Country Director

Vision Aid Overseas

The purpose of the role of Country Director is to develop and lead the Vision Aid Overseas’ Sierra Leone country programme and support our mission of enabling people living in poverty to access affordable glasses and eye care. The Country Director for Sierra Leone will be responsible for planning, implementing, and managing the Vision Aid Overseas’ programme in Sierra Leone to meet the objectives of accessible, comprehensive, quality eye care for all. The Country Director will lead on developing a strategic plan for Vision Aid Overseas’ programmes in Sierra Leone, providing the leadership and management of the country programme. Reporting to the Director of Programmes based in the UK, they will be responsible for supporting and delivering on the strategic objectives of the organisation in Sierra Leone.

Key areas:

Strategic leadership and Development

  • Lead on the development and implementation of a 3-5 year strategic plan for Vision Aid Overseas’ work in Sierra Leone that clearly contributes to the Government’s Eye Health Strategy building on VAO’s expertise in the area of Uncorrected Refractive Error (URE) and closely aligned to our Theory of Change.
  • Develop new networks and partnerships with a view for potential collaboration and joint programming where desirable.
  • Work with the Fundraising and Communications Team, to develop strong programme proposals for funding and explore any in-country funding opportunities.
  • Build and maintain relationships with current and potential partners and donors.
  • Develop any volunteer assignments that contribute to the achievement of the country strategic plan.

Programme Planning and Management

  • To manage and monitor the Vision Aid Overseas Programme in Sierra Leone (including the setting of tasks, short and long-term targets, and priorities).
  • Maintain the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) schedule including the collection, analysis, and reporting of both quantitative and qualitative data from the programme.
  • Grant management, including timely, accurate, well-written reporting and collection of communication materials.
  • Set and manage programme budgets, often with multiple grants.
  • Oversee arrangements for any volunteer assignments and be the primary point of contact during any assignments.

Administration, HR management and Finance

  • Undertake all necessary regulatory work for VAO as an INGO operating in Sierra Leone (MOUs; registration requirements etc).
  • Line management of a small team of staff, including ensuring all HR processes, policies, and payroll are managed and maintained in accordance with VAO policy and the local labour laws, and updating the staff handbook as and when regulations change.
  • Ensure all VAO policies (safeguarding, safety and security, anti-bribery etc) are understood and adhered to in Sierra Leone in respect of Staff, Volunteers, and are disseminated/shared with partners and relevant stakeholders.
  • Oversee adequate implementation of the performance management system including performance objectives and planning, review, appraisal and staff development
  • Oversee the development and implementation of annual country budgets
  • Ensure quality and timely preparation of monthly financial reports that comply with donor agreements and ensure compliance with all aspect of VAO policies and donor funding.
  • Monitor the timely delivery of accurate accounts and commentary and ensure swift resolution of any queries.
  • In conjunction with Director of Finance and Operations (UK), ensure that there is a robust internal control environment, including sound policies and procedures that safeguard staff and the assets of the organisation and funding partners, and that improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of the organisation
  • Regularly review the risk register and report concerns to the Head office.

Coordination and Communication

  • Regular video meetings with international team.
  • Quarterly reports, as well as grant specific reporting.
  • Supporting global staff on visits, including logistical arrangements, scheduling meetings and regular meetings with other global staff, including Fundraising and Communications team, Volunteer Coordinator, the finance team and any internal work-groups to progress shared objectives.


  • To maintain a strong relationship with the National Eye Care Programme and attend national and some regional IAPB workshops.
  • Attend key meetings with stakeholders including with Donors with representation in Sierra Leone.

Person Specification


  • Educated to appropriate degree-level (preferably in Public Health, International development, or another relevant field).
  • At least 5 years’ experience working at a senior management level with an INGO in Africa responsible for setting strategy etc
  • Experience of working in International Development (ideally in health and health systems strengthening).
  • Proven experience of grant and donor management, including writing proposals and reporting.
  • Proven project management skills including the preparation of project schedules.
  • Proven experience in advocacy at national level or higher and with excellent presentation and communication skills.
  • Comprehensive understanding of MEAL, and ability to interpret data and tailor to a variety of audiences.
  • Excellent financial management and proven experience of planning and managing budgets.
  • Experience in establishing strong networks and collaborative working to achieve impact.
  • Prior experience of getting new initiatives off the ground, in working independently and managing a complex workload.
  • Proven experience of leadership roles and managing teams.
  • Committed to the values of Vision Aid Overseas.
  • Experience of working in formal partnership or consortia.


  • Understanding of visual impairment and blindness issues.
  • Understanding of issues affecting barriers to uptake of eye care including poverty and gender.
  • Understanding of the UK charity sector.
  • Experience of working as part of a global team (with staff and volunteers from other countries).


1. Drive for Results

  • Is committed to achieving targets and takes personal accountability for work.
  • Acts on own initiative and works effectively under own direction.
  • Is open to new approaches and alternative means in order to accomplish results.

2. Effective Communication

  • Ability to synthesise complex information and present a clear case for support
  • Presents opinion logically, checking for understanding and encouraging open discussion
  • Written, oral and presentational skills, and communicating effectively with non-sector specific people
  • Tailors the message to fit needs of specific audience

3. Problem Solving and Analysis of Information

  • Identifies a range of practical solutions to address issues
  • Taking a critical and methodical approach when problem solving
  • Takes in and understands information quickly.

4. Leadership & project management

  • Leading others
  • Managing resources effectively
  • Flexible and mature outlook and will work to develop the role over time

5. Time & workload management

  • Establishes priorities and develops clear and logical plans to achieve goals.
  • Monitors performance and progress against objectives.
  • Excellent organisation and time management skills, ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.

6. Working with others

  • Develops effective working relationships and networks.
  • Aids a sense of team spirit by encouraging cooperation and open communication.
  • Conflict management and influencing/negotiating
  • Is diplomatic and experienced in working in an international team

7. Risk management

  • Understanding the sources of risk
  • Evaluating risks and methods for their control and mitigation

How to apply

To apply, please send a cover letter (no more than 2 sides of A4), and an up to date CV (no more than 6 pages) and details of your current salary and salary expectations to Anne Buglass, Director of Programmes at Your cover letter should explain your motivation for applying for the job and how you meet the requirements specified in the Job Description. Please note, only applicants who have the legal right to live and work in Sierra Leone will be considered.

Closing date: 17:00 BST Tuesday 9th August 2022.

We are committed to ensuring diversity and gender equality within our organisation and encourage women, and applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Please note, only candidates shortlisted for interview will be contacted.

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