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  • Global Non Profit
    International Development
    Senior Leadership and Management

    Country Director – Mali

    Founded in 1937, Plan International, Inc. (“PII”) is a development and humanitarian organisation 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 is an independent development and humanitarian non-profit organisation that believes in the power and potential of every child, but knows this is often supressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. 

    About Plan International in Mali

    Plan International started its work in Mali in 1976 in the district of Banamba. There are currently three active programme Implementation and Influencing Areas which are based in:

    • Kita, fully covering the region of Kayes;
    • Bougouni, covering Bougouni, the region of Sikasso and partially the region of Koulikoro.
    • Dioila, fully covering Dioila the regions Segou and partially the region of Koulikoro.

    Our work in the humanitarian response is coordinated from two programmes offices based in Timbuktu and Mopti. This geographical positioning in humanitarian context will be certainly influenced by the current crisis of Covid-19.

    After the merger with BORNEfonden in July 2018, Plan International Mali has undertaken a transformation which has led to restructuring at the levels of the country office and the field offices.  Skilled and competent staff have been deployed in the field offices to engage the feminist leadership approach though our programming and influencing works. That is empowering the field through decentralisation of authority bringing projects and programmes closer to the communities.

    Plan International Mali country strategic goal for the period of July 2019 to June 2023 is “Vulnerable and excluded Malian girls grow up healthily and equally cared for through their early years and receive the protection and support needed to make autonomous and healthy decisions on their sexuality and reproductive health as adolescents and youth.”

    About the role

    Plan International is looking for an experienced, feminist leader to drive Plan International’s programme 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 Country Director will have strong strategic leadership, people, financial, organisational development and safety, security and risk management capabilities.

    The Country Director will also have strong background in business development and good programming and influencing experience to sustain the excellent growth dynamics of the programme and advance public policy in favour of girls.

    As a member of West and Central Africa’s Regional Leadership team, the Country Director will have shared accountability, with CDs, Regional Director and Directors of Sub regions, to contribute to the overall learning and strategic direction of Plan International’s West and Central Africa Region (WACA) in 14 countries in the region.

    The Country Director will lead the Plan Mali office to ensure:

    • Our programme is well funded and growing and our work is recognised locally and internationally and remains relevant to the needs of girls and vulnerable children in Mali.
    • Our teams are motivated and skilled and relevant and our organisation is effective and efficient, compliant with the policies, standards and expectations of PII, ready and able to respond to emergency and development needs of the most marginalised children, especially girls. This includes effective and up to date safety, security and risk management practices relevant to complex operating environment.
    • Our work is guided by effective operations, strong financial management of budgets and performance of workplans to create a positive change for children, youth and their communities
    • Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded
    • Commitment to fulfilling our duty of care to our Staff, and where applicable to our Associates and Programme Participants, by providing a safe and secure environment so that we can better fulfil our Purpose of a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Specifically, ensuring that five essential elements are in place at every level: Prepare (training and equipment), Assess (security risk assessments), Act (SOPs, local policies, etc.), Respond (incident and crisis management), and Learn (incident review and incorporating lessons learned). 

    Plan International’s Values

    Our values are at the heart of everything we do. Only by defining a common set of values that are important to us – and that we also want to see in our partners – can we deliver on our shared aspirations. If we are to work towards fulfilling our new purpose, it is critical that we understand the behaviours we have to demonstrate to get us there.

    We strive for lasting impact

    We strive to achieve significant and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people, and to secure equality for girls. We challenge ourselves to be bold, courageous, responsive, focused and innovative.

    We are open and accountable

    We create an environment of trust inside and outside the organisation by being open, honest and transparent. We hold ourselves and others to account for the decisions we make and for our impact on others, while doing what we say we will do.

    We work well together

    We succeed by working effectively with others, inside and outside the organisation, including our sponsors and donors. We actively support our colleagues, helping them to achieve their goals. We come together to create and implement solutions in our teams across Plan International, with children, girls, young people, communities and our partners.

    We are inclusive and empowering

    We respect all people, appreciate differences and challenge inequality in our programmes and workplace. We support children, girls and young people to increase their confidence and change their own lives. We empower our staff to give their best and realise their potential.


    Plan International’s work in Mali will be delivered by a motivated and efficient team, skilled in their area of expertise and compliant with the expectation Plan International has of all staff:

    • Creation and management of high performing teams delivering excellent technical work, using child-centred and gender-transformative approaches in line with Global and Country Strategies.
    • Management of individuals across the team to ensure full development of potential through induction, performance management and compliance in all core policy areas, including Gender and Child protection.
    • Staff numbers and structures will be designed and kept at a level that is efficient and cost effective.
    • Work environments will be managed to reduce risk from health and safety and security hazards
    • Generate solutions for identifying competent staff to deliver country objectives.

