Are you a skilled programme manager with the ability to design, secure funding for and deliver outstanding programmes?

 Are you an effective communicator and relationship builder with experience of working in partnership with community based organisations?

Do you have knowledge and understanding of community forestry and agroforestry to promote environmental and human well-being?

If your answer is ‘Yes’ to all these questions then this could be the role for you.

International Tree Foundation (ITF) is a charitable company that runs tree planting, forest conservation and tree education programmes in Africa and the UK. ITF supports community-led initiatives that protect, plant and promote trees and forests in order to preserve biodiversity and habitats, reverse deforestation, improve livelihoods and tackle climate change.

Programmes Manager

£34,106 – £40,927
Full time – Starting date flexible

The Programmes Manager will be responsible for the efficient and effective management of ITF’s grant giving and grant funded programmes. Key duties include:

  • Manage ITF’s three grant giving programmes for community forestry.
  • Manage ITF’s donor funded programmes and projects and ensure compliance with donor reporting and other requirements.
  • Lead the design and implementation of ITF’s monitoring, evaluation and learning system.
  • Provide support for the capacity building and organisational strengthening of our partners in order to achieve greater impact.
  • Initiate new programme ideas, lead in designing and developing new programmes, and develop high quality funding applications.

This is a full time position and will be based at our offices in Oxford. The starting salary offered is £34,106 – £40,927 per annum depending on experience. 

Background Information

International Tree Foundation (ITF) has a remarkable history dating back to 1922 when a global tree planting movement began in Kenya with Watu wa Miti (People of the Trees). Formally established in the UK in 1924, the Men of the Trees spread around the world and inspired communities to plant an estimated 26 billion trees.

ITF’s founder, Richard St. Barbe Baker, has been described as the world’s first global environmentalist. Baker wrote more than 30 books and spent most of his life travelling the world to promote forest protection and tree planting. Baker appreciated that trees were not only important for purifying the air that we breathe, ensuring freshwater and maintaining biodiversity, but also in regulating the climate (long before science validated his conviction). Baker also understood the vital role of trees in maintaining soil health and preventing erosion, degradation and desertification; and in providing nutritious food and natural medicines for human health and well-being.

ITF maintains these principles and our particular strength is our community led approach to forest protection and restoration and agroforestry.

ITF is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. ITF’s mission is to work with local communities in Africa and the UK to increase awareness of the value of trees and forest habitats rich in biodiversity that improve livelihoods and well-being:

  • Improving rural livelihoods, food security, nutrition and health through the cultivation of trees.
  • Encouraging agroecology and agroforestry practices that conserve biodiversity, generate income, create jobs and business opportunities.
  • Supporting socially and environmentally appropriate local governance and community by-laws.
  • Advocating for policies that recognise the role of trees in environmental conservation, landscape restoration and maintenance of ecological functions, and which promote social justice and alleviate poverty.

We have four strategic objectives:

  • ENVIRONMENT – increase global tree cover, promote reforestation and appropriate tree cultivation
  • EDUCATION – foster an understanding of the amenity, ecological and economic value of trees
  • LIVELIHOODS – enable communities to develop (restore) sustainable and productive landscapes by tree cultivation
  • CAPACITY BUILDING – build capacity in community organisations to advocate and implement community-based forestry and agroforestry

All of our work is guided and informed by our values:

  • Integrity – Uphold ethical relationships between people, the natural world and wildlife.
  • Respect – Respectful and sustainable partnerships with organisations and communities.
  • Fairness – Addressing social injustice, gender inequality and exploitation, child labour and animal welfare.
  • Rights of local communities – to make their own decisions. We support community forestry projects based on self-defined local aspirations.
  • Consultation and participation – A participatory grass-roots approach led by local communities
  • Accessibility – Ensure that our support is are accessible to all and in particular to vulnerable and marginalised groups and communities.
  • Listening, sharing and learning – Listening to and learning from our partners and creating opportunities for our partners to share their knowledge and experience.
  • Partnership – Building long-term relationships with trusted partners and increasing collaboration with other like-minded organisations and funders.
  • Professionalism – Ensuring that organisations and projects we support are reliable and sound, with transparent processes and due diligence.
  • Transparency – Being open about our funding sources, grant assessment criteria and award processes and providing easy-to-use monitoring and evaluation tools.

