Programme Manager

Mary’s Meals is a fast-growing international charity, currently providing a daily meal to almost two million hungry and impoverished children across four continents in their place of education. Mary’s Meals Zambia delivers school feeding to children in the Eastern Province of Zambia. This role is based in Chipata, Eastern Province and is part of the Mary’s Meals International Global Programmes team. This position will support the Head of Programmes Delivery.

We are looking for an exceptional candidate who has significant management experience but who can operate at all levels to get the job done. The candidate will be a hands-on and participate leader, coach and mentor who will lead and develop an internal team to support the Zambia Programme.

Job purpose

To support the Country Programme Senior Leadership Team in providing effective and inspirational leadership for Mary’s Meals Zambia and help in the general management and organizational development of Mary’s Meals Zambia in close collaboration with other senior members of staff in Mary’s Meals Zambia. The post holder will also collaborate with communities, partners, funders, government ministries, volunteers, and other stakeholders to promote Mary’s Meals vision, mission, and values to ensure optimal programme implementation. S/he will support strategic planning and programme development. The position holder will also collaborate with external stakeholders at provincial level.

The role of the Programme Manager (PM) is to lead the implementation of the Mary’s Meals school feeding programme in Zambia, by providing management oversight and strategic direction on behalf of the MMZ Senior Leadership Team. The PM will also contribute to strengthening and developing the school feeding programme across all operational areas and achieve high standards in all aspects of programme delivery and in adhering to Mary’s Meals’ values at all times.

Key activities:

Coordination of Programme Delivery:

  • To provide leadership and direction to the District School Feeding Managers and ensure compliance with school feeding programme standard operating procedures, organizational guidelines, and policies in their respective districts.
  • To coach and mentor school feeding managers to ensure optimal delivery of the school feeding programme.
  • Supervise School Feeding Managers to ensure the smooth running of the MMZ school feeding programme.
  • To coordinate and deliver agreed provincial plans or strategies with considerable strategic input.
  • To ensure timely implementation of all programme activities through the development and agreed work plans and effective resource management.
  • With support from the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Coordinator, determines amounts of food to be procured from the suppliers according to current enrolment rates in schools.
  • Ensures that all food that has been procured is well received and stored in schools with consideration given to proper food safety and handling procedures.
  • To identify and communicate problems and issues in the delivery of the School Feeding programme and respond to these appropriately;
  • Advise the Head of Programme Delivery on issues arising in the School Feeding Programme in Zambia which affect the proper operation of the programme.
  • To provide feedback on the lessons learned from the implementation of field activities and make recommendations for improvements as required.

Collaboration and Support:

  • Supporting and developing community capacity building, sensitization and engagement Programmes at MMZ.
  • To work alongside other NGOs, government and international partners to share best practice and further the interests and reach of Mary’s Meals, engaging with the Government of Zambia and other major stakeholders in school feeding in the Province.
  • To represent MMZ to NGO partners, Government line ministries, Traditional leaders, Communities and beneficiaries at Provincial Level.
  • Coordinate Provincial Monitoring Support visits to Programme Schools.
  • To support the Head of Programme Delivery in the preparation of country detailed implementation plans (DIPs), monitoring and reporting of progress against organizational goals and objectives and to prepare the annual budget and forecasts.
  • To support the Heads of Programmes in the continued review and development on programme policy and guidance on the Mary’s Meals School Feeding Delivery Model.
  • To participate in the personal development review process and to identify learning and development needs.
  • Provides support and interacts with the Programme Associate, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, and other key program staff

Reporting and MEL:

  • To develop and assess programme delivery models, policies and procedures, including regular programme reviews
  • Assisting in and enabling the roll out, development and implementation of the M&E strategy
  • With Support from the Programme Associate provide regular Institutional and donor reports such as DFID Quarterly and Annual Reports, SOS Quarterly and Annual Reports and other projects that may come on board.
  • Contributing to the design and development of institutional grant funding applications and preparing reports as required

Relationship Management:

  • To develop and maintain excellent relations with Mary’s Meals field officers, partners, internal colleagues and supporters.
  • Any other ad hoc duties as required and as assigned from time to time.

Qualifications, skills and experience:

  • Degree in a relevant subject (e.g. social sciences, agriculture, education, development studies, public health) and demonstrable significant practical experience in a similar role
  • A postgraduate degree in the above fields is desirable
  • Proven leadership and team building skills and strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to establish effective working relationships at all levels internally and externally.
  • Understanding of the place of school feeding in relief and development
  • Effective programme management skills, including programme design and planning, budget preparation, reporting and review and sharing of best practice
  • Good numeracy, with experience of data recording, collation and analysis for decision making
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to focus on and prioritize key tasks and effectively drive forward and implement agreed actions
  • Very good computer literacy with high proficiency in Excel
  • Well-developed, inter personal skills, with the ability to network widely, persuade and influence others
  • Highly resilient, self-reliant and motivated, with the ability to organize own work and prioritize tasks
  • Cultural sensitivity and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of people in different countries and settings.
  • Has a warm, engaging and inspiring personality, with good networking and interpersonal skills
  • At least 5 years’ experience of managing programme implementation for a NGO, two of which should be at a management and team leadership level in an NGO environment with responsibility for managing staff, activities, financial resources, assets and external relationships.
  • Team management experience, including engaging and motivating a team of staff
  • Experience of developing plans, monitoring and reporting against agreed strategy
  • Experience of a flexible approach to managing and prioritizing a high workload and multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines
  • Experience of liaising with Government, NGOs and community groups
  • Experience of implementing and reporting against projects funded by institutional donors
  • Experience of working in remote or isolated environments

Method of Application

Interested candidates can apply via email at this email below:

Application deadline
20 Feb 11:12
Email applications to
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