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Country Director

Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone)

Present in Sierra Leone since 1998, GOAL SL has responded to health emergencies and natural disasters, and has now moved through recovery programming to a more stable development portfolio while retaining our ability to respond to humanitarian crises as they arise. The SL programme aims to contribute to poverty and vulnerability reduction through the implementation of integrated, multi-sectoral interventions, with a primary focus on improving Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent health (RMNCAH) outcomes - specifically focusing on interventions which would reduce teenage pregnancy rates. GOAL Sierra Leone have recently completed a three-year country strategic plan, which will span 2019 to 2021 and are looking for a dynamic and effective leader with a commitment to implementing sustainable, systems based programme approaches to lead the country programme for this exciting period.

In addition to the health systems strengthening portfolio, GOAL is also implementing an innovative, systems-based urban sanitation project, which currently focusses on faecal sludge management (FSM) but will look to include solid waste management (SWM) in 2019 and beyond. GOAL is also working on improving rural water supply and access to sanitation products through sanitation marketing approaches in rural and peri urban areas in Kenema district. The programme works towards increased social inclusion, empowerment and decent work through systems-based programme approaches and community led social and behavioural change initiatives.

GOAL currently operates in Western Area Urban (Freetown), Kambia and Kenema Districts, with funding from Irish Aid, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Union and USAID through John Snow, Inc. In 2019 GOAL will also expand support to include working with District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) on improving delivery of RMNCAH services in Bombali, Koinadugu and Moyamba, in addition to Kambia and Kenema, as part of a consortium implementing a national programme with funding (Saving Lives) from DFID.

Overview of the role

The Sierra Leone Country Director (CD) will be expected to foster an inclusive organisational culture within the GOAL SL team, driving innovation in programming, and ensuring that quality and accountability to all stakeholders is achieved. Strong communication and representation skills are essential to influence government, donors and other stakeholders.

The CD takes overall responsible for the planning, management and appropriate development of GOAL’s work in-country. The CD is responsible for providing leadership not just to the in-country Senior Management Team (SMT), but for setting an ethical culture and direction for the whole programme. The CD is responsible for ensuring that the programming is context appropriate and meeting the evidenced needs of target beneficiaries. The CD will ensure that GOAL meets its contracted objectives and is accountable to stakeholders. The CD must ensure that there are regular and effective communications within the country team and with the GOAL regional and Dublin offices. The CD has ultimate responsibility for all issues of security.

Main responsibilities

Strategic oversight and fundraising

  • Guided by the overall framework of the Country Strategic Plan 2019-21 and GOAL Global strategy, maintain and promote a clear vision of present and future programme goals and strategies, which can be clearly communicated to team members, local beneficiaries, partners, local authorities and donors.
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing resources and clearly defining GOAL’s approach - to achieve programme and agency objectives.

  • Explore, evaluate and present new country and project funding opportunities that leverage impact scale and integration of interventions.

  • Through external representation, and continued analysis, and monitoring of the political, donor and development context, ensure that GOAL is well positioned to maintain its presence in core areas of competence over the next three years.

  • Ensure GOAL maintains competence in key strategic technical areas, and assess and grow the emergency response/preparedness function of the GOAL SL programme

Representation and Influencing

  • Anticipate needs, understand the donor landscape and contribute to shaping donor’s views on humanitarian and development strategies.
  • Work closely with other Country Directors through the NGO Forum and other mechanisms to coordinate humanitarian actions and advocate for a supportive legislative and policy environment for humanitarian agencies
  • Represent GOAL with government, local authorities and media as appropriate.

Programme Impact, Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning

Work with the Assistant CD – Programmes, technical team and MEAL Coordinator to:

  • Oversee programme quality and impact by ensuring programmes are based on sound design principles and utilize GOAL and donor required M&E Systems.
  • Gather evidence of programme impact through robust agency standard procedures for data gathering, reporting and evaluating programme outputs and outcomes.
  • Oversee the Sierra Leone Complaints and Response Mechanism, ensuring that timely feedback is provided to those using the system and that proper investigations are carried out for serious complaints through GOAL’s Head of Ethics and Compliance, and the Head of Investigations.
  • Support mechanisms that link reporting, monitoring and advocacy for internal and external purposes.
  • Ensure that all interventions adhere to the Joint Operating Principles and beneficiary accountability standards.

