Program Development and Quality (PDQ) Director

  • Full Time
  • Kathmandu
  • Applications have closed

Website Save the Children


Program Development and Quality (PDQ) Director – (220004ZG)

The Opportunity

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In Nepal and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and future we share. Save the Children expects that anyone associated with it abides by its Safeguarding and other Zero Tolerance Policies.

As member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) in Nepal, the Director of Program Development and Quality (PDQ) is responsible for driving cross-functional engagement in the development and delivery of Country Strategy Plans (CSPs), ensuring quality assurance, developing annual plans, supporting the measurement and reporting of results and impacts. S/he is responsible for ensuring development and delivery of evidence-based, innovative programs for children, in all contexts, that contribute to Save the Children’s global Breakthroughs: Learn, Survive, Be Protected. The Director of PDQ ensures that a robust monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning (MEAL) system is in place; that the country office engages in the collection and use of evidence and that this is shared across the global organization; and that reliable data is used for decision-making. Another key aspect of the role is ensuring capability building, mentoring and coaching of technical specialists in order to support program quality in line with global standards and key performance indicators. As a senior leader in the country office, s/he plays a representational role with the government, donors, partners, peer agencies, SC members and others. The Director of PDQ supports strategic positioning with donors and partners and leads on project design to ensure that the country office strategy can be delivered in line with child rights programming principles.


Strategy, Planning and Reporting

  • Lead the development/update of the Child Rights Situation Analysis, including analysis of country context taking into account child rights principles, ensuring participation and buy-in from all relevant staff, partners and other stakeholders as necessary
  • Lead the SLT to develop/update and drive forward the Country Strategy Plan (CSP) in line with the global strategy, Ambition 2030, with child rights at the core of all programming and advocacy work.
  • Provide leadership on development of the Country Annual Plan, monitoring of progress against the plan, and completion of accurate, on-time Country Annual Report of outcomes and impact for children, aligned with the Global Results Framework.
  • Facilitate development and pursuit of thematic and cross-cutting strategic priorities in line with the CSP, including gender equality, to guide current and future SC programming and Humanitarian Strategies.
  • Support ownership and commitment to the Country Office strategy by all staff and departments through clear communication, regular feedback on progress and engagement of all functions in updates.
  • Participate in global discussions and working groups to represent country office, and voice of children, in strategy design and policy development.
  • Support organizational/programmatic change processes and roll-out new ways of working to improve achievement of the CSP.

Program Design & Development

-Based on tracking provided by the Awards Management team, review prospects and opportunities that will drive the CSP.
-In consultation with the Country Director and Member Countries, ensure technical engagement with donors to pre-position and prepare for opportunities, and engage in strategic positioning of SC.
-Play a leading role in designing proposals, including:

  • Engaging with technical experts as needed to ensure high quality, evidence-based designs that draw on needs assessments (in humanitarian, development and environmental sustainability context), learning from past programs and child safeguarding principles;
  • Ensuring partners are identified and appropriately engaged in program design, linking with Operations and Awards teams as need be for assessments, especially to strengthen child rights governance, gender sensitivity and environmental sustainability at design stage;
  • Ensuring proposal designs and their budgets include robust MEAL plans that are aligned with the Global Results Framework (and, therefore, advance towards our Breakthroughs), incorporate Common Approaches as relevant, and build in critical research and learning questions.
  • Ensuring budgets will enable projects to be delivered as designed.
  • Incorporating child and community participation into design processes and implementation arrangements, as relevant.

Program Quality and Program Technical Excellence

– Ensure the country program delivers high quality, multi-sectoral programming in humanitarian, development and environmental sustainability contexts (as appropriate).

  • Monitor and advance technical and operational quality of programmes, including conducting regular field visits to provide feedback on quality benchmarks, soliciting inputs for design of new programs and collecting ideas for innovation.
  • Monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and, in partnership with other functional leads, take steps to improve the quality programming platform to meet agreed upon standards.
  • Work closely with the Director of Operations to ensure Quality Framework standards are met and procedures are followed throughout the project life-cycle and across the portfolio.
  • Ensure technical experts proactively and regularly communicate planned requirements for program design, learning and implementation to relevant CO departments/functions.
  • Ensure the strategic direction, technical quality, and operationalization of the multi-member funded programs, by ensuring strong member, donor, and government communications and technical collaboration with field-based implementation teams.

-Build and lead a team of program technical experts needed to successfully deliver against the CSP. Ensure effective working relationships with SC global, Member and regional technical advisors, procuring technical support as needed to support program and advocacy efforts, including during Emergencies.

  • Ensure that program technical experts engage in larger communities of practice within and external to Save the Children, to link with the most relevant and evidence-based approaches and conduct timely and useful review of project reports to support quality reporting for Members and donors.
  • Ensure different technical sectors of the Country Office are coordinated, integrated and support each other to optimize programs and projects.
  • Ensure child safeguarding and safe programming is embedded in program design and considered throughout implementation to ensure that we do all we can to ensure children in our programs are safe, in line with our child safeguarding policy.

