Senior Program Officer, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Feb 13

Position description

Heartland Alliance International (HAI) is the youngest and fastest growing part of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, a family of organizations that has been leading anti-poverty and social justice work in the Chicago area for more than 125 years. HAI is comprised of nearly a dozen country offices implementing programs on a broad range of global human rights issues. HAI is making significant investments in its programming and leadership in the fields of trauma-informed mental health care and access to justice for marginalized populations. HAI is also an industry leader in access to stigma-free health care.

HAI's programs deliver high quality prevention and treatment services, and take action in response to human rights violations. HAI does this while building the capacity of local providers to meet the needs of marginalized populations. For example, through partnerships with local civil society organizations and country governments, HAI’s HIV/AIDS programs target key populations (KP) such as men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSW), and people who inject drugs (PWID) in numerous projects in partnership with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. HAI also leads mental health, anti-trafficking, and legal programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries in the region. HAI’s Sub-Saharan Africa portfolio is expanding with new countries and new technical areas on the horizon.

HAI’s Sub-Saharan Africa Senior Program Officer will support successful implementation of HAI’s current programs and resource mobilization in the region, with a focus in its HIV/AIDS programming.


Program Management

  • Serve as advisor for programs, ensuring all program objectives and goals are met in compliance with HAI and donor regulations and quality standards;
  • Lease with M&E and finances staff both in the field and at headquarters to ensure project performance in assigned geographic/programmatic areas and expenditures are within plans;
  • Assist in writing and reviewing monthly/quarterly progress reports to donors;
  • Provide summary reports and critical analysis of field reports to the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Director and other senior staff;
  • Undertake field-based program monitoring and technical assistance visits, as assigned, in partnership with HAI’s M&E staff and Technical Advisors;
  • Manage Sub-Saharan Africa Program Associate(s), interns, and Global Fellows, as relevant;
  • Create and/or adapt professional training materials, toolkits, and manuals for the region and take a lead role in facilitating workshops;
  • Communicate with country offices and connect them to the right HAI/Chicago and global staff and vice-versa;
  • Coordinate with relevant departments to provide accurate information to the field and to the Financial & Accounting Services department to analyze program budgets and ensure adherence to financial and administrative policies and procedures;
  • Collaborate with Employee Services & Workforce Development to update HAI orientation materials for staff based in country offices;
  • Facilitate the submission and processing of all program administrative requirements such as leave requests, scheduling, and procurement;
  • Represent HAI externally with funders and stakeholders;
  • Collaborate with Regional director to respond to donor’s requests;
  • Other duties, as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Social Work, or Public Policy. Master’s degree in Public Health is a plus;
  • At least three (3) years of work experience in international human rights programming promoting access to health. Prior experience working with HIV/AIDS and/or Key Population programming is a plus;
  • At least two (2) years of prior field experience, preferably in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Demonstrated qualitative and quantitative research, monitoring and evaluation skills;
  • Knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention for key populations, sexual and gender based violence, and global sexual orientation and gender identity movements;
  • Knowledge of and interest in grassroots community mobilization, capacity building, and training;
  • Familiarity developing, reviewing, and tracking budgets and burn rates using Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks, and other financial management software;
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision;
  • Superb oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Advanced/fluent spoken and written French.

Strongly Preferred 

  • Program development/proposal development experience;
  • Experience with PEPFAR, USAID, CDC, Global Fund, and/or US State Department funding;
  • Ability to manage large scale grants and/or contracts;
  • Experience undertaking program design and field assessments;
  • Training and group facilitation experience;
  • Good sense of humor and problem-solving skills.

Important Details 

  • Must be able to work full-time (M-F, 8:30-5:30) as well as extended hours when needed (nights, weekends);
  • Must be able and willing to travel internationally – often to insecure and resource-limited settings – for up to four weeks at a time, up to 35% time annually;
  • Must be able to travel independently to carry out field assessments, to identify potential partner organizations, to determine beneficiary needs and to develop program proposals and budgets for funding;
  • Must possess strong communication skills, ethics, and an ability to remain composed and professional in difficult circumstances;
  • English fluency (spoken and written) and French skills required with additional language(s) a plus.

Application instructions

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