In collaboration with the Regional Director, responsible for identifying and leading program development priorities for the region and assuring quality of ongoing projects to raise AEA’s profile in SEAC. The position works closely with Country Program Directors (CPDs) to grow AEA’s funding portfolio while ensuring quality of program design and implementation in line with strategic priorities and technical standards. The Senior Program Officer is responsible for providing hands-on technical programming and support to country programs in the areas of program design and development, monitoring and evaluation, communications and reporting, and leads regular analysis of funding and program performance data to strengthen results-based management and decision-making. This includes ensuring that information is collected, shared and utilized to improve ongoing programming, and incorporated into high quality grand proposals and reporting. The position is a member of the regional senior management team providing technical input on strategic direction, management and operational issues.
Program Development & New Business (60%)
- Facilitate annual planning and direction setting for restricted resource mobilization, working in close collaboration with regional and country management teams.
- Provide technical and research support to inform institutional funding strategies and targets that are aligned with latest funding trends, policies and innovations in education.
- Assist CPDs to develop partnership and positioning strategies based on mapped donor priorities, making sure to match leads with country program objectives.
- Lead/co-lead concept note, proposal and budget development for institutional and other major funding agencies and ensure adherence to specific donor requirements and organizational standards.
- Manage coordinated planning, preparation, technical review, submission and follow-up of high quality concept note and proposal submissions, in response to donor calls or unsolicited applications.
- Maintain an updated institutional donor database and provide regular and proactive alerts on funding opportunities to countries that align with annual targets and program objectives.
- Analyze funding performance and make strategic decisions and recommendations to improve quality of submissions and increase funding success.
- Conduct desk reviews, field assessments and information gathering in proposed countries of expansion and support initiation of new operations, in coordination with regional and country team members.
Program Quality (25%)
- Lead development of regional and country operational strategies that respond to real and assessed needs and position AEA as a leading INGO in education across the region, in collaboration with regional management team members.
- Coordinate the development of AEA SEAC program standards that capture and integrate AEA and industry best practice and ensure their adherence in project design and implementation.
- Contribute to the development, implementation and monitoring of project work plans and provide country teams with technical and problem-solving support to ensure achievement of project objectives.
- Guide country teams to deepen programmatic thinking and design of project models that are in line with AEA and global technical standards and support strategic decision-making through enhanced country-regional-international coordination.
- Improve existing program development tools (e.g. Project Management Manual) and lead creation of new tools and guides to improve quality of proposal development, reporting, and documentation across the region.
- Strengthen monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes and tools that directly support program quality at the local level. This includes supporting design of need assessments, evaluations and documentation priorities that captures key practices and lessons and maximizes the impact of AEA’s projects in countries.
- Maintain a donor-reporting matrix and ensure timely review and submission of high quality donor reports.
- Identify capacity needs of program staff and facilitate training and professional development opportunities on quality issues (e.g. M&E, project reporting, proposal writing) in close collaboration with CPDs and regional team.
Relationship Management, Coordination and Communication (15%)
- Manage, maintain and cultivate relationships with key institutional donors, and ensure responsive communication and follow-up, as needed.
- Interact with regional representatives of multilateral organizations and INGOs to ensure positive working relationships at country and regional levels.
- Encourage overall program cohesion through coordination and information-sharing across the region, and identify opportunities for programmatic synergy, where possible.
- Streamline a regional information management system and strengthen communication protocols between country-region-international levels, including managing requests for information for fundraising and communication priorities.
- Lead development of high quality communication and marketing materials that can be utilized for multiple purposes, including in country donor meetings, regional networking, and global marketing.
- Participate in relevant coordination meetings and represent AEA in regional meetings or at inter-agency forums, as required.
Qualification, knowledge and experience
- A Master’s Degree in Project Management, Social Science, Education, International Development, International Relations or related disciplines;
- Demonstrated experience (minimum five years) in project design, management and implementation, with thorough understanding of quality frameworks and monitoring, evaluation and learning systems;
- Working knowledge of the Southeast Asia region and technical areas relevant to AEA;
- Experience in the education setting and practice, theory of change, result-based management, project cycle management, measurement of quantitative and qualitative impacts;
- Extensive knowledge of institutional donor policies and guidelines, with demonstrated experience working with and adhering to guidelines of USAID, EU and other major donors;
Skills and Attributes
- Outstanding interpersonal skills with the ability to work with multiple teams and effectively influence / engage at the executive level;
- Advanced writing, editing, negotiation, and presentation skills;
- Strong computer skills;
- Demonstrated budgeting skills;
- Strong quantitative and qualitative skills, including the ability to analyze and synthesize information for programmatic decision-making;
- Experienced networker with excellent presentation, communication and negotiation skills, and ability to develop strategic partnerships for enhanced funding;
- An energetic self-starter with the resilience, pace, interpersonal flexibility and comfort with ambiguity to succeed within the evolving and sometimes demanding culture;
- Ability to be flexible in the face of changing priorities and maintain a sense of humor.