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Program Management Officer -Think Tank Initiative

Job Summary

As a Program Management Officer, you will contribute to the operation of the Program, particularly in the areas of Organization Development and Outreach, through the coordination, monitoring, documentation and dissemination of information.  The principal responsibilities include knowledge management, research support, program coordination, monitoring and evaluation, communications and network development, and liaison with key internal and external constituents.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

 Program Coordination

  • Coordinates, collects and centralizes all information about the activities of the program (i.e. research outputs, program level performance indicators) in Think Tank Initiative (TTI) systems and database
  • Prepares and coordinates program level documents such as (i.e. annual work plans, project information memoranda, communications strategies, evaluation plans, project reports or briefings, reports to donors, reports of meetings) for the program team, and in response to specific requests by Centre management
  • Tracks the time to respond to concept notes and proposals in order to assess the program’s response rate
  • Develops and implements team processes in order to ensure good work flow within the team and with other Centre services
  • Acts as  point of contact for enquiries about the program
  • Makes recommendations about the content and operations to improve the work of the program
  • Coordinates the implementation of monitoring and evaluation plans
  • Assists in the coordination of linkages between IDRC and external partners, donors, UN organizations, NGOs and other governments in areas related to a program to communicate the work of the program, facilitate collaboration on joint activities, and ensure good working relationships
  • Contributes to  liaison with key Canadian institutions to ensure good working relationships
  • Plans and coordinates program meetings, retreats, international meetings and conferences involving the program’s network of partners and  prepares background material, distributes agendas, and provides general support  to enhance the effectiveness of the meetings
  • On occasion, travels abroad to attend program meetings and retreats
  • Prepares minutes and meeting reports of a technical nature to ensure discussions and decisions are well documented

Knowledge Management

  • Tracks and monitors grantee and TTI team research outputs  and liaises with records management staff to ensure that this documentation is properly filed and catalogued
  • Coordinates with consultants to ensure program learning across diverse activities and dissemination of good practices
  • Participates in the self-assessment of the program as part of the external review process and in the preparation of the end-of-cycle report
  • Contributes  analysis about program outcomes based on an overall program perspective to contribute to team learning and discussions on future programming
  • Compiles project results and other outputs as well as lessons learned for wider dissemination outside the Centre
  • Reviews project and program material and prepares synthesis documents of results, decisions, and directions for team discussion
  • Monitors discussions and practices by other contributors to the field, identifying items useful for TTI and its grantees, especially in its pursuit of advocating for more core funding
  • Populates TTI monitoring and evaluation database with qualitative data and tag appropriately to the Initiative’s Results Framework, grantee tailored objectives and other topics and contributes to further database development
  • Researches specific topics of interest to the program to enrich the knowledge of team members and to move the program forward
  • Assists in setting up TTI’s working paper series, including coordinating translation
  • Monitors the relationship between grantee financial reports, planned and completed activities
  • Tracks outcomes of Organizational Development processes and events back to individual grantee progress on institutional objectives
  • Prepares the reports for all projects requiring a project completion report (PCR) shortly after project approval (stage 1)
  • Tracks the completion of stage 1 and stage 2 PCRs
  • Plays a key role in the application of PCR content within the team, including dissemination of PCRs, information sharing, integration of team-based learning, and required reporting based on lessons learned from PCRs

Support for Program Management and Organizational Development

  • Collects and analyzes information from a wide variety of sources to investigate aspects of issues relevant to the project and its future development
  • Assists in the design of evaluation plans
  • Assists in organizing and managing research competitions (grants) including setting guidelines, disseminating calls for proposals, identifying reviewers, and ensuring prompt review of incoming proposals
  • Monitors progress of consultants and identifies emerging issues
  • Performs preliminary screening of concept notes, RSPs and project proposals and assists with their administration
  • Contributes to the preparation of Project Approval Documents (PADs)
  • Assists in the preparation of proposals and progress reports to external funders for externally funded projects and provides periodic project updates, as needed


  • Contributes to the implementation of a communication strategy for internal and external audiences and coordinates its implementation
  • In collaboration with TTI team and other IDRC staff, assists in the drafting and editing of reports, special papers, reviews, journal or newsletter articles, manuscripts and other documents for publication or presentation
  • Contributes to  the program’s website and newsletter, writes abstracts, and keeps information current, coordinates the content and prepares project profiles
  • Packages information specifically for grantees, with targeted outreach
  • Tracks uptake through web usage statistics
  • Prepares and coordinates written, graphic, visual materials, web site content and other social media for public presentation/dissemination (networking, public relations purposes or for revenue generation)
  • Prepares reports and briefing notes on project outputs for different audiences (technical, academic, policy as well as the general public)

General Administration

  • Maintains the program’s pipeline of activities throughout the year, including tracking of allocation targets
  • Files documents (i.e. PCRs, projects with multiple components) according to the required protocol
  • Acts as gatekeeper of the program’s documents to ensure that key documents are available and accessible
  • Using available resources and applications (e.g. EPIK), retrieves and aggregates project information in support of the program’s reporting requirements
  • Generates and provides information as requested, often on an urgent basis, for both internal and external audiences
  • Performs initial review and coordinates the selection process for potential interns, awardees and summer students for the program

Job Summary

 The Program Management Officer is expected to:
  • have an overall knowledge of the programs activities
  • be a point of contact for internal and external communications
  • provide assistance  in managing programmatic development;
  • provide assistance in ensuring adequate project pipeline and program  management;
  • be a key information management resource for the program
  • provide support to the team and Program Manager/Leader towards the overall functioning of the team
  • provide support for specific tasks to the Director and other Senior Managers as required