The role

We are currently looking for Programme Development and Quality Director based in Vientiane

Role Purpose

The Director of Program Development and Quality (PDQ) plays a key role in defining and pursuing the strategic direction for Save the Children’s programs in Laos, ensuring the relevance, strategic coherence, and impact of our programs for children. S/he has specific oversight for strategy and program development, and ensuring that programs demonstrate thematic excellence in contributing to Save the Children’s three priority breakthroughs for children: no child dies from preventable causes before their fifth birthday; all children learn from a quality basic education; and violence against children is no longer tolerated.

The Director of PDQ works with thematic leads to develop evidence-based strategies, programs and projects, to strengthen program integration, and to spearhead advocacy and campaigning initiatives. S/he takes a lead in establishing systems for quality improvement, accountability, evaluation and learning, and in ensuring that learning and results are captured, shared and used to inform programs. The Director leads the Country Office in developing and carrying out its partnership strategy with national NGOs and other strategic partners. As a senior leader in the country office s/he plays a representational role with the Government of Laos, donors, partners and others. The PDQ Director has the responsibility to build the capacity of, mentor and coach SC teams and individual staff in areas related to PDQ, ensuring the development of a strong national team. S/he works closely with PDQ and thematic leaders from across Save the Children to facilitate strategic alignment and to maximize synergies.   

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


Ensure they and their team fully understand the provisions of the Child Safeguarding Policy, the Code of Conduct and Local/Country Procedures.

Conduct themselves and ensure their team conduct themselves in accordance with the rules of the Child Safeguarding Policy, in their personal and professional lives – which includes reporting suspicions of child abuse.

That child safeguarding is integrated and given a “voice” in all management processes including recruitment, induction, performance management, team meetings, annual planning processes, field level monitoring, etc.

As a member of the Senior Management Team:

  • Provide leadership, strategic vision and direction to the Laos country program in all contexts (both development and humanitarian)
  • Support the development of an organizational culture that reflects our core values, promotes accountability and high performance, encourages a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, and ensures that staff deliver outstanding results for children and quality, timely deliverables.
  • Help establish, maintain, and strengthen regular working relationships and networks with host government authorities, strategic partners and stakeholders, donors, and local and international NGOs.
  • Maintain a strong and effective working relationship across all departments to enable Save the Children in Laos to meet its objectives and priorities. 

Strategic Coherence and Program Development:

  • Responsible for ensuring strategic coherence across SC in Laos programming to support breakthroughs for children.
  • Facilitate the development and pursuit of cross-cutting strategic priorities and plans to guide current and future SC programming.
  • Facilitate strategic integration across programs/projects and themes, in order to maximize impact.
  • In partnership with SMT, identify strategic programming trends and opportunities (national and global) for partnerships, advocacy and new program development.
  • Work with program teams, partners and others, to lead the design of projects that align with our strategy and SC’s Theory of Change – innovating, building on and generating evidence, identifying strategic ways of partnering; supporting broader change in policy and practice, etc.
  • Play a leadership role in developing and carrying out SC’s strategy for Laos, and ensuring it is widely used internally and known externally.
  • Lead the country team in conducting a Child Rights Situation Analysis and other problem analyses, and in continuously identifying emerging needs and opportunities to support children in realizing their rights in Laos.

Thematic Expertise and Quality:

  • Support program team to carry out quality, evidence-based, programming in line with the Theory of Change and Save the Children’s strategic priorities and common approaches;
  • Ensure that appropriate systems are in place to establish and maintain thematic and cross-thematic integration around our strategic priorities (working groups, communications streams, etc.).
  • Ensure that program design and implementation are driven by evidence around what works for children; Work with colleagues to utilize knowledge and learning to achieve quality outcomes.
  • Ensure that program design and implementation addresses cross-cutting issues (gender, disability, resilience) and meet core humanitarian standards.
  • Ensure that programs, guided by a learning agenda, make use of global and national evidence and learning to identify and test innovative and evidence-based solutions to support breakthroughs for children in Laos, including the use of ICT.
  • Maximize opportunities to engage with SC’s Global Themes, working groups and thematic expertise, to contribute to our learning and draw on the learning of others; Ensure that common approaches are socialized and applied where relevant, and that global standards are met.
  • Work with Awards and PI to ensure the quality of program concepts and proposals, project reports, and external communication with members, donors, and consultants, etc., with special attention to thematic excellence and technical fidelity.

