SOS Children's Villages International
Location: Dakar or Lomé
Type of contract: Consultancy
The Regional Ombuds and the rest of the SOS Ombuds Office (i.e., National Ombuds, other Regional Ombuds) work independently regarding management and accountability, but they align to SOS policies and processes. The Regional Ombuds position is contracted by SOS Children’s Villages, but it is accountable to the Ombuds Board in a consulting and independent role to ensure the Ombuds is a stable resource with sufficient oversight and focus.
The Ombuds Office is an innovative approach to strengthening child safeguarding and accountability within SOS Children’s Villages globally. The Office is carried out with a rights-based approach in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Developed with input from children and young people, the Ombuds Office functions on the fundamental principles of independence, impartiality, confidentiality, and informality. Honouring these principles are critical to the success of the Ombuds Office.
The Regional Ombuds is to provide checks and balances to SOS Safeguarding systems at the national and regional levels. The Regional Ombud’s main role is to support the National Ombuds in determining solutions at the local level, ensure relevant training for Ombuds personnel, and define and communicate trends to SOS Children’s Villages, National Directors, National and Regional Child Safeguarding Teams, and Member Association Boards.
The Regional Ombuds serves as a designated independent consultant providing informal and confidential professional support to National Ombuds in resolving inquiries at the national level. The Regional Ombuds will provide advice, guidance, and support to the National Ombuds so they have the knowledge and skills required to be successful in their role. The goal is to promote fairness of process and successful conflict resolution within SOS Children’s Villages member associations through the Ombuds Office fundamental principles.
- Ensure that SOS Children’s Villages’ procedures and policies were adhered to by the SOS Child Safeguarding Team;
- Look at concerns and communication challenges and find solutions in a timely manner with accurate and helpful information;
- Apply SOS Children’s Villages’ processes and help navigate between SOS Children’s Villages’ and external processes and systems as defined by national legislation and policy;
- Refer to appropriate SOS Children’s Villages’ departments, local agencies, legal advice, mediation, and/or community resources when appropriate;
- Oversee fair and equitable treatment of inquirers and National Ombuds;
- Train, manage, orientate, and support all National Ombuds within the Region on Ombuds’ roles and responsibilities, referencing the Ombuds Master Charter;
- Where inquiries or trends evidence the need, give recommendations to SOS Children’s Villages’ on child-friendly and staff-friendly policies, trainings, and processes within the Region;
- Maintain and oversee a confidential database that tracks concerns and issues;
- Identify and communicate relevant regional trends within SOS Children’s Villages’ programmes, services, and personnel and submit recommendations to Regional Management, Regional Child Safeguarding Team and the Global Ombuds, as appropriate, while maintaining the confidentiality of the Ombuds Office;
- Work with National Ombuds and the Regional Child and Youth Network (when is in place), to collaborate with Children’s Representatives to ensure their views and feedback influence and lead to improved Ombuds services.
- A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant area such as law, social work, psychology, sociology, child rights, or childhood studies
- At least five years demonstrated experience in child safeguarding, child protection, social work, Ombudsperson or closely related role in child rights
- At least three years’ experience in management and leadership
- Professional working competency in French and English
- Highly skilled in managing people and building effective teams across numerous cultural contexts
- An open-hearted, honest, and kind person who respects and understands children and young people
- Educated with knowledge of children’s rights, safeguarding and related issues, including local, national and international laws, conventions, declarations and regulations
- Responsible and courageous to defend children and their rights, to offer support, to be impartial while also advocating for and with children and young people
- An attentive listener with good observational skills and strong communication skills
- Strong ability to oversee, develop and facilitate effective trainings, orientations, and ongoing support workshops for Ombuds Office personnel and the Ombuds scale up programme
- Motivated to visit and spend time with children and young people to build trust and understand SOS Children’s Villages’ programmes
- Committed to sharing information in accessible ways, to seriously consider children and young people’s views and feelings, while also ensuring careful consideration of their best interests, especially when making decisions
- A problem solver, adviser, and an influential mediator to resolve referrals from the National Ombuds and Regional Child Safeguarding promptly and effectively
- Committed to respect confidentiality and to act independently and impartially without bias
- Ability to travel
- Calm, patient, humble, flexible, creative thinker
- The opportunity to innovate and make a significant, positive contribution to the child protection field and children’s lives
- Remote and in-person work arrangements
- The opportunity to work for an NGO that is a member of a recognized international network
In accordance with the organisation’s child protection policy, this position will be subject to applicable background checks, including criminal record checks. Please be ready to provide supporting documents, current within the last three years.
How to apply
If you are interested by this position, please send your application with your CV, your cover letter highlighting how your experience contributes to the role and how you will support the implementation of this project, 3 professional referees, a copy for your diplomas and a financial offer by December 18th at the latest via this link: