Senior Program Officer, Program Development


POSITION TITLE: Senior Program Officer, Program Development

POSITION LOCATION: Ottawa (currently remote)

CONTRACT TERM: Indeterminate

POSITION LEVEL: PRO2 ($56k to $74k)



WUSC is a leading Canadian international development organization focusing in three programmatic areas: Education, Economic Opportunities and Empowerment. Our vision is a better world for youth – a world where all young people, especially women, are empowered to secure a good quality of life for stronger families and communities. WUSC currently works in 25 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, with an annual budget of approximately CAD $45 million. We have a staff of over 90 people in our Ottawa office, and over 200 people overseas implementing 16 development projects in collaboration with donors such as Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)/UKaid, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank. Globally, we collaborate with a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty and community leaders that work with us to achieve our mission.

WUSC’s Program Development (PD) Unit is a dynamic team responsible for the design of new and innovative programming at WUSC, in collaboration with other departments, particularly: our country offices, program managers, and technical advisors. The PD Unit identifies funding opportunities that are aligned with our programming areas. The PD Unit works with internal stakeholders and external partners to develop quality proposals, particularly for institutional donors and foundations.

World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is seeking an experienced, dynamic individual to play an active role in its Program Development (PD) Unit. The ideal candidate works well in teams, is detailed-oriented, has technical expertise in one or more areas of WUSC’s strategic interests and is a strong proposal writer. The position would be of interest to individuals who thrive in a fast-paced and high-output environment. Working under the direction of the Senior Manager of Program Development, the selected candidate will be working collaboratively with colleagues in Ottawa and country offices towards achieving the organization’s strategic programming objectives, including:


Program Design & Proposal Development

  • Conduct research on relevant projects, context and partner organizations to support new program development initiatives;
  • Participate and lead in the participatory design of proposals, including ensuring the active input from technical advisors and intended beneficiaries;
  • Apply Results Based Management principles and tools in program design;
  • Conceive and write significant portions of project proposals (both solicited and unsolicited), concept papers and expressions of interests;
  • Evaluate the suitability of potential staff and consultants, matching their skills and experience to the new programming needs;
  • Identify opportunities to integrate WUSC’s strategic partners and institutional members (colleges, universities, CEGEPs) in the development of new development initiatives.

Donor trends and opportunities

  • Keep track and share information with relevant colleagues on donor trends and priorities and provide recommendations on how to engage donors;
  • Scan and identify relevant funding opportunities from various donors;
  • Contribute to go/ no-go recommendations on new PD opportunities;
  • In collaboration with PD management, liaise with potential funders in the design and presentation of new programming initiatives.

Program Development Unit support

  • Contribute to setting priorities for the PD unit;
  • Contribute to building the capacity of the PD team and other colleagues in Canada and overseas to advance our PD agenda;
  • Promote learning and knowledge sharing with colleagues in Canada and overseas to achieve our PD objectives;
  • Participate in Bi-monthly PD unit team meetings;
  • Participate in the development of PD tools and the maintenance of PD Team Drive.

Any other duties as assigned.



  • Complete fluency, oral and written in French (essential). English and Spanish are an asset.

Education/ Training:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field (social sciences, international development)
  • Master’s degree in a related field (asset).

Skills and experience:

  • 5 years of related experience in the development and/ or management of projects/programs in the international development sector;
  • 2 years of overseas experience in a developing country context;
  • Experience in preparation and/or collaboration of international project proposals;
  • Demonstrated experience in cultivating and maintaining relationships with Global Affairs Canada and other donors;
  • Sound understanding of gender equality and result-based management principles;
  • Significant knowledge or experience in one or more of the following sectors or programming areas:
  • Education (basic education, teacher training, education systems strengthening, equity in education, vocational training, higher education);
  • Inclusive market development (sustainable livelihoods, vocational training, value chain, market system development);
  • Youth programming (youth inclusion, youth economic empowerment);
  • Women’s rights and gender equality (gender based violence, women’s economic empowerment, gender mainstreaming);
  • Durable solutions for refugees.


  • Superior oral and written communication skills: clear, concise, persuasive writing style;
  • Strong capacity for strategic analysis and innovative thinking;
  • Excellent administration and organizational skills, including ability to prioritize tasks and handle multiple initiatives under tight deadlines;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated capacity to work in partnership and with different cultural groups.


  • Ability to travel internationally (on occasional basis)
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule


WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference in the lives of youth around the world. Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, economic opportunities and empowerment.

The WUSC office is in centrally located Hintonburg in Ottawa. Currently WUSC team members are working remotely. WUSC offers flexible working arrangements, competitive benefits, four weeks of annual leave (for full-time employees), safe and healthy working conditions, and fair compensation. Click here to learn more about WUSC Top 100 Employers of National Capital Region 2021.


WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion, sexual exploitation or abuse of any form.

Successful applicants will be required to undertake an enhanced criminal record check where appropriate.

WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.

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