Director of Programmes at Graça Machel Trust

About us

Founded in 2010 the Graça Machel Trust is a Pan-African not for profit organisation that serves the women and children of Africa. We aim to amplify women’s movements, influence governance and promote women’s contributions and leadership in the economic, social and political development of Africa, and advocate for the protection of children’s rights.

Building on the legacy and passion of our Founder, Mrs. Graça Machel, the Trust tackles structural barriers to change the way public and private institutions address women and children’s rights. Drawing our founding principles and overarching mandate from her legacy as a liberation fighter and global advocate for women and children’s rights, our mandate is to harness the power of collective action through networks to drive inclusive social and economic transformation. The Graça Machel Trust has established a geographic footprint across 16 countries in Africa and is headquartered in South Africa.

At our core we are an advocacy organization, well positioned in policy spaces at the national and regional levels, with the ability to mobilize decision makers and doers to think boldly and innovatively.

The Trust is at a pivotal point in its journey. Having achieved substantive impact over 10 years, the organization is developing and implementing a bold new strategy that will set it on a path of deeper impact, targeted expansion, and influence

We serve the women and children of Africa and are increasingly focused on innovating around how we work. We are shifting focus towards the quality and innovativeness of our work – asking important questions, such as “What does a women-centric approach to network building look like?’’

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There are more platforms, spaces and policy pronouncements today than ever before focused on advocating for the rights of women and children, yet there remains great need to move the needle in many sectors. Our focus is on building the critical mass, and facilitating strategic cross sectoral partnerships and coalitions to achieve greater impact.

We anticipate the Director of Programs to be a key player in this process. In their role, the Director of Programs will have the autonomy to shape our work and how we do business.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategy Development

  • Acting as the Deputy to the CEO, this role will collaborate in directly shaping our overall organizational strategy. The Programmes Director will consistently provide insights, ideas and advice to support in driving and shaping and amplifying our work in the African continent.
  • Set the vision of our programming ensuring all our work is of high quality & impact
  • Lead initiatives to evaluate, refine and innovate our programmes to ensure our work is directly aligned to our new strategy.
  • Lead innovation and amplification of our work across Africa, by raising new ideas and opportunities in line with our strategy and working with the team to pilot and implement them.
  • Proactively stay well informed, networked and abreast with key trends and players in the space

Programs Management & Oversight

  • Review and provide guidance and support on the implementation and integration of our programmes.
  • Oversee program implementation by working closely with program managers on work planning, budgeting and tracking to ensure we have the capacity and resources to deliver our goals
  • Together with the M&E lead, evaluate, improve and develop all internal systems and processes in a bid to enhance the efficiency & effectiveness of our programmes (these include among others; performance management, M&E, finance and procurement)
  • Oversee all internal and funder program reporting by preparing, coordinating and reviewing all program reports
  • Together with the M&E Lead, design & implement systems and processes for evaluating the impact and effectiveness of our programmes
  • Work closely with the M&E Lead to evaluate our impact and identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness of our program, through designing and implementing relevant monitoring, evaluation and learning systems and processes.

Fundraising & External Relations

  • Represent the Trust on policy platforms (e.g., AFDB Regional Civil Society Committee), technical panels and dialogues.
  • Act as a key focal person for high priority partners (e.g., the Graça Machel Trust network leads).
  • Provide technical input and strategic recommendations for programmes design & proposal writing
  • Engage with our donors as required – providing programmes updates and ensuring continuous & consistent building of trust based relationships with all donors
  • Oversee and manage stakeholder relations and identify and recommend partnerships with relevant stakeholders to the CEO.
  • As required, participate in expansion activities (fundraising, partnership-building, donor relations, etc.)
  • Lead the engagement of our current funders: Oversee grant management and donor reporting processes ensuring timely and accurate reporting.

