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Senior Programme Officer – DELTAS Africa (Social Sciences and Humanities)

Deadline: Friday, October 7, 2022

Organisation Background

The Science for Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) is a non-profit, public charity organisation that supports strengthens and promotes science innovation in Africa. The goal of the SFA Foundation is to address the continent’s most pressing developmental needs by generating scientific knowledge that solves problems and informs decision-making.

We serve the African research ecosystem by funding excellent research and innovation ideas; enabling interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, building and reinforcing environments that are conducive for scientists to thrive and produce quality research that generates new, locally relevant knowledge.

The SFA Foundation takes a holistic approach to the development of science. Our programmatic initiatives are crafted to cater to the entire science ecosystem and span across the value chain from early discovery sciences to translation sciences and target cross-cutting gaps.

Our commitment to strengthening the entire research ecosystem is reflected in the creation of major science and innovation programmes implemented through a well-established grant-making scheme, advocacy and promotion of scientific excellence, emphasis on intra-Africa collaboration and evidence-based policy-making mechanisms.

Position Overview

Position Title

Senior Programme Officer – DELTAS Africa (Social Sciences and Humanities)



Position Location

Nairobi, Kenya

The overall aim of the Senior Programme Officer (Social Sciences and Humanities) is to support the delivery of a vibrant social sciences and humanities research leadership capacity development programme on the continent. In the short term, this will be delivered as a component of the DELTAS Africa programme, promoting excellence in social science and humanities research leadership capacity on the continent based on the DELTAS Africa model or a variant thereof, and in the long-term contributing to its development as an independent flagship programme of the SFA Foundation.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

1. Define and deliver the benefits of the Social Sciences and Humanities component of the DELTAS Africa programme in time, within budget and at the required quality, including:

  • Planning and budgeting;
  • Leading in effective technical and financial management to ensure value for money (VFM) throughout the programme cycle, including: using evidence to enhance program learning and development, seeking out and implementing solutions which achieve a good mix of quality and effectiveness for the least outlay, financial tracking of spend against budget, accurate forecasting, asset management, timely payment of invoices/claims, and timely submission of financial reports and Annual Audited Statements where required, in line with grant and donor requirements.
  • Ensuring that technical outputs throughout the program cycle including reports are of high quality and respond to donor guidelines and requirements
  • Promoting and marketing -  this may include social media, website page management and/or article writing, working in collaboration with the SFA Foundation Communications team;
  • Support in identifying, tracking and mitigating programme management risks and issues;
  • Identification of experts for peer review and selection panels;
  • Planning and delivery of large-scale events, potentially including events in other countries on the continent
  • Monitoring and evaluation of scheme outcomes and impacts, and communicating outcomes and learnings to key stakeholders
  • Preparing consolidated technical and financial reports from grantees. This involves reviewing reporting templates, liaising with grantees M&E teams during reporting periods to support their reporting needs, consolidating the reports for internal use and for sharing with relevant funders; and data mining from reports to prepare outcomes and impact reports
  • Liaising and managing relationships with key stakeholders (other SFA Foundation funding and delivery partners, relevant steering groups, partners throughout the continent, Fellows of the SFA Foundation and grant beneficiaries);
  • Financial tracking of spend against budget;
  • Management of scheme activities and awards;

2. Assist in the provision of secretariat support to relevant steering groups.

3. Assist in utilising the outputs, networks and relationships created through the DELTAS Africa programme to further the SFA Foundation’s strategic objectives.

4. Contribute, as required, to the development of evidence-based positions on research and innovation policy issues linked to the scheme.

5. Contribute to the establishment of systems to enable the SFA Foundation to maintain and derive value from contact with past beneficiaries or alumni, and to manage these relationships where appropriate.

6. Contribute to the effective use of administrative resources across the SFA Foundation platform, including by providing colleagues with clear and timely information about requirements for administrative support.

7. Contribute to the effective use of the SFA Foundation Agaseke electronic Grants Management System, and other SFA Foundation information systems.

8. Contribute to a culture of continuous improvement at the SFA Foundation and to support line manager in achieving other teams, departmental and SFA Foundation objectives, as required.


