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National Ombuds Zimbabwe


  • Organization: SOS Children’s Villages International
  • Location: Harare
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Ombudsman and Ethics
  • Closing Date: Closed



National Ombuds Zimbabwe (JOB REF: SOS/5/3/24)


Position title: National Ombuds

Working location: Harare

Supervisor: Regional Ombuds

Employment: Full Time


Established in 1949, SOS Children's Villages International (CVI) is a dynamic, international social development organization working globally to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children without parental care and those who are at the risk of losing it.

SOS Children's Villages Association of Zimbabwe is a member of SOS International - a worldwide children's social welfare organisation, providing vulnerable children without homes with a family home and educational opportunities as well as strengthening families to reduce poverty.

Mission of the position:

The National Ombuds and the rest of the Ombuds Office (i.e., other National Ombuds, Regional Ombuds, Global Ombuds and Ombuds Administrator) work independently from SOS Children’s Villages. SOS Children’s Villages Zimbabwe (MA) contracts this National Ombuds position.

The National Ombuds is to provide additional safeguarding support, including checks and balances to the present SOS systems, so that children, young people, care leavers, programme adults and staff have a reporting and response process when they feel that their concerns have not been heard or addressed appropriately.

The Ombuds Office is based on a rights-based approach in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Developed with input from children and young people, the Ombuds Office functions on the principles of independence, impartiality, confidentiality and informality. Honouring these principles is critical to the success of the Ombuds Office.

Purpose of the position:

The National Ombuds serves as a designated independent practitioner providing informal and confidential conflict resolution support to children, young people, care leavers, their families, and staff at the SOS country levels.

Historical and current children, young people, care leavers, families and staff in SOS programmes who have safeguarding and/or HR inquiries that were not resolved satisfactorily within the local safeguarding teams can contact the National Ombuds for advice, guidance, and support. The National Ombuds works to promote fairness of process and conflict resolution within SOS Children’s Villages Member Associations through the SOS Ombuds Office's fundamental principles.

Key performance areas and main responsibilities:

SOS Children’s Villages International is seeking a National Ombuds in accordance with the International Ombudsman Association’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics to support the SOS Ombuds office. The National Ombuds will: Serve as a vehicle for historical and current children, young people, care leavers, families and staff to make safeguarding or HR inquiries about issues that have not been dealt with to their satisfaction by SOS.

The Ombuds will:

  • receive and address concerns in a timely manner;
  • listen carefully to concerns, discuss an ‘action plan’, suggest next steps, guide Inquirers through the agreed process as needed, and be available for ongoing support;
  • help Inquirers to understand SOS processes and navigate between SOS and community structures and systems; and
  • make referrals to appropriate SOS departments, local child protection agencies, legal advice, and/or community resources when appropriate.

Collaborate and support children, young people and staff:

  • within their roles as Children/Young People and Staff Representatives;
  • within child-friendly and staff-friendly Safeguarding and Ombuds policies and processes; and
  • to share their views and feedback to improve the Ombuds Office.

Develop and maintain a confidential database that tracks concerns until they are resolved.

Identify relevant national trends within SOS programmes, services, and human resources; recommend changes to the National MA Board of Directors and the SOS Regional and Global Ombuds, while maintaining the confidentiality of the Inquirers to the Ombuds Office.




Qualifications and Technical Competencies

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree in a relevant area such as child rights or child protection, child and youth studies, mediation, social work, child psychology, safeguarding or psychosocial wellbeing, law;
  • Masters, Ph.D or other advanced degree in a relevant area such as law, social work, psychology, sociology, child rights, youth work and psychosocial wellbeing is an added advantage;
  • Minimum five years demonstrated experience in one of the following fields: ombudsperson, mediation, child safeguarding, child protection, or child rights;

Competencies: Skills, Abilities & Knowledge

  • Experience in working with children and youths;
  • Very good understanding of child rights, child development, family and community development, rights based programming;
  • Very good listener with good observational skills;
  • Strong communication skills;
  • Strong facilitation/training skills;
  • Ability to develop and implement engaging trainings and ongoing support workshops for staff and children' representatives;
  • Demonstrated ability to build rapport with children and young people, to identify marginalized children and young people and connect with them and build trust;
  • A problem solver, adviser and mediator capable of resolving young people’s and adults’ concerns effectively and in a timely manner;
  • Understanding of the local context, including laws, policies, practices, language and social norms;
  • Be gender and diverse sensitive and representative; 
  • Local language and professional proficiency in one official federation language: English, Shona, Ndebele;
  • Understand the foundations of the Ombuds’ work;
  • You have the right to live and work in Zimbabwe;
  • Experience working in an NGO or international organization would be an asset.

SOS Children’s Villages Zimbabwe holds strict child safeguarding principles and a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse in the workplace and program activity locations. Parallel to technical competence, recruitment, selection and hiring decisions will give due emphasize to assessing candidates value congruence and thorough background checks, police clearance reference check processes.

How to Apply

Applications accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae (CV) with at least 3 traceable references and copies of certified academic certificates should be submitted electronically not later than 1st April 2024 .

* To protect the independence of the Ombuds Office, this position is not open to SOS Children's Villages employees or those who have been employed by SOS Children's Villages within the last 2 years.

** Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Applications that are late, do not have a CV or certified certificates attached will be disqualified. E-mail applications should bear the reference number of the position and country name in the subject line of the email.

E-mail: Applications should be sent electronically to:

SOS Children’s Villages Zimbabwe is an equal opportunities employer and encourages all eligible applicants to apply without any consideration to sex, cultural consideration, disability or creed.



This vacancy is now closed.
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