MEAL and Knowledge Management:

  • Ensure the overall effectiveness of the CO Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning (MEAL) system, supporting MEAL and program teams in adapting, rolling out and innovating.
  • Foster a functional interface between MEAL and Project teams for data quality, systems for reflection, interpretation and action planning.
  • Work with PI and PDQ teams to define and execute MEAL plans that contribute to program decision making, accountability, and learning.
  • Identify concrete systems and mechanisms to cultivate a culture of learning, reflection and continuous improvement and provide leadership to ensure their uptake and roll out across SC in Laos.
  • Help define and pursue CO and project-specific learning agendas.
  • Provide oversight to research and evaluation, both externally commissioned and internal, with a particular eye towards clarity on purpose, appropriateness of methods, reliability of results, interpretation and action planning.
  • Develop and roll out CO Knowledge Management systems and processes.
  • Ensure that CO learning and knowledge feeds into Global Knowledge Management systems, Global Themes, members and external stakeholders.
  • Work with communications to develop high quality external publications and communications materials that highlight the evidence and learning from SC programs. 


  • Ensure that SC has a clear partnership strategy and that systems and guidelines are in place to make it operational across departments.
  • Strengthen CO expansion of strategic partnerships in Laos and internationally, especially to support thematic excellence, innovation, research, advocacy, etc.

Advocacy and Representation

  • Represent and engage with high level government officials, donors, and other stakeholders and partners around SCs strategic priorities.
  • Ensure the development and execution of country office and thematic advocacy objectives and plans, in line with the overall country office strategic priorities.
  • Mentor thematic team members in building their advocacy and representation skills, and provide coaching around specific events/ issues.
  • Oversee the design and execution of national level campaigns to support breakthroughs for children.
  • Work closely with the communications team to develop a communications strategy and supporting materials that align with CO advocacy and campaigning objectives. Knowledge Management Systems
  • In coordination with other departments, lead PDQ in establishing and rolling out Country Office knowledge management strategy and systems, with special attention to storing and sharing program experience, data, learning and results
  • Ensure a strong interface with global Knowledge Management initiatives; Support staff to contribute to and use global and regional Knowledge Management guidelines and platforms.
  • Support the clear documentation of Laos Country Office program and the sharing of learning nationally and internationally.
  • Support sector specialists in the collection, storage and utilisation of external evidence and research, including Laos trends and reports, to inform program development and strategic direction.

Team management, capacity building, mentoring and coaching

  • Establish and maintain a culture of teamwork, participation, and accountability for Save the Children program excellence.
  • Build the capacity of, mentor and coach SC teams and individual staff in areas related to PDQ, ensuring the development of a strong national team and supporting a clear career trajectory for key staff.
  • Manage the performance of all staff in the Program Development and Quality department through effective use of the Performance Management System including the establishment of clear, measurable objectives, ongoing feedback, periodic reviews and fair and unbiased evaluations; Documentation of performance that is less than satisfactory, with appropriate performance improvements/ work plans.


  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience as a senior member of an international development organisation with at least 5 years management experience.

Experience and Skills


  • Experience in managing more than one of the Save the Children priority sectors: education, protection, child rights governance, child poverty, health and nutrition, and humanitarian.
  • Proven excellence in leading a team. Team player.
  • Master’s degree or its equivalent in years of experience in Social Sciences, international development, or other relevant sector
  • An appreciation and understanding of the issues concerning the NGO sector in Laos, both development and humanitarian
  • Demonstrated knowledge of children’s issues, rights-based program approaches, and child safeguarding principles.
  • Proven expertise in developing and managing Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning systems, and overseeing baselines/evaluations.
  • Demonstrated skills in designing and carrying out qualitative and quantitative research and using research to inform program design and advocacy.
  • Demonstrated capacity to design innovative and high impact programs, and leveraging project results towards broader systemic impact.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Effective negotiator, with the ability to positively influence cross departmental and cross sector work
  • Credibility to lobby, influence and represent Save the Children at all levels
  • Strong skills in training, capacity building, coaching, and mentoring teams/staff members
  • Ability and willingness to dramatically change work practices and hours, and work with incoming teams, in emergencies
  • Able to work well under pressure and deadlines
  • Previous experience working in the field and understanding of country program operations. Experience working in SE Asia is a plus. 
  • Commitment to and understanding of Save the Children’s aims, values and principles including rights-based approaches
  • Fluency in written and spoken English, Thai/Lao would be an advantageContract length: fixed term The OrganisationWe 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.

Deadline : Mar 12th 2019
Province : Vientiane Municipality
Contact Name : HR Team
Contact Email :

Application Information:

Interested candidates please apply through the link below:

Closing date for applications is: 12th March, 2019. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Save the Children International is a child rights based organization. Safe recruitment is central to the safeguarding of children and young people that we come into contact with, and support through our programmes.

We need to keep children safe so our selection process reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

Save the children is an equal opportunities employer, qualified females, persons with disability and candidates from diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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