Programme Director – Kenya | ReliefWeb

***The position is contingent upon donor approval***

NB: Early application is encouraged as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the advertising period

About Plan International

Plan International is a rights-based development and humanitarian organization working for better lives for all children. We are independent of government and have no political or religious affiliation. Our purpose is to strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries. Our global strategy has a specific focus on girls, as they are often the most marginalized and most often left behind. We have committed ourselves to the ambitious target of reaching 100 million girls over 5 years, to ensure they can learn, lead, decide and thrive. This is our contribution to reaching the sustainable development goals, and in particular the goals on gender equality. Our organization is transforming itself to meet this enormous challenge everywhere we work. We need bold, forward-thinking and innovative individuals to lead our country operations, driving change and delivering results that will allow us to reach our target of 100 million girls.

With over 38 years of experience in implementing its programme, Plan International Kenya (PIK) mainly operates in 11 geographical areas; Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Tharaka-Nithi, Siaya, Kwale, Kilifi, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Marsabit and Tana River.

Plan International Kenya Strategy statement

Plan International Kenya’s (PIK) strategic goal in the next five years is to end teenage pregnancies and end all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against adolescent girls and young women. We aim to help create an enabling environment where girls and young women are safe, valued, equally cared for, and have equal opportunities. PIK will contribute to the global strategy by aiming to reach directly approximately 2.75 million (children, including girls and young women over the period of the strategy 2022-2026 and to reach additional beneficiaries through its interventions.

Project and Position Description

Plan International Kenya is seeking suitable candidates for a Programme Director positionfor an anticipated 5 year USD 27 million programme funded by the LEGO Foundation and Grundfos Foundation. The programme is expected to empower teachers to deliver inclusive, play-based learning in line with Kenya’s competency based curriculum to create an enabling environment for quality learning in schools and generating rigorous evidence on teachers professional development interventions. The programme will be implemented in refugee and host communities of Turkana and Garissa counties, with some significant national components as well.

The Programme Director will be responsible for providing overall project leadership. She/he will be accountable for project’s strategic direction, quality programming, financial management and ensuring compliance. S/he will be charged with building better partnerships that drive program intervention and relationship with key stakeholders at county and sub-county levels, while ensuring alignment to Plan Kenya’s Country Strategy, LEGO Foundation and Grundfos Foundation purpose. The job holder must be abreast of education in emergencies and WASH programming within refugee settings and donor trends.

Reports to: Director of Program Implementation and Quality

Accountabilities and main work activities

Technical Program design, Planning and Implementation (25%)

  • Provide overall leadership on the project’s strategic direction, implementation management, while ensuring application of technically sound project cycle management in alignment with donor requirements.
  • Ensure integration of gender equality and inclusion (GE&I) in project structures and approaches
  • Provide team leadership on training of the local implementing partners
  • Support community and partner initiatives that improve teacher professional development, and WASH in the areas of intervention.
  • Work with relevant ministries, departments, private sector, civil society and partners to achieve project objectives.
  • Develop a program capacity building plan of action for partners, CBOs and Community Resource Persons as per context with specific focus on the key objectives.
  • Providing strategic leadership and supporting collaborative partnership engagements within the project focus areas across the 2 project counties.
  • Ensure effective and timely implementation of all levels of interventions and initiatives with communities and partners;

Quality Assurance, Monitoring, Reporting & Documentation (15%)

  • Oversee the coordination of program assessments, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, documentation and dissemination of promising practices
  • In collaboration with the MERL team develop project monitoring and evaluation framework that ensures that the targets and project milestones are effectively tracked.
  • Oversee the coordination of joint monitoring visits with key partners to track and document program progress in the targeted counties.
  • In cooperation with Partners, lead/support development of data collection and monitoring tools as required.
  • Ensure the feedback from monitoring exercises feeds back to the environment technical working group within the program counties.
  • Oversee the development and submission of program reports and core documents as per donor standards and guidelines.
  • Support development of technical papers and or policy briefs on key issues for external engagement with decision makers.
  • Ensure correct and appropriate branding and media coverage at all times

Donor Engagement, Partnership Management and networking (15%)

  • Cultivate a positive relationship with the donor agency (LEGO Foundation) in Kenya and relevant government departments and the private sector.
  • Ensure collaborative roles and partnerships with key county partners, County Government, National Government line Ministries, Private sector, Community Based organizations, NGO, Learning Research institutions and any relevant authorities.
  • Gender integration in program activities through the implementation strategies.
  • Develop working agreements / MOUs with partners as per need.
  • Coordinate stakeholder / partner forums in the counties to strengthen strategic alliances.
  • Coordinate reflection and learning forums for community and partners for purposes of providing forums for experiential learning & reflection.
  • Support the project team to use Plan International’s expert voice, evidence-based positions, and illustrations of successful programme interventions to inform and engage policy makers via key media and social media outlets.
  • Build capacity of community groups on advocacy to engage relevant agencies and participate in forums to relating to refugee teacher professional development and WASH integration within the refugee camps and surrounding host communities.

Financial Responsibility (15%)

  • The incumbent will have oversight of all financial aspects of the project and will therefore be responsible to provide delegated authority for all financial related processes
  • Review expenditures on a monthly basis to ensure spending is on track and forecast are duly updated based on project needs and in compliance with donor requirements
  • S/he will track projects activity budgets during implementation phases, manage and report on any variances to the line manager and the Country Office Finance and Grants manager.

