SDI Director Vacancy In South Africa


SDI Director Vacancy In South Africa

SDI Director Vacancy In South Africa | Opportunity closing date:

Monday, 15 November, 2021
Opportunity type:

Slum Dwellers International (SDI), the leading international network representing the needs, interests, and voice of the world’s urban poor, wishes to recruit a Director. This is an extremely exciting and challenging position, providing an outstanding opportunity to work with a multi-national network that has been internationally recognised for its ability to mobilise and deliver grassroots leadership and innovation in cities of all sizes. Two decades of savings-driven and women-led organisations have place SDI in a unique position to ensure that organisations representing the urban poor are recognised as a significant resource to confront global challenges such as climate change, inequality and the absence of social justice. These global challenges will not be solved without the active involvement of all citizens, especially slum dwellers.


SDI is currently in the process of re-building and realigning the Cape Town-based Secretariat, a process which will be completed by the incoming Director. S/he will assume overall responsibility for the Secretariat, implementation of the Strategic Plan, providing strategic and administrative support to the new Management Board whilst ensuring high-quality management of SDI’s human and financial resources. This position needs a Director who can provide a rare combination of strategic leadership and professional management in a very challenging and exciting environment. S/he will work closely with the national Federations, the Management Board and SDI’s national and international partners to advance the agenda of the millions of slum dwellers who are consistently penalised by outdated and exclusionary approaches to city management and international development.

Reporting Structure

The Director reports, and is accountable to, the Management Board. The Director sits on the Board in an ex officio capacity. S/he maintains regular contact with the Chair of the Board, and Board members with specific responsibilities.

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Ideal Qualifications and Experience for the Position: 

Applicants should hold at least a Bachelors’ Degree in a relevant discipline. A higher degree in a relevant discipline will be an asset. In addition to formal qualifications, applicants should have a minimum of fifteen years relevant organisational and developmental experience, of which at least five years would be in a senior / decision-making role.

Applicants should demonstrate a good understanding of the political, social and economic environment in which SDI operates, as well as significant players in the field. As this is a multi-national position, experience of working in different regions of the global south would be a definite asset. Familiarity with the major national and international actors operating in this field would also be an advantage.

Candidates should be proficient in English – additional languages would be an asset. Candidates should also be proficient with a recognised suite of computer programmes, and able to work remotely when required.  Above all else, s/he will be a self-starter, able to motivate and lead staff and work with the Board to drive the organisation forward. The position may require extensive travel, subject to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

On-the-job Training:

A comprehensive induction programme will be designed and tailored around the successful applicant. SDI encourages all staff to continue learning as part of their career development.

Career Path:

The Director is the most senior employee in the organisation. As the Director, s/he will be able to have a significant impact on the overall style and trajectory of SDI as an international organisation. The SDI Management Board will take the necessary steps to ensure that this is a position that encourages and promotes continuing personal and career development.

Key performance areas include:

1. Strategic

  • Strategy: Support the Board in preparing key strategic policies, including multi-year plans.
  • Funding: Source funding to support national Federations, Secretariat functions and Programme activities.
  • Advocacy: To position SDI in setting global agendas on issues affecting members (informality; inequality; women leadership; etc)
  • Education: Generate opportunities within the SDI network to sustain a culture of learning and education across the whole network.
  • Research: Commission or undertake research to ensure that SDI remains on the edge of challenges and opportunities facing the urban poor.
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 2. Operations

  • Programmes: Overall responsibility for the implementation of the Strategic Plan; Generate annual work plan and budget
  • Grant Management: Manage allocation of grant funding per intended recipient or project.
  • Support to Federations: Strategic advice and support provided to Federations.

3. Secretariat

  • Staff: Manage and lead Secretariat Staff and other providers and ensure compliance with all relevant SA employment laws.
  • Internal and External Communication: Plan and provide communication of SDI activities and achievements to all relevant parties.
  • Finance and Administration: Ensure that high-quality fiduciary governance and standards are achieved and maintained.
  • Reporting: Ensure the timely provision of required proposals, reports, and financial statements.

4. Special Projects

  •  Turnaround of SDI Secretariat: Oversee implementation of the Action Plan to reconstitute the Secretariat.

View the full job description and application instructions on the Vacancies page at and email your application by  Monday, 15th November 2021 to



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