Senior Programme Manager

outhSouthNorth (SSN) supports national and regional responses to climate change through policy and knowledge interventions, partnerships and deep collaboration. We do this by connecting people and information, enhancing capability and mobilising resources to respond innovatively to the challenges and opportunities that climate change presents. Being positioned in the Global South affords SSN a deeper understanding of, and connection to, the climate and development challenges facing the region. We enhance developing countries’ access to climate information by brokering climate knowledge through formalised exchanges among various stakeholders. We assist decision-makers in delivering climate compatible development by informing policy formulation and implementation. We bring good governance to the management of donor funds, technical assistance and project management.
Full details of the projects that SSN currently implements are available at

As part of the UK COP26 Presidency Adaptation & Resilience campaign, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is working with partners to develop an international Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA) for launch at COP26. This global collaborative effort seeks to catalyse increased investment and capacity for action-orientated research that supports effective adaptation to climate change – primarily in developing countries – at the scale and urgency demanded by the science. The ARA is currently under development by a diverse group of interested partners from across the globe. This project fits within the Climate Services hub and is part of a suite of activities funded by the FCDO. ARA advocates for better connection between research and adaptation action by bringing these communities together in dialogue. SSN programmes such as the Climate and Development Knowledge Network and the Global Resilience Partnership’s Resilient Knowledge Coalition are complementary to the ARA’s mission and synergies should be capitalized on.

SouthSouthNorth seeks to appoint a Senior Programme Manager to be based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Role Summary: Within SouthSouthNorth, the Climate Services practice area, the Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA) is a new initiative to which SouthSouthNorth is providing a Coordination Unit. This Terms of Reference outlines the role identified for a Senior Programme Manager to manage the ARA coordination unit. The Senior Programme Manager will report to the SSN Director in charge.

Name of Project: Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA)

Salary Range: R720k – R864k per annum

Duration: 1 year FTC

Start date: As soon as possible

Roles and Responsibilities

The SSN employee will:

  • Lead the process of co-developing with funders of research and action a range of new long-duration programmes that deliver resources for action-orientated research in developing countries, and that meet priority research and evidence needs identified and agreed by the community.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with high profile adaptation actors and encourage them to engage with ARA
  • Conceptualize and help manage the production of suitable knowledge products to support ARA advocacy (e.g. examples of best practice in action research)
  • Help design, facilitate and attend key engagement events as a representative of the project including webinars, workshops and COP26 (travel restrictions permitting)
  • Provide facilitation for working group on commitment and resource mobilization (meetings held every 4-6 weeks), and be involved in other elements of the ARA development process
  • Work with, and support ARA co-chairs from UK government and the University of Maryland, through regular meetings and regular communication
  • Line management of ARA team (4 directly, 2 indirectly), providing advice and backstop
  • Drive momentum on ARA development process and ensure delivery across all outputs. Chairing the weekly team meeting and ensuring prioritised actions are completed by team members
  • Review and quality assure select project outputs and obtain co-chair sign off of all key ARA outputs produced by the team (including knowledge products such as working papers, reports, briefs and some web content)
  • Responsibility for all reporting to donor and funder manager (monthly, quarterly and annual) with support from SSN project manager
  • Management of any sub-contracted organisations, with support of junior project manager
  • Monitor the progress and impact of the ARA against Theory of Change to guide future interventions to embed adaptive management approach

Skills and Experience Required:

  • Hold a Masters or PhD in any research discipline related to climate change
  • At least 5 years’ experience in designing climate change programmes, preferably with multiple organizations and with different funders
  • At least 1 years’ experience in using co-production techniques in programme design
  • At least 2 years of experience in managing a team, ideally with some experience in managing a team that is working remotely
  • Experience in conceptualizing high impact knowledge products
  • Experience in working with diverse stakeholders – including government entities, multilateral organizations, research networks and the private sector.
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal, as well as facilitation skills for online events and meetings

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