Head of Operations – Africa Division at Christian Aid

Head of Operations – Africa Division

  • Job Type Full Time
  • Qualification BA/BSc/HND , MBA/MSc/MA
  • Experience
  • Location Abuja
  • Job Field Administration / Secretarial&nbsp

Locations: Abuja, Nigeria, Burundi – Bujumbura, Goma, DRC.
Type of Contract: Fixed Term
Contracted hours: 35
Contract length: 3 years
Department: International

Role Purpose

  • The Head of Operations is a member of the Divisional Leadership Team and the Divisional Management Group with oversight responsibility for the operational performance of the Africa Division.
  • The post holder ensures that country teams have the support they need to be effective in their roles and adhere to Christian Aid’s quality standards and best practice in operational excellence, and that our systems and processes are appropriately responsive and adaptive to the local contexts in which we operate.
  • The post holder champions effective collaboration and coordination with teams and functions across the organisation to streamline support to country teams on the essential aspects of talent management and performance, systems and processes; and actively promotes continuous improvement and operational excellence that supports the division’s ambitions to deliver impact.
  • The post holder is results-oriented and acts timely and decisively to address problems and find solutions.
  • The role is delivered through strong internal partnerships in the Africa division and cross-organisationally, including with teams such as the Programme Quality & Operations Division, HR, Finance, Internal Audit, IT and Security.
  • The role will promote ways of working that reinforce Christian Aid’s values, collective responsibility, mutual accountability, shared leadership, open communication, interdependence, and organisational learning.
  • The post holder line manages 5 country managers in West and Central Africa.

Key Outcomes:

  • Appropriate and timely delivery of operational services and support to country programmes.
  • New operating models adequately resourced on organisational development, legal requirements, staff, systems and processes.
  • Country teams well supported through processes of change and/or rapid programme scale up.
  • Staff in the Africa Division equipped to effectively deliver their roles through timely performance and talent management.
  • Operational budgets sufficient to meet demands of outlined work in the Africa Division.
  • Digital solutions maximised to enhance organisational learning, efficiency, effectiveness, agility, and engagement.
  • Africa country programmes meet Christian Aid’s global standards in programme performance, accountability, safeguarding, compliance and risk management.
  • Areas of under-performance promptly addressed.
  • Up to five Country Managers empowered with good line management and coaching support.

Role Agility:

  • Expected travel per annum – Up to 50 days
  • On call/unsocial hours – Yes, in event of Christian Aid response to humanitarian emergency.
  • Surge capacity for emergency responses – No

In order to respond to ever-changing demands within the environment, Christian Aid operates within an agile framework (both in workforce and operational) that requires from all employees, a high level of responsiveness and adaptiveness to processes and structures making flexibility and a project-based working approach the norm. To sustain this system, managers may / will agree further details of specific tasks and duties as part of the performance agreement. Any reasonable duty may be assigned that is consistent with the nature of the job and its level of responsibility, and employees may be required to change the focus of their role from time to time.

Role Context:

  • The Africa Division works across 10 countries with programmes varying in size, complexity, thematic priorities and strategic approach, depending on the context. We have an annual budget of more than £45 million, 300 partners, and 400 staff. The breadth of our work covers long-term development and humanitarian activities. It is the largest Christian Aid programme with scope for further growth. We aspire for high standards of operational excellence so that we can strengthen our programme delivery and impact. Christian Aid’s business processes and systems also need to keep abreast with the current and future needs of our country programmes and new operating models. We want to achieve greater impact on poverty eradication in Africa by ensuring that our operations are well-aligned to our country, divisional and corporate strategies and are appropriate, responsive, effective and accountable.
  • The Head of Operations leads on business operations in the Africa division, developing and executing an operations strategy in close collaboration with key support functions in the division and wider organisation; in particular Programme Quality & Operations Division, HR, Finance, Internal Audit, IT and Security.
  • He/she reports to the Head of Africa Division and has responsibility for the division’s day-to-day operations, ensuring efficacy and continuous improvement.
  • The Head of Operations is a member of the Divisional Leadership Team, the Divisional Management Group, and line manages five Country Managers.

Role Requirements

  • External Establishes contacts to enable learning and opportunities for collaboration
  • Internal Proactively works with colleagues in the division and across the organisation to achieve role objectives and purpose.

Decision Making:

  • Budgetary / savings responsibility: Delegated authority for decision making within parameters agreed with Head of Division.
  • Responsible for setting, monitoring and delivering the division’s operational KPIs

Analytical skills:

  • Strong analytical, strategic thinking, and planning skills required. The post holder efficiently prioritises and manages a high workload and multiple tasks with competing demands on his/her time.
  • He/she takes into account the wider and longer-term consequences of their and other people’s ideas, recommendations and decisions. Risk assessment is an important part of developing solutions.

Developing self and others:

  • Number of Direct reports – Up to 6
  • Overall people management responsibility – Up to 6
  • The post holder acts with a high degree of initiative, self-motivation and goal-setting. He / she will be responsible for delivering on their objectives to a high standard, as well as coaching and motivating others as appropriate to the role.

Role related checks:

  • Child protection clearance – Not required
  • Counter terrorism screening – Not required

Person Specification
Applied skills/knowledge and expertise:


  • Educated to degree level, preferably with an MBA, Operations Management, or Organisational Development background
  • Good knowledge of development issues in Africa and extensive experience of programming in an international NGO setting
  • Deep and broad understanding of business operations, including organisational management, systems, policies, processes, HR, Finance, compliance and risk management, preferably in the international NGO sector
  • Proven ability to support an organisation through change and growth
  • Excellent strategic leadership skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and collaborative team working style in a diverse workplace
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to provide thought leadership and innovative solutions to enhance ways of working and more agile, responsive systems and processes
  • Ability to apply short and long-term strategic planning, risk mitigation, and learning
  • Willingness to take calculated risks
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Ability to effectively handle multiple demands, prioritise work, and complete tasks in line with expectations
  • Ability to excel in a fast-paced work environment
  • Ability to influence a diverse range of stakeholders and negotiate win-win solutions
  • Results-oriented
  • Considerable leadership and management experience including distance management and coaching
  • Positive, resilient and supportive of others; has a ‘can-do’ attitude


  • Fluency in spoken French
  • Ability to apply organisational development and systems thinking

Digital / IT competencies required:

  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint – Advanced
  • Web content design & development – N/A
  • Internet-based collaboration tools and video calling – Intermediate
  • Social Media – Basic
  • Data Visualisation – Intermediate


  • Burundi: Band B-High – Salary Range:  CFA 134,921,826 P.A – 143,855,519 P.A
  • DRC: Band B-High – Salary Range: USD 84,211 P.A – 94,082 P.A
  • Nigeria: Band B-High – Salary Range:  NGN 26,305,077 P.A – 29,915,515 P.A

Method of Application