Program Management Officer

Job Summary

Working under the supervision of a manager, the Program Management Officer contributes to the operation of a research program, produces documentation, and coordinates and disseminates information in support of the program management.

The principal responsibilities include knowledge management, research support, program coordination, monitoring and evaluation, communications and network development, and liaison with key internal and external constituents.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Program Coordination

  • Coordinates, collects and centralizes all information about the activities of the program (i.e. research outputs, program level performance indicators)
  • Prepares and coordinates program level documents such as (annual work plans, project information memoranda,  communications strategies, evaluation plans, project reports or briefings, reports to donors, reports of meetings) for the program team, and in response to specific requests by Centre management
  • Tracks the time to respond to concept notes and proposals in order to assess the program’s response rate 
  • Develops and implements team processes in order to ensure good workflow within the team and with other Centre services
  • Acts as the first point of contact for enquiries about the program
  • Makes recommendations about the content and operations to improve the work of the program
  • Coordinates the implementation of monitoring and evaluation plans for the program
  • Coordinates linkages between IDRC and external partners, donors, United Nations (UN) organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other governments in areas related to a program to communicate the work of the program, facilitate collaboration on joint activities, and ensure good working relationships
  • Acts as liaison with key Canadian institutions to ensure good working relationships
  • Plans and coordinates program meetings, retreats, international meetings and conferences involving the program’s network of partners and prepares background material, distributes agendas, and provides general support to enhance the effectiveness of the meetings
  • On occasion, travels abroad to attend program meetings and retreats
  • Prepares minutes and meeting reports of a technical nature to ensure discussions and decisions are well documented

Knowledge Management

  • Tracks and monitors research outputs and liaises with records management staff to ensure that this documentation is properly filed and catalogued    
  • Participates in the self-assessment of the program as part of the external review process and in the preparation of the end-of-cycle report
  • Contributes analysis about program outcomes based on an overall program perspective to contribute to team learning and discussions on future programming
  • Compiles project results and other outputs as well as lessons learned for wider dissemination outside the Centre
  • Reviews project and program material and prepares synthesis documents of results, decisions, and directions for team discussion  
  • Researches specific topics of interest to the program to enrich the knowledge of team members and to move the program forward   
  • Prepares the reports for all projects requiring a project completion report (PCR) shortly after project approval (stage 1)
  • Tracks the completion of stage 1 and stage 2 PCRs 
  • Plays a key role in the application of PCR content within the team, including dissemination of PCRs, information sharing, integration of team-based learning, and required reporting based on lessons learned from PCRs

Support for Program Management and Project Development

  • Collects and analyzes information from a wide variety of sources to investigate aspects of issues relevant to the project and its future development
  • Assists in the design of evaluation plans
  • Assist in organizing and managing research competitions (grants) including setting guidelines, disseminating calls for proposals, identifying reviewers, and ensuring prompt review of incoming proposals
  • Performs preliminary screening of concept notes, Research Support Projects (RSPs) and project proposals and assists with their administration
  • Contributes to the preparation of Project Approval Documents (PADs)
  • Assists in the preparation of proposals and progress reports to external funders for externally funded projects and provides periodic project updates, as needed


  • Leads the development of a communication strategy for internal and external audiences and coordinates its implementation
  • In collaboration with program team and other IDRC staff, assists in the drafting and editing of reports, special papers, reviews, journal or newsletter articles, manuscripts and other documents for publication or presentation
  • Manages the program’s website, keeps information current, coordinates the content and prepares project profiles
  • Prepares and coordinates written, graphic, visual materials, web site content and other social media for public presentation/dissemination (networking, public relations purposes or for revenue generation)
  • Prepares reports and briefing notes on project outputs for different audiences (technical, academic, policy as well as the general public)
  • Organizes meetings, conferences, seminars and workshops both locally and internationally; documents and disseminates outputs to participants and selected management
  • On occasion, makes presentations and/or represents IDRC at selected meetings, conferences, workshops or seminars

General Administration

  • Maintains the program’s pipeline of activities throughout the year, including tracking of allocation targets
  • Files documents (i.e. rPCRs, projects with multiple components) according to the required protocol
  • Acts as gatekeeper of the program’s documents to ensure that key documents are available and accessible
  • Using available resources and applications (e.g. EPIK), retrieves and aggregates project information in support of the program’s reporting requirements
  • Generates and provides information as requested, often on an urgent basis, for both internal and external audiences
  • Performs initial review and coordinates the selection process for potential research award recipients, awardees and summer students for the program


  • Directly summer students: assists in selection process, orients new summer students, assigns tasks, reviews work, provides feedback and evaluates performance
  • Indirectly Program Assistants (liaises with them to ensure the coordination of the program’s activities) and research award recipients (delegates specific tasks related to the program’s activities and supervises completion of these tasks)