Programmes Director, Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria | Full-time consultancy (initially); Full-time, fixed-term (pending registration in 2021)

I. Position Summary

The Programme Director, Nigeria will provide strategic leadership and representation in one of Malala Fund’s focus countries. Malala Fund has engaged in partnerships and programmatic work in Nigeria since 2015 and is planning on increasing its portfolio investment and influencing work in this strategic period (2020-2025). This position will manage a small team with responsibilities for all elements of work in the country and liaise regularly with global Malala Fund staff.

The Programme Director will lead the rollout of an integrated and comprehensive country strategy for change; leveraging the Malala Fund brand and bringing diverse resources to innovative agendas for progress at national and state levels that are led and championed by our partners. Through the country strategy, they will align operations in Nigeria with Malala Fund’s five-year strategic plan and identify new opportunities to apply Malala Fund resources and expertise in partnership with our civil society partners.

The Programme Director will manage expansion of the organisation’s programme and promote synergies across Malala Fund’s work in Nigeria and lead national influencing work with our partners. The Programme Director will build relationships with key stakeholders in the government, NGOs and private sector to advance a national girls’ education agenda.

What we are looking for: This is a milestone appointment for Malala Fund and we are looking for a feminist leader who shares our commitment to gender transformative change and girls’ education. The successful candidate will be able to show us how they have lived and worked for these essential values in the past and have new ideas for how Malala Fund could advance these priorities in the future.

Salary: Competitive

II. Responsibilities

Strategy Planning & Execution

  • Lead the development and implementation of Malala Fund’s national strategy for Nigeria, in line with the organisation’s five-year strategy.
  • Define areas of geographic priority for Malala Fund work in-country.
  • Realise synergies and promote strategic integration among Malala Fund’s Education Champion Network, Girl Activist Programme, Country Partnerships and influencing priorities.
Stakeholder Engagement & Representation
  • Pursue strategic opportunities to partner with allies and influence national and regional decision-makers, key networks and coalitions and other stakeholders.
  • Cultivate and manage high-level relationships with national stakeholders able to contribute resources, expertise and/or political capital to country work.
  • Support national influencing plans and campaigns of partners and direct activities when appropriate and align with wider Malala Fund influencing, campaigns and communications activities.
  • With their team and Malala Fund’s Communications Department, promote communications about Malala Fund work and represent the brand in national media.
  • Guide team members to recruit and build a portfolio of strategic grantee partners that enable Malala Fund to realise the country strategy.
  • Cultivate an informal national network to help identify competitive grantee candidates.
  • Serve as Malala Fund liaison to grantees and partners as needed.
  • Promote and monitor safeguarding and child protection by Malala Fund partners.
  • Develop and administer annual country operational plans and budgets for all operations, grants, travel and consultants in Nigeria.
  • Together with the Strategy and Learning team, operationalise MEL for the Nigeria country strategy and support MEL for specific programmes.
People Management & Culture
  • Manage and recruit staff and consultants in Nigeria, actively building and maintaining systems that allow for the growth and development of all direct reports.
  • Actively contribute to making Malala Fund a diverse and equitable workplace through inclusive practices and openness to different perspectives, cultures and ideas.
  • Co-create clear objectives and development plans for direct reports, and engage in regular and constructive performance conversations.
  • Share key messages and relevant information with direct reports, and seek out, address and/or escalate feedback as appropriate.
  • Ensure all direct reports understand and comply with Malala Fund policies, procedures and resources.
  • Maintain behaviour and conduct that uphold the highest standards for safeguarding, professionally and personally.
  • Actively build and maintain systems that allow for the growth and development of all direct reports.
  • Welcome and induct new team members into Malala Fund, and facilitate collaboration across and within your team.

In addition to the national level responsibilities outlined above, the Programme Director Nigeria is a core member of the global leadership team at Malala Fund, and as such is expected to contribute to shaping and representing the organisation at a global level.

