VACANCY: Programme Development Officer 

Railway Children is a UK based development agency delivering support programmes for children alone and at risk on the streets in the UK, East Africa and India. 
Railway Children operates through subsidiaries in the regions in which we work.  All Railway Children subsidiaries are independently registered but remain aligned under our common vision of a world where no child has to live on the streets.  Railway Children Africa was formed in 2010 and delivers support for children directly, and through local partners.     

You will be part of a small team of six staff and volunteers based in the region. This role will provide you with a massive opportunity to help shape the future of Railway Children Africa and to grow within the organisation.  It is crucial that you are a self starter, that you are able to work on your own initiative, to motivate yourself and to organise and manage your own time.  

You will be managed and supported by our Tanzania based Head of Programmes. Your specific functions are outlined below.  

Key Requirements:

You will have the necessary qualifications relevant to the post for which you are applying. You will most likely have experience of working in an international NGO and / or in the corporate sector or academia. Critically, you will have the passion and drive to make a difference to the lives of children living on the streets.

Application Process: 

To apply for this post please send a copy of your CV with a covering letter explaining why you consider yourself suitable for the role by the 4th September 2015. You will need to demonstrate in full how your skills and experience meet the requirements of the job description. Please also outline your salary expectations. Please send your application to:

We anticipate a high demand for this post and regret that only candidates short listed for interview will be contacted.


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Partnership management 

Maintain and develop generative, participatory relationships with RC partners and collaborating agencies.

Asses and analyze partner proposals, plans, and budgets and negotiate what is in the best interests of the children keeping in mind partner and community capacities.

Work closely with partners in project management – planning, monitoring and evaluation including assessments etc.  Provide coaching and mentoring for key staff where appropriate.

Act as trouble shooter for partner organizations and offer guidance as appropriate.

Draft and negotiate partnership agreements with funded partners. 

Strengthen financial and human resource management including development of child protection policies at partner level.

Organize and conduct training for partners based on identified training needs or refer to competent training bodies.   

Ensure adequate documentation as part of partner support, due diligence, annual reports, audit reports, partner support visit reports. 

Fulfilment of commitments to partners as articulated in partnership agreements.


Work with local partners where appropriate to support development of their own strategy and for city wide interventions.

Assist in developing and reviewing RCA Strategy.  

Coordinate baseline assessments, process documentation and reviews on new ideas, themes and develop thematic papers    and documents contributing to the strategy and to partnership management.

Linkages & Networking

Support networking and linkages with external organizations and technical experts on key programme priorities at local, national and regional level

Build a hub of external agencies and individuals useful for key programme priorities and develop good working relationships to be able to draw upon these resources as and when required.

Be alert to local funding opportunities for financial sustainability of the programme.  

Contribute towards the flow of information to the UK office to enable effective fundraising.  

Identify and contribute to external communications opportunities, which may include making presentations at conferences, holding briefings with donors and other stakeholders, participating in networks, and contributing to journals.

Accompany, or make arrangements for, Railway Children Trustees and or other visitors to partner organisations where required.

Maintain and build on working relationships with senior government departments and facilitate linkages with respective local departments both for RC and for our partners.

Strengthen linkages with other national and international agencies 

Represent RCA in key local, national and regional networks and fora. 

Operations management 

Formulate annual plans in coordination with Head of  Programmes. 

Strengthen systems and procedures for working with partners - assessments, planning, monitoring and evaluations, documentation etc.

Assess and make recommendations about potential/new partner organisations and initiatives.

Sharing knowledge and information throughout the  organization

Manage activities as requested by your line Manager. 

Learning and development

Proactively seek to increase learning and knowledge base and work on areas of development emphasised in appraisal as well as reviews

Key Competencies


Good knowledge of macro/micro development issues in East  Africa.

Knowledge of organizational issues and working practices of NGOs, international funding agencies and government departments. 

Project management

Some understanding of the psychology of child development.

Knowledge about the issues pertaining to children living at risk without proper family care.

Understanding about civil society responses to address the issues of children on  the streets.

Understanding of policy framework relating to children.  

Skill sets:

Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to relate to    children.

Excellent communication skills.

Proficiency in all applications of MS Office, especially  Word and Excel.

Strong presentation skills.

Fluent Kiswahili and English.

Strong documentation skills.

Being analytical and having eye for detail.


Flexible can do mentality. 

Alignment with core organizational values of mutual respect, collaboration, commitment to learning and integrity.

Commitment to working on the cause of children in difficult       circumstances

Willingness and ability to travel extensively 
Ability to work on own initiative and also as part of a    team.  
Sense of balance and ability to work under pressure.
Dynamism and a strong sense of ‘doing what it takes’ for  the cause.
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