Côte d'Ivoire or Ghana
Director of Programme and Country Operations
Côte d'Ivoire or Ghana
Contract Type
Application Deadline

About the position 

The International Cocoa Initiative, a leading multi-stakeholder organization promoting responsible business conduct and children’s rights in the cocoa sector, is looking for an outstanding Director of Programme and Country Operations based in West Africa. The Director of Programme and Country Operations supports the International Cocoa Initiative in the development and implementation of ICI’s programmes and strategy.

Under the supervision of the Executive Director, and in close relationship with other members of ICI’s Senior Management team, the Director of Programme and Country Operations (DO) will be responsible for developing ICI’s project and programme portfolio, overseeing ICI’s transversal teams in charge of programmes and learning, the geographical country teams in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, as well as reinforcing alignment and operational efficiency across ICI’s teams in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Switzerland. In cooperation with the Director of Policy and Partnerships based in Geneva, the Director of Programme and Country Operations will also be responsible for building and nurturing catalytic partnerships with members and partners in West and Central Africa, as well as strengthening coordination and alignment with stakeholders on child labour and forced labour in the cocoa sector, engaging and influencing relevant policy makers. S/he will take primary responsibility for the programmatic dimensions of ICI’s three Strategic Objectives as per the ICI annual or bi-annual Action Plans, will contribute meaningfully to ICI’s advocacy, resource mobilisation work (for the organisation and more broadly for the sector), membership and partnership development, and will support the Executive Director in fulfilling the agreed-upon organisational objectives.

Main tasks and responsibilities

Programme, partnership, and strategy development:

  • Lead the development of ICI’s global programmatic strategy and oversee ICI’s country strategies, ensuring strategic coherence, evidence building, and lesson-learning towards improved effectiveness, efficiency, and impact.
  • Lead and support the development of new strategic partnerships and collaboration mechanisms as well as coordination efforts at local, national, regional and international levels with members, partners, donors, and policy makers from international organisations, NGOs, private sector, local and national authorities, and farmers/producers’ organisations.
  • Oversee and support ICI’s fundraising efforts, notably through the development of grant applications, and the feeding of operational evidence (results, impact etc.) into ICI’s stakeholder engagement, including with potential donors.
  • Support ICI’ Executive Director and Country Directors in key aspects of ICI’s relationship with ICI members and partners in West and Central Africa, supporting membership expansion efforts and institutional partnership building.
  • Contribute to the engagement of ICI in West and Central Africa, beyond Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.

Programme management:

  • With the support of the programme team (in Geneva and in West Africa), lead the development, implementation, evaluation, and revision of ICI’s programme strategic objectives.
  • Oversee the development by the programme team (in Geneva and in West Africa) of terms of reference, proposals and reports for projects and programmes, in line with the programme strategy.
  • Oversee and support the programme team in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of ICI’s country strategies, programmes, and projects.

Knowledge management:

  • Oversee and support the identification, documentation and dissemination of specific innovations, tools and approaches that contribute to good practice and offer essential learning opportunities. 
  • Support lesson learning and knowledge sharing internally and externally
  • Support ICI’s dissemination of existing research, identifying potential new research needs, and overseeing ICI’s research activities.
  • Promote good practices and provide technical assistance to different sustainability initiatives to facilitate coordination, coherence, and quality.

Advocacy, Communications, Fundraising and Stakeholders Relations:

  • Lead ICI’s policy and advocacy work in West and Central Africa and oversee ICI’s policy and advocacy work by the country teams at national level.
  • Support ICI’s global influencing, communications, and stakeholder relations efforts, particularly by ensuring that operational, programmatic and policy perspectives are sufficiently and accurately represented in ICI’s public affairs and information materials, and lead and oversee ICI’s influencing at regional and national levels.
  • Work closely with the ICI’s Programme, Knowledge & Learning, Policy & Partnerships and Communications Teams as well as with ICI’s Country Offices to define, support and deliver ICI’s policy engagement and advocacy objectives in West and Central Africa.
  • Support the dissemination of relevant technical knowledge, research, tools and data to drive the scale up of evidence-based good practices and appropriate policies across various target audiences in West and Central Africa
  • Promote common tools, shared principles and aligned approaches across different sustainability initiatives to facilitate coordination, coherence, quality and accountability.
  • Represent ICI on programme and policy matters, serving as a credible and confident spokesperson for the foundation and its strategic ambitions

Financial management:

  • Prepare, and manage relevant, dedicated budget lines according to ICI’s financial procedures and within the approved budget.

Team management:

  • Ensure the supervision of the Head of Programme based in Geneva and ICI’s Country Directors for Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and co-supervision of ICI’s Head of Knowledge and Learning.
  • Ensure close coordination within ICI’s programme team (Secretariat’s programme staff and National Programme Coordinators), in all locations together with the Head of Programme, the Country Directors and the National Programme Coordinators.
  • Ensure close coordination between ICI's learning team (Secretariat’s learning staff and national learning staff) in all locations together with the Head of Knowledge and Learning and the Country Directors and the Regional M&E Coordinator
  • Ensure close coordination between the Programme and Learning Teams, as well as more broadly a greater integration across departments and across country offices and the Geneva Secretariat

Support to the Executive Director

  • Backstop ICI’s Executive Director in his various organizational management and external representation functions, as required.


  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills with an ability to turn complex subject matter into clear, accessible and compelling language.
  • Fluent or native speaker in either English or French, in addition to a strong level of spoken and written proficiency in the other language.
  • Strong political judgement and strategic analysis, with a proven track record in programme management and development, external relations, partnership and business development, advocacy and/or policy engagement.
  • At least 15 years of experience in international development, or sustainability, with at least 7 years at senior-management level.
  • Experience and familiarity with the global cocoa industry and policy engagement with governments in West Africa
  • Leadership, management and team-playing competencies, with an ability to inspire and motivate others.
  • Confidence, charisma and strong public-speaking / influencing skills.
  • Ability to learn fast, including about complex technical subject matters, to identify opportunities and to adapt.
  • Ability to embrace change and lead transformation processes.
  • Ability to work from Abidjan or Accra

Please send applications in English and French (including a cover letter and your updated CV) to hr[@]cocoainitiative.org before the 05th of January 2022.

Only those candidates who match the above requirements and who have been selected for interview will be contacted.

Download vacancy details 


Personal Data Statement

This Personal Data Statement will provide you with information on how your personal data will be handled for the purposes of processing your job application. You are just about to send us personal information in support of your request to be considered for employment within International Cocoa Initiative. This information will be treated confidentially by ICI and will only be used for the purposes of processing your application for employment within ICI.

By applying to a position advertised, and internship or by sending a spontaneous application to ICI, you authorize ICI and its subsidiaries to retain the information you provide to us on our database.

You have the right to access and rectify your personal information by contacting us at hr [@] cocoainitiative.org. You have the right to ask ICI to delete your information by contacting us at hr [@] cocoainitiative.org. By applying to a position advertised, an internship or by sending a spontaneous application to ICI, you automatically agree to the above term.

Child Safeguarding

NB: ICI has zero-tolerance for all forms of child neglect, abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, and psychological) and exploitation (sexual and commercial).

ICI commits to put the best interest of the child first, and at the centre of its work, irrespective of a child’s ability, ethnicity, faith, gender, sexuality and culture. ICI recognizes its responsibility to ensure and to promote a safe and secure environment for children.

To effectively manage risks to children, ICI requires the commitment, support and cooperation of all staff, associates, partners, suppliers, service-providers and visitors.

By applying at ICI, you automatically agree to the above term and uphold the principles described herein.