Head of Programmes Health and Nutrition theme (Healthy Start in Life)

TITLE: Head of Programmes Health and Nutrition theme (Healthy Start in Life)  


Program Quality and Impact

LOCATION: UK or any existing Save the Children International Regional or Country office Worldwide, with up to 25% international travel. Local terms and conditions will apply. GRADE: B Senior level CONTRACT LENGTH: Secondment until Sept 2024


Level 3: the post holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight) because they work country programs; or are visiting country programs; or because they are responsible for implementing the police checking/vetting process staff.



The Head of Programmes for the Health and Nutrition theme, is a key member of the Programme Quality and Impact Team which coordinates, facilitates and supports the work of Save the Children country and regional offices and members, to achieve Save the Children’s Breakthrough ambitions, with a specific focus on technical excellence in their given area of expertise.

In particular, the Head of Programmes will:

· Provide technical leadership in Health and Nutrition with Save the Children technical experts to develop coherent and effective programmatic approaches across contexts, for strategic or priority initiatives. The technical areas under Health and Nutrition include childhood illnesses, sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and newborn health, undernutrition and links to healthy and resilient communities.

· Work closely with all members of the Global Goal Team, and have direct and indirect technical reports, whilst working closely with the Global Goal Team Lead and the Humanitarian Leads (Health, Nutrition and WASH).

· Work closely with the Global Director for Health and Nutrition and the Goal Team lead on the planning, programme analysis and fund raising activities driving the Healthy Start portfolio.

· Provide strategic oversight of the development and implementation of Common Approaches, and other programing guidance and tools, by the Technical Working Groups, supporting cooperation across themes and groups

· Build a team of Regional Technical Experts in Health, Nutrition and WASH, supporting Country Offices to deliver Health and Nutrition outcomes for children with quality and impact, and develop technical excellence in the field

· Work closely with the Policy & Advocacy Global Function to ensure that advocacy and campaign strategies are informed by the latest programme evidence and learning.

· Support an increase in research and evidence on what works in Health and Nutrition together with the Research & Evidence Adviser;

· Support the design and implementation of Public Health and Nutrition strategies in humanitarian contexts, with a focus on increasing capacity, quality and impact;

· Support health and nutrition technical capacity and continuous professional development across the movement, ensuring this is kept up to date by the latest evidence and learning approaches in the sector;

· Support the development of working partnerships with multilateral and civil society organizations, academia and the private sector for reaching SC breakthroughs.

· Work with Partnerships and Fundraising Strategist to connect with resource development colleagues in SCI and members to support the programmatic Health and Nutrition portfolio across the movement.

· Work with members to engage domestic programmes in programmatic, knowledge management and technical leadership bodies of interest.



Reports to: Global Director for Health and Nutrition

Budget responsibilities: Support to the Global Director and the Programme Officer in overall management of work-plans and budgets, deputizing for the Global Director in absences.

Indirect Reports – Regional Health and Nutrition Technical Experts, Climate and Health, Cross Cutting (Disability Inclusion, Gender Equity), Child Participation and TWG Leadership

Role Dimensions: The Head of Programmes will work with a wide range of stakeholders within both save the Children Members and in Save the Children International.



Technical Excellence and Leadership  50%

· With the Global Director of Health and Nutrition, lead the development and implementation of Save the Children’s thematic and globall strategies, in close collaboration with Save the Children members and Save the Children International. 

· Exercise thematic content leadership with thematic and crosscutting Technical Working Groups, and Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns.

· Lead and support the development, approval and implementation of tools and resources (Common Approaches and other programme guidance and tools) to promote increased consistency, effectiveness and quality of Health and Nutrition programming in Save the Children. 

· Build and provide leadership to a team of Regional Technical Experts in Health and Nutrition, supporting Country Offices to deliver Health and Nutrition outcomes for children with quality and impact, stimulating cross-regional learning. 

· Together with the Goal Team Lead and the Programme Officer, support the effective organisation of technical support in response to country level demand, mobilizing appropriate Health and Nutrition expertise for the Global Technical and Humanitarian Surge Platform and overseeing its development.

· Provide quality assurance for regional thematic strategies and deliverables, and acting as a second point of reference for technical excellence in Health and Nutrition area at country level. 

· Support the rollout of strategic plans to build technical capacity of the Save the Children Health and Nutrition workforce, in close collaboration with regions, countries, members and external partners.

· Work closely with the Global Director for Health and Nutrition to support and ensure the conceptual and practical integration of work on Health and Nutrition with the other thematic and crosscutting areas, in the pursuit of Breakthrough ambitions, in all contexts and specifically to achieve Health and Nutrition outcomes across sectors.

Evidence, Knowledge Management & Dissemination 30%

· Support results-based management by regular analysis of Save the Children’s Health and Nutrition results, identifying reasons for success or failure and making recommendations for course correction where necessary. Improvements and contributing to SC’s Results Framework

  • Identify strengths and gaps in SC evidence, knowledge and programming approaches to Health and Nutrition and support efforts to address these as part of Breakthrough strategies, in coordination with Research and Evidence and Knowledge Management colleagues.
  • The Head of Programmes is expected to work in close collaboration with the Research, Evaluation, Learning, Accountability, Monitoring and Knowledge Management functions in order to design and support effective strategies for the generation of evidence, the filling of evidence gaps, and the uptake and utilization of the latest evidence in programme design and advocacy. 

