Australian High Commission
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Also accredited to the Republic of Maldives


AusAID in Colombo


Job Description and Selection Documentation

About AusAID

The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia's overseas aid program. AusAID is an Executive Agency within the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio and reports to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

 The fundamental purpose of Australian aid is to help people overcome poverty. This also serves Australia’s national interests by promoting stability and prosperity both in our region and beyond. We focus our effort in areas where Australia can make a difference and where our resources can most effectively and efficiently be deployed.

AusAID provides advice and support to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on development policy, and plans and coordinates poverty reduction activities in partnership with developing countries. AusAID leads and coordinates Australia's responses to humanitarian disasters and represents Australia in international development forums.

AusAID in Sri Lanka

AusAID Colombo is responsible for the delivery of the Australian aid program in Sri Lanka and Maldives. AusAid Colombo has responsibility for the development, implementation, monitoring and review of a series of aid initiatives that support social and economic development in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The initiatives are undertaken in areas such as education, infrastructure, peace and conflict, natural resource management and humanitarian and emergency assistance.

AusAID Colombo works closely with implementing partners - multilateral institutions, UN agencies, commercial contractors, INGOs and other Australian Government or State Government partners. During the implementation stage AusAID funds, monitors and evaluates these programs to ensure aid effectiveness and aid quality. AusAID Colombo is headed by a Counsellor and is made up of three Australian-based and eight locally-engaged staff, working in a close team environment. The AusAID office is located at the Australian High Commission in Colombo.

Job Description

As a Senior Program Officer you will be responsible for a portfolio of initiatives in Sri Lanka and/or Maldives. The Senior Program Officer will work under the direction of either the First Secretary (Development Cooperation) and/or Second Secretary (Development Cooperation). You will also work with AusAID staff located in Canberra and South Asia, including Sector and Aid Quality Advisers.

The Senior Programme Officer may carry out the following tasks:

Policy and Program Management

With limited supervision and exercising a high level of judgment, contribute to the achievement of Australia’s aid objectives in Sri Lanka and/or the Maldives by:

1. Providing high level analysis and policy advice relating to current and emerging development issues in sectors of responsibility;

2. Developing innovative strategies to strengthen the effectiveness and quality of AusAID's aid contribution in sectors of responsibility;

3. Proactively and closely manage the identification, development and implementation (including financial and contractual administration) of initiatives in sectors of responsibility;

4. Monitor and evaluate progress of initiatives in areas of responsibility. This will involve undertaking regular visits to program sites within Sri Lanka and/or the Maldives to assess and report on implementation progress to ensure that program objectives and aid budget compliance are met. This may also involve consultation with AusAID’s relevant sector and/or Aid Quality Adviser(s) based in the region and/or in Canberra;

5. Perform other duties as required consistent with the achievement of program objectives as they develop and change in a dynamic environment.

Communication and Liaison

With limited supervision and exercising a high level of judgment, contribute to Australian aid outcomes by:

6. Demonstrating the highest level of professionalism and responsiveness in representing AusAID Colombo in policy engagement / liaison / negotiation with Sri Lankan and/or Maldivian government officials, implementing partners, consultants and contractors, AusAID central office staff, other donors and sector stakeholders relevant to areas of direct responsibility;

7. Assisting in supporting the whole of government approach to development, including building effective relationships with other High Commission Staff, in particular the Department of Foreign affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC);

8. Achieving and maintaining an effective and efficient level of communication between the Post and other sections within AusAID Canberra that enhances team work and achieves quality aid outcomes;

9. Oversighting and providing high quality and timely reporting on the implementation of specific initiatives in areas of responsibility, including exercising a high level of judgment in reporting on aid quality and aid effectiveness outcomes to Canberra;

10. Preparing and/or contributing to reporting cables, correspondence, program and initiative briefings, speeches and media releases as required. Undertake research and analysis, and prepare factual and analytical reports of a high quality, consistent with the requirements of AusAID’s quality framework.

