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Program Manager for She Leads, Break Free! and Women’s Peace and Security Vacancy in Ethiopia

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Plan International
Closing date: 20 Dec 2021

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We strive for a just world, working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners. Plan International has been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 80 years, and is active in 75 countries across the world. Plan International has a liaison office to the African Union (Plan AULO) based in Addis Ababa. Plan AULO leads Plan International’s liaison engagement with the AU and other related continental institutions. It also implements continental projects and initiatives (mainly on policy implementation and influencing) in line with its strategic focus areas.

This position is aimed at managing the Dutch government funded multi-year, multi-partner, regional projects namely She Leads, Break Free and Leaders of Peace projects.

Working in Plan International African Union Liaison Office, the Program Manager- She Leads, Break Free! and Women’s Peace and Security is responsible to lead and coordinate She Leads, Break Free and Leaders of Peace projects development and oversee the execution of annual project plans as well as ensure strategic leadership and streamlining of the projects. The Program Manager- She Leads, Break Free! and Women’s Peace and Security is responsible to lead a team of specialists to successfully deliver on project outcomes and contribute to the Pan-African Advocacy Strategy.

The Program Manager- She Leads, Break Free! and Women’s Peace and Security is also responsible for ensuring that the She Leads, Break Free!, and Leaders of Peace projects are contributing to Plan’s global initiatives on gender equality and girls empowerment & leadership. S/he is expected to work closely with pan African CSOs and networks particularly girls and young women movements and gender equality networks in the region.

The Program Manager - She Leads, Break Free! and Women’s Peace and Security will represent Plan in forums that seek to influence policy makers, and contribute to building Plan’s reputation as a highly respected contributor in the field of girls’ rights and gender equality. The prospective candidate must be proactive, innovative, risk taker and be able to represent Plan and the project during high level events and meetings.

The Program Manager - She Leads, Break Free! and Women's Peace and Security is Grade E National position and directly reports to Director, Plan International African Union Liaison Office.

Summary of projects

1. She Leads Project:

She Leads is a strategic partnership between Defence for Children - ECPAT the Netherlands (DCI-ECPAT), African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), Plan International Netherlands, Terre des Hommes the Netherlands (tdh) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Equal Measures 2030 is a technical partner. The She Leads consortium brings together child rights organisations, feminist/women’s rights organisations, and GYW-led groups and aims to increase sustained influence of girls and young women (GYW) on decision-making and the transformation of gender norms in formal and informal institutions.

The geographic focus of the programme is East Africa (Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya), West Africa (Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia) and the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan). In addition to programming in these countries, a considerable part of the programming will be done at regional level, targeting regional institutions and other stakeholders operating at regional level.

The overall strategic objective of the SHE LEADS programme is “increased sustained influence of GYW on gender norms and in decision-making in formal and informal institutions” and the overall vision/impact being “government and societal groups address concerns of GYW in their laws, policies, norms & practices”. The programme outcomes are as following:

Outcome 1: Increased acceptance of positive social gender norms

Outcome 2: Enhanced collective action of GYW in a gender-responsive civil society

Outcome 3: Political institutions enable meaningful participation of GYW.

2. Break Free! Project:

The Break Free! Consortium is a collaboration of Plan International, SRHR Africa Trust (SAT) and Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) with KIT and Rozaria Memorial Trust (RMT) as technical partners. The aim of the Break Free! Consortium is for adolescents to exercise their right to live free from Teenage Pregnancy (TP) and Child Marriage (CM), supported by civil society.

