Head of Programmes, HoP at Alight Rwanda

By | December 17, 2019

Head of Programmes, HoP | Rwanda

Reports to Country Director 

Full time 

January 2020

Hello Hello! Alight is recruiting a Head of Programmes for our program in Rwanda. So you’re interested in joining us? Welcome, we’re happy you’re here.

This year, American Refugee Committee became Alight. We’re the same organization with the same people doing the same critical work – providing health care and clean water, shelter, protection, and economic opportunity to more than 3.5 million people in 17 countries each year. But in solidarity with the people we serve who are too often defined by a single dark moment in their lives, we’re dropping the label ‘refugee.’

When you Join us, you’ll find…

A team with deep experience in co-designing solutions that create new value around the world. We know we need to always be better, and we believe in the power and abundance of everyday people, everywhere, to change the world with us.

A culture of radical accountability to our customers –as we help build a meaningful life for and with the displaced, we ask them what they want and then deliver on it.

An organization that refuses to settle for anything less than delivering human-worthy services.

If you believe in an abundant world full of amazing people who want to help; in the simple human justice to build a life; and in doing a better thing, then read on!

What we do in Rwanda

Alight Rwanda works with its partners and constituencies to provide opportunities and expertise to refugees, displaced people and host communities – to better survive conflicts and crisis, and to rebuild lives of dignity, health, security and self-sufficiency. Alight has consistently operated in Rwanda since 1994, and today has a strong and committed team of over eight hundred personnel who include full time staff and incentive workers, and hundreds of community volunteers – implementing programs in Primary Health Care, Reproductive Health, HIV and Nutrition; also Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Shelter and general Infrastructure, Clean Energy, Livelihoods/Economic strengthening, Education, Community Services, Protection, SGBV prevention and response and child protection.. Our work in Rwanda currently covers all the refugee locations and their kind Rwandan-host communities. And we are always looking to deepen our work and, jointly with our partners, offer lasting impact with and for the communities we serve!

About the Role

The Head of Programmes, HoP is responsible for providing program strategy, technical and managerial leadership for program development and execution in Alight Rwanda, ensuring overall achievement of program goals and objectives, quality outcomes and effective use of resources, and team management and mentorship. S/he also ensures overall program quality, effectiveness and accountability, in accordance with humanitarian assistance core standards, program sector technical standards, donor requirements, host country regulations, and Alight’s organizational mission, standards and operating principles. The HoP is responsible for representing Alight in relevant program donor, technical or sector coordination, briefings or similar meetings, and providing feedback/advice to program management and technical team, and to the Rwanda Country Director.

The HoP has direct responsibility or oversight for program development, design, and resource acquisition, following high standards, timeliness and effectiveness; and program team performance management. And as a member of the Alight Rwanda Senior Leadership Team, the HoP will assist the Country Director in shaping the strategic direction of the Alight Rwanda program, ensuring quality programs design, implementation and accountability. S/he will directly supervise senior program staff who include a Business Development Coordinator, a Programmes Coordinator as well as a Strategic-Projects Coordinator; also all Alight Field/Site Managers.

This position will be based in Kigali with regular field visits to strengthen Alight’s presence and work in the various geographies of Rwanda.

Essential Responsibilities and Duties:

Program Implementation & Accountability 40%

Ensure programs are aligned with Alight Country Strategy and contractual obligations of awarded grants, program sector standards, and humanitarian guidelines.
Facilitate the provision of technical guidance and support, to staff and partners, on all of Rwanda programming.
Proactively monitor program implementation, promptly reporting unexpected delays, costs or quality issues, and resolving issues and initiating appropriate corrective action.
Plan, organize and coordinate the program activities across program sectors, ensuring complementary approaches, on-time, on-budget, on-target project activities and deliverables for accomplishing short and long-term project goals.
Closely work with the program coordinator, programs technical team and programs quality and learning advisor to ensure that adequate program performance and measurement tools and processes are in place, implemented and enable ongoing learning and improvements.
Ensure that adequate M&E tools and processes are in place, and facilitate the adoption of harmonized methodologies for monitoring and reporting
Ensure program budget holders have the knowledge and tools to comply with donor requirements and Alight grant management guidelines and can effectively manage their assigned programs and sectors.
Coordinate with other heads of units to constantly monitor the execution of programming budgets to ensure acceptable and timely burn rates and budget realignments.
Lead scheduled and quarterly programming review meetings to improve effectiveness and efficiency
Ensure overall programs internal/external compliance, reporting and documentation.
Provide opportunities for effective learning, sharing, and innovation, through reflection and regular dialogue among program teams.
Conduct regular visits to field offices and project sites to monitor program performance. Provide feedback to staff on gaps and areas for improvement and identify needs for ongoing capacity building.

