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  • International Development
    Senior Leadership and Management

    Director of Operations (WACA)

    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 suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination.

    About Plan International in West and Central Africa

    The region covered by the Plan International West and Central Africa Hub (WACAH) stretches from the westernmost tip of Africa to the Republic of Congo in the south, on both sides of the equator and partly along the Atlantic Ocean. It brings together 22 countries that stretch from the semi-arid lands of the Sahel to the vast coastal areas of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Guinea, while the rainforest covers large territories, from Guinea to the Republic of Congo, via Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Gabon.

    In addition to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is “the largest economic and political union” on the African continent, and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the region also includes two monetary unions — the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).

    In West and Central Africa, Plan International is present in 15 countries, including 12 in West Africa, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and 3 in Central Africa: Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR).

    Plan International’s approach in the region aims to multiply impact for children and youth, in particular girls, by leading, enabling and connecting key players with innovation. As such, WACAH is a reliable partner for girls’ rights issues at the regional level and a facilitator of joint engagement with regional and sub-regional institutions and networks.

    Plan International engages and partners with regional and sub-regional networks, bodies and movements to advance children’s rights and equality for girls using evidence from our own interventions and partners’ best practices. We empower youth and young women-led organisations through regional-level networking, capacity building and support to children and youth/girls-led initiatives to promote gender equality in West and Central Africa.

    The WACA Regional Hub promotes an enabling environment and supports our countries’ team to ensure excellence in our gender-transformative programming and influencing.

    About the role

    Plan International is looking for an outstanding, feminist leader to help drive Operational Excellence across the West and Central Africa – WACA’s growing and complex portfolios. You will ensure continuous improvement across all the key management standards by providing strategic analysis on performance, supporting the functional people, process & system improvement implementation risk management and driving new solutions/initiatives for effective service delivery, contributing to Plan International’s global strategy In the West and Central Africa Region.

    The Director of Operations will bring critical analysis, insights and implementation lead to drive strategy, growth, and operational efficiency within the organisation. S/he will maintain an organisation-wide perspective and support decision-making among WACA regional leadership. S/he will partner with other senior leaders within the region to strengthen Plan International’s programme performance by providing key insights on leadership to enable the organisation to determine progress towards our strategic ambition, ranging from strategic results frameworks to day-to-day operational excellence in fulfilment of the mandate of the WACA Region as a whole.

    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, we must understand the behaviours we have to demonstrate to get us there.

    We strive for lasting impact

    We strive to achieve a 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.


    Leadership and Management in Business Support Services:

