Near East Foundation - UK
Title: Programme Manager for Innovative Finance
Reports to: Programme Director, NEF UK
Location: London (flexible work modalities in the Greater London region may be considered)
Travel: Regular travel to field sites
Salary: £48,000 - £52,000
The Near East Foundation UK (NEF UK) is seeking candidates for Programme Manager for Innovative Finance to be based in its London office. NEF UK is a part of the Near East Foundation Family of Entities. For over 100 years, the Near East Foundation (NEF) has worked to build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East, Caucasus, and Africa through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF has operations in ten countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. Its programs are organized around three themes: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilization and Peacebuilding.
NEF UK is seeking a dynamic and experienced individual to serve as Programme Manager for Innovative Finance. The Programme Manager will primarily support the first refugee development impact bond (DIB) to be implemented by NEF in Jordan (phase 1; launch summer 2021) and Lebanon (phase 2; anticipated autumn 2022). The Programme Manager will also support planned innovative and blended financing programmes in Syria, Sudan and other countries.
The Programme Manager works directly with local teams to ensure the effective delivery and programmatic excellence of innovative finance projects. The role involves working closely with the DIB parties, contributing to program development, developing and maintaining key stakeholder relationships and creating opportunities to advance external relationships. The Programme Manager will work under the supervision of the NEF UK Programme Director and in close collaboration with the NEF US, UK and Belgium headquarters team.
The Programme Manager will work directly with field office programme managers and country teams to support the effective and timely implementation of Innovative Finance projects while also developing and maintaining key stakeholder relationships. Specific responsibilities include:
Contract Management, Coordination, Systems and Compliance
- Tracking progress and providing support as necessary to ensure timely implementation of project activities;
- Coordinating headquarters management and technical support to project teams to ensure programmatic impact and excellence;
- Assisting in the preparation and timely completion of key deliverables such as workplans, monitoring and evaluation plans, progress reports; ensuring quality control of project deliverables;
- Identifying and advocating for professional development and capacity building needs and opportunities for local teams;
- Keeping up to date with innovative finance funders/investors policy developments and trends, both within the relevant country/sector and more generally, and represent NEF in funding review groups/networks as appropriate;
- Leading regular work planning and budget management review sessions with local project managers and HQ colleagues;
- Conducting periodic visits to project sites to monitor and support project implementation;
- Communicating with other NEF teams to ensure that programmes are well understood and that information is available for program development, fundraising and communication needs; may involve participation in sessions/events with supporters, communities of practice, working groups;
- Ensuring compliance with agreements, regulations and requirements attached to our work (including on funder/investor compliance requirements) and NEF quality standards;
- Identifying, tracking and managing risks (operational, economic, environmental) for projects;
Programme Development and External Representation
- Contributing to the conceptualisation and preparation of innovative financing proposals for institutional funder and impact investors;
- Contributing to topical communications collateral and to the innovative finance communications strategy;
- Where appropriate, liaising with the Programme Development and Partnerships teams to ensure coherent funder/investor engagement strategies are developed and maintained;
- Representing NEF as required in external meetings and innovative financing forums;
- Assessing quality of partnerships; ensuring effective communication with partners; addressing contract-related issues in a timely manner;
- Assist with the coordination of visits to innovate finance programmes by HQ colleagues, funders, NEF board members, and other stakeholders;
- Other project management and representational needs as needed.
Qualifications and Experience
The successful candidate will have the following qualification and experience:
- A university degree in a relevant subject;
- 3-5 years of senior level experience in innovative finance, including significant experience of working with partners and consortia; experience in development impact bond is a plus;
- Demonstrated experience and effectiveness in project management and knowledge of project management tools and systems;
- Extensive experience in report writing and compliance and risk management; particularly for outcome funders and impact investors;
- Experience in livelihoods, economic growth or enterprise development programming is a plus;
- Previous field experience in one or more countries in an NEF region of interest is a plus; understanding of context and operating environment;
- Demonstrated experience and success with bid management and proposal development in innovative or blended financing;
- Experience in (or understanding of) effective management of risk related to innovative finance;
- Fluency in English required (written and oral); Arabic and/or French skills are a plus;
- Ability and willingness to travel to field sites outside the UK, sometimes at short notice;
- Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.
- Strong communication skills, with excellent written and spoken English;
- High degree of flexibility and adaptability with a willingness to travel to countries where NEF works;
- Ability to work effectively across a wide variety of cultural contexts;
- Ability to communicate with colleagues and partners at a distance;
- Understanding of effective and values-based partnership work;
- Strong relationship building skills, particularly at a distance; effective team player; able to develop and maintain working relationships within a disperse and dynamic team;
- Creative thinker; display solutions-oriented approaches in an innovative and frequently high-pressure environment.