Programme Design and Development Specialist

Job purpose

As part of the Business Development team, the Programme Design and Development Specialist will work closely with technical and programme teams at headquarters, regional and country level to develop competitive public health proposals to a range of institutional and non-institutional donors. This role will also lead on system development and capacity building to design and implement an organizational project design system; and conduct training and capacity building with country and regional staff. The role will also collaborate with colleagues on new country scoping and set up.

Scope of work

The position is an integral part of the business development (BD) team. The role covers the preparatory work required to design competitive bids (including concept notes and other similar funding proposals) and the design work which precedes bid development and writing work. This includes monitoring of donors’ trends, identifying and analysing new potential opportunities, positioning and partnering as well as leading the design and development of competitive bids (including concept notes and other similar funding proposals). The role is an essential part of the organisations approach to bid development which emphasizes design work preceding writing work. Lesson learning is also an important aspect of this role, and the position holder will have to document such learning and share these experiences within the organisation. The position holder will also monitor market trends providing analytical information relevant to business development particularly information which helps to improve the design of bids, and their compliance with donor requirements. The position covers writing bids, as a lead writer when required, and as a reviewer when selected to do so. Internal capacity development activities are also covered in this scope.

Key working relationships

The position holder will be a member of the Business Development team based in the UK and will work closely with members of bid teams, global, country-based and/or regional-based teams. The position holder will work with technical team members in particular during the design phase required for bids as well as external stakeholders such as specialists involved in design and writing of bids as needed. S/he will also need to effectively communicate progress and updates within the organisation.

Key accountabilities

Bid development- (Responsive) (55%)

  • Analyse Malaria consortium’s positioning on specific potential funding opportunitiess, particularly bilateral and multilateral donors, making succinct recommendations for consideration of a go/no decision for the opportunity
  • Be an accountable lead for assigned bids, ensuring preparatory work is done at the opportunity stage and bid manage the proposal development process at the tendering stage, including being a key focal point for external partner engagement for the assigned bids
  • Manage relationships with partner organizations related to potential and specific funding opportunities
  • Work closely with HQ, regional and country programme staff, cultivating a collaborative working relationship across the organisation, and lead the process of developing programme approaches in response to donor calls and other opportunities, including the development of log frames and articulating theories of change
  • Design and lead project development workshops, including writing of proposal sections, and guide country teams through project design process
  • Serve as a lead writer on a broad range of technical bid applications across malaria consortium’s areas of expertise constructively engaging during this process with senior subject matter experts within malaria consortium’s senior technical team at HQ and country offices or external partners
  • Develop job-descriptions at bidding stage to recruit for key positions required for bids, develop interview grids for their recruitment and participate in the interview of candidates
  • Provide ongoing quality editorial and review support for proposals from country teams at shortest notice
  • Participate in the design and implementation of bids calendar plans
  • Coordinate comprehensive review processes for bids in development mobilising internal and external resources persons
  • Contribute to other concept and proposal development (e.g. trusts and foundations) as required
  • Analyse key institutional donor calls for funding applications, monitor donor funding trends, share the knowledge gathered with bid teams, use the insights to analyse partners and competitors and to develop competitive proposals
  • Develop value propositions at partner negotiation stage, update internal capacity statements, past performance references and engage with consortia leads, and partners and donors
  • Work closely with Budget Development team and country teams to develop programme implementation assumptions that drive budget cost inputs, identify risks within cost assumptions that may impact on the delivery of contracted results and ensure coherence of narrative, work planning and budgeting processes during proposal development
  • Support the development of commercial strategies, linking milestones and payment schedules, in collaboration with the Head of Business Developement and Budget Development Specialist, and external partners, as delegated by the Business Development Manager
  • Prepare and use of compliance matrices to improve the alignment of bids and donor call requirements

Capacity building and system development (20%)

  • Lead organisational capacity building initiative for project design and development and be a designated course leader on proposal development process
  • Develop a plan for orienting teams at HQ, regional and country offices on project design and development and take a lead responsibility for producing outputs of internal capacity building
  • Take overall accountability for producing guidance, training and supporting regions and country offices in project design and development
  • Devise, design and roll out standard guidance and training for project design, development and review, as required
  • Devise, design and roll-out standardised templates for bid design, development and review as required

Business development- Proactive (25%)

  • Pro-active sourcing of new opportunities through regular scanning of donors’ websites, personally managed network of contacts and intel gathering
  • Work closely with technical and programmes colleagues on new country scoping, assessments and resulting proposal development
  • Ensure commercial aspects and positioning is appropriately considered when scoping new business opportunities and flagging risk to the business development manager and Commercial Director
  • Serve as Business Development team link with organisational initiatives
  • Contribute to business development documentation such as donor profiles, organisation profiles and briefings for network opportunities
  • Update business development team knowledge by participating in internal learning opportunities, reading technical publications and maintaining personal networks.
  • Identify training needs of key Regional and Country level staff involved in bid preparation and design supervise remote training tasks
  • Work closely with the external relations team to prepare organisational marketing materials
  • Represent Malaria Consortium as required

Person specification

Qualifications and experience:


  • Demonstrated experience working in international development, global health or business development.
  • Experience in leading the design and writing of successful competitive proposals and tenders for public health programming for commercial bids and for grants
  • Experience in managing international health programmes in developing countries
  • Extensive experience in development of bid applications for institutional donors including USAID, UNICEF, FCDO, Global Fund and Europe Aid for health programmes
  • Experience of developing proposals for trusts and foundations
  • Proven experience in managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders under rigorous deadlines;
  • Proven relationship building skills and ability to work collaboratively and effectively in crosscultural settings and with a wide variety of organisations;
  • Strong project management skills/experience
  • Strong problem solving abilities and ability to perform under pressure;
  • Ability to take initiative and achieve results with minimal supervision;
  • Solid analytical skills and ability to present complex concepts in clear and concise formats;
  • Strong attention to detail and follow-up;
  • Experience in delivering training and capacity building for colleagues
  • A Masters in Public Health, Epidemiology, Development Studies or similar fields, or equivalent practical experience demonstrating a strong focus on global health technical writing
  • Right to work in the UK


  • Ability to work in Portuguese or French
  • Experience in malaria and communicable disease control either through programme implementation or research
  • Experience at programme management level in the field in either Africa or Asia Work-based skills and competencies:


  • Strong project development skills including technical writing
  • Strong project management skills
  • Proven competencies in use of project development tools (including logical frameworks, theory of change, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks) to analyse and express complex ideas in a concise and logical manner
  • The ability to work productively and accurately under pressure in a fast-paced, demanding environment
  • The ability to work in a team environment and independently and collaborate effectively with colleagues from a wide variety of backgrounds and contexts
  • The ability to prioritise effectively and meet tight deadlines
  • The ability to understand epidemiological and statistical information
  • Strong computer skills: familiar with MS Word and Excel
  • Native fluency in written and spoken English
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to travel internationally
  • Able to understand and analyse budget information and relative to programme design and development
  • Ability to work in multi-cultural environments


  • High quality networking skills
  • Public health programming background and skills
  • French or Portuguese language skills