Director Programmes Nigeria

Date: 12-Jan-2022

Location: Lagos, Sub Saharan Africa, NG

Company: British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.



Director Programmes, Nigeria


Role Purpose


The Director Programmes is responsible for the oversight and management of a portfolio of English, Education, Arts and Culture programmes in Nigeria.

The primary focus of this role is to provide strategic leadership to the existing portfolio and to generate new and continued business across all three sectors. The Director will accomplish this through demonstrating sector understanding, business development capabilities and programme delivery strengths. The Director has overall responsibility for the quality assurance of implementation and capture of new business and will draw on country and regional staff and external technical resources to do this.

As a member of the Nigeria Senior Leadership Team (SLT), this post will also actively contribute to the development and delivery of the Country Strategy and Plan for Nigeria, ensuring they meet the required cultural relations, business and operational objectives and are appropriately aligned to wider regional, portfolio and corporate strategies. The role will support the wider British Council offer across Nigeria through contribution to the operation’s objectives and raising the profile, reach and engagement with core audiences in Nigeria and the UK.



Main Accountabilities for Director Programmes:


Strategy & Planning: Develop, articulate and lead the strategy for cultural engagement work in Nigeria, ensuring a coherent theory of change and vision straddling the varied programmes.  This role will also be part of the Nigeria Senior Leadership Team and contribute to country-wide strategic initiatives.

Business Development: positioning, pursuit and partnership development (liaison with partners including EU, FCDO, GIZ, relevant government ministries and counterparts, CSOs and identification of new partnerships with donors, Trusts, Foundations and Philanthropists). Leading / supporting (as appropriate) the acquisition of specific opportunities. 

Programme Management – overall portfolio leadership and accountability, ensuring that programmes meet agreed British Council and client / partner standards and targets.  May be required to act as SRO (Senior Responsible Officer) on a number of agreed programmes and strategic oversight of all. 

Monitoring and evaluation / Impact – ensure that the Nigeria programmes’ portfolio reports impact against client and British Council targets and produces compelling programme impact stories



Role specific knowledge and experience:


The main essential knowledge and experience points that we are looking for you to evidence are:


  • Written, spoken and aural English at graduate level
  • Graduate degree in relevant field
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in international development including with at least two major partners (e.g. EU, FCDO, World Bank, GIZ)
  • Proven portfolio / large scale programme management experience, including the leadership of large teams
  • Knowledge and expertise in at least one relevant sector (English, Education, Arts &Culture)



Role Specific Skills:


Required candidate will need to possess:


  • Business Development skills - Ability to identify opportunities, write bids and speak credibly to donors/clients.
  • Risk Management experience in emerging economy/ developing country or other challenging environment
  • Inter-cultural fluency – leading a highly diverse team and navigating a complex cultural environment
  • Stakeholder management (internal and external)
  • Public speaking ability

Desirable Experience:


  • Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) or equivalent programme management qualification
  • Experience working in fragile states



Further Information

Pay Band – SMP

Contract Type – Locally engaged

Contract Duration – 3-year Fixed Term Contract

Location – Lagos or Abuja, Nigeria           

Requirements – All applicants should have a pre-existing legal status to live and work in Nigeria.  The British Council will not facilitate/sponsor visa applications and work permits.

Closing Date – 30 January 2022 (23:59 South Africa Time)





A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.


Equality , Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement


The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment.  We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability.  All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.


The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.


We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.


Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.


If you have any problems with your application please email askhr@britishcouncil.org


Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. Our ‘ASK HR’ email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.