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Operations Manager Job in Kenya - IPA

Position: Program Operations Manager, Kenya

Deadline to Apply: April 1, 2011 (applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis)

Start Date: April /May 2011

Reports To: Programme Director, Kenya

Work Station: IPAK Kisumu Office, Milimani

Travel: Mostly office based with regular field work. The Manager should expect to travel to field offices in Western Province several times a month.

Eligibility: Position open to local Kenyan hires only

The Safe Water Programme (SWP) at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) seeks an Programme Operations Manager to take a key leadership role in achieving our program’s medium-term goal—providing 5 million people with sustained access to safe water, which will prevent 2.3 million cases of child diarrhoea and avert over 2,200 child deaths each year. 

SWP is a growing entrepreneurial group within IPA working to reduce the 1.6 million childhood deaths each year from diarrhea, a leading cause of child mortality in Kenya and globally. The programme is doing this by deploying Chlorine Dispensers—a simple, low-cost innovation proven to dramatically increase rates of household water treatment, which significantly reduces diarrhea and other waterborne disease. 

Chlorine Dispensers have been recognized by a wide network of supporters, including the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Local Government, Lake Victoria North Water Services Board and major international foundations and implementers.

Kenya is SWP’s flagship programme, currently transitioning from the proof-of-concept stage to large-scale implementation with a team of about 25 staff in Kenya, serving 200,000 people by mid-year. 

The Programme Operations Manager will work with SWP’s management team to develop, implement and manage the general programme operations as they expand across western Kenya and grow our field team to 100+ members serving millions in the coming years. This will involve overseeing staff and systems which will grow to operate Chlorine Dispensers at over 30,000 water points.

For this position, we are seeking a strong manager with operations experience who is motivated by the opportunity to expand a program with proven impact, potential to improve the health of millions and save thousands of lives. All eligible candidates from the private, public and non-profit sectors who are interested in making a long-term commitment to a truly influential programme are encouraged to apply.

More information on Chlorine Dispensers can be found at:

Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Expectations for the Position


Programme and Personnel Management
  • Oversee management of all operations
  • Develop and mentor junior staff
  • Delegate and follow up on assigned and role specific tasks
  • Take ownership & responsibility over successful implementation of project activities
Programme Leadership
  • Provide direction and contribute to programme development and implementation strategy
Human Resource Management
  • Manage human resource procedures in coordination with IPA’s HR Manager including: recruiting, evaluations, staff development, disciplinary action, etc.
Partnership and Relationship Management
  • High level relationship maintenance with government officials and external funding and implementing partners
  • Manage team handling local-level relationship development
Financial management
  • Manage field and office expenses according to operating budget
  • Track finances for field work and submit timely, accurate budget reports
Objectives (first 1-3 years)
  • Provide leadership and management of all project operations (including ongoing operations and new programme initiatives)
  • Manage financial budgets associated with programme operations (strict auditable recordkeeping)
  • Manage all field staff in their execution of programme activities
  • Manage HR processes and decision making for field team personnel management
  • Assist in developing the skills and abilities of all staff members to facilitate the overall growth of the team
Goals (first 1-3 years)
  • Maintain operations for approximately 1000 dispensers in the field (200,000 people served)
  • Launch projects for thousands of new dispensers (1 million+ people served)
  • Develop a great field staff capable of handling all field activities
Desired Background and Skills
  • At least 5 years of significant operations and management experience
  • Bachelors and/or Masters degree in relevant field of study highly preferred (or significant equivalent on-the-job experience)
  • Proven ability to set direction through strategic analytical thinking and decision making
  • Demonstrated integrity – the Programme Operations Manager will have significant financial and programmatic responsibilities
  • Effective delegator, able to highly leverage their time through a large staff
  • Excellent communicator in both verbal and written communications
  • Thorough understanding of financial management in relation to creating and managing budgets
  • Advanced user of Microsoft office suite (Excel, Word, Power Point), and the internet
  • Extremely strong written and spoken English and Kiswahili
  • Clear understanding of and experience with SWP’s working environment in western Kenya
Expected Attitude
  • Entrepreneurial Nature – SWP is still in its second year and employees are expected to pitch-in to drive programme growth with enthusiasm and flexibility
  • Passionate about developing and serving a team of staff as they execute project activities
  • Eagerness to develop personally/professionally, willingness to learn, develop new skills, and take on more responsibilities
To Apply

Applications can be submitted via email to with the subject line “SWP Programme Operations Manager Application.” 

Please attach the following documents:
  • Cover letter explaining interest in the position and fit for the role
  • CV/resume
  • (Optional) A work sample—ideally, an operations/programme management tool that also showcases writing ability
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted by email for an interview. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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