Program Development Advisor Job Vacancy in East Africa

International Rescue Committee

Position Title: Program Development Advisor, East Africa


Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC’s mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster, including the climate crisis, to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. In addition, through 28 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US. The IRC is committed to a culture of inclusivity and empowerment, humanitarian leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve.

The Purpose of the Role

The Program Development Advisor (PDA), East Africa will support country programs to pursue funding opportunities in line with IRC’s Business Development Strategy. Support will include all phases of the business development process, from opportunity identification to contract signature, including pre-positioning, partnerships building, proposal development, and due diligence phases. The successful candidate will have a strong track record of working on new funding opportunities in humanitarian and international development with a range of multilateral and bilateral donors (USAID, US Department of State, FCDO, EU and DG ECHO, GFFO, BMZ, Sida, SDC, World Bank, etc.), as well as experience collaborating with local partner organisations.

The PDA will support business development for institutional donors in the IRC’s East Africa region, which comprises programs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. Candidates who are from these countries and/or have significant experience in the region are strongly encouraged to apply.

Scope and Authority

This position does not have any line management responsibilities.

Key Working Relationships

Reports to Senior Program Development Advisor, East Africa. Works closely with all Regional Program and Award Support team members, the Regional Business Development Advisor (Capture and Engagement), Business Development (Specialist Team) and across all other teams within Awards Management Unit, Crisis Response Recovery and Development Department, Global Partnerships and Philanthropy, Global Supply Chain, Finance, Office of General Counsel, Technical Excellence, and other key departments within IRC. Donor and partner point of contact as applicable per region.


Planning and Strategic Leadership (15%)

  • Collaborate with country teams to proactively identify and address their priorities and support needs in BD
  • Collaborate with other AMU pillars to gather donor intel through desk research to identify funding leads and analyze resource mobilization trends in the region.
  • Support country offices with Donor engagement and intel sharing for positioning; prepare for and participate in Donor calls as needed.
  • Collaborate with country offices to successfully position for new funding opportunities by leading or assisting in the identification, tracking, and updating of new business opportunities across a variety of technical sectors and donors.
  • Lead or support pre-positioning for specific opportunities, including facilitating technical brainstorming, partner and competitor landscape analysis and win theme sessions with technical and country staff
  • Support country offices in setting up annual regional metrics and analyzing the Quarterly Strategy Review for the regional leadership

End to End Program Development (60%)

  • Support the full proposal lifecycle including sharing initial assessment of new opportunities, supporting Go/No Go processes, preparing, and sharing templates and timelines, ensuring adherence to deadlines, supporting recruitment, assisting in reviewing budgets, ensuring document completion, organizing meetings, and compiling notes, and drafting and proofreading proposal sections.
  • Facilitate the identification of consultants, partners and other proposal development support as needed in collaboration with the country team.
  • Collaborate with technical units, country offices, and other colleagues to support conceptualization of winning proposal and bid designs for new project activities and/or amendments to current projects.
  • Provide quality assurance and quality compliance support on proposals. Ensure responsiveness to and compliance with solicitation documents and with IRC’s requirements.
  • Support coordination, communication, and inputs from consortium partners in accordance with donor and IRC processes.
  • Coordinate and support regional reviews and approvals of proposal packages depending on country and regional needs.
  • Review agreements to ensure accurateness and highlight key compliance requirements, in coordination with post-award, compliance and country grants teams and support in award negotiation as required.
  • Maintain complete and accurate electronic files, including final submission packages and internal trackers.
  • Deploy to country offices to lead on proposal development as needed

Donor and Partner Engagement (10%)

  • In line with IRC’s Partnership Ambition, and in collaboration with regional Partnerships teams, contribute to increasing the volume and equity of IRC's work with local and regional partners (with a focus on women-led national organizations) by coordinating support to country offices in identifying partnership opportunities, identifying strong partners, and finalizing teaming arrangements.
  • Coordinate regional and country-level inputs to donor meetings, conferences and communications as needed.
  • Represent IRC externally to donors, peers, and partners.

Capacity Building and Training: (10%)

  • Contribute to developing, updating, and delivering business development related training for the region.
  • Facilitate internal post-submission debrief sessions, (i.e., After Action Reviews) with country teams, technical units, regional team, and other relevant stakeholders to collect lessons learned.
  • Collaborate with SPDAs and other stakeholders to ensure internal knowledge management, share lessons learned and ensure they are incorporated into future proposals
  • Support in recruiting, onboarding, and training of new grants and partnerships team members.

Other Responsibilities (5%)

  • Contribute to AMU and regional strategic priorities and initiatives.
  • Support with translation to regional or donor languages when necessary
  • Participate in special projects as needed and other tasks as assigned.



Skills, Knowledge, and Qualifications:

  • Experience in developing and supporting humanitarian and development proposals for NGOs
  • Experience with strategies and proposal processes of key government/statutory donors – US, UK, EU, German, Scandinavian, etc.
  • Experience in collaborating with and supporting national and community-based partners
  • Experience in proposal budgeting
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively collaborate across a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues in remote and diverse teams, including as team leader for proposals
  • Clear, compelling writing skills
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize effectively
  • Ability to travel internationally (approximately 20% of time)
  • Fluency in English

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity:

IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.

Gender Equality:

IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Professional Standards:

The IRC and IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

How to apply