Global Communities

Senior Program Officer, Africa

Global Operations
Posted Date
Silver Spring


Global Communities is an international development non-profit organization. Our mission is to create long-lasting, positive and community-led change that improves the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people across the globe.


Global Communities is seeking a Senior Program Officer, Africa to join the Program Operations team.  This position may be based at the Global Communities Silver Spring, Maryland or San Diego, California office.


The primary responsibility of the Senior Program Officer is to coordinate and provide program management and backstopping support to a portfolio of assigned projects within the Africa region. The Senior Program Officer provides direct support across the project life cycle from start-up and implementation to close-out and is the primary point of contact at Headquarters (HQ) for project information, status, performance, donor requirements, and communication.

The Senior Program Officer’s portfolio typically includes projects of significant size, complexity, and/or with higher strategic or risk profiles within the region. The Senior Program Officer assists the Senior Regional Manager on country operations support, data analysis and internal reporting to management. The Senior Program Officer also provides mentorship and coaching to develop the capacity of Program Officers and Program Associates.

The Senior Program Officer’s country and project portfolio will be determined based on regional needs and priorities and may shift from time to time based on the evolving nature of the regional program portfolio.




1. Award Management

  • Provide effective award management and first-line donor compliance support across the award life cycle for assigned projects. Ensure compliance with contractual requirements, donor regulations and internal policies and procedures.
  • Serve as the official point of contact for external communication with donors in relation to donor agreement, prior approvals, budget, modifications, and donor deliverables (for mission or locally funded awards, may serve as the secondary point of contact after the COP). Serve as the internal point of contact for communication around budget, contractual requirements, and donor regulations.
  • Coordinate the review, negotiation and approval process for new donor agreements, sub-agreements, and modifications. Coordinate process to modify agreements and realign project budgets, including securing donor approvals.
  • Coordinate project start-up and close-out processes in collaboration with Project Support Teams, field leadership, and other HQ functions.
  • Request and secure donor approvals as needed (e.g., prior approvals, deadline extensions, deliverable approvals).
  • Track donor deadlines, status, and completion of donor deliverables. Coordinate planning, review, approval, and submission of donor deliverables.
  • Maintain and disseminator updated knowledge on donor guidelines, rules, and regulations. Strengthen the capacity of country and project teams on award management and donor compliance.
  • Ensure compliance with internal policies and procedures for sub-award management. In coordination with the field, track sub-grantee agreements and modifications, budgets, deliverables, approvals, and changes.
  • Ensure accurate project records are created, updated, and maintained on Salesforce, the internal award management system for donor awards and sub-awards.


2. Financial Management

  • Support the development of accurate fiscal year and life-of-project budgets. Coordinate and facilitate the development, review, internal approval and submission of annual budgets and monthly forecasts.
  • Analyze project budgets and recommend solutions to ensure full indirect cost recovery, in compliance with donor regulations and organizational policies and procedures.
  • Ensure project budgets are uploaded, updated, and maintained on Adaptive, the internal budget management system. Coordinate process to assign cost centers to projects.
  • Coordinate and facilitate review and approval of monthly cash requests, in coordination with country leadership and Finance.
  • Monitor program expenditures against approved workplans, donor budgets and obligations, forecasts, and cost share requirements. Analyze burn rates and other financial trends; recommend mitigating actions as appropriate; communicate issues to the Senior Manager for further action. Develop and generate reports on Adaptive for the Senior Manager and Senior Director as needed.
  • Monitor cost share performance against contractual commitments; advise on cost share requirements and documentation as needed.
  • Facilitate approval requests for organizational resources to address country operational needs, reduce risk and/or ensure business continuity in the assigned countries. Monitor budget vs. actuals against approved allocations of non-project resources in assigned countries.


