Program Manager

Big Win Philanthropy partners with driven and committed African leaders to deliver on their transformational visions for children and young people. We seek to improve lives directly and to build demographic dividends for equitable economic growth, peace and security. As part of our new strategy, we seek to play an integral role in substantially and tangibly improving 23.5 million lives over the next five years.

Purpose: We’re seeking a Program Manager to support our Senior Program Directors, as well as to provide implementation guidance to our government partners, in order to ensure the successful delivery of transformational, cross-sectoral initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this role, you will review and develop program-related materials that drive strategic priorities; monitor program achievement progress; manage local consultants and technical assistance providers; provide financial oversight of grants; identify and highlight compelling stories about leaders with whom we work; document and help disseminate best practices across our programs; and track and document results across programs.

Big Win does not implement its own ‘projects’. We work directly with inspiring government leaders to implement their human capital development goals for their people, and you will be expected to interface in a respectful, savvy, and non-prescriptive manner with our government colleagues, while simultaneously providing the honest feedback of a true partner. Working at Big Win, you can expect a dynamic environment and a culture of collaboration, innovation, and drive for highly leveraged outcomes.

Main accountabilities

Program Design, Management, and Performance Tracking

  • Support the Senior Program Directors and government leaders in the design of bold but precise program goals with clear milestones, from the overall program concept and vision to articulation of tangible and ambitious “big wins”, as well as the pathway to the goals.
  • Liaise with the Program Team in the development and management of the implementation of programs across portfolios.
  • Liaise with the Program Team in reviewing evidence generated by quantitative and qualitative studies and landscape and data maps to provide guidance to government leaders on prioritization and decision making.
  • Effectively manage the programs towards agreed milestones and goals for efficiency and excellence across the Charity’s portfolio.
  • Manage the routine tracking and timely reporting on program progress towards milestones, pursuing greater impact and leverage that extends beyond a specific intervention.
  • Coordinate program activities involving a dispersed network of staff, vendors and partners.
  • Work constructively with country counterparts to ensure good quality implementation of programs, closely monitoring their effective and efficient execution toward the agreed targets.
  • Liaise with the Program Team in being clear about how Big Win adds value – seek always to maintain the right balance of driving progress, performance and problem solving, while leaving core management responsibility to our government counterparts.
  • Communicate openly and regularly with the Senior Program Directors and Executive Team to keep them abreast of progress and challenges of all programs being managed. Seek advice, guidance and trouble-shooting input on complex, problematic or high-risk programs, to ensure the effective and timely resolution of issues if they arise.
  • Work with Big Win’s Finance Director to provide the Senior Program Directors and Executive Team with accurate and meaningful financial and management information to support effective and evidence-based decision-making and planning.
  • Use sound financial acumen to manage budgets and resourcing for all managed programs to maximize program effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Identify and manage any risks associated with a given program so that the interests and reputation of Big Win and the program champion are protected.
  • Actively strategize how Big Win and our partners can pursue greater and ideally global impact that extends beyond the initiative.

Ideal Candidate Profile


  • Experience in managing complex and large-scale program implementation, ideally in Sub-Saharan African countries.
  • Good understanding of how governmental departments work, ideally with direct experience working within government.
  • Significant interactions at high policy levels within governments, with proven experience in managing complex and politically sensitive relationships with different stakeholders.
  • Demonstration of methodical program oversight and management.
  • Exemplary work ethic with a drive for concrete results in a complex environment.
  • Experienced in the use of program management tools such as dashboard creation, program monitoring and strategic planning.
  • Experience in early childhood development or other relevant program areas appreciated.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Substantial, relevant expertise in health, nutrition, job creation, urban development or education, ideally in Sub-Saharan Africa. This will include familiarity with evidence, key actors, and proven interventions in a broad range of human development areas.
  • An understanding of how government systems work is essential, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Good financial acumen and proven ability to manage budgets and resources tightly and prudently.
  • Educated to post-graduate degree level, or equivalent by experience, within a relevant specialty.
  • Fluency in English required; fluency in other languages widely spoken in Sub-Saharan Africa appreciated.

Personal Qualities and Attitudes

  • Team player with excellent people skills and with highly developed communication, presentation, negotiation and influencing skills.
  • Full alignment with the Big Win ethos of supporting the ambition of policy champions at national level without prescribing external agendas.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills, with ability to synthesize comparative research clearly.
  • An eye for detail and an understanding of the high standards required by Big Win and its partners.


  • Our office is in Central London; the role will require travel to Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Applicants must have the right to work in the United Kingdom.
  • The position is full-time; physical attendance in our office is required on all working days.
  • Compensation is based on experience.
  • Equal opportunities employer.

Interested applicants should email a cover letter describing the applicant’s interest and relevant experience, together with a full current CV, to Please include “Program Manager” in the subject line.