Share this Job

Head of Programme Development & Quality

Date: 20-Jun-2022

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Company: Plan International

The Organisation


Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.


We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected.


Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.


We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.


We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 85 years, and are now active in more than 75 countries.


Job Title

Head of Programme Development and Quality


Programme Development and Quality


Reports to

Programme Development and Quality

Country Director

Reports to

Country Director


Country Office


Country Office

Effective Date

June 2022

Effective Date

June 2022



Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And its girls who are most affected.  Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners in more than 70 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, Plan’s International’s purpose is to strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality of girls. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.

The Head of Programme Development & Quality (HoPDQ) is primarily accountable for strategic programme planning, project and programme design and influencing and advocacy work at national and local levels. In addition, the HoPDQ is accountable for technical excellence of programmes and monitoring, evaluation and learning in line with the programme quality Procedures, as well as organizational standards, frameworks, and procedures etc.

The Head of Programme Development & Quality is managed directly by the Country Director and will at times be required to take on the responsibilities of the Country Director position in his/her absence.


The HoPDQ is a member of the Country Leadership Team and is expected to contribute to the development of Plan International Uganda’s strategic plans – both long and short term.  The job holder ensures that programme strategy development is based on thorough situational analysis and research, and that the results of learning are fed back into the design and adaptation of strategies.

The HoPDQ oversees the design of all of PIU’s programme and influencing interventions as well as oversight and strategic guidance on business development and donor engagement. The role is also accountable for the provision of standards, tools, advisory services and monitoring frameworks that will assure the programmatic excellence and technical quality of programme implementation. 

The key challenge for this position is around the profound difficulty of driving change when the root causes of inequality are systemic and multi-faceted.  This requires the job holder to:

  • Have an outstanding ability to think strategically and conceptually, analysing complex, multi-dimensional systems and hypothesizing logical theories of change, including an ability to conduct gender analysis.  
  • Lead the team to innovate – developing new interventions and utilising MERL approaches to test their effectiveness and adapt or pivot strategies in order to optimise impact
  • Influence PIU staff, partners, national-level and local-level stakeholders to understand programme approaches and to adopt new ways of thinking and acting

This position is responsible for managing a departmental budget of around € 150,000 annually.  Additionally, the job holder directly influences the programme implementation budget of around € 9 million annually

Level of contact with children

This position has been classified as “mid contact”: Occasional interaction with children


Key result areas:

KRA 1: Thought Leadership & Strategy Design

As a member of the Country Leadership Team (CLT), participate in the development and critique of new strategies at both Organisation and Intervention levels; proactively involve the PD&Q team to contribute insights garnered from their specialisms:

Liaise with Technical Advisors, Senior Managers and with the MERL Manager to develop and implement a programme of research to inform the development of innovative strategies and programmes; ensure an effective system is in place for knowledge management

Regularly review the results of PIU’s research, monitoring, evaluation, and learning activities to identify key insights, develop theories of change (both new and improved) and act as a valued advisor on how to design impactful interventions

Drive the pursuit of innovation as a result of lessons learned; ensure that effective strategies are institutionalised within PIU and widely disseminated externally

Regularly review and refresh the country strategy and append strategic annexes such as urban strategy, advocacy strategy and business development strategy

Develop and implement PD&Q Department operational plans and budgets; ensure that resource management (both financial and HR) is in line with allocated budgets, as well as PIU and Donor policies


KRA 2: Business Development and Intervention Planning

Work collaboratively with the Business Development Team and with colleagues in the CLT to develop, and secure funding for, a portfolio of interventions (both projects and influencing/advocacy) that will collectively achieve the impact targets that PIU is seeking to achieve:

Support the Business Development Team in mapping the donor landscape and proactively building relationships with current and potential donors and National Offices; personally build relationships with strategically significant donors

Play a leading role in presenting project concepts and funding opportunities to the CLT for approval; lead discussions aimed at optimising the impact that is achieved via the deployment of limited (people & financial) resources

Deploy PD&Q team members (and consultants) to work alongside the Programme Implementation team to design new interventions; ensure that adequate emphasis is given to monitoring & evaluation, knowledge management, influencing & communications and gender at the design stage

Support the development of high quality project proposals, including comprehensive budgets; liaise with colleagues in the CLT, programme teams and support functions to ensure that the Business Development Team is provided with quality and timely inputs as required


KRA 3: Communicating for Influence

Lead PIU’s influencing efforts, aiming to promote child rights and gender equality; ensure the development and implementation of an innovative influencing strategy:

Ensure that comprehensive stakeholder analysis is carried out at both strategic and intervention levels, identifying groups and individuals whose cooperation is necessary for the success of PIU's strategy and interventions; ensure that clear goals for stakeholder mindset or behaviour change are defined

Participate in the generation of innovative ideas for influencing and strategic communication and subsequent formation of strategies for PIU as a whole and for each intervention / project; participate in the implementation of strategies according to personal expertise and availability

Support the Influencing & Communication Manager in clarifying which activities are best carried out by the Influencing and Communications Team, which should be the responsibility of the Programme Implementation Team, and how teams can work together most effectively

Identify and develop new strategic partnerships and networks with civil society, private sector, academia, intergovernmental and nongovernmental agencies, to strengthen and coordinate influencing work

Work with implementation teams to ensure internal PIU’s Principles of Communication are embraced.


KRA 4: Ensuring Impactful Implementation

Develop and oversee the implementation of policies, systems, tools and strategies that will support impactful implementation of projects/interventions and assure programme quality:

Support the MERL Manager to develop and implement PIU's systems for Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning; ensuring that they support the efficient collection, analysis and dissemination of data and information to support programme implementation.

