Country Director, Burundi

Closing date: 29 Feb 2020

Closing Date: Closed when position is filled

Organization: Right To Play International

Department/Division: Global Programs Unit

Work location: Bujumbura, Burundi

Position Status: Local/Unaccompanied Expat

Authorized to work in: Burundi


Right To Play is a global organisation that protects, educates and empowers children to rise above adversity using play. By harnessing play, one of the most powerful and fundamental forces in a child’s life, we helped 2.3 million children last year to stay in school and out of work, to prevent life-threatening diseases like HIV and malaria and to stay safe from exploitation and abuse.

Established in 2000, Right To Play is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has operations in 22 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. In Burundi, we work closely in partnership with the Ministry of Education, other government partners, and local civil society organizations to promote quality education for children and social cohesion amongst youth and communities using the power of play. We have an ambitious vision for our work in Burundi, with the start-up of a major new program anticipated in 2020 which will increase the access of 24,000 girls and boys in Ruyigi province to quality inclusive, safe and gender responsive education. The new Country Director will play an instrumental role in successfully launching this new initiative and in shaping the strategic direction of RTP in Burundi through his/her leadership on a new country strategic plan for 2021 – 2025.

With a shared passion for our mission, our Culture Code guides how we act and interact based on five core pillars:

  •  Accept Everyone – Be intentional about inclusion
  •  Make Things Happen – Seek opportunities to lead and innovate
  •  Display Courage – Act with integrity
  •  Demonstrate Care – Look after yourself and one another
  •  Be Playful – Have fun at work

Please visit our website to learn more about who we are and what we do, and watch this video to find out about the five pillars of our Culture Code.


The Country Director reports directly to the Global Director, Country Operations, providing high-level oversight, strategic guidance and technical support to the Country Office. The ultimate goal of the position is to manage and grow the organization’s programming, to increase the quality, efficiency and long-term impact of the program; and to promote and advocate for sustained high-level engagement of government and civil society.

The position is based in Bujumbura, Burundi however, some travel within Africa and internationally may be required.


Job Responsibility #1: Communication and Representation (25% of Time):

  • Represents RTP in strategic meetings, conferences, forums and other public events and contributes towards consolidating and raising the profile of RTP
  • Represents the organization in local media, promotes knowledge of RTP programs, mandates and values amongst all stakeholders, potential partners and general public
  • Serves as the main local contact for all external stakeholders; develops and maintains links with relevant senior government officials and with country representatives in donors, UN bodies, and other international NGOs
  • Facilitates donor visits, donor meetings, round table discussions and evaluations as necessary
  • Ensures strong working relationships and collaborations with current and new partner organizations through regular correspondence, engagement, reporting and meetings
  • Develops and strengthens relationships with local organisations and networks and establishes national strategic relations and alliances with partners and civil society
  • Articulates concepts of play-based learning with confidence and authority
  • Promotes RTP organizational identity to all stakeholders and partners, and ensures RTP remains relevant to the changing needs of disadvantaged people in the country
  • Supports preparation and hosting of strategic donor and RTP HQ visits and workshops
  • Ensures that Right To Play regularly has its local registration as an INGO renewed and updated to reflect changes in local policies

Job Responsibility #2: Donor Stewardship and Fundraising (20% of Time):

  • Assesses potential partners and partnerships; secures and stewards local funding opportunities and builds the relationships on the grounds that are needed to support donor cultivation
  • Keeps abreast of the trends within the donor environment in country and internationally
  • Leads proposal development for prioritized funding opportunities, facilitates participation by key team members to produce winning submissions
  • Leads the development of proposals for expansion of new programs and the continuation of existing ones through coordinated efforts with RTP Program Office team, HQ Global Program Partnerships and National Offices
  • Represents RTP to current or potential donors to secure and sustain funding, including government/institutional donors, corporate sector and foundations

Job Responsibility #3: Program Strategy Development and Implementation (15% of Time):

  • Develops the strategic vision and direction of the program(s) in line with the strategic direction of RTP
  • Develops and manages the portfolio of program activities of the country in line with RTP strategic country plans and region and global vision
  • Ensures accountability of RTP activities at all levels through efficient and transparent use of program resources
  • Develops concept papers and proposals as necessary for expansion of new and existing programs, taking into consideration local conditions, donor knowledge and existing talent
  • Keeps abreast of the social-economic and political changes in the environment and undertakes timely strategic review of the RTP program strategy ensuring continued relevance within the area of focus
  • Maintains close communication with Global Program Unit in relevant factors and changes in environment
  • Coordinates the production of timely quality programme reports in line with the RTP and donor requirements
  • Provides leadership for the dissemination of RTP’s Values, Vision and Mission at the Country Level.

