International / Multinational

Inclusive Communities & Access to Justice Advisor – SSA Job at British Council Nigeria

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Inclusive Communities & Access to Justice Advisor – SSA

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Duration: 2 years fixed term contract
Role Type: Business Delivery
Department: Education & Society
Job Category: Business Development / Partnerships
Pay Band: Senior Management broadband – Senior Managers & Professionals
Reports to: Nigeria Country Director
Post start Date: ASAP

Role Purpose

  • This post will lead our portfolio of work in Nigeria which focuses on strengthening inclusive communities and providing access to justice for vulnerable groups.
  • The postholder will be accountable as SRO for the following contracts: Managing Conflict in Northern Nigeria, ROLAC and ACT (all EU-funded).  This post will lead other projects in Society as and when they are secured.
  • He / she will work closely with the Regional Portfolio Lead Civil Society including in the development and delivery of Pathways and with the Programmes Team to develop and deliver Society programmes. in Nigeria.
  • While the focus of this post is Nigeria, the postholder is expected to contribute to the regional and global Society community.    A key focus for this post will be securing follow-on work to the current portfolio as two contracts end in 2021 and the third ends in 2023.

Geopolitical / SBU / Function Overview

  • The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.
  • We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

Geopolitical Overview

  • By 2050 the population of Sub Saharan Africa will be 2 billion people, with the majority living in an urban environment. The region will have a middle class the size of Europe. 70% of the population is under the age of 25, and this demographic will grow at 15% year on year for the next 10 years.
  • Generally, the region is becoming more politically stable although there remain many challenges. There are on average 50 elections each year, many of which are more open and transparent than before.  The majority of countries in SSA are developing economies. Gender inequality remains and life for women and girls on the continent remains challenging.
  • While economic growth is significant, it comes from a low base. Income per capita has doubled and foreign debt levels have halved since 2000. Aspirations to become middle income countries as written in national development plans in the next 10 years are optimistic. The World Bank longer view forecasts that ‘almost all’ African countries will be middle income

Cultural Engagement
The work of the British Council is focused on making a contribution to the achieving the Demographic Dividend for Africa.  Our thematic foci are:

  • Preparing young people to transition into work
  • Creating communities that are more harmonious and resilient to conflict
  • Using English to develop careers and build confidence & networks
  • Education connections and partnerships
  • Arts for enterprise, exchange and expression

The region has commenced the implementation of Programme Based Planning (PBP).

We have offices in 19 countries but also operate in some unrepresented ones.  Key countries include: Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Africa.

Scale of income for Cultural Engagement: CE for the region is £53m (Q2 2019 figures) of which over £30m is earned income vs overall regional total income of £ 95m.  The portfolio in Nigeria accounts for a significant proportion of this.

Programmes in Nigeria
Managing Conflict in Nigeria programme (MCN) European Union Trust Fund (€21m) 2017-2021:

  • This programme works with the overall aim of enhancing state and community level conflict management capability to prevent the escalation of conflict into violence in a number of locations across North-Eastern Nigeria – in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, as well as in Abuja. The MCN programme builds on aspects of the NSRP and J4A programmes.
  • MCN seeks to promote partnerships and capacity strengthening for community-based state and civil society conflict management institutions and actors by improving their capacity to manage and resolve conflicts and mitigate the risks of escalation to violence.  It also supports the establishment of coordination forums that aim to improve collaboration between government, security and civil society actors to improve policy and practice on security, conflict management and peacebuilding.  These interventions will aim to contribute not only to strengthening the resilience of the target communities and states but also in preventing their relapse into violence and enhancing stability and reconciliation.

The programme has five specific objectives:

  • To strengthen community level conflict management mechanisms
  • To enhance reconciliation and stability within communities, in particular those affected by displacement
  • To support the involvement of women in peacebuilding and address the impact of violence on women and girls
  • To enhance the reintegration of young men and women (affected by and involved in insurgency and counter-insurgency operations)
  • To influence key decision-makers and opinion-formers through targeted research

Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) 11th European Development Fund (€23.3m) 2017-2021:

  • This programme builds on the successes of the J4A programme and aims to enhance good governance in Nigeria by strengthening the rule of law, curbing corruption and reducing impunity. The programme is being implemented at federal level and in five focal states – Adamawa, Anambra, Kano, Edo and Lagos. The programme has four outcomes.
    • Supporting the Nigerian Criminal Justice Reform Agenda: Ensuring the dispensation of criminal justice at federal and state level is more timely, effective and transparent
    • Access to Justice for women, children & persons with disabilities: Improving access to justice at federal level and focal states for women, children, and persons with disabilities.
    • Strengthening the fight against corruption in key thematic areas:  Enhancing the ability to address corruption in the criminal justice sector, public procurement and the extractive industries, including through improved performance and coordination among target Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs)
    • Enhancement of citizens’ civic and public engagement in criminal justice sector reforms and the fight against corruption: Ensuring civil society, the public and private sector is empowered to engage constructively on criminal justice reforms and the fight against anti-corruption

Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) 11th European Development Fund (€15m) 2018-2023:

  • The programme works with the civil society sector in Nigeria and seek to strengthen CSO’s ability to intervene as service providers or as oversight agencies or as significant actors in policy debates. The aim is to support specific civil society organisations in the sectors and geographical locations where EU funded programmes are active.
  • Building on the work of the earlier NSRP and J4A programmes and the current work under the MCN programme in NE Nigeria, the Pathways work seeks to intervene in the conflict and peacebuilding landscape in Kaduna State.
  • The work is at an early stage with conflict mapping recently commenced but the presumption is that some of the earlier interventions (suitably customised) may be able to make a significant impact on the broad level of conflict experienced in the state. This project is part of a broader SSA intervention (begun in Uganda and South Sudan also) which seeks to build on our experience and develop future programming possibilities.

Main Opportunities / Challenges for this Role

  • Our strengths include: our track record in delivery of contracts as a trusted partner for both DFID / HMG and the European Commission; our Society work (which includes supporting inclusive communities and giving voice to vulnerable groups) and our English language work is strong; and our ability to develop large scale co-funding programmes with donors.
  • Our weaknesses include: our systems and processes can be slow which is a challenge in a fast-paced programme environment. We need to strengthen delivery and account management teams across the region to continuously improve our quality of service.
  • Opportunities: the majority of countries in Sub Saharan Africa are ODA classified. This aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals means there will be significant contract opportunities across the region. This is an exciting opportunity to establish the agenda in an area of growing importance for the BC and HMG more generally.
  • The successful applicant will also be given the responsibility for charting a course of action, implementing and measuring success.  The British Council’s work in Society, particularly in justice and security which has been the focus of our portfolio in Nigeria, is being re-framed in Strategy 25.  This could be a threat but it also represents an opportunity as the organisation focuses its work around supporting inclusive communities and strengthening access to justice and voice for vulnerable groups.
  • Threats: failure to build capability and succession planning to ensure continued business growth.  There has been a recent tax and status change programme in Nigeria and programmes are now managed by a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG).  The full implications of this change are still being realised and while the position will be clearer by summer 2020, there could be some ongoing issues to resolve. he main challenges for this role are the scale of operations, the rapid pace of change in the market and the challenges of aligning corporate and client expectations. It requires nimble thinking and strong relationship management skills to navigate between the range of stakeholders involved

Main Accountabilities

  • It is expected that the majority of the postholder’s time will be spent leading the delivery of current contracts with up to 50% of post costs charged to clients.

Accountable for programme delivery:

  • Accountable as Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for Society programmes in Nigeria including Managing Conflict in Northern Nigeria, ROLAC and ACT (all EU-funded).
  • The postholder will direct the strategic approach for the British Council’s Society portfolio in Nigeria to ensure it meets client and British Council expectations and targets.
  • This post will lead other projects in Society as and when they are secured.
  • The postholder is expected to have a strong background and skills set in the technical areas of the contract which covers access to justice and community development.

Specifically the postholder will:

  • Report to client on programme progress and impact
  • Oversee the technical direction and approach of all projects as SRO
  • Collaborate closely with clients and other key programme stakeholders to ensure their   expectations are met.
  • Ensure client and British Council standards and targets are met
  • Report to Director Cultural Engagement on impact and risks at QBRs and other key internal reporting deadlines
  • Develop strong relationships and professional networks with client, customer and corporate contacts, sector experts, partners and delivery teams in Nigeria and in SSA .  Specifically the postholder Lead will:

Team Leadership

  • Lead project delivery teams in Abuja and other 6 other project offices across Nigeria.  This will include line management of senior programme staff, both technical and operational.

Specifically the postholder will:

  • Oversee clear reporting and governance structures across all contracts
  • Oversee the wellbeing and performance management standards across the project teams
  • Ensure the transparent recruitment of consultants and staff to deliver the contracts successfully.
  • Oversee development and implementation of capacity development for programmes staff

Portfolio Leadership

  • Lead Society work in Nigeria including GPF programmes such as Pathways.  The postholder will collaborate closely with the Regional Civil Society Portfolio Lead and the Nigeria country operation to maximise impact and reach of British Council’s Society work.

