Country Director, Malawi

at United Purpose

£42,000 - £47,280 with comprehensive benefits (see above)
Type of Organisation
Number of Staff

Malawi Country Director 

Responsible to: Chief Operating Officer (based in UK)
Responsible for: Deputy Country Director - Operations, Deputy Country Director - Programmes, Internal Audit Supervisor,
Programme Manager staff, and CEO at CUMO Microfinance Limited.
Base: Lilongwe, Malawi
Contract type: Permanent
Salary: £42,000 - £47,280
Benefits: Accommodation, insurance, annual return flights, local allowance, annual medical examination, dependent’s and school fees allowances.
Status: Accompanied

Aim of post: 
United Purpose is a leader in community-led development and grassroots innovation. We work with front line activists, community organisations and individuals to help people gain agency over their own lives so they can move beyond aid. We take this approach because we believe a person’s ability to determine their own future should never be dependent on benevolence of charity, but always within their own control. We actively continually explore new methods to achieve better results.

The Country Director will provide strategic leadership and management in developing the United Purpose programme in Malawi: they will have responsibility for ensuring that all aspects of the programme are managed effectively, ensuring that United Purpose challenges structures that create poverty and inequality by supporting practical actions that enable people to improve their lives and shape their own futures.


• Proactive contribution to the overall organisational strategy: enabling community-led development by working together with people living in poverty to enable them to improve the quality of their lives and influencing and inspiring others through amplifying the voices of people living in poverty, enabling them to advocate for a fairer and more environmentally sustainable world.
• Leadership and proactive contribution to the development and implementation of the United Purpose Malawi Country Strategy.

• To develop the Country Programme based on the existing country strategy and oversee structured strategic reviews to respond to changing circumstances.
• To proactively seek new opportunities for funding of projects through in-country and external relationship building with donors and the submission of programme initiatives.
• To ensure continued funding for the programme through oversight of well-researched proposal preparation and clear operational plans.
• To ensure that adequate assessments are carried out in accordance with good working practice.

• To ensure that the impact of programme activities are evaluated and draw learning for best practice for future intervention and shared across the organisation and other actors.
• To oversee preparation of reports for funding partners, both financial and narrative, in accordance with United Purpose’s cost recovery policy and funding partner requirements.
• To coordinate the meticulous organisation and execution of informative and inspiring field visits for supporters of our work (including funding partners) to showcase the good work United Purpose, partners and programme participants implement on the ground.
• To write regular reports for UK office, government and partners as required, including monthly reports for UK office.
• To actively communicate and work with local partners and communities on programme development, proposal articulation and report writing.
• To build and maintain positive and professional relationships with existing and possible new partners and to identify areas for capacity building with partners such as project cycle management, organisational management, human resource management, financial management, governance, etc.
• To ensure MOUs and funding-specific sub-contracts are in place with all partners.

• To represent United Purpose to government, Embassies/Delegations, the UN and other international agencies, funding and other partners, potential donors and other bodies including civil society networks, the media and the public.
• To maintain relationships with government and partner agencies at all levels to enable the appropriate development of the Malawi programme.
• To be cognisant of advocacy opportunities and, following internal discussion, to develop these as appropriate through the media, government, the UN, international agencies, civil society networks, funding partners and diplomatic missions.
• To contribute to the promotion of effective co-ordination between United Purpose, Government, UN, NGO and, where appropriate, other bodies.
• To contribute to the strategic development of CUMO Microfinance Limited.
• To be a non-executive Board member of CUMO.

• To nurture the role of the Senior Management Team and infuse the values of United Purpose in the development and implementation of organisational policies and practice and programme development.
• To provide inspiring and effective leadership for all staff and integrate programme and operations teams in the achievement of the strategy.
• To encourage staff involvement and commitment to the running of the programme through regular meetings and visits and a participatory team approach to decision making.
• To assist in the review, design and implementation of operational structures and staffing requirements for the effective implementation of United Purpose’s activities.
• To recruit and induct staff according to in-country guidelines and United Purpose policy, including equal opportunities.
• To ensure the conditions of service for national staff are kept up to date.
• To ensure that all staff have well defined and understood contracts and job descriptions.
• To ensure that all staff participate in annual appraisals.
• To identify the training needs of staff and ensure processes are in to support and encourage appropriate personal and professional development of staff within the context of the organisational objectives.
• To conduct exit interviews for staff before they leave United Purpose.