3. Program Management & Support

  • Organize, facilitate, coordinate, and ensure the optimal implementation of Project Support Teams, the primary vehicle for cross-functional project support, for assigned projects. Function as the “hub” and first-line liaison and coordination focal point at HQ for COPs/Project Directors and Country Directors in relation to projects.
  • Partner with the Senior Director, Project Management and Operations, to establish and train HQ and field teams on project management standards, operating procedures, and tools.
  • Organize, coordinate, and facilitate periodic meetings across the project life cycle with focus on project planning, progress, performance, quality, compliance and results.
  • In close coordination with program teams, COPs, and country leadership, organize and facilitate regular program management and support processes, in line with program management standards and operating procedures, across the project life cycle.
  • Manage the effective development, review, approval, and timely submission of donor reports, annual workplans, budgets, and other donor deliverables. Partner with COPs to ensure the quality of donor reports and deliverables. Disseminate final deliverables to team members, Senior Manager and Senior Director, and other relevant internal stakeholders.
  • Manage the effective development, review, concurrence, and adjustments to technical assistance plans and HQ budgets. Coordinate to ensure appropriate HQ resources are available and aligned to project support needs. Communicate updates to technical assistance plans to team members and country and project leadership.
  • Mobilize, link and/or provide technical and operational support to projects to ensure program quality and enable achievement of program scope, budget, schedule, and quality objectives and intended program outcomes. Coordinate with Technical Leadership and Support on technical assistance and oversight to projects.
  • In coordination with the Project Support Team, monitor, analyze and investigate project performance, trends, and variances, including for partners. Develop or support the development of data analytics in relation to workplan progress, budget performance, program performance, program quality, data quality, and program outcomes to inform decision making. Follow-up, coordinate and facilitate action planning to resolve performance or quality gaps. Communicate performance progress and issues to relevant internal stakeholders.
  • Identify, track, and coordinate efforts to resolve project issues, challenges, or bottlenecks; escalate project issues to the Senior Regional Manager and Senior Director for further action and decision-making.
  • Identify promising practices, trends, learning, and generate insights related to program effectiveness. Support efforts to document best practices, program achievements and evidence of/learning around program effectiveness and impact.
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date information on projects; track and communicate project status, health, and issues. Communicate project updates and analysis to HQ senior management.
  • Coordinate internal processes to update or modify project design, workplans, budgets, indicators and/or targets as needed. Secure donor approvals for program or budget adjustments, as needed.
  • Stay current on donor guidance, disseminate to relevant internal stakeholders, and coordinate changes to project as needed.
  • Facilitate coordination and integration across all teams within Global Operations and home office support functions (Finance, People & Culture, Contracts, IT, Legal, and Global Security) to ensure effective, efficient, integrated support to projects.
  • Conduct visits to country offices and project sites as needed to provide technical or operational support, increase awareness and understanding of program context and approach, partner with country and project leads to strengthen operational processes and address issues.
  • Compile and draft program documents, meeting materials and communications, as appropriate. Assist with development of periodic project, country or regional updates to the Senior Director and the Strategic Growth and Partnership team.
  • As needed and appropriate, support the use of virtual tools such as Microsoft Teams enhance field-HQ and intra-HQ communication and coordination, and assist in organizing project-related documents, meeting minutes, facilitating collaborative work.


4. Country Operations Support

  • Under the direction of the Senior Regional Manager, provide support to country offices in the region to ensure effective and compliant country operations, effective management of resources, and mitigation of risks.
  • Manage and coordinate the opening and closure of country offices according to organizational policies and procedures and under the direction of the Senior Director and Senior Manager, support country registration and compliance with local statutory requirements.
  • Support country offices to comply with organizational policies and procedures in Finance, Global Operations, People & Culture, Grants and Contracts, Legal, and Safety and Security.
  • Support Senior Manager to implement an operational risk management system across countries in the region. Support Manager and Country Directors to identify and escalate emergent risks, issues, and red flags to efficiently facilitate resolution and/or decision making.
  • Work collaboratively with country leadership, Senior Manager, and other HQ functions to identify, monitor, and mitigate financial, legal, staffing, procurement, and other operational risks in the region. Identify and escalate emergent risks, issues, and red flags to efficiently facilitate resolution and/or decision making.