Some key elements of our approach are:

  • A community-centred sustainable development model. We have developed a community-centered approach that builds on local knowledge to increase environmental sustainability and wellbeing. Our approach is rooted in four key elements: education, environment, livelihoods, and capacity-building.
  • Appreciating the intrinsic value of trees. We encourage people’s appreciation of the value of trees, forests and woodlands as a source of tranquillity, peace and happiness.
  • Appreciating the environmental value of trees. We recognise the immense environmental benefits of trees in providing oxygen, climate regulation, conserving water, enriching soil and conserving wildlife.
  • Appreciating the livelihood value of trees. We support communities to adopt agroforestry and restore degraded landscapes, to provide tree products and to improve livelihoods.
  • Environmental and social justice. We support communities to voice their concerns about the economic and environmental effects of the unsustainable use of and trade in forest resources.
  • We support sustainable, regenerative farming systems that improve the well-being of small-scale farmers; create diversity to make food production resilient in a changing climate; produce nutritious food; enhance biodiversity; improve gender equity and local governance.
  • Building capacity. We support newly emerging community organisations that promote community- based forestry and agroforestry. We seek to assist them to build their capacity and thereby strengthen civil society.

Our Programmes

  • The Africa Drylands Programme tackles desertification in the Sahel region and supports regreening, natural regeneration and agroforestry initiatives for environmental benefits and improved livelihoods.
  • The Sustainable Community Forestry Programme supports diverse community scale projects across Africa that plant trees and conserve and restore indigenous forests, habitats and biodiversity and promote improved livelihoods
  • The UK Community Tree Planting Programme supports community projects that plant trees and restore indigenous woodlands and biodiversity. We also support community engagement with woodlands to increase awareness of the importance of trees and to promote human well-being, social cohesion and inclusion.
  • The Tree Power schools programme combines global and outdoor learning to provide primary school children with opportunities to understand and value the importance of trees and forests and to care for the natural world to safeguard our future well-being.
  • The 20 Million Trees for Kenya’s Forests campaign supports community organisations to restore key water catchment forests, to grow trees on farms, and to engage children in learning about trees and growing them around their schools.
  • The Mount Bamboutos Initiative engages communities and stakeholders in restoring the ecosystems of a huge deforested highland range, under pressure from other land uses including farming and pastoralism.
  • Wellbeing in the Woods works with young people in the UK who have been homeless to engage them in woodland activities to improve their wellbeing and mental health.

Job Description and Person Specification

Job Description

Overall purpose

The Programmes Manager will be responsible for:

  • Effective management and implementation of ITF’s portfolio of programmes in Africa and the UK:
    • ensure optimum impact and alignment with our strategic objectives,
    • ensure that we build fair, transparent, respectful and purposeful relationships with our grantees, partners and stakeholders;
  • Ensuring that our programmes and projects benefit from participatory monitoring, evaluation and learning;
  • Leading the design, development, and funding of new projects and programmes in Africa and the UK;
  • Leading and managing the programmes team;
  • Representation of ITF programmes externally.


This position reports to the Chief Executive.


  • Kenya Programme Manager (based in Nairobi)
  • Programmes Development Officer (matrix managed with Head of Fundraising)
  • Programmes volunteers

Current portfolio:

  • Sustainable Community Forestry Programme
  • UK Community Tree Planting Programme
  • Centenary Campaign: 20 Million Trees for Kenya’s Forests
  • Mount Bamboutos Initiative, Cameroon

Portfolio under development:

  • Africa Community Forestry Network
  • Africa Drylands Programme
  • Tree Power schools programme
  • Wellbeing in the Woods/ Growing Outdoors


  1. Programme management
  • Manage ITF’s three grant giving programmes, with support from Programmes Development Officer, convene the respective Grants Panels and ensure due diligence for all prospective grantees:
    • The Sustainable Community Forestry Programme
    • The UK Community Tree Planting Programme
    • The Africa Drylands Programme
  • Manage ITF’s major programmes in Africa and the UK:
    • The Mount Bamboutos Initiative in Cameroon
    • The 20 Million Trees Campaign in Kenya, with support from the Kenya Programme Manager
  • Identify, manage and build excellent working relationships with ITF’s partner organisations.
  • Manage ITF’s donor funded programmes and projects and ensure compliance with donor reporting and other requirements.
  • Prepare annual programme budgets.
  • Manage and monitor programme budgets with the support from the Finance and Facilities Manager.
  • Ensure that ITF programme activities are carried out in accordance with relevant policies including: Ethical and Environmental; Equal Opportunities; Safeguarding; Anti-Corruption, Fraud and Bribery.
  • Undertake country visits of up to six weeks per year.
  • Write programme reports and case studies for fundraising and communications purposes and to enhance ITF’s profile and reputation.
  • Recruit and manage consultants, translators and volunteers as necessary.
  1. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL)
  • Ensure that effective MEL frameworks are in place for each of ITF’s programmes.
  • Lead the design, implementation and reporting on ITF’s monitoring and evaluation system for its three grant funding programmes.
  • Ensure the development of an effective mapping system for tree planting and forest landscape restoration and the production of data for both monitoring and communications purposes.
  • Support partners to develop and report on monitoring, evaluation, impact and learning frameworks and integrate the learning into future work
  • Facilitate the exchange and sharing of learning between partners and with relevant external stakeholders. 
  1. Programme and partnership development

