Speak Up Africa is recruiting a Program Director for its Voix EssentiELLES Initiative


Reports to: Director of Programs, Speak Up Africa
Works with: Civil society organizations and women and girls in their diversity in Western and Central Africa, Speak Up Africa Directors’ committee, gender equality partners, government agencies, technical and financial partners.
Based in: Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire or Senegal.
Contract duration: 14 months with possibility of extension in line with expansion plans

About Speak Up Africa
Speak Up Africa (SUA) is a Policy and Advocacy Action Tank dedicated to catalyzing leadership, enabling policy change, and increasing awareness for sustainable development in Africa Through our platforms and relationships and with the help of our partners, we ensure that policy makers meet implementers; that solutions are showcased and that every sector– from individual citizens and civil society groups to global donors and business leaders — contributes critically to the dialogue and strives to form the blueprints for concrete action for public health and sustainable development. Speak Up Africa is currently hosting and managing a women and girls’ fund, Voix EssentiELLES. The Voix EssentiELLES Program Coordinator is a newly created role that will lead in coordination and collaboration across the various Speak Up Africa teams, Voix EssentiELLES grantees as well as external partnerships and key stakeholders.

About Voix EssentiELLES
Voix EssentiELLES aims to strengthen women and girls across Francophone West Africa, in all their diversity, by meaningfully engaging them in decision-making processes and spaces that influence policies, laws and programs that impact on their health. Managed by the Dakar-based policy and advocacy tank, Speak Up Africa, Voix EssentiELLES invests in the capacities and leadership of community-based, grassroots women and girls’ organizations, groups and networks as well as their leaders. Through this grantmaking and accompaniment, Voix EssentiELLES seeks:

  • To enable the participation and meaningful engagement of women and girls’ community-based and grassroot organizations, networks and leaders, in decision-making platforms at different levels relevant for their health outcomes.
  • To strengthen their capacities and skills to influence policies, laws and programs that affect their health and well-being.
  • To improve quality and equitable health and safety outcomes for women and girls and increase access and uptake of services.

Voix EssentiELLES contributes to meaningful engagement of women and girls in all their diversity by investing in three broad areas:

  • Provision of small grants to community-based, grassroots women and girls’ organizations, to facilitate their participation and engagement in decision-making spaces.
  • Capacity and institutional strengthening of selected community-based, grassroots women and girls’ organizations and networks
  • Leadership development and mentorship of women and girls’ community advocates and champions

Building on the Voix EssentiELLES pilot phase and evaluation findings and recommendations, the Voix EssentiELLES Program Coordinator will lead the next phase of implementation of Voix EssentiELLES – currently across Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal with the opportunity to expand. The successful candidate will provide support in ensuring Voix EssentiELLES investments and focus areas to support grantee organizations of women and girls-led grassroot organizations are adequate and well- coordinated to improve their health outcomes asthey engage in decision-making spaces within national health policy-making and legal reforms, and programs that impact on their health outcome, such as those supported by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Working closely with Speak Up Africa’s leadership and core teams supporting the Voix EssentiELLES Initiative, the Program Coordinator will lead fund partnerships, manage and provide technical support to grantee organizations and advocates/champions, and provide technical expertise towards operationalization of its vision and plans in line with the theory of change. The Program Coordinator will engage, include and support local leadership of women and girls’ led community- based organizations and networks, so they can be drivers of change.

Key responsibilities

  • Provide support to Speak Up Africa teams by ensuring the Voix EssentiELLES initiative operational plan is delivered.
  • Provide technical expertise and collaborate with Speak Up Africa’s teams to improve approaches towards engagement with women-led and girls’ led community-based organizations within the Voix EssentiELLES initiative.
  • Provide support towards strengthening women-led community-based organizations’ engagement and leadership within national health policy decision-making spaces.
  • Contribute towards mobilization and updating mapping and database of local women-led and girls- led organizations, networks and movements for their engagement with Voix EssentiELLES.
  • Contribute to capacity strengthening and learning efforts between Voix EssentiELLES grantees and identified technical and financial partners, as well as other complimentary initiatives in the region.
  • Manage relationship with Voix EssentiELLES’ advocates/champions and key stakeholders.
  • Support Speak Up Africa teams and key stakeholders in organizing discussion forums with grantees, champions and partners, organizing events and coordination with grantee organizations and champions/ advocates.
  • Contribute to compilation and drafting of program reports and experience-sharing meetings with key partners.
  • Represent Voix EssentiELLES at key national, regional and international convenings as applicable.
  • Contribute to the development and operationalization of a comprehensive messaging framework around the Voix EssentiELLES initiative, in collaboration with Speak Up Africa Communications team, Program teams and key collaborators as well as co-funders.
  • Set up information dissemination mechanisms for increased peer to peer sharing of experiences and learnings among grantees, with sector partners, key stakeholders and co-funders.
  • Produce periodic reports, briefs and presentations, outlining learnings, progresses, challenges and opportunities for Speak Up Africa leadership and Voix EssentiELLES co-funders.
  • In collaboration with Speak Up Africa teams and key partners, lead on scoping activity in Q4 of 2023 for potential expansion of the initiative in 3 – 4 additional countries as of 2024.
  • Provide support towards outlining the vision for the future of Voix EssentiELLES, including plans for mobilization of new financial and technical partners to support growing, expansion and sustaining the Voix EssentiELLES Initiative


  • University degree in gender studies, human rights, development studies, social sciences, humanities, or any other relevant field or the equivalent in professional work
  • Minimum of 8 years’ professional experience working in program management and/or coordination. Experience in working on a leadership and representation role is highly desired.
  • Proven strong experience of working with civil society, communities, developing partnerships, accountability, capacity building in the international development sector.
  • Deep knowledge and experience of working on initiatives/ programs to “advance gender equality and human rights” with a strong focus on women and girls and civil society in Francophone Africa.
  • Strong understanding and experience with grassroots and community-based programming, organizing on issues related to gender equality and women and girls’ rights.
  • Strong advocate for principled partnerships and localization and community leadership and engagement.
  • Experience in strategic communications an asset. High-level interpersonal and communications skills with the ability to write and speak fluently in French and English. Ability to provide informal simultaneous translations.
  • Excellent organizational skills, prioritization skills, analytical skills, communication skills, collaborative and attention to details. Experience in developing a project strategy/ concept and putting it into action is a strongly desired.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, creatively, innovatively, and effectively with limited direct supervision. Self-starter, champion of the new initiatives, action oriented.
  • Networking skills, ability to influence and liaise effectively with key stakeholders.
  • Strong work ethic and ability to take responsibility for actions.

The successful candidate will be highly committed to support the key role that women and girls’ -led grassroot organizations play in health policy, planning and programming processes and related reforms. The selected candidate will have a talent to build connections and trustworthy relationships with stakeholders at all levels. Good self-driven organizational skills and inclusive approach is essential in this role. This position is based in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, or Senegal. Preference will be given to those with living in these countries.

Safeguarding & Ethics
Speak Up Africa is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Speak Up Africa’s code of conduct and values at all times.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

Application process
Please send your applications to [email protected] and [email protected], including a cover letter, your CV and 3 references.
The closing date for applications is August 31, 2023. Kindly specify the title of the position in the email subject line. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


Share on twitter
Share on facebook


Be informed of the latest news.

Sign up now!

Receive all OP news directly in your e-mail box.