TEAM/PROGRAMME: Program Implementation

LOCATION: Hanoi, Viet Nam





Level 3:  the post holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight) because they work country programs; or are visiting country programs; or because they are responsible for implementing the police checking/vetting process staff.



As a member of the Senior Management Team, the Director of Program Implementation shares in the overall responsibility for the direction and coordination of the Country Office. The Director of Program Implementation is responsible for ensuring overall management and quality delivery of Save the Children's development and emergency response programs in Vietnam. The position oversees all program delivery and field operations (including sub-offices), with line management of Thematic Program Managers, and Area and Field Managers and direct oversight for partnerships with NGOs and the Government of Vietnam. S/he is accountable for ensuring quality program results in line with grant commitments and the Country Strategic Plan. This will require providing strategic direction and strong, sustained coordination with other Senior Management Team members, and building an environment of teamwork and collaboration across departments. The position holder will have significant representational responsibilities, especially with key government ministries and non-governmental stakeholders at both the national and provincial level.


In the event of a major humanitarian emergency, the post holder will be expected to work outside the normal role profile and be able to vary working hours accordingly.


The post holder will lead on achievement of the global Operations Key Performance indicators (KPIs), and contribute to achievement of Programme and other relevant KPIs.



Reports to: Country Director

Staff reporting to this post: 6-8 staff directly reporting to the post

Direct: Area/Field Managers, Thematic Program Managers

Indirect : Program and Field Operations

Budget Responsibilities: Overall budget holder for program implementation

Role Dimensions: Save the Children has been working in Vietnam since 1990, and currently has programs in 22 provinces with a team of approximately 120 staff and current expenditure of approximately eight - nine million USD each year across app. 30 - 40 awards. The programs span five thematic areas: Education, Health and Nutrition, Child Rights Governance, Child Protection, and Child Poverty, with funding from different Save the Children members and a range of institutional, private and corporate donors, including through sponsorship.


As a member of the Senior Management Team of Viet Nam country office, contribute to:

·        Contribute to the overall leadership of the Viet Nam Country Office

·        Support the development of an organisational culture that reflects our full spectrum values, promotes accountability, compliance and high performance, encourages a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, and frees up our people to deliver outstanding results for children and excellent customer service for our members and donors

·        Support the design and implementation of a coherent organizational structure that is consistent with agency practices, country office operating model and appropriate to programme needs

·        Maintain a strong and effective working relationship across all departments to enable Save the Children in Vietnam to meet its objectives and priorities

·        Support SMT in decision making and strategic direction in relation to funding and portfolio development, pipeline management, go/no go decisions.

·        Engage in developing country strategy, program strategy, operational strategy and annual plan and report, including ensuring acurrate budget phasing for program costs

·        Ensure Vietnam Country Office complies with all relevant Save the Children Country Office Standards and program operations policies and procedures


Oversight and Management of Program Implementation

·        Oversee program budget and operations, with line management of all program and field operations, including Program Managers, area and field offices/teams and partners

·        Accountable for the delivery of quality programs and projects across the country programme portfolio, in accordance with work plan, budget and quality benchmarks

·        Provide oversight to Program Managers in project-level planning and budgeting, ensuring the quality and feasibility of detailed implementation plans and monitor implementation of the plans.

·        Overall accountability for compliance with donor and organizational requirements throughout the award cycle

·        Accountable for all aspects of program implementation including administrative, planning for project related procurement and supplies, and financial requirements. Serve as primary budget holder for programmes.

·        Accountable for quality and cost effectiveness of operations and management across all programs and area/field offices: structure, adequate staffing and resourcing, ways of working.

·        Ensure that SC Key Performance Indicator targets are met and continuously improved, especially regarding budget vs. actual spend and other implementation-related metrics 

·        Accountable for program delivery in ways responsive to local government, local NGO partners, communities, and children in line with Save the Children principles, values and strategic plan and following Save the Children compliance procedures. This includes working with government and national NGO-partners to strengthen national capacity

·        Ensuring that program teams prepare timely and high quality progress reports, program reports, and donor reports.

·        In close collaboration with Director of Finance and Support Services, ensure effective and efficient logistics and supply chain platform for delivery of programs.


Risk Management

·        Identify, prevent and mitigate risks stemming from project design, implementation and field operations with a particular attention to child-safeguarding, safety and security, fraud and diversion of resources, harassment and bullying

·        Support the Director of Finance and Support Services to improve and strengthen the internal control environment of all field offices, projects and partners

·        Support investigation of irregularity and malpractice cases with area and field offices, projects and partners

·        Ensure the Country Office Risk Management System is consistently applied with all Area and Field Offices and Projects


Partnership Developent and Management

·        Lead the development of the partnership strategy, guidelines and reviews, and support partner selection

·        Leading on managing overall partnership function, developing and managing partner relationships and capacity building and supporting budget holders to manage sub-grants.