– Convene the CO’s Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) High Level Committee (GESI HLC), which steers the CO’s technical and operational work to promote and integrate GESI at all levels

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, Learning (MEAL) and Knowledge management

  • Oversee a monitoring system that provides timely and accurate project results by embedding MEAL across program implementation. This requires ensuring effective collaboration across MEAL staff, Technical Specialists, Technical Advisors and program implementation teams to develop logframes, indicators, implementation plans, quality benchmarks, monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability frameworks.
  • Lead programme quality improvements by monitoring and improving performance against KPIs, including resourcing and conducting high-quality evaluations to demonstrate outcomes and impact and ensuring that learning and accountability mechanisms are in place for all projects so that identified actions are resolved, with critical issues escalated to senior management.
  • Ensure the research, evaluation and policy work of the Country Office contributes to generation of evidence for development and improvement of Common Approaches, sound decision-making and policy influencing internally and externally.
  • Establish effective program learning and knowledge management systems to support adaptive programming and innovation that improves outcomes for children.

Advocacy, Campaigns, Communications and Media

  • Ensure development of an advocacy strategy and annual plans linked to the CSP, with clear Campaign deliverables, for the Country Office.
  • Represent Save the Children as part of advocacy and networking with government authorities, donors, partners, civil society actors, children and other stakeholders to build relationships to facilitate achievement of CSP strategic goals and success of our projects for children.
  • As part of the campaign committee, oversee the development of communications and media strategies to support Save the Children’s visibility and achievement of the CSP and Campaign objectives.
  • Lead political economy analysis, determining our impact and added value, developing change objectives, power mapping,
  • Develop a strategic approach or influencing techniques to our Advocacy and policy engagement and measuring our progress.
  • Capacity building and raising Advocacy & campaigns funding
  • Ensure Advocacy and Campaigns is integrated into programme development and implementation.


  • Coordinate strategic partnerships with local and international civil society organizations, NGOs, governments etc., in advancing the country and global strategy to inspire our three breakthroughs for the most deprived and marginalised children.
  • As appropriate to the country context, provide technical support and capability building to implementing and strategic partners.

Staff Management, Mentorship, and Development

  • Ensure appropriate staffing of Program Development and Quality team, and engagement of additional technical support when needed to deliver quality project design and delivery.
  • Ensure that all PDQ staff understand and are able to perform their role in delivering first-class, quality programs for children in both development and emergency contexts through effective onboarding and clear workplans.
  • Manage individual and team performance using principles of leadership agility, and Save the Children’s performance management system.

Ensure that staff proactively build and maintain technical, managerial and leadership skills, including competencies in child rights programming, child safeguarding and Common Approaches, providing coaching opportunities when needed.

Qualifications and Experience


Academic Qualification

  • PhD (preferred), or A Master’s Degree and experience in relevant social science (especially in Child Development or Community Development), human rights, development studies, NGO management and/or equivalent fields.

Working Experience

  • A minimum of 10 years (7 years for GSI group*) of progressive senior management and/or development experience, including experience designing and implementing programs for children.

*GSI group includes Female, Dalit, Madhesi, People with Disabilities and other indigenous/minorities

Job related knowledge and skills

  • Experience in one or more of Save the Children’s thematic sectors: education, child protection, child rights governance, health and nutrition, child poverty, emergencies, climate change/environmental sustainability.
  • Strong skills and proven experience in leading strategic planning, change management and program management processes, including from a knowledge, learning and accountability perspective.
  • Strong skills and proven experience in program development, project design, proposal writing, quality assurance with corporate, foundations and/or institutional donors.
  • Experience in developing and managing monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning systems.
  • Credibility to lobby, influence and represent Save the Children at all levels.
  • Demonstrated credibility with colleagues and stakeholders at all levels of the organization and externally.
  • Leadership skills, including ability to inspire and motivate qualified professional staffs with strong personal value systems.
  • Excellent listening, inter-personal, communication and networking skills; proven experience and effectiveness working across functional teams and in a matrix structure; and ability to work with diverse groups of people from different social backgrounds.
  • Skills in training, capability building, coaching, mentorship, problem solving, and project cycle management.
  • High level of self-awareness and willingness to take feedback for growth and self-development.
  • Proven experience as a team player and leader in an international organisation.
  • Fluency in written/oral English; Nepali language skills a plus
  • A commitment to the vision, mission, values, and principles of SCI
  • Having the attitude of non-discriminatory and gender sensitive.


  • Experience of exposure to developing countries.
  • Experience working in humanitarian settings and on emergency preparedness/response.
  • High level of commitment to the principles of development and to organizational and programmatic goals of Save the Children

Required No.(s): 1(Worldwide)
Contract length: Fixed Term
Location: Based in Country Office, Kathmandu

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, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

All employees are expected to carry out their duties in accordance with our global anti-harassment policy.

Save the Children does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

Location: Kathmandu
Employee Status: Fixed Term
Closing Date: Jul 17, 2022

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