    Plan’s work will be guided by accurate and timely work-plans and budgets that can be used to create impact and efficiency:

    • Deliver an accurate and timely Annual Plan and Budget
    • Develop work-plans from Country Strategy documents and on the basis of ongoing environment analysis
    • Create accurate phased budgets for all programs and projects.
    • Efficient and fully compliant financial management in the allocation/budgeting, disbursement and accounting for all resources.

    Plan’s work will be relevant to the needs of the most vulnerable children and particularly girls, in Mali:

    • Country Strategy is used regularly as yardstick and guiding document to achieve the agreed strategic objectives.
    • Emergency preparedness analysis ensures Plan is ready to respond to predictable emergency conditions.
    • Effective and swift emergency response programs and interventions are launched in time of need.
    • The location of programme work is regularly reviewed to ensure that existing sponsorship communities receive regular benefits as per the Sponsorship Commitments and new communities are reached when appropriate
    • The programme is registered with the relevant authorities and compliant with local laws and MoUs exist with concerned ministries giving due recognition to Plan International and its work in Mali
    • Country leadership and staff are well aware of the country security situation and protocols and Standard Operating Procedures are developed and implemented giving due consideration to security and safety of staff and visitors
    • The PQP approach is intrinsic to all programme work
    • The Country Office meets performance against organisation’s management standards at all times including Audits and Risk management.

    Plan International’s work will be well funded and the portfolio continue growing:

    • Representation to donor agencies locally and thorough tracking of potential funding sources will result in timely knowledge of funding opportunities in a planned manner
    • Exploitation of funding opportunities and proposal development in partnership with Plan’s member organisations and in line with agreed strategy
    • Delivery of grant and sponsorship work on time with clear measurable impact on children and in full compliance with donor requirements and Plan International´s priorities and methodologies.

    Plan International’s work in Mali will be recognised locally and internationally as effective and relevant to the needs of highly vulnerable children especially girls:

    • Representation of the work to all key stakeholders (local leaders, donor representatives in the country, INGOs locally and internationally) regularly promotes the issues being addressed and the work addressing them.
    • Initiate and engage in extensive collaboration and consultation with local and central authorities, INGOs, national NGOs and local communities.
    • Timely and engaging external communications keeps Plan International at the forefront of the issues affecting children in Mali.
    • Sharing Plan International Mali’s experience and collaborating with other countries of the region in a shared service approach regarding the technical and operational aspects of our programs and interventions.

    Dealing with Problems:

    • Quick ability to understand the complexity of Plan International’s business model, organisational structures and decision-making processes.
    • Dealing with security/emergency conditions – the Country Director has to be actively involved in having security information and providing clear guidance for the safety and security of staff, assets and programmes.
    • Monitoring and addressing any changes in the legal and political environment in the country with respect to Government expectations and requests.
    • Flexibility to support other Country Offices across the region.
    • Sponsorship requests – this includes finding out new ways of managing sponsorship, retention of sponsors and children.

    Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded

    • Ensure that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion 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. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.


    Strategic Leadership Competencies

    • Drive progress in the area of responsibility by setting and communicating an ambitious but realistic strategy, aligned with Plan International’s short- and longer-term priorities and appropriately resourced.
    • Use own behaviour to role model the culture change we need, upholding our values and accelerating progress towards gender equality inside Plan International, with our partners and in wider society.
    • Ensure effective delivery by leading through others, working closely with our support functions, keeping abreast of what is going on in the own business unit or function and responding quickly if problems arise.
    • Make timely decisions, even in uncertainty and when information is imperfect. Manage opportunities and risks and adjust actions as situations unfold and we learn more.
    • Grow the professional and leadership capabilities we will need in future by developing the skills and potential of our workforce and coach teams to act in turn as developers of other people.
    • Communicate clearly and persuasively with large and diverse groups of people, giving them the understanding and motivation to succeed and involving all staff in reflection, innovation and improvement.
    • Build strategic relationships with key leaders, experts and stakeholders across the Plan International federation and externally, navigating political and power interests and negotiating positive outcomes.

    Business Management Competencies

    Organisational Understanding

    • Understanding of Plan International’s purpose, values, strategy, funding sources, organisation, governance, types of programmes and can clearly articulate Plan’s purpose to staff.
    • Has a thorough understanding of the country/Regional context and adapts activities and practices to take account of the political, financial, social, and cultural context in which we are working.

    Risk Management

    • Exemplifies strategic risk management has a track record of identifying and mitigating relevant business, strategic, financial, legal, safety, security, reputational and project risks, regularly undertaking and interpreting risk assessments and actively managing risks appropriately in context, taking professional advice or escalating where appropriate.