Management and Teamwork

With limited supervision and exercising a high level of judgment, support the achievement of outcomes by:

11. Leading or participating in the development, management and review of Australian aid program activities in sectors of responsibility;

12. Undertaking the supervision and management of other AusAID staff as required.


Supports shared purpose and direction

• Communicates with others regarding the purpose of their work; identifies the relationship between organisational goals and operational tasks.
• Understands and supports the organisation’s vision, mission and business objectives.
• Understands and communicates the reasons for decisions and recommendations to others.

Thinks strategically

• Demonstrates an awareness of the implications of issues for own work and work area.
• Thinks about the future and considers implications of own work.
• Understands the strategic objectives of the organisation; identifies broader influences that may impact on achievement of work objectives; contributes to the development of plans, strategies and team goals.

Applies and builds professional expertise

• Consults internal experts; taps into their technical and professional knowledge and experience to improve work outcomes for the business unit.
• Applies and develops capabilities to meet performance expectations; contributes own expertise for the benefit of the business unit.

Nurtures internal and external relationships

• Develops and maintains positive relationships with team members.
• Builds and sustains relationships; liaises with a range of stakeholders including team members, other teams, colleagues and clients.
• Is responsive to changes in client and stakeholder needs; provides courteous, prompt and professional service to clients.

Commits to action

• Takes personal responsibility for accurate completion of work within timeframes and quality requirements; takes the initiative to progress work when required.
• Gets on with the job at hand and applies self with energy and drive; commits to meeting the objectives; follows up to ensure that issues are finalised.
• Recognises and understands the issues impacting on the achievement of desired outcomes.

Communicates clearly

• Focuses on clear communication of key points.
• Limits the use of jargon and abbreviations; explains complex information using language appropriate for the audience.
• Presents messages confidently and selects the appropriate medium for conveying information.
• Structure messages clearly and succinctly, both orally and in writing.


The position will report to either the First Secretary (Development Cooperation) or Second Secretary (Development Cooperation).

Selection Criteria

Important: The selection criteria are used to assess an applicant’s suitability for a position. Applicants must provide a statement of claims addressing the selection criteria below. Statements should detail suitability to perform the duties of the position including personal qualities, experience, skills and knowledge relative to the selection criteria.

Essential Selection Criteria

1. Proven ability to initiate and manage development programs to a high level, including skills in finance management, contract management, communication and negotiation. Over five years’ experience working in the development field.
2. Demonstrated ability to work with minimum supervision and exercise a high level of maturity and flexibility to achieve agreed outcomes. Sound judgment, problem solving skills, initiative and a results orientation.
3. Highly developed writing skills and an ability to express ideas clearly and concisely.
4. Proven representation skills and ability to develop and maintain effective stakeholder relations.
5. Demonstrated leadership and teamwork skills, including the ability to be adaptive and responsive.
6. A capacity to develop a good understanding of AusAID’s goals, programs, and procedures.
7. Highly developed analytical and research skills with a practical focus.

Desirable Selection Criteria

1. A sound understanding of current development issues in Sri Lanka and/or the Maldives and of whole-of-government approaches to aid policy.
2. A relevant tertiary qualification.



The salary offered will be LKR 200,000-216,700 per month depending on the relevant experience and skills. The successful candidate will be offered an ongoing contract, subject to successful completion of a probation period of 6 months.

It is essential that the successful candidate has advanced computer literacy with proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, is willing to work non-routine hours and to travel periodically.

Eligibility/Other Requirements

The position is required to obtain a satisfactory police check and medical check once selected.

Important Information:

Interested applicants should provide the following:
(1) A resume/CV (no more than 2 pages)
(2) Contact details of two non-related referees
(3) A written statement which separately addresses each of the above selection criteria and demonstrates how your skills and experience match the selection criteria. This statement should be no longer than four (4) pages in total.

Applications that do not address the selection criteria will not be considered.

Please submit the application documentation by EMAIL ONLY to by close of business 2nd March 2012.

Please enter “Application for the Post of Senior Programme Officer” in the subject line of the email.

Only those applicants who make strong claims against the selection criteria will be short-listed for interview.

Queries regarding this position should be directed to Sally Mackay, First Secretary, Development Cooperation, Australian High Commission, on 011 246 3228.