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Child Poverty, Climate and Urban Director

The Opportunity

Save the Children International has an exciting opportunity for you to join our team as the Child Poverty, Climate and Urban Director in London, UK or any existing Save the Children International Regional or Country office worldwide.

Role Purpose:

Save the Children is seeking a transformational development / humanitarian executive to lead our Global Goal on Safety Nets and Resilient Families – with a thematic focus on Child Poverty (which includes work on social protection, cash and voucher assistance, food security and livelihoods and adolescents), Climate Change and Urban Programming. 

At this critical time for children, when hunger and poverty have been rising, and the climate crisis is worsening inequalities – this role has huge potential for transformational impact. Save the Children has embarked on a “Inequality and Climate” campaign, and prioritised child poverty and tackling the climate crisis over the coming strategy period. This is a really crucial decade for all children – and we are looking for an inspirational leader to support our global teams to drive impact at scale, and support our ‘shifting power’ agenda.

Taking advantage of Save the Children's vast network of program experts and global footprint, this global leader will use innovation, technology, data, and research to ensure that Save the Children stands as a state of the art institution working with children and their communities efficiently and effectively. This position will provide an unparalleled opportunity to implement the cutting-edge of development, humanitarian and human rights theory and practice across a network of 100+ countries and 25,000 staff. This includes helping Save the Children become effectively localized, data-driven, productively partnered, a powerful advocate, and to stand as one of the world's most recognized voices in the defence of children’s rights, everywhere.

This is the most senior Climate Change, Child Poverty and Urban role in Save the Children. This role has overall accountability for the quality and impact of our Child Rights Programming (Service delivery, system building/policy/Advocacy, and civil society/partnerships) in Child Poverty, Climate Change, and Urban programmes and advocacy across Save the Children. The role holder will promote programme innovation and draw on and contribute to the best global evidence on what works to guarantee children’s rights, and particularly their right to an adequate standard of living, and their right to a healthy environment.

As part of Save the Children’s 2030 Ambition, the organization has chosen to inspire three Breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, so that every child, and especially those suffering from inequality and discrimination can Survive, Learn and be Protected.

This role will lead organizational efforts to achieve our 2022-24 strategy for children, particularly the 4th goal, working to ensure that:

  • Children have a healthy start in life
  • Children go safely back to school and learn
  • Children live free from violence
  • Children benefit from safety nets and resilient families

Although leading on the fourth goal, our work on climate change, child poverty and urban issues cut across all Breakthroughs and Goals. We are looking for a leader who can work collaboratively and in integrated ways across the full spectrum of contexts.

In the event of a major humanitarian emergency, the role holder will be expected to work outside the normal role profile and be able to vary working hours accordingly.

In order to be successful you will bring/have:



  • Global Leader in climate change and development and/ or child poverty work with strong external global network. Ideally with knowledge of programming in urban as well as rural contexts.
  • Educated to Master’s level or equivalent in Climate Change and Development, International Development Studies, Development Economics, Food Security and Livelihoods, Social Studies or similar
  • Technical familiarity with Climate Change and Child Poverty – to an ‘accomplished’ level within our Competency Frameworks, with leading edge expertise in at least one sub-thematic area.
  • Inspirational leader with ability to communicate the vision for the Safety Nets and Resilient Families Goal.
  • Strong leadership skills, including demonstrated experience in motivating large direct and indirect teams
  • Significant international development and humanitarian contexts experience designing, implementing and evaluating programmes relating to Child Poverty, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Urban Poverty, and other relevant child rights programming.
  • Thorough knowledge and track record of influencing Climate Change and/or Climate Change public and programme policy, and other relevant child rights programming, in development and humanitarian context. This should ideally include work on some or all of the following areas: universal/categorical social protection (such as Child Benefits), shock-responsive social protection, cash and voucher programming, resilient livelihoods and food security programming, youth skills development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Anticipatory Action etc.
  • Demonstrable ability to engage effectively across internal/external stakeholders and communities
  • Knowledge of policy, research and evidence-based methodologies with regards to Child Poverty, Climate and Urban programming, and other relevant child-focused programming.
  • A clear understanding of and commitment to inequality and anti-discriminatory practice eg gender and disability analysis in informing programmes and policy.
  • A combination of technical, research, public advocacy and, local experience.
  • Understands that work of development and humanitarian action can be complex and volatile.
  • Country level experience in international development, preferably through long-term assignments.
  • Proven experience delivering results and outputs
  • Energy and drive to create change in a large complex organisation
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching – ability to work with people of all levels from CEO to junior staff and across all functions,
  • Experience creating and managing high-performing teams including building shared objectives, quality control, evaluation, motivation, performance management, staff development and training.
  • Commitment to building and supporting a diverse and inclusive technical leadership team
  • Ability to make technical expertise relevant and available to inform programs
  • Engaging with donors and public finance stakeholders across humanitarian, development and developed contexts.
  • An understanding of and commitment to Save the Children’s mission, values and programme approaches.
  • Fluent spoken and written English
  • Willingness and ability to travel up to 25% of time.


  • Additional languages, particularly French, Spanish and/or Arabic
  • Economic and quantitative skills
  • A publications record

This role can be based in London or any existing Save the Children International Regional or Country office location on approval, provided the successful candidate has proof of eligibility to work from the preferred location.

Where we Work - Where We Work | Save the Children International

The Organisation

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 environment where ambition, creativity, and integrity are highly valued.

Application Information:

Please attach a copy of your CV and cover letter with your application, and include details of your salary expectations.

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.

Save the Children does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

Job Description

Find out more about this role by downloading the job description

Job description

24 Feb 2023

13 Mar 2023 - 02:59 EAT


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