Programme Director at Malala Fund


Malala Fund is working toward a world where all girls can learn for 12 years and lead without fear. Our special focus is on girls’ secondary education. We seek to influence at local, national and international levels for resources, social norms and policy changes needed to give all girls access to 12 years of quality, free and safe education. We amplify girls’ voices. Malala Fund is building a movement of young education leaders who, like Malala, speak truth to power around the world.

The girls we serve have high goals for themselves and we have high expectations for decision-makers who can help them. We invest in education leaders and frontline organisations the people who best understand girls in their communities in regions where most girls are missing out on secondary school.

We are recruiting to fill the position of:



Job Title: Programme Director

Location: Abuja

Malala Fund in Nigeria
Nigeria accounts for 45% of all out-of-school children in West Africa, with over 10 million out-of-school children. Girls account for 60% of Nigeria’s 10 million out-of-school children, facing barriers such as child marriage, poverty and discriminatory social norms. In Nigeria, 30% of girls aged 9-12 have never been to school at all.

In northern Nigeria, low-quality education prevents girls from learning the skills they need to thrive. Families do not see value in sending girls to school if they are not learning, so they often choose to marry their daughters off instead of continuing their education. Additionally, long-held cultural beliefs fuel gender discrimination, which further limits girls’ ability to reach their full potential.

In Nigeria, Malala Fund Education Champions work across six Northern states where children face the biggest challenges accessing education and account for 70% of all out-of-school children. As a chapter, Nigerian Champions advocate for progressive amendments to education legislation, specifically for 12 years of safe, free, quality education under the Universal Basic Education Act (UBE Act).

In 2017, the Nigeria chapter successfully advocated to the 8th National Assembly Senate to pass the amendment to the UBE Act. Today, Nigeria Champions are collectively advocating to the 9th Assembly to see the UBE Act passed in both the House and Senate and sufficiently financed so the legislation can be implemented.

The Role

  • The Programme Director, Nigeria will provide strategic leadership and representation in one of Malala Fund’s focus countries. Malala Fund has engaged in partnerships and programmatic work in Nigeria since 2015 and is planning on increasing its portfolio investment and influencing work in this strategic period (2020-2025). This position will manage a small team with responsibilities for all elements of work in the country and liaise regularly with global Malala Fund staff.
  • The Programme Director will lead the rollout of an integrated and comprehensive country strategy for change; leveraging the Malala Fund brand and bringing diverse resources to innovative agendas for progress at national and state levels that are led and championed by our partners. Through the country strategy, they will align operations in Nigeria with Malala Fund’s five-year strategic plan and identify new opportunities to apply Malala Fund resources and expertise in partnership with our civil society partners.
  • The Programme Director will manage the expansion of the organisation’s programme and promote synergies across Malala Fund’s work in Nigeria and lead national influencing work with our partners. The Programme Director will build relationships with key stakeholders in the government, NGOs and private sector to advance a national girls’ education agenda.
  • This is a milestone appointment for Malala Fund, and we are looking for a feminist leader who shares our commitment to gender transformative change and girls’ education. The successful candidate will be able to show us how they have lived and worked for these essential values in the past and have new ideas for how Malala Fund could advance these priorities in the future.

Responsibilities and Tasks
Strategy Planning & Execution:

  • Lead the development and implementation of Malala Fund’s national strategy for Nigeria, in line with the organisation’s five-year strategy.
  • Define areas of geographic priority for Malala Fund work in-country.
  • Realise synergies and promote strategic integration among Malala Fund’s Education Champion Network, Girl Activist Programme, Country Partnerships and influencing priorities.

Stakeholder Engagement & Representation:

  • Pursue strategic opportunities to partner with allies and influence national and regional decision-makers, key networks and coalitions and other stakeholders.
  • Support national influencing plans and campaigns of partners and direct activities when appropriate and align with wider Malala Fund influencing, campaigns and communications activities.
  • With their team and Malala Fund’s Communications Department, promote communications about Malala Fund work and represent the brand in national media.
  • Cultivate and manage high-level relationships with national stakeholders able to contribute resources, expertise and/or political capital to country work.


