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Country Director, Ethiopia Country Programme

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: HelpAge International
Closing date: 4 Jun 2021

HelpAge International is recruiting for the post of Country Director to lead the HelpAge Ethiopia programme towards achievement of our vision of a world in which all older people can lead dignified, healthy and secure lives.

HelpAge and Strategy 2030 – delivering real impact for older people

HelpAge International works with partners and a diverse global network of more than 150 organizations across 85 countries, supporting millions of older people to live safe, dignified and healthy lives. Through our partnership and collaborations, we work to ensure the inclusion of older people across society and strive to deliver a just and fair world for everyone, whatever their age. Our work is driven by our desire to deliver real impact for older people, to be inclusive, to work in partnership and to learn from our shared experience.

Our 2030 strategy Ageing in a Just World sets out how we will work together to shape the future we all share. By working together, we aim to help inspire a movement for change and through ensuring all our work promotes older people’s wellbeing, dignity and voice, we can transform the lives of older people now and in the future.

Since the launch of our strategy in January 2020, the world has changed in profound ways. We are still experiencing the impacts and consequences. Recognizing and anticipating these important and fundamental shifts, HelpAge International is evolving and transforming itself to be relevant, impactful and viable. As a result, we are reconfiguring our organizational design and resources in the following ways:

· Driven by our commitment to the localization agenda, we are evolving the way we partner and deliver value at country and local level. In the coming 3 years, we will localize our country offices and programmes, and develop new and diverse forms of partnerships globally.

· We seek to give primacy to local agents for change. To this end, we will replace all programmes delivered by HelpAge staff and resources on the ground with implementation by partners. This will apply across all our work - humanitarian and long-term development. Going forward, our value is framed around supporting, convening and thought leadership.

· A key way of creating value and bringing impact is collaborating across boundaries and by bringing different perspectives, skills and talent together. We will deliver our work through agile teams and a global operating model, with regional roots, to focus on impact and maintain the relationships at the national level to help build collaborations and support others to set their own agendas.

How you can make a difference

At HelpAge International, we offer a unique and exceptional career experience to bring positive and lasting change in the lives of older persons. As countries prepare for and adapt to population ageing, you can make a difference at a critical juncture to how societies, economies and institutions adapt to this change. Guided by our commitment to our values of impact, learning, partnership, and inclusion (see values), you will work with talent like yourself and partner with other agents for to bring systemic change and impact at scale. By acting as a supporter, convener and thought leader, together, we can make an impact that matters for older persons and their communities. HelpAge International offers you an inclusive, collaborative workplace and innovative environment.

This is a critical time for HelpAge International as we seek to transform the ways the organization works and brings value. We are looking for exceptional individuals who will explore new opportunities to create value, to find new avenues, unique ways and novel partnership and collaborations to reach our shared goals. We are looking for talent which thrives in collaborating with others (inside HelpAge International and beyond) and who can work in agile ways and across boundaries. We are seeking individuals, with an entrepreneurial mindset, who can operate across diverse areas of our work, who can leverage both their unique expertise and deploy a wider range of experiences and competencies.

About HelpAge International- Ethiopia

HelpAge has been operating in Ethiopia since 1992 in both humanitarian and development sectors. HelpAge Ethiopia prioritises work on social protection, health and well-being, and building a movement for change to ensure the voices of older people are heard. Our humanitarian programmes focus on multi-sectoral lifesaving and rehabilitation/recovery support for older people affected by conflict (refugees and IDPs) through interventions addressing protection/inclusion, nutrition and health, inclusive WASH, livelihoods and rehabilitation. HelpAge Ethiopia works closely works HelpAge Global network members and local partners in the design and delivery of its programmes and strategy.

We have two global network members ( ) namely the Ethiopian Elderly and Pensioners National Association (EEPNA) [an umbrella organisation of 1200 older people’s associations in all regions of Ethiopia, with a total membership base of 2.36 million] and Tesfa Social Development Association (TSDA) [a grass root development organization originally established as an association of edirs and now engaged on various pro-poor projects]. We work with eight other local partners to implement various projects and two local partners on humanitarian response, and we engage with many other local partners, rights-based organizations and the media in programming and advocacy efforts, including work with regional organisations including African Union, UNECA in the ratification of the AU protocol on the rights of older persons.

Geographically we have a presence in Gambella, SNNPR, Oromia regions, Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa. The organisation works closely with various ministries and authorities of the Government of Ethiopia at Federal, Regional and Woreda level. The line ministries include Labor and Social Affairs, Health, Disaster Risk Management, rural development, Water Office, Administration for Refugees and Returnees etc). HelpAge has aligned its activities to the development and humanitarian plan of the Govt of Ethiopia to ensure that older persons issues are adequately addressed within the Government and donor priorities.