  • Perform programme relevant research to inform the development, implementation and delivery of the social sciences and humanities component of the DELTAS Africa programme
  • Work in close collaboration with the SFA Foundation M&E team to identify, collate, track, assess quality, analyse and validate, and report on programme-related data from DELTAS Africa Social Sciences and Humanities programmes.
  • Identify and build relationships with relevant stakeholders involved in social sciences and humanities research and research leadership capacity development on the continent and globally but not limited to universities and other research institutions, relevant African government departments and policymakers, Africa based and international Think Tanks, and intergovernmental organisations etc
  • Prepare reports, articles and presentations during programme inception meetings, annual grantee meetings and site visits.
  • Track and perform relevant analyses on various aspects of programme implementation to identify and address important challenges to ensure effective and efficient programme delivery

Programme Support

  • Represent The SFA Foundation and/or programmes at internal and external meetings when required;
  • Work in close collaboration with the SFA Foundation’s Communications Manager to develop a media and campaign Strategy for social sciences and humanities research programme to ensure maximum exposure and coverage on the continent and beyond and to generate keen interest from potential stakeholders
  • Work in close collaboration with the SFA Foundation’s Communications Manager to ensure all content (reports, images, videos, social media posts) is relevant and updated on a timely basis
  • Supervise relevant administrative team duties in support of the DELTAS Africa social science and humanities programme
  • Work with the SFA Foundation’s Procurement team to monitor deliverables (including supplies), and being the contact person for clients on the DELTAS social science and humanities programme;
  • Plan and organise relevant workshops and other activities in furtherance of the objectives of the DELTAS Africa social science and humanities programme;
  • Work with the SFA Foundation M&E team to develop and implement an M&E framework for the DELTAS Africa social science and humanities programme;
  • Develop a risk management framework for the DELTAS Africa social science and humanities programme, including developing and maintaining a risk register for the programme and a system to document, track and ensure programme issues and challenges are resolved in a timely manner;
  • Support other SFA Foundation programmes and departments in the delivery of their mandate especially for cross-cutting programmatic activities when requested

Key Results and Outcomes Area

  1. Benefits of all assigned activities delivered within budget, to time and consistent with commitments to funders and agreed targets;
  2. Schemes delivered following best practice in scheme management, steering group secretarial support, and effective use of the SFA Foundation Agaseke electronic Grants Management System.
  3. Strong working relationships with all key stakeholders including staff, other delivery partners, and beneficiaries;
  4. Maintaining an attractive and accurate outward profile of activities through the website and other materials.

Qualifications and Experience

  1. A PhD degree in a relevant Social Science/Humanities research field obtained over the past 10 years with proven research leadership qualities and experience of carrying out key research work for priority social science and humanities agendas.
  2. A proven record of research capabilities in social science/humanities research as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications and other quality outputs.
  3. At least 3 years’ experience working in research/research leadership capacity development programme design and implementation on the African continent.
  4. Knowledge of funding/how research is funded/grants or research management.
  5. A professional qualification and relevant experience in large scale programme/project management or training in research administration, ethics, leadership or related will be an added advantage

Knowledge and Skills

  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills
  • Ability to interact with and to manage multiple stakeholders with diverse interests
  • Proficiency in standard office and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Office, SharePoint
  • Possess well-developed interpersonal skills and ability to network and communicate across different levels of the organisation and with external partners;
  • Able to perform work independently with minimal supervision, but also participate as a team member;
  • Possess strong attention to detail and maintaining a timely and efficient work-flow;
  • Have strong planning, organisational skills and ability to work under pressure;
  • Ability to multi-task and to prioritise work amidst competing demands;
  • Have unquestionable integrity, confidentiality and respect.
  • Project/Programme management skills (essential)
  • Risk management
  • Financial management and financial governance
  • People management/team working.


Should you meet the above requirements, please submit a cover letter and a current Curriculum Vitae not exceeding 5 pages including three professional referees to [email protected] with the name of the vacancy as the e-mail subject.

The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit. The documents should be saved in MS Word or PDF in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyy) e.g., Deus-Wan-CV-092022-SFA Foundation or Deus-Wan-CoverLetter-092022 -SFA Foundation.

All applications should be submitted by Friday, 7th October 2022.