Senior Director of Operations – West Africa Region

International Role - Yes
2+ Years

*For World Vision internal applicants only.


The Senior Director of Operations (SDO) role exists to strengthen the line management role of the Regional Leader and enable them to focus on strategic, governance and leadership issues. SDOs, with the delegated authority of the regional leaders, provide leadership for functional and operational issues, monitor the national office performance, coordinate regional support to the national offices and oversee the management of the regional office. This leadership is to ensure alignment with the World Vision partnership’s global, regional strategic direction and implementation of Our Promise 2030.

The SDO reports to the Regional Leader but also functions as a twin citizen in a matrix environment with the Global Director, Field Operations, in order to support the Partnership Principles (accountability, twin citizenship, interdependence and empowerment) and to embed an improved and collaborative way of working that will improve organizational effectiveness.


Lead in Operational Management (excellence in execution):

  • As the primary responsibility is to lead the operational performance of the region, the SDO will ensure that regional line ministries and support functions work collaboratively across the regional office and with the Global Centre (GC) for the primary purpose of providing operational support to the national offices, and fulfilling Our Promise 2030.

  • Provide performance monitoring of National Offices (NOs) based on key directions and indicators at the global level and regional level. Establish and facilitate business processes around performance monitoring of national offices.

  • Support the Regional Leader to identify linkages between performance monitoring of national offices and performance management of NO senior management team as appropriate.

  • The SDO will have primary or shared oversight for the following management support functions.

Humanitarian Emergency and Affairs:

  • Provide operational oversight to all CATEGORY II and III Emergency Relief responses in the Region in coordination / consultation with global HEA and Regional Communications.

  • Ensure effective disaster management processes and strategy are in place for the Regions.


  • Oversee the budget development and monitoring process for the region, supporting the Regional Finance Director.

  • Ensure appropriate and adequate leadership is provided by the Finance function.

  • Ensure effective ERM is in place for West Africa Region (WAR).

People & Culture/HR (P&C):

  • Contribute to organizational change and improvement at a strategic operational level within the Region working in collaboration with Regional P&C Director and OD Advisor.

  • Provide leadership in integrating management support functions with ministry support in order to provide tangible support to projects in the field, while also providing P&C support for the Regional Office.

  • Assist with resolution of resource sharing issues which may arise in the case of resources needing to be shared between regions.

Support Service Function:

  • Ensure the provision of effective and efficient delivery of a broad array of support services (in the potential areas of Finance, P&C, Administration, IT and other related ancillary services) to serve the Regional Office and hosted GC entities.

  • Negotiate, monitor, and evaluate Service Level Agreements between the region and the GC.

Quality Assurance/DME:

  • Oversee the monitoring and evaluation of programmes across the region according to relevant standards, policies and procedures.

  • Ensure the integration of quality assurance practices in all programmatic and functional areas across the region.

  • Collection, analysis and interpretation of performance data for organizational and programmatic effectiveness.

  • Working with Regional Office of Strategy Management, track accomplishments against strategy.


  • Contribute to the promotion of a security culture.

  • Ensure resources are mobilized (staff, finances and technical support) to address security gaps.

Support the Regional Security Director in:

  • Ensuring NOs adhere to policies, standards and Core Security Requirements.

  • Ensuring that all key stakeholders in the Region understand the importance and urgency of timely response with security incidents and that they are then managed well with the Office of Corporate Security.

  • Ensure the implementation of security protocols in the regional office.


  • Ensure National Offices receive adequate communications support.

  • Ensure communications support for the ministry pillars in the region working with the different directors on key messaging.

  • Ensure a consistent avenue for leadership communication with the Region.

  • Promote and maintain open communications within the multiple leadership levels in the Region.


  • Ensure alignment with Our Promise 2030.

  • Build a strong evidence base of our work.

  • Ensure effective implementation of NO strategic initiatives.

  • Supervise strategy execution and measurement.

