400px Save the Children (2022) Head of Start Funds

Head of Start Funds

Save the Children

£55,400 to £61,500 pa
Full time (flexible working options available)
Farringdon, London/Home-based
Closing Date: 10 March 2024
Ref 6632

The Head of Start Funds will oversee the performance and be accountable for all existing fund management and future funding that may come via SCUK on behalf of Start Network. The Start Funds portfolio currently includes Start Fund (global), Start Fund Nepal, Start Fund Bangladesh and a Ukraine locally led pooled fund.

The Head of Start Funds role works closely with a wide range of stakeholders within both SCUK and Start Network, as well as with Start Network members, donors, and other humanitarian actors.

We are Save the Children. Together, we fight for children every single day so that they can make their mark on the world and build a better future. We stand side by side with children in the toughest places to be a child. We do whatever it takes to make sure they survive, get the protection when they’re in danger, and have the chance to learn.

Save the Children has an ambitious strategy to ensure that, by 2030, all children survive, lean and are protected from all forms of violence. The humanitarian department supports both the strengthening of our organisation’s humanitarian capability as well as acknowledging the need to also support change within the humanitarian system in order to address the increasing frequency and severity of emergencies world-wide. The department is committed to build a stringer workplace culture, prioritising the wellbeing and resilience of those within it.

About the Start Network
Start Network is a global membership of close to 100 civil society organisations, working across six continents, to tackle what we see as the biggest systemic problems in the global humanitarian system. Start Network is an independent charity that works with Save the Children, as a grant custodian for some Start Network initiatives.

Start Network solutions:
• Locally led action: Shifting power and resources and decentralising decision-making to locally led networks and organisations.
• Early and rapid financing: Building a global financing system that reduces risk, anticipates, and acts ahead of predictable crises.
• Community led innovation: Incentivising innovative, locally led, and contextual solutions and learning from them together with people affected by crises.

Start Network was formerly hosted within Save the Children UK (SCUK), where it was incubated since its establishment in 2010. When Start Network registered as an independent charity in 2019, the Start Programmes comprising Start Funds and Crisis Anticipation and Risk Financing continued to be hosted by SCUK as Grant Custodian to Start Network. A Grant Custodian Agreement is in-place, which describes the roles and commitments of each entity.

The Head of Start Funds (Start Programmes) is a role contracted and line-managed by SCUK with matrix-management by Start Network.

In this role, you will be responsible for:

Stakeholder Management and Strategic Partnerships

• Ensure strong relationships are maintained between Start Network and SCUK, implementing ways of working in-line with the current Grant Custodian Agreement and supporting the transition toward Start Programmes (including Start Funds) full integration within Start Network.
• Provide strong leadership that is aligned with Start Network strategy and effectively translated into clear Start Funds team objectives.
• Maintain strategic relationships and identify opportunities for greater collaboration with key stakeholders in the humanitarian sector, particularly those focused on financing.
• Led by Start Network’s Resource Mobilisation Team, actively engage current and prospective donors and partners, contributing to strong relationships with them globally and locally as required.
• Ensure the long-term sustainability of the Start Funds portfolio of funds, including the exploration of approaches to financing, assurance, and delivery mechanisms.
• Be accountable for ensuring the effective management of funds within the Start Funds portfolio, in close coordination with other relevant SCUK and Start Network teams.

Team Management
• Provide leadership of Start Funds team, ensuring key objectives are in place and monitored across each team member.

Funds Management
• Maintain oversight of, and regularly review, the performance of the Start Funds portfolio of funds. Pre-empt and proactively identify issues and solutions where performance does not align with objectives, plans and expectations.
• Oversee adaptations in the Start Funds management procedures, maintaining readiness for scaling-up of the funds and supporting the transition toward Start Programmes (including Start Funds) full integration within Start Network.
• Be accountable for reporting to Start Network and donors as required, ensuring effective coordination is taking place with Resource Mobilisation, Operations and MEAL functional areas, as well as programme managers, awards management and finance personnel.
• Be accountable for ensuring all staff within the Start Funds team are utilised to support high quality programming, and that implementation is in full compliance with donor requirements, SCUK policies and procedures, Start Network and Start Funds guidelines.
• Ensure effective coordination structures and processes are in-place and functioning, with Start Network and relevant Host Agencies for the successful delivery of national/local funds within the Start Funds portfolio.
• Ensure that Start Funds governance bodies are effectively managed and contribute to the bi-annual Start Network donor council.
• Maintain oversight and accountability for Start Funds risk management and incident reporting.
• Oversee the guidance and support to Start Network members engaging with the Start Funds.

Senior Leadership:
• Actively engage with and contribute to the success of the Start Network Directorate of Network and Funds, strengthening coordination and collaboration between and among the Start Funds, Crisis Anticipation and Risk Financing, Network Development and Membership teams.
• Represent the Start Funds externally to promote the profile, value, impact, and learning, of Start Network’s funds, with a view to influencing the humanitarian system in-line with strategic objectives.

About you

To be successful, you’ll demonstrate:
• Significant experience in managing large and complex programmes in the humanitarian and/or development sector.
• Strong understanding and knowledge of innovative humanitarian financing.
• Experience in developing forward looking strategy in a dynamic environment and non-traditional settings.
• Experience of working with a network and/or partnerships.
• Experience of successfully managing people and a demonstrated ability to play a leadership role.
• Proven analytical and problem-solving skills.
• Ability to prioritise work, managing time and resources effectively.
• A flexible, ‘can do’ attitude with the ability to manage an unpredictable workload.
• Experience in external representation.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills with a diversity of stakeholders.
• Under- or post-graduate degree, ideally in social science, international development.
• Language skills in French, Spanish, Arabic (highly desirable).
• Knowledge of the Core Humanitarian Standard, SPHERE, the Good Enough Guide, and other humanitarian quality standards.

Please note: To avoid disappointment, you are advised to submit your application as soon as possible as we reserve the right to close the vacancy early if a high volume of applications are received. This is to ensure that we can manage application levels whilst maintaining a positive candidate experience. Unfortunately, once a vacancy has closed, we are unable to consider further applications.

Ways of Working:
The majority of our roles can be performed remotely in the UK, but there are likely to be times when you will be required to come to your contracted office (up to 2-4 days per month or 6-8 days per quarter). This will be agreed with your Line Manager and team and is intended to be time spent on collaborating with colleagues and relationship building.

Please note: travel costs to your contracted office will be at your own expense.
Flexible Working – We are happy to discuss flexible working options at interview.

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion:
Save the Children UK believes in a world that is fair, inclusive and equitable where all children have the opportunity to change their world. We apply this to our workforce and we are committed to developing and supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organisation where all employees have a sense of belonging and feel that they can be “Free to Be Me”. We are not looking for just one type of person – we want to recruit people who can add fresh perspectives, innovative ideas or challenge that disrupts the risk of group think.

We are especially interested in people whose childhood experiences – of life on a low income, of migration, of being in a racialised community, of the care system, of being LGBT+ or in an LGBT+ family or living with (or with someone with) a disability – help us to see things we might otherwise miss. Whatever your story is we want to hear it because we know that different voices, ideas, perspectives and knowledge, working together will enable us to better the lives of children around the world. This is the reason why we are all here.

How to apply

To apply please visit our website.


Deadline: 10 Mar 2024

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