Country Director

TITLE:  Country Director

TEAM/PROGRAMME: West & Central Africa Regional Senior Leadership Team

LOCATION: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

GRADE: International Tier II



Level 3:  the post holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight) because they work in country programs; or are visiting country programs; or because they are responsible for implementing the police checking/vetting process staff.


As a member of the West & Central Africa Senior Leadership team, you will have shared accountability for Save the Children’s international development and emergency programming in the region of approximately $213 million (2020) through an organisation of over 2,400 people. To achieve our ambitious goals and breakthroughs for children, the leadership team will, in collaboration with Save the Children Members and in conjunction with the other regional organisations, aim to drive growth of the donor landscape to $2.7 billion this year.

The Country Director will lead the transformation of the country office to a new operating model, whilst also delivering Save the Children’s strategy within the country through:

  • Delivering quality programmes, including advocacy, for children; and
  • Serving Members and their donors


Reports to: Regional Director

Staff directly reporting to this post: 8 (Directors of Program Operations, ACCM, Program Development & Quality, Finance, HR /Admin, Head of Internal Control & Compliance, Safety & Security Manager and Safeguarding Manager).

Role Dimension: Save the Children has been actively working in DRC since 1994. Our programs cover six provinces: North Kivu (Office in Goma), South Kivu (Offices in Bukavu, Uvira, and Shabunda), Ituri (Office in Bunia), Kasaï Oriental (Office in Mbuji-Mayi). Ongoing process to open a new office in Tshikapa (Kasaï) while Kinshasa program office (Limete) is in closeout phase. SCI DRC also has satellite offices in Rutshuru (NK), Kamango (NK), Baraka (SK) and Mwene Ditu (Lomami). We also have operational presence in Kolwezi (Lualaba province) with programs essentially implemented through local partners. Access to essential services is very limited in different areas and children are subject to widespread exploitation and abuse, including recruitment into armed groups, forced labour, sexual abuse and abandonment.

Our program is implemented in various sectors including Health, Nutrition, Education, and Protection. With a full-spectrum approach to programming, we engage in both long-term development projects and emergency interventions delivered both directly and through local partners, building the resilience and improving the lives of girls and boys throughout the country. The DRC country program currently employs around 350 staff. In 2023, the annual operating budget is expected to increase to over $37 million from a total spent of $28 million in 2022. We work directly with families and communities, foster the participation of children and partner with local organizations, UN bodies, International NGOs and the DRC government to deliver results.


As a member of the Regional Senior Leadership Team, contribute to strategic development and delivery of international programming, in both humanitarian and development contexts, in line with the Save the Children mandate, strategy and theory of change.

Strategic Leadership 

  • Provide vision and direction for the DRC country programme 
  • Effectively build and lead a high performing SMT to deliver against strategy and to model behaviours and values expected of staff 
  • Accountable for the leadership and management of staff and programme in DRC
  • Develop the Country Strategy and ensure ongoing review progress against key country and organisational level objectives, indicators and targets
  • Ensuring  that the focus of the organisation remains on the rights and needs of children 
  • Contribute to regional and global knowledge and learning 

Human Resource Management 

  • Ensure that Save the Children attracts and retains high calibre staff 
  • Pro-actively develop and coach staff to optimise their potential in pursuit of Save the Children’s objectives
  • Implementation of HR policies and procedures at country level, in line with HR policies, procedures and guidelines and local labour law
  • Ensure consistent implementation of strong performance management systems throughout the country team
  • Foster a collegial, supportive and respectful culture within the DRC team

Programme Development and Management 

  • Ensure programme interventions are in line with technical best practice, SC common approaches, and emerging national policies as well as with country and strategic objectives, strategies, policies and approaches.
  • Ensure that effective monitoring and evaluation systems are implemented in line with policies, systems and guidelines.
  • Preparing for and implementing rapid and effective responses to major emergencies affecting children, including building relationships with key humanitarian and development decision-makers  and partners in-country  
  • Delivering programmes and advocacy in line with the country strategy, operational plans, budgets and Member requirements that result in significant impact for children

Financial and Admin Management 

  • Ensure effective financial budgeting and management systems, processes and controls are in place and are fully compliant with operating standards and local legal requirements
  • Ensure effective Save the Children and donor compliant procurement and asset management systems, processes and controls are in place 
  • Ensure that partner organisations are assessed in relation to financial management and governance standards and are supported to address capacity weaknesses

Audit and Corporate Governance compliance 

  • Ensure compliance with all host government requirements in relation to registration, taxation, labour law, auditing, fraud etc.
  • Ensure follow-up on recommendations arising out of audits of operations and take appropriate actions where necessary

Institutional Funding 

  • Ensure full compliance with Members and donors requirements in relation to awards secured for the country programme
  • Network actively and play a lead role in management level dialogue with members, donors and other INGOs on accessing and managing awards 
  • Maintain and grow the funding base for the country program and liaise with the bilateral and multilateral donor community in DRC.

Security Management

  • Develop, establish and manage DRC programme security plans and procedures in line with policies, systems and guidelines
  • Maintain, document and communicate up to date analyses of the changing security context
  • Ensure all staff adhere to security guidelines

Representation, Communications and Advocacy: 

  • Develop and maintain good relations with Members and their donors
  • Represent Save the Children’s interests in DRC including Government Institutions, UN agencies, donor delegations, international & local NGOs
  • Ensure the timely provision of internal and external communications material as required


  • Any other duties as assigned by the Regional Director

BEHAVIOURS (Values in Practice)


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
  • 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 and gender, sees it as a source of competitive strength


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


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


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field


  • Experienced leader who has held senior positions in complex/high profile/ multinational organisations 
  • Experience of working with large, complex donors (USAID, EU, DFIDSIDA, NORAD, DANIDA etc.) to secure and/or manage new large-scale and/or competitive funding
  • Understanding of key trends in international and humanitarian development
  • Demonstrable ability to recruit, lead and develop high calibre specialist senior staff with a range of backgrounds and expertise
  • Strong track record in building high performance teams and future successors/leaders
  • Ability to manage and motivate self and others to respond to a significant and complex crisis situation in extraordinary circumstances, requiring swift action and rapid changes in priorities
  • Innovative approach to solving a range of highly complex issues and galvanising buy-in to the solutions at all levels
  • Experience and knowledge of context and actors in WCA region.
  • Fluency and speaking and writing in both French and English 
  • Commitment to the Save the Children vision, principles, mission and values
  • Experience on humanitarian programs and ability to work in a volatile environment preferred.

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.

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Job Description

Find out more about this role by downloading the job description

Job description

22 May 2023

21 Jun 2023 - 23:59 GMT


Programme Operations



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