Addis Ababa | Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative | Full-time | Partially remote



Country Lead – Ethiopia, BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative

About the Opportunity

BRAC’s Ultra Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI) seeks a qualified Ethiopian national, based in Addis Ababa, to lead UPGI’s efforts to engage Ethiopian government actors, multilateral institutions, and civil society organizations to improve outcomes for those already benefiting from the Ethiopian government’s extensive social protection programming. The Government of Ethiopia has been at the forefront in its attempts to eliminate extreme poverty and has designed and implemented the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) to address the root causes of poverty and to ensure program participants are on a pathway out of extreme poverty. 


UPGI’s Country Lead will collaborate directly with government counterparts and multilateral partners to address design challenges to improve future iterations of the PSPN big push/big push plus program and to enhance government delivery mechanisms to maximize the impact for program participants.  Specifically, the Country Lead will develop and implement a country engagement strategy, contribute to technical discussions on the design and delivery of future program components by participating in technical working groups, advise on policy changes that may be required and support government and multilateral efforts to improve the long-term impact of the big push programs (modeled after BRAC’s graduation approach) within the government’s social protection programs.


The Country Lead will report to the Director of Country Portfolio but will develop close working relationships and seek technical input and guidance from UPGI’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, Policy and Practice, Program Design and Impact, Finance, and Operations functional units. 


About BRAC and the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative

BRAC is an award-winning international non-governmental development organization, with the vision of a world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination, where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential.  BRAC is a leader in developing and implementing cost-effective, evidence-based programs to assist poor and disadvantaged communities in low-income countries, including in conflict-prone and post-disaster settings. It is an organization of and for the people of the Global South, pioneering new development and social enterprise approaches to equip communities to achieve prosperity. As well as being the world's biggest NGO by the number of staff and people directly reached, BRAC has regularly been ranked the number one NGO in the world by the Geneva-based NGO Advisor, an independent organization committed to highlighting innovation, impact, and governance in the non-profit sector.  BRAC retained the top spot in 2020 among the top 500 NGOs for the fifth consecutive year.

BRAC was founded in Bangladesh in 1972 by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. It started its first program outside of Bangladesh in Afghanistan in 2002 and has since reached more than 6.5 million people in 11 countries in Africa and Asia. BRAC has a holistic approach to development that uses a wide array of programs that include microfinance, education, health, agriculture, gender, and human rights. BRAC invests in communities’ own human and material resources, catalyzing lasting change and creating an ecosystem in which the poor have the chance to seize control of their own lives.

The Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative is a global unit within BRAC International that was founded in 2016 to build off the success of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation program in Bangladesh. Graduation is an evidence-based, scalable intervention proven to break the poverty trap for the long term. So far, BRAC’s flagship Graduation program has impacted over 2 million Bangladeshi households—totaling over 9 million people. To help eradicate extreme poverty, BRAC UPGI is working to scale globally by integrating Graduation into existing government programs and help 21 million more people lift themselves from extreme poverty by 2026. At present UPGI has interventions with governments in South Africa, Rwanda, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India.


BRAC UPGI aims to position the Graduation approach as a key driver to eradicate extreme poverty worldwide. It does this by:

           Advocating for uptake of the Graduation approach by policymakers, national governments, multilateral institutions, and non-governmental organizations; and

           Effective adaptation and implementation of the Graduation approach in countries around the world, supported through technical assistance and capacity strengthening for external stakeholders.

Primary Responsibilities

The overall goal is to advance the scale up of high quality government programming to effectively address extreme poverty. This is a senior role which calls for an entrepreneurial self-starter, a creative and independent leader who can represent UPGI at senior levels and develop unique solutions to problems. This position is part of a global effort by BRAC International and would be linked to these global efforts with a clear focus on advancing programming in Ethiopia.


Strategy Development

        Develop a detailed strategy and work plan for BRAC UPGI’s engagement in Ethiopia, building on UPGI’s initial country engagement strategy.

        Cultivate and manage partnerships with the government (at multiple levels), multi/bi-laterals, donors, and private sector actors. 

        Create stakeholder engagement strategies in coordination with the overarching country strategy with technical, communication, and advocacy colleagues.


Country Representation and Engagement

        Actively engage in government consultations and working groups, multi- and bilateral working groups, and civil society working groups related to poverty reduction, economic inclusion, and social protection. 

        Identify policy engagement opportunities with government stakeholders and develop policy briefs to support national scale-up of Graduation, including where and how the Graduation can be integrated into new or existing government policies/programs, particularly within the Productive Safety Net Program.

        Identify, explore, and pursue partnership opportunities and entry points for scaling the Graduation approach within Ethiopia more broadly with many potential stakeholders, including government, CSOs, media, peer agencies, think tanks, and other research organizations.


Technical Assistance

        Support country engagement by advising national and local government and multilateral institution partners such as the World Bank, African Development Bank, and various UN agencies on the design, delivery, evaluation, and promotion of government-led Graduation at scale.

        Provide technical inputs on the design and delivery mechanisms required to maximize the impact of future iterations of the PSNP program and support partner efforts to align policies as appropriate.


Other (Safeguarding Responsibilities) 

        Ensure the safety of team members from any harm, abuse, neglect, harassment, and exploitation to achieve the program’s goals of safeguarding implementation. 

        Practice, promote and endorse the issues of safeguarding policy among team members and ensure the implementation of safeguarding standards in every course of action.  

        Follow the safeguarding reporting procedure in case any reportable incident takes place and encourage others to do so.



        A proven track record in developing strong relationships with governments, civil society actors, multilateral institutions, or peer agencies 

        Master’s degree in social sciences, international development, or other related fields required

        12-15 years of experience in international development, government service, NGOs, or civil society organizations required

        Sector expertise in livelihoods and economic inclusion, social protection, gender, or financial inclusion; Graduation, cash-plus, or similar experience required

        Strong technical knowledge and experience implementing the Graduation Approach highly desirable.

        Proactive leader with the ability to prioritize and effectively manage competing work streams 

        Diplomatic, with strong interpersonal skills and a high degree of political sensitivity  

        Strong English skills and local language fluency required 

        Exceptional communication and representational skills

        Knowledge of the social protection landscape within Ethiopia and previous experience working with or within government preferred.

        Ability and willingness to travel outside Ethiopia as required.


This is an outstanding opportunity to work with BRAC UPGI and If you feel you are the right match for the position mentioned above, please follow the application instructions accordingly:

Please apply for the role using the below link

Country Lead - Ethiopia

Only complete applications will be accepted, and short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Application deadline: 30th April, 2024



BRAC is an equal opportunities employer.

BRAC is committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults, and expects all employees and volunteers to share the same commitment. We believe every stakeholder and every member of the communities we work with has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect, harassment, and exploitation - regardless of age, race, religion, and gender, status as an individual with a disability or ethnic origin. Therefore, our recruitment process includes extensive reference and background checks, self-disclosure of prior issues regarding sexual or other misconduct and criminal records and our values are a part of our Performance Management System.