Program Manager-Africa

International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
  • Location
    Arlington, Virginia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Mar 17

Position description

About the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES): Together we build democracies that deliver for all. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral institutions/systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions. As the global leader in democracy promotion, we advance good governance and democratic rights by providing technical assistance; empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process; and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle. We believe that trusted electoral institutions deliver credible elections, effective governing institutions are accountable to the people they serve, all people safely participate in civic and political life on an equal basis and technology, information and data positively serve elections and democracy. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 145 countries – from developing to mature democracies.

The Program Manager is the first level management position at IFES providing management support to the program division. Specific duties will include development, technical, administrative and financial management support including briefings, covering when senior management is on travel and mentoring staff.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Manage and oversee the successful implementation of technical, financial and administrative activities of programs in the Africa division. 
  • Monitor and evaluate program performance against approved work plans, budgets, and monitoring and evaluation plans.
  • Review deliverables for quality and make recommendations where program activities may need to be adjusted based on those results.
  • Establish, maintain and develop relationship with peers, subordinates, donor community and consultants at large for the purpose of business development and information dissemination.
  • Alert division management to any programmatic concerns, challenges and difficulties. 
  • Seek out business development opportunities and manage development processes, including proposal writing, budgeting and the determination of indicators. 
  • Direct staff in the timely drafting of reports and conduct final review of all project technical and narrative reports.
  • Monitor pending grant/contract actions and coordinate timely action and response.
  • Oversee project finances in collaboration and partnership with Finance Team.
  • Oversee recruiting, interviewing and hiring of domestic, field staff and consultants as needed, in consultation with Human Resources.
  • Oversee timely procurement actions in consultation with Contracts and Grants.
  • Travel to field office to oversee/monitor project activities; meet and strengthen donor and other key stakeholder relationships.
  • Capture, distribute, and promote program best practices, lessons learned, success stories and impacts across the organization.
  • Provide substantive contribution to knowledge management and thought leadership initiatives.
  • Prepare outreach materials, program highlights for donors, stakeholders, key decision makers, and other interested audiences.
  • Engage in professional forums, workshops, events relevant to Africa programs. 
  • Provide professional developmental opportunities for junior program staff, evaluate performance and provide feedback. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

POSITION SCOPE:  Manage and/or perform technical or complex work, requiring ingenuity and capacity to evaluate and respond to new and changing issues. Contribute to program planning, development and fiscal management. Provide supervision to junior staff on IFES systems and procedures, quality of work, and skill building. Performance and outcomes are subject to senior management oversight.

DECISION MAKING/PROBLEM SOLVING:  Complex decision-making requiring in-depth analysis and consensus-building, subject to management review. Consult with stakeholders within and outside the organization; identify, propose and build consensus around best solutions. Provide substantive contribution to IFES tools, methodology and best practices. Authority to make decisions on issues of program design, delegations to junior staff and financial oversight for assigned projects.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY:  Develop budget projections in collaboration with C&G and field based colleagues and independently manage allocated resources. Authority to investigate, negotiate and recommend purchases of materials, equipment and logistical arrangements. Strong knowledge of financial systems to ensure compliance. 

RELATIONSHIPS:  Maintain collaborative working relationship with team members and other staff within the Programs Division.  Partnerships require a high degree of diplomacy and judgment, with ability to address conflicts or difficulties in a constructive manner. Represent IFES with external contacts at professional and government levels.

SUPERVISION EXERCISED:  Supervise, monitor and coordinate the work of entry level and professional staff to ensure the achievement of program goals.

Education:  Bachelor’s degree required in relevant field; Master’s degree in international relations, political science, international development preferred. 

Experience:  At least 8 years’ relevant experience in international development or related field.    Experience with budget management and oversight of single or multiple projects. Experience with managing teams. 

Related Skills or Knowledge:  Experienced with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint required.  Experience in proposal development required, with experience in program management and supervisory roles. Thorough familiarity with USAID and other international donor regulations and reporting requirements preferred. Detail-oriented and organized. Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines. Strong communicator, both verbally and in writing. Collaborative, team oriented individual. 

LANGUAGE SKILLS:  English required. Proficiency in French strongly desired.

TRAVEL:  Travel up to 15% of time.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS/WORK ENVIRONMENT: Standard office work environment, with occasional field travel. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. 

Application instructions

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