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Country Director - Laos

Date: 29-Sep-2021

Location: Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic

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 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.

The Opportunity


This is an exciting time for Plan International as we implement our global strategy for 2021-2024. Our global strategy defines who we are, why we exist, the change we want to see in the world and how we will contribute to making change happen. It underpins everything we do, guiding all our work in all parts of the federation.


To achieve greater change in children’s lives we are dramatically transforming how we operate, and we need bold, forward-thinking and innovative individuals to steer our country operations, driving change and delivering results that will allow us to transform the lives of 100 million girls globally. 


Plan International began operating in Laos in 2008 to advance children’s rights and equality for girls. We recognize the important progress made in social and economic development in Laos over recent years, in a country experiencing rapid change. Significant challenges remain for remote, ethnic minority communities and especially for young women and girls further acerbated by the covid19 pandemic. We work in the most remote and hard to reach districts of the country, with local government and other partners.


The current strategy, which will end in 2025, focus on that children and adolescents, especially girls and young women, are equally valued by society; are healthy, knowledgeable and decide on matters that affect them through programmes on public health and nutrition, education, sexual rights and health and youth economic empowerment. The influencing is to goal reduce child and early marriage and adolescent pregnancy through research and coordinated action among Government and civil society partners.


Plan International Laos’s country office is located in Vientiane and we work in Bokeo and Oudomxay provinces in the North and Saravan province in the South and in 10 other provinces in national projects aiming to reach 700,000 adolescent girls in Laos. At present the country office implements a viable grants portfolio of approximately 7 million Euros per annum and has embraced the partnership model ways of working and currently works with over 20 partners at both local and national levels.


This portfolio includes grants from the bilateral and multilateral donors, including the European Union and the Australian, Finnish and German governments as well as corporate and individual donors. Plan Laos has also been heavily involved in running the humanitarian programming responding to covid19 in Laos.


The Country Director is accountable for the management and leadership of a team of approximately 115 staff with a Country Management Team of 6 members.


Plan International Laos is currentlyy at the end of a multi-year transition to become fully grants-funded and with a new strategy to ensure financial viability, efficient operations and high impact for girls. The organization is committed to meeting safeguarding expectations across all its operations and will expect the country director to ensure all incidents regarding child abuse and sexual harassment are reported and effectively managed.


Do you have what it takes? 


As a Country Director, you will drive Plan International’s programme and influencing work, setting overall direction, leading a high performing team, ensuring accountability for meeting demanding targets and maintaining alignment with the global strategy.


You will be deeply comfortable with leading transformative change, have a demonstrable commitment to gender equality and relish the prospect of representing Plan International to the highest levels of government, civil society, the media and international media.


You will understand and drive efforts to deliver positive change for girls through advocating, campaigning and communicating at a national level. Equally, you will ensure the country-operating model is fit for purpose, we have the right funding mix to achieve our ambition, key business processes are in place and organisational values are embedded in everything we do.


You will lead by example in ensuring gender equality is evident in everything we do from staffing, to programing and influencing, to ways of working. You will work with your team to bring about the right culture that ensures we are champions for girls and gender equality.


You will lead a motivated team, ensure legal compliance, and be ready and able to respond to emergency and development needs of the most marginalised children, especially girls.


For a detailed job description, please click on the below link:

Location: Vientiane, Laos

Type of Role: 3 Year FTC

Reports to:  Director of South East Asia and the Pacific


Closing Date: 25 Oct 2021

Anticipated 1st round interview date:  Early Nov


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.