Team Management

Work with the ACD-S and HR Coordinator to:

  • Develop and maintain an excellent human resource plan consistent with GOAL policies, including current position descriptions for all positions, personnel orientation and professional development plans, personnel evaluation system, and field personnel policy manual.
  • Institute a disciplined culture of performance management and regular feedback between supervisors and their direct reports.
  • Ensure that HR policies are in line with government regulations.
  • Recruit, manage, and motivate an informed, skilled and efficient team with an emphasis on excellence and achievement.
  • Encourage a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, incorporating staff development strategies and performance management systems into the team building process.
  • Establish leadership and personal credibility with the GOAL Sierra Leone team and implement and create an organizational culture of accountability, responsibility and quality of services.

Personal Leadership

  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Demonstrate awareness of their own strengths and development needs.

Finance and Operations

Work with the Finance Controller to:

  • Coordinate overall country budget; manage budget within approved spending levels and establish an annual cash flow plan to ensure a steady and adequate supply of funds for programme activities
  • Ensure programme implementation is on time, target and budget by leading the monthly budget monitoring process, ensuring that staff receive training on the BMT process and holding staff accountable for accurate forecasting.

  • Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, administration and logistics.

  • Build and maintain an environment of collaboration among programme, finance, operations and human resource team members resulting in optimal support for programme activities.

  • Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and GOAL policies and procedures.

Safety & Security

In collaboration with the ACD - Systems:

  • Manage security and safety of the entire country team and GOAL assets according to best practices, GOAL Global guidelines and field realities.
  • Liaise with the Global/Regional Security Advisor and the Regional Director on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting or security policy changes.

Risk Management and Compliance

  • Review and update the Country Risk Register on a quarterly basis. All risks should be owned and managed in the programme and the CD should ensure they are addressed.
  • Ensure that 100% of staff receive training on key global policies. The mandatory policies include: Anti-Fraud Policy; Whistleblowing Policy; Conflict of Interest Policy; Code of Conduct; PSEA and safeguarding
  • Support the Quality Assurance Coordinator to line manage the Internal Audit and Compliance Team, review all compliance and IA reports and ensure that the SMT reviews the outstanding consolidated issues list on a monthly basis.

Requirements (Person Specification)

  • Significant previous overseas management experience in humanitarian assistance programmes, at least 3 years of which must be at senior management level.
  • A relevant post graduate qualification
  • Strong track record as a leader with excellent team building skills
  • Demonstrated track record in raising funds from institutional donors; knowledge of non-traditional donors also desirable
  • Excellent communication skills. Fluent written and spoken English.
  • Experience of government and partner liaison, and the capacity to plan and establish beneficial strategic relationships.
  • Experience of working in areas with notable organizational risks, and managing those risks carefully.
  • Experience of managing security and multi-cultural teams in fluid environments.
  • Capacity to encourage adaptive management of programmes, while maintaining operational standards and adherence to procedure.


  • A solid grounding in development principles within health, WASH, inclusion and market based programming.
  • Prior work experience in the region/ organisation
  • Experience of health systems strengthening, M4P, economic empowerment, urban sanitation

Our package includes a competitive salary, health and travel insurance and 20 days annual leave. Additional benefits are available after 12 months of service. Salary range for this role is € 51,000 to 63,000.

GOAL has a Staff Code of Conduct and a Child Protection Policy, which have been developed to ensure the maximum protection of programme participants and children from exploitation. GOAL also has a confidentiality policy ensuring the non-disclosure of any information whatsoever relating to the practices and business of GOAL, acquired in the course of duty, to any other person or organisation without authority, except in the normal execution of duty. Any candidate offered a job with GOAL will be expected to adhere to these policies any job offer made is also subject to police clearance. GOAL is an equal opportunities employer.

This Job Description only serves as a guide for the position available. GOAL reserves the right to change this document. Any published closing dates are estimated. Due to the nature of GOAL’s work we aim to fill vacancies as quickly as possible. This means that we will close adverts as soon as we have found the right candidate and this may be before the published closing date. We would therefore advise interested applicants to submit an application as early as possible.

Please include in your cover letter clear references to your ability to build a strong team and your successes in raising funds with institutional donors.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: GOAL
  • Location: Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone)
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2018-10-07

What does it mean?

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