Program Manager, Governance

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 23 April 2019

Job Description

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, Asia plays a crucial global role. Would you be excited at the prospect of employing your knowledge and skills to improve lives, expand opportunities, and help societies flourish across this dynamic region?

You could have this opportunity at The Asia Foundation. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, we address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century: governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation. We work with innovative leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance path-breaking reforms. Together with our partners, we are committed to Asia’s continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.

The Asia Foundation’s Myanmar Office in Yangon is seeking a Program Manager, Governance. The program manager is responsible for the overall management of the Foundation’s large and dynamic portfolio on decentralization and local governance. The program manager will manage three ongoing projects on fiscal transparency, public financial management, support to state/region governments, municipal governance, and social accountability. The program manager will have significant experience working on governance and/or development programs with relevant technical expertise. She/he will also have significant management experience and will be responsible for project administration, financial and grant management, donor reporting and representation of The Asia Foundation to government agencies, donors, partner organizations, diplomatic missions, and national and international institutions, as required. The program manager will oversee a large team of international and national staff and consultants. As a senior program staff, the program manager will also contribute to the broader development of the office’s governance portfolio.


  • Ensure that project activities are efficiently and effectively implemented in projects’ sites in select states and regions in Myanmar, including strong relations with government authorities, parliaments, civil society organizations, and community leaders.
  • Oversee and manage a team of international and national staff and consultants to implement project activities and maintain project coherence.
  • Ensure the team develops a deep understanding of old and emerging formal and informal local governance practices and decision-making modalities that impact project activities.
  • Ensure the team keep up-to-date and contribute best practices in relevant thematic areas that impact decentralization, fiscal transparency, public financial management, urbanization, and interactions between government and citizens.
  • Continuous development of program activities to suit evolving project needs and proactively deploy necessary resources to adjust and implement activities.
  • Ensure substantive inputs, coaching and assistance to partners/grantees as they plan for, design, and implement project activities, and ensure that timely updates and reports are received from partners/grantees.
  • Track on-going developments with the government at both national and subnational levels and provide regular feedback to supervisors of broader context impacting project implementation.
  • Track the activities of other organizations/development partners that are also implementing governance-related activities both at the union and subnational levels.
  • Lead the development, and ensure high quality, of any research and information materials that will be produced by The Asia Foundation’s Myanmar office regarding governance.
  • Ensure the team manage regular field visits by Foundation and partner staff to sites, and draft letters of grants, letter of contracts, presentation materials, speeches, amongst others.
  • Ensure all technical areas of the project are integrated and delivered at high quality, making the most effective and efficient use of project resources.
  • Lead in day-to-day planning and budget development, quality and on-time reporting and other donor requirements, including periodic success stories and other M&E updates.
  • Ensure timely submission of all project documentation, including workplans, reports, M&E frameworks, branding and marketing plans, etc.
  • Provide expertise to foster technical and programmatic decision making.
  • Ensure the project is well monitored; data collected and analyzed for reporting to donors and stakeholders.
  • Ensure that activities and the project are implemented in accordance with the donor and TAF rules and regulations.
  • Develop and monitor appropriate budgets to support technical activities, with relevant data and assistance from Finance.
  • Monitor project budget, meet spending targets, and if under- or over-spent, identify approaches to resolve the issues and remain on target (including activity budget and LOE).
  • Manage and supervise staff and implementing partners.
  • Review workplans and reports from implementing partners.
  • Prepare progress reports, annual progress reports, project completion report and other report as maybe required by the funder and relevant institutions.
  • Contribute to articles, written materials, and documentation for publication.
  • As requested by the Country Representative, represent the project at meetings and other functions with other cooperating partners, senior government officials, and other donor agencies.
  • Other job responsibilities as may be assigned by the Country Representative and Deputy Country Representative.
  • Minimum eight years or more of relevant professional experience of designing, managing and implementing governance programs in developing countries.
  • Advanced degree in relevant field, e.g. law, policy studies, political science, economics, social sciences, public policy, public administration, international relations, women’s education/development, economics, foreign affairs or Asian studies.
  • Significant experience working on governance issues, preferably including decentralization and local governance, urbanization, fiscal transparency, public financial management, and citizen-government interactions.
  • Solid experience in project management, budget management and oversight, team building in a multi-cultural environment, efficient and effective delivery of project milestones, and donor relations. Must have experience managing international donor-funded projects.
  • Strong track record of facilitating partnerships across governing authorities, community groups and members of the public, and a high level of comfort in engaging high-level government officials.
  • Excellent oral and written language skills, including ability to quickly synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues into concise communication, and develop high quality reports based on donor reporting guidelines.
  • Strong team building, management, and administration skills. Ability to self-manage, independently prioritize tasks, and confidently develop plans of action with minimal direction.
  • Strong political awareness. Knowledge of governance institutions and practices in development countries, particularly Asia and Myanmar preferably.
  • Gender programming and mainstreaming experience would be a plus.
  • Strong time-management skills and professional organizational abilities.
  • Ability to travel within the country, as required.
  • Experience in proposal and report writing, financial and grants management and budget control, strategic planning, and fundraising.
  • Preferred: Experience working and/or living in Myanmar; understanding of the donor landscape and key government stakeholders in Myanmar; language proficiency in Burmese.
Why work at The Asia Foundation?

You will have the opportunity to contribute to development in Myanmar and, more broadly, to the development, stability, and growth of the dynamic Asian region. You will help promote a more effective and constructive engagement between government and citizens, strengthen the role of women and minorities, and advance learning and awareness about the country. In Myanmar, other Asian countries, and with headquarters, you will work with and learn from dedicated, smart, and accomplished colleagues, program partners, and local leaders. In the process, you will improve your skills and grow as a development professional.


Applications should be submitted by visiting our website: and selecting “Careers.” Please submit a current CV and cover letter. The application deadline is May 6, 2019.

About the Organization

About The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, DC. Working with public and private partners, the Foundation receives funding from a diverse group of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals. In 2016, we provided $87.8 million in direct program support and distributed textbooks and other educational materials valued at $9.5 million.

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