Senior Program Associate

  • Entry-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 1 June 2020

Job Description


The Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center (SPARC) is a resource hub aimed at strengthening strategic purchasing capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. Our vision is to empower countries with knowledge and practical tools to make access to affordable and quality health care a reality for all. SPARC is a complementary resource and partner to the many health financing initiatives on the African continent and globally. SPARC is supported by Amref Health Africa as the institutional host and Results for Development (R4D) as the core technical partner. An advisory committee made up of key global, regional and country stakeholders provides additional input and guidance to SPARC’s approach and activities.


R4D is seeking a highly motivated and energetic Senior Program Associate (SPA) to support the technical, operational, and administrative functions of the SPARC initiative. The SPA will work with all members of the SPARC team, both DC and Africa-based, to ensure timely and high-quality delivery of the initiative’s outputs.

This Senior Program Associate position is ideal for someone who is looking to grow their skills and experience in project management. Crucial for the success in this role, the candidate must have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills (verbal and written), be highly organized, detail-oriented, conscientious and flexible and have excellent multi-tasking and decision-making skills.

The SPA will be expected to successfully manage competing priorities and deadlines, successfully interact with a diverse DC and internationally based team, and be able to work independently as well as collaboratively as part of a team.

This position is based in Washington, D.C. and will report to SPARC’s Senior Program Officer.


The Senior Program Associate will be expected to provide a broad range of technical and project functions that include, but are not limited to,:

  • Contributing to the development of high-quality work products, including presentations, concept notes, thought pieces, briefing materials, blog posts, newsletters, meeting summaries, and e-communications to share with both internal and external audiences.
  • Contributing to technical activities, such as conducting qualitative and quantitative analysis on technical and policy issues related to health systems and financing
  • Coordinating and developing project deliverables (reports, workplans, tracking progress against targets, etc.)
  • Facilitating and supporting routine business processes, such as recruitment, procurement, financial/budget analysis, contracting, and payments
  • Performing and supporting internal administrative processes critical to the functioning of a rapidly growing team and organization
  • Providing organization and logistics support for convening of stakeholder meetings, workshops, and other collaborative forums.
  • Supporting the development and maintenance of positive relationships with multiple stakeholders, including within R4D and with partner and funding organizations

The SPA is expected to be self-motivated, able to work independently within a multi-functional team, and have a high degree of flexibility to be responsive to the needs of colleagues and other project stakeholders.


Successful candidates are likely to have the following qualifications:

  • Undergraduate / graduate training in Public Health, Economics, Business Administration, Management, Public Policy, Political Science, International Affairs, or other relevant discipline;
  • Up to three (3) years of relevant work experience in a research institution, government, bilateral or multilateral development agency, consulting firm, NGO, or think tank.
  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • Exceptional oral & written communications skills;
  • Experience working in a team environment;
    Demonstrated interest in health, health financing, and/or social sector policy development;
  • Ability to deliver high-quality outputs and results within tight timeframes;
    Familiarity with routine administrative and project management functions;
  • High level of proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly Excel, PowerPoint, and Word; and
  • Full professional fluency in written and spoken English; French fluency highly desired.
  • Willingness to travel international approximately 10-20%, depending on project need

Additionally, R4D prizes people who are:

  • Good and active listeners and facilitators;
  • Productive, energetic, creative and task oriented;
  • Adept at exchanging constructive feedback;
  • Multilingual;
  • Skillful communicators before scientific, policy and lay audiences;
  • Equally comfortable and capable working independently and in teams;
  • Highly collaborative and approachable; and
  • Enthusiastic about joining a diverse and inclusive work environment.

About the Organization

Results for Development (R4D) is a leading non-profit global development partner. We collaborate with change agents around the world — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — to create strong systems that support healthy, educated people. We help our partners move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too.

We have a unique and vibrant culture at R4D. Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of our work environment and help advance our mission. Diversity—of ideas, identities, perspectives and backgrounds—is vital to who we are and what we do. We seek people who embrace these values and will help reinforce them. Our work culture is collaborative, creative and entrepreneurial. We operate based on trust and respect. Teams across the organization frequently collaborate on programmatic work and support each other in continuously building a better R4D.