Graduating the Most Vulnerable: Programme Manager

Seeking a Strong Development Programme Manager with a Gender Expertise

We are seeking an International Development Specialist who is passionate about working with vulnerable communities, including women and persons with a disability to manage an impact-focused programme called Graduating the Poor. The role will provide Technical Support to the programme to ensure that it achieves its intended outcomes.

The programme works across 4 geographic areas in Sri Lanka (with a focus on Northern and Eastern Regions) where there is a high level of poverty and social capital in communities.

The programme targets the most vulnerable and adopts a holistic set of activities over 18-24 months to support the graduation of families so they are food secure and able to meet their needs. The programme will operate between 2021 – 2023, with a potential to extend. The programme seeks to directly reach 2,000 families and has a budget of $1 USD million. The programme will seek to target groups including persons with a disability, Women, female sex workers, and families facing high levels of food insecurity.

We are looking for someone who has at least 6 – 8 years experience as a senior programme manager, who is specialised in Gender and Disability and is able to work collaborative with our local partners, who are responsible for the delivery of the programme.

The successful candidate will be trilingual, able to speak both Tamil and Sinhala and willing to travel at least 10 days in the month to the field activities. Ideally we are seeking someone who is based in the North but open to all applicants. The role will report to the CEO.

Palmera ( is a grassroots international agency head officed out of Australia, delivering work in Sri Lanka for the past 10 years. Our lean head office team in Sri Lanka are located through the country supporting our local implementing partners to deliver programmes that uplift vulnerable communities.

This is a two year contract, with the option to extend based on performance.

Role Requirements

Adaptative Programme Management and Monitoring (20%)

  • Management of the overall activity plan, achievement of project timelines and collection of results
  • Supporting local partners to implement adaptative management to ensure new ideas and lessons
    are embedded into their way of working
  • Adapting results chain and measurement indicators when needed to reflect changing context and
    the adaptative ways in which the programme works
  • Undertake field monitoring visits to ensure activities are being implemented as planned
    (implementation monitoring) and the programme is tracking to achieve its outcomes (results


Technical Support and Capacity Building (60%)

  • Build capacity on the core Graduating the Poor Approach and sub approaches applied in the
    programme to ensure the programme meets the required quality standards
  • Provide targeted technical support as the programme requires
  • Work with the Programme team to leverage the collected data to better direct the programme to
    achieve its intended outcomes
  • Provide new ideas and leverage networks to ensure the programme can meets it intended
  • Development of core delivery modules, templates and tools to support the effective implementation
    of the programme


Reporting and Compliance (20%)

  • Reviewing and supporting the drafting of programme reports, acquittals and supporting
    documentation to ensure it meets donor requirements
  • Supporting marketing efforts to share stories with donors
  • Practice, promote and endorse the issues of safeguarding policy among team members and ensure
    the implementation of safeguarding standards in every course of action
  • Conduct Development Effectiveness Reviews, which focuses on the implementation of Palmera’s
    core policy areas and support the strengthening of these policy areas in the programme



  • Master’s degree in Development Studies/Economics/ Anthropology/Sociology/Business
    Administration and/or other relevant fields



  • At least 6 – 8 years of job experience with a minimum of 4 years of managerial experience in
    different development sectors working towards the improvement of livelihoods of ultra-poor and
    marginal people
  • Trilingual (Tamil, Sinhala and English)
  • Capacity to provide training and facilitation to community and staff/NGO partners



  • Candidates physically located in Sri Lanka’s north will be highly considered, though we will consider
    applicants as well based in other parts of the country, including Colombo
  • Good technical skills in income generation, agriculture, food security, and livelihood development.
  • Broad grasp of socio-economic policy issues with respect to food security and livelihood
  • Ability to adapt or change priorities, and take initiative to deal with difficulties encountered in daily
  • Ability to work independently, think innovatively and strategically and work effectively within a team.
  • Ability to manage local staff in a mature, impartial and inclusive manner and address inequalities
  • Capacity to manage a multidisciplinary and multicultural team
  • Strong financial/budget management skills
  • Computer skills (Microsoft Office, Photoshop)
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English



Palmera ( is a focused Australian based International agency that implements work in Sri
Lanka. We work to improve the economic well-being of vulnerable families. Palmera is largely funded by
small private donations, so is deeply focused on accountability, value for money and impact in all that we