Spain: Director of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid

Organization: Plan
Country: Spain
Closing date: 31 Jan 2017

The “Director of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid programmes” will lead the Programmes Department and will be a member of the Senior Management Team of Plan Spain. Experience in fundraising and in-depth knowledge of child-rights programming and multilateral donors (UE, UN…) are a must. The successful candidate will be an English native speaker (preferably) or bilingual. French is also desirable. Results orientation, Negotiation and communication skills are also required. The position will be based in Madrid – with frequent travels >50%, sometimes with short notice. Applicants should have a valid work permit at the time of applying to enable them to work in Spain.


Plan is an international child centred community development organization working in 70 countries, 51 of which are developing countries. With a focus on long term sustainable development, Plan works in a participative way with children and families across a range of programmes including education, health, household economic security, protection and water/sanitation. Plan also engages in humanitarian work. Advocacy cuts across all programmes.

General Description of the Role

The Programme Department is looking to grow substantially over the next five years with a targeted income of €4 million this year, with diverse institutional donor base. The Director of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid programmes, in conjunction with the National Director, will be responsible for establishing a new strategic plan for Plan Spain, that sets out its ambition around programme quality, resource mobilisation, cost efficiencies, effectiveness, campaigns and profiling. Children are at the heart of Plan’s work, and this position will be responsible for ensuring that the principles and values of Plan, its child centred community development approach and commitment to programme quality are strengthened both in Plan Spain and across the Plan family.

The Director of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid programmes will be a key influencer in international programme strategy, global account management policy and other developments at an international level. The ability to network internationally is important.

Managing a team of 5 currently across development programmes, disaster management, energy, development education, the Director of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid programmes will have the following key objectives:

  1. To diversify and grow income mainly trough institutional donors;

  2. To support the delivery of high quality, child centred development and humanitarian programmes;

  3. To enhance critical understanding and commitment towards the realisation of children’s’ rights in developing countries among Spain, government officials, donors and civil society organisations;

  4. To ensure Plan Spain’s Programme team has the relevant knowledge management systems and skill-sets to work effectively, to support the implementation of quality programmes, and to influence policy and advocacy;

  5. To influence the internal processes of Plan globally through various networks and groups so they reflect best practices of aid effectiveness;

  6. To promote a culture of managing for results and outcome monitoring so that the real change in children’s lives are captured, promoted, shared and used in learning.

  7. Strengthen relationships with current donors and ensure that ongoing projects are completed with the highest quality standards, and that the donor’s information requirements are meet.

Main Responsibilities

  1. Contribute to the fulfilment of Plan Spain’s strategy through active participation in the senior management team and the effective delivery of the Programme team’s objectives

  2. Ensure an economically viable Programme function through full cost recovery, sustainable co-financing and a strong grants pipeline.

  3. Build relationships with programme countries and engage in programme country strategic planning to ensure that programme priorities and funding options are matched and maximised

  4. Nurture and manage donor relations, ensuring all communication, both informal and formal, is of the highest standard

  5. Build relations with other National Offices for joint programming, harmonised approaches, match funding, donor positioning, etc.

  6. Engage with the Board to ensure the Board is fully aware of risks, governance concerns and programme direction

  7. Work with the National Director and Finance and Admin Director to prepare, monitor and control budgets for all programme activity overseas and in Spain.

  8. Endeavour to have real time project information for all projects

  9. Ensure grant management and programme quality are of the highest standard and in line with donor expectations and best practice

  10. Represent Plan at relevant fora, conferences, through media, etc. to promote issues around child rights and to build the organisation’s profile

  11. Engage with Plan international groups, Regional Offices, International HQ, etc. on key issues relevant to Plan Spain and contribute to Plan’s global One Plan One Goal strategy.

  12. Provide leadership and management to the team

Attributes for the role

ü Minimum of seven years relevant work experience in both HQ and programme locations, with at least three in a management position. Sound understanding of integrated development issues and critical analysis of child poverty

ü In-depth knowledge of child-rights programming

ü Knowledge of development issues, trends, challenges and opportunities and implications for community development

  • Experience of strategic planning processes

  • Strong understanding of aid effectiveness agenda, results based management and programme outcome monitoring

  • Experience in networking, relationship management and resource mobilisation, in particular with institutional donors. Experience in raising funds.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to build distance relationships

  • Strong team building and motivational skills

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including presentation and public speaking

  • Native English speaker (or bilingual) essential with French an advantage

  • Willingness to travel, especially to country programmes, on regular occasions (>50%) and sometimes with short notice

  • Sound judgement and decision-making in complex situations.

How to apply:

Applicants should have a valid work permit at the time of applying to enable them to work in Spain.

Please send application and cover letter to the following email address:, indicating the reference (PR0-DIR-17) in the subject message.

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