Senior Programme Manager

Position: Senior Programme Manager
Reporting to: Head of Programmes
Location: Orpington, Greater London
Starting Salary: Competitive salary commensurate with experience, plus benefits

The Job:

Do you have lots of experience working in project and programme management in international development? Do you want to apply your skills and experience in the management and implementation of cutting-edge social policy initiatives? With Development Pathways, you can make a real contribution to transforming people’s lives and changing the global social policy landscape.

We are looking for an experienced programme manager to join Development Pathways’ Social Policy team to manage our work across Africa and Asia. You’ll have the opportunity to work with our in-house team of project managers and social policy experts in leading the management of our projects across the world.

About us

Development Pathways is a leading advisory services organisation in the areas of social protection, social development, poverty and vulnerability analysis, payment systems and financial inclusion, monitoring and evaluation, research and training. We are committed to designing evidence-based and context-specific solutions to social and economic policy challenges facing low- and middle-income countries. As a company we believe that policy, programming, implementation and operational support must be tailored to the unique political realities of each country in which we work. Since our foundation in 2010, we have built a strong track record of delivering high-quality consultancy throughout Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, and have gained international recognition for our thought leadership on social protection. Our technical support has seen Pathways work alongside governments and international agencies across Africa, Asia and the Pacific . Thought leadership provided by Pathways experts has also influenced the strategic thinking of bi-lateral and international agencies and the design of social policy globally.

Development Pathways comprises three technical units: our Social Policy Unit, Social and Economic Analysis Unit, and Management Information Systems Unit. Each Unit is led by a Head of Unit, who leads on strategy and technical delivery for their respective teams. The Business Development Unit and Programme Management Team are embedded in the technical units, providing cross-cutting support. The Programme Management Team is headed by the Head of Programmes, who is responsible for project management across all technical units.

As an organisation, we are well-known for our commitment to providing high quality work, within tight timelines and not cutting corners, and the Senior Programme Manager will be at the heart of our programme delivery. We often go beyond what is requested by clients, to ensure that deliverables are of the highest standard, and are committed to innovation and creative thinking, endeavouring to engrain this in all aspects of our work. Pathways also ensures that we support policies and programmes that are robust, strengthen human rights, promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and benefit all members of society, including the most vulnerable.

Development Pathways is a joint UK and Kenyan-owned company with a head office in London, UK and a subsidiary in Nairobi, Kenya. We also have small satellite offices in Malawi, Angola, and Uganda, supporting our programmes there. We currently have 35 staff members, working alongside a global network of trusted consultants. Our offices are located in the Orpington area (Greater London, United Kingdom) and Nairobi (Kenya). As an employer, we put our staff first and are committed to flexible working practices and developing our staff’s professional capabilities.  For more information about our organisation, please visit

We are growing rapidly and now need to further strengthen our Programme Management team by recruiting an experienced Senior Programme Manager with the capacity to apply her/his skills to the implementation of all of the Social Policy Unit’s projects. The position will require leadership and management skills as the successful candidate will manage a busy team.

We are an equal opportunities employer that is strongly committed to diversity and would welcome applications from both women and men, as well as people with disabilities.

About the position

The successful candidate will lead a dedicated team to ensure effective and efficient management of the Social Policy Unit’s projects worldwide. S/he will work closely with the Social Policy Head of Unit and the Head of Programmes in ensuring our work keeps to the high-quality standards Development Pathways is known for. As Senior Programme Manager, you will also contribute to the strategic direction of a cutting-edge and fast growing company and help it build stronger systems to keep pace with both internal and external changes.

The Senior Programme Manager (SPM) is a member of the Programme Management Team, and will sit within the Social Policy Unit, working with project Team Leaders. A Team Leader from our pool of in-house technical experts, is assigned to each project to lead on the quality assurance and technical deliverables. The Team Leaders work in close collaboration with the Programme Management Team to ensure high-quality and timely delivery of our work.

As a member of the Social Policy Unit, the Senior Programme Manager will have oversight of all projects implemented by the unit, including a number large exciting and challenging projects that require enhanced technical and operational capabilities. For example, in Malawi, we are supporting the implementation of the national social protection plan; in Angola we are providing in-depth technical support for the design and roll out of a cash transfer for children; and, in Uganda we have a team supporting the government as it develops its social protection sector.

