Director, Recovery and Development Unit

ROLE PURPOSE:  Save the Children currently operates a significant portfolio of programmes in Ukraine. It has a workforce of over 400 staff and annual expenditure for 2023 is expected to be in excess of $70 million. Currently, the vast majority of these funds are directed towards humanitarian activities. It is expected that Save the Children will continue to prioritize humanitarian needs within Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

There are also numerous long term, not specifically humanitarian, challenges and opportunities for Ukrainian children, across all of Save the Children’s ‘Global Goals’ areas of focus, most of which are exacerbated by the ongoing conflict and Ukraine’s economic fragility. With the conflict currently showing no current signs of abating, there is growing interest in ‘recovery and reconstruction‘ possibilities in locations where this is possible. And the government of Ukraine’s desire for (rapid) accession into the EU, with numerous conditionalities to be met, is likely to provide a foundation for substantial reforms and a focus on longer term goals.

Save the Children, together with national and international partners, intends to respond to those longer term needs. To facilitate this expansion into ‘development work’, SC Ukraine will establish a small ‘Recovery and Development Unit”, to drive forward organizational thinking in this area, identify and land ambitious strategic opportunities and partnerships, and ensure that Save the Children is well positioned to support the longer term needs and rights of Ukrainian children.

This is a senior post, reporting directly to the Country Director, and working in collaboration with other leaders within the Senior Management Team. The Unit Director will set up and lead the Unit.  S/he will, where relevant, and in line with the specific focus of the Unit, represent Save the Children with the government, donor representatives, peer agencies and local communities.

The role requires strong ‘generalist’ programme knowledge across Save the Children’s themes, excellent managerial and team building skills, together with an entrepreneurial, strategic and politically savvy mindset. S/he should be a consensus builder, committed to developing a development approach built upon collaboration with colleagues and partners, understanding that much of the Unit’s work depends on effective cross-departmental relationships. The Unit Director is also accountable for appropriate fiscal management of the Unit and its staff and ensuring strong management of risks, including in relation to safety and security, donor compliance and key legal and regulatory risks.

This is a pivotal role with the opportunity to play an important part in supporting the ongoing recovery of Ukraine for the betterment of children. We seek ambitious and innovative candidates excited by this possibility and able to drive forward transformational change.


Unit leadership and strategy:

  • Identify strategic opportunities within the ‘recovery and development’ agenda where Save the Children can meaningfully contribute to the progression of child rights within Ukraine. 
  • Develop agreed opportunities into concepts and lead the socialization of these concepts with SC Ukraine colleagues and our national partners. 
  • Ensure strategic growth of the country office development portfolio 
  • In conjunction with SMT members (and with wider SC Movement), lead and champion the elaboration of a short to long-term development strategy for Save the Children in Ukraine. 
  • Work together with the Advocacy, Comms and Media team (ACCM) to develop and deliver powerful advocacy and comms messages on priority development themes.  
  • Ensure that the focus of the Unit is focused on the rights and needs of Ukrainian children  
  • Develop and maintain strong relations with Save the Children Member organizations and their donors 
  • Facilitate engagement between the Unit and other Save the Children Ukraine staff, partners and other stakeholders to create real shared ownership and collaboration. 
  • Communicate trends, needs and gaps upwards to SLT, Members and other relevant stakeholders. 
  • Develop and cultivate strategic relationships with other agencies engaged in development programming. 
  • Promote and facilitate child consultation and participation across all strategic opportunities. 
  • Ensure that Unit’s work takes into account key global trends such as the localisation agenda, climate change and innovation.  


Representation, Coordination, Advocacy and Partnerships:

•    Regularly undertake representation on development issues at a national and local level with Government partners, media as well as donor representatives and NGO counterparts,  
•    Develop the capacity of Unit staff to ensure they can represent the agency in different forums and meetings; 
•    In conjunction with ACCM Director, identify opportunities and materials to contribute to effective communication and media to promote Save the Children programs; 
•    Establish effective networks with donors, civil society and government in country to increase the impact and sustainability of Save the Children’s work across Ukraine 
•    Establish systems for communication with local Government partners, relevant line departments and community representations with a particular focus on new projects  
•    Help shape broader sector strategies through influencing the inter-agency coordination forums, ensuring that the specific needs of children are being addressed; 
•    Ensure that partners’ and Save the Children's work is coordinated with efforts of other agencies and the Government at national levels 
•    Where relevant, and in conjunction with Director of ACCM, Collaborate with the colleagues in the region to deliver regional and sub-regional programmes and advocacy 


Unit management and implementation:

  • Assume overall oversight of Unit’s work and team 
  • Convene and lead Unit meetings 
  • Ensure regular Unit meetings and ongoing communication with all relevant SC Ukraine Departments 
  • Develop capacity throughout the Unit team 
  • Ensure Unit resourcing gaps are communicated & mitigated against. 
  • Share and steer lessons learnt from Unit into wider national processes incl. 24/26 SC country strategy 
  • Line manage Unit members, including 3+ direct reports.  
  • Where requested, participate in SMT meetings  
  • Be strategic player in terms of future Ukraine Country Office strategy, including alignment to 24/26 strategy 
  • Where relevant, ensure timely preparation of quality reports to donors and members 
  • take overall leadership and accountability on the implementation of Unit budget;  
  • Ensure strong accountability to partners/beneficiaries  


  • Lead the Unit in identifying and developing new business opportunities; and ensure development of high-quality concept notes Work with the Fundraising/NBD team in developing and funding high quality proposals 
  • Ensure effective collaboration with SC Members to preposition the CO for upcoming funding opportunities; 
  • Regularly review donor landscape through a recovery and development lens, and together with Members, develop and implement relevant fundraising strategy and plans; 
  • Network with donors in the country and represent Save the Children at donor events where directed by the CD


  • Master degree in relevant discipline or equivalent experience
  • Extensive experience of programme design in developmental contexts 
  • Experience of working for an international development organisation,  
  • Proven experience and success in leadership and fundraising roles 
  • Strong generalist technical knowledge across SC key themes (education, health, climate change, child protection, child poverty). 
  • Strong analytical skills and an ability to assimilate and process large amounts of information into a coherent narrative. 
  • Demonstrable experience in driving forward innovation in their work.  
  • A capacity for critical thinking and commitment to producing original and challenging ideas to improve policy and practice. 
  • The ability to present arguments clearly and convincingly to a variety of audiences. 
  • Proven experience of building personal networks, resulting in securing significant new opportunities for the organisation. 
  • Highly developed cultural awareness and ability to work collaboratively in an international environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures 
  • Excellent verbal & written skills in English 
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching 
  • The ability to manage and juggle a complex and varied workload, at times working independently, at others working to tight deadlines under time pressure. 
  • Ability and willingness to dramatically change work practices and hours in the event of emergencies 
  • Commitment to Save the Children values 


  • Expertise in ‘deinstitutionalisation’/care transformation.  
  • Knowledge of Ukrainian development sector 
  • Experience in recovery and reconstruction contexts 
  • Good Comms and Advocacy skillset 

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. 

Health and Safety:

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with SCI Health and Safety policies and procedures. 

If you are interested in the vacancy, we are looking forward for your application. A СV in English will be an advantage. Also, we will be grateful if you indicate the expected salary level and the level of English language proficiency.

13 Nov 2023

2 May 2024 - 12:58 EET


Programme Operations



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