Head of Programmes

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

The Defeat-NCD Partnership



Launched as a 'public-private-people' partnership at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York on 24th September 2018 with the strong support of the World Health Organization, The Defeat-NCD Partnership was set up as the practical response to the widespread call for action on non-communicable diseases (NCD). The Partnership envisions universal health coverage for NCD.  To achieve that, the Partnership's core mission focuses on assisting low resource countries to scale-up action on NCD through: (i) national capacity building; (ii) community scale-up of NCD services; (iii) affordability and accessibility of essential NCD supplies; and (iv) financing for country-level NCD programming.

The Defeat-NCD Partnership has been hosted by the United Nations since its original set up, with an international mandate to include governments, multilateral agencies, civil society, academia, philanthropies, and the private sector. In 2023 it has been established as an independent organization headquartered in Geneva, in accordance with Articles 60 et sequent of the Swiss Civil Code.

The Partnership's current strategy's timeframe is up to 2030 as that is the universally agreed period for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Partnership's efforts are aimed specifically at SDG 3.4 i.e. the reduction by one-third of premature mortality from NCD through prevention and treatment.

NCD and poverty are strongly inter-connected and the SDGs also drive the Partnership's principal values, especially that of equity through aiming to "leave no one behind" and proactively reaching out to the most needy and vulnerable.


The Head of Programmes is responsible for:

  • Country projects/ programme development, planning and preparation, and managing all programming stages to achieve results in the area/s of responsibility.
  • Development and implementation of strategies to enhance the competencies and positioning of DNCD services to donors, partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries.


  1. Country programme design, implementation, monitoring, and reporting
  2. Country programme development and planning
  3. Management of programme resources
  4. Representation, partnership networking and advocacy 
  5. Knowledge management and innovation 

    Programme design, implementation, monitoring, and reporting

  • Execute responsibility for the DNCD country programme oversight 
  • Establish and execute the programme implementation plans in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, including setting objectives, performance measurements, standards and results expected to ensure timely and client-oriented services. 
  • Monitor and supervise the timely and cost-effective implementation of the programme according to established goals and partner expectations and approved budget. 
  • Ensure that project management policy, processes and methods are followed and practised according to DNCD standards, best project management practices are promoted, and overall assurance of projects is provided.
  • Mentor and assist the teams in the management of activities, ensuring incorporation of best practice programme management processes.
  • Facilitate timely and accurate programme/project tracking, analysis of outputs, and reporting.
  • Develop and implement the country programme governance framework.

Programme development and planning

  • Analyse and keep abreast of political and development trends, to identify, develop and propose areas for DNCD engagement and support based on priorities in the relevant geography and strategic areas of focus. 
  • Ensure compliance with organisational strategies, rules, regulations, and performance standards.
  • Develop and establish DNCD country programme presence and portfolio by identified priorities, sustainability criteria and the delivery of desired results.
  • Submit mandated reports and critical issues to supervisor, donors and partners, to drive future process improvement and business development.
  • Manage and oversee the preparation of project/ programme documents (including business cases/strategies, policy briefs, programme plans and risk assessments).
  • Ensure the accurate and timely completion of project/ programme/business recommendations for review and approval. 

    Management of programme resources

  • Plan and raise required programme resources (human and financial) by agreed sustainability criteria.
  • Develop and submit revenue and expenditure forecasts based on financial goals.
  • Determine pricing strategies based on DNCD pricing policy and models to ensure an appropriate balance between revenue and development capacity.
  • Manage programme resources by standards of ethics, integrity and accountability framework and financial sustainability. 
  • Plan, recruit, manage and develop programme personnel/technical experts with the skills and competencies needed to ensure optimum performance and encourage the formation of diverse teams in terms of gender and geography.
  • Promote teamwork, collaboration, and diversity by providing the programme team with clear direction, objectives, and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively, and efficiently.
  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.
  • Plan, conduct and/or respond to performance evaluation reviews and surveys. 

    Representation, partnership, networking, and advocacy 

  • Participate and/or represent DNCD as delegated in sector/partner organizations discussions and planning to ensure DNCD’s position, interests and priorities are fully represented and considered. 
  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through active networking, advocacy, and effective communication of DNCD competencies in service delivery and management.
  • Lead the programme development effort from Geneva, with support from and in coordination with the other internal and external stakeholders as appropriate. 
  • Identify and develop new partnership opportunities and prepare proposals and partnership engagement.
  • Contribute to current and future growth plans, ensuring alignment with the DNCD Strategic Plan.
  • Develop communication strategies to maximise communication impact and outreach and build awareness of DNCD goals and competencies.

Knowledge management and innovation 

  • Keep abreast of and incorporate the latest/best practices, approaches, and technology to enhance the programme delivery and results. 
  • Institutionalise and share best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.
  • Draft policy papers and/or recommend policy changes to align programme operations with changing environment.
  • Lead the planning, implementation, and organization of the programme's strategic capacity building of personnel, clients, and stakeholders.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of financial and budgetary principles and practices, budget development and financial administration of resources. Ability to develop budgetary policies, procedures, and new programmes. Ability to formulate new strategies and technical approaches to budgetary matters. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Communication:  Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Teamwork:  Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts by a final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
  • Planning& Organizing:  Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within the prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
  • Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
  • Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to the client.
  • Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows a willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.
  • Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows a willingness to learn new technology.





  • An advanced university degree (master’s or equivalent) in medicine and public health is required. 



  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience that combines strategic and managerial leadership in public health, social development, business development, executive management and/or programme management planning and operations, in a large international and/or corporate organization. 
  • Experience dealing with governments (in particular ministries of health) in low resource contexts  is required. 

Language Requirements:


Fluent English required.  Working knowledge of French is desirable.

The candidate should be eligible to work in Switzerland.


Send your CV and a motivation letter explaining how you think your skills and experience make you a strong candidate for this position to secretariat@defeat-ncd.org.

Deadline for applications: 31 March 2023. Applications received will be evaluated on a rolling basis and application submission for this position may close early if we have enough suitable applicants.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.