· Support “must win” business development proposals, ensuring that they count with the latest programmatic thinking, evidence and knowledge of what works in the Health and Nutrition area.

Communication, Networking & Representation 20%

· In working with Technical Working Groups ensure that the content and targeting of programme guidance and tools is client-focused, and pitched at the right levels of detail/simplicity, to be accessible and useable by a range of staff and partners in countries. 

· Support the Global Director in representing Save the Children internally and externally in relevant Health and Nutrition and other relevant thematic networks, events and meetings

  • Support the Global Director in positioning SC as a thought leader by supporting development and delivery of written and oral communications in key internal and external venues, by self and other SC leaders. Serve as a credible voice on technical and policy issues in the area of Health and Nutrition and their relevance to other thematic areas.

· Work in close collaboration with technical, advocacy, media and communications staff to identify and follow-up on communication, networking and representation opportunities.

· Together with the Goal Team Lead and the Programme Officer, support the Global Director for Health and Nutrition in the management of the team, including deputizing in his/her place when required.


BEHAVIOURS (Values in Practice)


· Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values.

· Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.


· Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team, takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same.

· Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others

· Future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale.


· Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters.

· Values diversity, and sees it as a source of competitive strength.

· Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.


· Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions.

· Willing to take disciplined risks.


· Honest, encourages openness and transparency; demonstrates highest levels of integrity.



A post-graduate degree in Public Health, Health or Nutrition. PhD is preferred.



· Significant experience from an international human/child rights organization in a senior position including overseeing program implementation, monitoring and evaluation and maintaining positive relationships with partner organizations and external agencies.

· Significant senior level international experience designing, implementing and reporting on thematic strategies and programmes

· Demonstrated leadership and mentoring skills, including the ability to both lead and be a member of a team, and of delivering significant results.

· Experience of effective team management including building shared objectives, quality control, evaluation, motivation, performance management, staff development and training.

· Experience and skills in Health, Nutrition and WASH programming. (Health, Nutrition and WASH Technical Competencies at ‘Leading Edge’ level), both at the national level and across multiple regions.

· Minimum of a Relevant Master Degree in (relevant academic field) or specific thematic area of focus.

· Strong programmatic and analytical skills. Demonstrated experience of research, capacity building, M&E and knowledge management. IT skills.

· Proven technical knowledge on rights based approaches and on Health and Nutrition

· Excellent writing, communications, facilitation, capacity building and networking skills in English. Knowledge in Spanish, French or Arabic is an asset.

· Strong ability to mobilize, build partnerships, solve problems, guide and motivate people toward the achievement of agreed goals.

· Program experience from a regional or country office is desirable.

· Experience in policy, advocacy and/or fundraising is desirable.

Personal specifications required

· Commitment to child rights and to the aims and objectives of Save the Children.

· A full appreciation of the value of co-operation, and team-work.

· Personal maturity and social competence and diplomatic skills.

· Ability to prioritize especially when working under pressure.

· Trustworthy and transparent in all aspects of the role.

· Self- motivated and able to work with high degree of autonomy

· Significant experience of delivering Health and Nutrition programmes in developing countries and/or in humanitarian contexts

· Demonstrable experience in policy development, ensuring engagement and buy-in, particularly in relation to health and nutrition system strengthening

· Ability to support high level policy and management committees

· Proven leadership skills in a large, international, networked organisation

  • Able to think creatively and strategically, to overcome obstacles to cooperation and progress
  • Experience of building personal networks at senior levels, resulting in improved engagement

· Proven experience in conducting or overseeing research (preferably both qualitative and quantitative)

· Previous experience of overseeing the capacity development of a large organisation or group of staff. This may be through direct HR responsibility of through holding a senior management role

· High degree of business and people acumen, and the ability to demonstrate presence and credibility across the organisation

· Willingness and ability to travel overseas for up to 25%

· Exceptional oral and written communication and interpersonal skills

We can offer circa £62,500 per annum (If based in UK) with an option of flexible working hours. If the role is based outside of the UK, National T&C (including pay) will apply.

This role can be based in London or any existing Save the Children International Regional or Country office location on approval, provided the successful candidate has proof of eligibility to work from the preferred location.


Additional job responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the Head of Programmes may be required to carry out additional duties appropriate to their level of skills and experience.


Equal Opportunities

The Head of Programmes is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies and procedures.


Child Safeguarding:

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.


Safeguarding our Staff:

The post holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI anti-harassment policy


Health and Safety

The Head of Programmes is required to carry out the duties in accordance with SCI Health and Safety policies and procedures.


Job Description

Find out more about this role by downloading the job description

Job description

30 Oct 2023

30 Nov 2023 - 17:59 CST


Programme Operations



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