Technical Manager

Job Summary

Part of the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, CIRDI’s mandate is to act as an interdisciplinary centre for Canadian and world-class expertise that assists developing countries to improve and strengthen their natural resource governance through policy, legislation, regulatory development and implementation, training, technical assistance and applied research.

The Technical Manager (SUMM Ethiopia) will develop and manage technical aspects of a portfolio of projects and activities related to the Institute’s program areas, with a focus on the Supporting the Ministry of Mines (SUMM) Ethiopia project. This will include: providing technical expertise and oversight to the SUMM Ethiopia project design and activities; overseeing implementation of project activities ensuring deliverables are met; developing tools and processes for improved project results and efficiency; developing key relationships with institutions, partners, experts and expert networks for the purpose of collaboration with CIRDI and the SUMM project; supporting ongoing project impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation of project delivery.

The Technical Manager will contribute to CIRDI’s organizational and programmatic strategy, including identification of business development opportunities and coordination of complex proposals for multi-lateral banks (World Bank, African Development Bank), Global Affairs Canada and other potential partners.

Organizational Status

The Technical Manager reports to the Director, SUMM Ethiopia project and works collaboratively with CIRDI teams in Vancouver and Ethiopia. The Technical Manager will liaise and be in contact with a large number of stakeholders and international partners, academia, government, NGOs, multilateral and international development organizations and the private sector.

Work Performed

  • Develop and write multi-million dollar proposals to donors as part of CIRDI program team, seeking funding from Canadian and international funding agencies that will contribute to the Institute’s long- term sustainability.
  • Develop and evaluate strategic business plans.
  • Build and maintain external relationships and collaborations that can enhance CIRDI’s capacity to carry out its mandate. Represent CIRDI at external forums to enhance the Institute’s internal and external profile.
  • Provide expert guidance and mentoring to the CIRDI team and project partners on technical aspects of the SUMM Ethiopia project.
  • Provide technical expertise and strategic guidance to all project components, assuming quality control of interventions, and support the SUMM Director in the coordination of the implementation of planned activities under the SUMM project as stipulated in the Project Implementation Plan (PIP) and Annual Work Plan (AWP).
  • Provide technical expertise in planning, designing and developing research on a variety of natural resource governance topics as well as trends in international development practices.
  • Providing technical oversight in the development of project design and implementation strategies, including social and gender inclusion, environmental factors, and economic aspects of the project life cycle.
  • Providing technical direction in the preparation of annual work plans and budgets, including defining and scoping of various activities for each project. Adaptively manage project strategy and work plan appropriately in response to changing information.
  • Manage the production of the required products, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary.
  • Map and identify institutions and expert networks that can collaborate with the SUMM for professional and advisory service. Develop relationships with institutions, partners, experts and expert networks for the purpose of collaboration with CIRDI, and in support of the SUMM project technical needs specifically.
  • Ensure that technical contracts meet the highest standards; develop Terms of Reference for local sub-contracts, assist with the selection process, recommend best approaches, provide technical peer function to sub-contractors; provide training and backstopping where necessary.
  • Monitor and evaluate performance of expert partners and service providers; manage and review product quality and ensure products and services are accepted.
  • Provide technical oversight for the implementation of the project on a day-to-day basis and collaborate with the Program Manager (Ethiopia) and others in the CIRDI team for all administrative requirements.
  • Support field visits to ensure effective and efficient project activity implementation. This may include international travel for the purpose of coordinating with project partners, stakeholders, and related activities.
  • Provide hands-on technical advice, knowledge and support to the SUMM project staff and other government counterparts management of activities, impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation of the project delivery.
  • Provide technical oversight on international procurement of scientific equipment for labs, GIS and mineral licensing systems, ensuring equipment meets technical requirements as well as all governmental regulations and standards of the region.
  • Evaluate the technical quality of project Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems (including Annual Work Plans, indicators and targets).
  • Provide technical advice and knowledge transfer to support the development of various reports to stakeholders including both Canadian and Ethiopian governments as well as industry partners.
  • Know and apply the unique structure of the SUMM and budget and contribution agreement, including contribution of partners and others appropriately. Manage, track and remain accountable for expenditures against assigned budget (based on accurate financial reports).
  • Collaborate on knowledge management/transfer, communications and awareness raising and document lessons from project implementation and make recommendations to the SUMM project partners for more effective implementation and coordination of project activities.
  • Meet with internal and external project stakeholders regularly to discuss project progress and agree and coordinate outputs or areas of cooperation, in line with the agreed project strategy.
  • Other related duties may be required.

