Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Options Consultancy Services Limited is a leading global health consultancy established in 1992 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Marie Stopes International. We manage health programmes that ensure vulnerable women and children can access the high quality health services they need. We work with partners to cocreate and implement locally informed solutions to complex health problems. This includes governments, development partners, NGOs, civil society and health workers. Our programming is flexible, evidence-based and politically informed. This means we adapt to changing contexts, use data to inform our decisions and ensure our approach is appropriate. Our focus is always on building local skills and systems that last.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:



Job Title: Assistant Programme Manager

Locations: Abuja, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya
Department: Programmes
Reporting to: Programme Manager
Hours: Full time, 35 hours per week
Type of contract: Fixed term until 30th April 2022
Liaison with: Finance, New Business and Partnerships, Technical Department, Programmes Department Resource Centre, Department for Design and Innovation, Project Teams, consultants, suppliers and partners

Main Purpose of Job

  • As Assistant Programme Manager you are responsible for supporting the effective and efficient project management and administration of long and short term projects for a variety of clients.
  • Under the guidance of the Programme Manager, you will provide project financial and administrative support to enable the appropriate tracking and monitoring of projects, enabling them to be carried out on time, to budget and within Options’ quality standards of delivery.
  • You will report to the Programme Manager and will be based in Options’ Kenya or Options Nigeria office.
  • Note: All levels of position in the organisation assume some degree of responsibility for safeguarding. Your accountabilities will align with the level and scope of the position and appropriate training will be provided.

Main Duties
Programme Specific Responsibilities (approximately 80% time):

Project Management Support:

  • Support the Programme Manager and / or Team Leader / Project Lead to define project tasks and resource requirements
  • Support the Programme Manager to respond to requests from donors / clients, project partners andproject staff, by providing accurate and robust information in a timely manner.
  • Supporting inputs to and review of project internal and external reports, ensuring that all reports are proof-read, formatting and submitted in a timely manner
  • Ensuring programme administration, travel and logistics management are in place and operating effectively, engaging with other teams as needed
  • Support the operational aspects of delivery on the project as required, including support to project travel and security arrangements.
  • Ensure knowledge management on the project by establishing and maintaining project files and undertaking the dissemination of project reports and other information both internally and externally.
  • Support in developing, implementing and updating project management tools, trackers and systems such as risk matrix, consultant trackers, financial trackers etc.
  • Support in developing project workplans and appropriately costing inputs and resources
  • Support the relationship management of partners, including preparation of terms of reference (TORs), contracts and budgets and on-going management of inputs and deliverables
  • Liaise with partners, implementing agencies and other relevant individuals and organisations as required, arranging meetings and other joint functions, and ensuring excellent relations are maintained
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Financial Management Support:

  • Support the management of project finances in liaison with finance staff, Programme Manager, Business Accountant, ensuring Options financials procedures and policies are followed
  • Using the appropriate project management tools, monitor project spend, forecasted spend against approved contract and internal budgets. This includes review and tracking of partner spend
  • Ensure timely reconciliation and processing of consultant invoices to ensure costs are accounted forin the correct period
  • Ensure partner and client invoices are submitted and paid on time and to Options quality standards
  • Assist in the preparation of financial reports, internal cash flow and budget projections for internal and external purposes
  • Contribute to the monthly management accounts, annual audit and budgeting process
  • Identify and advise on the best use of project resources, to support excellent value for money, whilst maximising project results

Contracting and Contract Management Support:

  • Provide support to the Programme Manager in organising and contracting short term consultant inputs in line with organisational procurement policies and procedures, including preparation of TORs, sourcing, negotiating, drafting contract briefing and managing consultants liaising with HR and Legal and Compliance teams as required
  • Support the management of relationships with subcontractors, including tracking of contract budgets and spend and payment of subcontractors invoices
  • Drawing on a strong understanding and knowledge of Options contracting tools, templates and processes, support the contracting and due diligence of Options subcontractors and partners Cross organisational responsibilities (approximately 20%of time)

