Ghana Country Director


Company Lively Minds ...
Category International...
Location Tamale with f...
Job Status Full-time
Salary GHS276,000-GH...
Education BA/BSc
Experience 5 years
Job Expires Oct 30, 2020
Contact HR Admin

Company Profile

Lively Minds is an award-winning NGO working to get preschoolers in rural Ghana & Uganda school-ready.

Over 250 million children under 5 years globally do not get the early childhood care and education (“ECCE”) they need, leading to poor health, poor education, lost life opportunities and poverty. We believe that one of the main barriers to ECCE is that parents in remote resource-poor villages lack the information, education and aspiration to provide basic and affordable opportunities for their children. We have developed an innovative behavior-change programme that empowers marginalized, poorly educated Mothers to run educational Play Schemes for preschoolers and to provide better home-based care, using cheap local resources.  Not only does this result in positive outcomes for child development, but also has positive impacts for the Mothers too.

These are exciting times for Lively Minds. In Ghana we have recently received results from a Randomised Control Trial (RCT) conducted by independent evaluators Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) which demonstrate the programme has a positive impact on a wide range of child and mother outcomes. We are now finalising a partnership agreement with Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ghana Education Service to  integrate the programme in to the national kindergarten system and scale across 60 rural districts in the northern regions of the country, reaching approximately 4000 kindergartens and 1.1million children.  During this period, Lively Minds will act as technical consultants ensuring the programme is embedded into and sustained at district, regional and national government levels. 

Elsewhere, our programme in Uganda is in a test and position for scale stage with the long-term aim of national roll- out. Our long-term goal is for the programme to be adopted in several countries in the global south so that it can have a large impact in tackling the global early childhood development crisis.

Job Description

The Ghana Country Director will lead our Ghana team as we grow our organisation, scale up the programme and manage the partnership with government. The Country Director will initially have 4 direct reports – Deputy Director, Learning and Quality Manager, IT Manager and Policy Associate. They will be in charge of recruiting and on-boarding a Financial/Administrative Manager and HR Manager who will report directly to them. They will also be in charge of setting up new offices in addition to our 2 current offices in Tamale and Bolga. The Country Director will be based in the Ghana HQ in Tamale. The Country Director will be part of the multi-disciplinary Lively Minds global senior management team and report directly to the COO and have a secondary line of report to the CEO.

Key responsibilities for the Country Director include strategic and operational planning & implementation, staff management, financial accountability and developing and maintaining strong relations with government, funders, and stakeholders at national level.


Strategic development

  • Contribute to the global and Ghana organisational development and programme scale strategy for Lively Minds.
  • Develop and implement plans to support the achievement of strategic goals
  • Identify and drive forward strategic funding and partnership opportunities.

Implementation accountability

  • Create the annual programme roll-out plan, disseminate and train & support the implementing teams to execute the programme expansion as stipulated in strategic and operational plans according to agree business processes
  • Co-develop and enforce execution and quality assurance rhythms
  • Lead and support direct reports to create detailed plans and risk analyses for themselves and their teams to ensure successful delivery of the programme to achieve desired outputs and outcomes
  • Oversee implementation to ensure that risks/challenges are identified quickly and addressed and the expected outcomes and quality standards are met
  • Train Managers and wider team to proactively mitigate against programme risks and respond to unfolding situations in a timely, mission and impact-driven manner
  • Ensure that the team and stakeholders adopt a results-focused approach, coaching the team to actively manage risks, engage & empower stakeholders, respond to challenges,  identify and implement SMART actions to ensure successful outcomes
  • Work with other senior management team members to identify ways to improve the programme, curriculum, approaches, systems and practices

Government engagement

  • Co-create strategies for securing government partnership for scale ensuring risks are managed and opportunities leveraged;
  • Lead partnership negotiations and implementation with government. This will involve co-developing and negotiating partnership documents including detailed workplans, MOUs, KPIs/milestones; M&E frameworks to establish measurable roles and responsibilities and milestones
  • Act as the project office to ensure that partnership deliverables are met, governance structures are used,  opportunities are leveraged, and capacity gaps and solutions identified
  • Develop and implement strategies to ensure government stakeholders are fully engaged in tracking progress, solving challenges, identifying opportunities to sustain and integrate programme
  • Support the team to advocate for ECCE and theprogramme through lobbying and participation in national government department events and working groups.

