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Country Director- Kenya & Madagascar

TITLE: Country Director- Kenya & Madagascar 

TEAM/PROGRAMME: ESA Regional Senior Leadership




GRADE: Level 2





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.




As a member of the East and Southern Africa Senior Leadership team, you will have shared accountability for Save the Children’s international development and emergency programming in the region of approximately $420 million each year through an organisation of over 5,000 [MS1] people.  To achieve our ambitious goals and breakthroughs for children, the leadership team will, in collaboration with Save the Children Members and in conjunction with the other regional organisations, aim to drive global growth to $2.7 billion by 2024


The Country Director will lead the transformation of the country to be Fit for the Future, whilst also delivering Save the Children’s strategy within the country through: -

  • Delivering quality programmes, including advocacy, for children; and
  • Ensuring world class stewardship of resources from Members and their donors 



Reports to: Regional Director-East and Southern Africa


Dimensions: Kenya office has over 350 staff with an annual budget of around US$ 20 million, both through direct implementation and partners, with a solid advocacy strategy and agenda.


Number of direct reports: Senior Management in-Country (Nine positions)



As a member of the Regional Senior Leadership Team, contribute to strategic development and delivery of integrated international programming, across all humanitarian and development contexts, in line with the Save the Children mandate, strategy and theory of change


Deliver transformational change in-country, including:

  • Developing and delivering improved outcomes for children through delivery of the Save the Children global programme strategy and global initiatives and growth targets as set for the country
  • Engaging Save the Children staff, partners and other stakeholders to create real shared ownership and collaboration
  • Creating an environment of continuous learning, where staff are encouraged and supported to grow and develop and are willing to be held accountable for their commitments
  • Ensuring that the focus of the organisation remains on the rights and needs of children

Strategic Leadership 

  • Developing strong country strategy and operational plans that identify and address significant issues facing children, and are in line with Save the Children’s overall strategy (with a focus on Global Themes and common approaches) and theory of change
  • Preparing for and implementing rapid and effective responses to local and cross-border emergencies affecting children, including building relationships with key humanitarian and development decision-makers and partners in-country 
  • Delivering programmes and advocacy in line with the country strategy, operational plans, budgets that result in significant impact for children
  • Collaborating with colleagues in the region to deliver any regional programmes and advocacy, in line with regional strategies, operational plans, budgets and Save the Children member requirements that result in significant impact for children
  • Developing and maintaining good relations with Members and their donors
  • Growing the country programme to bolster our position as the leading NGO addressing children’s rights issues in the country
  • Developing and maintaining efficient and effective operating systems, and ensure compliance with all Save the Children Essential Standards, including safety & security management
  • Contributing to global knowledge and learning in Save the Children


Be accountable, and develop the capacity of, mentor and hold Senior Management Team accountable for:

  • Role modelling and leading the way on the new values and ways of working
  • Developing and coaching staff with particular focus on Senior National Staff Development to optimise their potential in pursuit of Save the Children’s objectives
  • Ensure consistent implementation of strong performance management systems throughout the country team
  • Foster a collegial, supportive and respectful culture within the Kenya team
  • Developing and coaching staff to optimise their potential in pursuit of Save the Children’s objectives
  • Contributing to global knowledge and learning in Save the Children


Audit, Corporate Governance compliance 

Save the Children is committed to being an effective steward of funds we receive from our various donors. We take compliance with their requirements and our own requirements very seriously. Also maintains a 'zero tolerance' policy toward fraudulent, dishonest and corrupt practices. Where they are detected, it will be investigated and take appropriate action against staff, volunteers, partners, vendors, suppliers and any other implicated party. Therefore, the Country Director is accountable for the implementation of and compliance with all aspect the Anti-Fraud policy.   


  • Ensure compliance with all host government requirements in relation to registration, taxation, labour law, auditing, fraud etc.
  • Ensure that internal and external audits are undertaken in a timely and efficient manner in line with policy and back donor and host government requirements
  • Ensure follow-up on recommendations arising out of audits of operations and take appropriate actions where necessary
  • Ensure all incidents of fraud are rapidly investigated, with decisive action taken and lessons learnt applied immediately and sustainably.


Safety and Security Management


Save the Children is committed to minimizing safety and security risks to staff and ensuring staff are given training, support and information to reduce their risk exposure while maximizing the impact for children. Therefore, the Country Director is accountable for the implementation of and compliance with all aspect the Safety and Security policy
  • Ensure the Country office has security plans and procedures in line with policies, systems and guidelines
  • Maintain, document and communicate up to date analyses of the changing security context
  • Ensure all staff adhere to safety and security guidelines


Child Safeguarding 


Children who come into contact with Save the Children as a result of our activities must be safeguarded to the maximum possible extent from deliberate or inadvertent actions and failings that place them at risk of child abuse, sexual exploitation, injury and any other harm. 


The Country Director is accountable for the implementation of and compliance with all aspects of the policy.   

  • Understand and fulfil responsibilities in achieving compliance of Save the Children’s Child Safeguarding Policy standards. 
  • Provide overall leadership and oversight to the development of country level child safeguarding systems with the aim of achieving full compliance with the Child Safeguarding Policy’s criteria


BEHAVIOURS (Values in Practice)


  • 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 their team to do the same
  • widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale.


  • 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; demonstrates highest levels of integrity




  • Masters degree level qualification or equivalent length of experience in the sector
  • Substantial experience of building, leading and developing a diverse team of senior staff to deliver on both development and humanitarian programs
  • Experience of working with donors to secure and/or manage new large-scale and/or competitive funding
  • Experience of leading high-profile advocacy and campaigning initiatives
  • Experience in managing a growing county office and the need to balance growth with capacity
  • Experience of leading change in an organisation which has led to considerable results for the organisation and its stakeholders
  • Experience of building personal networks, including government, at a senior level, resulting in securing new opportunities for the organisation
  • Strategic thinker who is comfortable with developing highly ambitious business strategies at scale and the track record of delivering on these
  • Experience of solving complex issues through analysis, definition of a clear way forward and ensuring buy-in
  • Excellent understanding of programme, financial and operational management processes
  • Good understanding of key trends in international and humanitarian development
  • Strong and nuanced cultural awareness
  • Fluency in speaking and writing in English.
  • Commitment to the Save the Children values


  • Demonstrable ability to recruit, lead and develop high calibre specialist senior staff with a range of backgrounds and expertise
  • Experienced leader who has held senior positions in complex/high profile/ multinational organisations.
  • Strong track record in building high performance teams and future successors/leaders
  • Evidence of identifying and building strategic and effective business networks at a very senior level, which have resulted in clear business benefit for the organisation
  • Innovative approach to solving a range of highly complex issues and galvanising buy-in to the solutions at all levels
  • Highly developed political acumen and ability to navigate through diverse political situations 
  • Prior experience in Kenya

Additional job responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the role holder may be required to carry out additional duties within reasonableness of their level of skills and experience.

Equal Opportunities 

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies and procedures;

Child Safeguarding:

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.

Safeguarding our Staff:

The post holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI anti-harassment policy

Health and Safety

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with SCI Health and Safety policies and procedures.




Job Description

Find out more about this role by downloading the job description

Job description

19 Apr 2024

3 May 2024 - 12:02 EAT


Programme Operations

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