Senior Principal Global Practice Manager, Local Governance and Decentralization at Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) – Abuja & Lagos

Job Expired

Job Title: Senior Principal Global Practice Manager, Local Governance and Decentralization

Job Code: 6136
Locations: Abuja (FCT) & Lagos
Employment Type: Full-Time
Department: Governance Sector
Reports to: Sector Vice President (or delegate)

Function of the Position

  • This is a full-time, Practice Manager position to take over an existing Practice focused on subnational governance, including supporting decentralization policies and processes; building the functional capacity of local government officials and institutions, such as in human resource management, public financial management, raising own-source revenue, delivering basic services; and facilitating citizen and government engagement.
  • The Practice Manager is:
    • Responsible for continuing to build DAI’s considerable pipeline of “new business” (tracking, strategizing, conducting research, competitive positioning, lead/support writing related to request for proposals/assistance).
    • Ensuring that projects within the local governance portfolio are delivering exemplary results through general oversight and directly billed technical assignments
    • Providing thought leadership through assembling and disseminating lessons learned, case studies and marketing materials, and participating in industry events, that capture DAI’s integrated approaches and best practices.
  • The Practice Manager for Decentralization and Local Governance reports to the Vice President for Governance and Education and works collaboratively with other practices in USG sectors and regions, and with other DAI business units. Governance includes other specializations in Public Financial Management, Institutional Reform (national) and Citizen Security. DAI’s Governance Sector sits within the US Government (USG) Development Innovations Group, a team that connects projects and technical expertise, and houses and cultivates DAI’s accumulated experience and best practices across all USG markets.
  • The USG Development Innovations Group has three sectors: Economic Growth, Governance and Education, and Environment, and includes USG’s new business.  These sectors support regions (Africa, Asia, Middle East/Afghanistan, Global – Europe and Latin America) who provide day to day administrative project management and proposal management.

Roles and Responsibilities
Continue to Grow DAI’s Business in Decentralization and Local Governance:

  • Develop annually Practice-based business development plans for building DAI’s portfolio of subnational governance projects.  Build on a substantial portfolio of 12 projects, along with a considerable pipeline of near to medium term opportunities.
  • Coordinate Practice plans and approaches with practices in other technical sectors to capture opportunities for integration across technical areas, ensure collaboration, and align new business resources.
  • Meet annual new business targets (total Gross Profit Won) for practice-related projects.
  • Optimally manage Practice staff and consultants to help DAI win proposals
  • Provide Practice updates to a new business tracker and ensure opportunities are progressing in conjunction with Sector VP and Opportunity Manager.
  • Manage Practice staff to lead and contribute to high quality proposals, provide oversight of champions working on bids, conduct quality control/quality assurance by participating in pink/red teams as necessary, and assist with writing and/or integrating proposals according to DAI standards.
  • Serve as champion and/or lead writer on bids, participate in incubators to ensure high quality and innovation, and contribute to teaming and personnel decisions made by bid champions to ensure soundness

Management of Practice Staff:

  • Manage a team of at least three full-time mid to senior level staff, and other part-time consultants who support the development of technically excellent proposals, high quality assistance to projects, and marketing and knowledge management materials that reflect and capture DAI’s field experience.
  • Achieve Practice-specific targets for gross profit won, direct labor, indirect labor, costs, and overall utilization.
  • Conduct regular one-on-one conversations (iteratively, but formally at a minimum quarterly) with direct reports to provide actionable feedback (both your own and what you solicit from matrixed teams or projects) on current work and behaviors.
  • Identify professional development and stretch opportunities to support direct reports’ career aspirations.
  • Support direct reports’ management of their time allocation, particularly when there are potential utilization conflicts across practices, sectors, and/or Business Units.
  • Coach (in-the-moment and formally) for performance improvement to redirect behaviors and for success on new assignments.

Ensure Technical Excellence in Project Implementation:

  • Work with DAI’s four regional Delivery Units to ensure projects in the Practice portfolio (or that sit elsewhere but which have sector-related components) are delivering high quality, on-time deliverables, meeting or exceeding their contractual targets and development objectives.
  • Work with regions to ensure that client ratings for technical and managerial performance of projects within the Practice purview are exceptional.
  • Provide strategic and tactical guidance to project HO and field teams on how to avoid and when necessary rectify implementation challenges.
  • Participate in the technical leadership and services provided by the Practice to projects, new business endeavors and other internally and externally facing initiatives.
  • Engage with COPs and project teams to identify, adapt, and refine technologies, tools, solutions, and approaches that advance the project’s goals. These solutions may be both technical and operational.
  • Support projects as requested by USG regional Delivery Units to ensure technical excellence in delivery of results according to client expectations.
  • Participate in cross-sector, cross-practice and cross-business unit initiatives that foster and build DAI’s technical leadership or advance process improvements across teams.
  • Undertake short-term technical assignments for projects including training, high quality technical reports, assessments, recommendations and other deliverables as requested.

Facilitate Thought Leadership and Outreach:

  • Work closely with the other Practices, technical Sectors and regional Delivery Units to develop a thought leadership agenda for local and urban governance that integrates DAI’s field experience and best ideas and capabilities to position DAI for upcoming bids and longer-term market positioning.
  • Enhancing DAI’s brand to USAID, and other US government clients in concert with the Sector Vice President. The Practice Manager will oversee the development of content for internal and external publications and communications including blogs, articles, reports, videos, presentations and other multi-media forms, and internal business development resources guided by the needs and challenges of our principal USG clients, while also capturing the best of One DAI.
  • Share and present other DAI knowledge/learning products at development and client conferences, workshops, and via publications and/or on-line forums.
  • Work closely with other USG units, DAI/Europe, and other business units to capture technical achievements, lessons learned, and best practices in journal articles, white papers, and analyses to build on and advance DAI’s reputation as a thought leader in this technical area.
  • Additional responsibilities may be assigned as business needs evolve.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Grade 13: Minimum of 17 years relevant work experience and a Bachelor’s degree, or 15 years relevant work experience and a Master’s degree.
  • At least 15 years of experience working in/with developing countries and preferably leading and managing programs that deliver technical expertise and support in for decentralization, local/urban governance, and/or local service delivery (health, education, WASH).
  • Experience working with USAID and other international donors at a senior leadership level, with a mix of headquarters and field experience as DCOP or COP preferred.
  • Must have highly developed interpersonal, team facilitation, and presentation skills, and a demonstrated track record of motivating and managing teams to excel.
  • Proven leadership in proposal development and related marketing products and services.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills and demonstrated experience writing strong technical content (proposals, evaluations, strategy documents, technical presentations) for USAID or other clients.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead teams for winning new business and delivering excellent results to clients.
  • Ability to travel to all countries where DAI implements its projects, barring times when DAI Global security has deemed travel unsafe (normally this is about 25% time; due to COVID-19, travel is currently a case-by-case critical need basis)
  • Equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.

Application Closing Date
Not Specified.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • DAI and its employees are committed to confronting racism and holding ourselves accountable for positive change within the company and in the communities, cultures, and countries in which we live and work.  DAI is committed to attracting and retaining the best employees from all races and backgrounds in our continued effort to become a better development partner.
  • DAI upholds the highest ethical standards. We are committed to the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment as well as other ethical breaches. All of our positions are therefore subject to stringent vetting and reference checks.
  • DAI is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.
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