  • Guide team members to recruit and build a portfolio of strategic grantee partners that enable Malala Fund to realise the country strategy.
  • Cultivate an informal national network to help identify competitive grantee candidates.
  • Serve as Malala Fund liaison to grantees and partners as needed.
  • Promote and monitor safeguarding and child protection by Malala Fund partners.


  • Develop and administer annual country operational plans and budgets for all operations, grants, travel and consultants in Nigeria.
  • Together with the Strategy and Learning team, operationalise MEL for the Nigeria country strategy and support MEL for specific programmes.

People Management & Culture:

  • Manage and recruit staff and consultants in Nigeria, actively building and maintaining systems that allow for the growth and development of all direct reports.
  • Actively contribute to making Malala Fund a diverse and equitable workplace through inclusive practices and openness to different perspectives, cultures and ideas.
  • Ensure all direct reports understand and comply with Malala Fund policies, procedures and resources.
  • Maintain behaviour and conduct that uphold the highest standards for safeguarding, professionally and personally.
  • Actively build and maintain systems that allow for the growth and development of all direct reports.
  • Welcome and induct new team members into Malala Fund, and facilitate collaboration across and within your team.
  • Co-create clear objectives and development plans for direct reports, and engage in regular and constructive performance conversations.
  • Share key messages and relevant information with direct reports, and seek out, address and/or escalate feedback as appropriate.

In addition to the national level responsibilities outlined above, the Programme Director Nigeria is a core member of the global leadership team at Malala Fund, and as such is expected to contribute to shaping and representing the organisation at a global level.

Leadership and Representation:

  • Provide leadership in developing and delivering Malala Fund’s programmatic work, in line with the organisation’s five-year strategy.
  • Cultivate and manage high-level relationships with global and technical stakeholders able to contribute resources, expertise and/or political capital to Malala Fund’s Programmatic work.
  • Play a thought leadership role within and outside the organisation on evidence-based interventions that increase girls’ access to 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
  • Develops and presents materials on Malala Fund activity to the CEO and Malala Fund’s Board as necessary.
  • Represent Programmes in strategic collaborations with other departments.

Organisational Culture:

  • Upholds the values of Malala Fund.
  • Actively contributes to initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion within Malala Fund.
  • Actively contributes to setting the highest standards of safeguarding at Malala Fund.
  • Acts as a role model for a ‘learning organisation’ culture by seeking insight and using problems as opportunities to learn.


  • Experience working with vulnerable populations, particularly in a volatile and high security environment.
  • Significant experience working in successfully greater levels of responsibility in international development organisations with a focus on empowerment and gender transformation.
  • Proven experience in leadership roles with a track record of strategy development, advocacy and delivering effective programmes.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent team player with ability to work independently and in collaboration with colleagues at all levels across departments and external stakeholders.
  • Strong commitment to Malala Fund’s mission, purpose and values.
  • Strong commitment to gender equality, anti-racism, anti-discrimination, decolonisation and social justice
  • Strong commitment to professional development and continued learning.
  • Experience managing staff and consultants, creating annual plans and managing budgets.
  • Experience developing and implementing influencing strategies using a wide range of tactics and approaches.
  • Proven ability to cultivate influential networks of diverse stakeholders.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to relate and communicate with individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
  • Solid judgement and problem-solving skills with proven attention to detail, accuracy, and quality.
  • Strong work ethic, organisational skills and the ability to be self-directed.


  • Expertise in child protection best practices or safeguarding and experience in effectively handling safeguarding incidents.
  • Professional experience working in different regions of Nigeria with substantial understanding of social and cultural dynamics in one or more regions of the country.
  • Experience working in the education sector in Nigeria, preferably in a leadership role for a prominent education sector related institution or initiative.
  • Fluency in several major native languages.




How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

Click here for more information (PDF)

Application Deadline  28th September, 2021.

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