Terms of Reference – AL Zimbabwe: Program Manager

Accountability Lab Zimbabwe is part of a global translocal network that makes governance work for people. We train, mentor, and resource citizens to strengthen systems of accountability to unleash positive social and economic change. The Lab also strives to reinvent the way that development organizations operate through radical accountability, context-appropriate reporting, and creative awareness campaigns. Accountability Lab seeks a dynamic, creative and qualified  individual to fill the position of Program Manager (PM). The Lab is especially keen to review applications from suitably qualified female candidates and candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups in Zimbabwe.

Position Description

The PM will be a key member of the Accountability Lab team, reporting to the Lab’s Country Director. They will lead a team of officers and oversee sub-grantees to ensure that the Lab’s growing portfolio of projects are managed effectively, efficiently and transparently. They will be responsible for the day-to-day management of contracted activities, and should demonstrate high-level strategic vision for enhancing evidence and knowledge in governance and citizen engagement. The PM will possess excellent management skills and experience leading complex projects, and high-level skills and experience in convening collaborative networks preferably in the democracy, rights and governance sector.

One of the main responsibilities of the PM will be to ensure harmonization across the various grant and project-related elements as well as the Lab’s local partners. The PM will be charged with effective deployment of human, technical and material resources to assist the attainment of results across the Lab’s Knowledge, Campaigns and Communities categories of work. They will also work with a diverse cast of creatives, innovators, local and trans-local communities, state and non-state actors.

The Lab is a learning organization,  and it will expect the PM to support its learning objectives for internal purposes as well as external influencing and further education purposes.

The PM will be a key point of contact for the Lab with donors and partners, effectively operating as the Lab’s second in charge at secretariat. They will be expected to initiate, cultivate and nurture donor relations with both current and prospective Lab funders.


Leadership and Project Management

  1. Lead the design, implementation and oversight of Accountability Lab’s projects related to accountability, transparency, youth engagement and citizen participation;
  2. Build relationships with key Lab partners and stakeholders including donors, communities, the media and other civil society organizations;
  3. Oversee the work of the program’s team including M&E team, Communications and the lab’s various program work and partners to ensure projects are meeting goals and are adaptive based on the context.
  4. Provide guidance and leadership to the Lab’s team and partners to ensure project outputs are delivered on time and within budget;
  5. Oversee the coordination of project activities to ensure effective implementation including events, trainings and outreach.


  1. Manage the Lab’s programs and lead the production of internal and external progress reports.
  2. Ensure exceptional quality across all the labs internal and external reports and knowledge products.
  3. Oversee the Lab’s sub-awards, coordinate and collaborate with designated personnel from partner/anchor organisations to ensure seamless and coordinated delivery of the full suite of activities that the Lab is involved.


  1. Coordinate large-scale learning processes including major internal and external research and evaluation processes.
  2. Oversee the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team’s efforts to develop context specific and adaptable impact measurement tools and learning frameworks.
  3. Integrate a learning mindset and approach into the Lab’s work ensuring that feedback and data is used to improve activities over time;
  4. Lead trainings, where relevant, related to project implementation, outreach, community-building and reporting;
  5. Ensure that the Lab adopts lessons learnt and takes corrective action in implementation.
  6. Lead the Lab’s internal learning and evaluation processes including annual impact and learning reporting and ongoing iterative data collection processes.

Success Factors:

The position of PM requires a superb understanding of program design, management, implementation, and reporting. It demands excellent management skills, attention to detail, inter-personal and organizational skills, as well as an ability to conceptualize and implement creative advocacy and engagement campaigns. The successful candidate will need to have the energy, vision and knowledge of program implementation to help the Lab deliver on commitments and improve it’s work. The successful candidate should be able to work within a dynamic and culturally diverse team, embodying the organization’s commitment to accountability, transparency and equity. The Lab seeks a demonstrated record of assuming significant professional responsibility and delivering on programmatic goals with integrity and humility.

The candidate must be aligned to the values of the Lab, and be inspired, believe in, and committed to its vision of building active citizens, responsible leaders and accountable institutions. Prior work with creative advocacy and campaigns, innovation and creativity in social and governance programs, as well as work with young people and women will be distinct advantages.


  1. A Postgraduate degree in the social sciences, business or natural sciences with extensive experience.
  2. Four (4) to eight (8) years’ experience in relevant project management and implementation roles in complex governance programs and campaigns.
  3. Substantial grants management experience, especially as part of USAID or other major donor-funded agreements and contracts.
  4. Thorough understanding of project/program management techniques and methods.
  5. Experience managing programs and teams for non-profit organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa in compliance with international standards.
  6. Demonstrated ability to establish professional relationships and to work collaboratively with government agencies, donors, civil society and CBOs.
  7. Experience working with/within a variety of donor organizations including close familiarity with donor reporting systems, requirements, timelines and structures.
  8. Experience conducting trainings and mentoring professionals.
  9. Ability to oversee and support successful organization of events, and effectively network including subsequent follow-up with key stakeholders.
  10. Ability to manage relationships and internal accountability trails between Programs, MEL and Financial Management and Operations departments, including through ensuring that every department has the information needed to provide regular and accurate financial and programmatic reporting.

Eligibility: The Accountability Lab is not able to sponsor work visas, and will give priority to Zimbabwean citizens and those who have the right to work in Zimbabwe.

Location: Harare with extensive travel across Zimbabwe and internationally as needed.

Compensation: Competitive, commensurate with skills and experience.

For more information or to apply, please send a cover letter, CV and salary expectations to [email protected] by 5pm on Friday the 27th May 2022. Please use “AL Zim  PM Application” in your email subject.