    Managing People and relationships

    • Track record of leading a major business unit or function, setting its structure and processes, defining future workforce requirements and talent management, promoting diversity in the workplace, and reshaping the workforce to meet strategic needs.
    • Proven ability to build influential relationships internally to strengthen a culture of collaboration, resource sharing, partnership, and learning within the region and at the global level.

    Business Delivery

    • Business acumen and proven experience of delivering organisational strategic plans, aligned to team and annual plan, incorporating innovation and avoiding duplication of work activities.
    • Knowledge of programming in challenging environments and ability to effectively work through partners and proven networking and negotiations skills.
    • Optimising and managing resources to achieve agreed team or project objectives on-time and within budget, reviewing and adjusting plans if required and ensures compliance with organisational or donor requirements.
    • Solid Financial management experience, including understanding relevant funding sources, revenue cycles, budgeting and cost estimation, balance sheets, return on investment etc. Efficiently and effectively uses financial systems to report, monitor and forecast the financial position and work plans adjusted based on regular review.

    Other Knowledge and Skills

    • Relevant University degree in development, social science, business administration or related field.
    • A minimum of 5 years of exercising leadership functions with increasing responsibility in an international environment related to development.
    • Demonstrable knowledge, because of study, training or practical experience, on the key debates in development and emergency response methods and effectiveness, particularly about rights-based programming for child rights.
    • Experience and understanding of the concepts of sustainable community development and participatory approaches and practice in development interventions.
    • Experience and understanding of the nexus concept in development programming and humanitarian response including social cohesion
    • Proven understanding of “gender equality and inclusion in development” concepts and the promotion of girls’ rights in the context of relevant International Conventions (Convention of the Rights of the Child, Convention for the Eradication of Discrimination against Women) and the Global Goals (SDGs).
    • Knowledge of Mali political-economy context and sensitivities, Mali geopolitical factors affecting child-poverty in the country and the political, social and environmental opportunities for change is an advantage
    • Knowledge of the donor context in the country/region/globally and requirements of donor compliance and financial management
    • Knowledge of programming in difficult environments with good understanding and appreciation of the historical, security context, political environment, economic, social/religious and humanitarian context in Mali or a comparable environment.


    • Proven skills in the development and management of effective and motivated teams, including distance management
    • Effective working with and through partners
    • Proven negotiation skills with Governmental and non-Governmental actors
    • Communications, comfortable with the media, presenting and arguing a case
    • Proven analytical skills in isolating priorities and tackling them
    • Excellent written skills in English and French for the development of proposals and the review of reports.



    • Director of Sub Region – Line manager
    • Regional Leadership Management and Regional Leadership Team
    • PII Leadership Team, Global Hub’s Departments and Global Policies / Process Owners
    • Collaboration with other Country Offices through technical and operational hubs and mutual shared service agreements
    • National Organisations (NO)
    • Departments in GH who may guide and advise on Global Standards for our operations.
    • National Office program departments around funding opportunities


    • Plan International Mali works in partnership with a number of local and international organisations to advance the cause and interest of children. Plan is also a member of various thematic groups and works closely with government, INGO Platform, UN and donor representatives in Mali.
    • National and Local authorities (National Government, States and Local government authorities), community leaders and Media at local and national level
    • Grants donors: National Organisations, Corporate, and National Institutions
    • UN and donor representatives and partners including national and international NGOs, civil society and community-based organisations.


    Location: Bamako, Mali. Extensive local and some international travel – requires the ability to travel frequently to remote areas.

    Contract length: 3 years

    Terms and conditions: The salary is commensurate with the seniority of the appointment. Relocation package available for internationally relocated candidates.

    Reports to: Director Sub-Region (Sahel)

    Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.


     Closing date: 1st January 2024

    To apply please click ‘apply for job’

    As part of the application process kindly submit your CV and a cover letter, preferably in MS Word. All application documents (cover letter and CV) should be submitted in English.

    Need help submitting your application? Please email us at [email protected]

    Should you require access to information in a different format to facilitate your application please contact us via [email protected]

    Please name your submitted files with the following reference: PII_CDMAL

    Red Sea takes our responsibility towards protecting your personal data very seriously. The data you provide is processed in line with relevant data protection legislation. For the purposes of this recruitment, and as defined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Red Sea is defined as the Data Controller.

    Red Sea is committed to meeting the standards set out in our Equality and Diversity statement, acting in line with the UK Equalities Act 2010 and building an accurate picture of the make-up of the workforce in encouraging equality and diversity.

    Job Overview

    Job Title:Country Director – Mali

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