Full Time

Programme Manager for Partnerships

About The Organisation

The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) is a Pan-African and feminist non-profit organisation which engages the rule of law within African domestic and regional courts to advance women’s human rights and sexual rights. ISLA’s work is based on the belief that strategic litigation is a powerful tool for social change because it has the capacity to work in multidimensional ways, both within a given context and, critically, across contexts. We believe that strategic litigation can reframe understandings of entitlements before the law, challenge legal discourse on human rights violations, hold States and non-State actors accountable to violations of human rights and develop new norms. This is achieved by building networks across the continent that work in strategic litigation.

Overview of Work

The Programme Manager for Partnerships, reporting to the Legal Director will lead the Feminist Litigation Network (FLN) to develop a pool of feminist litigators across the African continent and manage ISLA’s collaborations work.

Minimum Responsibilities

Network Development

  • Establish guidelines for current and future networks of ISLA partnerships.
  • Conduct country level contextual analyses to establish the viability of the establishment of the FLN in various countries in light of possible barriers and opportunities.
  • Introducing the ISLA’s networks to potential partners in targeted countries as a foundation for developing new partnerships.
  • Interviewing key actors and conducting research on existing legal work.
  • Recruiting, selecting and onboarding network lawyers and partners.
  • Prospecting for potential network partners and keeping an updated database.
  • Documenting lessons and emerging trends from the networks and opportunities for improvement.
  • Transitioning Alumni of the FLN, profiling network partners and growing a transnational pool of feminist lawyers.


Relationship Management

  • Reviewing compatibility/ congruence of current partners with network objectives on an ongoing basis.
  • Developing relationships with other organisations that can be a resource for ISLA’s work and partnerships.
  • Use ISLA’s project management tools- Asana and other systems to systematically manage relationships with partners
  • Update network partners and team members on project status, including progress, risk and any issues that may have an impact on project delivery.
  • Maintaining effective relationships with core and associate network partners.
  • Responsible for tracking network cases
  • Lead and conceptualise Network lawyers planning, budgeting, implementation of activities and reporting


Capacity strengthening

  • Lead the development of the FLN Curricula to match global developments.
  • Lead the implementation of the litigation institutes.
  • Develop meeting documents :Concept notes, Agendas.
  • Identify and track learning gaps at the litigation institutes.
  • Review, evaluate and report on the activities of the Networks work.
  • Managing the budget for the litigation institutes
  • Track the Network lawyer’s continuous growth in strategic litigation and troubleshoot case development processes between network lawyers and thematic lead lawyers at ISLA
  • Manage and Update the Learning and Development Tracker.


Institutional strengthening

  • Contribute to the development of Institutional Strengthening Curriculum for partner organisations.
  • Assist network partners and lawyers in developing programme policies, workplans, reports and associated communications and performance management documents and systems.
  • Document practices of strategic litigation and support partner organisations to institutionalise them.
  • Support Network partners to create an enabling environment for strategic Litigation.
  • Conduct Periodic Internal Workshops for Executive Directors and Network Lawyers as a means to share skills and knowledge.


Manage the external implementation of SXLN model

  • Conceptualise the publishing of the Sexual Rights Litigation Network (SXLN) model for uptake by external partners who want to implement the model.
  • Establish a database of resource persons to provide technical support to SXLN in-country network implementation.


Manage ISLA’s Collaborations

  • Manage and lead strategic partnerships and the development collaborations database that includes legal practitioners, researchers, scholars, activists, academics that ISLA can partner with and form part of ISLA Panel of experts.
  • Develop and execute collaborations strategies to support ISLA’s mission, thematic and priority areas and initiatives.
  • Maintain ongoing partnerships and identify and engage new partnership opportunities.
  • Map existing networks and complementary or cross-sectional initiatives to help build regional networks and identify other organisations focused on common goals.
  • Lead ISLA’s work on strengthening Africa’s regional human rights mechanisms: partnerships with civil society organisations and other stakeholders and coalitions to influence regional human rights mechanisms to fulfil their mandates and operate with accountability, transparency and based on meaningful participation.
  • Manage ISLA’s work on strengthening CSOs supporting the development of their political and institutional capabilities to deliver on their own mandates and to work together in taking collective action.


Program Strategy, Budget & Grants Management

  • Lead the development and management of program strategies in the above defined pillars of FLN Network Development, Capacity Strengthening for Strategic Litigation, Relationship Management, Institutional strengthening and Collaborations at ISLA.
  • Participate actively in the development of a program-wide strategies that aligns with the organisation’s strategic goals.
  • Engage in ongoing research in the defined pillars of work and make recommendations to achieve program objectives
  • Gather and analyze monitoring and evaluation data to assess program impacts and communicate current events and share knowledge of activities with ISLA’s audiences.
  • Participate in resource mobilisation, budget management and grant monitoring, and donor reporting for activities under the pillars defined above.
  • Responsible for other projects and activities as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Law, Politics or Humanities.
  • 7 years of progressively responsible experience in program management in human rights/women’s rights sector.
  • Demonstrable experience of leading, supporting and/or monitoring large, multi-sectoral and multi-country partnerships and working across various teams and functions
  • An in-depth knowledge of the complexities of managing transnational networks in Africa.
  • Knowledge of strategic litigation, human rights, women’s rights and conducting feminist analysis.
  • Experience developing high quality proposals for funding and impactful reporting for donor projects.
  • Ability to effectively manage and guide coordination of projects throughout all stages of a program lifecycle from inception, conceptualization and design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and reporting.


  • Highest standards of excellence and integrity at all times.
  • A courteous, professional and cooperative attitude to all persons.
  • Meticulous attention to detail.
  • Self-driven, resourceful person who is able to manage and coordinate teamwork well.
  • Able and willing to travel occasionally across the continent.
  • Commitment to the overall aims and values of ISLA; feminism and Pan Africanism.
  • Expectation of occasional work outside regular weekday hours, as required to accomplish job responsibilities.
  • Ability to work constructively and professionally across multiple issue areas and under deadline pressure.
  • Possess the skills to work with and motivate staff, board members and volunteers.
  • Be a self-starter and goal driven to initiate donor visits and fundraising calls; and
  • Ability to work well in a diverse group.

Additional Information

  • O Able and willing to travel occasionally within and out of South Africa.
  • Commitment to the overall aims and values of ISLA, feminism and Pan Africanism
  • Expectation of occasional work outside regular weekday hours, as required to do the job.

Preference will be given to qualifying women applicants.

Salary: This position offers a competitive total cost to company salary of R900,000.00 per annum, and commensurate with experience.

Closing Date: Open until the position is filled

Suitable candidates who meet the requirements for this position are invited to click here to complete an application form.

ISLA’s job application form replaces the need to submit a CV as we prefer to have standardised information provided by all candidates. Upon submission, the applications will be received by the ISLA recruitment team for selection. Only shortlisted candidates will receive feedback on their application with further requirements. Late applications will not be considered.