These goals will be implemented in 9 countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Sudan and Zambia, as well as at regional level, by in-country offices/chapters/affiliates and partners of the consortium members. The programme outcomes are as following:

Outcome 1: Adolescent girls at risk of CM/TP access quality and safe education

Outcome 2: Duty bearers and decision-makers develop, resource and implement laws and policies that respond to adolescents’ needs

Outcome 3: Adolescents access quality SRHR information, education and services

3. Women Peace and Security Project:

South-Sudan is characterized by pervasive insecurity and entrenched gender inequality; both are linked to multi-level conflict dynamics. While the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) represents an opportunity to build peace, political tension and inter/intra-communal clashes, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic remain factors that limit the stability of South Sudan. The conflict is driven by and reinforces gender discrimination, resulting in sexual and gender-based violence (S/GBV). Sustaining peace processes and transforming gender justice is hindered by the following barriers women and girls (W/G) face towards meaningful engagement. This project aims to contribute to an enabling environment for women’s and girls’ participation and empowerment in conflict and post-conflict environments, so they can meaningfully participate in conflict prevention, resolution, peacebuilding, protection, relief and recovery. The project plans to a more empowering and inclusive environment in South-Sudan, where women and girls feel safer and better enabled to realize their rights, so they can play an influential role towards conflict prevention and sustainable peace. The programme outcomes are as following:

Result area 1: Improved implementation of policies and regulations on GBV and protection of W/G including psychosocial support and self-care,

Result area 2: Changed attitudes and beliefs of civil society (CS) to facilitate inclusion of W/G and promote gender equality (GE),

Result area 3: Increased and effective participation of W/Y in leadership and peacebuilding.

The project is to be implemented in the South Sudan whereas the learnings and evidence from the project are to be used for advocacy at the continental/AU level. Plan AULO will contribute to result 3: Increased and effective participation of W/Y in leadership and peacebuilding and AU and other continental spaces, whilst creating spaces and voices for W/Y to engage continental decision makers and other youth advocates.

Key responsibilities of the Program Manager

The Program Manager has overall responsibility for leading, supporting and coordinating the successfully implementation of the three projects, working directly with program teams and the consortium members. The role includes, representation, budget management, technical and supervisory support to 3 project staff, monitoring and tracking of project outcomes, networking, advocacy and policy engagement within the AU space and among RECs

The Program Manager ensures meaningful engagement of young people and a Gender Transformative Approach in the projects.

Key tasks of the Program Manager

  • Represent Plan and the projects during High Level meetings and events and proactively explore opportunities and spaces to engage in policy dialogues
  • Lead the efficient implementation of the respective projects: She Leads Project- Regional Africa Programme, with BF! Consortium members and the Leaders of Peace team in South Sudan
  • Guide and coordinate the development and approval of annual plans and budget in a timely and quality manner.
  • Lead quality and timely reporting and documentation of project activities at AULO level including preparation of quarterly/yearly project progress reports in line with Dutch Government guidelines.
  • Raise the profile of the projects within and outside Plan International and partner
  • Lead effective project budget management and ensure that transfer and disbursements are according to plan/budget and internal policies and procedures.
  • Provide strategic oversight of project milestones development, baseline survey, periodic monitoring, midterm evaluation, final evaluation and close out of the project in close collaboration with the various stakeholders.
  • Lead the monitoring of the delivery of activities based on agreed upon project plan and ToC to ensure quality implementation and oversees processes of joint learning on context, programme and collaboration, with support from the PMEL working group.
  • Lead the engagement in joint annual monitoring, review and planning, including country involvement in baseline, MTR and evaluation from Plan AULO side.
  • Lead capacity strengthening, joint communication and advocacy with other consortium partners and consortium lead.
  • Being the main contact for the project, Plan, CSOs and partner organisations involved in the project, take on and provide additional management support in relation to the delivery of the projects
  • Develop and accompany key relationships with the AU and its organs, RECs, key Addis missions and relevant pan African CSOs and networks/alliances focusing on SRHR, teenage pregnancy, ending child marriage and other harmful practices and girls’ education areas.
  • Work closely with pan African CSOs and networks particularly girls and young women movements, SRHR networks and gender equality networks in the context of joint advocacy initiatives at the AU and RECs.
  • Initiate (quarterly) coordination/monitoring meetings with the BF! Partners. Organize planning, monitoring, reflection and learning meetings (venue (joint effort), refreshments, not partners’ travel or accommodation costs for attending these meetings).
  • Act as liaison between regional and international programme levels for the regional programme. The Program Manager is the liaison and first contact point for the global consortium Desk and the consortium for matters concerning the programme. The Program Manager shares information from the Desk or the consortium with the consortium team.
  • Lead the development/consolidation and submission of the joint consortium work plans and annual narrative reports are developed within the given timeframes and using the templates and guidance from the global consortium Desk. The coordination for the annual planning and progress reports lies with the Program Manager, but all consortium partners are responsible to provide the needed input and reflections on time. A process of joint reflections, review, monitoring and planning, with participation of all consortium partners contributing to the programme, is organized by the Program Manager. The Program Manager will consolidate inputs from the consortium partners into joint plans or reports.
  • Ensure effective leveraging of resources, opportunities and synergy among the three projects and other projects implemented by Plan AULO
  • Support the engagement and networking of girls and young women from the project to continental level influencers and their peers on yearly basis through the GIMAC platform

