Chief of Party, USAID/Mali Local Governance Activity At Save the Children – US


Save the Children is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) to lead the upcoming USAID/Mali Local Governance program. The USAID Local Governance Program intends to improve the development of high-quality local development (PDSEC) plans, social service delivery, and public accountability. The activity will focus on the inclusive participation of all citizens in the development of plans at the Commune level that account for the needs of women, youth and marginalized groups. It will strengthen civil society organizations capacity in advocacy, and support resource mobilization for social accountability. It will raise awareness of citizens about their roles in development planning, budget analysis, public hearings and advocacy, while also improving the capacity of local authorities to respond to their populations’ needs.

The Chief of Party (COP) is the key leadership role for this project and will be responsible for managing all aspects of the program including meeting the objectives of the project while providing overall technical, administrative, operational, and logistical management. The COP will act as the principal liaison between USAID/Mali, government, partners, and other stakeholders. This position will be based in Bamako for the five-year period of performance.

This position is contingent upon donor approval and funding.

What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)

  • Provide overall technical and managerial leadership in developing and adapting strategies and project plans in view of changes in the internal and external operational environment. Work closely with technical advisors, local partners and other key stakeholders to ensure that the project design is responsive to the needs of communities, with a focus on inclusion of women, youth and marginalized groups.
  • Lead the program’s strategic planning and implementation, including ensuring progress against approved annual work plans and performance reporting.
  • Serve as key liaison and represent the program with USAID/Mali, government, partners and other local stakeholders.
  • Provide overall management and leadership to ensure smooth and timely start-up and implementation of project activities in accordance with approved project plans.
  • Oversee the timely submission of all deliverables to USAID.
  • Ensure that efficient systems to support all aspects of the program (including grants management, financial, capacity strengthening and performance monitoring and reporting) are in place and support the effective use of program resources in compliance with USAID regulations and Save the Children policies.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree plus at least 10 years of relevant experience working on local governance, public administration and/or other democracy and governance programming. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with individuals, partners and counterparts at all levels, both internally and externally.
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering and maintaining and environment of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Proven experience working with local and national government authorities, civil society organizations and/or journalists and other media stakeholders on programs to increase civic participation, social accountability, and/or public awareness of decentralized planning and budget processes.
  • Experience in gender mainstreaming required, with gender budgeting experience preferred.
  • Experience working in nexus contexts on activities that foster social cohesion preferred.
  • Track record overseeing projects with analysis, studies or academic research related to public resources and social accountability.
  • Prior work experience in West Africa and the Sahel. Experience in Mali preferred.
  • Proven senior management experience in governance programming, gender mainstreaming and working in a multi-cultural environment. Previous COP or DCOP experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated skills in leadership, mentoring, motivation and supervision of multicultural teams within a dynamic setting.
  • Familiarity with USAID regulations and policies.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships with and strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations as well as government officials across multiple sectoral ministries.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to lead and work effectively in team situations.
  • Oral and written fluency in both English and French. Proficiency in Bambara and/or other Malian national languages preferred.

Qualified local national candidates are highly encouraged to apply.

About Save the Children

No matter your role when you join Save the Children, each and every day you will challenge yourself to devote your skills, talent and expertise to changing the world for kids. It’s an ambitious goal, and a meaningful one no matter how you see yourself professionally: an accountant, a writer, a data analyst, a teacher, a driver, a designer, or any one of the hundreds of dozens of roles we’re looking to fill every day.

You see, Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

Our work for children and their families requires that we commit—at every opportunity—to work together to identify and dismantle persistent systemic and structural racism, inequality, and any other forms of discrimination everywhere we work. As an anti-racist organization, Save the Children will not tolerate discrimination in any form—in our employment practices, amongst our staff, in our leadership or toward the people we serve. We stand in solidarity with all people to fight for equal rights, justice, inclusion, and belonging.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom we are in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation.

Save the Children is committed to minimizing safety and security risks for our valued employees, ensuring all are given training, support and information to reduce their risk exposure while maximizing the impact of our programs for children and families. Our shared duty, both agency and individual, is to seek and maintain safe working conditions for all.

How to apply

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December 2023