VSO International

Global Thematic Lead - Employment and Entrepreneurship

Job Summary

This role will provide technical expertise to shape VSO’s employment, entrepreneurship, enterprise development and job creation programmes, help drive forward our Livelihoods strategy and support improvements in the quality and impact of VSO’s programmes globally

  • Minimum Qualification: Masters
  • Experience Level: Management level
  • Experience Length: 10 years

Job Description

Job Responsibilities:


  • Review progress made with programme implementation and documentation of promising approaches against the theory of action and identify where additional or modified approaches are required.
  • Track areas where the assets and capabilities approach can be developed further in employment and entrepreneurship programming.

Promote good practice:

  • Support the conduct of a context analysis on youth empowerment, employment and entrepreneurship in Tanzania, including youth profiles, current and anticipated challenges and the key actors involved in addressing the challenges.
  • Explore power dynamics, relations and hierarchies in the East African context and how these works to affect the ability of women, youth and people with disabilities to participate and influence policy, and the implications for programming.
  • Review and analyse relevance, appropriateness and effectiveness of the current VSO Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya employment and entrepreneurship programme and interventions. Review and analyse other VSO programmes (Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, Nigeria, Cambodia and Bangladesh), successful models, approaches, activities and partners as well as the characteristics and numbers of the people reached.
  • Ensure that the implications and lessons learned from analyses and impact data are used to influence new project and programme designs, including with respect to who VSO targets, where, how, and with which other local actors we should collaborate.

Improve programme quality and evidence base:

  • Support country offices with employment, enterprise and entrepreneurship activities in replicating and adapting the promising approaches identified and documented, and in the continuous learning of how to improve these approaches.
  • Contribute to the improvement of the employment and entrepreneurship evidence building and impact assessment practices, particularly at outcome and impact level, and in the use of digital technologies.
  • Work closely with other Knowledge for Impact colleagues to identify gaps and areas of improvement in monitoring and evaluation and documentation of learning and assess key tools, methodologies and techniques developed and their potential for use in employment programming.
  • Work closely with other members of Knowledge for Impact team to identify and recommend key lessons that can inform VSO’s work within employment and entrepreneurship programmes.

External engagement:

  • Represent VSO in creating multi-geography funding opportunities with strategic partners, consortium leaders, donors and governments.
  • Promote VSO’s programming models/global products in strategic platforms for programme visibility and business pursuit.
  • Play a leading role in supporting Country Offices to raise more programmatic funding, including through donor liaison where appropriate, and in developing high quality project proposals and donor communications.

Team work and building:

  • Work with other members of knowledge for impact team to generate cross-thematic learning and sharing.
  • Work as part of the Resilient Livelihoods CPAT to implement the Resilient Livelihoods “Volunteering for Development” investment strategy and improvement of programme quality and funding.
  • Support the implementation of an overall Volunteering for Development framework for VSO and the development of a clearer programme identity for the organisation.

Essential skills required:

  • Master’s in Development studies, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship or other relevant qualification or equivalent experience.
  • Extensive experience of managing and delivering livelihoods programmes and teams.
  • Extensive experience and knowledge of livelihoods programming, including vocational skills training; enterprise development; and market-led approaches.
  • Experience of securing external funding and grants, including proposal development. Evidence of understanding the challenges of donor and contract management and the implications for programme management.
  • Experience in financial management, including building a budget, monitoring and managing expenditure.
  • Excellent understanding and experience of project cycle management, organisational assessment, planning and M&E tools and processes.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills and experience of compiling donor reports.
  • Leadership and people management skills.
  • Self-motivated, ability to use own initiative, flexibility.
  • Strong representation and negotiation skills; ability to build and maintain relations with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Oral and written fluency in English, with confidence in communicating to a wide range of audiences.
  • Experience of living and working in developing countries.
  • Able to travel, including work away from the home base for up to 30% of time, both within the country and occasionally internationally and some weekend and evening work.
  • Excellent prioritisation and time management skills.


  • Practical experience gained within a volunteering NGO context and of managing a volunteer programme.
  • Evidence of ability to provide effective support to international and national volunteers.
  • Experience of working in a matrix organisation with multiple reporting lines across different locations.

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