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SPANA - Director of Global Programmes
Full Time
Posted 1 month ago

Message from SPANA’s Chief Executive, Linda Edwards:

Thank you for your interest in the Director of Global Programmes role at SPANA.

SPANA – The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad was founded in 1923 to support working animals across the world. Today, 100 years on from the charity’s launch, SPANA works in 23 countries to improve the welfare of working animals, including horses, donkeys, mules, elephants, oxen and camels. By driving the veterinary treatment of working animals in need, the training of owners in good animal care and the education of children in animal welfare, we work to transform the welfare of working animals.

SPANA is widely respected across the countries and communities where it works. In many communities which depend on working animals, SPANA offers the only opportunity for working animal welfare, care and support. We also have partnership agreements with several governments and local authorities, including those of Morocco, Mauritania and Zimbabwe. In 2022, the Mauritanian government recognised our contribution to the country’s local animal welfare by naming a road near our centre in Nouakchott ‘Rue SPANA’, or SPANA Road.

Last year, SPANA is marked its centenary, launching our new five-year organisational strategy. Transforming the Lives of Working Animals: explains how the charity will develop its work to meet the rising challenges faced by working animals and the communities they so loyally serve.

Through pioneering activities and new strategic partnerships, SPANA will radically grow the impact and sustainability of its work. The delivery of our new strategy will involve scaling our impact while maintaining quality sustainable delivery; demonstrating greater value for money; and using evidence to influence globally – all while improving the resilience and wellbeing of working animals and the people who depend upon them.

Our new Director of Global Programmes will play a key role in realising our plans for the future. The postholder will lead on the strategic development and delivery of SPANA’s international programme activities and interventions, working in close partnership with our programme directors overseas. They will oversee our international workforce to pursue the maximum, sustainable impact for working animals. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the postholder will also ensure the charity delivers on its organisational strategy.

This is an exciting time to join SPANA, as we pursue our ambitious vision for the future. If you have the skills we are looking for, and would like to be a part of a dynamic, supportive and collaborative team that is united in its commitment to transforming the lives of working animals, we would love to hear from you.

Linda Edwards

Chief Executive


Around the world, a huge but largely overlooked workforce of more than 200 million donkeys, mules, horses, elephants, camels and oxen loyally support more than 600 million people. Working animals are the tractors, trucks and taxis of their communities – by supporting agriculture and transporting people, goods, food, water and firewood, these animals enable people to make a living and they ensure the survival of communities.

But despite the critical role they hold within their communities, welfare standards for working animals are often poor. Many working animals lack access to even the most basic veterinary care. And owners often lack the knowledge they need to care for their animals.

These are the problems SPANA – The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad is striving to address. Founded in 1923, we support working animals through three key activity areas – the treatment of working animals in need, the training of owners in good animal care and the teaching of children in animal welfare. We do all this to transform the lives of working animals.

Our Vision

Our vision is a world where every working animal lives a healthy and valued life.

Our Mission

Our mission is to transform the welfare of working animals in a world where animals, people and the environment are respected and thrive.

Find out more about our work across the world at

Read about our ambitious plans for the future at

The Role

As Director of Global Programmes, you will lead on the strategic development and delivery of SPANA’s International programme activities and interventions, to pursue the maximum, sustainable impact for working animals and achieve a lasting transformation in their welfare. Your role will involve developing programme priorities and overseeing and managing our international workforce, working in close collaboration with the rest of SPANA stakeholders and our global network of external partners. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, you will also work with colleagues to ensure the organisation is led in line with our strategy and our agreed values and behaviours.

Key Relationships

  • Responsible to the Chief Executive
  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Country Directors
  • Global Programmes Team
  • Global network of external partners


  • 26 days annual leave, plus bank holidays. Further leave will accrue after two years of service up to a maximum of 30 days.
  • Company pension scheme ( SPANA will contribute 10% of salary to a personal pension plan provided that you contribute 5% of salary)
  • Hybrid working with London Head Office attendance on a needs based approach. Averages 2-3 days a month on some occasions two consecutive days (travel expenses not included)
  • Medical assistance (opticians, dentist etc)
  • Employee assisted programme
  • Financial Advice service
  • Life insurance
  • Income protection
  • A career path that can grow with the organisation



  • As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, take collective responsibility for developing and delivering the organisation’s strategy, plans and policies, both in terms of staffing and also reporting to the Board of Trustees.
  • Coordinate, facilitate and help inform the Chief Executive and other senior staff as to emergent programme needs.
  • Contribute to the overall objectives, plans and values and policies of the organisation.


  • Motivate, inspire, and develop direct reports, setting objectives, providing constructive feedback via appraisal and performance management processes, identify training opportunities and in turn make sure that Country Directors cascade the same approach.
  • Ensure that programme staff working overseas or remotely from the London office are integrated into SPANA’s organisational systems and culture.

