About the role
The Director of Programmes is a new and critical role for the Centre for Youth Impact, and brings with it the opportunity to significantly support and influence evaluation practice - and therefore, quality - in informal and non-formal youth provision in the UK. This role has been created as part of our planned merger with the YMCA George Williams College, which we hope will see our practice development and training work grow. As such, we are recruiting for a new, dedicated post to lead delivery of the Centre’s programmes of work to support the youth sector.
We believe in the power of evaluation to build a collective commitment to understanding and improving the impact of youth work and provision for young people. We also believe in the power of quality relational practice to change lives and communities.
The Director of Programmes will lead the design, development, and delivery of the Centre’s portfolio of programmes, securing new sources of income and supporting effective project delivery. Reporting to the CEO, the Director of Programmes will be a member of the Senior Leadership Team, and will line manage and coordinate the work of three thematic Leads (Research and Evaluation, Data, and Organisational Development) across the Centre’s 20+ strong portfolio of projects. The Director of Programmes will work alongside the Resources Manager to play a high-level project management role across the portfolio: monitoring budgets, capacity, quality, and delivery. The Director of Programmes will also contribute directly to project delivery, particularly through high-level research and evaluation skills, advising on ethics and methodology.
As part of the Senior Leadership Team, the Director of Programmes will develop and lead the Centre’s research, data and evaluation strategy, including fostering new relationships with funders and partners, and enabling the organisation to deliver complex and cutting-edge programmes of work, with high quality. The Director of Programmes will have unparalleled opportunities to convene and work closely with committed groups of funders and practitioners to learn about, design and test new ways of understanding impact and quality in youth work and provision for young people. To achieve this, they will play a critical role in strategic income generation: initiating and supporting reactive and proactive proposals for new areas of activity, building on the Centre’s expertise and understanding of need.
The Director of Programmes will ensure that we are integrating our learning across our thematic areas, so that our portfolio of projects represents more than the sum of its parts. The Director of Programmes will also lead our own internal evaluation, helping the organisation to understand how and where its own work is contributing to positive change for young people and communities.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for a truly outstanding candidate with an established leadership profile and a track record of influencing thinking and practice in the social sector. A thoughtful and experienced evaluator, you will be familiar with a range of research and evaluation methods and how this can be applied to social programmes. You will understand the interplay between research, evaluation, and equity, and be excited to develop this aspect of the Centre’s work. You will have a strong interest in the role of open and shared data within the social sector and drive our ambition to grow our digital presence in data collection, analysis, and visualisation. An understanding of how the context of informal and non-formal provision for young people influences research and evaluation design and implementation would be advantageous.
You will be an exceptional project manager, with expertise in managing both grant-funded and contracted projects. You will be skilled in managing budgets, plans and capacity allocations, across multiple programmes. You will be able to navigate with agility between the strategic big picture and the detail of individual projects, deliverables, and relationships. You will be able to spot and make connections between different areas of work and be alive to changes and patterns in the external policy and practice context and the opportunities they present for the Centre.
You will need to be highly responsive to the needs of partners, funders, and our networks, with excellent listening and negotiation skills - a true ‘servant leader’. You will be a proactive and dynamic member of our Senior Leadership Team, requiring agility and adaptability to respond to fast-moving opportunities. You will also need to be an excellent and empathic manager and leader of people, supporting and empowering your team to grow and deliver with excellence. Your standards will be high, and you will support others to achieve them. Skills and experience in taking a coaching approach to supporting others will be a distinct advantage.
Please download the attached JD for the full job description, person spec and details on how to apply.
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