Job Title: Project Manager

Partnership Project: “Championing ECD at home: Advocating for home-based, parent-led ECD in SA communities”

Location: Pietermaritzburg


The Nurturing Care Framework for Early Childhood Development: A framework for helping children survive and thrive to transform health and human potential (NCF) was co-developed by the World Bank, UNICEF and other partners to provide a road map for systematising the provision of ECD services to equalise development to build human capital.

The NCF draws on evidence generated over the past two decades to provide the formula to change the situation of young children to enable them to escape the intergenerational poverty trap, and in so doing, set the country back on course to achieve its inclusive, sustainable development goals. The formula is well-recognised and embedded in South Africa’s ECD policy which commits to the sustained provision of services in 5 key areas 1) health, 2) nutrition, 3) safety and security, 4) responsive care-giving and 5) early learning and stimulation. Whilst most young children in South Africa (70%) receive health services through a well-developed health system with sound community- and home-based delivery footprint, only 30% receive responsive caregiving and early stimulation and learning (Ilifa Labantwana, ECD Review, 2019).

Three KZN based organisations (dlalanathi, Thandanani Children’s Foundation and Singakwenza) have collaborated to bring together a suite of different, essential and complementary skills and expertise to design an integrated pilot programme responsive to a critical gap to provide support to parents and caregivers through home-based early learning and responsive care.

Dlalanathi, the lead partner is appointing a Project Manager to lead this collaborative 3-year partnership project.

Through the partnership the project will ………..

  • Develop, implement and test a microsystem to meet the National Integrated ECD policy commitments in selected communities in Pietermaritzburg.
  • Conduct operational research to address the evidentiary gap and advocate for implementation to develop a system, for the coordinated planning and provisioning of an integrated home and community-based programme of support for all vulnerable families at a local level.
  • Identify and bring together strategic role players already active in this space, as well as those that should be engaged, but are not yet on board and unite them in common cause to address the systemic gaps through collective action and to action solutions across the systemic continuum.
  • Contribute to strengthening operational elements of the system in 2 pilot sites in other provinces as well as support advocacy for strengthening the system as a whole through existing National Networks active in the ECD and Child Rights Sector.

Purpose of this role:

Dlalanathi is seeking a passionate, energetic, experienced Project Manager to co-ordinate work across the 3 partner organisations to achieve the project goals over the next 3 years.


  • Stakeholder relationships: Identify strategic partnerships and build co-operative relationships. Develop relationships with local government stakeholders. Establish a joint co-ordinating structure with participation by government stakeholders locally. Co-ordinate existing partnerships in 2 provinces with implementing partners and government stakeholders. Identify and resolve issues that arise.
  • Manage and co-ordinate partnership co-operation: Facilitate co-operation to achieve the implementation of the Play Mat Programme through local partner organizations. Facilitate co-operation to build capacity of implementing partners in 2 other Provinces. Manage co-operation to deliver on time within budget.
  • Co-ordinate Operational Research: Working alongside experienced consultants, co-ordinate data collection for monitoring, evaluation, reporting, learning and operational research.
  • Co-ordinate Advocacy Strategy: Working alongside experienced consultants develop advocacy and communications for change strategy at different levels, targeting parents, partners, stakeholders and National Networks. Oversee the implementation of the Advocacy strategy.
  • Oversee project delivery within budget: Working alongside dlalanathi’s Finance team monitor spending in line with budget. Review budget annually within partnership.
  • Project donor liaison relationship and reporting: Regular feedback through meetings, reports, on-line and face to face donor visits. Bi-annual and Annual partnership reporting.


Qualifications and Experience:

  • 3 - 5 years professional experience in project management with operational and financial oversight.
  • Experience in building and managing partnership relationships.
  • Experience in managing stakeholder relationships including co-operation with government departments local, district, and provincial.
  • Experience of capacity building of partner organisations and stakeholders to implement and co-ordinate programmes independently.
  • A sound understanding of a rights-based approach.
  • Experience in Advocacy would be a distinct advantage.

Competences and personal qualities:

  • Passionate about early child development at home – what parents & caregivers can do
  • Passionate about systemic change to support implementation of key support for parents and caregivers
  • Excellent facilitation skills
    • Implementation
    • Co-ordination across partners
    • Partnership issues
  • Comfortable in working with parents, volunteers, fieldworkers, partner organisations, local government staff and national networks.
  • Excellent report writing skills; Excellent presentation skills
  • Open to travel within KZN and RSA
  • Open to work in a team, also self-driven and able to operate with limited supervision.

Dlalanathi strives to be a diverse and equitable organization. Preference will be given to South African Black candidates as defined by the BBB-EE Act.

Closing date 4 March 2023

Please send CV and 1 page cover letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.