Global Programmes

  • Lead on all aspects of SPANA’s global programme work, including projects, partnerships, staffing, processes, and budgeting, to ensure the best possible impact and outcomes for working animals.
  • Work with Senior Leadership Team and colleagues across the charity to develop programmes and resources globally to produce sustainable solutions for working animals in need, extending our reach through the deployment of a growing network of strategic partners.
  • In close collaboration with the Director of Global Animal Welfare pilot new ways of working internationally, drawing from successful learnings in the international development and commercial sectors, delivering to scale through strategic partnerships, social enterprise models and government buy-in.
  • Ensure SPANA has in place an effective emergency response capacity for assisting working animals in need.
  • Working closely with the Director of Global Animal Welfare, ensure all programmes/projects are in full alignment with SPANA’s standards and quality frameworks to ultimately drive impact.
  • Ensure implementation of high-quality MEAL and programme quality process and ensure delivery of adequate MEAL products at the Country Programme.

Influencing change

  • Expand our influence internationally, ensuring we are constantly innovating in the way we partner with development actors, governments, and other key stakeholders.
  • Represent SPANA externally, including to build profile and to influence discussions taking place elsewhere in line with SPANA’s strategic priorities, as well as to develop new partnerships that will help us to learn from others and to achieve our long-term objectives for working animals.

Resource mobilization

  • In collaboration with the Director of Global Fundraising, Marketing & Communications, support the development of concept papers and proposals to ensure a strong pipeline for SPANA.

Safeguarding, risk, and compliance

  • Ensure that safeguarding practices and policies are implemented across all aspects of programme activity globally.
  • Ensure effective risk management is in place, with effective policies and training and support across global teams.
  • Develop agile ways of working which are responsive to needs, ensuring that robust planning and budgets are developed] to support this.
  • In collaboration with the Global Resources Team, develop a compliance framework, strengthening global standard operating and duty of care procedures.
  • Willing to travel when necessary, while minimising the charity’s environmental impact.

This is not an exhaustive list, and the post holder may at times be requested to perform other tasks not stated above but within scope of the position.

Candidate Profile

Key Qualities

  • An emotionally intelligent leader who can support, facilitate and coach competent programme and technical leads. Someone who understands and can deploy the concept of managing as ‘first amongst equals’.
  • An ‘animal first’ professional who is motivated in improving working animal welfare conditions in SPANAs programmes and using the overlaps with development and humanitarian efforts to catalyse this change for the benefit of people and animals.
  • An individual who is highly culturally attuned, with demonstrated experience of working in the majority of the world. Someone who understands that working animal welfare outside the global north has different cultural drivers, challenges and perspectives. An animal welfarist who can combine possibilism with pragmatism.
  • A competent manager and leader with experience of matrix working. Someone with a good network and reputation. An inspiring leader who can effect change internally and externally.

Knowledge, Training & Qualification

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent through experience.
  • Demonstrable understanding of the global animal welfare/ development/humanitarian sectors, with an overarching commitment to animal welfare.
  • Proven strategic thinker and innovator.



  • Experienced leader and change manager, with strong and persuasive people skills.
  • Track record of robust management of significant financial resources and operations, including ensuring compliance with regulatory rules and securing cost savings.
  • Experience of leading international animal welfare, development, or emergency programmes
  • Extensive remote management experience of multi-disciplinary and multi-culture teams.
  • Experience of leading technical teams with a primary focus on quality.
  • Accomplished in developing programmes that deliver exemplary safeguarding, and in ensuring compliance to safeguarding policies and procedures.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to flex and adapt communication to suit a wide range of audiences.
  • Advanced negotiation, influencing and presentation skills.
  • Able to establish, build and maintain successful collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders and partners, in particular international organisations, government agencies, academics, and NGOs.


  • Programming in a One Health framework
  • Animal welfare or husbandry programming experience, knowledge of the challenges facing working animals and their owners
  • Programming in international health systems.
  • International education programming.
  • Understanding of climate change and its impact on vulnerable communities (and in turn working animals).
  • Experience of social enterprise models.
  • French/Arabic language skills.

Skills & Attributes

  • Strong people skills, emotional intelligence, and authenticity.
  • Cultural awareness, with experience of successfully collaborating with colleagues and partners from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Strong commitment to SPANA values.
  • French/Arabic language skills.
  • Ability to travel internationally.

Job Features

Job CategoryEnvironment, Health
LocationUnited Kingdom – Hybrid working with majority remote, with a needs-based attendance in the London office (Flexible working and must have ongoing right to work in UK). International travel will be required (circa 25%)
Salary£90,000, (Taxable) commensurate with experience
Closing Date6th May 2024
Direct ReportsHead of Programme Quality and Delivery, Head of Animal Welfare, Head of Education and SBCC, Team coordinator. Country Directors (matrix dotted line)

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Job Features

Job CategoryEnvironment, Health
LocationUnited Kingdom – Hybrid working with majority remote, with a needs-based attendance in the London office (Flexible working and must have ongoing right to work in UK). International travel will be required (circa 25%)
Salary£90,000, (Taxable) commensurate with experience
Closing Date6th May 2024
Direct ReportsHead of Programme Quality and Delivery, Head of Animal Welfare, Head of Education and SBCC, Team coordinator. Country Directors (matrix dotted line)

Apply Online