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Operations Manager, Nigeria – July 2020


Job title

Safire Nigeria Operations Manager

Safire – Supporting Access for Adolescents to Integrated Sexual Reproductive Health Services

Department Overseas Programmes
Location Abuja, Nigeria
Reporting to Safire Nigeria Country Lead, Safire (NCL)
Responsible for Safire Oyo state Programme Officer and Ogun state Programme Officer

Liaison with

Programme and Options staff, consortium and implementing partners, funders, external stakeholders
Hours Full time (40 hours per week)
Type of contract Fixed-term until January 2022
Options Consultancy Services Limited was established in 1992 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of

Marie Stopes International. We are a consultancy organisation providing technical and management expertise in the health and social sectors to governments and international development partners to transform the health of women and children. We provide information, expertise to and influence governments, health workers, NGOs and businesses to catalyse change so that health services can be accessed by the people who need them most.

Adolescent girls are twice as likely to have an unmet need for contraception compared to women in their twenties, putting them at increased risk of unintended pregnancy. They are also more likely to face age-related stigma and barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services, as well as lack of information and agency, increasing the risk that they delay seeking services.


There are still gaps in our knowledge and understanding of effective adolescent health programming, especially at scale, and there are very few sexual and reproductive health services that have been tailored to adolescents. We need to explore new approaches and to implement promising ones, such as engaging the private sector to reach adolescents and providing complementary and coordinated interventions.

Programme: Safire – Supporting Access for Adolescents to Integrated SRH Services
The Supporting Access for Adolescents to Integrated Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) Services (Safire) Programme aims to reduce unsafe abortion rates within existing legal frameworks by linking girls to acceptable services. Options Consultancy Services is the consortium lead for the programme, working in partnership with consortium members and local civil society organisations (CSOs), who are key Implementing Partners (IPs). Taking a Human Centred Design approach, the programme:

·          Ensures girls are able to access quality comprehensive sexual and reproductive services, including through referral networks and support to CSOs.

·          Fosters and supports a community-based movement to shift social norms and build girls’ agency, though mobilising both ICT platforms and interpersonal networks.

·          Builds the capacity of local organisations to reduce unsafe abortion rates.


The programme, which started in 2018 and will run until early 2022, uses in-depth research and analysis to generate insights into girls’ pathways to unsafe abortion and access to contraceptives. Using these insights, the programme tests social marketing approaches, the use of digital and mobile platforms and other outreach strategies. A Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) system, including tools for routine and periodic monitoring, has been developed.


Safire is currently implemented in Kenya and Nigeria. In Nigeria, it is implemented in two States, Oyo and Ogun; the


programme in Nigeria is managed by the Safire team based in Options’ Nigeria office in Abuja.
Main purpose of job
The Safire Nigeria Operations Manager (NOM) oversees the delivery of the programme at the country level under the overall direction of the Safire Nigeria Country Lead (NCL). The key responsibilities are:

1.       Ensuring efficient, timely and high-quality programme planning, budgeting, implementation and reporting;

2.       Ensuring the efficient and compliant contractual management of all Options implementing partners, consultants and service providers at country level;

3.       Ensuring the programme is delivered following all Options operational policies, procedures and guidelines, leading proactive risk and safeguarding management and mitigation across the partnership.


The post holder will work in close collaboration with the Options Senior Finance and Operations Manager in Nigeria, and will report to the Safire NCL, deputising him/her as needed.


Main duties

1.      Programme Planning and Management: Operations Manager

·          Lead all Options annual planning, budgeting and reporting exercises for Safire in Nigeria, liaising with key stakeholders as appropriate

·          Review all Implementation Partner (IP) workplans and budgets to ensure these are complete, accurate and consistent, and are ready for NCL approval

·          Oversee the implementation of CSO workplans according to budget and support state programme officers to facilitate corrective action when necessary

·          Review all IP narrative and financial reports to ensure they are complete, accurate and consistent, and are ready for NCL and finance manager approval

·          Responsible for procuring, contracting and overseeing the work of all suppliers, service providers and consultants engaged in the programme, be them technical or operational in nature

·          Manage the programme’s Nigeria budget (within delegated authorities) to ensure that spend is according to forecast and ensure that funds are available to implement the programme

·          Responsible for internal and external financial reporting, including expenditure tracking, variance analysis and budgeting and reforecasting at country level

·          Responsible for overseeing all Safire logistic, administrative and financial operations in Nigeria, drawing on support from Safire state officers, the Options Nigeria pooled team in Abuja and/or the Options programme management team in London as appropriate. Close collaboration is expected with the Options Senior Finance and Operations Manager in Nigeria

·          Responsible for ensuring all Safire Nigeria travel, events and meetings are timely and adequately organised in the most cost-efficient manner, following all Options policies and regulations

·          Approve the programme officers’ travel and expenses within financial authority

·          Line manage the two Safire state officers following Options Human Resource policies, providing guidance, mentoring and support as needed to guide effective, high quality programme implementation while managing their performance and encouraging their professional motivation and growth