With support from the Programmes Development Officer:

  • Identify, support and facilitate a sustainable and diverse partner portfolio in the countries where ITF operates.
  • Build relationships with existing ITF partners, and identify new potential in-country partners for community-led agroforestry and forestry.
  • Build support for ITF’s three grant giving programmes.
  • Initiate and design new programmes and projects in partnership with relevant in-country partners.
  • Work closely with the Fundraising and Marketing team to secure funding for ITF’s programmes.
  • Prepare high quality funding applications in collaboration with the Fundraising team.
  • Develop and manage the implementation of a rolling programme development plan.
  • Contribute towards meeting best practice in programme development and implementation.
  • Support the capacity building and organisational strengthening of our partners in order to achieve greater impact.
  • Support the development of the African Community Forestry Network.
  • Identify networking opportunities for ITF local partners to share and disseminate best practice.
  • Build strategic relationships with key donors and allies.
  • Work with the Fundraising and Finance teams to develop long term funding strategies for ITF’s programmes.
  1. The Programmes team
  • Lead the Programmes team.
  • Carry out annual reviews to establish performance objectives and targets.
  • Carry out monthly and half-yearly reviews to ensure progress towards objectives and targets.
  • Help Programmes staff to grow in their roles and develop their skills and capacity.
  • Monitor Programmes staff well-being through regular meetings; ensure that they have access to the support they need and that any issues are addressed.
  1. Representation
  • Represent ITF on country visits to partners and other stakeholders.
  • Represent and speak on behalf of ITF to external audiences including funders, media, policy and decision makers and other international and national organisations on issues relating to our programmes.
  • Participate in UK-based and international NGO environmental, development and funder networks relevant to ITF’s programmes work.
  • Undertake policy and advocacy work regarding ITF’s programmes when relevant.
  1. Other duties
  • Play a key role in the senior management team.
  • Contribute to ITF’s strategic planning and policy development.
  • Participate and contribute to staff team meetings and activities.
  • Undertake other responsibilities not outlined above which are commensurate with a role of this nature and which have been discussed and agreed with the line manager.
  • All ITF staff are expected to contribute towards developing a supportive working environment, and demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and respect, transparency and accountability and uphold quality standards as outlined in policies and procedures, and in compliance with ITF’s Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policies.

Person Specification

Knowledge and experience

  • Demonstrable experience of designing, developing and implementing programmes for the promotion of environmental sustainability and livelihoods improvement (essential)
  • A successful track record of securing and managing statutory and institutional funding of at least £100,000 per annum (essential)
  • Proven experience of financial management, including programme budgeting and financial reporting (essential)
  • Experience of developing and distance managing collaborative partnerships with CBOs and NGOs in the global South (essential)
  • Proven experience of participatory monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment of programmes and projects (essential)
  • Experience of living and/or working in Africa (essential)
  • Good knowledge of forestry and agroforestry principles and practice (essential)
  • Empathy with ITF’s strategic objectives and appreciation of the role that trees can play in maintaining a healthy environment and in contributing to peoples’ well-being and quality of life (essential).

Skills and abilities

  • Proven ability to apply knowledge and understanding of sustainable development, partnership working and community participation (essential)
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and relationship-building skills, including the capacity to resolve conflict (essential)
  • Proven ability to write compelling and concise proposals and reports communicating complex project information to prospective donors (essential)
  • Effective project management and financial management skills (essential)
  • Effective planning and organising skills in order to meet milestones and deadlines (essential)
  • A responsible and flexible team player (essential)
  • Fluent in French (highly desirable)
  • Able and willing to attend occasional events outside of normal hours if required (essential)
  • Ability and willingness to undertake international travel, up to 6 weeks a year (essential).


A Masters level qualification in one of the following areas: Community Development, Natural Sciences, Forestry, Environmental Management.

How to apply

If you would like to apply for the Programmes Manager position, please send the following:

  • Your CV (max 3 pages)
  • A covering letter (max 2 pages) explaining why you believe your skills and experience make you suitable for the position and specifically how you meet each of the requirements in the person specification.

Please submit your completed application to [email protected] to arrive no later than 9am on Friday 13th March 2020.  We will hold interviews for shortlisted candidates on Friday 27th March in Oxford.