Director of Program Development and Quality

  • Added Date: Friday, 03 July 2020
  • Deadline Date: Thursday, 16 July 2020

As a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) in Iraq, the Director of 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 Childrenโ€™s global Breakthroughs: Learn, Survive, Be Protected. The Director of 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 Director of PDQ supports strategic positioning with donors and partners and leads on project design to ensure that the Country Office (CO) strategy can be delivered in line with child rights programming principles.


Reports to: Country Director

Staff directly reporting to this post:
MEAL Manager, Technical Specialists (education; child protection and youth; food security and livelihoods; water, sanitation and hygiene; MHPSS), Business Development Manager, Education Cluster Coordinator and Child Protection Sub-Cluster Co-Coordinator.

Role Dimensions:
As one of the members of the Senior Management Team (SMT) of the Country Office, the Director of Program Development and Quality (PDQ) must demonstrate the qualities of agile leadership. S/he plays a key role in defining and pursuing the strategic direction for Save the Childrenโ€™s programs in Iraq, ensuring the relevance, coherence, safety and impact of our programs for children in all contexts. This is a challenging role requiring an individual who can work with complexity and multiple tasks at one time. It is essential that the Director of Program Development and Quality builds and maintains strong relationships across functions within the CO, including with team members from Operations, Award Management, Advocacy and Finance, and s/he should lead by example in demonstrating this cross-functional collaboration. This role demands dedication to demonstrating outcomes for children, experience in integrated child rights programming and a highly moti vated leader. S/he has specific oversight for ensuring that programs demonstrate thematic excellence in contributing to Save the Childrenโ€™s three Breakthroughs for children, especially for the most deprived and marginalized: 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


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, disability and inclusion 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 policy development.
* Support change processes and roll-out new ways of working to improve achievement of the CSP.

Program Design & Development (40%)
* Based on tracking provided by the Business Development Manager, review and position for opportunities that will drive the CSP, including regular donor engagement.
* 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 proposals, including:
(a) 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;
(b) 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;
(c) 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.
(d) Working with the finance and operations teams to ensure the project budget will enable the project to be delivered as designed.
(e) 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 development, humanitarian and nexus contexts (as appropriate).
(a) 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.
(b) Monitor program Key Performance Indicators and, in partnership with other functions, take steps to improve the quality programming platform to meet agreed upon standards.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(a) 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
(b) Ensure that the different technical sectors of the Country Office are coordinated, integrated and support each other to optimize programs and projects.
(c) 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.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, Learning (MEAL) and Knowledge management (10%)
* 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, member Technical Advisors and program implementation teams to develop logframes, indicators, implementation plans, quality benchmarks, M&E 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.

Partnership (5%)
* Play a leading role in identifying nurturing and strengthening strategic partnerships with local and international civil society organizations, NGOs, governments and clusters etc., in advancing the country and global strategy to inspire our three breakthroughs for the most deprived and marginalised children.
* Champion the localisation and partnership agenda to grow Save the Childrenโ€™s work through and with partners, and provide technical support and capability building to implementing and strategic partners.

Leadership, Staff Management, Mentorship, and Development (10%)
* Ensure appropriate resourcing and 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 nexus contexts through effective onboarding and clear workplans.
* Manage individual and team performance using principles of leadership agility, and Save the Childrenโ€™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.
* Contribute to a high performing Senior Management Team to ensure outstanding country office leadership


* 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, within their team and across other functional teams, as well as 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
* Willing and able to comply to policies regarding fraud, child safeguarding and professional conduct

* Masters Degree or Bachelorโ€™s Degree, and experience in relevant social science, human rights, development studies, NGO management or equivalent fields.
* A minimum of seven years of progressive senior management and/ or humanitarian and development experience, including experience designing and implementing programs for children.
* Solid understanding and experience in one or more of Save the Children's technical areas: education, child protection, child rights governance, health and nutrition, child poverty, MEAL
* Appreciation of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and strategies for transitional programming.
* 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.
* Fluent written and spoken English. Arabic language skills desirable.

We employ approximately 25,000 people across the globe and work on the ground in over 100 countries to help children affected by crises, or those that need better healthcare, education and child protection. We also campaign and advocate at the highest levels to realise the right of children and to ensure their voices are heard.

We are working towards three breakthroughs in how the world treats children by 2030:
* No child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday
* All children learn from a quality basic education and that,
* Violence against children is no longer tolerated

We know that great people make a great organization, and that our employees play a crucial role in helping us achieve our ambitions for children. We value our people and offer a meaningful and rewarding career, along with a collaborative and inclusive workplace where ambition, creativity, and integrity are highly valued.

Application Information:
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

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from

This vacancy is archived.

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