2.      Delivery of the integrated programme

·          Support the Safire NCL in the strategic development and evolution of the programme

·          Responsible for the delivery and rapid adaptation of the Safire integrated delivery model based on learnings emerging from ongoing data analysis and implementation

·          Responsible for the production of all programme deliverables in a timely fashion, coordinating and collating inputs from all Nigeria IPs and team members (including semi-annual narrative and financial reports and other ad-hoc deliverables that may be required by the programme)

·          Responsible for the delivery of the Safire CSO capacity-building strategy, working with the programme officers and ensuring close coordination with consortium partners for coherence and high-quality delivery on the ground

·          Together with the NCL, identify short term technical or operational support needs, develop Terms of Reference, and oversee the work of any internal or external inputs that might be required to deliver the programme

·          Support the MEL team to ensure the MEL system produces quality and timely data required to inform and improve delivery of results

·          Produce weekly and monthly country implementation updates for the Senior Management Team

·          Oversee the implementation of the Safire Safeguarding and Do No Harm framework across


implementation partners in Nigeria

·          Actively work to identify, monitor, manage and escalate any risks to the attainment of programme results, particularly those related to quality service provision, safeguarding and public opposition

·          With support from the Programme Management (PM) team, ensure adherence to programme guidelines, tools, processes and all other relevant resources required to ensure effective and efficient programme implementation

·          Support the NCL to actively promote exchange and learning from implementation between the Safire Nigeria and Kenya teams

·          Support the NCL to engage in external coordination and networking activities as required to enhance programme integration and sustainability

·          Support the Country Lead in any matters required to ensure optimal programme delivery in Nigeria


3.      Internal Compliance and Programme Support:

·          Ensure that compliant and robust systems are used for contracting, managing and ensuring the quality of deliverables from local or international consultants and other contractors delivering Safire work in Nigeria

·          Support the NCL in the development and implementation of quality assurance processes

·          Manage and maintain the Safire Nigeria risk register

·          Ensure all Safire Nigeria programme documentation is timely and adequately stored in the programme’s shared drives (Dropbox and/or SharePoint as appropriate)

·          Ensure the Safire programme is compliant with Options’ and funder operational requirements

·          Ensure Safire programme delivery is compliant with Options’ procurement procedures and represents value for money

·          Implement Options’ policies and guidelines on anti-fraud, bribery and corruption across Safire, and report any suspected cases immediately to the NCL

·          Act as the country security focal person for Safire


4.      Other:

·          Support the Safire NCL and DTL in maintaining effective communications and strong working relationships with the client, partners, and programme stakeholders

·          Support the NCL to plan, prepare and facilitate Safire team, consortium and client-related meetings

·          Support the NCL in the identification of potential new partnerships and / or growth opportunities for the programme and Options in-country

·          Support Safire colleagues to promote and integrate a culture of learning and sharing across the programme

·          Act as interim Safire NCL in his/her absence

Note: this job description reflects the present requirements of the post. As duties and responsibilities change and develop the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the job holder.

Signed by: Date:


Person specification


Criteria Essential Desirable
Master’s degree in a relevant subject (public health, business, finance, social sciences) Yes  
Experience working in international development at a senior programme management level or above for at least five years Yes  
Experience in financial management of programmes, including producing and reviewing budgets, forecasts and financial reports Yes  
Experience in managing sub-contractors, suppliers, and/or civil society implementing partners Yes  
Skills in overseeing security, due diligence, and quality assurance processes Yes  
Experience in risk management and/or safeguarding Yes  
Experience in developing and delivering high quality outputs, able to write fluently and accurately in English Yes  
Experience in leading the delivery of: 1) multi-country programmes; 2) consortium-based programmes; 3) programmes in sub-Saharan Africa   Yes
Experience working in the Sexual Reproductive Health sector   Yes
Skills and attributes
Ability to work on a wide range of issues simultaneously Yes  
Excellent financial management skills Yes  
Excellent communicator in English, both verbally and in writing Yes  
Ability to plan and manage work, often remotely, in a highly organised and timely way Yes  
Self-starter, can work independently or as part of a team Yes  
Flexible attitude to work, ability to work in a challenging working context and under pressure for delivery during certain periods of time Yes  
Proven skills in people management and staff capacity development Yes  
Ability to work across cultures, with an international mindset Yes  
Ability to use a wide range of tools to manage workflows and processes, making optimal use of technology for remote working Yes  
Ability to quickly identify challenges hindering implementation and course correct in collaboration with relevant stakeholders   Yes
Good negotiation skills    


Critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills   Yes
Other requirements
Ability to travel within/to Nigeria, Kenya and the UK, up to 25% of working days per year Yes  
Strong commitment to human rights, equal opportunities and pro-choice Yes  
Right to live and work in Nigeria (priority will be given to candidates who hail from Nigeria or Sub-Saharan Africa) Yes  



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