Senior Program Officer, Sub-Saharan Africa

Summary: HAl's Senior Program Officer will support the successful development, implementation, and management of HAl's current programs in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. He/she will be responsible for backstopping the regional based team in the HAI HQ office in Chicago including liaising with HQ based teams and donors in the US. He / she will be expected to frequently travel to the Sub-Saharan Africa region for extended trips.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Program Management, Quality Assurance and Program Oversight:

  • Monitors program objectives and goals and assess their compliance with HAl and donor regulations and quality standards; and consults / liaises with relevant stakeholders to create a corrective action plan if expectations are not being met.
  • Facilitate the submission and processing of all program administrative requirements, such as travel advances, leave requests, scheduling, monthly draw downs, etc.;
  • Coordinate and liaise between HQ M&E staff and country staff to design M&E plans for new projects
  • Undertake field-based program monitoring and technical assistance visits, as assigned;
  • Prepare, monitor, and analyze program budgets in collaboration with Financial & Accounting Services;
  • Serve as liaison between the country offices and Chicago office;
  • Coordinate with relevant departments to provide accurate information to the field and to ensure adherence to financial and administrative policies and procedures;
  • Collaborate with Employee Services & Workforce Development and develop HAl orientation materials for staff based in country offices;

Grants Management and Donor Relations:

  • Tracks deadlines and proactively gathers supporting documents, as well as writes, edits and/or reviews monthly/quarterly progress reports to donors;
  • Provide reports and critical analysis of field reports to the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Director Initiatives and other senior staff;
  • Update and manage information relevant for grant management and donor compliance
  • Ensure compliance with donor reporting guidelines and deadlines
  • Provide ongoing support to Regional Director and Country directors to respond to donors' requests

Program Development:

  • Research and analyze funding opportunities for the Sub-Saharan Africa region to identify and prioritize program development opportunities;
  • Represent HAl externally at meetings, conferences and workshops;
  • Proactively research and identify partnership opportunities in the Sub-Saharan Africa region
  • Serve as lead writer for 1-2 large proposals each year, and as a key member of proposal teams throughout the year;
  • Review and provide significant input in proposal writing and budget development for new proposals
  • Support proposal development including technical research, best-practices research, content analysis and interpretation, technical writing, editing and proposal submission;
  • Support development and implementation of strategic plans and resource mobilization efforts;
  • Promote innovation throughout the portfolio including expansion to new countries;
  • Other duties, as assigned.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree and five (5) years of experience, or relevant Master's degree and four (4) years of work experience. Experience must include:
  • Proposal writing (lead or support on key elements)
  • Report writing (for USAID, State Department, or CDC preferred), editing, and coordination.
  • Providing training, capacity building, or supervision (including of volunteers or interns)
  • HAI thematic priorities (HIV/AIDS, Access to Justice and Trauma Informed Mental Health care) for key populations, gender and sexuality, and global LGBTI rights;
  • Developing, reviewing and/or tracking budgets and burn rates using Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks, and/or other financial management software;
  • Substantial experience working, traveling, and/or supporting programming in Sub-Saharan Africa

Language Skills:

  • Superb oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Advanced/fluent spoken and written French.
  • Proficiency in other languages spoken widely in the region is a plus (Portuguese, Hausa, etc.)

Competencies required for the job:

  • Written Communications- Uses audience appropriate business writing style. Able to submit communication to senior leadership for final review with minimal edits and revisions required.
  • Reliability - Shows commitment, dedication and accountability in one's work, and follows through on all projects, goals, and aspects of one's work, including meeting commitments to provide supervision, training and other support to direct-reports.
  • Teamwork and collaboration- Listens and responds constructively to other team members' ideas. Communicates key HAI or regional priorities and how one's team or department contributes to achieving those priorities. Fosters and rewards a collaborative team environment. Able to coach an individual team member to improve teamwork and collaboration, and appropriately engages HR or Senior Leadership to identify and/or address team or department wide obstacles.
  • Detail-Oriented or Thoroughness - Sets up procedures to ensure high quality of work. Questions others to assess whether they have thought through a plan of action; and assess their confidence in solving a problem or tackling a situation. Checks the accuracy of own and others' work.
  • Professionalism - Understands how they are perceived by others based on words and actions, in addition to quality and consistency of work product. Takes actions calculated to have a positive effect on others; able to provide clear and specific guidance to direct reports who do not meet organizational standards or expectations.
  • Change Management- Manages the change process and energizes it on an ongoing basis, taking steps to remove barriers or accelerate its pace. Able to manage personal emotions about change and understands staff may feel anxiety, fear, or anger due to the change. Realigns resources to meet changing needs and takes feedback into consideration while implementing change.
  • Integrity and Authenticity- Maintains confidentiality, admits mistakes and takes stands based on principles and values in spite of the potential for negative consequences, and challenges others who are not acting with integrity.
  • Cultural Humility and Interpersonal Awareness- Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations. Finds non-threatening ways to approach others about sensitive issues. Able to coach direct reports to recognize and adjust behaviors when they are not demonstrating cultural humility or interpersonal awareness.
  • Resilience and Stress Tolerance- Able to not only recognize and mitigate personal stressors, but understands how to monitor work climate and respond promptly to signs of heightened stress in the team or individuals, seeks support from Human Resources and Senior Leadership (or keeps them informed)
  • Service Orientation- Able to recognize need for assistance or guidance without being asked, able to reprioritize staff projects and/or responsibilities redistribute tasks to other team members, or solicit support/approval from senior leadership to obtain additional resources. Publicly acknowledges and thanks staff who takes on higher volume of work or duties not part of their position.
  • Motivational- Able to help others see the personal benefits to doing their job well. Able to recognize and tackle morale problems, and uses a variety of approaches to energize and inspire others. Signals own commitment to a process by being personally present and involved at key events.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be able and willing to travel to the Sub-Saharan Africa region often to insecure and resource-limited settings- for up to four weeks at a time, up to 35% time annually;
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be able to work full-time (starting as early as 7 am to overlap with working hours in the Sub-Saharan Africa region) as well as extended hours when needed (nights, weekends, particularly while traveling);
  • Must be able to travel independently to carry out field assessments, to identify potential partner organizations, to determine beneficiary needs and to develop program proposals and budgets for funding;

Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.


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