Job Responsibility #4: Program Financial Management, Quality and Reporting (15%):

  • Provides oversight to all finance and administrative services in the Country Office.
  • Oversees the country annual budget, and monitors and verifies the program budgets in adherence to approved budgets and procedures
  • Ensures adequate mechanisms are in place for monthly & quarterly budget monitoring and reviews, and minimizes significant expenditure variances
  • Ensures monthly & quarterly financial monitoring systems provide timely and relevant reports to country staff, including analysis and tracking of grant commitments and obligations
  • Oversees the effective implementation and compliance with the overall Finance & guidance Manual and compliance with procedures required by grant or contract agreement.
  • Ensures all program staff have an understanding of financial and internal control systems, budget and work in compliance with RTP Finance policies, authorization level policies, procedures.
  • Oversees the collation and timely submission of key technical, baseline, project evaluation, donor and other monitoring and evaluation related reports to donors, Global Program Unit and HQ as required. Oversees annual and project-specific audit processes within the Country Office
  • Ensures that learning is regularly generated within all projects, documented and shared
  • Ensures all monthly, quarterly finance reports are accurate and submitted in timely manner

Job Responsibility #5: Human Resources Management, Capacity Building and Compliance (15% of Time):

  • Oversees overall country HR management processes providing advice on the management of all staff
  • Provides advice on the interpretation of policies, regulations and rules and supports the senior team in explaining rights and responsibilities to the staff
  • Coordinates regular reviews and updates of the country specific HR policies and procedures and ensures compliance with the overall HR manual and the national labour laws
  • Oversees and monitors efficiency and fairness of recruitment processes following the set RTP guidelines in coordination with the Global Program Unit and HQ office
  • Ensures all employees receive the appropriate orientation and understand the RTP structure, policies, processes and systems and the work required from them
  • Oversees the mentoring and training of staff to ensure that they have the appropriate skill levels for their positions and are developing to their full capacity
  • Ensures adequate implementation of the Performance Management System including performance work planning, reviews, appraisals and staff development
  • Leads, coaches and develops the senior team, ensures they are equipped with the required expertise at country level such as programmes, policy, advocacy and finance
  • Ensures that the country Senior Management Team is effective, mutually supporting and efficiently involved in decision making
  • Oversees staff compensation in line with approved budget and RTP compensation policy and approves the monthly payroll
  • Manages the exit of employees and ensures that information gathered during exit interviews are used for improvement
  • Responds to legal claims or investigations, seeking legal advice as appropriate

Job Responsibility #6: Security, Safety and Welfare (5% of Time):

  • Carries out risk, vulnerability and threat assessments as well as physical security assessments of all sites making prioritized recommendations for improvement through the Standard Operational Procedures and contingency plans
  • Liaises with local and regional officials, UN, NGO and other agencies regarding security issues in the planning, coordination, promotion of, and support for existing RTP projects
  • Ensures that child safeguarding and gender are integrated into all program and organizational risk assessments and budget and quality mitigation strategies are put in place
  • Ensures that staff, coaches, leaders and volunteers are aware of the Child Safeguarding and Gender Polices, receive adequate training, sign the Attestation of Commitment to Child Safeguarding Form and RTP Code of Conduct, and act in compliance with this policy

Job Responsibility #7: Perform other duties (5% of Time):


  • Master’s degree in Business Administration, Social Sciences, Development studies or other related discipline


  • 10 years’ experience in a leadership role within a large or international organization working on strategic planning, quality improvement, project planning and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, human resources and financial management


  • Strategic planning skills
  • Leadership, influencing and managerial skills
  • Ability to gain trust and secure donor funding
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills to build rapport with staff, partners, government officials, donors and community leaders
  • Creativity and problem solving skills
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Superior organizational skills and ability to multi-task
  • Ability to work under pressure meeting deadlines


  • Proven knowledge of program management tools and procedures
  • Proven knowledge of budgetary control and financial management, including ability to read and understand financial data
  • Proven experience in proposal development and report writing
  • Demonstrated computer skills especially in MS Office packages
  • Understanding of country laws and regulations.


  • Bilingualism (fluency in spoken and written English/French) is required


  • Strong understanding of financial analysis
  • Significant experience with a child-focused organization

Employment Start Date: Immediately

Contract Duration: Long-term engagement based on performance and availability of funds

Compensation: We offer a competitive salary and benefits package


You are highly driven, results-oriented, collaborative and well-rounded leader with a passion for working with children and youth. You are an exceptional communicator with excellent networking skills. You are thrilled at the opportunity to make an impact in Burundi and you love building partnerships and alliances.


The opportunity to work with a passionate, innovative and collaborative team where you have the ability to make things happen. You will gain experience working for a globally recognized organization with a healthy culture premised on our Culture Code (accept everyone, make things happen, display courage, demonstrate care & be playful). In addition, we offer a competitive salary and benefits package



If you are interested in applying for this position, please send your resume and cover letter to: and kindly include “Position Name” and your name in the subject line. Please indicate your salary expectations in the cover letter.

Shortlisting of applications will begin immediately.

While we thank all applicants for their interest, only those selected for interviews will be contacted. Right To Play provides equal employment opportunities to employees regardless of their gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or marital status and in compliance with local legislative requirements. - Women are encouraged to apply for this position.

We are a child-centered organization. Our recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to the safety and protection of children in our programs. The successful candidate will be required to provide a satisfactory police record check as a condition of employment.