ActionAid International: Head of International Partnership Development

ActionAid International
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 18 March, 2013
Opportunity type: 

The vision of ActionAid International is a world without poverty in which every person can exercise their right to a life of dignity.

Actiona Aid International seeks to appoint Head of International Partnership Development (IPD), based in Johannesburg.

AAI has committed to significantly increase its institutional partnership income over the coming years. ActionAid needs a high calibre individual to lead this ambitious project. ActionAid is looking for someone who can really drive this process forward, investing high levels of energy and tenacity to ensure the process, systems and cultural changes necessary for our ambition are rigorously applied.

This is someone who can inspire and mobilise others both insider her/his core team and across the wider federation. We are looking for someone not afraid to grapple with significant changes to our business model and someone who has the diplomacy and tact to demand internal accountability from all stakeholders within a complex federal structure. But ActionAid also require someone who is comfortable working in the external environment, entrepreneurial in approach and able to command respect and confidence from major global institutional donors.

The person will report to the Director of Fundraising and Communications. S/he will manage/direct reports:  Institutional Donor Manager, Regional Coordinators (2 in Africa, 1 in Asia), and Finance Coordinator + 5-10 indirect reports.

Salary: A competitive salary based on experience with benefits will be offered.


  • Provide strategic and operational leadership for achieving ambitious fundraising targets from institutional donors over our current strategy period (2012-17);
  • Mobilise people and resources within the core team and across the ActionAid federation to deliver highly innovative strategy and tactics to sustain and increase institutional income;
  • Manage and develop relationships with multi-lateral institutional donors and with major foundations, with a strong emphasis on an entrepreneurial approach to identifying and securing new sources of partnership income;
  • Ensure the development of systems, processes, practice and culture across ActionAid that are necessary to ensure that the federation works to the highest standards in funds management;
  • Ensure that the access to and effective management of institutional funds is supported across all Members through training and capacity initiatives and direct support where required;
  • Work in close collaboration with other IS Directorates especially Programme and Organisational Effectiveness.

Organisational leadership

  • Develop and implement the strategy and plans for IPD that support and lead to ActionAid International meeting its strategic objectives;
  • Ensure that IPD strategy, planning and practice remains relevant to both internal and external changes and that the IPD is adopting a highly innovative and entrepreneurial approach to its work;
  • Effectively integrate IPD objectives and outcomes into wider ActionAid International income targets and programme priorities;
  • Be an active member of the Fundraising and Communications.

Develop systems, processes and practices across ActionAid necessary to support growing institutional income

  • Programme quality: Work with the Programme Directorate and with ActionAid Members to ensure the adoption of methodologies essential to coherent and logical programme development;
  • Monitoring and accountability: Work with the Organisational Effectiveness Directorate and with ActionAid Members to ensure that monitoring frameworks are in place and meet the reporting requirements of institutional donors;
  • Planning: Work with the Organisational Effectiveness and Programme Directorates to ensure Funding Planning is mainstreamed into ActionAid’s planning and fundraising work;
  • Contract management system: Work with the Finance Directorate on a major project to develop and implement a comprehensive global contract management system.

Develop processes and tools to support Member capacity to access and manage institutional income

  • Manage the development of capacity development packages and tools;
  • Ensure the coordination of resources in support of capacity development initiatives;
  • Ensure direct support to members developing proposals or managing contracts, particularly members in the Global South.

Manage and develop relationships with multi-lateral institutional donors and large foundations

  • Ensure relevant IPD participation in various fora associated with the EC, the UN and other appropriate multinational donors;
  • Ensure support to members in developing their local relationships with institutional donors as part of training, through the provision of guides and through direct support;
  • Research and develop relationships with appropriate new donors;
  • Working with the Market Development Team, lead on fundraising from large foundations such as Gates and Ford.

Management of staff

  • Manage a significant team across multiple geographies;
  • Ensure the structure and capabilities of the IPD staff team meet the needs of strategy and plans;
  • Facilitate the development of staff work plans within the framework of agreed strategies; support implementation of individual work-plans;
  • Identify and support the achievement of personal development opportunities/capacity building needs through 1-1 supervision and the annual appraisal process;
  • Manage and coordinate IPD team meetings;
  • Manage recruitment and selection processes for IPD team members.


  • Educated to degree level or above in a relevant subject;
  • Minimum of five years experience at senior level in the development sector is essential, including knowledge of major official donors and major strategic foundations, with proven ability developing and maintaining effective working partnerships with them and securing significant funds;
  • Minimum of five years experience within large INGOs is essential, including a clear understanding of the interdependencies between different functions and technical specialists;
  • Proven track-record in designing, writing, negotiating and winning solicited applications (e.g. tenders, RFPs) and unsolicited applications (e.g. through building relationships);
  • Understanding of the latest thinking and debates around ActionAid’s strategic objectives and aid effectiveness and the ability to engage donors in discussion and debate around these issues;
  • Knowledge of key trends in policy and practice of donors that have both direct and indirect implications on ActionAid’s ability to secure/sustain income and to promote/scale-up programmes in ActionAid’s strategic priority areas;
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and transformational leadership skills with the ability to inspire and motivate staff and partners across the Federation to deliver on our ambitious institutional fundraising targets;
  • Proven skills in multi-stakeholder and cross-cultural management;
  • Experience in capacity building;
  • Fluent written and oral English;
  • Experience of distance management, including providing support and training from a distance;
  • Tendering and project management experience;
  • Personal network of contacts and relationships in donor agencies.

To apply, submit a CV (no photos) and motivation letter stating the skills and approach that you would bring to the position to  Ensure that both submissions are in MS Word with titles “your name cover letter” and “your name CV”, and include “Action Aid Head of IPD” in the email subject line.

Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

For more about ActionAid International, refer to

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