Programs Director for Southern Africa


Oxfam started working in Southern Africa (SAF) in the 1980s. Since then, we have implemented both development, and humanitarian and policy interventions to support practical and innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty. We work with local stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the root causes which keep people in poverty.

Oxfam is currently collaborating with the Government, international and local CSOs, UN Agencies, movements and other stakeholders.

Our vision for the region remains “a just and sustainable future for all people in Southern Africa”. We are committed to our mission to “fight inequality to end poverty and injustice”. Oxfam envisions Southern African countries to be free of extreme inequality and injustice; a society where citizens and particularly women across all age groups claim and exercise their rights and responsibilities and can influence decisions that affect their lives.

The Oxfam Southern Africa Strategy Framework outlines three core areas of work.

  • Just Economies – i.e., Agriculture & Food Systems, Transformation and Fiscal Justice & Resource Governance
  • Gender Justice – i.e., Women’s Transformative Leadership, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights & Services (SRHRS) and Ending Violence Against Women & Girls (EVAWG)
  • Humanitarian Disaster Management – i.e. a strategic shift from response to anticipatory humanitarian action, focusing on the whole disaster management cycle that links to ongoing disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience building actions
  • Accountable governance is at the core of all our work, as we work to
  • Influence democratic values and promotion of civic space across the region

In 2021 the Southern Africa country offices were reorganised to become a single organisational entity with programming hubs in multiple locations across the region. The intention of the new SAF model was to become One Oxfam in Southern Africa. Our new way of working aims to: i) Drive the localisation agenda by supporting local partners’ leadership in our programs; 2) Broaden our impact as a region and have program reach that encompasses the SADC region; 3) Increase program management efficiency through consolidation of our business services and 4) Strengthen program coherence and synergies across the region.

The Role

The SAF Programs Director  will be responsible and accountable for the strategic direction and effective management of the SAF regional program, ensuring development of the Partnership model, continued improvement in quality and impact of program and effective financial and human resource management in line with Oxfam Policy.

With support from the Oxfam in Africa Deputy Director/Oxfam International Global Programs Director (OI PD), the SAF Programs Director will implement the Oxfam 2030 Vision. This vision aims to create a stronger Oxfam that is globally coordinated and relevant in every location in which we work, as well as develop a stronger presence and influence of Oxfam across the SADC countries.

The SAF Programs Director has overall responsibility for the Oxfam International (OI) program in Southern Africa and is accountable to the SAF Regional Governance Group.

The position reports to the Oxfam in Africa Deputy Director.

Who we’re looking for

We are looking for a dynamic and committed individual with the following:

  • Significant senior leadership and management experience in the development and delivery of high-quality programs, influencing and humanitarian strategy, with and through partners or directly, in one or more challenging locations.
  • Experience of managing complex change processes and relationships involving a wide range of both internal and external multi-cultural stakeholders across a variety of disciplines and geographical areas.
  • Proven track record of leading and motivating multi-disciplinary, geographically remote teams and operations across a number of locations.
  • Demonstrated experience in being a leader in promoting women’s rights and gender equity.
  • Ability to ‘think politically’ understanding motivations, pressures, power dynamics and challenges faced by colleagues, partners, decision makers and other actors; and the ability to generate effective strategies to influence them.
  • Proven track record of success in representing an organization with partners, government agencies, private sector organizations, media and donors at senior level: nationally and globally.
  • Ability to maximise fundraising from diverse institutions, both local and international.
  • High level financial and asset management skills to steer and efficiently manage the operational budget across a number of locations.
  • Experience of managing security, risk and legal compliance within an INGO context.
  • Proven track record of making sound judgements in uncertain and pressurised situations.
  • Demonstrable ability to convey complex messages in an appropriate manner to broad and diverse audiences.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to motivate, influence and negotiate.
  • Proficiency in English.
  • Spoken and written Portuguese language will be an added advantage.

What we offer

have the same opinion, together with the ability to meet the challenges involved, this role offers scope for immense personal fulfilment – as well as outstanding opportunities to develop your career.

How to apply

Please click on the “apply” button to start the application process. Please upload and up-to-date CV and a covering letter, clearly explaining your suitability against the essential criteria in the job profile.

Kindly note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted, usually within 2 weeks of the closing date.

About us

Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty.

That means we tackle the inequality that keeps people poor. Together we save, protect and rebuild lives. When disaster strikes, we help people build better lives for themselves, and for others. We take on issues like land rights, climate change and discrimination against women. And we won’t stop until every person on the planet can enjoy life free from poverty.

We are an international confederation of 21 organizations (affiliates) plus the Oxfam International Secretariat, all working together with partners and local communities in the areas of humanitarian, development and campaigning, in more than 90 countries.

All our work is led by our core values:- Empowerment, Accountability, Inclusiveness, Courage, Solidarity and Equality. 

Our commitment to safeguarding

Oxfam is committed to preventing any type of unwanted behavior at work including sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, lack of integrity and financial misconduct; and committed to promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults. Oxfam expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment through our code of conduct. We place a high priority on ensuring that only those who share and demonstrate our values are recruited to work for us.

Note: All offers of employment will be subject to satisfactory references and may be subject to appropriate screening checks, which can include criminal records and terrorism finance checks. Please note that Oxfam International participates in the Inter-Agency Scheme for the Disclosure of Safeguarding-related Misconduct in Recruitment Processes within the Humanitarian and Development Sector. Under this scheme, if you have been employed by another member of the scheme, we will request information from that organization on any misconduct history in accordance with the terms of the scheme. For scheme details please click here

Oxfam International is an equal opportunities employer, committed to diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

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