Senior Programme Manager – Skills

Senior Programme Manager – Skills

Posted 2 weeks ago

Job Features

Contract Type18 month term
Closing Date1 June

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The Role

Are you an experienced market systems development practitioner with knowledge of skills development?  Do you have an in-depth understanding of the context in East Africa and understand intimately the broad range of skills required to deliver effective market systems programmes and to navigate political economy issues and relationships?  Could you use your skills, experience and creativity to ensure our staff have the right training, learning experiences and mentoring opportunities to personally develop, progress in their careers and fulfil our ambitions of transforming sectors to benefit millions of people?

Gatsby Africa is recruiting a Senior Programme Manager – Skills to overhaul our skills development and expand opportunities for our 200+ members of staff.  The SPM Skills will develop and implement a systematic skills development strategy, including staff progression routes, generic training opportunities, technical training mechanisms, and coaching and mentoring systems.  The SPM Skills will be tasked with helping us to think through these elements, producing the strategy, and starting the implementation process by identifying potential providers both internally and externally in East Africa.

This is a technical role, requiring substantial professional knowledge and expertise in private sector development, as well as strong core management, communications and relationship-building skills.  The SPM Skills should be able to bring a wide range of skills development experience to bear in tackling GA’s skills development needs thoroughly and in a prioritised manner. They should ideally have sector programme implementation experience, including exposure to people and operational management.

The ideal candidates will have at least six to eight years of relevant experience, and will be strategic thinkers with sound judgement, private sector DNA and the ability to rapidly grasp new ways of working and different strategic goals. They will have a background in M4P / market systems development, plus substantive exposure to operational challenges in private sector development, as well as experience living and working in East Africa.  They will be able to design and deliver generic training courses, but also to work with local institutions to build their capabilities to deliver effective training on sector development.  There is scope for this post to evolve over time to play a broader role within Gatsby’s portfolio.

About Gatsby Africa

In 1967 David Sainsbury set up the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. David (now Lord Sainsbury of Turville) has since given Gatsby more than £1 billion to distribute to charitable causes in a variety of fields, including neuroscience, plant science and public policy.  These reflect David Sainsbury’s areas of interest and draw from his professional experience.

Gatsby has funded and implemented programmes in Africa since 1985. Their mission is to accelerate inclusive and resilient economic growth in East Africa by demonstrating how key sectors can be transformed.

Person Specification

  • Ability to quickly attain an in-depth understanding of Gatsby’s approach to sector development, as well as the operating environment in East Africa.
  • Ability to review skills needs of specific roles and to investigate current skills gaps with professionalism and integrity to ensure that people feel they are receiving support.
  • Excellent networking skills and the ability to bring people together.
  • Sophisticated oral and written communication skills coupled with excellent interpersonal skills. Able to build a strong rapport, establish relationships quickly, and work effectively with other individuals and organisations.
  • Ability to design and to deliver generic and targeted training courses.
  • Ability to facilitate, coach and support training providers to enhance their delivery of training courses.
  • A genuine team-player with strong skills in listening, negotiating and influencing.
  • Strong time-management and work planning skills – an ability to meet deadlines under pressure, including managing/ prioritising multiple areas of work for different team members in a fast paced, and often fast changing, environment.


  • In-depth understanding of private sector development/market systems facilitation processes, typical activities and methods of engagement.
  • In-depth understanding of the operating environment in East Africa and to nuances in skills required to navigate political economy issues and relationships.
  • Up-to-date with the latest thinking and best practice in private sector development and particularly in skills needed and training mechanisms.
  • A network of contacts across the development and investment sectors in East Africa.


  • Proven experience of working within large-scale and complex private sector development programmes, including market facilitation programmes.
  • Proven experience of and responsibility for supporting the development of staff skills.
  • Considerable experience producing training materials; quality controlling training materials; delivering training; and quality controlling/evaluating training delivery.
  • Experience of working with training partners to improve their service offering, develop targeted courses and enhance their delivery mechanisms.
  • Experience of working in cross-cultural teams, demonstrating sensitivity to cultural differences and managing workshops for groups with highly mixed cultural and skills backgrounds.


Bachelor’s degree required. MBA or advanced degree, particularly in the areas of Business Administration, Economics, International Development, Agribusiness, Finance, or a business-related field preferred.


Interested in this role? Download the appointment brief below for more information then come back to this page to apply.

Lead Consultant

Karen Twining
Lead Consultant