Organization: University College London
Country: Sierra Leone
Closing date: 30 May 2018

Salary: GBP 2500-3200 per month

Starting date: as soon as possible

Contract:consultancy contract until end of December 2018 (possibility of renewal)

Duty station: Freetown, Sierra Leone

This is a unique opportunity for an exceptional individual to take on the challenge of overseeing the running of a pioneering new centre in Freetown, bringing together academic researchers, civil society, communities, development practitioners and local and central government to find innovative solutions to urban challenges. While the focus of the centre is learning and research, the person should be a strong project manager with exceptional communication skills and willingness to build capacity and transfer skills. The person will work side by side with leading global urban experts from a range of African and global institutions. A passion of multi-tasking and getting things done is of the utmost importance. Self-motivation,a strategic vision and the capacity to navigate complex relationships will make you the ideal person for the job.

The Project Manager will play a strategic role in coordinating the completion of the Comic Relief project, as well as coordinating all other SLURC activities in a multi-project environment and strengthening the organizational systems in place. The Project Manager will also play a key role in linking DPU/UCL with Njala University. This is an exciting opportunity to work at the crossroads of capacity building, project management, and research. The Project Manager will directly contribute to achieve the following projects outcomes:

  1. The strenghtening of an independent and sustainable Urban Research Centre
  2. Increased urban research capacity in Sierra Leone
  3. Significantly improved quality and quantity of available knowledge on informal settlements in Freetown and Sierra Leone
  4. Increased stakeholders’ access, understanding and use of quality research and data
  5. Improved policies towards informal settlements


  1. Assist the Co-Directors and the DPU SLURC management team with the overall management and development of the SLURC

  2. Prepare periodic reports for the DPU, Njala University and donors

  3. Oversee the implementation and evaluation of activities

  4. Lead on preparation of funding applications and reports for external funders

  5. Line management of staff, appraisal and mentoring.

  6. Commission external audit and facilitate implementation of recommendations

  7. Maintain, develop and track external relationships and networks

  8. Managing the project budget in coordination with the DPU

  9. Reporting to the Board

  10. Support the Co-Directors to develop, nurture and sustain new partnerships and relationships with relevant local stakeholders including local government, national networks and other agencies working in Sierra Leone. Efficiently keep records of such relationships.

  11. Coordinate the implementation of all project activities, including workshops, service provision to urban actors, organization of trainings, research projects, production of publications, etc.

  12. Overseeing and coordinating the financial management of the centre and of the project

  13. Consolidate financial systems implementing consultants, board, advisory committee and auditors advice

  14. Close oversight and monitoring of workplans implementation and budgets, taking corrective action well in advance where needed

  15. Build the capacity of the SLURC staff and transfer skills and capacity

Other Duties

  1. Contributing to the overall activities of the SLURC as required

  2. Carrying out any other duties that are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job as requested by the DPU Management Team

  3. At all times following DPU and Njala University policies including Equal Opportunities, Race Equality, Fire, Security and Health and Safety etc as well as all the laws in Sierra Leone.



    • Demonstrate substantial knowledge and experience of managing complex development projects, involving a wide range of stakeholders and significant budget responsibility.
    • Demonstrate a good understanding of project cycle and management skills, including work planning and progress reporting with related budgetary and financial status reports.
    • Demonstrate good interpersonal skills and capacity to negotiate complex relationships with senior academic management, government officials, urban professionals, local and international NGOs, communities and development donors
    • Demonstrate ability to work as part of a team and to form effective and collaborative working relationships across the whole organisation and wider networks
    • Capacities to create an environment where employees, stakeholders and partners work to improve the way things are done
    • Demonstrate the awareness and experiences necessary to work in a multi-cultural setting involving sensitive group dynamics
    • Motivation and skills to build capacity and transfer skills to SLURC staff and other actors as appropriate to ensure long-term sustainability at the end of Comic Relief grant
    • Skills to monitor progress, evaluate and revise deadlines as necessary
    • Demonstrated capacity to influence and manage changes that may be difficult, but which improve the organisation capacity to achieve its objectives
    • Demonstrate awareness of quality standards and take steps to improve service delivery to achieving high quality outcomes, including value for money, and to contribute to the development and maintenance of high standards of service to others
    • Understanding of knowledge management issues including co-production, dissemination and training in the global South with demonstrated experience of working with national/local government, and/or development agencies, and/or communities and/or civil society.
    • Excellent administrative and organisational skills

    • Have the ability to work effectively to deadlines as part of a team and individually, have an eye for detail

    • Working with budgets and spreadsheets

    • Understanding finance of a small organisation

    • Knowledge of human resource management

    • Excellent communication skills

    • Demonstrate good listening skills

    • Proactive, regular and clear communication with key contacts

    • Excellent written and spoken English

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of confidentiality, freedom of information, data protection and equal opportunities

    • Good knowledge of MS Office, MS excel

    * Experience of working in Sierra Leone or West Africa
    * Experience of institutions capacity building
    * Be educated to Master’s level in a subject related to urban development or project management.
    * Grant writing experience


    The appointment will be made from the nearest possible date until the end of December 2018 with the possibility for extension depending on performance and availability of resources.

How to apply:

Please submit a CV, a covering letter (max 2 pages) explaining your motivations to apply for the post and how your experience and skills fulfil the person specifications, and contact details for two referees (we will not contact them without your permission).

Applications need to be submitted by email to:

with subject line: Project Manager Freetown,

As we need a person in place as soon as possible, we are assessing applications as they come in. Therefore, we may fill the post before the deadline, should we find the ideal candidate. Otherwise, we will close application on the 30thof May.

The candidate will need to be available for interviews in Freetown, London or via Skype.

We welcome informal enquiries about the post. These can be made to Dr Andrea Rigon

Please also consult the DPU website at for further details on the DPU.