Project Manage Smaller Assignments:

  • Project manage smaller assignments as required supporting the Project Lead and under the guidance of the designated senior accountable person in the Programmes Department
  • Ensure all aspects of project management are delivered to a high standard in accordance with Options project cycle management and using appropriate programme management tools. This will include support to contracting, financial management, relationship management and any operational aspects of delivery of the project
  • Support the Project Lead and other technical colleagues to develop costed workplans and other monitoring tools to track progress against client milestones and outcomes, ensuring the project is delivered within time and to budget
  • Support project internal and external reporting and knowledge management. Including ensuring robust systems and processes established to document relevant project data.
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Support the Business Development and New Partnerships Department and the Department for Design and Innovation:

  • Work with New Business and Partnerships to support the development of specific proposals, including organisation, programmatic and financial inputs:
    • Support the costing of workplans, including salaries, consultants, operational and activity costs
    • Support programme design, specifically focusing on programme management sections, including input to team management, resourcing, risk management and governance.
    • Support to finalise bid documents such as team biographies, CVs and reviewing and formatting as required
  • Work with the Department of Design and Innovation to contribute where needed to the development and exploration of new initiatives from an operational and financial perspective

Other Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to knowledge management within Options including in relation to the Programmes Department Resource Unit, highlighting key developments within programmes that can be communicated and shared.
  • In the spirit of teamwork, provide flexible support to colleagues across all Options Departments as required.
  • Contribute to the development of team tools / sharing best practice within the team / organisation and with communities of practice as established by the Resource Centre.
  • Assist in building and maintaining Options’ portfolio of consultants.
  • Cover for colleagues in their absence.
  • Represent Options and the programme in various fora

NB: This job description reflects the present requirements of the post. As duties and responsibilities change and develop the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the job holder.

Person Specification

  • Degree in relevant subject area (Essential)
  • Master’s in relevant subject area or equivalent professional experience (Desirable)


  • Experience in project cycle management including budgeting, project  planning, financial and narrative report writing (Essential)
  • Experience of working in international development (Essential)
  • Experience in distance management of relations between a head office and an internationally based team (Desirable)
  • Experience working in resource constrained settings and low and middle income countries (Desirable)
  •  Experience in fundraising / business development (Desirable)
  • Experience of successfully working to tight deadlines (Essential)
  • Experience of managing donor-funded budgets (Essential)
  • Experience of contracts and contracting (Essential)
  • Experience of close working relationships with partners and consortia (Essential)
  • Experience of managing complex logistic arrangements within tight timelines and to budget (Essential)
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Skills and Attributes:

  • Strong financial management skills (Essential)
  • Ability to work on a wide range of projects and other issues simultaneously (Essential)
  • Self-starter, can work independently or as part of a team (Essential)
  • Good negotiation skills (Essential)
  • Flexible attitude to work and ability to work in challenging working Environments (Essential)
  • Sensitive to other cultures (Essential)
  • Knowledge of international development issues and development funders (Desirable)
  • Knowledge of other languages would be highly valuable (Desirable)
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills (Essential)
  • Ability to plan and manage work in a logical manor (Essential)
  • Excellent communicator both in writing and verbally (Essential)

Other Requirements:

  • Commitment to equal opportunities (Essential)
  • A commitment to the programme’s and Options principles of Safeguarding, Do NO Harm, and to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (Desirable)
  • Pro-choice (Essential)
  • Applicants must have the right to live and work in UK (Essential)
  • Ability to travel internationally for up to three weeks at a time (Essential)
  • Fluency in written and spoken English (Essential)
  • Fluency in written and spoken French (Essential)



How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply



  • we are an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse workforce. While all applications will be acknowledged.
    • We reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement
    • We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements
    • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply
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    • Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview or the next stage of the recruitment process.

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