A program assistant in Ghana

International development is a global business, with countless opportunities to make a difference. For aid workers, it also tends to be a labor of love.

If you’re a development professional, you probably didn’t choose your job for the money. The chance to help alleviate suffering and lift people out of poverty — plus the multicultural work environment, international travel and other perks that often come with the job — are well worth any pay cut you may encounter when switching from the private sector.

Then again, compensation is an important part of human resources management, and one that job seekers rightly ask about.

Comprehensive information on foreign aid salaries is hard to come by. So, to help fill the gap, Devex is publishing short features shedding light on the salaries and work of those holding jobs that international development organizations commonly hire for. It’s part of our mission to help aid professionals advance and make informed decisions about their careers.

The details below were derived from a survey of select development workers stationed in various parts of the globe. Due to the sensitivity of the information, we are keeping the respondents’ identities and organizations confidential.

Compensation varies greatly from one job, country or organization to another. Even for the same position, differences in remuneration occur based on educational background, experience and an organization’s need, as well as whether it is for a local or an international hire.

This week, we put the spotlight on a program assistant working for a consultancy in Ghana.

  • Position title: program assistant

  • Seniority: entry-level

  • Position type: full-time on a short-term contract

  • Year: 2012

  • Sample tasks: Handling calls and electronic correspondence, maintaining office filing systems, managing meeting and travel schedules of professional staff, helping with financial management as well as in preparing reports, organizing conferences and arranging translations

  • Salary (equivalent in U.S. dollars): $600+ per month

A note on Ghana:

Ghana is an African country on the rise, enjoying enormous growth. As such, talks abound about the country weaning itself from aid eventually. But for now and in the near future, foreign assistance continues to underwrite the majority of development programs there.

As such, expect jobs in humanitarian aid and development cooperation in Ghana not to dry up anytime soon. The country, based on our analysis of jobs posted on Devex, is among the top 20 countries in terms of hiring so far this year.

Check out the Devex jobs board for vacancies in Ghana and for program assistants.

Read more Devex Salary Spotlights!

About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.