Country Representative

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. Currently, over 30% of our people come from within the country of their placement. We also send increasing numbers of people from one developing country to another. We're always looking for new ways to turn human energy and ingenuity into lasting change. We still send professionals to share their skills with their local counterparts, but we’ve embraced a range of methods that allow us to provide whatever kind of help is needed most, including promoting international understanding and action, knowledge sharing and youth exchanges. Watch the video above to learn more about our journey to the forefront of international development.

Job Title: Country Representative

Contract Type: Fixed Term

Contract length: 3 (Three) years

Full Time: 35 hours per week

Start Date: 1st June, 2020

Job Purpose

  • 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.

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.