Program and Policy Director

Act for Peace, Sydney, Australia

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
9th July, 2017

Job Description

The Policy and Program Director leads and supports the Department to deliver relevant goals of Act for Peace’s strategic plan. Working with a mobilised and skilled team, he/she influences Act for Peace’s strategic thinking on program development, implementation, monitoring and innovation, is responsible for overall management of the Department, and works closely with the Marketing and Communications Department and external stakeholders to enhance program outcomes and impact. The Policy and Program Director reports to the Executive Director, and is a member of the Act for Peace Leadership Team, contributing to whole of Agency development.

Key areas of responsibility

  • Lead design and implementation of Act for Peace’s policy and program strategies (35%)
  • Contribute to the review and development of the Agency strategy, impact and effectiveness, and adjust Department goals and practices as necessary;
  • Provide leadership and overall coordination for the Department’s contribution to the Agency’s Strategic Plan;
  • Ensure effective consultation, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Act for Peace’s humanitarian and development initiatives. Ensure operational plans are in place and adequately resourced;
  • Determine priorities for future program work. Make recommendations to the Executive Director regarding program approach, innovations, geographical and technical focus, etc.;
  • Ensure the Department pursues an effective strategy for developing institutional income opportunities and partnerships which increase resourcing for effectiveness and sustainability;
  • Ensure the Department pursues and applies research and works with a focus on ongoing innovation to build relevance and improve outcomes;
  • Where appropriate, ensure the Department engages with policy and program leaders in the ACT Alliance to support global projects, share resources, and contribute to the Alliance’s advocacy campaigns;
  • Ensure effective relationships with key stakeholders, notably partners, donors, members of the ACT Alliance and other consortia/networks.
  • Where appropriate act as spokesperson for the Agency as agreed with the Executive Director, on issues relating to emergency response, development projects and advocacy campaigns.

Ensure quality, accountability, effectiveness, and compliance (30%)

  • Be accountable to the Executive Director in regards to all aspects of the role;
  • Participate as a member of the Leadership Team, contributing to the overall strategy, administration and management of the Agency and ensuring integration of activities across departments;
  • Report on Department progress and activities to the Executive Director, Act for Peace Leadership Team and Commission/Board as required, including written reports and attendance at meetings;
  • Ensure the Policy and Program Department has in place relevant mechanisms, procedures and manuals to review and control internal and external accountability requirements;
  • Comply with organisational policies and procedures, manuals, budget and risk management requirements;
  • Regularly review and maintain program policies and procedures to ensure compliance with Agency policy, the ACFID Code of Conduct, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade accreditation requirements, ACT Alliance Membership and other relevant codes of conduct, regulations and guidelines;
  • Implement risk management strategies that respond to current and anticipated risks in program activities. Monitor and report any risk related to partner agencies. Manage the Project Risk Register and ensure partner evaluation is thorough and timely;
  • Develop budgets and monitor and report on income and expenditure throughout the year;
  • Engage with and provide support to the Marketing and Communications Department, as required.

Motivate an innovative and professional team (35%)

  • Help foster a dynamic and inclusive organisational culture with strong team cohesion and alignment behind strategic objectives;
  • Provide direct support, supervision and regular review of work performance for staff under direct report, including staff in remote locations;
  • Ensure regular opportunities for two-way feedback, coaching and mentoring;
  • Support professional development of the team through effective learning and development planning;
  • Ensure that human resource policies and practices are followed and that relevant codes of conduct are adhered to.

Work-health and Safety

  • Identify, assess, prioritise and control risks to the health and safety of staff in and visitors to your area/s of responsibility in the workplace; and
  • Ensure that staff in your area/s of responsibility are provided with safe work systems and that the systems are followed by the staff and visitors.


  • Reports to the Executive Director
  • Currently manages 4 direct staff reports, and a team of 18
  • Responsible for reporting to external stakeholders, including funding bodies.

