Technical Specialist

Social Development Direct
Closing date: 6 September 2019
Job Type: Paid
We are seeking candidates with a strong background in gender equality, inclusion and social development issues for a Technical Specialist post to join our team at SDDirect.
  • Department: Technical Team
  • Location: Central London, with possible international travel
  • Reports to: Senior Consultant/Technical Director
  • Appointment term: Full-time contract
  • Specific requirements: You must be eligible to work in the UK and able to travel internationally.
  • Closing Date: Friday 6 Sept 2019, 5pm GMT. Interviews will be held in mid-September
  • Remuneration Package: £30k-£40k based on experience

The Technical Specialist role is a junior/mid-level staff consultant position with the SDDirect Technical Team. S/he will play a key role in delivering technical work across our portfolio of research, evaluation and implementation programmes. This will include desk-based and in-country work, such as undertaking evidence reviews and supporting programme design. Gender equality and social inclusion are at the heart of all of SDDirect’s work, and the portfolio includes programmes focused on: governance, voice and accountability; security, justice and peace-building; gender-based violence; women’s economic empowerment; and inclusive public services (including girls’ education, urban development and infrastructure). Some of our flagship programmes include the Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness Programme (STAR-Ghana); DFID’s Infrastructure and Cities for Economic Development; the Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Helpdesk; DFID’s Work and Opportunities for Women programme; the Girls Education Challenge; and Disability Inclusive Development. Please refer to our website for more information about our portfolio.


Technical support

  • Provide technical support to a range of consultancy and research assignments
  • Support project/programme management and delivery, including coordination, client liaison, and, in some cases, leadership of small consultant/researcher teams
  • Support relationship management with a variety of clients including government departments (e.g. DFID, FCO and other UK Departments), international agencies, non-governmental organisations, foundations and consultancy partners
  • Undertake international and national travel on consultancy and research assignments as may be needed
  • Support quality assurance processes to ensure the delivery of products and services to clients at a high standard of professionalism
  • Support compliance with SDDirect project management requirements, client specifications and contractual obligations – including timely reporting, recording of consultant inputs, contract budget monitoring, and use of the SDDirect online project management system

Business growth

  • Active assistance in identifying and scoping out new clients and business opportunities;
  • Participation in the review and assessment of potential business development and bidding prospects;
  • Providing the Business Development Team with technical input and content for relevant expressions of interest, bids and research proposals to prospective clients.

Representation, networking and learning

  • Represent SDDirect and its work as needed at meetings and events
  • Contribute to company profile, partnership-building and knowledge-sharing through relevant networking activities
  • Support the development of SDDirect’s body of knowledge and practice, strategic thinking, intellectual leadership and planning, staying abreast of current thinking methodologies and good practice in the field
  • Provide coordination and implementation support as needed to SDDirect learning, knowledge-sharing and dialogue activities (internal and external)

This is not an exhaustive list as duties may vary from time to time in consultation with the post-holder.



  • A postgraduate university degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. international development, economics, politics, political economy, human rights, public administration, public policy, sociology, gender studies, peace & conflict studies, etc.) or equivalent
  • Substantial relevant experience (at least 4 years) related to social development in developing countries, working with multilateral, bilateral or non-governmental development organisations
  • Strong understanding of social development, particularly gender equality and social inclusion issues
  • Relevant skills and experience working in one or more of the following thematic areas: Governance, voice & accountability, Inclusive public services (education, health, urban development & infrastructure, disability), Security, justice & peace-building (including women, peace and security)
  • Experience in supporting the implementation of international development contracts on behalf of a multilateral, bilateral, foundation or NGO, preferably with substantial field experience in developing countries
  • Experience in research and evaluation
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentational skills and an ability to communicate complex ideas to a range of audiences
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (including social media)
  • Strong organisational skills, attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking and rigorous analytical skills
  • A demonstrable commitment to human rights, gender equality and social justice
  • A self-starter and strong team player, with initiative and an entrepreneurial attitude
  • Fluency in written and spoken English 
  • Ability to travel internationally and to work legally in the UK


  • Candidates with strengths in other SDDirect thematic areas may still apply as we are looking to recruit to the Technical Team more broadly
  • Bid-writing and proposal development experience for consultancy/research opportunities and tenders
  • Experience of working in a consultancy role or as an employee of a donor agency, international NGO or foundation, development research body or multilateral development organisation
  • Experience of working in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East/North Africa and/or South Asia
  • Good public speaking, networking and representational skills
  • Group and process facilitation skills
  • Fluency in other languages – e.g. French, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, Urdu, Hindi
  • Experience with quantitative research and evaluation methods and/or mixed methods evaluation
  • Knowledge of monitoring and evaluation and measuring results
  • People and event management skills/experience
Region: London and the southeast
Sector: Consulting Projects and programmes Research

Application notes

If you are interested in joining our dynamic team, please email your tailored CV with a cover letter by email to [email protected] by Friday 6th Sept 2019, 5pm GMT. We will be reviewing these on a rolling basis. Please use this email subject line: ‘Technical Specialist’.

Your CV and cover letter should be tailored for this job application, and should clearly demonstrate how you fit the person specification outlined below, and why you are applying for this role. The CV should be no longer than 3 pages, and the cover letter no longer than 1 page. In your cover letter, please also clearly specify:

• Your right to work in the UK • Your ability to work in our London office • Your ability to travel overseas • The names of two referees who may be contacted

Interviews will be held in mid-September 2019. SDDirect strives to be an inclusive organisation. Our office is wheelchair accessible. Please let us know if you would require any assistance in order to attend the interview.

Due to the high volume of applications, we are only able to respond to shortlisted candidates.

Please mention Bond when you apply for this position.