Project Manager, Climate Research & Innovation – Kenya


The IRC’s Airbel Impact Lab designs, tests, and scales life-changing, cost-effective solutions for people affected by conflict and disaster. By applying the IRC’s deep technical expertise and field experience with a range of skills from the behavioral sciences, human-centered design, research, and multi-disciplinary problem-solving in humanitarian contexts, we work to develop breakthrough solutions that combine creativity and precision, flexibility and expertise, and a desire to think afresh with the experience and reputation of a large-scale implementing organization.

One of the IRC’s four global research and innovation priorities (GRIPs) is climate resilient agro-pastoral livelihoods. We generate and adapt solutions to increase the resilience of agro-pastoral livelihoods in the areas hardest hit by climate change and conflict – with a focus on women, who are disproportionately affected by climate impacts and already face significant challenges in agriculture. We innovate within the following three focus areas: improving seed security, making climate information accessible and practical, and strengthening disaster risk reduction. Our solutions are localized to specific priority countries and will help to reduce poverty and food insecurity by enabling people and institutions to absorb, adapt and respond to climate shocks.

Scope of Work

We are looking for an organized, collaborative, and dedicated project manager to coordinate across the Climate GRIP portfolio and support 2-3 innovation projects at a time. As project manager, you will work with Airbel, technical, and country teams to draft project scope, objectives, and timelines and evolve them as needed. Your goal will be to collaborate with various teams to lay the foundation for the discovery, design and incubation of successful programs that are resilient to potential risks. In addition to driving project delivery, you will be responsible for implementing innovation rituals that provide insight into the experience of your collaborators, and for encouraging a collaborative, open, and engaged team culture for each project.

Major responsibilities of the project manager role include:

  • Facilitate and guide the onboarding of innovation teams including Airbel, country program, and technical unit colleagues, as well as partners and consultants.
  • Develop and implement exercises and activities to build project team cohesion and reflection toward continuous improvement, including kickoffs, retrospectives, assessments, and reviews across innovation teams.
  • Lead on the development of detailed project work plans and timelines
  • Lead on various procurements activities, e.g. Request for Proposals, hiring.
  • Track work plans and results and provide constructive feedback
  • Support project cost estimation, budget development and tracking, working closely with our finance team
  • Identify potential challenges and establish strategies to minimize risk
  • Coordinate the establishment of roles and responsibilities with project collaborators and partners as projects launch
  • Use detailed processes to ensure the successful execution of each project on-time, within scope, and within budget
  • Schedule and facilitate project team meetings
  • Align project planning, implementation, and deliverables with Airbel quality standards, ensure standards are normed and understood across team members
  • Collaborate on drafting project reports for donors
  • Facilitate the compilation of materials for advisory meetings and develop mechanisms that ensure team accountability in taking forward advisory group recommendations
  • Provide written updates on project progress for visibility across the Airbel team and IRC leadership
  • Support the creation of slide decks, documents, and templates to represent the work of the GRIP internally and externally
  • Collaborate with project leads on storytelling and act as an internal advocate and voice for Airbel’s design work.

This position will report to the Senior Officer, Climate R&I and work closely with the Climate Resilience Lead, as well as technical units and country-based colleagues. This position has growth potential within the Airbel Impact Lab.


  • Proven ability to coordinate large scale, cross functional projects, with at least 4 years of concrete project management experience
  • Working fluency in English and French are required
  • Preferred experience working in under-invested communities and/or conflict affected areas.
  • Familiarity and experience with project management software tools, methodologies and standard processes, such as scrum and agile methodology
  • High level of proficiency with the Google suite and Excel as well as the Adobe suite of products.
  • Unparalleled team collaboration skills; comfort working cross-culturally with multi-disciplinary teams which may include researchers, designers, frontline implementers, clients, engineers, donors, and communications staff
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to be flexible, work well under pressure, and handle competing priorities in a fast-paced environment

The IRC is an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

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