Oxfam: Head of Programs

Oxfam South Africa
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Tuesday, 26 October, 2021
Opportunity type: 

Oxfam South Africa’s purpose is to work with others to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. We are an Affiliate member of Oxfam International, a global confederation of 20 Affiliates working together in more than 90 countries across all regions of the world for a just world without poverty.

Location Johannesburg
Level B2
Division Programmes
Unit Programmes
Reporting to Executive Director
Staff Reporting to the Post
Initially 7 (7) posts (incorporating Programme and Project Managers, Campaign teams,
Institutional funding and Programme quality teams)
Annual budget for the post Varies on Programme Budget

All our work is led by three core values:

  1. Empowerment. Everyone, from our staff and supporters to people living in poverty, should feel they can make change happen. 

  2. Accountability. We take responsibility for our actions and hold ourselves accountable. We believe that others should also be held accountable for their actions.

  3. Diversity and Inclusiveness. We are open to everyone and embrace diversity. We believe everyone has a contribution to make, regardless of visible and invisible differences.

Mobilising people’s power for justice and lived freedom.
[To work at multiple levels of society for lasting solutions, challenging the systems and structures of power which perpetuate poverty and inequality, and intervene in practical ways to end suffering where needed.]


  • Is responsible for the strategic development and management of Oxfam SA program.
  • Supports Oxfam’s impact locally, regionally, continentally and globally through ensuring program alignment to the key strategic objectives and program standards.
  • Supports resource mobilization necessary to deliver OZA’s programmes


  • To provide strategic leadership, programme integration, representation, and operational management to Oxfam South Africa's programme in line with OZA Strategy. The role will also oversee the Programme Team and work closely with others in the wider Oxfam Confederation.
  • Participate as a member of Oxfam SA’s Senior Leadership team, working across functional teams to contribute to OZA’s overall effectiveness
  • Contribute to Oxfam International’s overall impact through participating in various OI Forums, platforms and initiatives


Strategic and thought leadership and representation                       

  • Provide overall strategic and technical leadership in the design, development, planning, budgeting, and implementation of the Programme Strategy, including the development and implementation of OZA Horizon Planning based on the current OZA 10-Year Strategy Framework;
  • Set standards, policies and procedures of programme management taking into account the peculiarities of OZA ways of working;
  • Lead programme integration and support programme teams in the development of inclusive, radical and innovative strategies for, creating a one programme approach and team culture for sharper impact of OZA’s work;
  • Shaping future of Oxfam South Africa through the execution of OZA’s Strategic Goals;
  • Initiate, coordinate and lead OZA’s programming, ensuring it delivers on     OZA’s vision and objectives and championing the innovative ways of working envisioned in OZA’s business strategy;
  • Provide change management leadership to support effective implementation of new strategic and planning processes;
  • Providing thought leadership internally in OZA, within the Confederation and externally on Oxfam South Africa’s approach and value-add;
  • Represent Oxfam South Africa in key external platforms and the media
  • Represent Oxfam in key external platforms as appropriate;
  • Manage OZA’s relationships with various Oxfam stakeholders, participating in Confederation-wide and regional initiatives;
  • Participate fully in the annual budget process, leading the program budgeting process, and provide ongoing oversight and management of program budgets
  • Lead on Programme Risk Management  and the OZA Safeguarding Risk Matrix
  • Lead program development and delivery                                                 
  • Ensure programme delivery with demonstrable impact and  accountability for overall programme quality and learning;
  • Develop, implement and embed, a knowledge management system, that will ensure the sharing of knowledge across the program, in Southern Africa, the African continent and with the broader Oxfam Confederation;
  • Ensure holistic integration in the context of OZA’s digital transformation;
  • Oversees the development of program and project improvement plans, to ensure effective and timely implementation of the projects and program;Advise programme staff on programme quality throughout programme lifecycles;
  • Ensures that all individuals’ rights are protected in all of Oxfam’s work in South Africa
  • Working closely with the program , institutional and public  fundraising, campaign and grant management staff, to identify opportunities for funding to ensure the financial sustainability of country programme of Oxfam South Africa.
  • Directs and coordinates external program engagement
  • Oversee the partner portfolio, with specific reference to the identification of strategic partners, and building and maintaining these relationships
  • Building and developing an approach to program quality, knowledge production and dissemination.
  • Developing learning and knowledge management on programs and encouraging innovation across the organisation.
  • Ensuring good levels of affiliate engagement in programming through meeting affiliates’ needs in donor reporting, marketing, involvement in country strategy and making use of affiliate knowledge and subject expertise.
  • Oversees the management developing Oxfam South Africa’s Institutional funding strategy including significantly increasing income from new donors.
  • Oversees the programme designs and development and ensure effective monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning systems are in place.
  • Leading, embedding and using Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning and Social Accountability work.

