Director of Policy and Programs

Posted 10 months ago
The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) seeks to fill the position of Director of Policy and Programs.  This position reports to the Senior Director – Research and Policy Engagements.


Driven by a commitment to support governments address the policy and institutional barriers that hamper sustained economic growth on the continent, ACET was founded in 2008 with the support of national governments alongside major multilateral, bilateral donors and foundations.  ACET is an economic policy institute that provides research, policy advice, and institutional strengthening for African countries to develop their economies, reduce poverty, and improve livelihoods. To learn more about ACET visit our website.

Job Description

ACET is seeking a Director of Policy and Programs to manage and coordinate ACET’s growing portfolio of programmes.  Reporting to the Senior Director – Research and Policy Engagements, the post holder will have responsibility for:

  1. Portfolio Management: The Director will have overall oversight of ACET’s thematic portfolio’s (Youth Employment and Skills, Private Sector Development, The Compact with Africa/Reform Partnership initiatives and areas under development – Gender, Innovation and Regional Integration). Key responsibilities will include:
    • Ensuring all projects are delivering on time and in line with ACET’s quality standard
    • Working with Heads of Programs to guide ACET’s programming and orientation and further develop and grow the ACET portfolio in line with the ACET Strategy
    • Ensure ACET’s portfolio of policy programs have clear theories of change (ToC) and aligned to the organizational ToC to facilitate effective impact management
    • Ensuring all projects are planned, implemented and completed within budget and scope.
    • Quality assurance – supervise, review  and approve products and projects developed by the thematic teams before final submission to clients/partners.
    • Lead or contribute to selected projects – it is envisaged these will be new project areas under development or those that are ongoing but do not fit within a specific team.
    • Foster effective collaboration across the policy and programme teams and the research team
    • Work closely with ACET’s Programme Management Team to ensure projects are executed and delivered in accordance with ACET operational standards and strategic direction and monitored, measured and evaluated appropriately
  1. Research: Working closely with the Director of Research, ensure:
    • Policy research conducted by the sectoral teams adhere to ACET’s research quality standards
    • ACET’s research agenda and its’ the policy and program agendas are strongly aligned.
    • Effective coordination between the two teams during the development of ACET’s flagship programmes – namely ATR, ATI and ATF.
  1. Policy Advise: Working closely with Heads of Programs and the Senior Director to ensure ACET’s policy advise to national governments and the private sector is robust, in line with global best practice and underpinned by solid evidence.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement and Management: In collaboration with ACET programme leads and the Senior Director ensure ACET is:
    • Effectively managing its portfolio donor and research partners – this might include (but not restricted to) consortia management, field visits and organising stakeholder platforms, workshops and validation meetings.
    • Ensuring effective client relationship management including robust communication of progress during the project cycle
    • Ensure ACET has a robust framework for identifying and managing its partnerships with partner policy institutes in Africa and globally.
  1. People Management: The Director will directly supervise the team leads in ACET and teams/experts involved in programs s/he is leading. This will include:
    • Assigning projects to ACET staff and consultants and managing programs to ensure effective delivery.
    • Identifying future human resource needs and skills within the policy and programme teams and working with HR to fill positions.
    • Working with the management team and HR to strengthen ACET’s database of consultants and researchers
    • Effective management of the policy & programme teams – including supporting career development of junior staff.
  1. Resource Mobilization: The Director will:
    • Work with resource mobilization colleagues to identify and develop project proposals.
    • Effectively manage the costing of all proposals to ensure ACET meets its cost recovery targets.
  1. Publications and Reports: The Director will be required to contribute articles and papers for publication by ACET as well as contributing articles, blogs, policy notes by ACET partners. They will also mine past reports to inform the development of knowledge products and policy briefs
  1. Representing ACET: The Director will be required to represent ACET (in person and virtually) and serve a spokesperson for ACET on growth and DEPTH issues.

Qualification, Skills and Experience

Education and Experience
  • Advanced degree (PhD) in Economics (with emphasis on Growth or Microeconomics)
  • A minimum of 10 years of post-PhD policy relevant working experience
  • Relevant professional experience in microeconomic or growth policy analysis and advice, preferably gained with a development-oriented institution.
  • Proven experience in the formulation of country development strategies
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Intellectually curious
  • Strong competence in modern econometrics
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills. A good working knowledge of French will be an advantage
  • A strong track record of working with clients and being results oriented, with strong analytical skills and a keen sense of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to multitask with strong attention to detail, organization, time management and quality control
  • Commercially minded with a proven track record of successful resource management and effective project management
  • A strong and proven track record of effective people management and team leadership
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to deliver high quality work under pressure
  • Ability to handle both strategic and administrative tasks and issues

This position can be a remote location post. If the successful candidate is based outside Accra, they will be offered a fixed term consultancy contract.

Benefits of working with ACET:

ACET is an independent, dynamic and responsive organization. The incumbent will have an exceptional opportunity to engage with policy makers at the highest levels in African countries. ACET offers a competitive remuneration package.

Interested applicants should email their CV and an accompanying cover letter to

The closing date for the receipt of applications is Friday, 29th October, 2021.

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