Head of Programs

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Head of Programs

  • Post Date:May 9, 2021
  • Views 696
0 Applications
  • Career Level Executive
    Qualification Master’s Degree
    Experience 10-15 Years
  • Industry Non Governmental
Job Description

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We believe in the power and potential of every child. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood and we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity.

We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge. In Zimbabwe, we have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 31 years. Plan International operates an equal opportunities policy and actively encourages diversity.

Head of Programs

Location – Harare Country Office                                                                                                                      

Reporting to the Country Director, the Head of Programs is responsible for leading Plan International Zimbabwe’s program and influencing work, setting overall direction, leading a high performing team, ensuring accountability for meeting demanding targets and maintaining alignment with the global strategy.  The Head of Programs will also lead the country’s strategic planning, program development and management, resource mobilisation and sponsorship management.


Accountabilities and main responsibilities:

Strategic planning, reporting and support to quality programme delivery

  • Strategic planning: contribute to the strategic development and management of programs that are gender transformative in the country by regular reviews and alignment with the Country Strategy (CS).
  • Key advocacy issues/asks are identified for each Country Programs with the engagement of programs team and Country Leadership Team (CLT) and the relevant strategies, processes are designed and implemented to ensure evidence based influencing.
  • Organisational approaches such as mainstreaming gender equality, resilience and partnership are incorporated across all programs and projects.
  • Support to quality programs: high quality, integrated and innovative programs are designed and delivered that have sustainable, measurable impacts on the lives of the children, particularly girls and their communities in program implementation areas.
  • Monitor program performance and budget utilization and advise on corrective measures.
  • Reporting: coordinate the programmatic reporting process, in particular, quarterly and annual reports, to the Regional Office (RO) including timely submission of all required reports and implementation of follow-up actions and recommendations.
  • The results of M&E, research and learning activities are integrated within the Country Programs, Program Areas partners etc. and projects are revised/adjusted accordingly.
  • The monitoring, evaluation, research and learning plan supports the CS delivery with timely and accurate data on outcomes.
  • Risk Management: Coordinate and support program quality and delivery on program audit, child protection and safeguarding audit and Gender Strategy review exercise and adequate application of management across all impact areas.

Member of the Country Leadership Team

  • Actively participate in CLT meetings to provide strategic inputs/advice and contributing to decisions on policy and strategic direction.
  • Support provided to other members to achieve the CS outcomes.
  • Provide regular updates to members regarding program delivery and seek advice and inputs for areas needing attention.
  • Learning is shared within Plan International Zimbabwe, supporting regular dialogue between programs and teams.

Working in Partnership:

  • Plan International Zimbabwe engages in strategic partnerships with civil society, private sector, academia, intergovernmental and nongovernmental agencies, at all levels so as to work together to ensure equality and non-discrimination for children achieving their rights.
  • Plan is engaged in key networks, movements, coalitions and alliances relevant to the improvement of children’s (especially girls’) rights in Zimbabwe and the Southern Africa sub-region.
  • The standards and guidelines for partnership management are regulated updated, understood, adhered and reflected in practice.

Advocacy and Influencing

  • In collaboration with the program team, ensure effective and evidence based advocacy strategies are developed to ensure girls Learn, Lead, Decide and Thrive and specific advocacy asks are integrated in Country Programs (CPs).
  • Knowledge and hands-on experience in designing, implementing and evaluation advocacy initiatives and influencing campaigns.
  • Hold to account and effectively influence duty bearers, key stakeholders and decision makers at all levels (local to global) to promote and ensure rights of all children in Zimbabwe through adequate laws, policy and practice.
  • Ensure high quality publications, media messaging and al internal/external communications support Plan’s advocacy work.
  • Ensure integration between communications and advocacy teams to effectively deliver programs.

Resource Mobilisation and networking

  • Collaborate in the design, development and submission of grant proposals.
  •  Ensure Plan International Zimbabwe has a coherent, relevant and innovative programs portfolio aligned to the Country Strategy.
  • Builds relationships with Plan International National Offices (NOs) and donors for sharing and learning and for strategic positioning.

