Work at Sonke

Programme Director: Community Mobilisation and Accountability

About Sonke

With a full-time staff of 100 people working from offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Agincourt, Sonke works globally, and especially across Africa, to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to take action to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS. In this way the organisation contributes to the development of societies in which men, women, youth and children can enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies (see

About the position

The Programme Director: Community Mobilisation and Accountability is responsible for the planning, implementation and oversight of Sonke’s work in South Africa, especially the work of the Community Education and Mobilisation (CEM), Policy Development and Advocacy (PDA), Legal Advocacy and Strategic Litigation (LALU) units within Sonke, in accordance with the strategic plan set out by the organisation. The Programme Director: Community Mobilisation and Accountability will participate in strategic planning and budgeting initiatives in addition to problem solving.

Key duties and responsibilities

  1. Advocacy and Activism for Social Justice, Gender Equality and Human Rights in South Africa
  2. Develop Strategy and Oversee Sonke’s Work in South Africa
  3. Development, Implementation and Documentation of Sonke’s Approach to Community Mobilisation
  4. Resource Mobilisation
  5. Staff management and strategic guidance to managers of the following units: Community Education and Mobilisation, Policy Development and Advocacy, Legal Advocacy and Strategic Litigation
  6. Budget Management
  7. Strategic Direction

1. Management

  • Support and provide leadership on Sonke’s participation in civil society activism.
  • Oversee and support the CEM, PDA, LALU units to ensure full implementation of the portfolio of projects in these units.
  • Oversee, support and ensure effective management of programme areas focussed on addressing gender based violence, HIV and human rights and democracy in South Africa.

2. Community Mobilisation

  • Oversee development and implementation of Sonke’s community mobilisation efforts aimed at supporting local communities to take action for gender equality, prevent gender based violence and advance HIV prevention and care. This CM model will include the following components: 1) Community education and rights literacy on GBV, HIV and AIDS, citizen activism and human rights, 2) establishing, supporting and sustaining community action teams, 3) engaging representatives of local and provincial government to develop joint local GBV and HIV prevention strategies and plans, including working on IDP processes, 4) holding local government, and especially the health and criminal justice systems accountable, particularly in cases of domestic and sexual violence, 5) documenting and sharing community experiences generating lessons from experiences in local communities to inform Sonke’s provincial and national level advocacy for a GBV NSP. This will include:
    1. Working with all unit managers, oversee the finalisation of Sonke materials, manuals and tools for CM;
    2. Train Sonke staff on the CM model and ensure all staff understand and can support its implementation;
    3. Work with PDA to develop a Legal Advocacy and Litigation Unit (LALU) which will support Sonke’s CM through the provision of legal advocacy and support to CM teams working at the local level and generate potential cases for strategic litigation; and
    4. Work with the CSI unit to document and share Sonke’s CM model, especially at the local level.
  • Provide support to Sonke’s existing community mobilisation work especially on integrating a focus on accountability in various impact evaluations: CHARISMA in Hillbrow focused on the roll-out of microbicides, Tsima Treatment as Prevention RCT in BBR, iAlarm on community mobilisation to increase men’s use of HIV services in Gugulethu, the GAP Year project focused on GBV and HIV prevention with adolescents in CPT and JHB, and Sonke CHANGE in Diepsloot to prevent GBV at the community level.

3. Resource Mobilisation

  • Work with the Resource Mobilisation manager and others to ensure continued funding for Sonke’s programmatic work, including sustaining ongoing relations with key donors.

4. Staff management

  • Provide guidance, support and mentorship to senior direct reports and staff; and
  • Manage the performance and development of direct reports.

Qualifications and Experience:


  • Post-graduate degree, preferably a PhD, in public health, law, or other social sciences.


  • At least 10-15 years prior experience in senior management with evidence of progressive growth in similar sized organisations to Sonke and proven experience inspiring and leading team of social justice activists.
  • Significant expertise in working at local, provincial and national level, including on community education, community mobilisation, rights literacy, policy advocacy, strategic litigation and the use of media advocacy as a tool for social change.
  • Strong background in HIV and GBV prevention and in health and human rights and an ability to apply lessons from successful AIDS activism to GBV advocacy.
  • Demonstrated commitment to women’s rights, gender equality and community engagement.
  • Deep familiarity with national, provincial and local NGOs, structures and government departments and plans related to HIV, GBV and human rights, including prior experience developing and implementing national advocacy campaigns.
  • Prior experience engaging in advocacy that links international, national and local advocacy to advance shared goals.
  • Proven track record of overseeing the development and use of innovative tools for community mobilisation, including training manuals, multimedia toolkits, etc.
  • Substantial experience with academic research, including prior academic publications.
  • Substantial experience linking on-the-ground advocacy with media advocacy, policy engagement and strategic litigation.
  • Demonstrated ability to represent the organisation in high-level national and international fora.
  • Significant experience in donor relations and budget management.
  • Ability to speak indigenous South African languages required.

Skills & competencies:

  • Inspirational leadership
  • Strong public speaking ability
  • Exceptional networking skills
  • Research, writing, application and thought leadership
  • Budgeting and financial management skills
  • Proven ability to interpret financial statements and use this information to contribute to strategic decision making
  • Ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities


Cape Town or Johannesburg

Closing Date

18 May 2017