Program Development 20%

With support from Alight/Alight Minneapolis based and country level program advisors, and the Country Director, lead all aspects of program development – conceptualizing, design, preparation, revision, submission- ensuring requisite participation of targeted clients, supporters, and partners.
Utilize human centered development techniques in developing programming based on customer needs.
Facilitate interactions between Alight key program and business functions staff, to develop business sourcing and financing documents.
Lead the programmes team in proactive research and analysis of industry trends, donor strategies and funding priorities, for programming development.
Put in place mechanism for tracking and relaying of intelligence on funding opportunities to relevant business development and program staff in a timely manner for execution.
Follow up with donors and partners, post business requests to debrief, as well as to disseminate promising practices and lessons.

Reporting 10%

Lead in design and management of Rwanda programming reports calendar, ensuring staff are prepared, aware and meet all contractual reporting requirements and deadlines.
Engage with Alight Kuja Kuja – real time beneficiary feedback mechanism – team and information, to identify real time programs improvement and adjustment needs, also to inform programs development
Conduct comprehensive reviews/edits on all programming reports, briefs and presentations, ensuring quality and correctness before dissemination or usage of the same.
Coordinate regular programming sharing, reports and briefs within and external to the agency.

Leadership 15%

Assist the Country Director in shaping the strategic direction of the Alight Rwanda program, ensuring quality programs are designed and implemented.
Energize others, create space for budding leaders at all levels, and mentor the team in the Alight values in action
Lead discussions and initiatives on program re/design, expansion, with relevant partners, supporters and government authorities, in close consultations with the senior country leadership team.
Actively participate in Senior Leadership Team meetings, contributing to problem-solving and decision-making on policy and strategic direction.
Work collaboratively with senior colleagues across the organization to achieve organizational outcomes.
Conduct performance management, including mentorship, capacity building and growth planning for direct reports.

Strengthening Alight’s Networking and Coordination 15%

Coordinate and communicate with key actors: donors, host government, international agencies, and I/NGOs on Rwanda programming development and execution.
Attend relevant program coordination, briefing and similar meetings, in coordination with senior program leadership.
In coordination with the program managers and technical advisors, strengthen Alight’s technical relationships with relevant line Ministries, donors and partners; through regular meetings, consultations and updates on Alight programming.
Facilitate clear and timely links between technical/coordination discussions, ensuring that Alight staff remain informed and adequately prepared for program implementation

Skills and experience we’re seeking

Minimum of Masters’ degree or higher in Public Health or Development Studies, Social Sciences, International Relations, etc. with a strong program design, leadership and management capabilities.
Minimum of 12 years’ experience in humanitarian work and at least eight (8) years international experience preferably in relief and/or development work, with focus on program design and accountability.
Strong leadership skills, proven experience in strategic planning, overseeing large programs and ability to effect and manage change effectively.
Knowledge of humanitarian response, transitional and development program concepts, policies, frameworks, standards and strategies.
Proficient in developing project-level Theories of Change, results frameworks, M&E systems and implementation of qualitative and quantitative assessments in community settings.
Demonstrated experience in program design, planning and implementation, including proposal writing, budgeting, value for money, and participatory program approaches.
Demonstrated advanced communications, presentation and inter-personal skills, including fluency in written and spoken English.
Experience working with non-institutional donors and unconventional funding mechanisms.
Experience working with and coordinating with donors including BPRM/US State Department, UN, DFID, AU, EU, and private donors and foundations.
Experience working and coordinating with diverse I/NGOs, Partners and Government agencies.
Experience working in Africa or similar environments preferred.

Qualities top candidates will possess

Strong analytical, written and verbal skills;
High level of integrity, accountability and responsibility;
Good interpersonal skills and ability and inclination to work in / with teams;
High level of self-drive, discipline and desire to achieve;
Ability to work with minimal supervision, hit deadlines, and produce high-quality outputs;
Willingness to travel and stay for extended periods in remote refugee sites to support workflows.
Open heart and open mind with the willingness to show (not tell) and the humility to learn from others.


Borderless Team of 2,500 staff worldwide that sees possibility, celebrates moments of abundance, shares new ideas, and strives to do a better thing every day.

Learning & Development – Access thousands of free online learning courses to take at your own pace and tailor to your professional goals.

Health, dental, and MedEvac Insurance – We strive to offer the best-in-class healthcare plans to our staff each year. We cover 100% of the cost for your health premium and 75% of the cost for coverage for your spouse/dependents.

Retirement – We contribute 6% of your salary regardless of your contribution amount, after one year of service.

Generous Leave Time – Between vacation days, personal leave days, and holidays, you have ample opportunity to take time off when you need it.

Who We Are

We are on a journey to build Alight, a new platform of amazing people and organizations providing lifesaving services and creating breakthrough solutions for and with the displaced. WeAreAlight.org

Alight is an Equal Opportunity Employer offering employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, citizenship, physical or mental disability, or protected veteran status. Alight complies with all applicable laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.

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