Head of Region and Technical Support

Self Help AfricaCareers

Job Title: Head of Region and Technical Support
Company: Gorta-Self Help Africa
Department: Programmes
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Reports to: Programmes Director
Salary range: €57,000 to €65,000
Contract Type: Full time permanent

Gorta-Self Help Africa is an Irish-headquartered international development organisation whose vision is a thriving and resilient rural Africa.

We are an ambitious and growing organisation with expertise in smallholder farming, growing farm businesses, nutrition and supporting rural poor communities to access new markets and earn fair prices for their produce.

In 2018, Gorta-Self Help Africa is implementing a portfolio of 33 projects in Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Togo, Malawi and Zambia funded by a variety of institutional and private donors including Irish Aid, DFID, the European Union and World Food Programme. In 2017, we supported 311,275 households, reaching close to two million people in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa, and had a turnover of €22.7 million.

Job Purpose:

This is a senior role within the Gorta-Self Help Africa Programme team. There are two core aspects to the position:

  1. management of the GSHA technical advisory team, ensuring high quality programme delivery based on models of good practice (which you will be responsible for developing) and ensuring this knowledge and learning becomes embedded in the organisation;
  2. responsibility for operations in Malawi and West Africa.

As a senior manager in the organisation you will have the vision to advance projects, ensure evidence-based impact and value-for-money through robust project design, thorough monitoring, evaluation and reporting and will dispense advice resulting in impactful programmes. You will play a key role in helping to grow the organisation and it’s Programme portfolio.

You will be a key support to the Programmes Director in the effective running of the Programme department.

Key Responsibilities:

Role Specific

Leadership and management:

  • Management of team of technical advisors (currently five-line reports from an overall team of nine), one Programme Support Coordinator (“Desk Officer”) and two Country Directors.
  • HR: ensure development of each member of the team through on-going training and learning opportunities. Organise induction of team members when necessary and induct other new staff so they become familiar with the work of the technical advisors.


  • Represent GSHA at fora and be able to clearly articulate programme strategy and knowledge of programme countries.
  • Represent GSHA with donors to best effect. Be responsible for ensuring the quality of proposals, implementation and reporting.

Programme support:

  • Ensure provision of specialist and technical programmatic support across all countries with the appropriate tools and context analysis.
  • Ensure Country Offices have optimal operational and technical capacity to effectively deliver on programme commitments.
  • Provide support to country teams to ensure capacity building of local partners and civil society organisations.
  • Support country preparedness for emergency and post-emergency resilience programming.
  • Ensure programme approaches are adapted for more fragile contexts.

Programme design and development:

  • Ensure clear programme approaches are implemented across GSHA’s programmes and follow a coherent analytical framework / theory of change.
  • Document methods and models of implementation to ensure coherence and technical excellence across all programmes.
  • Development and oversight of minimum standards for programme design and delivery.
  • Liaise with technical and country teams to ensure good practice in agriculture systems, agribusiness and value chain approaches.
  • Ensure that nutrition, gender equality and enterprise, an area of growing focus, are factored into programme development.
  • Ensure integration with policy, campaigns and research.

Organisational Learning:

  • Ensure collaboration between country programme teams and departments with a specific focus on GSHA’s strategic objectives.
  • Promote platforms and fora for sharing best practice and learning and identify countries that have knowledge and best practice.
  • Collate internal learning and seek to promote GSHA’s work to donors, technical networks, commercial partners, academia and other relevant parties.
  • Organise dissemination of publications as appropriate to stakeholders.
  • Contribute to reviewing and developing the strategic direction of SHA programmes.

Development Education:

  • Guide, support and oversee the work of the Development Education team.

Country Office Management:

  • Management, supervision and appraisal of Country Directors in Malawi and West Africa.
  • Ensure programme direction is compliant with overall strategy and policies and builds on internal learning and good practice.
  • Ensure humanitarian responses are effected when required.
  • Ensure participatory processes and sound partnership approaches are embedded across the country programmes.
  • Ensure effective coordination of support and communication between Head Office, country offices and affiliate organisations.
  • Assume responsibility for budget and resource management to the countries, coordinating with the Programmes Director and Programme Finance team to allocate and monitor utilisation of resources and achieve value for money.
  • With the Programme Funding team identify opportunities for and drive resource mobilization for countries in assigned region and for humanitarian response.
  • Ensure roll out and adoption of of organisational policies.


  • Any reasonable duty may be assigned that is consistent with the job and its level of responsibility.

Key Relationships:

Line Management

  • Technical Advisors – Direct Reports (5): Sustainable Agriculture advisor; Agribusiness Advisor;  Nutrition Advisor,  Social Inclusion Advisor, Development Education Advisor
  • Programme Support Coordinator (“Desk Officer”)
  • Country Directors (2)


  • Programmes Director (Line Manager)
  • M&E Advisor, Deputy M&E Advisor
  • Deputy Sustainable Agriculture Advisor, Deputy Agribusiness Advisor
  • Head of Region (Peer)
  • Head of Policy, Research, MEL (Peer)
  • Programme Funding Team
  • Programme Support Team
  • Programme Finance Team
  • Human Resources Team
  • Senior Management Team


  • INGO partners
  • Irish Aid Programme Grant team
  • Donors (in conjunction with Programme Funding team)

Knowledge and Experience

  • Minimum of 7 years’ experience of working in a mid to large international NGO.
  • Experience in supporting knowledge sharing and learning across an organisation.
  • Experience of developing and implementing procedures and reporting systems in a remote working environment.
  • Experience of working with institutional donors. Ability to meet deadlines whilst crafting top quality proposals and reports.
  • Experience in people management, mentoring and coaching.

Qualifications/Other Requirements


  • Post graduate qualification or equivalent experience in international development (agriculture focus advantageous).
  • Strong ICT skills including database knowledge (Salesforce).
  • Excellent communication, diplomacy, negotiation and relationship building skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a remote international team across jurisdictions and cultures.
  • Ability to work with limited supervision and take initiative.
  • Ability to solve problems and take corrective action.
  • Capacity to travel (up to 25% of role requires overseas travel).


Working knowledge of French.

Gorta-Self Help Africa is an equal opportunities employer

Application Procedure

Please fill in the application form below and send it with Cover letter and C.V. to recruitment@selfhelpafrica.org  Applicants must have a current legal right to work in Ireland.  Submissions without our application form (can be downloaded below), a cover letter and C.V. will not be considered.

Make it clear which position you are applying for by writing the position in the subject line of your e-mail [+ Your name]”.

Closing date: 5pm Monday 23rd April 2018

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interview by e-mail and date for interview will be communicated.

Please click the link to download the Application Form

Please click the link to download the Job Description