Scope of the job

The Country Director will have overall responsibility for the strategic vision and leadership of the country programme through the forthcoming transition period, with the primary purpose of ensuring that older persons lead dignified, healthy and secure lives. She/he is responsible for the delivery of quality programmes and policy work, maintaining and expanding donor, government and other key stakeholder relations, fund raising, human resource management, partnership and operations management of the country Programme.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic Direction and Leadership

· Lead the implementation and review of Ethiopia Country Strategy and 2 year business plans, ensuring close alignment with HelpAge’s global Strategy 2030 and translating these into achievable goals and programmes which will deliver positive impacts for older people and deliver HelpAge’s commitment to localisation and partnership.

· Continue to build a unique value proposition for HelpAge in Ethiopia, focussed on key thematic issues of social protection, health and care, inclusive humanitarian approach but also in other result areas identified in the 2030 strategy.

· Collaborate with HelpAge global portfolio teams to deliver global and country programmes and research in priority results areas to achieve the vision of the HelpAge 2030 strategy.

· Position HelpAge and local partners well with the communities, Government of Ethiopia, donors and other INGOs in the country to advance the ageing agenda in policy and programming.

· Strengthen the relationship and ensure effective support to the newly established Directorate of Older People at the Ministry of Social Affairs

· Lead the country programme throughout the period of organisational change and transition by maintaining open and professional relations with colleagues, promoting a strong team spirit and provide guidance to enable staff to perform successfully and collaboratively with partners and networks.

· Lead and manage emerging and contextual changes within and outside the organisation.

Programme Quality and Learning

· Ensure the inclusion of older women and men, older people with disabilities, local partners in the design development and implementation of programmes and advocacy work to ensure relevance and legitimacy and collaboration and compliance with Humanitarian Inclusion Standards.

· Ensure the country programmes deliver on targets and outcomes by maintaining oversight on implementation of program activities, ensuring access to high quality technical support and resources, and an emphasis on learning.

· Ensure that contractual commitments and applicable quality standards are met in a consistent manner.

· Regularly travel within country to assess progress of program activities and adherence to sector standards and accountability principles.

· Oversee monitoring and evaluation of country strategic plan, partnership and program activities.

· Strengthen the MEAL function in country to facilitate the generation of evidence and learning to improve efficiency and effectiveness of programmes and to identify good practice and impacts.

· Ensure proactive documentation of learning and best practices within projects to guide future project designs.

· Ensure timely generation of country reports (quarterly, half year and annual reports).

· Ensure compliance of the country programme with various HelpAge guidelines and orientation of the team on the same.

Partnership Approach

· Develop and strengthen partnerships with other national and international organisations to coalesce around strategic issues of common interest and benefit from each other’s competence in terms of technical issues, donor experience and geographical presence.

· Prioritise identification of and collaboration with local partners and spearhead capacity building for new and existing partners for programming and policy work.

· Oversee effective management of existing and new partners per HelpAge’s Partnership Management guideline and other applicable standards, foster experience exchange and networking among partners.

· Ensure regular assessment of partner and HelpAge capacity and partnership procedures and oversee the development and implementation of improvement plans.

· Ensure that relations between HelpAge and local partners are based on equality, dignity and respect for the autonomy of local partners, while ensuring accountability to communities and to the wider sector.

· Work with EEPNA and TSDA to facilitate further development of an effective national network to raise issues of older persons rights. This includes supporting the organisation in their fundraising and on-going discussions on organisational governance.

· Strengthen and build network and partnership with other local organisations working with issue of older persons. Develop relation with organisations working on different issues and sensitise them on the issue of older persons.


· Facilitate fundraising efforts with partners and local consortia in the country and ensure targeted fundraising from institutional, UN, private and corporate donors to build a sustainable resource base for local actors to advance the rights of older persons.

· Work closely with HelpAge supporting members and global business development team to mobilise resources and build donor engagement.

· Follow HelpAge policy on contract management and resource development to identify, manage and mitigate risks.

Stewardship and Operations Management

· Drive operational excellence to achieve optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness in all functions and operations of the country programme and share learning, skills and knowledge on operational effectiveness with partners.

· Ensure compliance with HelpAge financial and operation policies and procedures and comply with donor requirements.

· Ensure safety and security of staff by maintaining an overview of security issues in the country, having Security Management Plans and SoPs in place and regularly updated, orientation and regular training of the teams and local partners.

· Ensure management of assets in line with HelpAge relevant policies and procedures.

· Perform a periodic review of accounts for accuracy and adherence to policies, including undertaking review of monthly management indicators and financial reports.

· Ensure compliance with local legislation and relevant policy (eg. HelpAge registration renewal, tax and employment laws, adherence to government guidelines on budgeting, reporting etc)

· Ensure internal and external statutory audits are conducted and findings and recommendations are followed through management actions.

· Implement core organizational policies on protection of adults and children, HelpAge’s code of conduct and safeguarding and accountability to staff, beneficiaries and partners

Staff Performance Management and Development

· Model and promote HelpAge’s core values, as they shape the way we work and organizational culture.

· Supervise and mentor direct report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, provide regular and timely performance feedback.