Specifically the postholder will:

  • Provide technical leadership and advice to regional planning in civil society / inclusion work as agreed with regional portfolio lead.
  • Lead development and delivery of Nigeria Pathways project
  • Provide technical leadership and advice to country projects in Society as agreed with CD Nigeria.
  • To contribute to the development of  BC practitioner networks in Inclusive Communities and Justice working with colleagues in the global and regional teams

 Business Development

  • Lead the positioning and pursuit of new opportunities which build on / replace the existing portfolio.  The postholder will collaborate closely with HMG, EU and other partners to maximise British Council chances of continuing our strong track record in justice and security in Nigeria.

Specifically the Society Lead will:

  • Review with EU the possibility of extending contracts which are due to end in 2021
  • Review priorities with funding partners and position the British Council as partner of choice to help their objectives as well as align with British Council priorities
  • Lead the development of concept notes and proposals, working closely with regional / country teams

M&E / Impact

  • The postholder will capture and report on impact of the portfolio both to clients and internally.  As appropriate he / she will commission additional research which reinforces the British Council’s understanding and expertise in this sector.

Specifically the postholder will:

  • Collect data and share stories of impact
  • Report internally using Regional Evaluation Framework (REF) and incorporating changes as a result of Strategy 20205 planning
  • Identify and contribute to the development of reusable intellectual assets, sector specific ‘products’ arising from delivery and ensure that lesson learning is captured and disseminated

Thought Leadership

  • Use technical expertise to provide insight and content for corporate responses to public consultations and communications, representing British Council’s perspective and demonstrating our thought-leadership in relevant external forums
  • Provide up-to-date and well-informed senior-level briefings on current and emerging matters in area of expertise, conducting detailed analysis and research, contributing methods, to significantly increase the (measurable) reach of our work . This could include conference presentations and papers, seminars, in Nigeria and beyond and speaking on public platforms.


Minimum / essential:

  • Qualified to Master’s level or equivalent by experience.

Assessment Stage: Shortlisting

Key Relationships
This post reports into the Country Director Nigeria.  Other key stakeholders include:

  • Team leaders and operations managers and other senior staff on programmes in Nigeria
  • External stakeholders including: EU Delegation, DFID / FCO in Nigeria, Nigerian government Ministries, departments and agencies, CSOs, academic institutions, think tanks, professional bodies, etc., etc.
  • Portfolio Lead Civil Society (regional)
  • Director Cultural Engagement
  • Director Operations
  • Nigeria Programmes Director
  • Finance team, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Regional operational support managers for Sub-Saharan Africa (Information & Knowledge Management, Business Support Services, Human Resources, Communications)

Role Specific Knowledge & Experience
Minimum / essential:

  • Business Development and account management with donors on large scale programmes
  • Experience of setting strategic direction for a business, department or region
  • Knowledge and experience of security, justice and conflict resolution in a development context
  • Credible at providing leadership at government and institutional level


  • Senior level management experience in a role leading a geographically dispersed team

Assessment Stage: Shortlisting & Interview

British Council Core Skills:

  • Commercial & Business Development (Level 4) Shapes business & market development: able to use a range of market analysis, research and business intelligence to develop and implement activity across a group of diverse products / programmes / services and markets to meet Council objectives.
  • Managing Projects (Level 4) Assures project standard: experience of developing and ensuring the implementation of high quality project management disciplines across functions and units.
  • Communicating & Influencing (Level 4) Influences at the highest level: able to influence and manage relationships at the highest levels to build mutual understanding, shape perceptions of the Council & create positive change over the medium term.
  • Managing Risk (Level 4) Has track record of balancing and mitigating risks in strategic and business plans and of providing a clear model of best practice to the business area / function.
  • Account & Partnership Development (Level 4) Shapes strategic relationships: experience of setting overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships, collaborations & contracts with stakeholders and partners in a significant market.
  • Finance & Resource Management (Level 4) Evaluates performance: experience of evaluating resource allocation and use over time, to understand business and service performance and assess future opportunities and constraints.

Assessment Stage: Shortlisting & Interview

British Council Behaviours

  • Creating Shared Purpose (Most demanding) Inspiring others to want to take a specific role as part of a shared purpose
  • Connecting with Others (Most demanding) Building trust and understanding with people who have very different views
  • Being Accountable (Most demanding) Showing real dedication to the long-term mission of the British Council or the team
  • Making it Happen (Most demanding) Achieving stretching results when faced by change, uncertainty or major obstacle

Assessment Stage: Interview

Reward Package
International mobility package or local contract (LE / LE enhanced / UKA)

Deadline: 23rd March, 2020 (23.59 UK time)

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