5. Business Development

  • Coordinate process to assign cost centers to proposal team budgets.
  • Lead or coordinate the development of project continuation applications and/or cost modifications in coordination with country and project leadership, Strategic Growth & Partnership, Technical Leadership and MERL-KM.
  • Collaborate with the pricing team as needed, to develop proposal budgets and cost applications, including the review, provide and/or coordinate input on proposal budgets as needed for cost accuracy and appropriateness, operational feasibility, and local operational requirements.
  • As needed and appropriate, participate and contribute to resource mobilization efforts including opportunity assessments, field assessments, and project design sessions.
  • Contribute to proposal development as needed and appropriate, including background/situational analyses, competitor analyses, development of management and staffing plans, organizational capacity statements, and/or other components as appropriate.
  • Assist the Regional Program Management Team to keep abreast of relevant events and emerging trends in international development in the region, and business intelligence on opportunities.


6. Learning & Knowledge Management

  • In coordination with the Senior Director, Project Management and Operations, support the development of program management systems, policies, and procedures, and provide training and capacity strengthening to field and HQ counterparts. Continuously improve program management processes based on feedback, best practices and lessons learned.
  • Ensure project files and document library is created, updated, and maintained on the internal content/knowledge management system (SharePoint).
  • Collaborate with field teams, Technical Directors, Strategic Information, Innovation and Learning, and Communications to develop knowledge products that promote thought leadership and branding priorities.
  • As appropriate, support internal and external communications in relation to assigned projects.
  • Represents Global Communities at meetings, conferences, and workshops as appropriate.


7. Other

  • Train, coach, mentor and strengthen the capacity of Program Officers and Program Associates. Lead training and onboarding process.
  • Cover Regional Program Management Team (Officers, Associates, and Manager) and field leadership responsibilities, as needed, for limited periods of vacancy or leave.
  • Promote a culture of excellence, inclusion, learning, support, diversity and innovation; and demonstrate Global Communities’ culture and values of dignity, integrity, humility, connection, and creativity across countries and at HQ.
  • As appropriate and under the direction of the Senior Director or Senior Regional Manager, support other projects or organizational initiatives, as appropriate.
  • As needed, provide administrative, logistical, data and knowledge management, procurement, communications and other surge support to the regional program management team or program and award management, financial management, and business development.
  • As needed, support administrative processes for country office support, such as country registration, including coordinating the preparation and submission of legal documents, liaising with various embassies, consulates, and notaries public.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Travel internationally and domestically up to 25 percent of time.
  • Promote a culture of excellence, inclusion, learning, support, diversity, and innovation

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Growing knowledge of the international development field, including public and private sector actors, and donor trends at both global and regional levels
  • High level of proficiency in USG rules and regulations and their application, especially in relation to the administration of cooperative agreements. Experience with USG contracts highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated skills in financial management including budget management, financial analysis, cost share management, indirect cost recovery.
  • Excellent knowledge of and skills in standard project management methods and practices in international development. Recognized project management certification (e.g. PMP, PMD Pro) a plus.
  • Strong working knowledge of finance, administration, procurement, logistics, HR, legal, and security functions.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop financial, programmatic, and contractual trend analyses. Excellent analytical skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Proven ability to write and edit successful work plans, donor reports, and other program management documents. Proven ability to effectively communicate with others.
  • Excellent organizational skills. Accuracy and attention to detail. Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment and meet conflicting deadlines with minimum supervision.
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal) required, proficiency in French highly desirable.
  • Advanced computer skills in a Windows based environment including the Microsoft Suite. Comfortable working with large amounts of data and Excel spreadsheets. Demonstrated ability to utilize technology solutions to support effective program management and operations.
  • Able to work in a diverse, multi-cultural team environment across geographies, and involving matrix relationships with other functions and departments.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong sense of team, a positive attitude, and a commitment to operational excellence.
  • Strong problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent facilitation and coordination skills.
  • A passion for the mission and values of Global Communities


  • Undergraduate degree and a minimum of four years of related work experience or eight years of related work experience.
  • Demonstrated progressively greater levels of responsibility in a program management, grants management or operations role with an international NGO.
  • Professional experience from an international assignment strongly preferred, with a preference in the region.
  • A passion for the mission and values of Global Communities
  • Must have U.S. work authorization.


Global Communities is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.


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