SW1Y, London
£35,000 per annum
Contract, Full-time
Job description


During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April 2018, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK would support Commonwealth governments who want to reform laws that discriminate against women and girls and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The Equality & Justice Alliance (EJA) - a consortium composed of international NGOs Human Dignity Trust, Kaleidoscope Trust, Sisters For Change, and The Royal Commonwealth Society - was formed to deliver this support. We have funding from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office of £5.6 million for a 2-year programme of work, and as a consortium bring expertise in advancing equality, addressing the structural causes of discrimination and violence against women and girls and LGBT people, and strengthening legal protections to build stronger and fairer societies for all.

The EJA is seeking an experienced Programme Manager to help oversee and deliver the final phase of the EJA’s 2-year programme “Building fairer, more equal and more inclusive Commonwealth societies”, which is engaging with Commonwealth leaders, governments and civil society actors to advance equality through three distinct strands of programme activity:

  1. Supporting Commonwealth civil society organisations to work intersectionally and conduct advocacy to encourage their governments to undertake legal reform;
  2. Convening a series of regional dialogues to build a better understanding of international standards and best practice, strengthen policy exchanges between civil society, officials and experts and build the case for legal reform;
  3. Provide a range of legal and policy research tools and technical legal assistance and expertise to Commonwealth governments seeking to reform discriminatory laws, combat violence against women and girls, eliminate hate crimes and increase access to justice.


Job Type:                                             Full-time

Period of employment:                 October 2018 – Mar 2020

Location:                                             The Royal Commonwealth Society, Pall Mall

Reports to:                                         Equality & Justice Alliance

Salary:                                                 £35,000 pro-rata

Deadline for application:             Midnight GMT, Sunday 6th October

Interviews:                                         Week commencing Monday 14th October tbc

Start date:                                          Immediate start


Description of Duties

The Programme Manager is a critical and central role that will manage the programme on behalf of the EJA and will head up the EJA Programme Management Office located in The Royal Commonwealth Society. It will appeal to an energetic and intuitive problem-solver, with vision and expertise in policy, law and capacity-building, and a strong ability to plan, trouble-shoot and build alliances with colleagues, overseas partners and Government decision-makers. The Programme Manager will work closely with programme staff and senior executives from all four EJA member organisations, manage a part-time Finance Officer and have a strong role in supporting the EJA Steering Group. Duties and responsibilities are as follows:

Programme management

  • Assist in quarterly planning and tracking of programme deliverables, objectives and outcomes, managing a complex range of activities across multiple delivery organisations, by using MS Project or equivalent.
  • Ensure programme activities keep to schedule, and work flexibly with EJA members and external partners to mitigate and manage issues that arise.
  • With support from the Finance Officer, ensure that programme activities are delivered to budget across all programme activities and work with partners to ensure financial accountability and that budgets are managed effectively at the activity level.
  • Support local and grassroots partners in programme management functions, planning and delivery.
  • Manage the part-time Finance Officer and provide financial oversight of programme activities.
  • Conduct regular risk-management reviews and escalate critical issues at the earliest opportunity, suggesting mitigation strategies to remedy issues.
  • Ensure the effective interlinking of programme outcomes as defined in the EJA Results Framework to enhance the overall effectiveness and impact of the programme.

Supporting the EJA Steering Group

  • Provide overall administrative support to the Alliance.
  • Organise EJA Steering Group oversight meetings, agree agenda working with the Chair and partner organisations, compile and distribute meeting documentation well ahead of meetings, and record and produce minutes and actions.
  • Act as the liaison between EJA member organisations, and ensure effective collaboration and communication between all members.
  • Manage, develop and strengthen relationships on behalf of the EJA, where required, with internal and external stakeholders, specifically providing support to the EJA Commonwealth Group of Experts and EJA Champion Group.

Programme reporting

  • Serve as the nominated point of contact with FCO Programme Officers and Policy Officials overseeing delivery of the EJA programme bid.
  • Conduct overall programme reporting to the FCO on a quarterly basis, collating quarterly programme reports from each EJA member and summarising impact and any change in plan or risks.
  • Support and manage EJA members to submit quarterly programme activity and financial reports on schedule and in a standard format, to ensure effective reporting and the continued and timely flow of funds from the donor.
  • Manage the programme’s part-time Finance Officer to ensure accurate quarterly financial reporting (expenditure reconciled against budget) for the overall programme.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) reporting

  • Liaise with EJA member Sisters For Change on design and delivery of M&E for the programme and support planning and delivery where required.
  • Manage EJA members to implement and deliver required aspects of M&E.
  • Consolidate and distribute M&E results and learnings to EJA members and FCO Programme sponsors as required.

Other duties as necessary, in line with programme needs.


Key competencies

Must have

  • Demonstrable experience of having delivered multiple complex, high-value (i.e. multi-million pound) international development, social change, legal reform and/or human rights programmes.
  • Demonstrable experience of working overseas and managing a range of local and regional delivery partners and networks in cross-cultural environments in the Global South.
  • Demonstrable experience of programme management methodologies and software (e.g. MS Project and Excel), including understanding of critical path, risk mitigation and identification of dependencies.
  • Demonstrable experience in donor management, grant funding and financial reporting to high-value (i.e. multi-million pound) programmes.
  • Demonstrable experience of detailed programme tracking and reporting, using Theories of Change / Results Frameworks / Log frames and other tools
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work with a diverse range of stakeholders, including senior political and diplomatic officials, legal experts, and grassroots activists.



  • Experience working on programmes focused on women’s and/or LGBT rights, particularly on an intersectional basis.
  • Experience working with or reporting to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  • Understanding of political and legal reform processes in the Global South.
  • Understanding and/or experience working in the Commonwealth space.
  • Has pre-existing networks with women’s rights organisations in one or more of the following regions: Caribbean, Eastern and Southern Africa, South Asia, Pacific.


Equal Opportunities

The Royal Commonwealth Society strives to be an equal opportunity employer. Our aim is to create a safe and secure working environment where a commitment to diversity, opportunity, quality and excellence are our guiding values. We welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or age.

All offers of employment will be conditional on the candidate having/securing the right to work in the UK prior to their employment commencing. 

We regret that only candidates available for immediate start will be considered.

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The Royal Commonwealth Society

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Posted on: 19 September 2019
Closed date: 06 October 2019
Tags: Intl Development, Advocacy

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