Programme Manager

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Location:  Lusaka, Zambia

Contract:  12 months, potential to renew subject to funding; Candidates must have the right to work in Zambia

Salary £31,000 – £38,000; Commensurate with experience

Hours:  Full-time (37.5 hours per week)

Reporting to:  Senior Programme Manager

About the Education Partnerships Group (EPG):

Incubated within UK education charity, Ark, the Education Partnerships Group (EPG) is an international not-for-profit consultancy that   partners   with governments to shape and strengthen their education systems. Our vision is that governments in low- and middle-income countries are equipped to ensure that every child goes to school and learns. We believe that supporting government to design and implement contextually relevant and evidence-based public policy is the best way to drive sustainable progress towards achieving quality education for all.  


We assist governments across three critical stages of the policy process:  

1.       Generating and using research to inform policy  

2.       Supporting the design and development of policy  

3.       Supporting the piloting and scaling of policy reform initiatives  


Today, EPG works in five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: South Africa, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, and Zambia.  


In our work, we prioritise a genuine understanding of context rather than assuming ideas can simply be transplanted from one country to another. We also focus on the system – the roles, responsibilities, and relationships of all the different actors – rather than working on one policy area in isolation.  


COVID has demonstrated more than ever the importance of effective education systems capable of coordinating and targeting limited resources through evidence-based approaches for impactful education service delivery. With growing demand for our services, EPG is currently focused on seizing those opportunities to expand our footprint in current programme countries and new geographies.  


About the project:

EPG have been awarded a grant to support the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Zambia under the USAID-funded CATALYZE programme. EPG is working closely with the MoE to review, prioritise, and develop education policy in three core areas: regulation, accountability and public/private partnerships, all of which are highlighted in the Government’s Education Sector and Skills Plan (ESSP) framework.


We are currently nearing the end of the first year of the project, which has focused on setting up a team in Lusaka, conducting diagnostic work, and building relationships with the MoE and other key stakeholders to inform our work going forward beyond Year 1.

About the role:

The Programme Manager will play a central role in delivering EPG’s work and ensuring the successful delivery of the EduFinance-CATALYZE project in Zambia. This will include: cultivating and maintaining trusted relationships with senior Ministry officials and other key stakeholders; designing and delivering contextually-relevant advice and support to Government partners on education policy reform design, planning, implementation and monitoring; reviewing and drafting policy-related documents; coordinating and overseeing research and policy development work by commissioned partners and consultants; managing one Lusaka-based Associate and working closely with a global team; overseeing all elements of project management; contributing to monitoring, feedback and evaluation mechanisms; liaising with donors and funding partners and supporting the set of an EPG office in Zambia.


This project has strict reporting requirements that will require timely delivery and attention to detail.


The right candidate will find EPG an exciting and entrepreneurial environment and see this role as an opportunity to build a team and programme strategy together with internal and external stakeholders, which will ultimately have a positive impact on improving children’s learning in Zambia.


Indicative responsibilities:

  • Cultivate and maintain trusted relationships with senior MoE officials, maintaining regular contact and check-ins through in-person visits, meetings, workshops, and electronic communication;
  • Work directly with senior officials in the MoE and related agencies to design and deliver policy-related technical assistance aimed at shaping and strengthening the education system;
  • Cultivate and maintain trusted relationships with key stakeholders and Development Partners, including but not limited to major bilateral and multilateral donors, UN agencies, donor implementing partners and consultancies, national NGOs, advocacy groups;
  • Lead on monthly and quarterly reporting to the funders, engaging with partners as necessary to coordinate on reporting, and participate in monthly and quarterly partner meetings on progress;
  • Lead on setting up an office in Lusaka for EPG, with the potential to leverage ministry partnerships to have an embedded office space in the MoE;
  • Liaise with partners, including wider Catalyze partners, on a regular basis, and ensure efficient project delivery and reporting, which has strict and specific requirements on a monthly and quarterly basis;
  • Support the establishment and/or refinement of policy development, delivery and/or monitoring systems within government, including the creation of coordination structures, decision making and project monitoring systems and problem solving interventions;
  • Work in close partnership with the wider EPG global team to ensure efficient and high-quality delivery of all technical assistance projects and the exchange of insights and learning across projects;
  • Drive regular project and programme team meetings;
  • Be accountable for regularly updated project workplans, budgets and monitoring frameworks;
  • Collaborate with colleagues to nurture new funding partnerships and deepen existing partnerships interested in EPG’s work;
  • Participate in the development of EPG through regular team meetings, knowledge exchange and professional development.

Candidate requirements:

  • A Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration, Social Sciences or a related field;
  • A track record of high-level relationship building and influencing of senior government officials and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Considerable professional experience in the design and delivery of policy-related projects, including strong strategic thinking and analytical skills;
  • Commitment to education as a critical lever for success
  • Strong written communications and presentation skills in English;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with a sense of humility and willingness to work with diverse team members, often remotely
  • Commitment to EPG’s core values
    • Responsive  | we start from a place of “yes”
    • Accountable  | we accept ownership and healthy conflict
    • Rigorous  | we create and meet high expectations
    • Inclusive  | we seek diversity of perspectives and experiences
    • Respectful  | we are quick to listen and empathize

How to Apply:  

 Apply with a CV and cover letter on our online recruitment portal, using the link below. Please disregard the UK based questions as they do not apply to you.


The deadline for applications is Friday 14 th  January 2022. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis as they are received.    

To apply for this job please visit .

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