Role Overview

The Program Manager supports the advancement of Operation Smile (OS) Malawi’s programming and operations objectives under the guidance of the Country Manager (CM). The Program Manager is responsible for all planning and implementation of programmatic activity, management of programmatic team members, and collaboration with Global Fellows (GF) to ensure deliverables for Malawi’s country plans and the Cleft Free Malawi project, which include outreach, patient registration, surgical, and non-surgical programs. The Program Manager, in alignment with the Country Manager, will also support the recruitment, needs assessments, placement and management of local volunteers, including post placement evaluations and reporting.


The Program Manager is responsible for:

Strategic Planning & Implementation

  • Work closely with the Country Manager to identify and design Malawi’s country goals for growth and refresh and support a 3–5-year strategic plans for overall cleft care in Malawi; including, working closely with each department for the implementation thereof.
  • Collaborate with technical leads to implement annual and long-term country plans.
  • Annually operationalize the strategic plan with supporting budgets and with relevant recommendations for Country Manager, Regional Director, Regional Senior Vice President, Regional Finance Director and Operation Smile Inc. (OSI).
  • Work with Country Manager, Regional Director, and Global Fellows to build NGO partnerships and further collaboration opportunities to enhance outreach and our work in the community.
  • Collaborate with the Global Fellow and HQ education department to continuously seek out further training, education, and collaborative opportunities with all partners, ensure to involve education team as much as possible to build local healthcare professionals, and volunteer teams.

Surgical Programs

  •  Manage surgical programs, ensuring the proper execution of patient sequencing, short-term surgical programs, and surgical education activities. This includes leading fact finds, hospital assessments to set up and prepare for programs in new sites, hospital visits, surgical training rotations, visiting professorships, missions, or any other OSI surgical activities.
  • Oversee the implementation of surgical programs, prioritizing the well-being and safety of all volunteers, patients, and other staff involved and coordinating all logistics. Collaborate with the Program Coordinator(s) to ensure smooth operations.
  • Plan, source, and effectively manage all equipment and supplies required to support surgical programs by ensuring availability and clearance of required cargo and in-country procurement of all needed items.
  • Oversee the efficient and effective day-to-day operations while maintaining a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field.
  • Effectively collaborate with appropriate government, non-government, international agencies and establish good working relationships with community groups, volunteers, funders and other stakeholders.
  • Provide direction to programs implemented by the foundation.
  • Oversee the planning, implementation and evaluation of programs and services; This includes extended, roaming post-operative trips associated with surgical programs.
  • Work in collaboration with OSI and the research and outcomes department to formulate research proposals and projects, support in getting the research approved by IRB and finding of implementing partners in each country to assist with research. Support foundations with communication of research results and implementing of any suggestions from information gathered
  • Ensure timely submission of all program reports to relevant parties upon program completion. Address any challenges identified during program implementation through appropriate follow-up actions.


  •   Facilitate the proper management of patients during surgical programs, particularly those who experience medical complications or adverse events during surgical programs. This involves coordinating their hospital care, referrals, counseling, and providing support to the volunteer team responsible for their treatment and their families
  • Work closely with Global Fellows and Patient Coordination team to support the development of a National Registry in Malawi, involving additional stakeholders and partners, both public and private.
  • Work directly and manage the National Patient Coordinator and his/her team of Regional Coordinators. To oversee patient recruitment and management.
  • Work collaboratively with the Global Fellow to manage the development and continuation of nutrition programs for patients pre and post surgical program.
  • Work alongside the Global Fellow to serve as the liaison for the RUTF program.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Donor Reporting, and Internal Reporting

  • Work with the in-country Regional Patient Coordinator to ensure relevant data collection is implemented.
  • Ensure monthly M&E data is given to the Programs Department monthly; Oversee and check data prior to submission.
  • Provide accurate reports on programs to help plan and develop future ones.
  • Provide relevant information and reports on program activities to support relevant donors and internal fundraising office reports.

