Programme Operations Manager at Save the Children

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in over 120 countries. We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfil their potential. Save the Children is working in Nigeria because one in five children in Nigeria dies before their fifth birthday. About 40% of children miss out on school and have to work to survive while nearly 2 million children have lost one or both parents to an AIDS-related disease.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:




Job Title: Programme Operations Manager

Job ID: 210003O1
Location: Abuja (with up to 40 % travel)
Grade: 2
Employee Status: Fixed Term
Team: Operations
Post Type: National / International

Child Safeguarding

Role Purpose:

  • Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children. We work in 120 countries. We save children’s lives; we fight for their rights; we help them fulfil their potential. We work together, with our partners, to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives
  • The Program Operations Manager (POM) is a member of the extended senior management team, and the operations leadership group, representing applicable field issues to the DPO and sharing in the responsibility for the direction, and oversight of SCI’s operations in country
  • The purpose of the role is strategic oversight and management of the set-up, and strengthening of program implementation in SC Nigeria’s newer operating locations of Kogi, Oyo, and Adamawa states
  • The role will also provide steer and support for effective field operations management and program delivery in Katsina state
  • The POM will closely monitor key performance indicators for program delivery, as well as ensure that bottlenecks are addressed through the facilitation of collaborative work across functions
  • A key focus of the POM is to provide capacity building support to state team leads and field leads
  • This role will be responsible and accountable for supporting operations as well within the Humanitarian Preparedness and Response team
  • The POM reports directly to the Director of Program Operations and supports the operations team in fulfilling its full spectrum role at the country and field office levels
  • In the event of internal or external changes to the operating context, or a rapid onset emergency, the role holder might be expected to work outside the normal role profile, perform other tasks as outlined by the line-manager and be able to vary working hours accordingly.

Scope of Role:

  • Reports to: DPO
  • Staff reporting to this Post: 6
  • Budget Responsibilities: Yes, per scheme of delegations
  • Role Dimensions: Communication with internal and external stakeholders, close collaboration with all business functions (Project Directors, Technical Advisers (Program Development & Quality Team); Awards, Finance, Supply Chain, Safety & Security, Internal Control, HR/Admin; and oversight of applicable field locations.

Key Areas of Accountability
Program Management & Delivery:

  • Responsible for coordination of program implementation both direct and indirect, and for delivery of high quality programming on time, on budget, in line with the objectives of the Country Strategic Plan and in accordance with donor requirements
  • Ensure that key project documents are in place at project kick-off, including procurement plans and HR planning, implementation plans, phased budgets, and ensure the periodic review of the same
  • Closely monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and trouble-shoot issues affecting program delivery at field level, drawing on support from DPO and relevant departments within the country office
  • Work with the DPO, DDPO, Project Directors and Field Managers to ensure that large, multi-location projects led by Project Managers are managed and supported appropriately
  • Support the implementation of MEAL protocols in line with best practices
  • Responsible for early communication to DPO and Awards Director for any project amendments, extensions etc. and participation in the development of these requests to donors
  • Work with field teams to identify and communicate to DPO/PDQ team any gaps in service provision/unmet beneficiary needs in current areas of implementation or more broadly, to inform opportunity gaps and new business development
  • Coordinate adherence to robust project management methodology and standardised ways of working, including through capacity building of Field Managers and Program Managers in work-planning and program management, and holding them accountable for key deliverables
  • Ensure adherence to and appropriate responsibility for donor awards as per the Scheme of Delegation: manage and support budget holders for individual projects and awards, ensuring accurate forecasting, and effective budget management and monitoring, for example through monthly project reviews at field level and at country office level
  • Assist DPO in oversight of humanitarian response portfolio with enhanced direct support to prioritised complex humanitarian responses
  • Support the Field Operations Managers and Project Managers to lead on key delegated areas, including Partnership strategy and programing and government liaison for project sub-agreements
  • Represent Save the Children to members, donors and other stakeholders as required.
  • Deploy as required within or in support of prioritised humanitarian responses on a temporary basis particularly during start-up periods.
  • Schedule periodic field operations support and monitoring visits to the relevant field locations, designed to observe program delivery, ensure accountability to beneficiaries, monitor controls and adherence to systems, spotlight progress and achievements, and inform learning.
  • In close coordination with relevant departments, participate in the program proposal process and participate in designing, innovative and high quality programs to serve children
  • Require and coordinate Project Managers/ Field leads to prepare timely and high quality donor reports and any other donor requirement, in a manner to allow TA and Awards review, consolidation, and submission