Key stakeholders

Internal: Executive Director, AfP Leadership Team, Policy and Programs Team staff
External: Partners, Communities, Donors, Network and Consortia partners, ACT Alliance, ACFID.
Success measures

  • The Policy and Programs Department excels in achieving the program, policy, partnership, resourcing and institutional grant requirements to meet our Agency goal.
  • Policy and Programs Department staff are motivated, well-resourced, and work in a cohesive manner enjoying a strong sense of trust in an environment where mutual respect, transparency and staff relationships flourish.
  • The Policy and Programs Department engage with other members of Act for Peace in a manner which recognizes their expertise, and that together we contribute to the whole of our success.
  • The Policy and Programs Department takes leadership in developing, and adheres to relevant policies and procedures supported by effective mechanisms.
  • Active and respectful engagement with the AfP Leadership Team.
  • Policy and Program’s Department team members are recognized by external stakeholders as professional and as leaders in their area of work.
  • The Policy and Programs Director maintains effective performance under pressure; ability to handle stress in a manner consistent with the organisation’s values; managing own personal growth and professional development continuously, adapting to change.


Selection criteria

Leadership: ability to lead with vision;
Collaboration: ensuring a collaborative approach to teamwork;
Management: ensuring the Department has effective policies, procedures and mechanisms in place to ensure accountability and value for money;
Solutions focused: ensuring challenges are addressed with a positive approach to securing solutions;
Resourcefulness: planning and engaging with stakeholders to increase resources;
Innovation: stimulating ideas, engaging in new ways of working to increase outcomes;
Administration: excellent attention to detail in administrative matters, increasing accountability.

Qualifications and experience required

  • Tertiary qualifications in a relevant discipline, preferably at post-graduate level;
  • Demonstrated capacity to provide strategic leadership and oversee a portfolio of complex partnerships, programs and advocacy initiatives supporting conflict, disaster and displacement-effected communities;
  • Current, in-depth knowledge of international development and humanitarian issues, trends and practices, including specific understanding of protection and resilience approaches;
  • Substantial experience in leading and supporting the design and implementation of community based humanitarian and development programs and policies;
  • Experience in the development and implementation of local, regional or global advocacy initiatives;
  • Demonstrated ability to manage senior staff and collaborative task-teams whilst fostering creativity and practical innovation to enhance program outcomes;
  • Sound track record in ensuring organisational effectiveness, quality and accountability in all aspects of program, administration and finance including compliance with Agency and donor requirements, humanitarian principles and standards;
  • Demonstrated resource mobilisation and management skills including demonstrated experience in successful grants application and management and the formation of partnerships to enhance strategic outcomes;
  • Strong planning, change-management and coordination skills;
  • Capacity to build and maintain strong collaborative working relationships with key stakeholders, including staff, field-based program partners, institutional donors, networks and alliances.
  • Strong capacity with IT and ability to adapt to new systems.

Additional requirements

  • Eligibility to work in Australia;
  • Commitment to the values of Act for Peace;
  • Commitment to abide by the principles, policies and codes of conduct of Act for Peace;
  • Establish positive, collaborative relationships with Act for Peace staff and teams;
  • Capacity to undertake intermittent international and interstate travel and work outside standard business hours;
  • Abide by industry norms – as set out in the Act for Peace accountability framework;
  • Act for Peace takes child protection seriously. As part of our Child Protection Policy, employment is conditional upon the outcome of an Australian Federal Police background check, as well as an equivalent police background check for any country in which the applicant has lived for more than 12 months during the last five years. For the full Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct please see:;
  • Commitment to Act for Peace requirements, including attendance at staff and Leadership meetings; completion of all administration, finance and operational reporting requirements as per policy and/or line managers directive, adherence to program, HR and finance policies and procedures;
  • Respect for a multicultural and multi-talented workforce.


  • Join a respected humanitarian aid and development agency – Act for Peace is the international aid and development agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia
  • Senior leadership position with responsibility for our programs and policy work
  • Work with a motivated and experienced team
  • Full-time, permanent position
  • Location: Sydney CBD
  • Salary range: $87,169 - $106,374


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