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Project Manager, Governance and Economic Reform, London

Date of Publication
Application Deadline
Cowater International
Brief Description
Job Title: Project Manager
Sector: Governance and Economic Reform
Position Type: Full-time
Duration/Level of Effort: Permanent
Position Location: London, UK (preferred) – we are open to considering candidates in Ottawa (Canada) or Nairobi (Kenya), assuming relevant right to work
Cowater’s Governance and Economic Reform (GER) division focus on in improving governance and public sector management in developing countries. The division provides technical assistance to governments in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. This aims to ensure sound management of public services, reduce poverty, and improve the wellbeing of citizens. In addition, our work promotes sustainable growth and inclusive economic development by strengthening public financial management, trade policy development, trade and investment facilitation, and the business enabling environment. GER implements projects across the world and works with a diversified set of development donors, including the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Global Affairs Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, and others. Cowater further counts on a dynamic and diverse team of professionals committed to designing and implementing projects that deliver lasting results for the clients and countries with it whom it works.
The GER Division is looking for dynamic candidates with a strong interest in GER’s technical areas of focus (governance, public sector management, trade and investment climate) and Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) to join its team as a Project Manager in Cowater’s London (UK) hub.
This is a fantastic opportunity for international development professionals interested in managing complex reform programmes and contributing to Cowater’ business development in a fast-paced growth environment. We are also specifically looking for candidates with experience in and/or a strong interest in MEL to drive results across our projects. 
The Project Manager will manage the delivery of GER projects, and will work with Cowater directors, senior managers, and field project teams to do so effectively. In addition, the Project Manager will be expected to work across some of GER’s projects to support the MEL function by developing, supporting, and conducting data collection and analysis.
Project management and implementation:   

  • Manage day-to-day project activities in line with the project’s terms of reference and contract;
    • This includes above-average competency in the following project management areas: finances, operations, team management, quality assurance, risk management, monitoring and evaluation, and client relationship management.
  • Collaborate with Cowater’s directors/senior managers and field project teams to achieve project and corporate objectives;
  • Draft and quality control donor reports (technical and financial), ensuring their timely submission and high-quality;
  • Ensure robust contract, financial, and risk management of projects, and compliance with contractual requirements;
  • Work effectively in politically sensitive and challenging environments, and apply Cowater’s duty of care policy;
  • Ensure the achievement of corporate objectives – financial or otherwise;
  • Perform additional tasks according to the needs of the team.

Monitoring, evaluation and learning:

  • With oversight from project leadership teams, input into the MEL Strategy, logical framework (logframe), and theory of change on projects to ensure MEL tools are fit-for-purpose and updated per project requirements;
  • Lead/support the development of research methods and data collection and analysis tools, with oversight from project leadership teams;
  • Work with in-country project teams to build project databases and ensure these are maintained;
  • Work with in-country MEL Officers/PMU teams to ensure the data integrity of projects’ MEL systems;
  • Any other MEL-related task as may be required and vary depending on the project.

Business development:  

  • Seek, establish, and nurture relationships with existing/potential clients and partners that are characterised by trust and mutual respect;
  • Support/carry out research and analysis that will aid in the design of projects and proposals, including participating in business development missions;
  • Support/manage business development opportunities relevant to GER based on Cowater’s key/strategic clients, including FCDO, GAC, EU, DFAT, World Bank;
  • Play a key role in the preparation of technical and financial proposals; quality assure inputs prepared by more junior colleagues;
  • Contribute to the development of innovative and successful approaches to proposals and projects, including identifying strong technical teams, consortia, and technical approaches;
  • Convey the quality of our approach, team and capability compellingly to donors and clients through writing and delivering clear, accessible and well-structured documents and presentations;
  • Negotiate effectively with consultants and sub-contractors.


  • A master's degree in a relevant discipline (i.e., economics, political science, international development, business administration, etc.) or equivalent experience.

Required skills and experience:   

  • Around 5 years of professional experience in international development, consulting, or public policy analysis etc., touching upon at least 2 of the following aspects of international development consulting:
    • Managing small-to-mid projects, including budget development and execution, with a proven ability to effectively coordinate project activities
    • Business development (bid/grant writing for donors/foundations, etc.)
    • Monitoring and evaluation functions of a project
  • Experience in and/or a strong inclination towards working with data – e.g., quantitative and/or qualitative research methods as well as data collection and analysis;
  • Proven skills in research, analysis, and report writing, including writing and reviewing (quality control) project reports and proposals;
  • Strong interpersonal skills – an ability to build and maintain strong relationships based on trust and mutual respect with clients, counterparts, sub-contractors, and team members;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills (reports, workplans, proposals, presentations, etc.)
  • Excellent financial management skills;
  • Strong organizational skills, with a focus on results;
  • Strong team-working skills;
  • Ability to take initiative – a penchant for taking personal accountability; 
  • Mastery of the most common IT tools (MS Word, Excel, PPT, Teams);
  • Capacity to work under pressure and tight deadlines.

Strong assets: 

  • Experience in one or more of GER’s technical areas of focus (e.g., public financial management, revenue reform, anti-corruption, public sector reform, customs reform, trade facilitation, investment climate reform, MSME strengthening and capacity building);
  • Experience with one or more of Cowater’s main clients: FCDO, GAC, EU, DFAT, World Bank/bilateral banks;
  • Experience in a developing country context;
  • Working proficiency in a third language (e.g., French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, other regional languages).

Employment Conditions: 

  • This position is full-time and permanent, preferably based in London (UK), although we are open to considering candidates in Ottawa (Canada) or Nairobi (Kenya). We are only considering candidates with a right to work in these locations.
  • Willingness to travel internationally as required.

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, or by Friday, 27th May 2022 on our Careers Page. 
For your application to be considered, please upload your documents as follows: Candidate Last Name, First Name, date, Title of the Position.     
Cowater International is an equal opportunity employer, basing employment on merit and qualifications as they relate to professional experience and position expectations. Cowater does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender identity, disability, age, or any other basis protected by law.    
We thank all applicants, however only those shortlisted will be contacted.

With more than 35 years’ experience, Cowater International is a global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our yearly award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies since 2017. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec; London, United Kingdom; Nairobi, Kenya; and Brussels, Belgium, in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.
We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.