Leadership and Representation

  • Provide leadership in developing and delivering Malala Fund’s programmatic work, in line with the organisation’s five-year strategy.
  • Cultivate and manage high-level relationships with global and technical stakeholders able to contribute resources, expertise and/or political capital to Malala Fund’s Programmatic work.
  • Play a thought leadership role within and outside the organisation on evidence-based interventions that increase girls’ access to 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
  • Develops and presents materials on Malala Fund activity to the CEO and Malala Fund’s Board as necessary.
  • Represent Programmes in strategic collaborations with other departments.
Organisational Culture
  • Upholds the values of Malala Fund.
  • Actively contributes to making Malala Fund a diverse and equitable workplace through inclusive practice and openness to different perspectives, cultures and ideas.
  • Maintains behaviour and conduct that uphold the highest standards for safeguarding, professionally and personally.
  • Acts as a role model for a ‘learning organisation’ culture by seeking insight and using problems as opportunities to learn.

III. Knowledge, Experience and Behaviours


  • Experience working with vulnerable populations, particularly in a volatile and high security environment.
  • Significant experience working in successfully greater levels of responsibility in international development organisations with a focus on empowerment and gender transformation.
  • Proven experience in leadership roles with a track record of strategy development, advocacy and delivering effective programmes.
  • Experience managing staff and consultants, creating annual plans and managing budgets.
  • Experience developing and implementing influencing strategies using a wide range of tactics and approaches.
  • Proven ability to cultivate influential networks of diverse stakeholders.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to relate and communicate with individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
  • Solid judgement and problem-solving skills with proven attention to detail, accuracy, and quality.
  • Strong work ethic, organisational skills and the ability to be self-directed.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent team player with ability to work independently and in collaboration with colleagues at all levels across departments and external stakeholders.
  • Strong commitment to Malala Fund’s mission, purpose and values.
  • Strong commitment to gender equality, anti-racism, anti-discrimination, decolonization and social justice.
  • Expertise in child protection best practices or safeguarding of vulnerable populations, and experience in effectively handling safeguarding incidents.
  • Professional experience working in different regions of Nigeria with substantial understanding of social and cultural dynamics in one or more regions of the country.
  • Experience working in the education sector in Nigeria, preferably in a leadership role for a prominent education sector related institution or initiative.
  • Fluency in several major native languages.

Malala Fund is committed to racial equity and social justice. We actively seek applicants from diverse backgrounds, experiences and identities, to provide a wide range of perspectives, ideas, views and insights into the strategy, policies, culture and ambitions of Malala Fund. We would particularly welcome applications from candidates who have lived in countries in which Malala Fund is operating.

IV. About Malala Fund

Registered as a public charity in the U.K. and U.S., Malala Fund is working toward a world where all girls can learn and lead. With more than 130 million girls out of school today, we're breaking down barriers that hold girls back.

Malala Fund advocates for resources and policy changes needed to give all girls a secondary education. The girls we serve have high goals for themselves and we have high expectations for leaders who can help them. We invest in local education leaders and front-line organisations — the people who best understand girls in their communities — in regions where most girls are missing out on secondary school. We give girls the tools they need to advocate for education and equality in their communities and a platform for the world to hear their voices. We believe girls should speak for themselves and tell leaders what they need to learn and achieve their potential.

V. How to Apply

To apply to this role please submit your resume and responses to Oxford HR through the link below:

Please note that due to the very high number of applications we receive when positions are posted, we are only able to respond directly to candidates with whom we wish to move forward in the interview process.

Malala Fund is an inclusive organisation and welcomes applications from under-represented and intersectional groups including BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and persons with disabilities. We are seeking people from different backgrounds, cultures, age, experience and identities, to provide a wide range of experience, ideas, views and insights into the strategy, policies, culture and ambitions of Malala Fund.

Malala Fund is committed to ensuring the safety of those involved in our work. Our first priority is protecting everyone who comes in direct or indirect contact with our organisation. Malala Fund has a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and exploitation by any of our staff, representatives or partners. We commit to ensuring that those who work with Malala Fund or on our behalf are able to work in an environment that is free from harm. To this end, Malala Fund reserves the right to conduct background checks on prospective and current employees.