People management and development                                             

  • Providing high quality leadership and support to Programme Managers, project and campaign leads;
  • Manage the program team to deliver on the programme strategy, providing leadership and guidance and ensuring that the management of the team is in line with Oxfam SA’s HR policies and procedures;
  • The Head of Programmes with support from HR, will manage the life cycle of individuals within the team from pre-recruitment to exit, including performance management processes, and working with HR on issues such as disciplinary matters;
  • Ensure that staff members are given opportunities for development and training, as discussed and agreed, and provide support to the capacity building planning for programme positions;
  • Ensure an efficient and relevant staffing structure and lead structural change processes when necessary;
  • Set and socialise standards of performance management for programme staff applicable across functions;
  • Build a high-performance culture in the programmes team.



  • Strong strategic leadership and managerial skills to co-ordinate the OZA program team to deliver on OZA’s strategic objectives.
  • Ability to coach on the building of strong, credible relationships with local and international local NGOs, movements and networks, government associations, business leaders and other relevant stakeholders
  • Excellent communication skills, in written and verbal English, highly impactful influencing and persuasion skills
  • Ability to adjust to constantly changing situations while maintaining focus on delivery and follow-through
  • Strong analytical and conceptual thinking skills; able to understand complex issues and translate them into simple, workable actions and plans
  • Ability to think strategically, work creatively, effectively and in an innovative manner;
  • Proven expertise and skills in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), programme quality, learning and knowledge management;
  • Excellent report-writing skills
  • Commitment to OZA’s overall aims and policies and experience of promoting women’s rights and those of marginalised people in all aspects of the organisation’s work


  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience of feminist organising, programme development, advocacy, campaigning and of humanitarian programmes
  • Knowledge of capacity building, learning and development activities and how to create a learning and sharing environment with a strong knowledge management philosophy
  • Politically astute, with a good understanding of key external organisations, how they operate and make decisions, and the country development context
  • Commitment to and knowledge of creating a partner-led operational environment, with an ability to create an internal OZA approach that is focussed on developing and supporting partner organisations to achieve direct impact and results relating to OZA’s objectives
    • Knowledge of, and experience in working with donors


  • Influencing experience and ability to develop networks and build alliances
  • Experience managing a complex influencing framework incorporating development programming, campaigning and advocacy, humanitarian and other interventions;
    • No less than 8 years’ experience in the areas of strategic leadership, operational planning, and management of  programmes, respectively; 

A university degree at Masters, Doctoral or higher level in a relevant field or related discipline.
CLOSING DATE:                            26 OCTOBER 2021 APPLICATION SUBMISSION:                                                            OZAHR@OXFAM.ORG.ZA
COMPANY URL:                             www.oxfam.org.za

 The job description is not incorporated into the employment contract. It is intended as a guide and should not be viewed as an inflexible specification as it may be varied from time to time considering strategic developments following discussions with the post holder. The post holder will be expected to work to agreed objectives, which should facilitate achievement of key responsibilities in accordance with the performance of the review process

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