Country Director /Mali At Save the Children

The role

As a member of the West & Central Africa Senior Leadership team, you will have shared accountability for Save the Children’s international development and emergency programming in the region of approximately $213 million (2020) through an organisation of 2,436 people. To achieve our ambitious goals and breakthroughs for children, the leadership team will, in collaboration with Save the Children Members and in conjunction with the other regional organisations, aim to drive growth of the donor landscape to $2.7 billion this year.

The Country Director will lead the transformation of the country office to a new operating model, whilst also delivering Save the Children’s strategy within the country through:

  • Delivering quality programmes, including advocacy, for children; and
  • Serving Members and their donors

Staff directly reporting to this post: 11 including 5 directors (Program Operations, Program Development & Quality, Finance, HR /Admin and Awards), 3 senior managers (the Head of Internal Control, the Safeguarding Advisor and the Safety and Security Manager), the Executive Team Coordinator and 2 Chiefs of Party (SSGI and Al Barka).

Role Dimension: Save the Children has been actively working in Mali since 1978. Our programs cover 7 regions: they are Sikasso, Mopti, Ségou, Koulikoro, Kayes, Gao and Tombouctou. The program is implemented in various sectors including Health, Nutrition, Education, and Protection. With a full-spectrum approach to programming, we engage in both long-term development projects and emergency interventions delivered both directly and through local partners, building the resilience and improving the lives of girls and boys throughout the country. The Mali country program employs around 400 staff and has an annual operating budget of $30 million in 2021. We work directly with families and communities, foster the participation of children and partner with local organizations, UN bodies, International NGOs and the Mali government to deliver results.


As a member of the Regional Senior Leadership Team, contribute to strategic development and delivery of international programming, in both humanitarian and development contexts, in line with the Save the Children mandate, strategy and theory of change.

Strategic Leadership

  • Provide vision and direction for the Mali country programme
  • Effectively build and lead a high performing SMT to deliver against strategy and to model behaviours and values expected of staff
  • Accountable for the leadership and management of staff and programme in Mali
  • Develop the Country Strategy and ensure ongoing review progress against key country and organisational level objectives, indicators and targets
  • Ensuring that the focus of the organisation remains on the rights and needs of children
  • Contribute to regional and global knowledge and learning

Human Resource Management

  • Ensure that Save the Children attracts and retains high calibre staff
  • Pro-actively develop and coach staff to optimise their potential in pursuit of Save the Children’s objectives
  • Implementation of HR policies and procedures at country level, in line with HR policies, procedures and guidelines and local labour law
  • Ensure consistent implementation of strong performance management systems throughout the country team
  • Foster a collegial, supportive and respectful culture within the Mali team

Programme Development and Management

  • Ensure programme interventions are in line with technical best practice, SC common approaches, and emerging national policies as well as with country and strategic objectives, strategies, policies and approaches.
  • Ensure that effective monitoring and evaluation systems are implemented in line with policies, systems and guidelines.
  • Preparing for and implementing rapid and effective responses to major emergencies affecting children, including building relationships with key humanitarian and development decision-makers and partners in-country
  • Delivering programmes and advocacy in line with the country strategy, operational plans, budgets and Member requirements that result in significant impact for children

Financial and Admin Management

  • Ensure effective financial budgeting and management systems, processes and controls are in place and are fully compliant with operating standards and local legal requirements
  • Ensure effective Save the Children and donor compliant procurement and asset management systems, processes and controls are in place
  • Ensure that partner organisations are assessed in relation to financial management and governance standards and are supported to address capacity weaknesses

Audit and Corporate Governance compliance

  • Ensure compliance with all host government requirements in relation to registration, taxation, labour law, auditing, fraud etc.
  • Ensure follow-up on recommendations arising out of audits of operations and take appropriate actions where necessary

Institutional Funding

  • Ensure full compliance with Members and donors requirements in relation to awards secured for the country programme
  • Network actively and play a lead role in management level dialogue with members, donors and other INGOs on accessing and managing awards
  • Maintain and grow the funding base for the country program and liaise with the bilateral and multilateral donor community in Mali.

Security Management

  • Develop, establish and manage Mali programme security plans and procedures in line with policies, systems and guidelines
  • Maintain, document and communicate up to date analyses of the changing security context
  • Ensure all staff adhere to security guidelines

Representation, Communications and Advocacy:

  • Develop and maintain good relations with Members and their donors
  • Represent Save the Children’s interests in Mali including Government Institutions, UN agencies, donor delegations, international & local NGOs
  • Ensure the timely provision of internal and external communications material as required


  • Any other duties as assigned by the Regional Director

Qualifications and experience

  • Experienced leader who has held senior positions in complex/high profile/ multinational organisations
  • Experience of working with large, complex donors (USAID, EU, DFID, CIDA, DANIDA etc.) to secure and/or manage new large-scale and/or competitive funding
  • Understanding of key trends in international and humanitarian development
  • Demonstrable ability to recruit, lead and develop high calibre specialist senior staff with a range of backgrounds and expertise
  • Strong track record in building high performance teams and future successors/leaders
  • Ability to manage and motivate self and others to respond to a significant and complex crisis situation in extraordinary circumstances, requiring swift action and rapid changes in priorities
  • Innovative approach to solving a range of highly complex issues and galvanising buy-in to the solutions at all levels
  • Experience and knowledge of context and actors in WCA region.
  • Fluency and speaking and writing in both French and English
  • Commitment to the Save the Children vision, principles, mission and values
  • Experience on humanitarian programs and ability to work in a volatile environment preferred

Contract length: OPEN ENDED

The Organisation

We employ approximately 25,000 people across the globe and work on the ground in over 100 countries to help children affected by crises, or those that need better healthcare, education and child protection. We also campaign and advocate at the highest levels to realise the right of children and to ensure their voices are heard.

We are working towards three breakthroughs in how the world treats children by 2030:

  • No child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday
  • All children learn from a quality basic education and that,
  • Violence against children is no longer tolerated

We know that great people make a great organization, and that our employees play a crucial role in helping us achieve our ambitions for children. We value our people and offer a meaningful and rewarding career, along with a collaborative and inclusive workplace where ambition, creativity, and integrity are highly valued.

Application Information:

Please apply using a cover letter and up-to-date CV as a single document. Please also include details of your current remuneration and salary expectations.

We need to keep children safe so our selection process reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply

Applicants are advised that Save the Children International does not require any payment or expense during the entire recruitment process. Any request in this direction should be immediately reported as contrary to the values and practices of our organization.

How to apply

Please follow this link to apply:…

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September 2023