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Recent Job Openings at United Purpose – Cross River / Abuja


United Purpose (UP) is an international development organisation that works to sustainably reduce poverty and improve the lives of some of the world’s poorest communities. Established in 1976, the organisation has nine country programmes in Africa, Asia & South America.

In Nigeria, UP has been working for almost two decades with local partners and rural communities in the country’s South East. We implement projects funded by major international donors that aim to address gender inequalities and rights abuses, improve sanitation and access to water, foster accountability, preserve vital ecosystems and develop sustainable livelihoods.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title:  Nigeria Country Director

Location: Calabar with travel to Abuja and Lagos or based in Abuja with frequent travel to Calabar and Lagos
Responsible to: Chief Operations Officer
Responsible for: Programmes Staff; Finance and Administration staff; Support and Office staff (approximately 25 staff and others as recruited) all based in Nigeria
Contract type: Permanent

Aim of post

  • The Country Director will provide strategic leadership and management in developing the United Purpose programme in Nigeria.
  • They will have responsibility for ensuring that all aspects of the programme are managed effectively, to ensure that United Purpose continues to play a valuable and influential role in the fight against poverty and the strengthening of civil society.
  • The following duties and responsibilities will in part be delegated or managed by other staff – however, overall responsibility for ensuring performance at all levels will rest with the Country Director.

Programme Direction, Management and Development:

  • To develop the programme based on the existing country strategy and Organisational Strategy and to carry out structured strategic reviews to respond to changing circumstances.
  • To proactively seek new opportunities for funding of projects through in-country and external relationship building with donors.
  • To support the continued development of Organisational Learning and Knowledge Management.
  • To ensure continued funding for the programme through well-researched proposal preparation and clear operational plans.
  • To ensure that adequate assessments are carried out in accordance with good working practice.
  • To ensure systems are in place for monitoring and evaluating impact of programme activities.
  • To prepare reports for donors, both financial and narrative, in accordance with donor requirements.
  • To write reports as required for organisational information and risk management processes.
  • To build and maintain positive and professional relationships with existing and possible new partners; actively communicating and working with government, private sector and civil society partners on programme development, proposal and report writing.
  • To identify areas for capacity building with sub-grantees, such as financial management, governance, results-based and project cycle management, strategy development, organisational development, human resource management and leadership.
  • To ensure MOUs and funding-specific sub-contracts are in place with all partners for all projects.
  • To ensure systems, procedures, compliance and risk management are maintained to the highest standard.


  • To ensure that relationships are developed with government, corporate partners NGOs, and civil society to enable the appropriate development of the programme.
  • To represent United Purpose to government, Embassies/Delegations, the UN and other international agencies, donors and partners and other bodies including the media and the public.
  • To be cognisant of advocacy opportunities and, following internal discussion and agreement, to develop these as appropriate through the media, government, the UN, international agencies, donors and diplomatic missions in close consultation with the Chief Operations Officer.
  • To contribute to the promotion of effective co-ordination between United Purpose, Government, UN, NGO and where appropriate, other bodies.

Staff Management and Development:

  •  – To provide solid leadership and direct line management support to core staff.
  • To encourage staff involvement and commitment to the running of the programme through regular meetings and visits and a participatory team approach to decision making.
  • To assist in the further development and implementation of the operational structure and staffing requirement for the effective implementation of United Purpose’s activities.
  • To recruit and induct staff according to in-country and international guidelines and United Purpose policy, including equal opportunities.
  • To ensure the Employee Handbook and other relevant policies, code of conduct and ethics for national staff is reviewed on a regular basis, along with all related organisational policies and procedures.
  • To ensure that all staff have well defined and understood contracts and job descriptions.
  • To ensure that all staff participate in annual appraisals.
  • To identify the training needs of staff and ensure processes are in place to support and encourage appropriate personal and professional development of staff within the context of the organisational objectives.
  • To conduct exit interviews for line-managed staff before they leave United Purpose.

Resources and Financial Management:

  •  To outline the resource requirements for the programme and ensure that systems are in place for the effective management of resources in relation to finance, transport, supplies and capital assets, including maintenance of assets register and vehicle logbooks.
  • To provide financial reports on a monthly basis to the UK office.
  • To monitor the funds transferred to partner organisations and to ensure partners have adequate financial systems and controls.
  • To prepare an annual budget for core costs and identify where funding will come from to cover these expenses.
  • To ensure that effective and secure budgetary control of the programme’s finances and expenditures are established and maintained, in line with United Purpose’s financial procedures and guidelines.
  • To monitor project finances on a monthly basis and liaise with donors if necessary regarding projected under or over-expenditure.
  • Ensure all staff understand the cyber security guidelines and the disaster recovery plan.

Person specification

  • Relevant Master’s level qualification or similar academic achievement.


  • Experience of grant design, management and reporting to major donors. – Interpersonal and relationship building. – Working with the corporate sector.
  • Evidence-based advocacy for policy change and campaigning.
  • Minimum of five years overseas experience (mainly in senior management roles, with some in a project management capacity).
  • Specific WASH experience.
  • Staff management experience in an international organisation.
  • Security management experience.
  • Finance experience (and relevant finance qualifications desirable).

Key skills and competencies:

  • Commitment to the values and mission of United Purpose.
  • Commitment to the capacity building of local institutions based on mutual respect and a partnership approach.
  • Positive outlook and stand-alone disposition.
  • Determined hard worker, capable of rapid and quality turn around on a high workload and multiple tasks.
  • Proactive approach to problem solving in difficult and isolated locations.
  • Outgoing personality with solid interpersonal and diplomatic skills. – Self-starter, capable of innovatively developing the programme.
  • Adaptable and responsive disposition relative to the demands and development of the programme. – Attention to detail and a flexible approach to work.
  • Excellent communication and team-working skills, with the ability to build good relations, both internally and externally.
  • Numeric skills, including proven understanding of financial management.
  • Excellent planning, co-ordination and prioritisation skills.


  • Fluency in spoken and written English. – Some French would be desirable, but not essential.


  • Salary: £30,170-£36,030/Annum
  • Benefits: Accommodation allowance, comprehensive insurance, local allowance, annual medical examination, annual flight home, dependent’s and school fees allowances.

Deadline: 8th September, 2019.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send a CV and a short Cover Letter to: applications@united-purpose.org quoting ‘Country Director, Nigeria’ in the subject line.

In the cover letter, please ensure to explain the following:

  • Why you are applying for the position
  • How your skills and experience meet the person specification

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  • All applications will be acknowledged but only successful applications will be contacted further.
  • United Purpose has a Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy, which reflects our commitment to protecting the people with whom we work. All candidates will be expected to comply with this policy and its procedures.

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