Program Director (National Position)

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Action Against Hunger USA
Closing date: 18 Mar 2020

Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian and development organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. We save the lives of malnourished children. We ensure families can access clean water, food, training, and health care. We enable entire communities to be free from hunger. With more than 7,600 staff in over 45 countries, we have reached over 20 million people in 2018.

About the Country Program in Ethiopia

Action Against Hunger has been operational in Ethiopia since 1984 responding to both chronic and acute needs through a multi-sectoral strategy where Nutrition, Food Security and Livelihoods, WASH and Mental Health and Care Practices are integrated to have a meaningful impact on people’s resilience.

Action Against Hunger currently operates in 5 different regions with an anticipated 2020 yearly portfolio of 20m USD of emergency and resilience building programs, research and innovation. We have a country team of about 650 staff working out of 18 field offices across Ethiopia. Our main donors in Ethiopia are: ECHO, Europaid, UNHCR, OFDA, BPRM, SIDA, EHF, WFP and others.

General Assignments / scope of the Role:

Action Against Hunger in Ethiopia is looking for a dynamic, energetic, ambitious and results oriented Program Director who will be responsible for driving cross-functional engagement in the development and delivery of our Country Strategy, developing annual plans and reporting on results. S/he is responsible for ensuring development and delivery of high quality and evidence-based programs that contribute to our 2021-2025 International Strategic Plan (ISP).

The Program Director will ensure 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, that this is shared across the organization, and that reliable data is used for decision-making. One key aspect of the role is ensuring capacity 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 and others. The Program Director 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 principle.

Duties and Responsibilities:

1: Oversee and occasionally lead the project development process of emergency, development, research and innovation projects

  • Ensure that new programs are coherent with the Country Strategy and feeding into the 2021-2025 International Strategic Plan (ISP)
  • Engage into donor/business intelligence and prepositioning with major donors, consortia and alliances. Ensure that the Country Office has up-to-date knowledge of donor strategies and frameworks, funding mechanisms
  • Ensure good coordination between the PDC, the US Business Development Unit, HEARO and external grant writers
  • Ensure that incoming information is analyzed and provide relevant future propositions for geographic and sectoral interventions throughout the country to the Country Director
  • Ensure high quality proposals, validate final proposal packages including narratives, program budgets, project organigrams etc.
  • Ensure protection and gender mainstreaming in proposal design and project implementation
  • Promote, assist, and oversee the technical integration of Action Against Hunger’s programming at every levels.
  • Directly contribute in proposal writing during busy times and overlapping deadlines

2: Overall coordination of project, startup, implementation and close out including budget management, MEAL and donor reporting

  • Ensure timely project startups including staff recruitment, preparation of project procurement plans, detailed implementation plans, MEAL plans by the respective teams and departments
  • Visit Action Against Hunger field activities regularly, report on challenges, troubleshoot and liaise with the Field Coordinators and the Base Program Managers
  • Participate in the monthly Grants Management Meeting, review progress and provide feedback as needed.
  • Review the monthly Grants Management Tool and ensure program objectives, timelines and budgets are respected and raise the alarm where/when significant delays are observed
  • Ensure the timely preparation of project reports at the highest quality and provide feedback as necessary
  • Ensure that donor guidelines are respected by the Program Managers and Technical HoDs
  • Lead donor and HQ visits, attend technical meetings, participate in Cluster and ICCG meetings, represent action consortia review
  • Ensure integration of MEAL in all aspects, from annual data collection to capitalization documents production. Create a MEAL culture across all program departments and functions
  • Participate in the development of Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans

3: Human resources management and coaching of the technical and program teams

  • Direct management of the Nutrition, WASH, FSL and MHPSS Heads of Department (4), MEAL Head of Department (1), Grants and Reporting Head of Department (1) and the Program Development and New Business Coordinator (1)
  • Set the job objectives of all direct subordinates, hold monthly 10 minute conversations, organize 360 appraisals and conduct the annual performance review for his/her staff
  • Hold monthly program follow up meetings at capital level, coordinate action points and monitor progress
  • General leadership, coaching and mentoring of program staff and Technical Departments acting as a liaison between CD and the Support Departments
  • Revision of all job descriptions for technical positions in collaboration with the Heads of Department as needed.
  • Provide input to PDC on program issues relating to human resources and budgeting.
  • Initiate disciplinary measures where needed in accordance with the HR regulations
  • Ensure program staff is motivated and committed to the Action Against Hunger charter and programs
  • Contribute to the career development for program staff in collaboration with the HR department in order to identify needs of training

4: Information sharing (internal) and external representation with donors, partners and government officials.

  • Provide the coordination team (FCs and HoDs) with information relating to humanitarian and development events and initiatives etc.
  • Represent Action Against Hunger in donor meetings, donor visits, technical fora, consortia steering committees etc.
  • Strengthen field and capital level information sharing with IOs, INGOs and government.**
  • Ensure Action Against Hunger technical staff regularly attend all relevant humanitarian coordination meetings and UN Clusters**
  • Facilitate a ‘trickle-down’ of information towards the field stemming from cluster/sectoral information in the capital.
  • Advance and disseminate Action Against Hunger’s strategic positioning to donors and other stakeholders as this relates to humanitarian analysis and future financial planning

Job Requirements

Educational / Professional Background

  • Minimum of bachelor’s degree in political science, development studies, public health or related field.
  • A postgraduate degree will be considered as an added advantage.
  • At least 10 years of related experience with an INGO including senior management program position.

Required skills:

  • Experience in at least one of Action Against Hunger’s core technical sectors: Nutrition and Health, WASH, Food Security and Livelihoods in development and/or emergencies.
  • Experience in managing complex development and resilience building projects for donors such as USAID, DFID and the European Commission
  • Familiarity with project design methods and tools (including assessments, logical frameworks and theory of change) and strong appreciation for innovation and partnership as part of project development.
  • Good analytical skills with ability to positively influence cross-departmental and cross sector working.
  • Strong results orientation, with ability to meet deadlines and produce high-quality products.
  • Strong cultural awareness and ability to work well in an international environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Ability and willingness to change work practices and hours, and work with the proposal development teams to meet deadlines.
  • Substantial experience and skills in establishing and maintaining external relations with government, community stakeholders and civil society.
  • Fluency in English (business level), both verbal and written
  • Proficiency in computer e.g. MS Word, MS Power Point and Excel.

How to apply:

If you are interested, please send your application composed of none returnable CV, Covering Letter with “**Program Director**” written in the subject line,** and three references, applicants to the following addresses:


Deadline: Thursday, 18 March 2020 before 5:00 pm

“Female Applicants Are Highly Encouraged”


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