Closing date for applications: Saturday, 30th April 2022

The International Centre for Tax and Development is seeking a Programme Manager for our flagship DIGITAX research programme. DIGITAX seeks to investigate (a) the impacts of various approaches to taxing digital financial services (DFS) in low-income countries and (b) the extent to which digital payment and the use of digital ID can contribute to efforts to broaden the tax base and improve collection efficiency and equity. The programme started in October 2020 and has a completion date of March 2024.

The DIGITAX Programme Manager will play a critical role in providing overall coordination and supervision of all DIGITAX activities, with a particular emphasis on (a) management and coordination of the DIGITAX team, (b) overall monitoring and planning in relation to the budget, and (c) oversight of the overall research and communications programme – including reporting to donors. More simply, the Programme Manager will act as the central node in the overall coordination and oversight of DIGITAX staff, communications, budgets and programme, working in close partnership with the Research Leads. Please read the job description for more detail.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a friendly, high-impact and fast growing team based in the beautiful setting of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), at the University of Sussex in the South Downs National Park.


Part-time, fixed term, 17.5 hours per week, from 01 May 2022 – 31 March 2024.


The position will be primarily based in the UK, but flexibility for overseas candidates will be considered.


£37,362 to £49,384

Overall purpose of the role:

In filling this role, three sets of skills will be particularly important.

  1. Excellent interpersonal and management skills, in order to oversee and coordinate a growing and international team. The Programme Manager will play a critical role in managing the whole DIGITAX team, and facilitating effective coordination and delivery of key roles.
  2. Strong budget planning and financial management skills, in order to align programme activities with funding timelines and requirements – and coordinate diverse and sometimes complex external partnerships. The key role is not in accountancy, as the ICTD has a programme accountant, and individuals project budgets will be handled by others. Instead, the Programme Manager needs to be able to adopt a bird’s eye view of the entire budget, communicate financial matters clearly to both the donors and the broader team, play a central role in strategic financial planning and oversight, and play a leadership role in coordinating external contacts and partnerships where necessary.
  3. Ability to oversee a broad and complex research, communications and capacity building programme, think strategically about it and communicate it effectively to donors and other external stakeholders. The Programme Manager will have primary responsibility for developing annual and donor reports, new proposals and for managing key aspects of external donor communication – including highlight high impact work and its practical implications. To do so, the Programme Manager needs to work closely with all member of the team in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the overall program and activities.

Key Responsibilities of the role:

Programme and Communications Management

  • Provide overall strategic programme management to ensure planning, budgeting, communication and reporting systems and processes are in place and being followed to ensure the programme achieves its targets within agreed timeframes and budgets.
  • Oversee the financial management of the programme. Ensure that budgets and forecasts are up to date, that expenditure is managed effectively, and that funders are invoiced accurately and on time, in accordance with financial regulations and organisational procedures.
  • Oversee the DIGITAX Communications Strategy. Manage and work closely with the Senior Communications Consultant to oversee and support the planning, delivery and quality of programme communications, including the production of knowledge and learning products, web-based resources, social media, blogs, branding, templates and marketing/communication materials.
  • Ensure that effective contractual arrangements are put in place with funders, partners and sub-contractors, and liaise with colleagues to ensure that all IDS’ contractual obligations and due diligence processes are met.
  • Coordinate and ensure the effective regular reporting to programme donors, working collaboratively with colleagues to meet quality and timeframe expectations.
  • Work collaboratively and coordinate with other programme colleagues, project hub support staff and professional research teams to deliver the programmes.
  • Participate in and develop external networks, build relationships for current and future activities, and enhance research impact.
  • Manage the programme relationship with the Gates Foundation.

People Management

  • Manage the DIGITAX team: ensure that that team is happy, motivated and has the resources they need to succeed. Play a key role in team cohesion,setting objectives, managing performance and designing job roles related to programme responsibilities.
  • Ensure there are clear guidelines, resources, procedures and IT support for team members to carry out their work.
  • Identify and address training needs and skills gaps as required.
  • Identify preferred technical suppliers and delivery partners and oversee the quality and delivery of consultancy work.
  • Identify and address staffing gaps:work on recruitment and selection as needed.
  • Monitor delivery of work by team and resolve any emerging issues related to workload, quality and content expertise.


  • Promote the work of ICTD and the wider Institute both nationally and internationally
  • Carry out other IDS-related tasks as required commensurate with the grade of the post.
  • Manage and Chair the Digital Financial Services Working Group

Person Specification:

Degree or equivalent relevant qualification or equivalent experience

Postgraduate qualification preferred.


  • Good knowledge and understanding of current issues and debates in international development
  • Extensive knowledge of project planning, implementation and management gained at a senior level
  • In-depth knowledge of change management, designing, and implementing policy and procedures


  • Some understanding of the technology and policies related to digital financial services, digital identification, and financial inclusion, preferably in low-income countries and for low-income populations
  • Some understanding of tax policy and practice in low-income countries


  • Ability to strategically oversee and guide all the necessary management functions of a large, complex and adapting programme
  • Excellent all-round communication skills, including English-language verbal, writing and editing skills, and the ability to tailor material for different formats and communicate specialist knowledge in non-technical language
  • Team management skills including the ability to supervise, support, mentor and motivate individual team members, both in IDS and other locations
  • Strong budget planning, financial and project management skills.
  • Well-organised, with the ability to prioritise work in order to meet competing deadlines
  • Diplomacy and a professional approach when dealing with external partners and funders (from both the Global North and South). A problem-solving approach to be able to strategically design services around learning and evidence needs
  • Excellent interpersonal skills


  • Ability to assimilate complex research or other relevant material quickly, assess its merits, and draw out key messages and implications for policy and practice
  • Good research skills, including analytical and synthesis skills


  • At least 5-10 years’ experience in programme management
  • Developing and managing partnerships with external organisations, subject experts and content providers, ideally having worked to strengthen the capacity of partners
  • Project management, including financial management – delivering projects to time and to budget, preferably gained in the context of large donor-funded programmes
  • People management experience
  • Facilitating and/or participating in networks and communities of practice
  • Management of communications projects and/or strategies


  • Working with or for the Gates Foundation or other bilateral or other philanthropic organisations
  • Experience living and/or working in low-income countries


  • Ability to oversee a broad and complex research, communications and capacity building programme
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Good sense of networks and diverse contacts across sector
  • A proactive attitude and an ability to work both in a team and take initiative independently
  • Ability to recognise potential, build capacity and train others to gain relevant skills
  • Flexible approach and ability to cope with change
  • Attention to detail and a commitment to the quality of outputs
  • Excellent time management skills, with the ability to juggle various tasks, people, demands, etc. at the same time and often to competing deadlines
  • Capacity to work across cultural / institutional barriers


  • Occasional international travel – covid permitting.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please apply through the IDS jobs portal.

Download the Vacancy Particulars here, or download the job description here.

The deadline to apply is 30th April 2022.