Country Director

Search for Common Ground, Bamako, Mali

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
19th November, 2017

Job Description

We are Searchers. We are over 600 strong worldwide. We believe in our mission to end violent conflict. It’s our purpose- our call to action.

A Searcher understands our vision of a world where: Differences stimulate social progress, rather than precipitate violence Respect for and cooperation with those we disagree with is considered the norm

A Searcher is a dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate individual, committed to our values. Shared Humanity. Empathy. Impartiality. Inclusivity. Courage. Hope. Humility. Audacity.

With headquarters in Washington, DC and Brussels, Belgium, we implement projects from 55 offices in 34 countries, including in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. You will be joining other highly motivated Searchers with a good team spirit and through commitment and dedication, have opportunities to grow.

Search Mali

Search for Common Ground in Mali was established in 2014 and is one of the youngest country programs with a high potential of growth. SFCG interventions in Mali aim at contributing to durable peace and the use of conflict transformation approaches throughout society. SFCG in Mali has two main offices in Bamako and Mopti, with approximately 20 staff working from Bamako, Mopti, Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal and Menaka. We have a strong network of partners in all locations where it works. SFCG uses a range of tools to implement conflict transformation and peacebuilding programs, including radio, television, participatory theatre, mobile cinema, comic books, training, public forums, and arts and culture events, among others. It works on issues including good governance, justice, security sector reform, media training and professionalization, social cohesion, and reconciliation.

We are searching for

The Country Director manages the overall program in Mali from a programmatic and operational
perspective, as well as leading on fundraising and donor relations. The Country Director supervises four positions, including (01 Program Coordinator, 01 Country Finance Manager, 01 Program Associate, 01 M&E Coordinator).

This position reports to the Regional Director for West Africa and collaborates closely with the regional team (Regional Program Manager, Regional Controller, Business Development Coordinator) and various Washington-based divisions of SFCG, Finance and Operations, the Institutional Learning Team, Communications, and Common Ground Productions. The location for the position is based in Bamako, and frequent travel is expected to the areas of program interventions.

Your contribution

The roles and responsibilities include:

Program Development and Implementation

  • Define programme priorities, plans and long-term strategy (in close collaboration with the SFCG Regional Director); manage and modify their implementation as necessary.
  • Manage the country program with the highest quality standards and well-documented results
  • Ensure that program planning and management reflects the available resources, and respond to gaps with fundraising and/or operational adjustments as needed
  • Reporting to donors based on a credible monitoring and evaluation system for overall program results as well as for specific projects
  • Stay abreast of the international conflict resolution field to ensure that the program’s work remains innovative and professional
  • Be directly engaged in the continuing development of the organization, its mission and its staff, through the sharing of experience and knowledge, particularly contributing to its Institutional Learning efforts
  • Strengthen existing funding relationships and identify and pursue new potential donors in collaboration with headquarters in Washington, DC and Brussels, Belgium

Financial Management

  • In partnership with the Finance Directors, ensure financial compliance both with the Malian laws, donor requirements and SFCG procedures across the organisation.
  • Identify potential shortfalls and strategize with the organisation’s senior management as necessary to ensure the program’s financial sustainability.

Staff Management and Development

  • Develop and manage a team of diverse staff members (expatriate and national) and partners, modelling the kind of interethnic and multi-stakeholder cooperation that SFCG aims to promote widely
  • Participate in the recruitment and selection of highly qualified staff, providing information on country living and working conditions as well as security briefings
  • Strengthen the capacity of national staff and partners, contributing to SFCG’s legacy strategy of conflict transformation in Mali.
  • Ensure compliance with SFCG Operations Manual policies and procedures
  • Ensure that country policies, contracts, and disciplinary procedures and processes conform to local labor laws
  • Oversee the security management in the Country Office and ensure that an updated security and evacuation plans are in place.

Organizational Representation

  • Serve as SFCG’s country representative
  • Develop and maintain proactive, positive and professional relationships with partner organizations, other NGOS, donors, clients, key government officials, civil society groups, etc.
  • Maintain responsible media coverage of program events and issues related to SFCG mission
  • Maintain regular written and oral reporting to Washington and Brussels on key country, regional, program, security and staff issues
  • Establish a direct line of communication with other African Country Directors in the region for program guidance towards strategic initiatives

You are… You meet the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in relevant field (eg. conflict transformation, international development, security studies, media and communications, sociology, political science, or related fields)
  • 10 years experience in managing large projects, with multiple grants and donors in a fragile state, experience in managing a program, both programmatically and operationally, preferably on media and/or conflict transformation-related issues.
  • Experience in developing and implementing security management policies.
  • At least five years’ experience living overseas, preferably in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Knowledge of the conflict dynamics in the sub-region, and specifically in Mali.
  • Track record in successful fundraising
  • Experience with donor regulations
  • Experience in capturing results and overseeing reporting, monitoring and evaluation systems
  • Experience in managing multi-cultural teams, preferably in Africa
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills
  • A problem-solving approach to challenging situations
  • Ability to multi-task while leading a complex team
  • Professional-level Proficiency in French and English, written and spoken
  • Available to start in early January 2017.


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