Responsibilities and Duties

  1. Social Policy Unit Management
  • Coordinate the development of team objectives and the annual plan for the Social Policy Unit, and oversee monitoring and reporting against the annual plan;
  • Ensure regular team meetings, and fluid communication within the Social Policy team, and across other technical and management units;
  • Ensure that company policies and procedures are effectively implemented;
  • Ensure high quality management and oversight of the Social Policy Unit budget allocations and spending, in line with the annual plan.
  1. Project and Financial Management
  • Ensure the delivery of all projects within the Social Policy Team within their agreed timeline, budget, scope and to high quality, under the leadership of the Head of Unit;
  • Ensure all project management procedures and systems are functioning and effective e.g. contracting and invoicing, and travel and security policies;
  • Oversee the financial management of projects within the Social Policy unit including forecasting, and regular reporting on variances;
  • Support the Head of Unit to ensure that systems for the quality assurance of deliverables are functioning and effective;
  • Ensure the filing and archiving of project documentation and support the reporting on all projects, ensuring that the Head of Programmes and Head of Unit are adequately informed of progress.
  • Help build strong and productive relations with clients and partner organisations, supporting contract negotiation and effective communications on behalf of the Head of Programmes and the Head of Social Policy;
  • Ensure that consultants are given effective support and develop a strong allegiance to Development Pathways;
  • Ensure that the Social Policy Unit undertakes regular and accurate monthly financial forecasts and expenditure, supervising programme officers and passing information on to the Head of Programmes;
  • Oversee risk management processes for the Social Policy Unit;
  • Provide oversight and support to field operations teams across all projects.
  1. People Management
  • Provide effective line management, advice, support, professional development and mentorship to Programme Officers and Assistants;
  • Lead the recruitment and training of new Programme Officers and Administrative Assistants within the Social Policy Team;
  • Undertake other activities as and when required.

Person specification

The Senior Programme Manager must have the following qualifications, skills and competencies:

Essential Qualifications and Skills:

  • Undergraduate degree in Management, International Relations, Social Policy or other relevant discipline;
  • Seven years of experience in project management, including in different countries or regions, and, preferably for social development programmes;
  • 5 years of experience in managing individuals and teams with multiple disciplines and levels of competency, and from varied cultural backgrounds;
  • Demonstrable understanding of project cycle management processes;
  • Experience in leading and implementing due diligence processes;
  • Demonstrable experience in contributing to strategy development and planning;
  • Willingness to travel, sometimes at short notice;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent time management skills;
  • Excellent computer skills (Microsoft Office);
  • Excellent communicator and networker;
  • Ability to identify, and understand risks;
  • Ability to take initiative;
  • Capable of managing competing tasks and working calmly under pressure;
  • Capable of working independently.

Required Competencies:

  • Leadership;
  • Listening;
  • Decisiveness;
  • Problem Solving;
  • Relationship building;
  • Enabling.


  • PRINCE2, PMP or another project management qualification desirable;
  • Masters degree.

Equality Statement

Equality and diversity are at the core of Development Pathways’ values. In the selection of our staff, we are committed to gender balance and diversity without distinction as to race, sex or religion, and without discrimination of persons with disabilities: well qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Our staff are expected to work collectively and individually to promote a constructive and sensitive approach to others from a variety of backgrounds, where the work of others is valued and respected.

Terms and benefits

Recruitment will be at the junior level and is a permanent and full-time post. Along with basic salary, the successful candidate would receive an attractive package of the following:

  • Entry into the company pension scheme;
  • Flexible working hours, the cores being between 10am and 4.30pm, and working from home one day a week;
  • 30 days holiday in a year (excluding public/bank holidays);
  • Company laptop;
  • Company group life assurance;
  • And, upon satisfactory completion of the probationary period of 6 months, access into the company private health insurance scheme.

The successful candidate may be expected to travel overseas on work-related assignments, up to a maximum of 4 weeks spread over a year.

How to apply

We invite interested candidates who meet the requirements to email their applications to

Applications must include:

  1. A cover letter of up to 2 pages explaining why you are applying for this position, and how your experience and skills meet the requirements of this position;
  2. A Curriculum Vitae (maximum of four pages) specifying your qualifications, education and relevant work experience.

If successful, we will expect the names, email addresses and day-time contact numbers of two referees, one of them being your current line manager/supervisor (please do not send this information with your application).

Please also note that this position is only open to those who have the right to reside and work in the UK, so we will expect relevant proof of such, if asked for an interview (please do not send this information with your application).

Closing date for this post extended to 8th July 2019, at 17.00 BST

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and a successful candidate may be selected prior to the closing date. Candidates are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to complete a brief assessment and to participate in an interview.

Due to the high number of applications expected, unfortunately, only successful candidates will be contacted.

The security of your personal information is important to us. Please review our privacy notice for applicants for full information on this.


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