Budgeting & Finance

  • Review and assess budgeting and financial procedures for programmes and fundraising in consultation with the CEO and Finance and Administration Manager.
  • Provide direction and lead in implementation of efficient & collaborative program budgeting planning & tracking approaches & systems
  • Provide input to overall annual budgeting and review process

People & Culture

  • Lead in recruiting, developing & leading a high performing programmes team, working closely with HR.
  • Provide insights and leadership in creating a team culture that aligns to our vision & ambition
  • Assist in creating a learning culture for the Trust. Together with the M&E Lead, ensure we have the right processes & spaces to document, share learnings, external influence and improve our programmes..

Who we are looking for

  • You are passionate and committed to driving women led initiatives whose vision is to transform the social and economic state of the African continent. You have vast experience in gender programming within the African context (an economic focus would be great but broad gender experience is sufficient).
  • You are an innovator at heart, constantly dreaming and thinking of how things can be done better. You are excited to inspire us in tweaking our approaches with the aim of creating more sustainable & transformative programmes.
  • Vast experience in managing social impact programs, from concept/design, to planning, to overseeing implementation, tracking, evaluating and reporting
  • You are a stickler for quality in work, deliverables and overall impact.
  • You are an operational and project management guru– You have a track record in building high performing teams, operational planning and systems creation across multiple & complex programming landscapes.
  • You are a natural relationship builder with a strong ability to inspire and draw various stakeholders to align on a common vision or goal. You have experience in leading diverse work teams, engaging community partners, and partnering with a CEO and board of directors.
  • You are a charismatic storyteller who can take donors, government actors and partners on a journey with them.
  • You are a highly strategic and analytical thinker with a track record of creating and driving the execution of successful strategies in various setups.
  • You are a highly adaptable individual who is able to hold a firm decision depending on varying situations
  • Strong experience in financial management and budgeting for programmes.
  • You are highly organized with a track record of delivering results with remote teams in lean and fast growing environments
  • You have a minimum of 5 years off senior leadership experience supervising and managing seasoned staff operating multiple programs across a broad geography. At least 10 years in program management.
  • Solid educational background including a postgraduate degree, MBA / Masters or similar advanced degree.

You have the cultural fit to work with us if…

  • You are driven by a strong desire to create high quality results and impact for African Women.
  • You are passionate and committed to leading African-driven development, you relish the diversity of our continent and you put African issues and African solutions first.
  • Flexibility & adaptability comes to you with ease. You thrive in fast changing work environments, where processes and structures are in definition and movement.
  • You have consistently demonstrated your ability to create opportunity in resourceful and creative ways.
  • You have a customer centric approach and always focus on maximizing the experience and value for the stakeholders.
  • You are bold. You confidently and persuasively communicate your vision and ideas and have a strong ability to hold your own and stand for your ideas.

Why work with us?

  • Be part of driving Pan-African movements shaping the future and role of women and children on the continent. We are planning to make history in facing key challenges of the coming decades.
  • Our proximity to inspiring changemakers, including our highly engaged founder, Board of Trustees, members of our women’s networks and regional policy platforms gives us a unique opportunity to shape conversation and action.
  • This is a great opportunity if you are excited to shape the strategy of an organization that is influential and poised for growth.
  • Live and work in Johannesburg, a vibrant multicultural city full of African history and promise.

Other information

The Programmes Director role is a full-time role based in Johannesburg. The work permit if needed shall be covered by the Graça Machel Trust. Travel expected primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and to relevant global conferences as a representative of the Trust. This is subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Ideal start date is Feb 2022.

How to apply

Want to apply?

  • First, please have a look at this guide on how to submit your application and tips on our selection process:
  • Fill the application form
  • You will be asked to upload your CV on the application form. Please ensure it is in PDF format, tailored to this role and no more than 3 pages.
  • Applications will be shortlisted on a rolling basis until the role is filled.
  • Recruitment process in partnership with edge. All emails regarding this role will come from email accounts in the domains and

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