• To outline the resource requirements for the programme and ensure that systems are in place for the effective management of resources in relation to finance, transport, supplies and capital assets, including maintenance of assets register and vehicle logbook.
• To ensure that effective and secure budgetary control of the programme’s finances and expenditures are established and maintained, in line with United Purpose’s financial procedures guidelines.
• To monitor project finances on a monthly basis and liaise with funding partners if necessary regarding projected under- or over-expenditure.
• To provide financial reports on a monthly basis to the UK office.
• To monitor the funds transferred to partner organisations and to ensure partners have adequate financial systems and controls.
• To prepare an annual budget for core costs and identify where funding will come from to cover these costs in collaboration with UK office.

• To ensure that there is a robust internal control environment, policies and procedures that safeguard the assets of the organisation and funding partners and that improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of the organisation.
• To review the work plan of the Senior Internal Auditor and to manage her/his internal audit work with particular emphasis on ensuring the effective implementation of recommendations included in internal audit reports.
• To support the Deputy Country Director Operations in the preparation and completion of organisational external annual audits and contract specific audits required by funding partners; to ensure that recommendations included in
management letters are properly followed up and implemented unless there are justified reasons not to do so.
• To ensure that United Purpose complies with all relevant regulatory requirements including registration with the Government of Malawi and other appropriate bodies such as the NGO Board and CONGOMA.
• To assess and implement advice received from external auditors, legal advisers, Advisory Committee members and other contacts on changes to the legal and regulatory environment in Malawi (e.g. duty-free status, registration,
taxation, etc.).
• To organise and manage United Purpose Malawi Advisory Committee meetings and to meet with Advisory Committee members on individual basis when issues that could benefit from their experience and wisdom arise.

• To take all reasonable steps to ensure the wellbeing of staff, partner staff and relevant stakeholders.
• To maintain an overview of the political and security context, noting how developments may affect programme work. To ensure regular reporting to the UK office on these matters.
• To ensure that robust and effective security and evacuation plans and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed and updated in order to secure the safety of all staff at all times.
• To ensure that the health and safety policy is regularly reviewed and all staff are aware of this policy and follow its guidelines.
• To ensure all staff, volunteers and visitors are aware of, and follow, United Purpose’s security procedures.
• To comply with United Purpose’s safeguarding policies and practice and all other related policies and procedures.
• To ensure that the safeguarding policy and reporting channels are known, understood and used by staff.

Relevant Master’s level qualification or similar academic achievement.

• Minimum of five years overseas experience, preferably in a Country Director capacity in Malawi or in Southern Africa.
• Proven proposal writing and budget design experience.
• Experience of multiple donor grant management and reporting to major donors particularly the European Union and USAID.
• Staff management experience in an international organisation.
• Security management experience.
• Knowledge, experience and appreciation of the dynamics of local institutions including local governments and community based development practices.
• Strong experience in participatory planning and programme design.

• Commitment to the fight against poverty and United Purpose’s values and mission.
• Commitment to the capacity building of local institutions based on mutual respect and a partnership approach.
• Positive outlook and stand-alone disposition.
• Determined hard worker, capable of rapid and quality turn around on a high workload and multiple tasks.
• Outgoing personality with solid interpersonal and diplomatic skills.
• Self-starter, capable of innovatively developing the programme.
• Adaptable and responsive disposition relative to the demands of the programme.
• Attention to detail and a flexible approach to work.
• Excellent communication and team-working skills, with the ability to build good relations, both internally and externally.
• Numeric skills, including proven understanding of financial management.
• Excellent strategic judgement, planning, co-ordination and prioritisation skills.

• Fluent written and spoken English.

How to apply
To apply for this role please send your CV, and a short covering letter to: by 01 December 2019 quoting ‘Country Director, Malawi’ in the subject line.

In the cover letter, please ensure to explain the following:
1. Why you are applying for the position
2. How your skills and experience meet the person specification

All applications will be acknowledged but only successful applications will be contacted further.

United purpose takes the safety and well-being of all those we work with, and our staff, very seriously and we have a zero tolerance policy on any form of abuse. Our commitment to protect people from harm is reflected in our safeguarding policy which all candidates are expected to comply with.

Apply for position

Posted in Jobs by Sarah on November 06th, 2019.
Applications close on December 01st, 2019.