Deputy Director, Programs

Job purpose

The Deputy Director, Programs, Africa Region, will serve as the lead for operations of the Dispensers for Safe Water program which we implement in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi, as well as oversee existing and new implementation partnerships in other geographies; will provide support to the Accelerator team during the process of program exploration and development, which may involve strategic reviews of new intervention areas and early-stage engagement with government and other organizations; and will take the lead in policy and partnership engagements in the region.

This position will report to the Regional Director, Africa Region. The role will have 5 direct reports: Senior Country Manager, Uganda; Senior Country Manager, Malawi; Senior Program Manager, Kenya; Senior Associate, Program Engineering and Innovations; Manager, Policy and Partnerships. In total, through the indicated direct reports, this position will be responsible for 150 staff spread across 3 countries.

The ideal candidate should have a demonstrated ability to think strategically and translate priorities and insights into action. He/she should also demonstrate well-developed interpersonal, written and verbal communication, and quantitative analysis skills.

Duties and responsibilities

This position will focus on 3 areas—lead Dispensers for Safe Water operations (~70% LoE), oversee regional cross-program policy and partnership (~20% LoE), and support global program development (~10% LoE)—as described below.

Dispenser for Safe Water

  • Operation oversight: Directly manage operations of the DSW program in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi, including ensuring outstanding program performance, ie maintaining high community adoption of the program, dispenser functionality, etc.
  • Support function coordination: Supporting Regional Director, coordinate closely with DSW support functions, including Monitoring & Evaluation, Finance, Human Resource teams.
  • Sustainability: With inputs from Regional Director, identify and pilot the use of new funding mechanisms, such as user contributions through self-help groups, to generate additional revenue to support the program’s ongoing costs.
  • Financial management: In collaboration with Country Senior Managers and support functions, take the lead in developing and managing the annual program budget.
  • Communication: Coordinate and closely support Global Communications teams in generating DSW content for use in external and internal communication and program visibility.
  • Fundraising: Coordinate closely with the Fundraising and Global Leadership team in DSW fundraising efforts, including proposal development, proposal writing and ongoing donor engagement (eg donor reporting).
  • R&D: With the Engineering team, identify, design and test modifications and improvements to increase dispenser lifespan and reliability.
    Regional Government and Partnership Engagement.
  • Manage a high functioning regional policy and partnerships team.
  • In collaboration with Regional Director and Program Leads, identify, articulate and execute key government and policy goals and objectives for all Evidence Action programs in the Africa Region.
  • In collaboration with various organizational and program leaders, take the lead on or actively contribute to the development of Evidence Action partnership strategy in the region.
  • In consultation with program leadership, identify and assess strategic partners with the capacity to implement/scale some of our key interventions and/or partners willing to share information and best practices of strategic relevance in general. Take the lead in cultivating relationships with the partners in the region.
    Global Program Development Support
  • Review and input into new intervention areas being developed by the Accelerator team, with a particular focus on country fit and feasibility.
  • Engage with governments and other stakeholders to scope emerging Accelerator program opportunities and to help lay the ground work for new country entry.
  • The Deputy Director may take on other responsibilities related to organizational priorities, in consultation with
  • Evidence Action leadership and as time allocations permit.


  • 6+ years of experience, preferably in management consulting or development program management, including track record of high-level relationship management.
  • Exceptional people management skills, inclusive of internal and external stakeholders; able to work effectively in a “matrixed” environment.
  • Ability to set and implement a strategic vision for a large program and/or organization.
  • Strong belief in the importance of evidence-based decision making.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; MBA or Master’s degree in economics, international relations, public health or related field from a recognized University strongly preferred.
  • Experienced and comfortable working collaboratively across teams and cultures, including with senior representatives of major foundations and international organizations.
  • Strong, persuasive written and oral communication skills, including experience with public speaking.
  • Experience living and working in developing countries preferred.
  • Willingness to travel domestically and internationally (estimated at 10-15% of working time)
  • Passionate about social impact and experience in social enterprise, entrepreneurial nonprofit, or start-up environment.
  • A sense of humor.
    Direct reports

Senior Country Manager, Uganda.
Senior Country Manager, Malawi.
Senior Program Manager, DSW, Kenya.
Senior Associate, Program Engineering and Innovation.
Manager, Policy and Partnerships.


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About Evidence Action

Evidence Action scales proven interventions that improve the lives of millions. We only implement cost-effective programs whose efficacy is backed by substantial rigorous evidence. We identify innovative, appropriate financing mechanisms and build best-practice operational models. We voraciously self-evaluate, learn, and improve our models for scaling effective interventions with a commitment to transparency, impact, and value for money.