Programme Development Specialist at SDN

Vacancy: Chief Operations Officer at Paradigm Initiative
February 20, 2020
Executive Director at Kiisi Trust Foundation | Deadline: Jan 31, 2021
January 25, 2021

Full Time
Nigeria, Port Harcourt, Rivers
Posted 8 months ago


Job Title: Programme Development Specialist

Location: Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Reporting to: Programmes Director

Hours: full-time

Contract: initially, this will be a six-month role, with the possibility to become a permanent, depending on performance.

About SDN: Stakeholder Democracy Network is a non-profit organisation with over a decade’s experience in Niger Delta affairs and expertise in the environmental, social and economic issues impacting upon the region.

SDN supports the efforts of those affected by the extractives industry and weak governance. We work with governments, companies, communities and other stakeholders to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights. Our work currently focuses on the Niger Delta.

Job description

Summary: This is an exciting opportunity to consolidate, grow and shape SDN’s fundraising and project development work. The Programme Development Specialist role leads the development of new projects and fundraising activities, working closely with Senior Project Officers and other members of the programmes team in Port Harcourt, and with SDN’s Research and Policy Officers in the UK. This role is central in managing the project identification and design process, developing potential partnerships, coordinating the development of funding proposals to donors. The role also supports the Programmes Director and Programmes Manager in developing and managing donor relationships.

Based in Port Harcourt, with a possibility in future to discuss a time split between Port Harcourt and Abuja, you will have existing donor networks, significant experience of the design and development of new projects (for example, situation analysis, the logical framework approach, theories of change), working with others to support them to design high quality new projects, and developing successful funding proposals.

Job Purpose: to lead the design of high quality projects which will maximise SDN’s impact in the Niger Delta, and to secure funding which enables SDN to deliver these projects. This role has three key objectives:

  1. To lead and support the identification and design of new, high-impact projects
  2. To lead the development of high-quality funding proposals, both to respond to donor funding calls and to proactively pitch to donors
  3. To work with the Programmes Manager and Director to build donor relationships, and to identify and track funding opportunities aligned with SDN’s strategic priorities, and coordinate SDN’s fundraising pipeline processes

Key Areas of Responsibility:

  1. Fundraising and Project Development 80%
  2. External Relations and Communications 20%


To lead and support the identification and design of new, high-impact projects

  • Manage and lead of project identification and design processes and activities in line with SDN’s Project Identification and Design manual, usually working with the relevant Senior Project Officer for the thematic focus of that project
  • Lead partner identification and engagement working with relevant team members and manage their participation in the development of new projects
  • Develop plans for the design of new projects and project manage these plans, including coordinating the work of project design team members and identifying and coordinating inputs from other parts of the organisation (e.g. communications, monitoring and evaluation)
  • Act as organisational custodian of the Project Identification and Design manual and its guidance, including training new programmes team members on its content, supporting team members to follow this process, and identifying opportunities to improve the manual and guidance and working with Programmes Management to agree and implement these changes
  • Work with the finance team to lead the development of budgets
  • Work with project teams and monitoring and evaluation staff to ensure lessons learnt from past and existing projects inform new projects
  • Ensure senior management review processes are planned and managed in a timely manner

To lead the development of high-quality funding proposals, both to respond to donor funding calls and to proactively pitch to donors

  • Coordinate SDN’s response to donor calls for proposals, including: reviewing all donor documentation and ensuring they and proposal development teams have a clear understanding of all donor requirements; developing a work plan for the development and submission of proposals; coordinating the inputs of all team members in to proposals; leading other project development activities, such as partner discussions and proposal development workshops; leading the development and collation of all supporting documentation for proposals (e.g. organisational financial information, registration documents)
  • Lead the writing of donor proposals and all related documents, working with relevant team members
  • Working with the Programmes Director and Programmes Manager, identify priority donors to engage and projects to be funded, and support the assigned programmes team members to proactively develop funding proposals and a strategy to engage with potential donors
  • Maintain SDN’s Opportunity Tracker throughout proposal development and submission

To work with the Programmes Manager and Director to build donor relationships, and to identify and track funding opportunities aligned with SDN’s strategic priorities, and coordinate SDN’s fundraising pipeline processes

  • Chair SDN’s funding committee meetings
  • Maintain a database of existing and potential institutional donors, and trusts and foundations, with information on associated funding opportunities
  • Maintain a database tracking funding opportunities that SDN is actively developing (the ‘Opportunity Tracker’)
  • Undertake a weekly search for potential funding opportunities via websites and email alerts from key funding information and donor sites
  • Identify, coordinate and monitor any preparatory activities required in advance of a funding opportunity being released (e.g. background research, discussions with potential partners)
  • Attend donor and funding opportunity meetings with the Programmes Manager and Director
  • Keep up-to-date on key trends, networks and information on fundraising and donors in international development
  • Support donor engagement with the Programmes Manager and Director for assigned funding opportunities and work with programmes management in the development of new donor relationships



  • Support the Programmes Manager and Director in representing SDN at external meetings and events as requested
  • To abide by SDN’s policies, including its Code of Conduct, Safeguarding Policy and Anti-Fraud and Corruption policy
  • Line manage junior research and policy team members, as relevant
  • Any other duties that are reasonably asked of them


Person specification



We are looking for someone with significant experience in fundraising and project/proposal development. It would also be desirable to have the following:

  • An undergraduate degree, ideally in a related subject to project development, fundraising or international development. A Master’s degree in the aforementioned subjects is an added advantage.
  • Training course completed in one or more project design related initiative (e.g. the logical framework approach, theory of change) or the same level of knowledge from equivalent professional experience



  • At least five years of experience working in a relevant project development/fundraising role, preparing donor proposals, leading the design of new projects and supporting other fundraising activities
  • Strong familiarity with project design tools, such as logframes, theories of change etc.
  • Demonstrable experience of securing funding from institutional donors (e.g. DFID, USAID, EU, Trusts and Foundations) for large multi-year projects
  • Experience working in a fast-paced office environment, meeting tight deadlines, managing multiple simultaneous activities
  • Charity/NGO sector experience
  • Knowledge of international development donors and fundraising trends
  • Experience of managing donor relationships
  • Budget development


  • Experience working with overseas teams
  • Use/management of databases



  • Strong organisational skills and attention to detail, with the ability to manage a number of tasks at once
  • Excellent English writing and editing skills, and strong numeracy skills for budget development
  • Excellent relationship building skills and ability to work collaboratively across teams and organisations with multiple priorities
  • Strong communications skills to ensure effective remote support (e.g. to project partners, or in working with the UK office)
  • Self-motivated and driven to start and complete initiatives of your own accord
  • Proficiency in common software IT packages

Application process:

To apply, submit your CV and a cover letter to [email protected] and [email protected] Your cover letter should be a maximum of one page and explain how your experience, skills and achievements match the person specification. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and recruitment is subject to the availability of funding.

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