Voluntary Service Overseas Vacancy for Program Manager (Education)- Abuja

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. Our high impact approach brings people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action to change lives and make the world a fairer place.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Programme Manager (Education) 

Duration: Fixed Term, 3 yrs
Full Time, 36 hours per week
Responsible to: Head of Programs

Job Purpose

  • The job holder is expected to lead in the strategic design, development and implementation of VSON Education Program in line with the country office strategic plans and priorities.
  • Provide comprehensive programming, management and coordination support in the implementation and measurement of VSON Education programs.

Programme Development, Planning & Budgeting:

  • To ensure proper annual planning and budgeting of VSO Nigeria education programme is undertaken in a timely and cost effective manner and the process is aligned with the defined overall priorities set by the donor as well as VSO.
  • Ensure project outcome delivered to quality required by the programme (with specified risks and benefits), to schedule within set budgets and scope. Provide a key co-ordination and implementation role, ensuring project management standards are followed and deadlines met.
  • Prepare management products – including project outcome description, benefits review plan, project initiation documentation, exception plans, project controls.
  • Establish and manage project procedures – risk and issue management, change control, communications.
  • Manage project financial budgets and targets, providing accurate and timely information on expenditure.

Stakeholder Management and Communications:

  • Build effective working relationships with project stakeholders, engaging them at each projects stage, ensuring communications have appropriate content and tone.
  • Manage information flows between the directing and delivering levels of the project.
  • Ensure organisational communications about projects benefits, progress and outcomes suit audience and are timely. Anticipate
  • project risks and issues, communicating them to stakeholders, taking action to resolve.
  • Inspire enthusiasm, momentum and commitment for outcomes project will deliver.
  • Ensure project activity, outcome progress, issues, risks, exception reports are available to Stakeholders and management teams as appropriate.

Project Team Management:

  • Establish, lead and motivate the project team, ensuring regular progress review meetings in place and behavioural expectations established. Liaise with external suppliers as necessary.

Resource Mobilisation and Grants Management:

  • Ensure appropriate human resource in terms of skills, competencies, capabilities and capacity is made available across VSO globally to facilitate the effective design, implementation and monitoring of the project.
  • Effectively manage donor grant allocated to project, ensuring appropriate reporting in place.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Conduct post-implementation project reviews and initiate improvements to VSO’s project management practices.
  • Lead the measurement and realisation of benefits delivered by the project.

Key Performance and indicators

  • The required annual programme review and planning exercise is undertaken in consultation with staff, volunteers and partners.
  • The annual Education programme budget is discussed and finalized in consultation with the Country Director/SMT and submitted to the donor.
  • A debrief meeting is held with all staff, volunteers and partners to ensure a shared understanding on the approved plan and budget.
  • Number of high value successful donor proposals.
  • Minimum variance in the utilization of budgets as per the agreed plans.
  • Reports are accurately and timely prepared for review along with detailed explanations on budget utilization variance.
  • Reports are submitted to the donor in accordance with the agreed deadlines.
  • Programme development is informed by consultation with partners, volunteers, internal stakeholders and beneficiaries (they are held as integral to programme design, implementation and review).
  • Partners are provided with a growing and widening range of support based on VSO’s core competencies
  • High quality placements are developed and documented, based on thorough assessment of partner needs.
  • Efficient delivery of resources to meet the objectives of the Programme Plan objectives.
  • Leadership is displayed at all times.

Working together – Strength:

  • Successfully leads teams and develops others’ team-working skills.

Communications and influencing – Strength:

  • Inspires others by: advocating plans and ideas within and outside VSO; maintaining a wide, influential network; coaching.

Managing Knowledge – Strength:

  • Leads initiatives that improve knowledge management; develops others’ knowledge management skills.

Striving for Excellence – Strength:

  • Leads initiatives to improve monitoring, evaluation and learning; is a role model for continuous learning and improvement.

Managing Resources – Strength:

  • Leads others to pursue significant or innovative funding opportunities; finds creative ways to allocate funds and people on complex projects effectively.

Managing People – Strength:

  • Builds a high performing team that meets challenging objectives linked to corporate objectives; ensures own team works efficiently with other teams.

Developing People – Strength:

  • Is a role model for coaching, mentoring and developing others, and for effective use of VSO’s staff development processes and opportunities?

Leading for the Future – Strength:

  • Builds confidence and excitement in VSO’s work and vision, both internally and externally; leads innovative projects.

Thinking Strategically – Strength:

  • Leads strategic projects, coaching others to consider global and longterm impact, and to consult within and beyond VSO.

Delivering Results – Strength:

  • Effectively leads large teams or complex projects, generating a goal-oriented, problem-solving team mentality and ensuring timely, high quality results.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Experience of working in Nigeria in cross cultural setting, including an ability to identify and facilitate cross-cultural working and learning amongst staff and volunteers.
  • Good understanding of development challenges and working norms in Nigeria with particular focus on Education programming.
  • Practical experience gained within an NGO context and of managing Education programme.
  • Experience of matrix and distance managing staff and providing high quality supervision and support
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with ability to negotiate, persuade and vary communication content and style to suit audiences to inform, motivate and inspire.
  • Experience in budgeting and financial management, particularly in the context of project planning.
  • Experience and skills in facilitating learning in a non-formal environment, ideally including facilitation experience with diverse groups.
  • Good Knowledge of programme level M&E including theory of change development and donor reporting
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, including experience of project or programme management.


  • Practical experience gained within a volunteering/NGO context and of managing a volunteer programme.
  • Experience of managing change in an international environment.
  • Experience of initiating, developing and maintaining transparent, equitable partnerships.

Qualification and Experience

  • A holder of Master’s Degree in Development studies, social Sciences or related fields.
  • A Minimum of 6 years relevant experience.

Background and Contextual Information:

  • VSO have been working in Nigeria since 1958. VSO Nigeria currently has Secure Livelihoods Education and Youth Empowerment as its main programming areas. Further information on VSO’s work in each of the countries we work in can be found on the VSO website.

Very Competitive. Application Closing Date
29th September, 2017.

Interview/Assessment Date(s)
Week of 9th October 2017.

Start Date



Click here for more information (pdf) Note: VSO reserves the right to close this job early if we receive a sufficient number of applications.


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