Support the Technical Advisors in the development and dissemination of technical Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs), guidance on programme models, assessments, educational materials and trainings to enhance the capacity of both staff and partners

Liaise with the Head of People and Culture to ensure that key programme quality requirements are incorporated into the performance management system with objective measures; whilst maintaining a culture of learning, escalate any persistent poor performance to accountable managers

Lead the development of Emergency Response Plans and chair the Emergency Response Team in case a humanitarian emergency takes place and an intervention is required


KRA 5: Compliance and Management of Risks

Coordinate with Heads of Department to ensure that systems and processes are in place to comply with global policies, standards and procedures and legal requirements, as applicable to each function:

Ensure that all projects and programmes are designed so they are aligned with the country strategy, adhere to minimum standards outlined in the Areas of Global Distinctness Frameworks, follow the Management and Safeguarding Standards and are of sound design and budget

Champion the implementation of Plan International’s Safeguarding Policy, ensuring that colleagues are provided with support to align the policies and procedures of their department

Work collaboratively with the Risk Assurance Manager to identify and manage any risks associated with the activities managed by Programme Development and Quality Department; ensure that adequate emphasis is placed on risk management during team planning and review activities


KRA 6: Leadership & Staff Management

Lead the Programme Development & Quality Team in a manner that empowers them to contribute effectively towards achievement of PIU’s strategy:

Ensure that the department is resourced with the expertise necessary to deliver on PIU's strategic & project goals through a combination of recruitment and management of staff and procurement of consultants

Lead and manage the team towards high standards of performance through clear roles & responsibilities and provision of appropriate support; coordinate effectively with others to ensure high performance within PIU’s matrix operating structure

Develop and encourage talent through on-going staff development, succession planning, career management; proactively address poor performance through timely constructive feedback, coaching and appropriate corrective action

Foster an inclusive environment by implementation of policies and ways-of-working that provide for diversity and equal opportunities and utilisation of a leadership style that will drive employee engagement

Ensure that staff are managed in accordance with good HR management practice and provided with a safe and conducive working environment; includes ensuring that all legal and statutory obligations are fulfilled


KRA 7: Safeguarding and Gender Equality & Inclusion

Ensure that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in accordance with 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 in accordance with the appropriate procedures.




A master’s degree, preferably in development, from a recognized university

10-15 years of experience (including international) in managing development programmes, preferably with a disaster response component, with large and complex budgets

Leadership Competencies

Myself as a Leader

Uses own behaviour to role model the culture change we need, upholding our values and accelerating progress towards gender equality inside PIU, with our partners and in wider society; effectively manages strategic change initiatives.

Lasting Impact

Develops and communicates an ambitious vision for enhancing impact, or contributing towards organisational effectiveness; makes timely decisions, even in uncertainty and when information is imperfect.

Open & Accountable

Works constructively with the wider Plan International global organisation, our governance structures, partners and stakeholders; optimises the deployment of resources (people, finances, assets) to achieve the best progress and long term impact.

Work Well Together

Builds strategic relationships with key leaders, experts and stakeholders across Plan International and externally; navigating political and power interests and negotiating positive outcomes.

Inclusive & Empowering

Celebrates success, calls out the contributions of others, and is generous with praise; motivates others by describing how their work effort can (or does) contribute towards achievement of PIUs purpose and strategy.

Skills & Knowledge

Is clear sighted about both personal and organisational challenges and shortcomings, looking globally and across sectors to gain insight and find innovative approaches we might use; leads the development of an organisation-wide learning culture.

Critical Business Management Competencies

Broad and deep understanding of the political, social, financial and cultural drivers of inequality; with practical experience of developing and implementing strategies for change

Demonstrated expertise in designing and leading the impactful implementation of significant projects; utilising good practice in MERL to set targets and adaptively managing to ensure achievement of results

Experience of strategic financial management including understanding relevant funding sources, revenue cycles, budgeting and cost estimation, balance sheets, return on investment etc.

Outstanding ability to analyse and interpret complex data-sets, both internal and external, to spot trends and patterns, opportunities and risks, and to inform decisions and action (even when the information is incomplete or ambiguous).

Outstanding communication skills with an ability to deeply understand the starting position of an audience and produce compelling written and/or spoken communications that effectively influence others.

Outstanding interpersonal skills with an ability to relate effectively to a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds; proven track record of leading collaborative working relationships and resolving conflicts between parties with differing interests.

Critical Technical Competencies

Demonstrable knowledge on key issues in development regarding Global Goals, UNCRC and CEDAW particularly around child rights.

Knowledge of the host country, the geopolitical factors affecting child-poverty in the country as well as the political, social and economic opportunities for development are an advantage.

Strong conceptual understanding of socio-political systems and power relations plus the practical approaches and skills to influence them in context.


Supervisor’s Name: …..................................   Employee's Name: …...................................

Supervisor’s Signature: …............................   Employee's Signature: ….............................

Date : …........................................................  Date: ….........................................................


Location: Country Office

Type of Role: Head of Programme Development and Quality

Reports to: Country Director

Grade: F

Closing Date: 4 July 2022


Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the very heart of everything that Plan International stands for.


We want Plan International to reflect the diversity of the communities we work with, offering equal opportunities to everyone regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.


Plan International is based on a culture of inclusivity and we strive to create a workplace environment that ensures every team, in every office, in every country, is rich in diverse people, thoughts, and ideas.


We foster an organisational culture that embraces our commitment to racial justice, gender equality, girls’ rights and inclusion.


Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. This means that we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with and we must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk.


A range of pre-employment checks will be undertaken in conformity with Plan International's Safeguarding Children and Young People policy. Plan International also participates in the Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this scheme we will request information from applicants previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms their understanding of these recruitment procedures.

Please note that Plan International will never send unsolicited emails requesting payment from candidates.