Educational Qualification and Experience

  • Master’s in human rights, political science, international development, gender studies or other social sciences
  • At least 10 years of relevant working experience in a similar role or environment.
  • Demonstrated experience on project management, gender equality, girls’ rights, SRHR, teenage pregnancy, ending child marriage and other harmful practices and girls education areas.
  • A very good understanding of the AU human rights mechanism and how these operate is essential.
  • Documented experience in gender equality and advocacy and lobby work with regional and international actors is essential.
  • Sound experience in national and continental partnership management and projects and program management
  • Strong skills in lobby and advocacy, M&E systems particularly Outcome Harvesting methodology is an asset
  • Excellent experience in partner capacity building **

Knowledge, Skills, Competencies, Behaviours, and Experience Required to Achieve Role’s Objectives:


  • Strong academic and practical background/experience in project management, gender equality, human rights, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, Policy and Practice
  • Sound thematic knowledge on girls’ rights, movement building, consortium management, teenage pregnancy, ending child marriage and other harmful practices and girls education areas.
  • Good knowledge of the links between gender equality, girls/children’s rights and NGO development/humanitarian programming practice.
  • Demonstrated understanding of gender equality and girls rights issues in both development and humanitarian contexts.
  • Experience designing, implementing, and evaluating high quality programmes with demonstrated impact on improving gender equality or girls’ empowerment.
  • Sound knowledge of the Africa regional context
  • Project cycle management with strong budget management background
  • Consortium management and working at multiple levels


  • Strong advocacy and campaigning skills especially on gender equality, girls/children’s rights, SRHR, teenage pregnancy, ending child marriage and other harmful practices and girls education areas.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills and able to communicate complex concepts around gender equality and empowerment clearly and concisely, and apply them in practical situations.
  • Strong project management and coordination skills
  • Demonstrated communication skills operating at a distance and across a wide variation in cultures
  • Excellent written and spoken English required (including excellent report writing skills)


Openness and accountability

  • Promote a culture of openness and transparency, including with the NLNO (Plan Netherlands) and partners;
  • Holds self and others accountable to achieve the highest standards of integrity; Consistent and fair in the treatment of people;
  • Open about mistakes and keen to learn from them.

Striving for lasting impact

  • Articulate a clear purpose for project team and partners and set high expectations;
  • Create a climate of continuous improvement, open to challenge and new ideas;
  • Focuses resources to drive change and maximize long-term impact, responsive to changed priorities or crises in line with the project objectives.

Working well together

  • Seek constructive outcomes, listen to others, willing to compromise when appropriate;
  • Builds constructive relationships across the alliance to support our shared goals;

Physical Environment and Demands:

Typical office environment with approximately 30% travel across the continent

Level of Contact with Children:

Low frequency of interaction with children.

How to apply:

How to Apply

Application procedure:

Interested and qualified candidates shall submit their motivation letter along with their recent CV via e-mail address.


  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
  • Potential candidates will be required to declare any potential points for conflict of interest e.g. a relative working for Plan etc, as well as sign on to the Plan International Safeguarding Policy and other relevant policies.
  • Qualified female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.
  • The PM position is local position however non-Ethiopians who are qualified and wouldn’t mind the local position are encouraged to apply.


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