Approaches, to guide current and future SC programming and Humanitarian Strategies.
- Support ownership and commitment to the Country Office strategy by all staff and departments through clear communication, regular feedback on progress and engagement of all functions in updates.
- Participate in global discussions and working groups to represent country office, and the voice of children, in strategy design and technical leadership.
- Support change processes and roll-out new ways of working to improve achievement of the CSP.
- Drive strategic thinking that is underpinned by thought leadership & Innovation.
- Support CD to provide leadership and direction for the country office to become a Learning Organization.
Program Design & Development (30%)
- Lead strategic resource mobilization
- Based on tracking provided by the Awards Management team, review and position for opportunities that will drive the CSP.
- In consultation with the Country Director and Members, ensure technical engagement with donors to pre-position and prepare for opportunities, and engage in strategic positioning work directly as appropriate.
- 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.
Program Quality and Program Technical Excellence (20%)
- Ensure the country program delivers high quality, multi-sectoral programming in both development and humanitarian contexts (as appropriate).
- Monitor and advance technical and operational quality of programmes, including conducting regular field visits to provide feedback on quality benchmarks, soliciting inputs for design of new programs and collecting ideas for innovation.
- Monitor program Key Performance Indicators and, in partnership with other functions, take steps to improve the quality programming platform to meet agreed upon standards.
- Work closely with the Director of Operations to ensure Quality Framework standards are met and procedures are followed throughout the project cycle and across the portfolio.
- Ensure technical experts proactively and regularly communicate planned requirements for program design, learning and implementation to relevant CO departments/functions.
- Build and lead a team of program technical experts needed to successfully deliver against the CSP. Ensure effective working relationships with SC global, Member and regional technical advisors, procuring technical support as needed to support program and advocacy efforts, including during Emergencies.
- Ensure that program technical experts engage in larger communities of practice within and external to Save the Children, 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
- Ensure that the different technical sectors of the Country Office are coordinated, integrated and support each other to optimize programs and projects.
- Ensure that child safeguarding and safe programming is embedded in program design and considered throughout implementation to ensure that we do all we can to ensure children in our programs are safe, in line with our child safeguarding policy.
Research, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, Learning - and Knowledge Management (15%)
- Oversee a monitoring system that provides timely and accurate project results by embedding MEAL across program implementation. This requires ensuring effective collaboration across MEAL staff, Technical Specialists, Technical Advisors and program implementation teams to develop logframes, indicators, implementation plans, quality benchmarks, monitoring and evaluation frameworks and related tools.
- Lead programme quality improvements by monitoring and improving Programme KPI performance, including resourcing and conducting high-quality evaluations to demonstrate outcomes and impact and ensuring that accountability mechanisms are in place for all projects so that identified actions are resolved, with critical issues escalated to senior management.
- Ensure the research, evaluation and policy work of the Country Office contributes to generation of evidence for development and improvement of Common Approaches, sound decision making and policy influencing internally and externally.
- Establish effective program learning and knowledge management systems to support adaptive programming and innovation that improves outcomes for children.
- Play a leading role in identifying nurturing and strengthening strategic partnerships with local and international civil society organizations, NGOs, governments etc., in advancing the country and global strategy to inspire our three breakthroughs for the most deprived and marginalised children.
- As appropriate to the country context, provide technical support and capability building to implementing and strategic partners.
Staff Management, Mentorship, and Development (10%)
- Ensure appropriate staffing of Program Development and Quality team, and engagement of additional technical support when needed to deliver quality project design and delivery.
- Ensure that all PDQ staff understand and are able to perform their role in delivering first-class, quality programs for children in both development and emergency contexts through effective onboarding and clear workplans.
- Manage individual and team performance using principles of leadership agility, and Save the Children’s performance management system.
- Ensure that staff proactively build and maintain technical, managerial and leadership skills, including competencies in child rights programming, child safeguarding and Common Approaches, providing coaching opportunities when needed.
Risk Management at Organizational and Project Level (5%)
- Proactively participate in the identification of risks for the organization, its beneficiaries and its staff including reputational, physical and monetary risks with a specific focus on the area of Program Development and Quality
- Identify, implement and follow up specific mitigation measures for the risks identified under the Program Development and Quality area
- Proactively engage and discuss with the staff and provincial teams to raise awareness of risks related to Program Development and Quality areas and what mitigations can be done
- Bi-monthly update of the Risk Management Plan for areas under the supervision of Program Development and Quality
- If required, be part of or participate in the SCI Afghanistan Risk Management Committee
- Report any newly identified risks immediately to the Country Director or the Regional Director (in case of CD)
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
- Master’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree, and experience in relevant social science (especially in Child Development or Community Development), human rights, development studies, NGO management or equivalent fields.
- A minimum of seven years of progressive senior management and/ or development experience, including experience designing and implementing programs for children.
- Experience in one or more of Save the Children's thematic sectors: education, child protection, child rights governance, health and nutrition, child poverty, emergencies.
- Understanding of advocacy, policy, and government systems in the host country, and particular experience with child rights programming, including UNCRC.
- Strong skills and proven experience in leading strategic planning, change management and program management processes; also from the knowledge and learning perspective.
- Strong skills and proven experience in new program development, project design and proposal writing with corporate, foundations and/or institutional donors.
- Credibility to lobby, influence and represent Save the Children at all levels.
- Experience in developing and managing monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning systems.
- Excellent listening, inter-personal, communication and networking skills; proven experience and effectiveness working across functional teams and in a matrixed structure; and an ability to work with diverse populations.
- Skills in training, capability building, coaching, mentorship, problem solving, and project cycle management.
- High level of self-awareness and willingness to take feedback for growth and self-development.
- Proven experience as a team player and leader in an international organisation.
Please apply using a cover letter and up-to-date CV as a single document. Please also include details of your current remuneration and salary expectations. A copy of the full role profile can be found at www.savethechildren.net/careers
Closing Date for Application: 31 July 2022
We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse. All employees are expected to carry out their duties in accordance with our global anti-harassment policy.