Senior Program Development Advisor - NY/London

London, London, gb
2019-04-26 12:47:13

Job Description


Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC’s mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 28 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient. The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.

The Global Awards Management Unit (AMU) 

Established in January 2016, the Global Awards Management Unit (AMU) is a global unit spanning New York, Washington DC, London, Nairobi and Amman. It has responsibility for identifying, securing and managing all funding from statutory donors. The Unit is organized into five directorates: Strategic Partnerships & Data Analytics; Grants Management & Frameworks; Compliance and Policy; Programme Development; and Training.

The Purpose of the Role

The Senior Programme Development Advisor sits within the AMU’s Programme Development pillar. The Programme Development pillar is responsible for all of the IRC’s business development from statutory / governmental sources (with the exception of the UN).  This includes providing direct leadership on large, strategic proposals, with a particular focus on high value USAID RFPs/RFAs, and other highly competitive funding streams.

The main purpose of the role is to offer bid leadership on key opportunities, as well as manage targeted support to IRC’s regions and country offices in program/me development and proposal work.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Relationship management with internal stakeholders (HQ-based regional and technical units, as well as IRC country offices)
  • Provide a broad range of proposal and business development support, including:
  • Grant/contract and partnership review and negotiation (teaming)

Scope and Authority

Authority: This position fulfills a critical advisory role with regards to the organization’s pursuit of competitive government / statutory funding opportunity, and will be relied on to represent the AMU Programme Development pillar on many of the organization’s more strategic, high value and complex funding opportunities. The post-holder is expected to independently engage with other IRC business units, demonstrate initiative, make decisions and provide support and advice autonomously but in line with parameters laid out by the Director of Programme Development and Deputy Director of the Specialist Section. 

The post holder will manage proposal quality assurance, in depth support and bid leadership for particular proposals; and be accountable for the outputs and outcomes of the team.

Key Working Relationships

  • Reports to Deputy Director, Specialist Section
  • Colleagues across Programme Development and wider AMU
  • IRC Country Offices, Regional Teams and Technical Units (on specific funding opportunities)


General (approx. 25% of time)

  • Accountable for providing business development and/or donor specific perspective as appropriate to other IRC units/initiatives
  • Represent IRC/participate in donor/NGO events and provide feedback to relevant staff
  • Liaise with other IRC departments and teams; participate in/deliver sessions for regional and TU workshops
  • Oversee development of standard guidance for staff working on proposals, including but not only overview sheets on donor rules and preference and standard language for proposals

Proposal/Bid Leadership and Supports: (approx. 75% of time)

The position will be tasked with providing tailored support to specific proposals based on identified needs. This often includes providing leadership to the entire process, coordinating multiple resources/inputs and having ownership for the overall submission, but may also require a more focused contribution to a specific proposal development process. Tasks can include any of the below depending on the requirements of the proposal process:

  • Interpret donor solicitations, rules, and regulations as part of the proposal development process
  • Identifying resources for proposal development (lead writer, Technical Advisors, budget development, recruitment, etc.)
  • Identify appropriate/competitive teaming arrangements and facilitate negotiations
  • Conduct (possibly multiple) reviews of proposal, and facilitate reviews by other key contributors
  • Consolidate technical input in case of multi-country/sector work
  • Write non-technical sections (e.g. management and past performance sections) when these form important part of evaluation criteria/are non-standard
  • Support budget preparation when the budget is an important part of the overall competitive strategy to ensure the budget matched the solicitation and donor expectations
  • Review budget for donor responsiveness and match to technical narrative
  • Edit full technical proposal and budget narrative for coherence, length, uniformity, and responsiveness to solicitation
  • Work with recruiters to identify key personnel, and tailor CVs
  • Manage coordination, communication and inputs from subs
  • Coordinate multi-country proposal efforts
  •  Submit proposal
  • Review and negotiate donor contracts and agreements



Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:

  • Degree (minimum BA) or equivalent experience in a field relevant to IRC’s work;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively manage a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues in ‘remote’ and diverse teams, including as team leader for proposals;
  • The ability to work productively and accurately while under pressure in a fast-paced, demanding environment;
  • Flexible work attitude: the ability to work in a team environment and independently and ability to meet unexpected demands;
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize effectively;
  • Ability to travel internationally (up to 20% of time);
  • Ability to work autonomously and under remote management.


  • Significant experience in developing and managing proposal work of a particular complex or high-value nature, with specific leadership on USAID submissions an asset.
  • Experience in developing and managing project concepts and funding proposals for humanitarian / development work (for international NGO’s) from governmental / statutory donors – including from (some of) DFID, US Government (USAID, OFDA, BPRM, etc), EU institutions (ECHO, DG Devco, others), Sida, SDC, Irish Aid, etc;
  • Experience of working in development and/or humanitarian contexts, preferably for an INGO or international organization (e.g. UN, major donor), preferably with some time spent in the field;
  • Experience in proposal budgeting;
  • Experience in building partnerships for development and humanitarian funding as well as negotiation of programmatic and financial contractual arrangements with donors and partners.


  • Ability to travel at times with minimum notice and for prolonged periods of time;
  • Ability to facilitate project design processes, including applying theories of change and project logic to design, and develop work- and management plans accordingly;
  • The ability to work (read and write) in French
  • Longer term field posting in a relevant context;
  • Interest in and understanding of policy and advocacy work.

Requisition ID: req3400

Job Title:  Senior Program Development Advisor - NY/London

Sector:  Awards Management

Contract:  Regular / Permanent

Working Hours:  Full-Time

Location:  USA-New York, NY - HQ / London, UK