Thematic Technical Director – Food Security, Livelihoods, Resilience and WASH

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Save the Children
Closing date: 25 Apr 2021

ROLE PURPOSE: The Thematic Director is responsible for technical development and quality of all Save the Children’s Food Security, Livelihoods, Resilience and WASH programs in Ethiopia in both humanitarian and development contexts. This includes developing a multi-year thematic strategy and annual plans; identifying and initiating innovative and technically sound project ideas, approaches and methodologies that can help the Country Office effectively achieve its strategic breakthrough goals; prepares high quality thematic technical briefs for internal and external uses; proactively engaging with Country Office’s (COs) business development team, SC members and donors in identifying funding opportunities through presenting and marketing of those ideas; playing a major/leading role in technical designs of new programs; developing and maintaining strong external relations with key stakeholders in particular with donors, relevant Government of Ethiopia at Federal level, clusters and coordination forums; ensuring the development and application of quality assurance standards/benchmarks, tools etc. across the programs of the CO and application of Save the Children’s Common Approaches related to the sector. The position also includes responsibilities of overseeing the provision of quality and timely technical assistance to all projects; leading/managing a team of Senior Technical Specialists; ensuring the production and utilization of high quality, well-articulated project evidence and research by working together with Monitoring, Evaluation and Accountability and Learning (MEAL) team of the CO; supporting and strengthening Communities of Practice forums to disseminate learning and knowledge; and supporting advocacy and campaign strategies.

The Thematic Director oversees the work of Food Security & Livelihoods (FSL), Resilience and WASH Technical Specialists involved in in implementation of programs. As such s/he will ensure cross functionality, coordination, standardization of program implementation in different projects, and that quality of program are implemented according to nationally/internationally accepted and recommended standards. He/she represents SC values and principles in interactions with staff and external audiences. These values and principles include commitment to the mission of Save the Children, team orientation, quality management and leadership development, introducing systems and procedures to strengthen staff motivation and productivity. The Thematic Director will also expected to provide hands on strategic and program quality support to operation by conducting regular filed travels. S/he is a member of Program Development and Quality (PDQ) Department Senior Leadership Team, CO’s Extended Senior Management and National Management Team.




In line with SCI’s full spectrum programming, the following key areas of accountability apply to SCI Ethiopia’s work in emergencies (acute and chronic) and in development settings.

Strategic Programme Development

  • Provide overall leadership for the strategic development and quality implementation of the FSL, Resilience and WASH programs, including development of strategic plans and supporting a portfolio

  • of projects, research and initiatives required to achieve of strategic objectives.

  • Prepare high quality thematic technical briefs for internal and external uses.

  • Lead the thematic strategic planning, tracking and reporting processes of the sector.

  • Support Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) for the documentation of program achievements

  • Communicate program achievements against agreed strategic objectives and milestones, and any emerging new evidence for a wide range of internal and external audiences.

  • Actively communicate and coordinate with the other Thematic Directors, relevant technical specialists and project managers to ensure synergy and integrated approaches across themes that take into account current good practices.

  • Develop and maintain strong external relations with key stakeholders in particular donors, relevant Government offices of Ethiopia at Federal level, clusters and coordination forums

  • Ensure a deep understanding of Ethiopian Government’s priorities; communicate these to his/her team and relevant Program Operations team; and use these for program development and implementation.

  • Proactively establish, maintain and cultivate key external relationships including with the GOE, donors, multi-lateral organizations, and INGOs

  • Regularly coordinate with member technical staff. Identify technical support requirements, inclusive of field visits, as and when necessary.

  • Serve as the senior representative for all relevant external representation opportunities

Program Development

  • Contribute to the development and regular updating of an SCI Ethiopia fundraising opportunities matrix.
  • Identify and present innovative and technically sound project ideas, approaches and methodologies that can help the Country Office effectively achieve its strategic breakthrough goals in collaboration with PDU and SCI members including possible funding opportunities.
  • Work proactively by engaging with CO’s business development team, SC members and donors in identifying funding opportunities through presenting and marketing of technically viable ideas
  • Support pre-positioning for identified opportunities including understanding government and donor priorities, and identifying partners
  • Present compelling FSL, Resilience and WASH business cases through analytical assessment of donor and Ethiopia’s priorities in the sector
  • Develop and maintain contacts with current and potential donors, potential partners and key technical agencies, in coordination with the Program Development Unit (PDU) and DCD PDQ. Attend relevant donor meetings and visits.
  • Ensure that high quality technical inputs are provided while designing new FSL, Resilience and WASH project proposals
  • Ensure that technical proposals are relevant through application of Save the Children’s Programming Principles; proactively and systematically gathering information from beneficiaries and stakeholders in the field
  • In collaboration with MEAL ensure current technical knowledge, research and current/previous programming lessons learned and good practices are widely shared and used in proposals.

Staff and Budget Management

  • Lead and manage the FSL, Resilience and WASH team.
  • Provide ‘dashed-line’ technical leadership for all SC FSL, Resilience and WASH Program technical staff in Ethiopia.
  • Coaches, mentors and provides structured training as necessary to team members.

  • Develop and manage budgets for staff of the FSL, Resilience and WASH team.

  • Conduct regular, comprehensive performance management. This includes work plans and performance reviews and support of staff learning and development

  • Identify succession plans and team members with high capacity for future promotion

In order to be successful you will bring/have:


  • Relevant post graduate level education or extensive experience in relevant field.

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in a development and humanitarian environment leading and managing the development, implementation and technical quality of food security, resilience and livelihood (including youth empowerment and employment) and WASH programs

  • Proven experience in developing sectoral or sub-sectoral strategy and technical documents

  • Track record in designing successful proposals and in developing donor relationships in the sector

  • Deep understanding of policy, practices, challenges and opportunities in Ethiopia in relation to the sector

  • Experience in research and policy analysis and communication

  • Proven representation, influencing and advocacy skills and experience

  • Strong analytical and writing skills with demonstrated ability to write technical briefing papers (ability to present complex information in a succinct and compelling manner) and reports.

  • Proven ability to manage a networked team of professionals, with good communication and interpersonal skills and an ability to motivate staff.

  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching

  • Experience working with government partners, with partner agencies, including local partners, and in consortia and relevant to resilience programming.

  • Highly developed cultural awareness and ability to work well in an international environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures

  • Strong results orientation, with the ability to challenge existing mindsets

  • Proven ability to manage a complex and demanding workload

  • Excellent spoken and written English

Very Good skills in using computer applications

We offer a competitive package in the context of the sector.

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.

How to apply:

Application Information:

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

Closing Date (Period for Applying) - External

Apr 25, 2021


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