Capacity Building and People Management (10%)

  • Lead the day to day management of the Project taking into consideration safety and security of the project staff, leave and general welfare of all staff and liaise with the relevant offices for necessary support.
  • Ensure that local laws and operational policies and protocols, including for security, are observed and respected.
  • Provide strategic leadership that inspires the Project team towards the realization of Project purpose and goal.
  • Promote team cohesiveness and integration at the Project team level and interface with the rest of the existing Program Unit team.
  • Deal with conflict resolution in a timely way.
  • Manage the performance, mentorship and coaching for all direct reports and dotted line reports
  • Staff performance reviews are conducted in line with Plan International Kenya’s performance management system.
  • Liaise with Human Resources for any staff development issues as per the training needs analysis.

Logistics admin and procurement oversight (5%)

  • Embrace overall responsibility of the assets of the organization at project level
  • Support the development and usage of procurement plans in execution of project activities.
  • Oversight on asset, fleet, office and inventory management
  • In close collaboration with the Procurement, Administration and Logistics Officer, ensure smooth operations for effective and efficient implementation of the project.
  • Support procurement functions including engagement of service providers.
  • Development and submission of administration related reports.

Risk Management (5%)

  • Provide leadership in risk mapping and documentation.
  • With project team, consultatively identify and put mitigation measures for project risks.
  • Continually monitor the risks environment and act as appropriate.
  • Ensure all Project staff understand Project risks and related responsibilities.

Safeguarding Children and Young People (Safeguarding) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) (5%)

  • Understand and put into practice the responsibilities under Safeguarding and Gender Equality and Inclusion policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), ensuring that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.
  • Lead the orientation of programme staff to ensure that they are properly inducted on and understand their role in upholding Plan International’s safeguarding and GEI policies;
  • Ensure that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in project design, during implementation and as principles applied in day-to-day work of Programme team;
  • Ensure that Plan Kenya contributes to Plan International’s global efforts on safeguarding and GEI, including making sure that relevant reporting and data are submitted.

Other duties (5%)

  • Any other duties as assigned by the line manager.

Qualifications/ experience essential:

  • A Master’s degree in international development, project management, education, public policy, social sciences or any other related field.
  • At least 12 years’ experience managing large and complex grants, managing several partners and/or leading a consortium.
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience from relevant technical areas such as education, Teacher Professional Development, refugee education, WASH, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, and/or Gender Equality and Inclusion.
  • Experience working with or a strong understanding of the education landscape in Kenya, the Ministry of Education, Kenya Teacher Service Commission, and/or Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.
  • Experience working within refugee coordination structures, incl. coordination and collaboration with national authorities, UN agencies, and other implementing partners.
  • Proven ability to represent an organization at a senior level and to build strong relationships at the local, national, and international levels.
  • Experience managing large grants with significant formative and evaluative research components.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills, incl. proven track record of fostering a safe, transparent, and collaborative working environment in consortiums.
  • Proven ability to lead diverse staff and cross-organizational teams, manage performance, foster a positive working environment, and manage issues sensitively and diplomatically.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of gender transformative programming and experience in implementing programs with gender-focused components.
  • Fluency in English and excellent oral and written skills required.

Qualifications/ experience desirable:

  • Experience managing projects funded by the LEGO Foundation or Grundfos Foundation.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of LEGO Foundation’s approach to Learning Through Play and what it looks like in a Kenyan context.
  • Experience responding to rapid onset emergencies in sectors such as WASH, health, and nutrition.
  • Knowledge of the geopolitical factors affecting access to and quality of education for refugees and host communities in Kenya, and the political, social, and environmental opportunities for change.
  • Fluency in Kiswahili and excellent oral and written skills.

Languages required

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in Kiswahili and English. Knowledge of local languages is an added advantage.


  • Ability to influence power holders about the need for and benefits of addressing needs of women and girls and how they are impacted within refugee settings.
  • Excellent relationship building skills – networking, influencing and stakeholder management skills
  • Ability to identify, analyze and monitor diverse, relevant external actors to work with and understand the purpose and implications of working with them.
  • Experience in capacity building


  • Role model Plan International values and behaviors both internally and externally.
  • Engages sensitively with community members on issues of gender equality and inclusion, demonstrating an understanding of the local culture and context.
  • Promotes equality, including gender equality, inclusion and girls’ empowerment in Plan’s work and in its work with partners
  • Apply participatory influencing methodologies both internally and externally
  • The ability to build collaborative working relationships
  • Communicates effectively at a high level and with a range of appropriate styles for different audiences
  • Builds capability through knowledge sharing, networking and coaching.

How to apply

To access the full job description and make an online application please follow the link below.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the very heart of everything that Plan International stands for.

We want Plan International to reflect the diversity of the communities we work with, offering equal opportunities to everyone regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Plan International is based on a culture of inclusivity and we strive to create a workplace environment that ensures every team, in every office, in every country, is rich in diverse people, thoughts, and ideas.

We foster an organisational culture that embraces our commitment to racial justice, gender equality, girls’ rights and inclusion.

Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. This means that we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with and we must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk.

A range of pre-employment checks will be undertaken in conformity with Plan International’s Safeguarding Children and Young People policy. Plan International also participates in the Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this scheme we will request information from applicants previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms their understanding of these recruitment procedures.

Please note that Plan International will never send unsolicited emails requesting payment from candidates.

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