Programme Director

Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Founded in 1977, GOAL works to promote the realization of the fundamental rights of the poor, the vulnerable, and those affected by humanitarian crisis. GOAL currently works in 16 countries; Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Iraq, Philippines, Liberia and Zimbabwe. GOAL’s head office is in Dublin, Ireland with support offices in London and New York.


General description of the country programme

First operational in Uganda in the late 70’s, the current country programme focuses on two of GOAL’s three strategic sectors, namely: Health (including WASH and Health Accountability programming); and a market based approach to improving agricultural livelihoods. GOAL Uganda mainstreams HIV, gender, child protection and resilience strategies across all programming. GOAL works on a district focused approach, and uses a mixture of direct implementation and partnerships with national and international civil society organizations, local government, the private sector and communities to give effect to our mission.


GOAL Uganda has a skilled team of 120 personnel and manages an annual operating budget of approximately €4.6 million (2015). GOAL is currently operational in the North, South, East and West of Uganda with five established offices in Kampala, Bugiri, Abim, Kaabong and Agago Districts; and a new office planned for mid-2015 in Lira, Eastern Uganda in 2015. GOAL Uganda country programme is funded by a number of donors who include DfID, Charity: water, Irish Aid, FAO, GOAL and a number of small foundations.


General Programme Summary

Working in consortium with Mercy Corps, VSO and Restless Development, the Driving Youth-led New Agribusiness and Microenterprise (DYNAMIC) programme will strengthen systems and facilitate the creation of sustainable economic opportunities for disadvantaged Ugandan youth. DYNAMIC’s overall goal is to increase the number of young people who are in secure employment or self-employment and to promote effective and efficient agricultural market systems for youth. Through a market-driven and holistic approach, DYNAMIC will engage an array of public and private sector actors to increase access to goods, services, markets, information and productive and social assets to increase productivity of Ugandan agribusinesses and non-farm enterprises.


DYNAMIC will reach 125,000 out-of-school youth aged 15 – 24 living in peri-urban and rural areas within eight districts of northern Uganda over five years. Through an innovative, market facilitation approach, DYNAMIC will promote long-term efficiency in existing agricultural systems. Youth already engaged in on-farm activities will move from subsistence to more productive and profitable farming. DYNAMIC will increase the employability of Ugandan youth by facilitating access to demand-driven technical skills, knowledge and market information that directly respond to business opportunities in the agricultural sector. In parallel, DYNAMIC will link agribusinesses and microenterprises to market opportunities and diverse stakeholders, and ensure they can utilize appropriate (formal and informal) financial services. DYNAMIC’s design recognizes that youth are a diverse age group requiring tailored interventions to fit their stage in life and transition into the workforce. In particular, DYNAMIC will ensure that participating youth, particularly young women, are engaging in appropriate, safe, and productive economic opportunities.  


General Position Summary

The Programme Director will provide overall leadership, management and strategic vision to the implementation of the MasterCard Foundation-funded DYNAMIC programme. S/he will lead an extended team from GOAL and all consortium partners to develop, research, implement and measure the programme. DYNAMIC is implemented by a consortium of actors: GOAL is the consortium lead and along with Mercy Corps, will directly implement the programme across eight districts. VSO is the technical lead for skills and learning and Restless Development is the technical lead for youth engagement. Mercy Corps is the technical lead for market development and financial services and GOAL is the technical lead for M&E. Overseas Development Institute (ODI) will provide technical back stopping to overall M&E systems on behalf of MasterCard Foundation.


The Programme Director will lead the coordination, strategy, compliance, M&E and reporting of the consortium of implementing partners. The Programme Director will engender a collaborative team spirit focused on achievement of the programmes goals. The programme is just beginning (August 2015 – 2020), and offers the right candidate an exciting opportunity to influence the setup, research and detailed implementation design of this large and innovative programme. The position is based in Lira, a thriving market town mid – eastern Uganda where the programme management unit (PMU) will sit.


Essential Job Functions


Strategy and Vision

  • Provide strategic leadership and vision to attain programme goal and objectives through the development, implementation, reviews, presentation and management of all aspects of this large programme.

  • Recommend and lead implementation of programme priorities and explore, evaluate and present new programme/ business opportunities that leverage impact and/ or complement core activities.


Program Management

  • Lead the day to day consortium management to ensure programme objectives and reporting deadlines are met.

  • The programme director is responsible for ensuring the grant management and implementation (including all compliance and reporting), with support from GOAL finance and grant management teams.