Volunteer Management

  •   Support the program coordination team to recruit new volunteers for the foundation and facilitate their credentialing process
  • Work with program coordination team to manage volunteer needs and set expectations prior to both local and international surgical program placement
  • Manage and keep on file the participation of medical volunteers in missions outside Malawi, assisting with logistics (flights/visas/paperwork) and keeping track of their goings and comings.
  • Work with the programs team in helping to facilitate medical volunteer’s participation and in helping with non-medical volunteer’s involvement in workshops and conferences outside of Malawi.
  • Work with the Country Manager for volunteer management and to develop a reward system (volunteer retreat, volunteer of the quarter, etc.)
  • Recruit medical volunteers with a goal of doubling the volunteer base and continuously expanding thereafter.

Partnership Development, Marketing, & Media

  • Assist in creating networks and support to ensure smoothly run, safe, and cost-effective surgical programs with new and existing private and corporate partners.
  • Work with the Country Manager to obtain coverage and recognition for Operation Smile programs at fund-raising events, and to communicate this to board members and major donors.
  • Work with media who may be a part of surgical program teams. Provide feedback on all media coverage to the OSI Communications Department.
  • Provide accurate reports on programs to help plan and develop future ones and to provide feedback to our sponsors and volunteers.

Internal Communication & Collaboration

  • Provide support and maintain communication with the Global Fellow, SNR Accountant,  Admin and Logistics Coordinator, Program Coordinators, Patient Coordinators, and local partners during the planning, execution and follow-up phases of programs.
  • Work with Regional Medical Officer and Global Fellow to ensure Global Standards of Care are communicated to all parties involved and made the essential  priority to ensure safe, successful missions and program facilitation at all times.
  • Support and ensure constructive communication between various departments at HQ and foundations around the globe.
  • Ensure clear communication with various departments for planning of any program activities, surgical or training events and support foundation in the implementing thereof.
  • In collaboration with Country Manager and HQ, initiate and implement resource mobilization strategies.

Business Operations

  • Work with Regional Director, OS Malawi office, and HQ supporting team, on creating and overseeing of relevant budgets
  • Work with the Global Fellow and HQ education department to support in the development and implementation of training materials or new policies and procedures.
  • Provide statistical and qualitative reports of relevant data to Operation Smile  personnel on an on-going and as needed basis.
  • Other duties as needed.

General Team Performance

  • Leads and manages program team, setting milestones and goals for each.
  • Prepares for and actively participates and/or leads in scheduled team meetings.
  • Prepares for and actively participates in team reviews.
  • Updates all current working documents including one pagers, schedules and timelines across programmatic areas that he or she is responsible for.
  • Works with Country Manager on preparation of reports and presentations for OSI and the region.
  • Has a good understanding and is knowledgeable of Operation Smile programs conducted globally.

Experience Required (education/work):

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Non-profit Management, Public Health, International Relations, Nursing, Clinical Medicine, etc.
  • 5+ years of international program / project experience.
  • Post graduate MPH or other relevant development degree preferred
  • 7+ years of office experience.
  • Experience living and/or working abroad.
  • Work experience in an international NGO context .
  • Medical field exposure would be helpful.
  • Valid Passport and driving license holder
  • Ability to travel locally and international as required and as requested

Characteristics/Skills Required:

  • Excellent oral and written English communication skills required.
  • Ability to use Excel, Word and PowerPoint effectively
  • Ability to create and manage financial spread sheets and financial templates
  • Must be a motivated individual with proven ability to lead, coordinate and facilitate projects and teams with internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong project management skills with proven experience to date
  • Ability to work off hours (on-call), sometimes responding to calls or e-mails early in the morning, late at night or on weekends.
  • Must have excellent organization and time management skills and be able to prioritize requests efficiently and effectively.
  • Approachable personality with ability to manage stress and communicate needs appropriately.
  • Must be a motivated individual with proven ability to lead, coordinate, and facilitate projects and teams.
  • Must be able to handle issues with diplomacy, tact and cultural sensitivity.

Work Arrangement: This is an in-office role requiring at least a 3-month probationary period.