Head of Program Management

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Colombo, , LK



Responsible for monitoring and evaluating the International Water Management Institute’s (IWMI’s) project activities throughout their life cycle ensuring delivery on the current project portfolio. Specific targets will include developing and implementing world-class project monitoring and evaluation processes that meet the needs of IWMI’s stakeholders. The Head of Program Management will supervise a small team, and manage internal and external program administration and project development officers.


Portfolio Management:

  • Provide administrative support to all research projects throughout their life cycle, from initial development to implementation and until closure.
  • Ensure accurate, high-quality and timely reporting of relevant project deliverables to donors and other relevant parties, including the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), and for internal operational and strategic planning.
  • Ensure the effective management of the Research Division’s resources (financial, technical and operational) in order to achieve IWMI’s strategic objectives, including coordination of the internal resource allocation processes for the division.
  • In coordination with the Corporate Services Division (CSD), ensure the timely and accurate reporting of project financials.
  • Participate in the decision-making processes that support the DDG and Strategic Program Leaders (SPLs) in their endeavors to establish short- and long-term priorities, and ensure team alignment, facilitating cross-functional Program Leadership Team meetings.
  • In partnership with the Strategic Program Leaders (SPLs), periodically review work processes within Strategic Programs to identify role redundancy, inefficiencies and unclear accountabilities, and address these issues with new work processes, design and role clarity.
  • In partnership with Research Group Leaders (RGLs), Project Leaders (PLs) and Regional/Country Office Heads, periodically review work processes within projects to ensure integration and coordination between regional offices, and identify role redundancy, inefficiencies and unclear accountabilities, and address these issues with new work processes, design and role clarity.
  • Support RGLs and PLs in implementation and monitoring of project activities and delivery.
  • Support and facilitate smooth operations between projects conducted by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) and IWMI, including the provision of support to follow up processes under the ‘mapping’ of W3 and bilateral funding activities to WLE Flagships.
  • Serve as the secretary of the Program Leadership Team, participate in meetings of the Funding Opportunity Review Team, and support meetings of the Program Committee of the IWMI Board of Governors, as required.
  • Support the DDG to periodically develop and compile comprehensive reports, on the progress and plans of the Strategic Programs, for the Management Team and IWMI Board of Governors in coordination with the SPLs.
  • Coordinate meetings as a part of IWMI’s research program cycle, including the Institute’s Research and Planning meeting.
  • Provide support and complete or coordinate special tasks and projects as required by the DDG.

Project Development:

  • Support resource mobilization efforts of the Senior Manager – Business Development to develop comprehensive and competitive project proposals.
  • Ensure the PMO team provides support for non-technical aspects of proposal development and the processing of contracts. This includes ensuring projects are designed to be implemented as efficiently as possible, and that budgets capture all resource requirements and are presented in a manner complying with donor requirements. When necessary, report and escalate issues to the Corporate Services Director.
  • Support the Director, Partnerships and Knowledge Management, on external relations and partnership matters relevant to the project portfolio and resource mobilization.

Project Implementation:

  • Measure project performance using appropriate systems, tools and techniques, and provide regular, timely and accurate communication of project progress to the RGLs and SPLs.
  • While tracking the progress of projects, provide timely prompts for remedial action to ensure that projects are delivered on time, and within scope and budget. When necessary, report and escalate issues to DDG.
  • Ensure WLE and IWMI project data are maintained as per policies and procedures of the Institute, and in line with existing and future information management systems.
  • Guide and support the implementation of any new information system related to research management.
  • Create and maintain comprehensive project information in an accessible form.
  • Assure implementation of IWMI’s quality management systems for research projects.
  • Guide and support PLs, RGLs and SPLs to ensure effective and efficient project management.




  • An advanced degree in management, business studies or other relevant discipline.
  • Ten years of direct work experience in project/program management capacity, including all aspects of process development/improvement and execution.
  • Experience in personnel management.
  • Excellent English language skills, both written and verbal.
  • Strong project management skills, and demonstrable experience in achieving results across large programs and project portfolios.
  • Demonstrable skills in program management principles and their application.
  • Experience in implementing and using innovative project management tools, systems, software, etc.
  • Experience in implementing and using monitoring and evaluation tools, systems, software, etc
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment.
  • Capacity to build strong partnerships with research leadership and other units, especially colleagues located in regional offices.
  • Remote management skills.


  • A project management qualification, e.g., PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) or Project Management Professional (PMP).
  • Previous experience in an international organization and awareness of work environment’s similar to that of IWMI.


  • A dynamic, entrepreneurial and creative approach to work.
  • A highly systematic approach to work.
  • Ability to respond to shifting priorities, demands and timelines through analytical and problem-solving capabilities.
  • A professional and positive approach.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Strong team ethos.


This is a nationally recruited position with a competitive salary and benefits package. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period.

Your application must include a copy of your curriculum vitae, cover letter that addresses IWMI’s requirements stated above, and contact information of three professional referees. Applications must be submitted by 24:00 hours (Indian Standard Time) on June 25, 2017.