Programme Design Officer

Closing date

We are looking for a qualified and experienced Program Design Officer (PDO), for our client, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), who will develop partnership opportunities as part of the Program Design team, serving as the Client’s focal point for ensuring African voice and leadership in engagements.


The candidate will be responsible for proposal design, writing and representing the Client to European public sector partners and particularly the German government agencies, working with Account Managers in Program Design, Development and Communications to devise strategies to win support for the Client’s strategy, cultivate existing and new relationships and elevate the African agenda in conservation and development discussions dialogues in Germany.

The candidate will also represent the NGO in German processes relating to Africa and conservation. In this role, the PDO will serve to share lessons learned from the field and the NGO’s landscape level technical approaches to African conservation issues to inform strategy formulation by the German government and other partners and provide insights to the program design team to position the NGO for future funding opportunities.


1. Advance the NGO’s priorities in policy and programming discussions of the Germany

  • Track agendas of German partners, particularly BMZ, BMUB, BfN, KFW, and GIZ to brief International Policy & Government Relations team and provide technical advice on the programming priorities in Africa.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with key German institutions as well as the NGO’s peers and partners in Germany, facilitating the NGO and partner contributions to roundtable discussions, advocacy and media events relevant to the NGO’s Mission and Program. This should include active participation on panels with ‘think tank’ platforms. Leverage these engagements to inform donor engagement strategies of the program design as well as the NGO’s program strategies.
  • Provide liaison and outreach to individuals and coalitions in Germany who impact African conservation and development by regularly engaging partners, attending relevant events, and organising NGO’s engagement in strategically important German events/platforms and, in coordination with the NGO’s Europe team, Europe more widely such as European Development Days.

2. Ensure German audiences have access to the NGO’s technical advice on strategic priorities

  • Support the articulation of the NGO’s strategies as needed with the aim of securing new funding opportunities. This will include working with other senior NGO’s staff to identify German funding opportunities for NGO’s strategies and programmes, facilitating the staff to articulate strategies and programmes in ways that resonate with German priorities, and execute targeted engagements of key relationships.
  • Develop funding plans and strategies for landscapes, country and thematic programmes and emerge issues, review proposals and facilitate fundraising from official and private donors for specific interventions as part of the Program Design team.
  • Serve as focal point to grow the NGO’s relationships with German institutions. Work closely with Program Design and Program teams to ensure coherent and effective strategies are followed with these potentially important donors.
  • Support the rest of the Program Design as well as Grants, and Program teams to implement actions in their portfolios, adhere to donor conditions and submit reports in a timely way.
  • Arrange interviews for the NGO and Africa voices to media outlets to advance the NGO’s mission and the modern Africa agenda of our partners on the continent.

3. Lead the Donor Relations with the NGO and Fundraising with Germany

  • Support fundraising from German and other European donors and search, analyse and review funding opportunities and their fit for the NGO’s present projects, programs and strategies;
  • Lead on proposal design and writing for proposals to mainly German but also other European public funders;
  • Ensure proposal packages for German and other European donors are complete, meet donor priorities, strategies, and specifications and adhere to internal and external approval policies;
  • Serve as the point person for the NGO with the BMZ, BMUB, BfN, KFW, and GIZ teams;
  • Help establish and maintain the NGO’s reputation with BMZ, BMUB, BfN, KFW, and GIZ, writing, reviewing and submitting proposals and progress reports where applicable to vet quality and compliance;
  • Support policy and strategy engagement with the German government in coordination with the European and Policy teams based on African priorities and strategies;
  • Support the NGO’s Country teams to engage in a coordinated and strategic way with German Embassies/Offices in Africa on priorities for support to wildlife and wild lands in the context of development strategies and investment plans;
  • Monitor reporting deadlines with German donors and ensure quality control and compliance with donor requirements.


  • Master’s degree in Conservation, Natural Resource Management, Economics, or Political Science or similar relevant degree.
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in fundraising, donor engagement, proposal design, environmental management, conservation planning and strategy with significant portion in Africa.
  • Good understanding of Germany’s public donor environment, development agenda and relationship with Africa.
  • Existing relationships with German, African and European conservation, government and/or business leaders a bonus.
  • Education and demonstrated knowledge of the emerging business and development environment in Africa and related impacts on conservation landscapes.
  • Advance study of and experience of living and working in conservation in Africa.
  • Experience of working in a cross-cultural environment.
  • Demonstrated leadership in landscape conservation in modern Africa.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and German essential.
  • Track record of successfully writing proposals to and securing funding from bilateral and/or multilateral institutions.
  • Experience in proposal design with demonstrated ability to develop high-quality Logical framework and results chains, design technical and cost proposals and concept papers.
  • Capable of developing and tracking budgets.
  • Excellent writing skills are a must, including the ability to shift your writing style and purpose to be appealing and persuasive to the designated target audience.
  • Ability to synthesize complex technical information.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Computer literacy to use all MS Office packages.
  • Flexible and able to take on and manage multiple tasks.

How to apply

Applications and updated CV should be submitted to, under the title: DRS ref number 10822.

Due to the high number of applications received, we can reply to shortlisted candidates only. Please note that the above requirements can be modified during the recruitment process according to client's procedures.