    • Supply Chain Management: Work closely with the regional SCM specialist to ensure that the SCM operational excellence transformation is taking place in countries and supply chain operations adhere to the procedures and best practices as per the Supply Chain Operations Manual. Support the deployment of the supply chain assessment tool (SCAT) with clear improvement goals and upgraded organisational design.
    • Project Management
      • Work closely with the project specialist to implement effective and efficient project management. Help countries establish the 5 steps of project management with PM processes, procedures, the project set-up, budgeting, and cost allocations.
      • Articulate and ensure the delivery of benefits for operational excellence aligned to management standards or assessment tools. Oversee the production of analysis and actionable insights to inform the decision-making processes of governance committees and senior management in support of Plan International’s strategy.
      • Act as a change ambassador to generate efficiency and the success of the region in the changing context. Jointly work with RH and GH technical managers in developing key organisational priorities in the areas of Business Support Services. Develop clear TOR and team objectives.
      • Build strong plans jointly with the GH technical functional teams (Humanitarian, SCM, Security etc) on preparedness for emergency response and supply chain. Contribute towards the development of global and regional frameworks, to guide teams on the delivery of support services.
      • As appropriate develop business cases for ensuring effective systems, and functions that adequately serve the organisational needs in countries and at a regional level.
    • Strategic Planning and delivery of programmes: Country Offices have strong Country Strategies that include realistic sub-strategies for operational resourcing: projects, financing, supply chain management, human resources and risk management that will enable the fulfilment of the plans and are fit for purpose (i.e. aligned to support the delivery of programme objectives) and monitored regularly. Support management engagement spaces about operational standards and performance, including the regional and global dimensions of the RH role. Undertake readiness assessment analysis for COs, identifying key risks and following up on agreed mitigating actions alongside the regional specialists’ team.
    • Policy, Legality, regional compliance and accountability: Country Offices are fully compliant with local statutory / registration requirements and global policies and the minimum standards associated with their implementation.
    • Risk, Audit and Security Management: RO/COs have risk management systems with clear strategies in place to address them. Lead the management and mitigation of risk through the effective creation and deployment of robust standards and controls.
    • IT, Digital and business solutions: Proactively leverage technology, knowledge and resources to enable the region to be as proactive, agile, efficient and effective as possible. Recommend and oversee the implementation of innovative business and technical solutions to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency, responding to business process challenges, risks, issues and opportunities. Support business case creation for investments aligned to trends in business resources which support operational effectiveness and efficiency. YODA implementation.
    • Regional Office shared services support: The RO support services and the shared services arrangements with the host offices are run efficiently and can support the delivery of effective programmes across the region. Work in matrix management with the GH functions to develop synergies between their services & approaches and the regional shared-services centre.
    • Team Management: A well-managed team of experts is recognised by CO Leadership for providing excellent business support service, capacity building & tools to the Country Offices.
    • Safeguarding: Ensure that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded per 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 following the appropriate procedures

    Technical expertise, skills and knowledge

    • Master’s degree or higher in a relevant field (financial management, IT, business analytics, supply chain management or business management and administration)
    • Experience in operations director level role in the Humanitarian/Development sector
    • Strong business analytics skills about business resources and solutions functional areas
    • Experience in managing a workstream in a large transformation programme across diverse and complex organisations
    • Experience in leading process re-engineering across diverse and complex organisations
    • Ability to support high-performing teams in multiple locations
    • Results-oriented management with Strategic agility to get things done
    • Understanding working in INGOs is an advantage
    • Track record of identifying opportunities to remove cost and improve effectiveness
    • Experienced at liaising and translating between technology and business needs
    • Senior management/leadership in complex and global organisations with multiple stakeholders
    • High financial literacy and ability to interpret and communicate complex data and reports
    • Supply chain management experience or understanding
    • A clear understanding of the impact of decisions taken across Plan International
    • Proven capacity to analyse and understand complex situations and identify the core issues that need to be acted upon
    • Strong interpersonal, communication and engagement skills.
    • Proven ability to handle conflict situations constructively.
    • Ability to build multi-stakeholder consensus in complex situations with conflicting interests.
    • Lean six-sigma black-belt qualified or equivalent level in other process methodology
    • Able to use evidence to back decisions and form business cases
    • Previous experience in overseeing planning cycles, performance reporting, and strategic decision-making, either from a global or regional perspective.
    • Experience in working with, supporting and influencing at leadership levels.
    • French language essential / an advantage

    Key relationships

    • Member of the Regional Leadership Team and Regional Management Team.
    • Regular contact with functional managers and specialists as well as the Regional Director, Directors of Sub-Regions, Country Directors, GH functional directors (and leads) and CLT members,
    • Periodic contact with NO support functions primarily through participation in deep dives of various global work streams and task forces.
    • Other INGO and functional managers principally in the areas of Operations
    • Regional counterparts among UN and donor representatives.
    • Strategy and planning networks, development & humanitarian networks outside the organisation

    Location: Any of the Plan locations in the WACA region, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and 3 in Central Africa: Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic

    Contract length: 2-3 years

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

    Reports to: Regional Director- West and Central Africa Regional Hub

    Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.


    Closing date: 14th April 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.

    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_DOPS

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    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:Director of Operations (WACA)
    Location:West and Central Africa

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