·        Ensure appropriate partnership modalities, the relevance and cost effectiveness of partnership approaches and alignment of practices with the values outlined in SC partnership framework, and with donor and Save the Children requirements

·        Work with SC project managers and partner senior management to ensure that partnerships have well-defined expectations and roles and responsibilities; clear implementation plans, monitoring frameworks and practices; and that challenges are proactively and constructively resolved with professionalism


Humanitarian Preparedness and Response

·        Oversee and strengthen the Viet Nam CO organisational readiness to respond to emergencies in line with global SCI humanitarian standards and benchmarks, including leading on the humanitarian capacity building plan in close collaboration with HR department

·        Ensure that the CO designs, updates and implements a full set of humanitarian preparedness actions, drawing on Asia Regional Office and SC member input and resources, including maintaining an updated Emergency Preparedness Plan

·        Mount appropriate and  timely responses at scale to all emergencies consistent with established benchmarks, plans and organizational policies, and in close cooperation with members and any incoming surge teams and the Asia Regional Office.

·        Ensure that all CO staff across departments and sub offices are familiar with, adhere to and implement the emergency procedures and processes detailed in the Rules and Principles for emergency response

·        In coordination with Country Director and Director for Program Development, Quality and Advocacy maintain consistent and coherent engagement in key governmental and inter-agency emergency preparedness and response coordination mechanisms including the Cluster system and Disaster Management Working Group


Contribution to Program Development, Quality, Advocacy and Award Management

·        Support Department of Program Development, Quality and Advocacy and Award Management in conceptualizing and designing cost effective, innovative and high quality programs, ensuring adequate engagement of the program and field operations team.

·        Guide key decisions during program design, especially regarding geographic targeting, partner selection, implementation mechanisms (including SC and partner staffing structures), program integration and risk management;

·        Work with the Award Management team and Program Managers to ensure adequate budget for activities, operational costs, and technical quality, supporting budget revisions as needed throughout the award management cycle.

·        Ensure program teams fully implement the Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning system, including use of Quality Benchmarks, accountability mechanisms and documentation and use of program learning.

·        Support the program team to apply the child safe programming approach

·                                                                                                                                                                                      In close coordination with Director of Program Development, Quality and Advocacy, ensure that the field level advocacy and campaigning activities are implemented in a timely and quality manner, and in alignment with the national advocacy and campaigning objectives.


External Representation and Networking

·        In coordination with the Country Director, undertake external representation, networking and coordination at high levels with other international and national organisations, donors, national and local authorities and other stakeholders

·        Ensure program team maintains active engagement and professional relationship with the Government of Vietnam, institutions, agencies and partners, proactively resolving issues related to programs and management. 



Team management, capacity building, coaching and mentoring:

·        Establish and maintain a culture of teamwork, participation, and accountability for excellence, within and across departments.

·        Put in place appropriate management systems and practices, including regular team and individual meetings, mechanisms for cross department coordination and collaboration, and norms and practices that are results driven.

·        Build the capacity of, mentor and coach SC teams and individual staff, ensuring succession planning, leadership development, talent management and a clear career pathway for key staff.

·        Manage the performance of all staff in the Program Implementation department through effective use of the Develop to Perform System including establishing clear, measureable objectives, ongoing feedback, periodic reviews and fair and unbiased evaluations (taking into account that thematic leads have dotted reporting line to Director of Program Development, Quality and Advocacy).

·                                                                                                                                                                                      Documentation of performance that is at standard and above and less than satisfactory, with appropriate performance improvements/ work plans


BEHAVIOURS (Values in Practice)


·         holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values

·         holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities - giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.


·         sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team, takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same

·         widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others

·         future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale.


·         builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters

·         values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength

·         approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.


·         develops and encourages new and innovative solutions

·         willing to take disciplined risks.


·         honest, encourages openness and transparency; demonstrates highest levels of integrity



Masters Degree in development studies or equivalent fields or equivalent level of experience




·         A minimum of 5 years management experience in an NGO environment, including significant field operations experience managing and implementing full spectrum (emergency and development) programs.

  • Experience of working within a complex and matrix organisation structure to deliver organizational change and program results.
  • Demonstrated capacity to build and maintain effective partnerships with a range of actors, including local and national government, civil society actors, and others.
  • Proven success leading and managing large and geographically disperse team, with  demonstrated  ability  to  lead, motivate and develop others
  • Experience providing leadership in a cross-cultural organizational context
  • Strong understanding of national and international development issues, and familiarity with the core areas of SC’s program portfolio in Vietnam (Education, Child Protection, Health and Nutrition, Child Rights Governance, Child-focused Poverty reduction, and Disaster Risk Reduction).
  • Significant knowledge of international humanitarian systems, institutions and donors, and best practices in emergency management.  
  • Ability and willingness to change work practices and hours, and work with incoming teams in the event of major emergencies.
  • Commitment  to  and  understanding  of  Save  the  Children’s  aims,  values  and principles  including rights-based approaches.



·         Fluency in written and spoken English and Vietnamese.

·         Strong project management skills, including planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, reporting and budgeting and financial management.

·         Ability to analyze information, evaluate options, problem solve and to think and plan strategically

·         Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills

·         Ability to manage complexity, set priorities and adapt to changing circumstances while delivering results


Additional job responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the role holder may be required to carry out additional duties within reasonableness of their level of skills and experience.

Equal Opportunities

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies and procedures.

Child Safeguarding:

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.