· Oversee implementation of human resource policies and procedures in the country program.

· Oversee recruitment and development of talent within the staff team and partners.

· Oversee the management, coaching and development of all staff to build a cadre of skilled, committed and motivated personnel, and in particular build the skills of staff to collaborate, work in flexible teams, to innovate and to drive the organisational transition towards localisation.

· Facilitate training and capacity building initiatives for staff and implementing partners to ensure quality project outputs, encouraging transparency, reflective and supportive practice, a culture of learning.

Representation and Communication

· Actively participate in various global meetings/ forums to discuss wider global and regional issues for the organisation- external and internal

· Represent and manage in country relations with government ministries, donors, media, UN as well as local and international organizations.

· Work with network members and partners to analyse various Government and donor priorities in the country in terms of policies and participate in discussions on these to ensure issues of older persons are well represented.

· Work with network members and partners to engage with high profile conferences (eg. AU and UNECA), workshops and other relevant forums to ensure the voices of older persons are represented and the ageing agenda is advanced.

· Ensure regular and quality communication messages highlighting issues of older persons and HelpAge and partner programmes are shared (programme offers, news, blogs, twitter and stories etc).

· Observe/celebrate various international and national days (eg. International Day of Older persons) profiling issues of older persons.

· Work closely with the Global Communications team to facilitate country staff and partners to input into global publications and dissemination of these materials to different stakeholders.


· Lead a safe working and operational culture where people can speak up securely and confidentially about concerns through a variety of channels.

· Accountable to the Board on safeguarding, including reporting all safeguarding incidents seen, heard about, or suspected, to the Head of Human Resources within 24 hours.

· Ensure the design, implementation, management and review of safe programming that assesses risk and implements mitigation measures to reduce the risk of harm and abuse to all people that encounter our work, whether from people, operations or programmes.

· Responsible for implementing and reviewing organisational safeguarding measures to minimize the risk of harm and abuse, identifying organisational training needs and attending required specialist training.

· Complete mandatory training courses relating to our safeguarding policy framework and comply with HR vetting procedures.

Additional Responsibilities

At HelpAge International, we believe in the importance of empowering our people to be change makers and leaders at all levels. We expect our people to embrace and live our values, challenging themselves every day to identify issues that are most important to older persons and their communities, and to make an impact that matters.

In addition, as an HelpAge employee you are expected to:

· Work collaboratively, building mutual trust and respect, with external organisations and partners to achieve our strategic aims and objectives; being accountable for the work you do together.

· Adapt to new directions or opportunities arising within the organization and in your work area; being flexible in your role, constantly using the feedback to learn more and evolve further.

· Lead behavioural and cultural change through embracing a supportive, collaborative and highly inclusive environment where everybody feels supported, respected and engaged

· Extend HelpAge’s reach and impact, by creating and identifying new business development opportunities and building relationships with new partners.

· Lead and promote a culture of including the voices of older people across our support, convening and thought leadership roles, in a way that is transformative, empowering and highly inclusive of those marginalized by gender, economic status, disability and other factors of discrimination.

Extent of Authority

The post holder is authorised to make decisions within the framework of the agreed annual plan and budget and approved project proposals. The post holder is expected to operate within all HelpAge International policies and procedures.

Person Specification:


· Master’s Degree in social sciences, Development Management or related field or equivalent experience

· At least 10 years’ experience of programme management or leadership at a senior level in a national or an International INGO

· Demonstrable experience in strategic planning, programme development and management of complex, multi-stakeholder interventions, including humanitarian response and recovery.

· Commitment to localisation of aid and development and experience of leading an organisational change process.

· Commitment and ability to foster and support capacity building in own staff and of national partners, including experience of managing teams across different sites.

· Demonstrable experience in establishing networks with governments, private and public sector entities and civil society.

· Fluent written and spoken English and the ability to write clear reports for a wide range of audiences.

· Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to influence, communicate and negotiate with a wide range of people and organizations at all levels with tact, diplomacy and sensitivity to cultural differences.

· Ability to prepare and monitor budgets and accounts.

· Ability to undertake necessary travel in country.


· An appreciation of project appraisal, assessment, monitoring and evaluation methodologies.

· Demonstrable experience in resource mobilisation from a range of donors

· Knowledge of one or more local languages

How to apply:

To apply for a job at HelpAge, please submit the following documents:

· A cover letter, setting out how you meet the requirements in the ‘Let’s talk about you’ section of the job profile. Please use bold headings for each requirement and provide examples.

· Your current curriculum vitae (3 pages maximum)

· Three referees, including your most recent employer

To be considered, please email your application to before the closing date; Friday June 4, 2021 at 24:00 (GMT+1)

Due to the high volumes of applications, kindly note that we shall only able to contact those candidates that have been shortlisted for interview.

If you have any queries regarding any vacancies, please

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Important Message:** Please ensure that you remove personal information including your date of birth, age, gender and marital status from your CV. Please do not include any photographs.


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