  • Manage all operations related to the programme according to the programme work plan, programme budget and implementation strategy.

  • Troubleshoot, as needed, to prevent disruptions in daily programme activities and liaise with relevant senior management from across the consortium.

  • Monitor programme implementation, measure impact and calibrate programme strategy and implementation accordingly.

  • Work closely with the GOAL MEL Coordinator and ODI on the MEL systems design and measurement.

  • Ensure that achievements and best practices are captured and disseminated including the continual re-evaluation of programme activities and information, with resulting activity adjustments.

  • Primary person responsible for the management of logistics, administration, human resources and transport needs of the programme in line with donor guidelines and GOAL policy Ensure all programme funds are spent in accordance with donor rules and regulations and are reasonable, and that work with the private sector conforms to MasterCard Foundation guidelines.

  • Work with the Deputy Director to forecast expenditure surpluses and deficits to enable adjustments to be made to the programme in a timely fashion.

  • Ensure that all work follows international quality standards and best practices and that agriculture initiatives are technically and environmentally sound.


Team Management

  • Directly responsible for the performance management of the Programme Management Unit (PMU) which includes consortium partners’ staff.

  • Manage the recruitment and training of the PMU to ensure staff are of the quality and capacity to ensure the successful implementation of activities. Monitor and advise on staffing needs throughout the programme. Ensure evaluations and disciplinary measures are made, as necessary according to GOAL policy. 

  • Provide direct and ongoing supervision and managerial support to all staff in the PMU.



  • Ensure accountability to project participants and to international standards guiding development work. This includes understanding and following established international guidelines and actively engaging participating communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of programmes.

  • Work closely in partnership with the GOAL Uganda Country Director to represent the programme to the MasterCard Foundation, the Uganda government at national and district levels. As well as the programme Steering Committee, Consortium Coordination Group, National Advisory Committee and the National Youth Working Group.

  • Ensure good relations and accountability with the MasterCard Foundation, Ugandan government counterparts and private sector partners.

  • Ensure establishment and maintenance of relationships with target communities, and local government structures.

  • Represent DYNAMIC at external conferences (Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference, SEEP conference, etc.) and relevant thought leadership events as needed

Knowledge and experience required for the position

  • Master’s Degree in economic development or other relevant field is preferred.

  • At least 7 years of relevant international experience including three years in a senior management position

  • Experience managing consortium-led programmes. 

  • Proven technical experience in market facilitation, youth development, livelihoods and/or agriculture and value chain programming.

  • Previous experience in Uganda or East Africa.

  • Must have a strong background in market development 

  • Practical experience managing consortium-led grants involving international NGO partners.

  • Complex program management and demonstrated success building, managing and leading a team of professionals.

  • Strong writing, communication, organization, prioritization and negotiating skills.

  • Excellent (English) verbal and written communication skills with proven financial management skills.

  • Experience in building and maintaining effective partnerships with implementing and strategic partner agencies, and government authorities and counterparts.

  • Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of Office applications.


In summary:

The successful candidate will possess strong leadership skills with the ability to maintain a broad perspective. S/he will undertake innovative approaches, be agile in the conceptualization of new programme ideas and will be well versed in strategic thinking and planning. S/he will also have ability to juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines, and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected events impacting programme operations. The ideal candidate will be familiar with market-based agricultural programmes targeting youth, and will demonstrate cultural knowledge and sensitivity, while also demonstrating skills and ability to build and maintain partnerships with international organizations and private sector partners.  Must have strong interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate and manage expectations of many stakeholders. The ability and desire to grow a cohesive and professional team from across multiple partners is essential.


Job location

Lira, Eastern Uganda, with extensive travel to programme sites

Reports to

Country Director


The Programme Director has overall responsibility for all aspects of management of a five year $21.3 million MasterCard Foundation funded consortium program*; targeting youth and using a market based approach in the agriculture sector in Northern Uganda.

Works directly with

Country Directors of consortium partners, Financial Controller, Assistant Country Director Systems and Assistant Country Director Programmes, all staff including those seconded by partners.

*Consortia members are Mercy Corps, VSO and Restless Development


Any published closing dates are estimated.  Due to the nature of GOAL’s work we aim to fill vacancies as quickly as possible.  This means that we will close adverts as soon as we have found the right candidate and this may be before the published closing date.  We would therefore advise interested applicants to submit an application as early as possible.