Program Assistant

Job Summary

Under the direction of the Program Leader, the Program Assistant provides operational and administrative assistance to the Program Leader and Program Staff, performs a variety of administrative, coordination and logistical services in support of the operations of the Program, and assists with information management the team.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Operational and Administrative Support

  • Maintains confidential records for the Program Leader;
  • Acts as the main contact person during the absence of team members, following-up on any emergencies with appropriate in-house staff, and sharing workload with Program Assistants from other teams;
  • Acknowledges receipt of correspondence and documentation in the absence of Program Leader or Program staff, and drafts preliminary versions of correspondence to be signed by the Program Leader or relevant Program staff;
  • Assists other team members in preparing and formatting documents, including PowerPoint presentations;
  • Develops and maintains an efficient filing system for the team, including assistance in processing calls for proposals as required;
  • Maintains a tracking system of responses to proposals;
  • Maintains and updates team’s databases and mailing lists using the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook Exchanger
  • Works with the Centre’s information system and databases to monitor various aspects related to team functioning (EPIK, Crystal reports, IDRIS, web content, Navigater);
  • Maintains team members’ contacts using Cardscan;
  • Contributes to electronic filing of team documents using Livelink;
  • Coordinates the translation, proofreading and editing of documents as required;
  • Enters pipeline information and Project Information Memorandum (PIMs) into EPIK, and generates Crystal reports as required;
  • Organizes regular team meetings and conference calls/video-conferences, often over different time zones, including the preparation and distribution of documents and providing the necessary technical devices;
  • Takes minutes of regular team meetings and other meetings with the assistances of and coordination with the Research Officer as required;
  • Assists the Research Officer to maintain and update the Program’s web site, and on a required basis, carries out specific web searches and downloads workshop documents/registration from host web sites;
  • Provides assistance to team members for inputting and editing rolling project completion reports (rPCRs);
  • Assists in the coordination of the rPCR process by tracking their completion for the programs, scheduling interviews as necessary and e-filing the final document;
  • Liaises with Regional Office staff as required, and provides assistance to Regional Office staff when visiting headquarters;
  • Assists in the orientation of new staff, interns, research fellows and consultants by providing them with the necessary documents and materials for orientation; and
  • Works with other Program Assistants to coordinate work activities, meet deadlines, and provide support where needed; and
  • Performs other related duties in accordance with instructions from team members.

Travel Management

  • Maintains and regularly updates travel plans and budget amounts to provide an accurate overview of the Program’s travel budget, which includes liaising with Regional Office staff for their input;
  • Provides updated reports to the team and Director’s Executive Assistant;
  • Advises the Program Leader of projected overruns;
  • Communicates with travel agency to obtain estimated fares and calculates per diems;
  • Requests the issuance of visas by contacting the appropriate Embassy and prepares supporting travel documents;
  • Responsible for formatting, distribution and filing of trip reports;
  • Reconciles airline charges on CC2 credit card and provides respective travel agency invoices; and
  • Reconciles travel expenditures for all team members and submits them for authorization and payment.

Workshops and Events

  • Liaises with members of other host organizations to coordinate logistical arrangements for workshops that take place in different provinces or countries;
  • Liaises with Grant Administration staff and the Centre’s travel agency personnel and other outside agencies regarding venue, travel, hotels, and with Catering Services staff for provision, room organization and logistics;
  • Liaises with and assists project recipients and consultants as required to ensure smooth functioning of activities;
  • Coordinates and disseminates all internal and external material, including publicity and background documents for local and international IDRC events; coordinates appropriate mailings or distribution;
  • Prepares training kits or information packages and sends material to participants in a timely manner; and
  • Coordinates registration process and acts as contact person for the participants.


  • Direct supervision : the position does not require the direct supervision of any employee.
  • Indirect supervision: acts as a resource person for students, interns, consultants and casual help as required.

Job Scope

Provide effective and efficient support to the Program team to ensure smooth program delivery.  This includes administrative, logistical and information management assistance to the Program Leader and other team members, as well as planning and coordination of team activities (meetings, workshops, travel budgets).