Governance Advisor

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Contract Type:
Fixed Term/Full Time
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Business Area / Division:
Advisory - Africa
Business Unit:
The Gambia

Job Introduction

Lord Mayor Talib Ahmed Bensouda was elected to head the largest municipal in The Gambia in 2018 on an agenda of delivering a municipality which is more responsive to citizens and works to deliver better standards of living for residents in a city that he wants to be cleaner, greener, and more financially accountable.

To support this work, TBI is seeking an Advisor to be based in the Mayor’s Office at Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) and working closely within the Council administration.

The partnership between the Mayor and TBI is focused on supporting KMC to achieve the Mayor’s vision across four priority initiatives:

  • Market Expansion: Developing the infrastructure of public markets through a public-private partnership framework.
  • Urban Public Transportation: Offering residents fast, affordable, and safe urban bus services to enhance mobility and accessibility.
  • Sanitary Landfill: Closing the municipality’s official dumpsite in Bakoteh and developing an engineered sanitary landfill to serve the Greater Banjul Area.
  • Street Addressing: Introducing a comprehensive street naming and compound numbering framework with a functional GIS system to improve navigation and enhance the Council’s property tax collection.

TBI’s support to KMC aims to build on our foundations of support to leaders through improving the systems and structures around them in-line with the Mayor’s desire for improved governance, transparency, and administrative capacity to allow the Mayor’s vision to become a reality.

The Governance Advisor will support effective performance management and delivery systems within KMC, centred around the Mayor’s Office, with a focus on ensuring sustainability and the transfer of skills to the administration of the KMC.

The Governance Advisor will utilise technology as a transformational tool for development in the municipality, as the Council pursues digital administrative reforms. Some examples of potential innovate solutions include digital revenue collection, e-ticketing solutions, and digital GIS mapping of properties within the municipality.

The Governance Advisor will be a member of TBI’s team in The Gambia reporting to the Country Head and will also be a member of TBI’s Centre of Government Practice, through which they will gain from and contribute to the expertise of TBI’s teams across Africa and beyond.

This is a fixed term role for two years.

Key Responsibilities

The Governance Advisor will work with the Mayor and the Country Head to develop a strategy and programme of support to KMC, whilst remaining agile and responsive to changing needs, including:

  • Problem-solving and performance management support to the Mayor to provide effective tools for driving implementation and escalating challenges
  • Technical support and problem-solving for the enhanced delivery of specific priority initiatives for the Mayor and KMC
  • Explore and suggest innovative solutions and leverage technology in new ways, particularly in data collection and management systems for revenue mobilisation and property tax reforms
  • Working closely with counterparts to improve the delivery system tools and mechanisms with an aim of sustainability and ownership and providing relevant, on-the-job skills training to the KMC team
  • Ensure robust project management processes are in place, including reporting and legal/policy documentation (including security, legal, financial) and effective implementation of monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) activities, including data collection and analysis
  • Explore ways of leveraging support for KMC from private sector partners and international development partners

Person Specification

To be successful in this role you will need to be closely aligned with the Institute’s outlook and mission and be entrepreneurial in your approach to your work.

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and experience:

  • A postgraduate qualification in International Economics, Public Administration, Business, Finance, Urban Planning or related fields
  • At least 5 years’ experience working on the delivery of innovative programming and policies in developing/emerging economies; experience working on urban planning, government revenue mobilisation, urban sanitation and/or at a municipal level is an advantage
  • Experience working or engaging with private sector players and development partners
  • An ability to work independently, think strategically and translate strategies into concrete and implementable plans – particularly in low-resource, high-pressure environments
  • An acute attention to detail with excellent analytical, organizational, and communication skills
  • Excellent operational and stakeholder management skills
  • A proven ability to inspire, coach and develop others, including people from different backgrounds and cultures
  • Understanding of organizational design and accountability mechanisms to reform government processes
  • Excellent strategy skills in order to challenge and design effective policy
  • Ability to deliver results in complex and challenging environments
  • Team player with an ability to develop and foster relationships with counterparts across a large organization
  • Drive, motivation and ability to consistently achieve results in a fast-paced environment
  • Proven ability to mentor, coach, and build capacity of national counterparts
  • Excellent writing, presentation skills and verbal communication skills in English
  • Preference for individuals with work experience in Africa and/or other contexts similar to The Gambia


About The Institute

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people  

We do this within two connected divisions: 

 Government Advisory 

Our Advisory Practice works directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It has both non-profit partners and a client base and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia. We are currently in a rapid expansion phase from c. 18 countries at present, to 30 by December 2022.

 Policy Futures 

Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas: 

  • Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics; 
  • Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and 
  • Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world. 

As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are: 

  • Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork 
  • Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity 
  • Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results 

TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work.  It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\'re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.