Challenges Zambia
Posted Job
almost 2 years ago

Country Programme Manager

Challenges Zambia is a subsidiary of The Challenges Group, a social enterprise headquartered in the United Kingdom. We believe in thriving networks of businesses, who are in a position to access economic opportunities and succeed independently. We work to enable businesses to grow, through implementing good practice and encouraging the development of SME-centred products and services. We do this by combining a data-driven approach to our work, lean thinking in our projects, and utilising the power of local know-how. We provide a combination of advisory, implementation and training services.

Challenges Zambia has been operating in Zambia since 2008 with a permanent office established in 2015. Recently, we have partnered with Private Enterprise Programme Zambia in their Business Linkages Programme. Here we have delivered on projects covering financial services, agriculture, mining and tourism. Most recently we supported the development of a life insurance proposition for SMEs with Prudential Zambia.

The Opportunity

Challenges has built a strong base in Zambia through multiple engagement, including delivery of the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme, co-facilitation of the DFID-funded Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ), and establishment of an independent and self-sustaining Zambian entity – Challenges Group (Zambia) Limited. Challenges has developed an extensive client network of MSMEs, large national and multinational organisations, investors, donors and development consultancy partners. Furthermore, a pool of young Zambian graduates has been trained and taken through a 3-month consultancy experience under the ICS programme, providing an excellent resource pool on which to scale project delivery quickly and efficiently. These foundations enabled us to increase our scale of local operations by 5 fold in 2018.

The Country Programme Manager role represents an opportunity to build on this base in 2019 and beyond, and to shape the future of the organisation into an impactful, sustainable and growing organisation.

Main Responsibilities

  • The role comprises 3 main responsibilities, whilst by its nature remaining flexible as you shape and determine the strategic direction of Challenges in Zambia.

Strategy and Operations

  • Establish and execute strategic plan for the Challenges Zambia entity in conjunction with Challenges’ Senior Management Team and the CEO, in-line with Challenges’ priorities and country contexts.
  • Set, monitor and report against periodic targets for Zambia, including:
  • Business ratios (measured by financial statements)
  • Social impact ratios (measured through project deliverables)
  • Manage and recruit team of staff and consultants in accordance with our ways of working, creating a strong ethos, and a vibrant, exciting place to work

Project Management and Delivery

  • Project management and delivery of current projects under execution in Zambia
  • Project management and delivery of new projects and service contracts won
  • Responsible for identifying project risks, maintaining a risk register and developing mitigation strategies to alleviate the impact of any significant risks

Business Development

  • Build and develop strategic relationships with external partners including enterprises, donors, investors and represent Challenges externally in Zambia.
  • Support the sourcing business opportunities for Challenges in Zambia.
  • Developing and structuring proposals to secure new work in conjunction with the Challenges’ central team and the local Business Development team

Role Requirements


  • Strategic thinking and a track record of effective strategic management
  • Excellent project management skills, including project development and monitoring
  • Strong communication skills (verbal and written), with internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong commercial acumen
  • Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with a range of partners
  • Fluent written and spoken English


  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
  • Experience of planning, developing and leading projects or programmes
  • Experience of budget management and reporting
  • Understanding of operational risks and mitigation in a developing country context

Personal Qualities

  • An ambitious self-starter, with desire to have a positive impact
  • Flexible and adaptable with an ability to prioritise tasks and meet deadlines
  • An interest in private sector development in a developing country context
  • The ability to explain complex information clearly and simply
  • Initiative taker, able to work independently as well as part of a team

How to Apply

If you are interested in this position, please apply by submitting the following documents:

Your CV (with 2 references minimum including email address)

Soft copies of relevant qualifications

Send this information to the email below: applications after this date won’t be considered. Please note that due to the volume of application we cannot provide feedback to all applicants.

Application deadline
13 Jan 15:00
Email applications to

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