Country Representative at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

Country Representative at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is the world’s leading international development organisation that uses volunteers to fight poverty and reduce inequality. Our vision is simple: a world without poverty. Our approach is unique: sending skilled volunteers from sectors such as health, education and business to work with partners who have requested our help. VSO enables a two-way exchange that benefits the volunteer and the community they serve far beyond the life of the placement.

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) began in 1958 when Alec and Mora Dickson recruited and sent 16 British volunteers overseas in response to a letter from the Bishop of Portsmouth asking for people to teach English in Borneo. Much has changed since then. VSO has engaged over 43,000 volunteers to work on international development programmes in more than 120 countries. We’ve gone from being a UK charity to an international one, with recruitment bases in seven countries. In 2013/2014 alone, our volunteers trained over 174,000 people, and delivered services that had an impact on the lives of 2 million. Today, VSO is a truly global organisation. We recruit skilled volunteers from all over the world, and from all sectors of society, including business leaders, parliamentarians and young people. 

Country Representative

Job Type                          Full Time

Qualification                   BA/BSC/HND


Location                         Nigeria

Job Field                        Administration

Job Description

  • To grow VSO’s ability to deliver impact & influence in Nigeria. Strengthening VSO’s reputation, relationships and growing secured programme funding in Nigeria and across the region

Business Pursuit:

  • Achieve ambitious annual business pursuit targets working with institutional donors, foundations, corporations and implementing partners to enable VSO Nigeria to scale its programmes and impact by securing increasing larger grants and contracts
  • Work proactively and collaboratively with VSO’s Practice Area heads/technical teams and fellow Country Representatives to identify new programme opportunities, cultivate donor/partner relationships and secure major new programme awards
  • Will be accountable for achieving annual secured funding targets for Nigeria and the region

Strategic Leadership, Representation and Policy Dialogue:

  • Engage actively as a VSO global leader and provide strategic leadership to the VSO Nigeria team.
  • Represent VSO Nigeria externally and internally, in line with our organisational agenda through evidence-based pre-positioning, influencing, partnership and consortium building and policy dialogue
  • Proactively contribute to raising the profile of VSO in-country with key partners and stakeholders.
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Programme Knowledge:

  • Develop a deep understanding of VSO’s Practice Areas and local programmes in Nigeria and across VSO’s global operations to be able to talk persuasively with external donors and partners about VSO’s track-record and impact from our volunteering for development approach in contextually relevant ways.

Donor Engagement:

  • Proactively lead the development and deepening of relationships with VSO donors (USAID, DFID, World Bank, EU, UN, GIZ, KfW, Gates Foundation, GAVI, Global Fund, corporations among others) in Nigeria and across the region, identify and pursue opportunities for funding in collaboration with relevant business pursuit, country and practice area teams.

Partnership Development:

  • Proactively lead development and deepening of VSO’s partner relationships and network (government agencies, International Nongovernment Organizations (INGO), Local Nongovernmental Organizations (LNGOs) private sector and others in Nigeria and across the region
  • Create trust-based, high quality partnerships that contribute to the scaling and increasing quality of VSO’s programmes and impact

Governance and Legal Compliance:

  • Ensure compliance within country (in collaboration with the Global Implementation Team), including legislative requirements and with VSO policies.

Lead Role in Country:

  • Support the development of a positive VSO workplace culture in Nigeria, identifying opportunity for collaboration and sharing knowledge.
  • Responsibility for the pooled office running costs
  • Effective liaison with Project team Leads and Chiefs of Party to ensure effective and efficient budget allocations from programmes in Nigeria.
  • Safeguarding, security and risk management
  • Commit to VSO’s vision and values, including safeguarding and taking a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and harm.
  • Where required, support the implementation team in managing duty of care incidences from a country compliance and reputational perspective. Oversight of risk management from a country level perspective i.e. legislation changes and ensure country operating environment risks are managed appropriately.


  • With members of the business development team, including Public Fundraising and Business Intelligence, to ensure alignment of income growth strategy with programme strategy
  • Work closely with Communications and Marketing to identify and agree VSO internal and external messaging
  • Contribute to and support other Country Representatives to enhance VSO’s partner relationships and programme proposals and secured funding growth.
  • Work closely with programme leads in Nigeria, to share learning and support the positioning of our work in country Nigeria.
  • Work closely with multi-disciplinary people resource within global support teams and Legal team to ensure compliance with relevant regulatory and due diligence requirements.
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Knowledge / Qualifications / Experience:

  • Significant business pursuit experience with a proven track record of increasing secured funding success; a passion for networking, relationship building and pre-positioning.
  • Significant experience of creating partnerships and relationship-building in consortia.
  • Significant experience developing and winning major new programme opportunities; leveraging bid development processes.
  • Strong change management experience, with the skills and determination to make difficult decisions and achieve transformational change.
  • Proven track record of leading a high performing multicultural team.
  • Experience of ensuring compliance in all areas for a country office operation.
  • Strong political and cultural awareness and sensitivity.
  • Solid risk and incident management experience including appropriate communication and escalation capabilities
  • Knowledge and understanding of the role of volunteerism in development.
  • Knowledge and understanding of social inclusion, social accountability, and resilience.

Skills / Abilities:

  • Excellent leadership skills, including the ability to inspire teams, donors and partners with a vision.
  • Excellent personal relationship skills with substantial experience in networking and influencing a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • Tenacious marketing and pre-positioning skills and attributes (e.g., publishing, thought leadership)
  • Commitment to VSO’s mission and values.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English (additional language abilities welcome).
  • Desirable criteria (skills that could be an advantage in the role)
  • Sectoral knowledge in VSO’s Practice Areas of inclusive education, livelihoods, and health
  • VSO has zero tolerance of abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people. We expect all our employees/volunteers to ensure we are protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm and abide by our safeguarding policy.


  • Competitive.

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Deadline: April 10, 2020

Method of Application

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