Supervision Received

The Technical Manager works under the supervision of the Director, SUMM Ethiopia project.

Supervision Given

May assign work to junior staff. Provides management oversight to teams of technical partners and consultants. Works closely and collaboratively with the Program Manager (Ethiopia) and other CIRDI Central and Ethiopia based staff.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

The incumbent must be able to work independently and within a team and exercise considerable judgment on a daily basis. Errors in performance of the above-related duties could have a significant impact on operations, effectiveness, image, and reputation of the Institute (CIRDI), the Canadian federal government as well as UBC and/or partner institutions The work involved in this position may be time-sensitive with firm deadlines that must be met. Failure to meet these deadlines could result in loss of funding for programs and/or research opportunities, and overall diminished prestige for the Institute and the University. The position is an important to supporting the CIRDI team in developing and implementing the Institute programming. Incorrect interpretation or communication of policy and procedures or lack of tact, diplomacy or sensitivity in dealing with stakeholders could potentially result in damaged relationships and credibility, leading to irreparable damage for the university or partners, including their relationship with funders and the federal government. Errors in carrying out activities related to the position’s portfolio of projects would have significant reputational and consequences for faculty and schools associated with the Institute, and the Government of Canada.


Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Masters degree in a relevant discipline (natural resource management, environmental sciences, engineering, business management, international development).
– Minimum of six years experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
– Experience working in or providing support to projects in Ethiopia an asset. Fluency in English.
– Strong organizational, time management, detail orientation, oral and written communication skills are essential.
– Ability to explain, assign, and monitor work.
– Demonstrated ability using Microsoft Office Suite for Windows or Mac.
– Strong attention to detail and ability to work effectively under pressure to meet multiple priorities and tight deadlines.
– Ability to interpret and apply complex legislation, policies, regulations, and technical information.
– Ability to mentor and coach staff, and act as a resource.
– Ability to effectively communicate and work collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team and a wide variety of stakeholders or independently under minimal direction, take initiative with the ability to exercise sound judgement.
– Ability to make decisions and recommendations involving highly complex issues.
– Ability to make thoughtful, informed, and thorough decisions.
– Ability to effectively recruit, train, supervise, and motivate employees.
– Ability to effectively liaise with local communities, industry, regulators and Government officials in both Canada and Ethiopia and other officials as needed.
– Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact diplomatically with a variety of people (including faculty and partner organizations in developing countries).
– Ability to approach interactions with an awareness of sensitive issues. (e.g., issues concerning specific cultures).
– Ability to exercise tact, discretion and good judgement.
– Ability to coordinate and oversee work processes. (e.g., multiple clinical trials and research projects) (e.g., dissemination of research project results).
– Ability to lead change by creating a vision and taking appropriate action to ensure acceptance and support.
– Ability to assess training requirements and develop, coordinate, lead, and evaluate training.
– Ability to develop and implement policies and procedures.
– Ability to resolve technical problems in an innovative manner.
– Ability to identify, obtain, and effectively manage organizational resources (e.g., people, materials, assets, budgets).
– Ability to analyze and redesign workflow/business processes to make them more efficient and effective.
– Ability to manage staff performance by establishing standards and goals, evaluating performance, providing feedback, and taking corrective action.
– Ability to conduct needs analyses, plan, organize, manage, monitor, complete, and evaluate projects within allocated time and resources.
– Ability to analyze problems, identify key information and issues, and effectively resolve.
– Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
– Ability to learn new software programs.
– Ability to anticipate problems and issues and plan ahead.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

If interested, please apply through the UBC website or email your cover letter and CV directly to

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