Program Director, Alive & Thrive

FHI 360
  • Location
    Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jul 25

Position description

Alive & Thrive (A&T) is an initiative to save lives, prevent illness, and ensure healthy growth and development. Good nutrition in the first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to enable all children to lead healthier and more productive lives. Alive & Thrive is scaling up improved infant and young child feeding and maternal nutrition through large scale programs in several countries in Asia and Africa and through strategic technical support and the dissemination of innovations, tools, and lessons worldwide. Alive & Thrive is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the governments of Canada and Ireland.

A&T has been working in Burkina Faso since 2014 in close partnership with the government and key NGO stakeholders to increase optimal breastfeeding practices nationally. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been awarded a new grant for A&T to continue its work in Burkina Faso through 2022 with a focus on maternal infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN).

At the national level, A&T and its partners will emphasize breastfeeding advocacy and systems strengthening, including the adoption of evidence based guidelines for MIYCN, implementation and sustainability of breastfeeding enabling policies, and enhancement of service delivery (i.e., supportive supervision, training, job aids).

A&T will continue its intensive work in the Boucle du Mouhoun region by scaling up breastfeeding and complementary feeding interventions in facilities, communities and households, and exploring at small scale through implementation learning opportunities to strengthen maternal nutrition through antenatal care services.

A&T will package and disseminate knowledge on effective delivery approaches and strategies to accelerate implementation of nutrition policies and interventions in Burkina Faso, including through regional efforts in West Africa, amplifying work in Burkina Faso to the region and beyond.

Job Summary/Responsibilities:

The Program Director (PD) for the Alive & Thrive Project in Burkina Faso leads the Burkina Faso project and supports A&T’s West Africa regional initiative in conjunction with the West Africa Regional Coordinator. He/she is responsible for achieving the program’s vision and strategy, directing the project team, and managing critical relationships with national and international partners and other key stakeholders. The Project Director has overall programmatic and fiscal responsibility for the project, including achieving project results, effectively communicating accomplishments, making financial reports, and ensuring compliance with organizational and donor regulations (e.g., quality and timeliness of deliverable). The position is based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.


  • Oversee and direct the development and execution of the overall program strategy and work plan, and track the achievement of project results.
  • Ensure activities are implemented and monitored within the work plan, on time, on budget and to a high professional standard.
  • Ensure the timely and complete submission of all work plans, progress reports, performance reports, deliverables and responses to donor requests for performance updates, success stories, and financial and procurement information for the program.


  • Supervise, mentor, and motivate a project team of approximately twelve to fifteen staff which includes senior management and technical officers from multiple disciplines; actively work on team-building and inclusion to ensure productive staff within country office and in communication and work with HQ. Participate in recruitment efforts as the need arises. Oversee execution of the organization’s personnel policies and ensure that policies and procedures are clearly communicated to staff, and are respected.
  • Provide oversight for the project’s financial and contracts management and reporting systems and ensure that they are in line with the organization’s policies and procedures and donor rules and regulations.
  • Oversee project budget development and undertake regular analysis of project expenditure, sub- awards and lead the preparation of budget amendments/modification; review and monitor program budgets vs. actual expenditures including Life of Project and Field Office Financial Reports and Monthly Expense Reports received from the organization’s headquarters.
  • Maintain productive communication, reporting, and team relations within country office, Regional Coordinator, and with HQ teams to achieve the above.

Technical support and knowledge management with partners and donors:

  • Develop and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with government entities and A&T partners to support project implementation.
  • Provide MIYCN technical and SBC program input and direction to the Ministry of Health and other government ministries and units, NGO offices and programs, international donors, and other partners as necessary.
  • Coordinate with other donor implementing partners on common objectives and activities, as needed.
  • Maintain a strong and wide network with key partners and stakeholders in assigned area, and ensure that the project is represented on appropriate steering and advisory groups. This includes providing regular briefings and updates to relevant parties, and contributing to positive and smoothly functioning relationships with external partners, including international donors and national implementing partners.

Problem Solving & Impact:

  • Identify potential risks to portfolio execution and recommends corrective actions.
  • Take decisions and actions that have a significant impact on management and division operations.
  • Resolve problems encountered that are complex and highly varied.
  • Exercise judgment to meet business strategies and develops objectives that align with organizational goals.

Supervision Given/Received:

  • Supervise Burkina Faso based project team.
  • Lead coordination of resources for ongoing projects across functional areas and addresses/resolves project issues.
  • Set goals and budgets for projects and lead teams in achieving strategic goals.
  • Provide program management leadership on complex and cross functional programs as needed.
  • Facilitate team discussions within country office and with HQ to ensure successful outcomes.
  • Report to A&T HQ senior leadership.

Travel Requirements:

  • Burkina Faso: 20-30%; West Africa: 10-15%.


  • Master’s Degree or its International Equivalent in - Public Health, Nutrition, Social Behavior Change Communications, Social Sciences or Related Field or PhD or D.Ph. preferred.
  • Bachelor's Degree or its International Equivalent Reuired - Knowledge/Information Services, Communications, Education, Environment, Health, Behavioral, Life/Social Sciences International Development, Human Development or Related Field.
  • At least 10 years’ project management experience, preferably in nutrition and social behavior change projects, with at least 3 years’ experience working in West Africa.
  • Typically requires a minimum of 3 years of Director, Chief of Party or equivalent experience in a supervisory capacity on international and/or government funded development projects.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with government sector is critical.
  • Excellent management, communication, and organization skills are required.
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak fluent English & French
  • Experience operating in insecure environments.
  • Experience working in a non-governmental organization (NGO).

Applied Knowledge & Skills:

  • MIYCN technical and social and behavior change communications design and implementation, policy/advocacy, systems strengthening and performance improvement, monitoring, evaluation and operations research.
  • Strong leadership skills, strong team and individual staff management, including supportive supervision, mentoring, team dynamics.
  • Strong program management skills.
  • Strong time-management, multi- tasking, task delegation and organizational skills.
  • Strong oversight and compliance to organizational financial, procurement and operations protocols and policies.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French.
  • Strong critical thinking and problem solving skills to plan, organize, and manage resources for successful completion of projects.
  • Excellent and demonstrated public relations, interpersonal relations, public speaking, and diplomacy skills required.
  • Ability to take initiative and focus on results.
  • Ability to learn new skills and systems, with an entrepreneurial work ethic and gain respect among staff and stakeholders.

Application instructions

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