Team Development and People Management:

  • Provide support in the form of coordination, planning, prioritization, coaching and supervision to all program staff.
  • Ensures that the program team are operating as high-performance teams and have clear accountability lines.
  • Maintaining good inter-team communications, engender good team dynamics.
  • All program staff understand, adopt and live the Values and Behaviours framework in their daily work and life.
  • Team building and maintenance: establish, agree, communicate and monitor standard of performance and behaviours of the team through Individual Accountability Plans (IAP), and key performance indicators (KPI’s) that are agreed annually, and monitored and updated quarterly.
  • Team members have the necessary skills, training and development to be able to effectively deliver on their roles, as well as provide the needed coaching and mentoring for career advancement.

Procedures, Process and Applications Support:

  • Applications and systems support: oversees the in-country rollout of corporate systems, policies, procedures and applications that contribute to program quality and efficiency as well as meet compliance standards and donor requirements.
  • Global and regional policies and procedures: oversee the rollout of global and regional policies and ensure compliance to standard procedures.
  • Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Child Protection and safeguarding  and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility.


  • A Masters Degree in Development Studies, or related degree and 10-15 years of experience (including international) in managing development programs and preference with disaster response with large and complex budget
  • Sound understanding of integrated development and critical analysis of root causes of child poverty.
  • Demonstrable knowledge on key issues in development regarding the Sustainable Development Goals, UNCRC and CEDAW particularly around child rights.
  • Excellent knowledge of strategic planning process.
  • Knowledge of effective participatory MER systems and processes.
  • Fluency in English both spoken and written.
  • Knowledge of the country, the geopolitical factors affecting child-poverty in the country as well as the political, social and economic opportunities for development are an advantage


  • Exceptional conceptual and strategic thinking skills
  • Ability to train, mobilize, and manage both international and national staff
  • Flexibility and ability to multi-task under pressure;
  • Ability to work well in frequently changing environment
  • Ability to communicate and negotiate at different levels and effective interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with colleagues with diverse experiences
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including presentation and public speaking
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Leadership analysis/coaching and mentoring skills
  • Strong team building and motivational skills

Key Competences

  • Clear understanding and experience of gender analysis and gender transformative programming.
  • Knowledge and experience in project cycle management.
  • Experience in administration and implementation of major grants & contracts from institutional donors.


  • Achieves clarity and accountability among whole team of their individual and collective objectives;
  • Holds self and others to account to deliver on agreed goals and standards of behavior.
  • Deals with poor performers by either improving their contribution or managing their exit, if appropriate.
  • Flexible in responding to new demands presented in emergency situations.
  • Good judgment in decision-making, making best use of available information and looking at risks and mitigation measures.
  • Willing to make difficult or unpopular decisions and stand by them.
  • Represents Plan effectively with senior people in external stakeholder organisations;
  • Understands external and internal politics and able to navigate these;
  • Assertive without being aggressive.
  • Aware of own strengths, weaknesses and pro-active in using feedback and self-development
  • Positive about change and able to cope well with ambiguity and support others in doing so


We are open and accountable

  • Promotes a culture of openness and transparency, including with sponsors and donors.
  • 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.
  • Accountable for ensuring we are a safe organisation for all children, girls & young people.

We strive for lasting impact

  • Articulates a clear purpose for staff and sets high expectations.
  • Creates a climate of continuous improvement, open to challenge and new ideas.
  • Focuses resources to drive change and maximise long-term impact, responsive to changed priorities or crises.
  • Evidence-based and evaluates effectiveness.

We work well together

  • Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate.
  • Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals.
  • Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities.
  • Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.

We are inclusive and empowering

  • We empower our staff to give their best and develop their potential.
  • We respect all people, appreciate differences and challenge equality in our program and our workplace.
  • We support children, girls and young people to increase their confidence and develop agency to change their own lives.

Interested candidates who meet the above requirements are required to submit their curriculum vitae & cover letter outlining their suitability for the position. Plan International takes very seriously the responsibility and duty to ensure that we and anyone who represents us does not in any way harm or place at risk children and young people. In this regard, reference & background checks will be performed including clearances on child related offences in conformity with Plan’s Safeguarding Policy.

This position is open to Zimbabwean nationals
Location: Zimbabwe (Harare)
Type of role: Renewable Fixed Term Contract
Closing Date : 19 May 2021