Global Development Director vacancy

Cape Town based


As Global Development Director, you report to The CEO/Founding Director and work alongside The Senior Management Team, to ensure that W4C cements the long-term future of Surf Therapy and other community based mental health services for youth in South Africa. You will be responsible for raising sufficient funds to continue to employ existing 75 South African employees, and will grow a pipeline of research and investment to continue to grow the South African team and community based, child and youth services offered; establishing W4C as a recognised, mental health service provider and Thought Leader.

As Global Development Director, you will increase international and local investment into our 5 Beach Hubs, and grow the capacity and skills of our team to be able to raise and manage international funds, and host national and international research in the future. Working from Cape Town, you will coordinate with Kings College London, Cities Rise and The Wellcome Trust, Universities of Stirling and New School New York, to coordinate a 5 year research project and investment; as well as the SOL Foundation, WISE Philanthropy, Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) and other large US and European partners, to raise a minimum of R20,000,000 annually. You will retain and develop new funding streams to support the scaling of Surf Therapy and other evidence based, group-based physical activity for health programmes in South Africa, and across other LMIC’s such as Liberia, Somalia and Sierra Leone.

Waves for Change (W4C) is a growing organisation and, as such, the role of Global Development Director will include other core competencies for General Management, as well as project management; requiring a degree of flexibility and competence across a number of areas. Your role will focus on the areas specified below, however you will be expected to accommodate new challenges and responsibilities as they arise.

Funding and Partnership Management:

You will support the W4C team to integrate internationally recognised financial systems and develop accurate financials to report transparently to key stakeholders, including donors, research partners and corporate partners, to demonstrate responsible stewardship of funding. You will provide information for Site & Programme Managers on budget tolerances to ensure spending is in line with contractual obligations. You will analyse complex resource management issues that affect the sustainability and growth plans of the organisation and develop a full cost recovery policy to support W4C to create realistic budgets. You will prepare key reports and applications to donors, as well as submissions to bodies such as the United Nations, World Health Organisation, and the World Economic Forum.

You will form strategic alliances with agencies including USAID & DFID to secure participation in other major national and international development projects.You will work alongside senior leadership in other similar, established organisations and will network with Child & Youth Mental Health portfolio heads within major donor and aid agencies. (EG: UN, USAID, UNICEF, Wellcome Trust, National Institute of Health, Government Departments). You will represent W4C in negotiations with key partners and donors, in alignment with Waves for Change’s mission and vision, and speak at conventions, seminars and forums where required. You will develop high level proposals, peer reviewed journal submissions and other thought leadership learning briefs and white papers, utilising data and evidence generated about the effectiveness of the W4C 5 Pillar Model as a mental health intervention for children / youth living in communities with high rates of violence and adversity.

General Management

You will manage the day to day operations of the Research, Fundraising and Safeguarding teams. You will conduct all departmental planning in line with W4C’s strategy and align work plans and KPIs of team members with organisational strategy and priorities. You will develop controls and review processes to monitor major organisational functions, reporting back to the Board of Directors on a quarterly basis on the organisational strategy, and to donors as per contractual obligations.

You will develop procedural guidelines and training on child protection, project management and financial management for use by staff to ensure organisational processes are in line with international standards, and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these procedures as the organisation’s grow.

Capacity Building and Organizational Development:

As a senior part of the W4C management team, you will work in partnership with W4C SA and MERL teams to identify new outcomes from Surf Therapy programming, coordinate new research and release presentations and publications that increase the evidence base for the W4C 5 Pillar Method globally. As a key member of a successful NGO developing out of start-up phase, you will contribute to strategic decision making relating to organisational expansion and future strategy. You will also contribute to capacity building and skills development, particularly in areas of MERL, Child Protection, Reporting and Governance.

Primary Targets:

Business Development

• Use existing networks to triple W4C income in next three years, engaging partners in South Africa, UK and USA.

• Leverage existing networks, form new global partnerships, assisting W4C programmes to reach a minimum of 2,000 children annually.

Organizational Development

• Capacity Building and skills development, particularly in areas of MERL, Child Protection, Reporting and Governance.

• Train and accredit W4C sites in international child protection standards

• Train W4C staff members you line manage to get green ratings in all financial and narrative reporting 


• Generate new and relevant research projects with world leading experts in the topics of Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Sport for Development, Wellbeing and Health Promotion

• Global advocacy & thought leadership through leading W4C MERL Director to develop compelling impact presentations & abstracts for presentations at conferences, in journals, on print / online platforms worldwide

General Management  

• Produce accurate budgets and financial reports, including developing projected cash flow, updated restricted fund balances and quarterly/annual reports with detailed narrative descriptions where required

• Effectively line manage and retain talent in the organisation within teams that report into you

• Develop strong and meaningful policies for financial management, with checks and balances, as well procurement, whistleblowing, antidiscrimination, slavery/human trafficking and child protection


A minimum of 10 years’ experience working with adolescent mental health / sport for development organisations

A minimum of 10 years’ experience in designing programmes for children / youth

A minimum of 10 years’ experience in developing high level institutional and large Trust and Foundation proposals

A minimum of 10 years’ experience in managing people

A minimum of 5 years’ experience in research and thought leadership in the areas of children, youth and health in low-middle income countries

A minimum of 5 years’ experience in Capacity Building teams in the Development Sector

A minimum of 5 years’ experience in managing budgets and grants in excess of R20 million

Experience in Mental Health, Wellbeing and/or physical activity based programmes

Prince II or other Project Management qualifications or experience

Existing publications in peer reviewed journals


LLB / Children’s Rights / International Development related qualifications

IBASA & / or PMSA accredited

Grant management qualifications e.g. Humentum

In depth knowledge of communities in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa

Existing relationships with key international Global Mental Health partners such as the University of Cape Town, The Wellcome Trust, Grand Challenges Canada, United for Global Mental Health, Kings College London, Laureus Sport for Good Global, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation

How to Apply: 

For your application to be considered, please ensure that your application includes the following: 

  • Updated CV (with contact details of three work-related referees) and a motivation letter
  • Answers to ALL 3 questions below:
  • With a 250 word limit, why are you interested in this Global Development Director position at W4C?
  • With a 250 word limit, self-assess your level of technical expertise in each of the following functional areas of W4C: Funding & Partnership Management, Child/Youth health, Organisational Development, Senior Research.

Imagining you took this position, which would you self-assess as strengths you’d bring from the start vs areas of growth?   

  • Write a maximum of 400 words on what you feel are the most important attributes of a Global Development Director, working for a mental health and psychosocial regional NGO.
  • Applications must be sent to by the 30th of September 2022

Please note: Applicants who do not follow the above application process, will automatically be disqualified.

Contact will only be made with shortlisted candidates.