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Program development describes positions in global health that work towards sustaining the financial stability of a project. For example, many organizations are funded through grants and contracts and they will require a grant writer or manager to put together the winning proposals so that they can continue to run their programs and fund their staff . Development officers, often working as the principal fundraisers for foundations or academic institutions, are another position available in program development. Working as grant-writer or development officer requires an understanding of the technical concepts of the project, but more importantly, strong communication skills to persuasively convey those technical aspects to a mixed audience of experts and nonspecialists.
Outside of grant writing and fundraising, program development also encompasses a number of operational positions. These jobs, including coordinating communications and managing business activities, often require less of a background in global health and more of a focus on general skill areas, such as written communication, management, finance and accounting.
Finding work in program development will require proof of your ability to communicate well. BA/BS degrees in communications, journalism, english can open up doors to grant or technical writing jobs; however, there are rarely strict degree requirements and often experience will take precedence. A Masters degree, such as in public or global health, public policy or administration, is commonplace for program development positions and can provide more a more technical focus to a career path.
Hear from a Duke Alumna
Vice President for Strategic Development and Communications
Program development positions are available in organizations across many different sectors. Below, please find a list of foundations where development positions are common: