Programme Development Specialist (Maternity Cover)

Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Organization: Afghanaid
Closing date: 26 Feb 2024

Job Purpose and Role

As Programme Development Specialist, you will play a key role in leading and contributing to high-quality bidding processes with institutional donors such as FCDO, EC, SDC, Sida and GIZ. You will work closely with national and international partners, finance colleagues, field teams and technical advisory teams to identify, scope, and bid for new project funding. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to help shape and build Afghanaid’s programme portfolio. You will be exposed to a range of thematic areas of programming and have the opportunity to travel to project sites around Afghanistan. You will contribute to learning initiatives within the organization and ensure learning from past and current programming is integrated into new proposal designs for impactful projects. You will also contribute to strengthening and maintaining relationships with the international donor community, potentially involving some international travel. The Specialist is expected to build the proposal development capacity of junior members of the team in the London and Kabul offices. The successful candidate will be joining a supportive, committed and pro-active team.

Contract duration: 12 months


Programme Development (50%)

  • Identify new opportunities for funding through desk-based research and networking.
  • Lead on the development of concept notes and proposals for multilateral and bilateral donors, as well as trusts and foundations, including but not limited to: preparation of proposal development timelines; liaison with programmes specialists for their input; preparation of ToR for assessments; carrying out context analyses; development of project proposal narratives, theories of change, logical frameworks, work plans, and detailed budgets and budget narratives; coordinate the review and internal approval process.
  • Lead and contribute effectively to funding opportunity brainstorms and Go/No-Go decisions.
  • Continually learn from experience and from others so as to improve proposal quality and increase success rate.
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of the situation in Afghanistan, Afghanaid’s programming areas, and the development and humanitarian needs of the communities in which Afghanaid works or seeks to work.
  • Where necessary, take an active role in partnership appraisals, working with partners in concept and proposal development; and building the capacity of partners in needed areas.
  • Under the direction of the Director and in coordination with the Managing Director, contribute to the scoping of institutional donor relationships Kabul, Europe and the US.
  • Contribute to representation with the institutional donor community; ensuring quality and consistency in the relationships.
  • Support the development and maintenance of relationships with Trusts and Foundations and potential partners in the UK.

Learning (20%)

  • Support the successful implementation of Impact and Learning initiatives.
  • Support M&E staff to adapt logical frameworks to M&E plans and ensure consistency in the data gathering tools with logical framework indicators.
  • Review TORs for assessments, evaluations, and studies.
  • Lead the organizational M&E indicator reporting process.
  • Contribute to project learning and adaptive management, in particular through data analysis.

Grant Management (20%)

  • Manage relationships with donors; ensure compliance and contractual obligations are met.
  • Coordinate with Programme staff and Finance to ensure reports are prepared and submitted in a timely manner.
  • Review draft reports and pre-emptively raise concerns when quality or deadlines are not met.
  • Ensure safe custody and circulate to all relevant parties, signed copies of contracts/project agreements.
  • Support the Programme Department in organising project inception workshop to discuss project agreements, logical frameworks, budgets and donor terms and conditions.

Capacity Building of Department Personnel (10%)

  • Provide mentoring to junior team members to build their programme development skills, including reviewing and feeding back on draft project proposal documents, and facilitating workshops and brainstorms to co-create project concepts.


Education & Professional Qualification

A Master’s degree in Development Studies, International Relations, Social Sciences or other Programme relevant to Afghanaid’s thematic areas of focus.

Work Experience

  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in securing funding from institutional and multilateral donors for international/humanitarian projects.
  • Thorough understanding and hands-on experience in preparing logical frameworks, budgets, theories of change, and proposal narratives.
  • Track record of successful fundraising from donors such as FCDO, USAID, EU, ECHO, UNICEF, UNOCHA, World Bank, Sida, GAC, JICA, etc.
  • A minimum of 1 year of recent experience working in a conflict-affected country or humanitarian context.
  • Applicants with a minimum of 5 years of experience in Project Management or Grants Management will also be considered, especially if this experience includes projects in Afghanistan.

Professional Skills, Competencies, Values and Attitudes

Afghanaid seeks an excellent Programme development specialist, with strong background of proposal writing and securing fund; combined with curiosity and initiative, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and sound judgement and decision-making skills.

Key Skills and Competencies


  • Excellent knowledge of the international grant making and statutory markets
  • Excellent research and marketing skills and proven ability to persuasively and succinctly present ideas in writing and orally
  • Native English proficiency and demonstrated ability to write and layout high quality, polished documents and reports for diverse audiences that are consistent with Afghanaid’s brand and style
  • Ability to think and lead strategically, plan effectively, set priorities and meet tight deadlines under pressure
  • Ability to work with colleagues at a distance
  • Proven ability to form good working relations, both internally and externally with people at all levels
  • Business oriented with a commitment to building Afghanaid’s agility and growing its reputation
  • High standard of computer literacy (Excel, Word, Power Point and Outlook)
  • Personal integrity, initiative and drive to get the things done and achieve results in a fast-paced professional environment
  • Strong organisational and coordination skills, able to work with significant levels of autonomy
  • An outgoing and engaging personality and strong sense of humour, able to build trust, work collaboratively in teams and manage relationships with a variety of stakeholders
  • Excellent analytical problem solving and negotiation skills
  • Cultural sensitivity and ability to work in diverse multi-cultural environment
  • Understanding of the cultural, security and operating environment in Afghanistan (or in a similar context).
  • Ability and willingness to travel for work


  • Experience of working in Afghanistan.
  • Experience in grant management.
  • Experience in M&E.
  • Experience of mentorship and capacity building, including workshop facilitation.

Other Information

Afghanaid’s core values are creativity, fairness and honesty. Our staff are passionate about and proud to work at Afghanaid. Teamwork is fundamental to our standards and demonstrated by taking initiative, assisting others and taking on additional responsibilities and tasks if necessary. We are results driven, committed and motivated to achieve targets and take accountability for our own actions.

Our remuneration and benefits package is competitive with other similar organisations.

This position presents an excellent opportunity for someone who has the ambition and determination to move up in their career.

How to apply

Please email a covering letter and your CV, by no later than 26th February 2024 to; including your name and the job title in the subject line. Your covering letter should be no more than 1 standard A4 page in length and explain why you feel you would be a suitable candidate for this role and how the role facilitates your career objectives. Your CV should be no more than 2 pages and be accompanied by 3 professional references including your current employer (we will only contact references with your permission). The precision and style with which you present yourself in your covering letter and CV will be given significant weight in shortlisting candidates. Applications with no proper subject (requested above) or submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to every application. If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks of the deadline, then you have not been successful for shortlisting.

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