Staff Management, Mentorship and Development- Program Operations:

  • Ensure relevant field locations are adequately planned for, and resourced with appropriate staffing and fit-for- purpose operational structure.
  • Manages, supports and mentors field operation leads and their team members, including field program and finance managers, compliance, administration and supply chain officers, to ensure effective cross-function collaboration that aids timely and quality implementation of work plans, and budgets, while ensuring organizational and donor compliance.
  • Work with field leads and HR to ensure that effective performance management systems are in place at field level, and to identify and manage talent suitable for succession planning, and appropriate capacity building.
  • Effective use of the Development to Perform system including the establishment of clear expectations, measureable objectives, on-going feedback, periodic reviews and fair and unbiased regular evaluations that provide leadership and technical support as needed
  • Provide direct and regular on the job mentoring and coaching, to applicable field managers, state program leads and operations coordinator, to demonstrate increased skills and confidence for their respective work areas, and work more efficiently with better prioritization of work

Emergency Preparedness, System Strengthening and Others:

  • Work with the DPO and field leads to develop and review context specific incidence management protocols, contingency plans, and CO Emergency Preparedness Planning.
  • Work with the field leads to ensure timely report of incidents internal and external to the operating context, that could impact SCI operations, and to raise alerts where applicable for potential response
  • Facilitate production and dissemination of humanitarian alerts, assessment and categorisation processes, supporting the definition of support needs and coordination of organisational resources (including people, funding, stocks)
  • Address any gaps in support service capacity or systems, as identified at field level, with relevant department leads.
  • Support the development of an organisational culture that reflects our values, promotes accountability and high performance, encourages a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, and frees up our people to deliver outstanding results for children; and excellent customer service for our Members and donor
  • Undertake tasks assigned by the DPO under the Operations Department work plan.
  • Act as delegate to cover other key Operations leadership roles, as required.
  • Ensure that systems and procedures are adopted and implemented that satisfy Save the Children and donor compliance requirements
  • Work with other department leads on the roll out of policies and systems at field level, ensuring alignment and synergy with standard Country Office processes

Skills and Behaviours (Values in Practice)


  • Holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.


  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team, takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same
  • Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale.


  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
  • Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.


  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • Willing to take disciplined risks.


  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency; demonstrates highest levels of integrity

Qualifications, Experience and Skills

  • Recommended 5 – 10 years management experience in an NGO environment, including significant field operations experience in implementing and managing large field based operations and multi-sector programs
  • Master’s degree in development, other social sciences; or bachelor’s degree with equivalent diplomas and 7 – 10years experience working within a complex NGO and matrix structure on program cycle management
  • Strong team management and capacity-building skills and experience. Demonstrated ability to build and manage an effective team with at least three years of direct management experience, and/or expertise with remote operational/logistical/financial management.
  • Excellent experience of computerized accounts packages, Excel, PowerPoint and Word
  • Willingness and ability to dramatically change work practices and hours, in the event of emergencies
  • Excellent interpersonal communication and presentation skills, as well as demonstrated credibility with colleagues and stakeholders at all levels of an organization
  • A high level of resilience, willingness to travel frequently to field locations
  • Commitment to and understanding of Save the Children’s aims values and principles including rights based approaches
  • Familiar with effective financial and budgetary controls, management and understanding; managing grants from a diverse range of donors, and coaching others on systems and procedures
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, and organise a substantial workload, for self and others, that includes complex, diverse tasks and responsibilities in both development and emergency contexts
  • Solid project management skills with a proven history of delivering results
  • Ability to analyse information, evaluate options and to think and plan strategically
  • Excellent problem solving capacities; ability to collaborate with others to find solutions
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English


  • Previous experience working within both development programs as well as complex humanitarian programs in high risk environments; Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) training is an advantage.

Additional Job Responsibilities:

  • The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the role holder may be required to carry out additional duties within reasonableness of their level of skills and experience.

Equal Opportunities:

  • The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies and procedures.

Child Safeguarding:

  • 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.

Health and Safety:

  • The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with SCI Health and Safety policies and procedures.




How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply


Application Deadline  9th June, 2021.

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