  • Effective support to NO’s in Transitioning Economies to fulfil their transition plans and to NO’s in Fragile Contexts to mitigate and comprehensively manage risk effectively.

Resource Development:

  • Ensure strategic approach to Resource Acquisition and NOs are effectively supported for pre-positioning with donors.

  • Ensure effective implementation of Grants and risk management is tracked.

  • Position WAR as the NGO of choice for donors and corporate.

  • Grow WAR NO local income opportunities.

External Engagement:

  • Ensure effective engagement with Regional Bodies promotes Child Well Being (CWB) and the WV campaigns.

  • Build relationships with key Regional bodies.

  • Public engagement to support Transitioning Economies.

Operational Plans, Investment and Budget:

  • Working with Regional Strategy Lead and Regional Finance provide operational leadership for translating Regional Strategy into operational plans and budget for the Regional office.

Regional Team Management:

  • As the line manager for regional office staff, establish performance agreements and development plans with each direct report and ensure they are also in place for others within the regional office.

  • Mentor, coach and facilitate the career progression and leadership development for members of the regional team, especially identified top talent.

  • Ensure appropriate energy and focus is put into supporting the regional team in managing as twin citizens in a matrix environment.

  • Provides leadership and guidance in the formulation of operational policies and standards for the office management unit and mechanisms for monitoring compliance with and consistency in the interpretation and implementation of such

  • policies and procedures.

  • Ensure alignment and integration of Regional operational strategy and goals of line ministries and support functions with overall WV Partnership strategy and goals, including VisionFund.

  • Coordinate the provision of all shared services available from the Global Centre to support the region: Information Technology (IT), International Staffing Solutions (ISS) and Audit.

Other responsibilities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Liaison / coordination with partnership entities as needed for planning and problem solving purposes in relation to regional operations. e.g. Global Centre Departments, Support Offices (International Programmes Groups), other regions.

  • The SDO plans and coordinates Regional Meetings in consultation with the Regional Leader, bringing together all NDs with Regional Directors to review the performance of the region and of regional functional teams per feedback and

  • assessment by the NOs, determine regional-wide solutions to operational issues and to provide a forum for networking, team building and cross-learning.

  • Plans NO field trips and ensures that action plans are monitored and evaluated for impact.

  • Technical external relationships/representation. Develop relationships with external agencies core to our operations, liaising closely with those responsible for external relationships and representation to ensure aligned approach to our partners.

  • Other regional-specific responsibilities and as tasked by the regional leader.

  • Active contribution and leadership in spiritual nurture of staff.


  • Professional maturity to provide counsel and expertise as well as actionable feedback. The ability to identify the highest leverage changes required and the self-confidence to work with senior executives, challenging their perspective as appropriate, to achieve buy in for key changes and/or initiatives. Demonstrates an appropriate sense of urgency while remaining calm and in control under pressure. Strong team leader versus authoritative leader.

  • Master’s Degree in a relevant field

  • Excellent communication skills (proficiency in the both English & French language is required), both verbal and written, as well as negotiation and administrative abilities.

  • Strong Christian commitment, spiritual maturity and discernment evidenced by life and character including active and regular fellowship with other Christians.

  • Ability to travel regionally and internationally up to 12 weeks per year

  • Strong team player with proven ability to collaborate constructively and find solutions to achieve objectives while building and maintaining good relationships at all levels.

  • Ability to coach and support experienced senior professionals, providing necessary direction and guidance; managing by objectives while delegating the detailed management of their teams and specialised areas of content

  • 10 years’ experience in providing operational leadership in more than one function or country.

  • A deep and broad understanding of business operations within World Vision or a similar organization.

  • Significant multi-cultural leadership and management experience.

  • National Director’s experience and working in different contexts/countries will be preferred.

Work Environment/Travel:

  • Work environment: Office-based with frequent travel to the field.

  • Travel: 40% Domestic/international travel is required.