Officer, Program Development

Search for Common Ground, Dakar, Senegal

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
31st October, 2021

Job Description

Position Summary

Search for Common Ground (Search) is seeking a motivated candidate to join its Africa Program Development Hub, a high-performing, diverse and dynamic team based across West, Central and East Africa, Brussels and Washington D.C., and which leads program development efforts for a diverse portfolio that covers over fifteen countries across five conflict geographies: the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin, the Great Lakes, the Horn of Africa and the Sudans.

The Officer will lead the development of program ideas into competitive proposals to secure funding for the region. The Officer will work closely with, regional teams, in-country staff and other Search departments to develop programming that directly responds to the most pressing conflicts and peacebuilding needs. The Officer will have a particular focus on one of the conflict geographies, but will support other geographies in the Africa portfolio as required.

Key Responsibilities

  • Leads the pursuit of specific funding opportunities.
  • Leads the program design process for those opportunities.
  • Leads capture planning efforts, with a focus on one of the conflict geographies.
  • Contributions
  • Strategy development: Prepares analysis and provides substantive inputs into strategy processes.
  • Business intelligence: Provides high-quality inputs into internal knowledge management systems.
  • Positioning and donor relations: With support, builds partnerships and donor relations in line with strategy. Represents the organization in relevant forums.
  • Partnerships: Prepares analysis for partnership decision-making. Stewards peer relationships with prospective partners.
  • Go/No-Go decisions: Prepares and presents analysis for go/no-go-process.
  • Capture planning: Leads capture planning efforts, with support.
  • Program design: Leads design process. Facilitates design calls.
  • Proposal development: Leads proposal and concept note processes.
  • Proposal reviews: Ensures reviews take place.
  • Contracting process: Leads donor communications and follow-up, with support.
  • After Action Reviews: Leads AARs for individual proposals and adapts future processes.
  • Recruitment: Oversees recruitment of interns and serves on recruitment panels as requested.
  • On-Boarding: Supports on-boarding and orientation of junior staff.
  • Other duties that are broadly in line with the above key contributions as assigned.


  • Minimum Bachelor degree or a Master degree in peace and conflict studies, international relations, African studies, international development, or a related field.
  • At least 6 years of experience (or 4 years if holding a Master degree), preferably in international or cross-cultural environments.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and communication skills in English.
  • Working proficiency in French is a strong asset.
  • Knowledge of other languages (Somali, Arabic, Portuguese) is an asset.
  • Interest and knowledge in the field of peacebuilding and conflict transformation.
  • Familiarity with the Africa region.
  • Practical experience with program design, monitoring, and evaluation.
  • High level of analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to maintain professionalism, creativity, and enthusiasm while working in a fast-paced, multi-cultural environment with minimal supervision is key.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently, and willing to take on tasks small and large.
  • Well organized, resourceful with time management and technology to prioritize tasks.


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