Senior Specialist Graduation Programme Design

  • Full Time
  • UAE
  • Posted 4 months ago


About the job
The BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI) seeks to hire a Senior Specialist in Graduation Programme Design. The role will offer thoughtful expert advice and support on graduation programme design to UPGI’s country teams, partner governments and other key partners involved in the design and implementation of government led graduation programmes. We are looking for candidates with substantial knowledge and experience working on graduation programmes, who are interested in thinking outside the box, and who are excited to explore how the current model can be adapted to be scalable by Governments. This is a global position and will require work across multiple countries across Africa and Asia, with regular travel.

Despite the wealth of evidence that the graduation approach delivers transformative impacts for people living in extreme poverty, large scale Government run Graduation programmes remain rare. It is clear that evidence that the graduation approach works to reduce extreme poverty is not sufficient to persuade and enable large scale Government led graduation programmes. Many actors continue to question whether these types of multi-faceted programmes can be delivered effectively by Governments at scale, and there is little experience globally on how programme designs can be adapt so that they can be implemented at scale, within a Government’s available human and financial resources and still deliver meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of participants.

At UPGI we have received funding to support Governments interested in implementing graduation programmes and are working with them to prove that Government led graduation programmes can indeed deliver impact at scale. We do this through a country-led partnership approach, exploring what works and in what contexts and building up evidence around how this can be done in order to position Government-led graduation programmes as a route to sustainably addressing extreme poverty at scale and build momentum to solve extreme poverty.

About The Role

In order to support this work, UPGI is seeking to hire a senior specialist in graduation programme design who is interested in exploring and leading our global work on how graduation approaches can be redesigned so that they can be scaled through government systems. The role will be based within the Program Design and Impact (PDI) team, which aims to support country teams and Government partners by ensuring that the decisions in UPGI’s engagements are informed by an understanding of evidence, lessons, and recent trends relevant to the Graduation approach. The role will require out of the box thinking, an understanding of how to work in partnership with Governments, and creative suggestions for design that can work within the opportunities and boundaries of their existing systems and capabilities. The Senior Specialist in programme design will lead our support to the UPGI country teams and our Government partners, providing senior expertise and connecting them to knowledge and networks, as well as ensuring that we are learning across our efforts globally.

We are looking for someone who enjoys a challenge, likes thinking outside the box, and is interested in exploring how to do development work differently and support Governments and local efforts to develop nationally owned and sustainable solutions towards eradicating extreme poverty.

Primary Responsibilities

In close cooperation with the Global Lead for Programme Design and Impact, lead the PDI team in delivering high quality technical assistance on graduation programme design to Country Teams, Governments and local partners on a demand driven basis:
Lead efforts to ensure that country governments’ Graduation programme are designed for scale, with an eye particularly for how design and implementation of the Graduation approach can be effectively adapted to government-led contexts, whilst building on international evidence on what works;
Provide senior leadership and quality assurance globally and to country teams with regard to evidence of what works in graduation programming and on distilling lessons on how to adapt the approach for Government led delivery at scale;
Oversee the development and delivery of technical materials on graduation programme design and implementation for Country Teams, Governments and local partners across the programme implementation cycle;
Under the leadership of UPGI’s country teams, support the delivery of high-quality technical assistance and thought partnership to government partners when requested;
Lead on synthesizing our emerging understanding of what works and how to design and implement government led graduation programmes from a technical perspective, drawing from UPGI’s work in countries and international literature and the work of other relevant actors;
In partnership with the Senior Specialist Government System, further UPGI’s learning on how to design and deliver graduation programming so that it can be delivered by Governments using Government systems. Ensure that learning feeds back into our ongoing country work.
Support UPGI’s Global influencing work when requested by representing BRAC UPGI in external fora such as conferences, webinars, and other influencing environments to drive greater global understanding of the intersection of the Graduation approach and government-led social protection programming/youth programmes/rural development programmes
Provide Technical leadership and quality assurance of the development of internal- and externally-facing materials highlighting key considerations in adaptation of the Graduation approach with governments to influence key stakeholders (e.g. program/policy briefs, literature reviews, technical blog posts)
Provide regular review of knowledge products on adaptation of the Graduation approach with governments (e.g. journal articles, multilateral and NGO reports, thinktank/consulting reports) and identify implications for UPGI’s work.
Work closely with staff from a range of technical and cultural backgrounds to build or enhance their technical understanding of graduation as a concept, as well as their ability to adapt and adjust the model to local contexts and delivery by Governments;
Manage more junior global team members within the programme design and impact team and provide mentorship and guidance more broadly within UPGI on graduation programme design and implementation

The role requires planning, vision, and management capabilities and an interest in doing things differently and a certain degree of comfort and interest in adaptive programming and learning.

Other (Safeguarding Responsibilities)

Ensure the safety of team members from any harm, abuse, neglect, harassment, and exploitation to achieve the program’s goals of safeguarding implementation.
Practice, promote and endorse the issues of safeguarding policy among team members and ensure the implementation of safeguarding standards in every course of action.
Follow the safeguarding reporting procedure in case any reportable incident takes place, and encourage others to do so.


We are looking for experienced candidates who are interested in thinking about how to do development work differently. A strong candidate would combine deep technical expertise with intellectual curiosity on how to do work differently. A deep understanding of the need to adapt to local context and how to work in support of Governments is essential.

Specific qualifications and skills:

Master’s degree in social sciences, economics, international development, or another related field required;
At least 10 years of work experience in international development. Experience in programme design and management, and/or capacity building with governments or large NGOs preferred
Sector expertise in graduation or economic inclusion programme design and implementation essential. Expertise and understanding of any of the following desirable – social protection, gender, livelihoods, or financial inclusion; cash-plus
Experience of working directly with Governments is highly desirable
Proven track record of building capacity across a global organization highly desirable
Ability to think outside the box and work independently
Strong organization and planning
Ability to thrive in work environments that are diverse, fast moving, entrepreneurial, and located in multiple time zones.

About The Organization

About BRAC

BRAC is one of the world’s largest development organizations, dedicated to empowering people living in poverty. Working across 12 countries in South Asia and Africa, BRAC touches the lives of more than 120 million people worldwide. BRAC takes a holistic approach to alleviating poverty with programs that include microfinance, education, healthcare, food security programs, and more.

How To Apply

This is an outstanding opportunity to support a highly effective, collaborative, and innovative

non-profit. BRAC International offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

Please email your resume and detailed cover letter Senior Specialist Graduation Programme design

Only complete applications will be accepted, and short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Application deadline: The application deadline is 19 November

BRAC is committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults, and expects all employees and volunteers to share the same commitment. We believe every stakeholder and every member of the communities we work with has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect, harassment, and exploitation – regardless of age, race, religion, and gender, status as an individual with a disability or ethnic origin. Therefore, our recruitment process includes extensive reference and background checks, self-disclosure of prior issues regarding sexual or other misconduct and criminal records and our values are a part of our Performance Management System.

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