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Business and Operations Manager

Location: Oxford, UK
Last Date: August 20, 2011
Email: (Reference:




Mokoro – a small economic and social development consultancy – is looking to fill the post of Business and Operations Manager to head its small Oxford office. This is a diverse role requiring the ability to manage people, to develop and implement business plans, to build relationships with consultants and clients, and to support the consultancy in marketing and promoting Mokoro and its consultants and increasing turnover.

The successful candidate will have experience of: managing people managing client relations working on or with international development programmes funded by a variety of donors preparing consultancy bids and budgets.

Excellent communication and presentation skills, written and oral, are essential, as is experience of using MS Office packages.
This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced and flexible individual to put their enthusiasm and knowledge of business and people management into practice. For more detailed information see below:


Mokoro is a small economic and social development consultancy based in Oxford. Its distinctive character is underpinned by a commitment to high professional standards, providing quality support and teamwork, while respecting and giving attention to individual consultants’ specific circumstances. Established in 1982, Mokoro specialises in providing expertise for consultancies for a wide variety of clients (including multilateral and bilateral donors and NGOs) across the world in areas of public finance management, aid effectiveness, sector and economic policy and development, governance and society, land reform and land policy, and livelihoods, agriculture and natural resources. Applicants can find details of Mokoro’s work at

The company is run collaboratively to develop and support the work of its Principal Consultants, and a wider group of associate consultants. An Oxford-based support team comprises a Business & Operations Manager, Programme Manager and Finance Manager. The office is currently supported by a part-time marketing officer. There is also a student intern for ten months each year. Mokoro is currently recruiting to fill the position of Business & Operations Manager.

Description of the post

The B&O Manager will head Mokoro’s office in Oxford, and be responsible for the day-to-day oversight and coordination of Mokoro’s business and operations. S/he will work closely with the Programme Manager and Finance Manager to deliver support services to Mokoro’s consultants and associates. S/he will report directly to Mokoro’s governing body – the Council – which currently consists of 5 directors and 3 consultant advisors. Mokoro is a small organisation and the B&O Manager and the Programme and Finance Managers work in close collaboration, sharing workloads and covering for each other during periods of leave and of peak workloads. Inter alia, the B&O Manager will be responsible for overseeing the distribution of this work.

Given the small size of Mokoro’s support office, and the interlocking roles of the 3 principal posts, there is some room to negotiate detailed roles and responsibilities. However, it is expected that the primary roles and responsibilities of the B&O Manager will include:
(a) Strategy: contribute to and facilitate the preparation of Mokoro’s long-term strategy under the guidance of Council.
(b) Business Planning and Management: Leading in the preparation of the annual Business Plan. Monitoring, measuring and reporting on business and operational performance. Establishing/maintaining systems for measuring aspects of operations, feeding back progress to the Council, and suggesting ways to improve performance. Supporting the preparation of the Annual Audit and Report together with the Finance Manager (supported by Council).
(c) Business Development and Bid Preparation Support the Programme Manager in identifying and pursuing business opportunities. Work closely with the Programme Manager, keeping updated on assignment matters on a day-to-day basis. Jointly with the Programme Manger, maintaining, developing and monitoring Mokoro’s culture, values and reputation with clients, funders, and partner consultancies. Responsible for support to Principal Consultants in bid and proposal preparation, supervising the overall presentation of Mokoro proposals and reports, setting/maintaining standards. Editing (or ensuring editorial support/outsourcing) of Mokoro documentation, reports (where necessary) and public information. Leading the networking with and growth of Mokoro Consultants and Associates Supporting the development and implementation of Mokoro’s marketing strategy including managing the website, internal noticeboard, seminars and Newsletter.
(d) Operations management Overseeing/Coordinating of the office team’s operations, ensuring resources are functioning effectively and in line with company strategy and financial budgets. This is essentially a coordinating role in (a) determining priorities of the office team, (b) fielding and coordinating requests and responses for office support, and (c) monitoring the delivery of those services. Leading in human resources management and staff development, including performance reviews and professional skills development
 Leading in the recruitment of a student intern, and reporting on progress.
 Overseeing outsourcing of work, where required, in consultation with the office team and Council. Monitoring Principal Consultant work commitments and ensuring they feel part of the organization. Maintaining and developing systems and procedures to improve the operating quality and efficiency of Mokoro.

Person specification

The B&O manager will show commitment to Mokoro’s approach and to collaborative working and high quality consultancy work. S/he will be a self-starter, able to work well in a small, flexible team environment.

The following are considered desirable:

 Excellent management skills, with substantial experience of project management and administration, preferably in an international development or consultancy environment.
 Experience of preparing consultancy bids and proposals.
 Flexibility to cope with several jobs simultaneously and meet agreed deadlines.
 Experience of tracking, monitoring and reporting business and financial performance and trends.
 Good communication and interpersonal skills, confident, proactive and empathetic approach in dealing with colleagues at all levels.
 High level of numeracy and familiarity with budgets and monitoring of financial expenditure.
 Excellent IT skills including high level of competence with Microsoft Office products (Word and Excel in particular).

In principle this is a permanent and full-time post, though this is open for discussion. The salary will be in the order of £35k depending on qualifications and experience.


There will be a six month probation period with this post and a review process to allow for a review of job description and prime responsibilities. The review timetable will be: (a) after 3 months – first review; and (b) after 6 months – final review.

Skill development opportunities
The postholder will be encouraged and supported by the Council Mentor to identify appropriate training and other skill development opportunities as required.

Applications including CV and covering letter should be sent to  by 20th August 2011. We hope to hold interviews in late August/early September and to fill the position at the end of September 2011.

Mokoro is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from people of all backgrounds.


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