Terms of Reference: Country Director

The Accountability Lab South Africa is building a new generation of active citizens and responsible leaders in South Africa. We support creative change-makers to develop innovative, positive ideas for integrity in their communities. By building diverse coalitions to generate the knowledge, skills and networks needed for accountability, we unleash positive social and economic change. Accountability Lab South Africa is a registered non-profit organization based in Johannesburg.

Position Description

The Country Director (CD) leads the organization. S/he provides strategic guidance, oversight and management, leads fundraising and outreach efforts, builds relationships and reports directly to partners, and leads policy and advocacy work. The CD works in partnership with other staff in South Africa and with support from Accountability Lab Global- to ensure delivery against the organizational strategy and goals. The CD reports to the Accountability Lab South Africa Board of Directors directly; and to the Executive Director of Accountability Lab Global separately.


Vision and Strategy Development

  • Set overall vision and strategy for the organization, matched to plans and programs in South Africa;
  • Develop organizational goals and work to match goals with available resources and capacity;
  • Liaise with Board and other partners on strategy and plans and adapt and refine approaches as necessary.

Oversight and Human Resource Management

  • Overall responsibility for the effective functioning of the organization from a strategic, process, human resource and financial perspective;
  • Manage all hiring, appraisal and disciplinary processes
  • Oversee the development and operationalisation of internal processes to strengthen management of staff, internal communication and coordination, efficient operations and program management;
  • Oversee efforts to mentor, train, and invest in the professional growth of Accountability Lab South Africa staff and accountapreneurs;
  • Provide structured oversight for the Lab’s curricula, trainings and events, including strengthening systems to plan and coordinate implementation;
  • Ultimate responsibility within the team for the Lab’s financial and administrative guidelines, and other key financial risk management safeguards and controls.

Fundraising and Donor Engagement

  • Overall responsibility for raising the funding needed for the operations and growth of the organization;
  • Continual identification of, and relationship building with, possible donors and other partners and systematic tracking of fundraising opportunities and funding flows;
  • Lead outreach activities with support from other staff including media, social media, conferences and other public events to build awareness and credibility for the organization;
  • Grant writing and reporting to foundations and donor governments, with responsibility for programmatic, financial and compliance reporting.

Board Management

  • With support from colleagues, responsibility for reporting to the Board of Directors on a regular basis and according to best practice, along with management and development of the Board of Directors itself;
  • Support to Board committees and provision of inputs for governance and oversight as needed.

Programmatic Support

  • Ongoing high-level guidance for the development of programs and scale/sustainability of those programs across contexts;
  • Oversight of implementation of organizational strategy and goals, including fundraising, outreach, partnerships, program design and implementation;
  • Oversight of and support for program performance assessments.

Operations and Risk Management

  • Take overall responsibility for operations of the organization and delegate operational tasks in ways that ensure effectiveness, transparency and timeliness;
  • Understand, develop and monitor internal controls and systems to ensure compliance with best practices, international norms domestic laws;
  • Develop deep understanding of risks (external and internal to the organization), develop and closely monitor risk mitigation strategies and efforts;
  • Take overall responsibility for the financial management of the organization- with support from finance staff- for effective budgeting, auditing and planning.

Marketing and Communications

  • Oversee organizational communications, messaging and marketing efforts;
  • Write and place thought leadership pieces and speak publicly about the Lab’s work;
  • Build partnerships with outreach partners to leverage the Lab’s work.

Partnerships, Policy and Advocacy

  • Lead the Lab’s work in key working groups and policy discussion processes;
  • Develop relationships with policy and advocacy partners such as universities and advocacy organizations;
  • Design and lead outreach events for the Lab;
  • Integrate the Lab into key global policy networks.

Success Factors:

Above all, this position requires a vision for the organization, excellent leadership and management skills, the ability to operate in difficult contexts, the capacity to build long-lasting relationships with a variety of stakeholders over time and inter-personal and organizational skills. Accountability Lab South Africa has the potential to grow very quickly and the CD will need to have the energy, vision and networks to help us expand. The CD will also need to be able to support and motivate a dynamic and culturally diverse team, embodying the organization’s commitment to accountability, transparency and equity. We seek a demonstrated record of assuming significant professional responsibility and delivering on management goals with integrity and humility.


  • MA degree in Public Administration, International Relations, Management, Business, or related social science field and 10 years of experience in relevant roles.
  • Experience managing programs and teams for non-profit organization in Sub-Saharan Africa in compliance with the highest international standards;
  • Experience working with/within donor organizations including close familiarity with donor reporting systems, requirements, timelines and structures;
  • Experience conducting trainings and mentoring professionals;
  • A visionary leader, communicator and team player;
  • Adaptable, resourceful, self-motivated and able to prioritize in fast-moving environments;
  • Highly organized and willing to travel for work related duties extensively;
  • Ability to problem-solve both big picture and day-to-day issues;
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, and the ability to communicate with clarity and professionalism to all relevant stakeholders (staff, board, donors, regulators and partners);
  • Commitment to the Accountability Lab’s values of integrity, innovation, humility, practicality, and collaboration.

Duration:  Ongoing

Eligibility: The Accountability Lab is not able to sponsor a work visas.  Please only apply if you currently have right to work in South Africa.

Reports to: Accountability Lab South Africa Board of Directors

Location: Johannesburg with extensive travel across South Africa and internationally as needed.

Compensation: Competitive, commensurate with skills and experience.

For more information or to apply, please send a cover letter, CV and salary expectations to Jean Scrimgeour, [email protected] by 15 May 2019.