Leadership, team  and organisational development

  • Establish working norms ensuring Lively Minds’ values and behaviours are embedded in staff behaviour.
  • Manage change and ensure teams understand and are appropriately implementing policies and systems
  • Actively manage the performance and build the capacity of all staff through training, coaching, holding 1to1s, setting performance goals, appraisals
  • Where necessary interview, recruit and train staff and/or contractors
  • Oversee the financial, administrative and organisational management of the offices, ensuring strong accountability and value for money is achieved

Stakeholders and partnerships

  • Work alongside independent evaluation team to ensure smooth running of evaluation; capture lessons; identify and disseminate policy recommendations; improve programme and delivery
  • Identify new and strengthen existing advocacy partnerships to support ECCE systems change within Ghana
  • Contribute to fundraising proposals and reports (financial and project/narrative)

Required Skills or Experience

Lively Minds is a fast-paced, results-oriented organisation with a drive for excellence. The Country Director must be able to work as a team player and contribute to our small, global senior management team as well as deliver a complex and busy programme at the country level, leading a remote team effectively. Our organisation is going through a period of immense growth and change and you will need to support the Ghana team through this transition.

To succeed in this role you will be expected to consistently exhibit the following core and leadership competencies at a high level:

Core Competencies

  • Thinking and improving - Uses a structured approach to analyse situations and identify SMART solutions and improvements
  • Ownership and quality of work - Effectively manages and takes accountability for own work and work of teams ensuring timely delivery of high-quality work
  • Mission Driven (Client Oriented) - Demonstrates commitment to the mission of the organization as a whole and works to effectively engage stakeholders (including government, communities, parents, children) to achieve maximum impact.
  • Internal Team Collaboration - Helps colleagues as needed, views responsibilities as shared, and effectively engages stakeholders (internal & external)
  • Communication - Uses effective written and oral communication with internal staff, teams, stakeholders, and communities served
  • Initiative - Proactively seeks opportunities to contribute to the team and improve the organization as a whole by actively integrating goals, values, and mission; demonstrates positive and solution-oriented attitude


  • Change Management - Effectively prepares for and guides teams through changes, both small and large making them feel safe, engaged and supported.
  • Decision-making - Effectively structures and facilitates decision-making processes; makes and owns team decisions effectively and responsibly to improve organizational health and impact
  • Develops and motivates others - Motivates others, supports their development through strong coaching and mentoring and builds strong relationships with colleagues; fosters effective teams and collaborative interactions
  • Strategic thinking - Considers the future of the organization proactively and responsively; considers limitations and resource constraints; weighs diverse inputs to inform strategies; identifies innovative opportunities
  • Values and prioritises inclusivity - Consistently sees, learns from, and takes strategic action related to diverse perspectives; and demonstrates the self‐awareness and behaviors to work with stakeholders (of various identities and levels of power) respectfully and effectively. Actively seeks to build and retain a diverse workforce and fosters an equitable inclusive workplace.
  • Initiative and results driven - Makes and executes strategic plans ensuring alignment to overarching objectives  to enhance intended impact, adjusting course as needed


  • Minimum of 5 years of project management experience - with demonstrated results managing complex projects, people, budgets and activities
  • Experience working with national and local government and demonstrable results of influencing others
  • Experience coaching and training others
  • Ability to manage a complex and varied workload and to deliver under pressure
  • Willingness to work long hours where required and put in the extra mile
  • Experience of budgeting and accounting for projects
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written and good typing skills
  • Adept in or able to adapt to and learn new technologies quickly (e.g Microsoft 365, smartphone apps, Asana, KOBO/data collection, dashboarding, mobile money)
  • Experience of working in rural communities
  • Experience working with international donors and grants
  • Experience or clear understanding of evaluation and working with data
  • Ability to work with a multicultural, international remote team


  • Experience working on ECD, education programme or women’s empowerment in rural settings
  • Experience of working within government of Ghana
  • Experience of behavior change/change management
  • Experience of scaling

How To Apply

Please send a CV and cover letter detailing how you meet the person specification to  by October 30, 2020. Please note that generic cover letters will not be considered. 

Lively Minds operates a strict Child & Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and the post-holder will be required to demonstrate their suitability for this role though background checks. 

  • Please note that due to resource constraints, we will only respond to shortlisted candidates.
  • Short-listed candidate will be contacted to proceed on next steps in the application process, which includes assessment followed by two rounds of interviews.

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