Program Manager



Lilongwe, Malawi
Posted on Tuesday, May 2, 2023

About GiveDirectly

GiveDirectly (GD) provides cash grants directly to people living in extreme poverty. GD has raised over $800M since launching in 2011, delivered cash to more than 1.2 million recipients, and launched offices in 11 countries. We’re continuing expansion across the Global South. Over the past decade, GD has also supported large-scale, experimental research, expanding the evidence that cash has a positive short and long-term impact on recipients. As a result, GD has been celebrated as one of the most innovative non-profit companies by Fast Company, while the growing cash transfer movement (and GD’s leading role within it) has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, This American Life, Foreign Affairs, and The Economist.

Across our global offices, our culture is candid, analytical, non-hierarchical, and agile. We work alongside 750+ individuals who come from 21 different countries and speak 69 different languages. Team members at GiveDirectly attest that diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just buzzwords, but a fundamental part of our culture and values. We actively seek to recruit individuals from the communities we serve, and use DEI as a lens in our hiring practices, programs, and initiatives. Our goal is to maintain a workplace where everyone can bring their authentic selves to work, and feel valued and respected for who they are. We continue to grapple with balancing inclusivity of all cultures and experiences while maintaining cohesion in our values. While there is much that we are still learning, we take care of one another, have fun, as well as provide flexible working hours wherever possible.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or any other status protected by law.

Position Overview

The Program Manager (PM) will own the overall process for field operations, including driving & tracking performance of field teams; driving achievement of targets; coordinating with local partners and governments; building a culture of mentorship and professional development; and identifying opportunities for risk mitigation and process improvement. The PM will serve as the key “eyes and ears” resource in Malawi for GiveDirectly and will be responsible for regularly synthesizing updates on operational health. The role will have significant responsibility and a high degree of autonomy in creating and managing a large team.


Project Management: The PM will be responsible for managing all aspects of ground operations, including:

  • Setting and owning quantifiable targets e.g., around households enrolled and operational efficiency
  • Serving as the organization’s engine for continuous improvement of the enrolment and follow-up processes, and overall recipient experience
  • Over time, reducing dependence on senior management and creating more leverage for the Country Director through capacity-building and delegation
  • Engaging and aligning with local partners, mobile money operators and Governments to enable smooth program operations
  • Monitoring the security in the areas of operations to ensure the team and recipients can operate safely

Vision & Critical Thinking: The PM will be expected to be a strong contributor to the overall vision of the country office, engaging with the Senior Manager on problem-solving. This will include:

  • Conceiving, developing and testing new protocols and methods, prior to initiating scale up
  • Anticipating areas of risk and creating mitigation plans (e.g. coordination on complex research partnership, slow-downs from pilots, etc.).

People Management: The PM will be expected to oversee a performance-oriented culture within teams (i.e., the PMs direct reports and their reports), with all staff receiving feedback and development opportunities to achieve their potential. Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Assisting the HR Manager in Hiring, training and managing field staff
  • Running performance reviews for direct reports and building their capacity to do the same for their reports
  • Identifying and coaching high-potential field staff to grow on a quick promotion trajectory
  • Identifying gaps in the org chart and proposing solutions to the Senior Manager

Data and Analysis: The PM will be expected to be comfortable using data to track performance, and inform decision-making, and to quickly build expertise within GD’s standard beneficiary data management and survey tools. Specific responsibilities will include:

  • Leading survey creation and updates for new and existing projects
  • Guiding and supporting direct reports on data inquiries, skill development, and data analysis
  • Working effectively with GD’s global data team (framing needs and expectations, and holding self and others accountable to agreed timelines)

Communication: The PM will be expected to:

  • Meet the GD “bar” for online communication responsiveness (slack, email, phone)
  • Present effectively to the management team (focusing on key insights, etc.)
  • Communicate concisely and clearly across a variety of forms (written, presenting, verbal)

Support for auxiliary projects: The PM will be expected to:

  • Assist the Senior Manager with hosting journalists, donors, and other external parties
  • Assist the Senior Manager with communicating and executing new projects / pilots / technologies (e.g. brainstorming options for community-based targeting, rolling out mobile app questions, etc.)

Team-building / morale: The PM will be expected to:

  • Monitor team dynamics and own follow-up on staff barometer activities
  • Identify opportunities for morale-building (e.g. retreats, team events, incentive schemes, etc.)

Ethics: The PM will be expected to:

  • Set a strong example to other staff in appropriate management of GD resources
  • Identify and propose fixes for potential fraud loopholes


  • Demonstrated success in a high-performance work environment
  • Exceptional leadership ability with demonstrated success in motivating and developing junior staff
  • Strong interest in advancing the values and mission of GiveDirectly
  • Exceptional communication, organizational, and analytical skills, including a high level of proficiency with Microsoft Excel
  • At least 3-5 years of management experience, preferably managing managers
  • Excitement about owning challenging management tasks, including mentoring and motivating direct reports and the broader field team
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a highly independent and self-directed manner, while effectively communicating upwardly about gaps and risks
  • Ability to manage day-to-day operations while simultaneously building more robust and efficient systems
  • Experience overseeing operations aligned to a fixed budget
  • Fluency in English

Read more about our ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts here and about our decision to move our central support teams to remote first here.

About the hiring process

Format: The hiring process follows the same general outline for all open roles:

First interview (30 mins)
Take home skills assignment (~2 hours)
Second interview (1 hour)*
Third interview (1 hour)*
Final interview (1 hour)
Reference checks (30 mins each)

*For some roles, second & third interviews are combined into a panel interview. If there are adjustments or variations on this process, those changes will be communicated during the first interview.

Venue: We conduct interviews over Google Meet with camera on (unless communicated otherwise).

Accessibility: Closed captioning is available during all Google Meet interviews, and interviewers will also post interview questions in the chat box throughout the call. If you need assistance accessing either of these features, please let your interviewer know at the start of your interview!

**GD is committed to observing all local, national and international laws that protect children, vulnerable adults, and basic human rights of all. GD is committed to a policy of “zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (SEAH)” and expects anyone who works for GD to uphold the protection and safeguarding of our recipients as a priority.**