Save the Children

  • Abuja, FCT

  • Permanent

  • Full-time

JOB TITLE: Proposal Budget/Costing Specialist




POST TYPE: Fixed Term


Level 3 – the responsibilities of the post may require the post holder to have regular contact with or access to children or young people


The post holder is a budgeting/costing specialist responsible for analysing and determining the essential cost elements needed for each proposal submission, in relation to the donor’s requirements, and for providing timely and effective costing guidance and support throughout the proposal development process. The position works within the Business Development Team and in close liaison with the central Financial Analyst and regional finance leads. Central to the costing exercise is to maintain an overview of all country programme costs and how they are to be covered (or not) when working across different awards. This analysis to be available to the Finance Director for onward transmission to the SMT at any time.


Reports to: The incumbent will report to the Business Development Manager, with matrix management from Senior Finance Manager and/or Finance Director.

Staff directly reporting to this post: N/A


  • Thoroughly review solicitations/calls that provide opportunities for funding and become an expert on donor instructions and requirements seeking a clear understanding of donor flexibility.
  • Working as a member of the Business Development Team, develop proposal budgets and costing templates and guidance to budget holders.
  • During the proposal development process, work closely with technical advisors to identify and cost for project activities.
  • Working with inputs from the CO Senior Finance Manager, review and maintain the Gap Analysis Report – a database that provides a detailed breakdown of costs and allocations of CO programme and support personnel working across all or many projects at the same time.
  • Maintain a log of typical and essential direct and indirect project costs across all SCI programmes, taking into consideration, global common approaches and other SCI policies and procedures.
  • Analyse proposal budget allocations for SCI’s essential program inputs like Child Safeguarding, MEAL, and Security; and periodically disseminate these to relevant teams for tracking and reporting purposes.
  • During the proposal development process, work closely across all units such as Operations, Human Resource, Security, Logistics and Finance, to identify and budget for operational costs.
  • Improve and maintain budgeting tools and processes within the Save the Children Nigeria CO, in line with Save the Children International and donor guidance.
  • Ensure that realistic, comprehensive and accurate donor-compliant budgets accompany all proposals.
  • Build the capacity of staff involved in proposal development when necessary in budget development and budget-related areas of donor compliance; preferably including commercial contracts.
  • Work closely with ER/CAM focal person to ensure full recovery of Country Office operational cost by reviewing and ensuring that all CAM cost allocations are utilised within the relevant period.
  • Make appropriate estimation/projection of foreign exchange rates to be applied in proposal budgeting, taking into consideration, annual inflationary adjustments.
  • Any other roles/duties that may be assigned

SKILLS AND BEHAVIOURS (our Values in Practice)


  • Understands and respects the need for procedures, policies and planning for safety and security management in delivering humanitarian assistance
  • Holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved
  • Creates a managerial environment across the team to lead, enable and maintain our culture of child safeguarding


  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team, takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically and on a country-wide scale


  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to; builds and maintains effective relationships with colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
  • Values diversity and different people’s perspectives, able to work cross-culturally.


  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions


  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency, builds trust and confidence
  • Displays consistent excellent judgement



  • A B.Sc or HND in Accounting or equivalent area of study. A professional qualification or Master’s degree in Accounting or Financial Management will be an added advantage
  • Minimum 2-3 years’ experience developing budgets for development and humanitarian projects
  • Proven experience in leading in the development of budgets for proposals for donors such as USAID, DFID, other bilateral, foundations and/or corporations with a knowledge of their rules and regulations
  • Experience with non-profit accounting, budget analysis and development
  • Ability to work with technical experts to cost out proposed project activities
  • Prepared to spend time in field locations and to work with field staff as well as headquarters staff
  • Experience building the capacity of appropriate staff on business/cost proposals
  • Proven experience in strategic cost modelling.
  • Excellent experience of computerized accounts packages and in particular of complex spreadsheets, Power Point and Words.
  • Familiar with cost modeling applications
  • Proven ability to multitask between multiple budgets with efficiency and accuracy.

Date of issue: 12.11.2020

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