Senior Program Officer

Colleges and Institutes Canada

Title: Senior Program Officer

Supervisor: Senior Technical Advisor (STA)/CICan Representative

Location: CICan South Africa Office

Start Date: June 2024


South Africa Skills Training Enhancement Program (SASTEP) is a 4-year program funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented by Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) in collaboration with the Vocational Education division of the Department for Higher Education and Training (DHET) in South Africa’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. The program will lead to increased economic opportunities for male and female graduates of TVET colleges in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, South Africa. SASTEP will work with all fifteen public TVET Colleges in Eastern Cape and Limpopo to strengthen the delivery and inclusiveness of TVET training and to expand the student support services that promote career readiness for all learners, including women and people with disabilities. Canadian colleges and institutes will partner with the South African colleges to enhance four key areas of TVET programming central to ensuring graduate success.

Job Summary

General Expectations

Reporting to and working closely with the South Africa-based Senior Technical Advisor/CICan Representative (STA), the Senior Program Officer (SPO) will be located in Pretoria, South Africa and will ensure the effective implementation of SASTEP activities in South Africa. The SPO will work closely with the Ottawa-based Director, International Partnerships as well as the Ottawa-based Senior Program Officer (SPO) to ensure the overall quality delivery of SASTEP activities in South Africa.

This position requires the ability to perform a variety of complex tasks, including the planning and implementation of a range of project activities across multiple education and government partners. The position also requires significant experience and expertise in monitoring, evaluation, learning and knowledge sharing.

The position is expected to involve some travel within South Africa.


  • Coordinate project activities and events in South Africa.
  • Monitor implementation of CICan members’ partnership project activities and recommend required actions.
  • Participate in the development and drafting of annual work plans, analytical/narrative reports, Requests for Proposals, Terms of Reference, handbooks, training manuals, workshop materials and other core program documents.
  • Work with the team to develop the program’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Knowledge Sharing (MELKS) strategy and lead in its implementation.
  • Lead relevant qualitative and quantitative data collection according to the requirements of both the Performance Management Framework and the MELKS strategy, ensuring the consistency and quality of project data.
  • Synthesize and analyze data into succinct summaries for including in resulting reports and presentations for project management and communications purposes.
  • Support the preparation of mid-year and annual reports by reviewing partnership narrative reports to synthesize data.
  • Support partnerships and partners with all aspects related to optimal functioning of monitoring and evaluation systems and procedures.
  • Work with Gender Consultant to ensure integration of gender in program activities.
  • Work with Finance and Administrative Officer to ensure financial and budgetary compliance in the implementation of South Africa-based activities and in the creation and maintenance of necessary operational policies.
  • Support the STA to maintain stakeholder relationships and engage with South Africa partners, including DHET, partner TVET colleges and other stakeholders to facilitate program activities and support partners to achieve project results.
  • Liaise with Global Affairs Canada on project implementation as needed.
  • Coordinate various program committees, including the Project Steering Committee and other committee meetings.
  • Represent SASTEP and facilitate discussions at meetings and workshops with partners and other stakeholders as required.
  • Support the STA, Director, International Partnerships and Canadian-based SPO as needed.


The SPO will work under the direction of the South Africa-based STA in close collaboration with the Canada-based Director, International Partnerships. The SPO is expected to work with a high degree of independence and autonomy.


  • Full fluency in English.
  • South Africa citizen or legally permitted to work in South Africa. Note: CICan will not provide a work permit or sponsor individuals.
  • At least Master’s Degree in a related subject area (business administration, project management, international cooperation, public policy, political science or similar) or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in a similar role in South Africa ideally on international development projects with an international organization. Demonstrated competence in the planning, implementation, administration and reporting of donor-funded projects.
  • At least 3 years of professional experience working on MEL on international development projects, ideally in the education or TVET sector.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the education, in particular TVET, systems in South Africa desired.
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to collect, organize, analyze, and disseminate significant amounts of information.
  • Experience conducting research, analyzing and synthesizing primary and secondary data.
  • Experience in mobile/digital data technology (ex: Kobo/ODK/ONA) and surveys.
  • Proficiency with MEL and statistical analysis software, for both quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders and at various levels of organizational hierarchy.
  • Demonstrated experience applying gender equality concepts in an international development and/or education context.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of partner and country-led collaborative approaches that address community needs.
  • Demonstrated ability using Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams) and experience with SharePoint desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience working with an international team.
  • Ability to manage numerous demands concurrently.
  • Excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and CV with three references as one PDF file not exceeding 8 pages to email address [email protected] with the title on the subject line, Senior Program Officer. The deadline for receiving applications is March 28, 2024 at 5 p.m.

Phone calls or in-person visits will not be accepted. We thank all applicants for their interest, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Selected candidates must be available for an interview in the week of April 15, 2024.

Deadline: 28 Mar 2024